I need new friends. At least that’s what I’ve been told.
This is something I’ve touched on recently, and the more I think about it the more I realize that this is a big part of my struggle to this whole coming-out thing.
See, I don’t have a whole lot of lesbian friends. A few, but by and large my friends and social circles are straight, married and most have kids. But, they’re my friends, which means we share something in common, whether it’s a love of sushi or they’re runners/triathletes like myself, or I find myself next to them on a softball field. Regardless, there’s some thread that holds the friendship together despite our differences.
I’ve been told that I should start networking and finding people who are “more like me”. Meaning: gay. And I get this – if I am seeking out women to date or trying to find new lesbian friends, I should go places where there’s at least a chance that someone gay might show up. But, even back in my old life when I was straight and purportedly looking for guys, I never really went out of my way to go to events or participate in activities just because eligible boys might be there.
I’ve never been a bar scene kind of girl. Not unless it involves going somewhere reasonably quiet to sit and talk and have an adult beverage with friends. I’m certainly not a dance club kind of girl; just the thought of that kind of gives me a mini-panic attack.
I’m more of a softball-playing, hiking-in-the-woods, sit-at-home-on-my-porch kind of girl. Which doesn’t cause me to meet a whole lot of new people on a regular basis. And frankly, that in itself doesn’t bother me too much. Life is comfortable and good and it’s not like I don’t have friends around to fill the time with.
I guess what I’m kind of rebelling against is the idea that now that I’m out of the closet, that my old friends somehow aren’t sufficient and fail to fill some basic need. That my sexual orientation means that instead of looking for friends who run or play softball (though – ironically – the softball thing should help, no?) I should be looking for friends who are lesbians, as if that’s enough of a common interest that will sustain a friendship (or more, possibly).
I don’t know. I guess I get it. Maybe I just wish that my gaydar was in working condition — that in normal, everyday situations I could figure out who was and who wasn’t gay. Meet people without going someplace where the only common factor is that we’re lesbians and that we’re there to meet other lesbians.
Maybe it would better – or at least less of an irritation – if I were a meet-and-greet kind of girl. Someone who enjoyed going places where I didn’t know anyone and putting myself out there and being all nicey-nice to a bunch of strangers. I’m not, though. Perhaps that’s something I should work on? All I know is that I’m more comfortable meeting people I don’t know when I know that we already have something to talk about, whether it’s triathlons or the book we’re talking about at the book club meeting.
Part of me wants to stop actively looking entirely. Figure that if it’s supposed to happen, it’ll happen. Like the old saying goes, love (or friendship!) finds you when you least expect it. And I don’t think this is necessarily a bad way to do it. It would give me some time off to work through some of my own personal issues, anyway. And I could save money by not subscribing to an online dating service, too. Bonus!
Though, the conscious I’m-not-looking-for-friends-or-love decision has never actually worked all that well for me; I then have a tendency to not even take advantage of the day-to-day opportunities to meet new people. But it seems easy enough to give not looking another shot. Here’s the crux of the problem, though: is that me giving up, essentially laying down the excuse for why I’m not meeting anyone? Or me being wise, knowing that sometimes the harder you search for something, the more it eludes?
Hmmm. I’m not sure I have the answer to that one…