That's what I
Here's the thing. I'm an introvert. I've read (can't remember where, likely multiple places) that introverts need these close friends just as much as extroverts. Its the superficial interactions that introverts can do without. These days, if I go to a party, my idea of a good time is to hunker in the corner with 2-3 close friends, and have a long conversation with a few glasses of wine. Whereas an extrovert would want to "work the crowd" and mix and mingle for hours. I much prefer to go to happy hour with 1-5 other people I could really talk to than a huge 15-20 people gathering where I would probably end up just listening as various conversation buzzed around me. I've also read that introverts are drawn to blogging because you can connect on that level without having to deal with the small-talk that needs to comes first IRL.
Several of you commented in my post last week, about community, that their spouses didn't seem to have this need for companionship, and were perfectly happy with work and family. It made me wonder whether there was a gender difference in the need for close connections. I hear this almost universally, so I can't discount it (though I hate hate HATE most assertions of gender differences, since they don't play out the typical way in my marriage/family and also since many are deeply rooted in patriarchy).
But why would this be? Its definitely not an introvert/extrovert thing. My husband is actually (slightly) more into parties/mingling than I am. He wishes we had more couple/family friends to do stuff with, but I've never heard him lament the lack of "close friends". I'm not going to entertain any evolutionary psychology-based hypotheses about hunters and gatherers and nurturers (sorry, sarah, but yeah, patriarchy) Maybe its nurture more than nature? From an early age, girls are expected to have their BFF to share bracelets and earrings with, and popular culture is not lacking in idealized views of adult female friendship (Sex and the City). Maybe we feel this lack in our life because we hold this worldview in which women are supposed to have lots of close friendships? I don't have an answer.
Another part to this is the idea that "work and family connections are enough". Sure you can have good friends at work. If you get to spend enough time with them at work, and get the serious talk and joking around during your 9-5, you may not need more. And some people are really really close to their family? I'm not, so this one is hard for me to get. Do people really tell their parents about their work problems or marriage issues? Their siblings? I text with my sister and we talk kid issues, our shared experience as children of our parents, and our exercise plans, mostly. But i do try to smooth things over for family and definitely avoid tricky subjects. I can't imagine family being enough.
I know that if I want something to change in life I have to do something about. I'm not going to make good friends by writing about it, and to get to that deep friendship involves swimming through the murky waters of parties and small-talk. Its like dating---you have to put yourself out there, and you probably won't connect with a good percentage of people you meet, but you have to keep trying. I need to look into new avenues to meet people and then actually follow-through. Its scary.
Are you trying to meet new friends? How? Are men just from Mars? What are your theories on the gender differences here?