Ask Angela: Dear LDS Relief Society, I don't have kids, but I'd still like to be friends

Published: Monday, Feb. 10 2014 11:55 a.m. MST

Updated: Wednesday, March 5 2014 2:53 p.m. MST

How do you make friends with women who are in a different stage of life? Angela shares her take.

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Dear Angela,

I’m happily married but I don’t have children, yet. This fact seems to be very unsettling to the other women in my ward Relief Society (women’s group). They all bond very quickly and seemingly easily because of their children while I’m kind of this odd woman out because I’m in a different phase of life. I love making new friends, but I’m finding this “no kids” thing a real obstacle. I guess my real issue is that I want to feel like I “belong” in Relief Society, but nobody is interested in being my friend! I want to change how my Relief Society views me and I want to make friends. Any suggestions?

Thanks!

Detroit Lady

Dear Detroit Lady,

I get this type of question a lot from women in Relief Society. Some say, “I’m a widow, so people seem to be uncomfortable talking to me,” or “I’m the only single one, so people seem uncomfortable talking to me” and “I’m a new convert, so people seem uncomfortable talking to me,” etc., etc.

There are times I’ve even felt like, “I’m the only black girl in this room and so people seem to be uncomfortable talking to me …” It seems like we all have our own version of this struggle.

Luckily, there are things you can do. What I’ve worked on recently is finding ways to speak to people individually and outside of church. It’s nearly impossible to develop deep, meaningful relationships by just making eye contact over a shared hymn book or during the 5-10 minutes in between classes.

But if there is someone that you’ve thought, “Yeah, I want to know this person better,” then make plans for some type of activity during the week. It should be kid friendly, and not a lot of fuss, just a way for you to spend some time seeing that your new friend is more than her kids, and that you are more than your “no kids.” You know what I mean?

Trying to “change” your Relief Society’s views is a big (and, I think, probably really frustrating) task, but getting to know these unique women on an individual basis sounds like it could be really rewarding and a lot of fun.

Will you let us know how it goes?

Love,

Angela

Readers: Do you have a difficult time making friends at church? Is it hard to make friends with someone who doesn't have kids when you do?

For more opinions on this topic, 'Like' the Ask Angela Facebook page, and visit the Ask Angela Blog.

Angela Trusty is a millennial writer who lives and writes about the young single adult Mormon experience. Twitter: askange_column

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