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You Asked: My Social Life is Non-Existent!

Dear Sugar --

My boyfriend and I have been dating for a year and a half now. We've had several discussions about friendships I've had that brought me down. I slowly started to weed out the friends that were bad influences on me but now I'm so picky about friends that I don't have any at all! My boyfriend is very helpful and encourages me to go meet new people and hang out with the few friends I do have, but they all seem to be busy so I don't know what to do. It seems as though I've become somewhat "closed off" from making new friends, and I'm so picky that even if there is a girl that I could see myself becoming friends with it's hard for me to take that extra step and ask her to go out for coffee or something. In the past I've also had friends betray me and ditch me and I'm sort of afraid that this will happen again so I tense up when people are around and worry too much about it.

My boyfriend tells me that I just need to be more open and friendly and not worry too much about how I am appearing to the other people and just go with the flow. I'm starting graduate school in a few weeks but I am afraid that I might not make friends there either. My boyfriend and I hang out with his friends a lot but they are all guys. I want to have girl friends to go out and do girlie things with but I don't even know where to start anymore! Any suggestions? -- Lonely Lanna

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Lonely Lanna --

It's hard to let yourself be vulnerable and open up after you've been hurt in the past, but your boyfriend's right, it's important to get back on the horse again if you will and take a risk. Being guarded on the inside can translate negatively and aloof to others so getting to the bottom of your trust issues is important. Although you have had some friends let you down or betray you in the past, it isn't to say that everyone will do the same.

Having someone to do girlie things with is important, so if you're still iffy about your old friends, it sounds like you just need to start all over again and make new friends so you can get that sour taste out of your mouth. With that said, starting school is a great way and time to make new friends. Since you will be surrounded with like-minded people, the chances of meeting others with similar interests and life goals is high. Try warming up to the girl you sit next to in class, join a study group, or take some work out classes -- anything to get yourself out there. There is nothing wrong with being weary when you first meet new people, so just take things slow, like you would in a new relationship with a guy. Make these women earn your trust, but don't be standoffish -- remember, your classmates are in the same boat as you are and chances are they are anxious to make new friends too.

I hope starting school will be like turning over a new leaf for you. Give these people a chance, you never know, you could be pleasantly surprised by the outcome! Good luck.


