Lane Moore Wants You to Know You Will Find Your People

Comedy Features lane moore
Lane Moore Wants You to Know You Will Find Your People

Pop culture is simply brimming with iconic sets of pals. You’ve got the Scooby Gang from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the kind of found family weirdos who still manage to work through interpersonal problems while saving the world. Then there’s the kids from The Goonies, ready to brave deadly booby traps in order to stay in the same neighborhood, and the veritable smorgasbord of sitcoms featuring 20- or 30-somethings who usually live in the same apartment and spend all their time together (New Girl, How I Met Your Mother, 2 Broke Girls, Flight of the Conchords, Will & Grace, Friends—I could keep going). Any conflicts between buds are neatly solved by the time the credits roll. And I haven’t even mentioned the written word yet!

All this to say, friendship is portrayed as easy and innate in media, when it’s often far from either of those things. Writer, comedian, Tinder Live host, and It Was Romance frontperson Lane Moore knows this firsthand. When it comes to the idea of friends you’ve known forever, since you were in diapers or first played together in a sandbox, “I couldn’t relate to anything less,” she tells me over Zoom.  

“I think those people are lucky, but what so much of our culture tells us is that that’s everybody. That must be you, right? And there’s this implied shame that I know I felt personally, where we’re seeing it reflected from every part of culture: every TV show you watch, every book you read, every post online is people showing you that they all have really easy, loving, perfect friendships that never end, there’s never a friend breakup,” she explains. 

Moore wanted to assure others that having difficulty finding or keeping friends is more common than we think, so she wrote You Will Find Your People: How to Make Meaningful Friendships as an Adult. The self-help book combines Moore’s own experiences with advice for pal-seekers on navigating boundaries, attachment styles, levels of closeness, and more. You Will Find Your People was published last year, and now it will be released in paperback on April 30th. 

When Moore set out to write the book, she thought she had friendship figured out after years of struggling with forming healthy, loving bonds. And yet, when she found herself digging through the red flags of friendship and other elements of the book, she started to reassess where she was at with her mates and embraced the messy, interactive nature of platonic relationships.

“Human beings and friendship, it’s a living, breathing thing,” Moore tells me. “And sometimes, you know, the breathing is gonna get shallow, sometimes the breathing is gonna be heavier. Or you’re breathing in a shallow way, and they’re breathing in a heavy way, and how do you get on the same page? So it actually, I think, I hope, made the book even better, that it was something that I was really looking deep into the whole time I was writing it.”

The book acknowledges that making friends as an adult can feel next to impossible. There’s not the same immediacy as when you were a kid in school and something as simple as sharing the same favorite color or both being good at jump rope was enough to bond you. We have our own emotional history and trauma we bring with us as fully grown people that may make us hesitate at the friendship starting line or trip us up halfway through. It also doesn’t help that as adults, we have responsibilities—exacerbated under structural issues—that impede us from fostering relationships.

“Capitalism is the most relevant thing [to friendship]; if we are more than ever having to work multiple jobs, just so we can afford our rent, when is there space for community? When is there time for community? There’s not. And then what are we going to do? We’re going to buy more, we’re going to try to buy our intimacy in other ways. I’ve seen it firsthand. These aren’t hypotheticals, these aren’t conspiracy theories,” Moore opines. 

Being crushed under the boot heel of capitalism makes these starry-eyed media portrayals of pals feel even more fantastical. Some of Moore’s favorite depictions of friendship include Ilana and Abbi of Broad City, who brought female stoner buddy comedy to the fore in the 2010s, and the classic pairing of the melodramatic orphan Anne and her neighbor Diana Barry in the Anne of Green Gables series. What drew Moore to these friends is, in part, the queerness explicit in the former and coded in the latter example. 

“It’s interesting when you watch very heteronormative friendships [in media],” Moore says. “They’re just written very differently in television. It’s very like, ‘You’re my best friend.’ ‘Yes, you are as well.’ And they’re talking with outstretched hands still keeping this respectable distance, while a lot of the queer friendships are like, ‘I would die for you. You are my sun and my moon.’ It’s like, soulmate level.”

One of the best examples—and critiques—of heteronormative friendships (in which friends are treated as secondary to a romantic partner) is seen in Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23. In one episode, straight-laced, corn-fed Indiana native June befriends some girls from her pilates class, including the queen bee, Stephanie. Eventually Stephanie calls June to share the news that she’s gotten engaged and to end their friendship because “you know that girlfriends are just placeholders between boyfriends.”

But Stephanie’s wrong; friends aren’t placeholders any more than they’re immovable monoliths. We change, and so do our friends, but either way there is someone out there who will make you feel loved and safe. And if you’re feeling like you’ll never find that sense of home in another person, Moore wants you to know that you’re not alone.

“I want this book to be something someone can read and be like, ‘Oh, okay, I’m not just this broken, unlovable person who can’t get it right.’ So many of us are… The wounds I struggle with, the fears, the attachment stuff can be worked with,” Moore tells me near the end of our call. “There is hope. So above all, I just want people to have that hope and that sense that they’re not the only one struggling with this.”

You Will Find Your People by Lane Moore will be available in paperback on April 30th, 2024. 

Clare Martin is a cemetery enthusiast and Paste’s assistant comedy editor. Go harass her on Twitter @theclaremartin.

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