I think one of the most confusing things I have come up against whilst getting older has been friendship. Friendship is something that I truly cherish, I am fiercely loyal and once we are friends I will genuinely help you hide a body, no questions asked.
The thing is, I have been asking questions lately. How long have we been friends? Why is this person in my life? I would like to be friends with that person, how do I even go about that? In 2016 I made three new friends. I am pretty impressed with that. Three friendships ex nihilo. 2017 has been about nurturing them, and turning them in to something meaningful, because friendship in your thirties is hard work.
My longterm friends (school friends, forced friends from childhood etc) aren't major work, they have either drifted off never to be heard from again, or they are still in my life. We meet up and occasionally text but if a major life event happens they are the first people I would contact and when we meet up for a drink, it is like we saw each other yesterday.
There are a few friends who's lives will always be more important that yours. You can either accept that or get rid of them. I advise the latter as they end up becoming energy saps. The types that ask for advice but will do what they want anyway, I feel these friends shed away as you reach your thirties because there are only so many drunk wine chats you can have about the same things, before you end up dodging calls and emails in favour of stabbing yourself in the eye with hat pins.
So how do you make friends in your thirties? 2 of mine have come via instagram, and one through a mutual friend. There are various friend apps but I have found them to be pointless, and I swiped left on 99% of them. It's hard to judge friendship from a bio. V different to dating, I don't have a friend type. Instagram has been great for meeting people, it''s the new twitter (where I met some of my other good friends). Crucially, they kinda have to be local to you, have a swipe through to local places/hashtags see if anyones account interests you.
I have also joined the odd facebook group regarding things I am interested in (in particular Elis and Robins Podcast...are you on email?) and forged a few friendships from that, sadly one lives in Bath and the other Edinburgh but one day, we shall meet! I also am a member of a wonderful anxiety facebook group.
The last friend I met through a mutual friend. I guess for this one just ask around, at work, or perhaps your partner may know of someone who may be a suitable match (if you don't find it too cringe!). I have also heard that babies are the perfect bait in making new friends, whilst I can't talk about this first hand, you have got something quite magical and mystifying in common so I can only imagine you'd have a great starting point.
I read a guardian article that said after you get past 30 you only have 'situational friends', people you call for an airport pick up, a late night out, shoe shopping etc. This doesn't all fall to one BFF like it did in our teens and twenties. I think at this point in your life it's quite easy to think that you are all set. You have a group of friends that satisfy what you need, and you don't need any more but I feel like you may be missing out on some great experiences, what if your new best friend is literally just around the corner? During our 30s and onwards we are going to go through some of the harder times in our lives, babies, big house moves, and sadly maybe divorce, illness and death. We need strong people around us who we can turn to in each and every situation. Never stop seeking new friendships, walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.