Join The Conversation
katiestew katiestew 9 years
i live in la too. i went to college here and found a job afterwards so i stayed... problem was all my friends from college didn't. la is a tough town, but my boyfriend seems to have a really easy time making new friends. is this a girl thing? are we less open to meeting new people and making friends? or maybe its a girl thing in la only? its just feels harder to make non-superficial connections with women here than men.
The-Italian-Jem The-Italian-Jem 9 years
From my own experience, I've found LA to be a pretty cold town... I've lived here for 3 years, and I'm just repeating what everyone else is saying! Supportive boyfriend, no real desire for awkward small-talk about hair extensions and clubs, missing the social interaction of university. It seems that here whenever anyone strikes up a conversation with a stranger she/he is just given a "why are you bothering me" superficial glance. Sorry this sounds so negative... I am really thankful for my boyfriend to hang out with though! I'm just sure he isn't as enthusiastic about the brand new make-up or workout I've found as a female counter-part would be. A part of considering grad school has been the addition of a social scene with like minded/ similarly educated people, men or women.
designergirl designergirl 9 years
It really makes me feel better to know that other people have the same problem. This is my life right now, my boyfriend is also encouraging, and I am 22. I just finished school and am taking a year off between grad school, and I have no idea how to meet people my own age. Joining groups or taking classes makes me a bit nervous because I am worried there will be no one close to my own age there. How do you make friends after college? At least I don't feel like such a loser knowing other people are the same way.
demeter demeter 9 years
I'm in the same situation as you - sort of. I don't have a boyfriend though...but I'm pretty much a hermit. I'm not good judgement when it comes to friends.
arrhythmia arrhythmia 9 years
this is me too, i'm suprised to see so many other girls are. this is the type of thing you feel about yourself but never realize that a bunch of other people feel the same way too. puts life in a different perspective :D
screammylungzout screammylungzout 9 years
omg good thing to know there are so many of us, and on one site as well! im not the mysterious 23 (i'm 18), but i went to college on the other side of the country last year. when I'm around people i don't know, i really don't know what to say- and at the same time i HATE small talk; i'd rather have silence than an awkward forced conversation. for me though, i know after a while i'll get used to people and they'll be used to me, and that will make things easier. it's just kinda hard in the meantime. i will say that joining smaller clubs makes things easier.
handbagbride handbagbride 9 years
I am SO glad to hear this is a relatively common issue. I am married and am back in my hometown after a long stint away - things feel forced with old friends and it is a struggle to make new ones that meet my (ridiculously high) standards.
graylen graylen 9 years
flyhunnie7- I just moved to LA 11 months ago, great boyfriend, and hardly any friends too! That's funny. I'm also 23... hmmm. I just don't really know how to meet new people. I have an hour commute each way to work, which kind of eats up the day and I only work with one other person... Any suggestions???
flyhunnie7 flyhunnie7 9 years
same story here too. I moved here to LA 15 months ago; great boyfriend, no bff (here in LA, at least).
lovelylei lovelylei 9 years
I'm the same exact way. my boyfriend encourages me meeting new people as well. I'm actually starting school soon probably too so hopefully I will meet some nice people there.
rubialala rubialala 9 years
Like many people here, this could have been me talking. My husband is very supportive of me going out to meet new people, but I don't like to do it. I'm kind of shy about meeting new people, and I don't want to get hurt so I'd rather stay home.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 9 years
You know what, listen to everyone's advice. And Sugar gave a very good one. Everyone is NERVOUS, the same as you are, some are apparent, some aren't. I was always known as the 'social' girl, but I was really really scared making friends although I just keep it inside. Also, age doesn't matter too much. When I was a freshman in college (17 turning 18), most of my friends were older as in 23-30 yrs old. It didn't faze me although the sad thing was I couldn't go to bars/pubs with them :lol: they don't allow underage students in although s/he didn't drink. Other ways to make friends: join a club, if you live in the dorm, eat at the dorm cafeteria (I know, horrible food...but I met ALL of my college friends whom I'm dearly friends with at the dorm's cafeteria). Or if you don't live in a dorm, during lunch hour, suffer through eating at the cafeteria. That's the most ripe place for students to gather and want to make friends. But my suggestion is actually to go for DINNER instead of lunch, that way, 90% of students eating there usually are done with school so they're relaxed and ready to socialize, you may even find study buddies this way. What I'd do is say 'hi, is this seat taken?' Then usually they'd say 'no, sit down.' then you sit down and introduce yourself and start talking. Don't forget to ask questions and be friendly, don't wait to be asked questions about yourself. You'll do just fine. Really! Good luck to you!
windynini windynini 9 years
Elementary, middle school, and some of high school was very hard for me becasue I was always very shy around people. Now that I'm in college, well its a little different. I try to be more friendly with my fellow classmates and have even developed one or two friendships out there. Its difficult, but not impossible, but cheer up guys, we're still young and plenty of time to get to know not just one another, but other people as well. I'm 23 btw, how odd, isn't? I guess we'll make some sort of club or group, lol.
jenintx jenintx 9 years
it's extremely hard to make new friends...and it only gets harder as you get older, or so it seems. i'm really in the same boat, only i'm 26. i have this fabulous job in a college town, so it seems like everyone is 18. which also means my romantic life is pretty much DOA. and now that all of my friends are getting married and having kids, it DOES seem like they are all too busy for me. but i'm trying. and you should too. it doesn't seem like you have difficulty meeting people but that you won't let the people you do meet in. it's one thing to be guarded and a completely separate thing to completely cut people out before you have the opportunity to get to know them. everyone is different, and none of us are perfect. our quirks are what makes us special. just remember that the people you let in are putting just as much at stake in your potential friendship as you are.
cassee cassee 9 years
My sister had an issue of not having any friends after she moved to another state, and she's actually signed up at, and she's been meeting a lot of people and have actually found some girls she can connect with. It's just a sight where you meet up with people every so often and do things like hikes, drinks, or whatever your interests are! Hope this opens up some options for you ladies!
licia licia 9 years
I can relate too.. I really only have one good friend at the moment and we both work full time so we never see each other. I'm never around anyone my age, recently broke up with my boyfriend, and I don't even talk to anyone online anymore. It's pretty disheartening.. I hope you find someone though. Life is no fun when you don't have anyone to share it with. Maybe 23 is just a lonely age lol. I'm that age too..
littlemissiemoo littlemissiemoo 9 years
this is me too but worse becasue I dont have the boyfriend either!! I get v lonely becasue some nights when im dying to go out etc i dont even hanve anyone to go out with!!
soror6 soror6 9 years
I'm looking to make friends myself, and its never been easy for me to do this. I've had a best friends for 16 years, since we were born! Then I moved to the US and ever since then I haven't had meaningful friendships..So if you and anybody else wants to chat I'm here :-)......And I just turned 23 by the way.
LoveStoned LoveStoned 9 years
I am so happy to see that I am not alone. :D
Deanern Deanern 9 years
I couldn't believe it as i was reading this, but you sound EXACTLY like me, I mean EVERYTHING you are saying is the same issue with me. If you want to talk or something, maybe we can at least be online friends! Or maybe you live around me
sparklestar sparklestar 9 years
This is me too! I have such a problem meeting new people because all of the kids in my University classes are fresh out of college and 17/18 years old. I am 23!! I want to start a knitting group and I go to a spiritual group once a week (despite being atheist) just to make new friends. It is slow progress but you get there in the end. If ever you are in the UK get in touch and we'll go for coffee. ;)
vanyvrgs vanyvrgs 9 years
I totally agree with Dear Sugar. I was in the same position and please note it won't happen overnight but it will.... you should have friends/things to do outside your boyfriend's circle.
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