F•R•I•E•N•D•S

When you’re young and the world is new and exciting, you are trying new experiences and meeting new people. If you are a social butterfly, like me, making friends came easy. Multiple people could be your “best” friend and social gatherings were where you thrived. Extroverts like me need a fair amount of social stimulation.

I first learned about the Meyers-Briggs personality types in college. At that point in my life, I never felt like I fit in any of the personalities more than maybe 60%. I could identify with multiple personalities and it frustrated me. One thing I knew for sure: I was an “E” for Extroversion. However, as college came to a close and I moved back home, meeting people and making new friends became increasingly difficult. It felt like the older I got the less people were interested in making new friends. I tried to make friends organically by joining a church and participating in as many events that I could. But in the end, so few people were a match for me. Ironically, the only friend I left with was a person who I had known since birth.

As the years progressed, I made friends, but no one that I would consider a “best ” friend or someone who I could spend copious amounts of time with and still want to see them the next day. Then I met my husband. He was the first new relationship that I found post-college life that I felt like was real and genuine – and I found him through an app! Yes, my husband and I met through Tinder.

If I’ve learned anything since college, it is that people yearn for community, to be known and to know. We are desperate to have friends, but struggle to find them. We can put ourselves out there time and time again, but nothing will click. Why? My theories are that an element is self-sabotage, where we choose to opt-out or convince ourselves that we are fine on our own. I know for me, I am lazy. Even though I want so desperately to make close friends, most of the time I sit down and say, “I really don’t want to go.” So, I don’t, and I miss out on whatever opportunity is there.

As a new mom, my options for friends have become more limited. The first time I realized this was a few weeks after my son was born. I was swiping through Bumble with a direct intent to find other mothers or at least married couples. I came across a profile that said, “I’m looking for a new girl gang that is single. All my girlfriends have gotten married and have babies and I need new friends!”

Wow. This hit home! I hadn’t realized how much my friend circles would shrink when I became a parent.

So, I left Bumble and I thought, “There has to be a way for mothers to meet other mothers in 2018.” And that is when I came across Peanut.

Peanut has afforded me ways to connect with other moms nearby that I wouldn’t normally be able to make. With working full-time and caring so my son, I hardly have time to work out, much less go out an meet other moms. So this app has given me a way to connect without having to find more time in my day. Since moving to Nashville, the moms I’ve matched with on Peanut have created a Facebook group to allow us to converse and plan activities. We even went to a pumpkin patch this past weekend and met up.

While I’m still looking for my “Mom Squad”, I am meeting great people virtually. I think we have this idea of a “Friends” type community, where everyone lives close and can go get coffee at any point in the day, but I think the reality is that community takes work and finding “your people” is something that is built, not something that is found. I’m hopeful about my time in Nashville and will continue to pray for a community here.

(PS, if you’re interested in the Peanut app, download it here: https://peanut.app.link/yPNXSCvioQ)

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