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“Oh look, another child!” Seen, liked, played. Friends. 

I wish it was easy making friends like it was when I was 3 years old. 

No reservations. No ego.

“I’m going to go down the slide with this one”, “I’ll just kick my ball over to this girl; let’s see what she says”, “Wow, this guy is reading a book, let me peek at the page, too.”

Now that my age has increased tenfold, it doesn’t feel easy anymore to form new friendships. 10 times 3 appears to have been a really long time for my mind to develop in strange ways. It’s almost like it’s walked down a path towards more self-doubt and fear of rejection. 

Many reservations. Much ego. 

Sometimes I meet another woman my age and I feel intrigued. A good conversation, similar interests, living in the same neighborhood. And then?

Even if I have her phone number or we are connected through Facebook, I’m always unsure what to do next. Suggest a night at the movies? Invite them to my house? And if yes, then do I invite their partner and child, too? But that mostly turns into a play date for the kids, and we can’t really get a word in. But without the kids it’s also kind of strange – how would I even put a request like that into words? And who knows, maybe the other woman isn’t even interested in a friendship with me. 

With all the different nationalities we have here in Cyprus it feels even more difficult. What’s the friendship etiquette in Britain again? Will the Cyprian lady find it awkward if I invite her straight to my house? Is it really true that the Russians prefer to mingle amongst themselves, or can I suggest a time to hang out with one person without their friend feeling obliged to join even though they don’t want to come anyway? 

Throughout school and uni, this all seemed a lot easier. Where’s the how-to guide for the time after? As an adult woman, how do you make new friends locally?

I’m a pretty extroverted person in general and really not that shy either. But I’m noticing that my insecurities are holding me back. I’m always afraid someone will talk about me behind my back as “the little German who’s so annoying”. And even if I push through it and initiate a meeting with someone, I’m always worried that it’s going to be awkward. This is why I often don’t end up doing anything, and I just keep waiting for a sign from the other person. Who is probably waiting for a sign from me. And so as adults we keep waiting that friendships will somehow happen to us without having to be proactive about them and risking anything. 

“Oh, look, another human!” Seen. Liked. And remained strangers for life.

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