I’m In My 30s & I Have No Friends — WTF?

As I got older, I knew it was inevitable that I’d start to grow apart from some of the friends I’d known for as long as I can remember. Life changes, people change, and you kinda just naturally drift off in different directions. I was prepared for my social circle to get a bit smaller, but how the hell did I end up losing all my friends? Now that I’m in my 30s, I’ve never been more alone and it seriously sucks.

  1. I moved around a lot after college. I was one of the few people from my midwestern suburb to actually make the leap and go to college out of state. This put a strain on my oldest friendships and has been a running theme every time I make a big move to another city. It’s inevitable that people who move around a lot have a harder time staying in touch with friends, but do we really have to lose contact completely?
  2. Long-distance friendships are hard. They take a lot of effort, and if both parties aren’t willing to put in those FaceTime chats, lengthy emails, and weekend visits, it’s just not going to work. We’re all very busy, and sometimes dealing with the mini-dramas in our seemingly dense bubble feels like all we can fit onto an already overflowing social plate. I admit I don’t always put in the effort but that’s often because I’d be the only one doing so.
  3. It’s so damn hard to make new friends as an adult. As we get older, chance meetings with people you have a ton in common with and want to make part of your circle become fewer and fewer—and even if they do occur, they can be hard to recognize. As life gets more complicated, we get so caught up in checking stuff off that never-ending to-do list that we fail to take a step back and be present in what’s going on right now.
  4. I’m in a serious relationship. It took three long, terrible years on Tinder, but I’ve officially found my person and we spend a lot of time together. I know I’m definitely guilty of pulling that new relationship disappearing act. It’s like the person you’re with becomes your new best friend who you also get to have sex with! It feels like a win-win at the time, but you and your new partner acting like two sexy hermits can take a serious toll on your existing friendships and leave the people in your life feeling neglected. Trust me, I’ve experienced this firsthand.
  5. I’m old now and I get tired super fast. Since turning 30, it’s like a switch has been flipped and I’m suddenly weird and socially awkward. The thought of staying out until closing time, knocking back shots of Jameson and nursing the type of hangover that makes me contemplate my existence is now incredibly unappealing. My idea of a nice night includes good food and a nice rosé with a small group of friends all ending well before midnight.
  6. My priorities are different these days. Instead of happy hours and bottomless brunches, I’m now forced to worry about things like weird moles and what kinds of procedures my dental insurance covers (do I even have dental insurance?). As we get older and life gets real, our priorities change and may not sync up with others the way they used to. It’d be great to find friends on the same page, but again, meeting them would require some pretty serious serendipity.
  7. My friends’ priorities are different too. True story: I recently lost one of my best friends to music festivals, healing crystals, and hallucinogenic drugs. She didn’t die, she’s just really into that Burning Man life and I can’t seem to get on board. And while I respect each of our life choices and understand that sometimes people grow apart, it’s still hard coming to terms with the fact that I’ve lost touch with a good friend.
  8. Starting a family takes up a lot of time, or so I’ve been told. I’m one of the last holdouts of all my friends to have neither a husband nor a baby, something Facebook likes to remind me of every hour or every day. That being said, I’ve watched basically everyone I know create these beautiful new families and essentially these new lives, which is to be expected and pretty amazing if you think about it. I’m not saying that friendships end once you’re married with children, but the dynamic with those who’ve remained single and childless definitely does change.
  9. TV and movies are so good right now. Honestly, I feel like today’s TV and movies are extra compelling. The FX network alone could keep me from my own wedding—and don’t even get me started on the CW. This may sound trivial, but staying in on a Friday night with a pizza, a bottle of pinot, and a new Netflix show gives me life. I know I’m not alone in this. Life as an adult is stressful and sometimes getting lost in a six-season, 22-episode character arc over the course of a weekend is the best kind of self-care.
  10. I’m a different person now. The old me who had 25 friends that I could call on at all hours of the day, ready and waiting for something to pop off simply doesn’t exist anymore. It can be hard letting go of the person you once were, but growing up and moving on is just another stepping stone in life. I think the old “quality over quantity” phrase really applies here. If you have even one or two people you can rely on and who really know you, whether it’s your S.O., your mom, or that weird work friend who just gets you, well, that’s pretty lucky.