My gf and I actually went to a party last night, one where we only knew three of the people (one moderately well, enough to be "friend," the other two very slightly, as members of her household) and had met two others before for something like two minutes.
We had a good time.
Now, this actually is earthshaking news, because we are social hermits. What made this easier than usual: it was a surprise 40th birthday party for the person we knew best, so the focus of the evening was really on her; her sister and spouse had created a really fun environment and the surprise worked really well; and most of the people there were teachers or librarians. Our kind of people! At least half of them were even more awkward than we are. And the other half were reasonably funny or interesting.
It's hard to pinpoint, exactly, when my social skills atrophied to their current state. I was always someone who had friends -- a small-to-medium group of friends, with one or two people I was especially close to. And even now, I still have three long-distance friends who I talk to with some regularity. But I don't really have friends locally -- I have colleagues, and acquaintances at the dog park or at yoga -- but that's about it.
It's hard to find new friends, hard to find the time to spend figuring out if they could or would be your friend. Hard to find the time to have friends, even. Between work and my partner and our dogs, my life is pretty full. But as someone who's used to having other people to hang out with, I can't help but feel that I ought to be out searching for a friend. But it feels risky, too much like dating. It feels awkward, especially since most people my age are either wrapped up in children or single & barhopping. I'm neither of those things, and want to figure out some friend-space that's in between.
I don't think any new friends will come out from going to this party, but it felt good to exercise those social muscles just a little bit.