culture · psychology · twenties

I lost a lot of friends and here’s why I can’t be happier.

After moving to and finally settling in a new city, I am glad to finally get back to you guys. Lots of big things coming for you all to look forward to.

Around your late twenties, they say that your social life declines. Apparently, people associate their late-twenties with the depression that comes from losing friendships or just drifting apart. Some friends get married, others move cities, some settle into suburban life, and some you realize do not share the same values as you do. As you grow into who you were meant to be and stay true to yourself, you will lose a ton of friends.

I used to fear this too.

My early and mid-twenties were some of the most social times in my life, especially as I lived in a city most people would give an arm and leg to live in. I made so many great friends and had so many fun days and nights because of them. A part of me wanted to be Mr. Popular with a big Instagram account and going to the finest parties and social gatherings. That was my retribution for being a social outcast in my times down south.

I used to fear the day that would come that the very friends I was going out drinking with or going to social events with would leave me. It would have been like going back to those years in social isolation. Nights spent going out alone yet again and not feeling that comfort of a group anymore, it scared me, a lot.

But then, I started to look at drawbacks of having an active social life.

For one, I could no longer put up with going out to get thrashed. A lot of my friends were alcoholics and like most New Yorkers, had a powerful drinking and drugs habit. I tried to avoid all of that but found myself downing a lot of drinks, later finishing the night with junk food. My health was clearly going down the toilet here.

The other thing I realized was that due to the atmosphere in 2020 around politics, which has gotten even worse in 2021, I was finding myself having to constantly conform. No opposing opinion was really allowed, if you had one, you were viciously targeted and called all sorts of nasty names. Given that this is NYC we are talking about here, that meant that you had to agree with everything mainstream media told you.

I also started to realize that I was drifting apart from my hobbies and spending more time just sitting around talking shit with friends. Some hobbies I had developed like making cocktails, photography, and other things had been through a serious decline. Even writing on this site had declined as I wrote less often and wrote posts that were based on conformity, not being true to myself.

One other aspect of my life that surprisingly suffered? Dating and meeting women. I could not go out and happily approach women at bars as friends would either intervene or they would see me as “that guy”. I also noticed that my self-esteem took a hit as I was basing my results with women more on what my friends thought of them and less on what I thought of them. I had dehumanized the process of dating and meeting amazing women. I actually started to notice that I was doing worse with women.

It had all caught up with me in a big way. Sure, I genuinely got 200 followers on Instagram and was slowly becoming that popular guy I wanted to be. My weekends were loaded with fun times and it was at a point where every weekend I was going out and getting drunk with friends. At the same time, I lost sense of purpose and who I really was.

Then it happened, it fell apart.

I refused to give into social pressure concerning health and that also caused me to leave NYC. A number of my friends conformed to the norms and quite a few were even happy about them. It was then I realized how delicate friendships are and how most of them can easily fall apart. I thought I would fear this a lot and be miserable when it happened but something else hit me, I was actually happy.

I moved to a newer city with more laid back rules around the pandemic but most of all, I feel like I had space. I write this post with pride as I get ready to pick back up on my hobbies. It sounds odd to say but I feel as if there is true strength in embracing solitude which I have. In some ways, I have managed to get my life together by being away from everyone and feel as if I have yet to reach my true potential. As for what comes of it, stay tuned.

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