Andrea Bonior
Special to The Washington Post

Andrea Bonior

Q. I have been a stay-at-home mom for a couple of years now with my twin boys and I am finally at the point where I am dying to be social and meet other families. It really is good for me in terms of stress relief and enjoyment. I met some moms though a moms group I joined. I have invited them to things and we have a great time but nobody seems to reciprocate! I am tired of always being the one to keep things going. I am someone who needs lots of social time and now that we are past the baby stage, I am ready for solid, reciprocal relationships — not being the cruise director all the time.

A: I hear this a lot. I think there is a growing societal unwillingness to initiate social interactions that don’t involve clicking “like,” and in your friends’ case, it could be made worse by the all-encompassing whirlwind of caring for young children. It could be that in the cost-benefit analysis of remaining the initiator, the social time still comes out ahead. But you can also try to set up events that will develop their own momentum and have some reciprocity built in, like standing moms nights out, potlucks, book clubs or any other “insert your activity here, but with a rotating host” type of event. And you can hint that you are excited for those because they involve sharing the burden of hosting or planning. Maybe you have just had some bad luck with these non-initiators and there are better matches elsewhere, but you won’t know until you have given a nudge and seen what happens.

Andrea Bonior, a Washington, D.C.-area clinical psychologist, writes a weekly relationships advice column in The Washington Post’s Express daily tabloid and is author of “The Friendship Fix.”


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