I Have Less Friends Now, and That’s Okay

I was on my lunch break at work and I saw an instagram story by a friend of mine. We first met through blog back in the days, but somehow got into the same university although different colleges. She posted something where she tagged, surprisingly, another friend of mine. Friend number 2 and I went to the same college in university. I didn’t know friend number 1 and number 2 know each other… until I realized that they were at one point, colleagues.

Ah, small world. That’s Jakarta to me. When I still lived there, I had a multiple circle of friends, and I found joy in finding connections between my circles. I would often be part of, or even host multi-circle gatherings, which may consist of my classmates, and then a friend’s classmate, or another friend’s colleague… you get the idea. I would meet new people, new friends, and the circle would keep growing, hahaha it does sound tiring now as I’m writing this but there was a time where I was happy to be a part of it.

Seeing the instagram story today made me realize that here in the United States, I don’t have that many friends, and I don’t think I ever will. I only have 2 circle of friends, one that I know from my husband and one that I know myself. At one point I tried to expand my circle, I tried to make friends at university, or even at my Barre class, but none actually made it past the “acquaintance” or “social media friends” part.

I have a good relationship with the people from work but it’s hard to consider them as part of my circle. I think my perception of friendship changes over time, and for the most part, being an immigrant has a lot to do with it.

As an immigrant, I think I’m keeping my circle small, but that circle is my extended family. As an immigrant, I have to rebuild my network, similar to what I did growing up in Jakarta, but here, they way I’m building it is purely for business. There’s got to be something in exchange. And that’s okay.

I used to think that making friends is the biggest struggle as an immigrant. I understand why, considering how social I was back home. But now, as time passes, I realize that it’s not the case. The biggest struggle is actually comparing things here vs back home. Once I do it less (hard to say that I completely avoid it), I came to understand and accept that I have less friends now, and that’s okay. After all, quality > quantity, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

24 thoughts on “I Have Less Friends Now, and That’s Okay”

  1. Bukan hanya sebagai imigran, tapi juga semakin bertambah umur kayaknya juga berpengaruh Christa. Makin nambah umur, makin males untuk nambah perkara haha nambah pertemanan terkadang nambah drama dalam hidup. Jadi akhirnya ya sudah, diterima saja yg seadanya yg sekarang. Buatku, nambah umur jadi nambah introvert juga. Apalagi sejak pandemi, makin menjadi2.
    Itโ€™s ok Christa ga punya banyak teman atau semakin dikit lingkar pertemanan. Ga perlu banyak2 yang penting komunikasi dan quality dua arah.

    1. Aku setuju. Kalau udah tercium bau akan drama, rasanya mending melipir pelan-pelan aja. Yang klik di hati ga akan butuh banyak effort kok, mereka akan ada buat kita.

  2. Setiap orang punya proses beda-beda. Kalau saya makin kemari prinsipnya yg penting nggak memutus silaturahmi, berusaha berteman yang ikhlas hanya…. menghindari topik-topik tertentu..๐Ÿคฃ Mau jadi besar atau makin kecil itu yg di pegang..lalu ngalir aja ๐Ÿ˜

    Btw. Disana tingkat kompetisinya tinggi sekali kah?๐Ÿ˜ฎ

  3. Engga papa kok Ta, awalnya aku juga struggle dengan ini, udah 6.5 tahun merantau tapi susah banget punya temen, sekarang temenku sedikit banget, and I’m okay with that. Tetep sih, bergabung di berbagai komunitas di kota untuk mencari teman, tapi kalo ada yang posting di grup tentang “I just moved here, would love to get together for drinks/tea” kok rasanya males mau balas dan ajak nongkrong. I’m quite content right now and that’s okay. At least I know I have a platform to reach out whenever I need to have a new friend.

    1. Disini juga ada platform semacam itu Tal, tapi sejujurnya males gabung. Udah cukup content sama teman2 yang ada, cuma lucu aja kalo inget jaman dulu teman tuh dimana manaa di jakarta ๐Ÿ˜‚

  4. kayaknya ga cuma faktor imigrant juga Mbak Christa, karena aku pun yang di Indonesia berasanya efek umur mbak. Semakin ke sini inginnya less drama dan teman-teman pun punya kesibukan masing-masing. Jadi ketemu dan ngobrolnya sekarang pun dengan circle terdekat aja.

  5. Indeed Christa, it’s not about the quantity, it’s about quality! ๐Ÿ™‚ As long as we’re content and happy with it, that’s of course alright!

  6. Sepertinya faktor U juga menentukan, kita semakin menghargai waktu kita dan inginnya ketemuan sama orang2 yang kita merasa nyaman saja. Aku juga disini banyak yang disebut acquaintance, kolega dst, tapi teman itu bisa diitung dengan jari.

  7. Uh, tell me about it. I joined outings to make friends, but it seems that every outing is a different circle with different people ๐Ÿ™‚
    But fortunately I found couple of friends that stays and I am happy with these gems.
    OOT questions: how is the Barre class? I tried it in 2019, liking the exercise but not the class. Thinking of doing solitary barre but I kinda need an accountable buddy when it comes to sport.

  8. Bagi yang bukan immigrant aja it’s already a struggle :”)) mgkn kalo immigrant berkali2 lipat dr yang non immigrant rasain kali ya, Kak. Tapi terlepas dr itu, semakin bertambahnya usia emang pertemanan semakin mengecil sih. Udah lupa rasanya kapan terakhir making new friends, bukan cuma sekedar kenal doang. Now my only best friend is just my husband dan temen2 lama yang udh jadi temen deket since high school and college (dan beberapa dr temen kerja)

    1. Hehehe iyaa ya umur berbicara, makin lama emang susah bikin temen baru, kalau kenalan sih ada aja ya sebenernyaa.. nah kalau sebagai imigran, kadang mau nambah kenalan susah jugaa ๐Ÿ˜…

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