Finding ones tribe

So, I’m 24 months into the 36 month sentence. And I know I should not use that word as it just amplifies my less than positive outlook on our time here. However, I feel that it is justified. Whilst there are many lovely things about our location there are far more difficult things about our situation than out weigh the loveliness of location.

I have already raged against my perceived injustice of this current situation, and come to terms with reality. There will always be better opportunities, as well as alternatives which are far less desireable than our current situation.

Tonight I was reminded of tribe finding, as I met with a group of women, of somewhat my own creating. I thought about what it means to find a tribe, what are the necessary elements? What is it that makes you click with another person and decide that they have become your person?

Those friends that click together may explain it more like two people who have just fallen madly in love. They may talk about the things they have in common, or how they just knew from the first meeting that they were destined to be friends, without consciously working though all the other subtle criteria that made that person available for consideration as a bestie.

There has be extensive studies on love and relationships, mostly within a romantic context and how we can work out who we will fall in love with and why, and why relationships may and may not work. There are many unconscious markers or indicators of compatibility, and I think the same applies in the realm of making friends as an adult.

There are many factors to consider; in my context it almost always starts with children. It immediately puts you into a whole other realm, and questioning invariably starts with your offspring; their ages and their gender closely followed by the school they attend. This works out if you are play date material, if you are generally geographically central to one another, and also a marker of ones socio economic status to be able to attend the said school. This is basic pass level of which my current situation fails miserably, which disallows me to enter further levels of bestie possibility material.

From memory, successful even if not ‘matching’ but ‘equivilent’ answers to these 3 questions would allow the friendship possibility to expand onto nationalities, interests, partners interests. If one can get their partners on a tennis court or other such endeavor then potential significantly increases. In finding an expat (or probably other contexts too) bestie the chances of a successful pairing is substantially increased with the successful matching of partners!

If one passes round one, then round two which can often be established, all within the first 20 minutes of conversation, then the rest of the first meeting can be left to working though interests and other similarities, and most often ends with the sharing of personal details and the promise of imminent meet up again, usually of kids and or partner to determine suitability, and then wham bam you have a new bestie.

On reflection there is also another necessary element. The element of need. Both people need, to need each other. Perhaps both are new to the city and exploring together, perhaps one has been here longer but needs a new person to get them out more, and to help the other by imparting knowledge. Perhaps the person has been in the city for many years, and have seen many a bestie leave and are in need of starting again whether with a new person or someone they haven’t met yet, however the element of need is necessary, whatever nuance that need may manifest in a given situation.

Therefore, as someone who feels as though they have failed the first test; that our paths are not likely to easily cross, particularly due to the offspring issue of school and geographical proximity further avenues of possible friendships aren’t explored.

Because friendships outside of this context would mean work for both parties, and who wants to work for a friendship with an isolated person when the person next door may be just as compatible?

This may all sound very morbid and sad especially after my last entry of hiding in the bathroom from a giant cockroach. However, I feel that it is simply more analytical perspective.  A dissecting of “how to make friends” particularly as I have tried to find tribe here, although have found myself cadged from doing so in several ways. Even if I were to imagine that these bars which confine me do not exist I realise that others see the bar and barriers and are less willing to cross them. And yes, perhaps as I continue to go and meet up, and I ignore the confines of myself maybe someone else will also ignore them too.

If there is one thing I have learned it’s to never say never, who knows where we’ll be in 12 months. Perhaps we will still be in this city under different circumstances and these earlier hurdles to friendship will be overcome. Or we may be in a new city and I may be able to end the groundhog day of meeting, and failing in the first hurdle.



  1. Food for thought, I can definitely relate to your thoughts on friend-making and tribe-finding. I’ve started to believe, that its actually all a big lottery, because sometimes the most amazing friends are the ones you don’t really have a whole lot in common with, and sometimes the ones that seem like a perfect match just somehow don’t kinda work out. but however you look at it, being without the right tribe, or the right friend, really sucks. But, it does serve to teach us a lot about ourselves. Good blog Bates xx


    1. Agree, I have made some great friends in unlikely ways. Most often when I get out of the ‘usual’ expat meet up type groups. And every location is a little bit different…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s