It happens when I, an overgrown woman, will get questioned as to my "friends," in a manner that my kinfauna would be (example: "Do you have friends?" just because I moved years ago. Hello, meet phones and internet, today's options for connection). Indubitably, if I was married, I would not be fielding inquiries as to my social life; but these are trials older singles must navigate.
Besides for my introverted nature which finds light chit-chat incomprehensible, and for the fact that most females my age are paired up, the difficulty in acquiring new friends lies in this Modern Love piece by Emma Court:
Mass media has a fascination with hookup culture among people around my age (21) meriting in-depth investigations and contentious opining about what it all means. But they often miss a simple fact: There’s nothing particularly new about trying to avoid getting hurt.
It’s just that my generation has turned this avoidance into a science, perfecting the separation of the physical from the emotional. We truncate whenever possible: texting over calling, meeting over apps rather than in person. We leave in the early morning without saying goodbye. Being casual is cooler than intimacy and vulnerability. Or so we think.
Having the last word was once a sign of one’s wit and smarts. It meant that your comment had gravitas and staying power. But today, having the last word is the ultimate in weakness: It means being the person who doesn’t merit an answer. Better to leave them hanging than risk the same happening to you. Keep it shallow so your heart isn’t on the line.
Being aware of all this does not grant immunity from its effects. . .
This sounds awfully like when I attempt to cultivate an acquaintance into a friend. It is a delicate dance, prancing between supposed non-desperation and blatant interest. Was she laughing at my joke only to be polite? That would explain why she took a week to answer my text. Never mind, I don't have the energy for this anymore, I'll watch some TV instead.
Low self-esteem, I think, is today's dragon that requires slaying. But George needs a nap after playing message tag, overanalyzing "lol"s with a potential new pal.