Lego set meant to look like The Big Bang Theory characters and set

I Want a Sitcom Friend Group

I watch a lot of sitcoms.

Okay, so I mostly rewatch a lot of sitcoms. I watch them once, completely fall in love with them, then I rewatch them until Dan can’t stand watching TV with me.

While I tend to watch and rewatch sitcoms because they are funny and light, there is one thing about sitcoms that I take very seriously: the sitcom friend group.

You know the sitcom friend group, right? The friend group where everyone fits together perfectly, but each person serves a different purpose in the group. The friends that are always over each other’s houses or hanging out at the same bar or restaurant. The friends that know each other’s families so that the whole group is always invited to family weddings and other events together. The friends that have interconnected relationships and sometimes hang out as a whole but sometimes hang out in smaller groups. The friends that are up each other’s butts constantly and know what’s going on in each other’s lives as soon as it happens.

The bosom buddies. The ride-or-dies. The sitcom friend group.

Sigh…it’s truly the dream.

Like many people, I’m sure, I’ve begun to realize that my social life has completely devolved since COVID began. My circle (that was already morphing as I got older) shifted and changed even more during COVID. As I try to get my social bearings straight, I’ve begun thinking about this interaction again and the idea of the sitcom friend group. I have some amazing friends, don’t get me wrong, but unfortunately none that swing by my house and force me to go on a Target run or any that I know I could find at the same bar every day for happy hour. I have really awesome friends, but no one else’s goal seems to be that sitcom friendship.

One beautiful thing about the sitcom friend group is seeing how all of the combinations of people interact with each other. If you’ve ever seen Steven Universe (if not, I highly recommend it!), this idea is portrayed in “fusions,” where different groups of individuals legitimately create different entities when formed together. Like how my relationships with my mom and dad are independent of each other but our relationship all together feels like its own relationship, it just feels different when certain groups of friends are together. In the sitcom friend group, there are numerous different “fusions” created when various combinations of the core friend group hang out. Some couples like going bowling together, three of the people in the group know each other from grade school, and the entire group forms a killer pub trivia team. The sitcom friendship sounds amazing, but, as many things with sitcoms are, it is fiction!

As someone who aspires to be a part of this tight, fictional sitcom friend group (and is an overly-enthusiastic extrovert), I’ve learned to tone down my enthusiasm about friendships. Most people don’t have the time, energy, or desire to have that constant, close bond, and that’s their prerogative! I learned early on that you can’t force someone to want to be in that sort of relationship. You choose to keep them in your life the amount that they want to be or you drop them. And that’s that. I realized that what I want was considered to be too much, and learned to reign it in after years of drifting friendships.

A couple of years ago, I repeated this revelation to one of my friends from college. She was lamenting that one of her friends was being distant.

“I’ve learned that you have to meet people where they’re at,” I explained, “If someone doesn’t meet your expectations, you just need to lower your expectations and understand that they won’t be there for you as much as you want.” I really thought I was dropping some sage advice here. This advice came from several years of experience, after all. I felt like I had cracked the code.

“But I don’t want acquaintanceships. I want friendships.” She replied.

I brushed her off, initially. Well, she wasn’t being very realistic. She hadn’t been through what I had been through, and she just didn’t get it. I almost felt indignant. The audacity! She wasn’t allowed to want that! No one was!

Right?

Since my friend said this to me, it has sloshed around in my head, slipping back into the forefront of my mind at the most random moments.

I brought this idea up to my therapist, letting her know that I felt this was a gap in my life, but also that I knew that I was unrealistic. I mentioned people in my past that hadn’t wanted to be as close with me as I had wanted to be with them. I even used this quote from the movie Ghosts of Girlfriends Past to describe how I’ve begun approaching friendships:

“The power in a relationship lies with the person who cares less.”

While I was the “piney” friend who wanted to be together all the time, most people that I know were happy with a more passive friendship, and I had learned to be okay with that. My therapist challenged me on this. She commented on the fact that my friend who didn’t want acquaintanceships had allowed herself to want close friends and that there was nothing wrong with that. I fought my therapist a bit on this, because I truly didn’t believe that I would ever have those close, up-each-others-butts friendships that I want. I chose to not allow myself to want something that probably didn’t exist!

But there’s nothing wrong with wanting something and going after it! I’ve decided to give myself permission to want the sitcom friend group instead of assuming that I can never have it. On the bright side, I’m already on the right track.

I’ve never been one to let potential new relationships slip by. Anyone who’d hung out with me long enough knows that if I see someone around town enough (in a store, at work, at yoga, etc) and I feel like we vibe, I will very respectfully let them know that I’m open to hang out if they are. Dan is only just getting used to how forward I am after 5 years of dating. He’s always just ready for me to ask whoever we run into out on a friend date, no matter how awkward it seems!

Recently, I’ve downloaded Bumble to use the “Bumble BFF” feature and look for some local friends that I know are looking for connections and I don’t have to harass at a coffee shop. As someone who is currently practicing monogamy but is polyamorous at heart, I’m finding that this swiping app is really scratching an itch for me. While I may not be swiping on people that I’ll date romantically, I’m still getting the feel of online dating, and boy did I miss that!

One interesting thing that I’ve found is that I do find searching for friends far more exhausting than searching for partners. While many people dislike dating because they don’t want to do the “get-to-know-you” phase and just want to know compatibility right off the bat, I feel this way about searching for potential friends. Back when I was dating, I loved the idea that I wouldn’t know if the person I was dating would be compatible with me. I loved getting to know someone new and someone new getting to know me.

When it comes to new friends, this is where I wish I could skip to the end result. I am impatient for the part where we’re besties doing everything together and swapping memes all day! Let’s just get to the day where we’re hanging out at “our” bar with our other close friends in our group!

I know that I may never get the exact sitcom friendship that I have in my mind (or that I’ve seen on my TV), but I haven’t met all of the friends that I will have in my life yet! My relationships with them could be even better, and ideally, rooted in reality…





Photo by Ben Griffiths on Unsplash

9 thoughts on “I Want a Sitcom Friend Group

  1. I’m convinced that I had a sitcom group of friends right around the end of my college years and into the first couple of post-college years. Our show got canceled and everyone went their separate ways. And being more of the sidekick, I definitely didn’t get the spin-off.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ugh, I know the sidekick life well 😭 that’s challenging to have it and then lose it, though! My middle school friends and I were *sorta* like this in that we had a lot of shared history and inside jokes, but we didn’t get together all that frequently…sigh. May we find our forever sitcom friend groups in the future!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I totally know what you mean! I’ve craved that as well. There’s something about knowing you have a place in something that’s really special. It’s why I’m so drawn to that found family trope in media like sitcoms.
    For the longest time, most of my friendships were one-on-one with the few groups I was in being short-lived or not strong enough for that kind of iconic lifestyle. Recently, though, because of the pandemic, I’ve kind of made a new group of friends. It’s smaller than any sitcom group, but I enjoy it and hope it lasts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely! I feel like that sense of belonging is practically addictive!

      I’m so glad that you have and awesome friend group now! I wish you many awesome adventures and late-night chats ☺️

      Like

  3. I think I had this sitcom friend group in university but didn’t realize it until years later when I finally watched Friends for the first time and connected each character with each one of us. It was truly the best of time. Someone would text if we wanted to do something and we would do it. No hurdles, no questions, just action. Of course, that faded because university doesn’t last forever.

    I think blog friends is the closest thing to sitcom friends now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ughhhh that sounds amazing! Hard agree that college was the best of times, but yes, definitely easier to get together on the reg when everyone is within a few minute walk from each other 😭😭

      Liked by 1 person

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