The man and I have been together for quite some time now (over a year, perhaps as long as a year and a half - I don't really know when a couple can legitimately be classified as a couple). In this amount of time we have gone from living in different states to living in the same state to living in the same house (this actually happened over about one month's time). I love living with the man. It seems, however, that I have gone from complete independence to whatever it is I'm doing now.
I didn't move here because of the man - he was definitely a part of it, but I have always planned on living here. Unfortunately, the man is the only person I had a connection to in the city. My best friend from high school (actually, the only person whom I've stayed in touch with) lives in a nearby city but her work schedule keeps us from seeing one another very often. In other words, I am rather limited in my scope of friends to do things with outside of work.
It seems to be impossible to make friends these days without seeming like you are trying to get in someone's pants. Men seem to assume friendliness and/or conversation is an invitation to bump naughties. Women seem to think you are trying to wrangle up their men and are often wary of other women. I can understand this and I am not judging, but it does make it hard to meet people.
My lack of friends in the general vicinity has indebted me to the man and his schedule. Before I left grad school I had an abundance of friends and was never left with the feeling of wearing out my welcome with any one of them; if nothing else I felt as though there wasn't enough time to maintain all the relationships. After college, it seems that I have an inability to meet people outside of the man's friend basket. Every woman in the man's friend basket is either an ex (I don't want to go there), married to a close friend of the man (meaning, much older than I), or has absolutely nothing in common with me. Even if there were some viable candidates, I do not want to get attached to anyone in the man's circle in case things go sour with the man and I'm left to give up the friends in the settlement.
I have tried taking classes (yoga, pottery, etc.) to no avail. I have tried hanging out in bookstores and coffee shops (this only led to men assuming that I was romantically available). None of this has worked. I have never had to work so hard at making friends in my life. I am hoping that the "pretend it's a dress" philosophy that I've adopted works. "Pretend it's a dress" = if you are looking for something (aka the perfect dress), you will not find it; if you are not looking for something, it will find you.
So, come on world - drop me a friend in the same county, I've stopped looking.