My husband and I moved from LA to the Bay Area a little over a year ago. Whenever someone asks me how I like living here, I answer truthfully: I like it a lot, as the Bay Area is a nearly unbeatable place to live. But building a community has taken longer than I anticipated.
If I’m talking to someone in their 30s, the latter sentence usually evokes a visceral response: Their eyes widen with recognition, their nods get deeper. Because they know.
It’s remarkable how common an experience this is: Making friends in your 30s is significantly harder than making friends earlier in life. Almost as remarkable is how little warning I had that this was coming. There’s plenty of literature that tells you what to expect when you get to college; there’s even more about what to expect when you get pregnant. But save for a single article in the New York Times, I had read nothing about this phenomenon until it actually happened to me.