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2013-11-29 10:16 AM
in reply to: InnerAthlete

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Subject: RE: Adult friends

Originally posted by InnerAthlete

This post kind of hits home for me. I'm 33 (married for 14 years, no kids). I've been thinking about this a lot lately ... as in a mini-meltdown teary moment this week. We moved 21 hours from my home town a year and a half ago and I've not managed to make even a little bit of progress towards making friends here. I do live in a very small town (

I know mid-30's isn't exactly "old", but growing older in isolation is a little scary. I even considered responding to a radio ad needing volunteers to hang out with elderly people and help them with shopping etc.(except it would probably be to help me more than them), then for some reason this seemed really odd and I never applied.

I don't even consider someone with school-aged kids a prospect as they always seem to have so many family obligations, but maybe I need to be more open-minded. People with kids probably need friends too .

I know I surely could somehow make more of an effort, but it's almost like I don't know how to make friends anymore.

 

I think volunteering to get a little socialization is a great idea.   A friend of mine was just saying she did this, as she is single and felt like she needed to get out more.  Go for it!   Does your little town have a library?  That's another fun place that usually always needs volunteers.



2013-11-30 6:55 AM
in reply to: BikerGrrrl

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Subject: RE: Adult friends

Originally posted by BikerGrrrl

Originally posted by InnerAthlete

This post kind of hits home for me. I'm 33 (married for 14 years, no kids). I've been thinking about this a lot lately ... as in a mini-meltdown teary moment this week. We moved 21 hours from my home town a year and a half ago and I've not managed to make even a little bit of progress towards making friends here. I do live in a very small town (

I know mid-30's isn't exactly "old", but growing older in isolation is a little scary. I even considered responding to a radio ad needing volunteers to hang out with elderly people and help them with shopping etc.(except it would probably be to help me more than them), then for some reason this seemed really odd and I never applied.

I don't even consider someone with school-aged kids a prospect as they always seem to have so many family obligations, but maybe I need to be more open-minded. People with kids probably need friends too .

I know I surely could somehow make more of an effort, but it's almost like I don't know how to make friends anymore.

 

I think volunteering to get a little socialization is a great idea.   A friend of mine was just saying she did this, as she is single and felt like she needed to get out more.  Go for it!   Does your little town have a library?  That's another fun place that usually always needs volunteers.

FWIW, my wife and I are in our mid-40's, and have a very active social life.  Most of our friends were made at the gym, through work, or volunteering with Team in Training with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and functions for The American Cancer Society.  IME, you are more likely to make close long term friends at places doing things you enjoy, because you're more likely to have similar interests.

 

2013-11-30 9:24 AM
in reply to: BikerGrrrl


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Subject: RE: Adult friends
Well, this is something that I have been thinking about for a while now. I am 55, married(Thank God) with no human kids. I work in health care all day so I get plenty of human exposure, trust me. With that, it really exaserbates the feeling of wanting to be left alone, with me. I don't see the best in people a lot so I just am glad to work out alone, and to just hang out with my hubby and my animal friends. Of course, the older you get, the more experiences you have with having not so great friendships. In the past, I feel like I have done "most of the work" and then was "dropped" when life situations changed for the friend. My take on that wasn't so good.
Most of my co-workers/friends have kids OR they are not into exercise much at all. I spend most of my days off alone/with hubby and it seems like I am fine with that. I could go days without human contact and that seems OK too. Maybe I should be concerned.
As I get older, I see this being a real issue as I have one older sister who has friends for 40 years ago and is extremely social-never met a stranger. My hubby is the same way-he has friends from HS he still talks to on a weekly basis. What the hell is wrong with me!
I do have good friends that are dog/horse folks and I appreciate them every day. I am lucky.......
2013-11-30 11:28 AM
in reply to: Cayenne

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Subject: RE: Adult friends

Originally posted by Cayenne Well, this is something that I have been thinking about for a while now. I am 55, married(Thank God) with no human kids. I work in health care all day so I get plenty of human exposure, trust me. With that, it really exaserbates the feeling of wanting to be left alone, with me. I don't see the best in people a lot so I just am glad to work out alone, and to just hang out with my hubby and my animal friends. Of course, the older you get, the more experiences you have with having not so great friendships. In the past, I feel like I have done "most of the work" and then was "dropped" when life situations changed for the friend. My take on that wasn't so good. Most of my co-workers/friends have kids OR they are not into exercise much at all. I spend most of my days off alone/with hubby and it seems like I am fine with that. I could go days without human contact and that seems OK too. Maybe I should be concerned. As I get older, I see this being a real issue as I have one older sister who has friends for 40 years ago and is extremely social-never met a stranger. My hubby is the same way-he has friends from HS he still talks to on a weekly basis. What the hell is wrong with me! I do have good friends that are dog/horse folks and I appreciate them every day. I am lucky.......

 

Nothing what so ever.     It's the nature of being an introvert.

2013-11-30 1:10 PM
in reply to: InnerAthlete

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Subject: RE: Adult friends

Originally posted by InnerAthlete

This post kind of hits home for me. I'm 33 (married for 14 years, no kids). I've been thinking about this a lot lately ... as in a mini-meltdown teary moment this week. We moved 21 hours from my home town a year and a half ago and I've not managed to make even a little bit of progress towards making friends here. I do live in a very small town (

I know mid-30's isn't exactly "old", but growing older in isolation is a little scary. I even considered responding to a radio ad needing volunteers to hang out with elderly people and help them with shopping etc.(except it would probably be to help me more than them), then for some reason this seemed really odd and I never applied.

I don't even consider someone with school-aged kids a prospect as they always seem to have so many family obligations, but maybe I need to be more open-minded. People with kids probably need friends too .

I know I surely could somehow make more of an effort, but it's almost like I don't know how to make friends anymore.

 

I am 34, never married and no kids. And InnerAthlete is one of my real-life friends so I had to quote her post We are real-life friends because of triathlon, so I agree with whoever said to try interest groups (running, tri, hiking, whatever) to try and meet new people is a good idea. But that's SO much easier said than done - we share a lot of the same struggles with friends. I've "met" people that I think would make great friends through running groups, church, work, etc. but have either been ignored after hanging out once (which is a total deterrent, I mean that really sucks), or I'm too intimidated to reach out. That sounds dumb, but that's the mind of an introvert sometimes.

2013-11-30 4:25 PM
in reply to: lisac957

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Subject: RE: Adult friends

Originally posted by lisac957

Originally posted by InnerAthlete

This post kind of hits home for me. I'm 33 (married for 14 years, no kids). I've been thinking about this a lot lately ... as in a mini-meltdown teary moment this week. We moved 21 hours from my home town a year and a half ago and I've not managed to make even a little bit of progress towards making friends here. I do live in a very small town (

I know mid-30's isn't exactly "old", but growing older in isolation is a little scary. I even considered responding to a radio ad needing volunteers to hang out with elderly people and help them with shopping etc.(except it would probably be to help me more than them), then for some reason this seemed really odd and I never applied.

I don't even consider someone with school-aged kids a prospect as they always seem to have so many family obligations, but maybe I need to be more open-minded. People with kids probably need friends too .

I know I surely could somehow make more of an effort, but it's almost like I don't know how to make friends anymore.

 

I am 34, never married and no kids. And InnerAthlete is one of my real-life friends so I had to quote her post We are real-life friends because of triathlon, so I agree with whoever said to try interest groups (running, tri, hiking, whatever) to try and meet new people is a good idea. But that's SO much easier said than done - we share a lot of the same struggles with friends. I've "met" people that I think would make great friends through running groups, church, work, etc. but have either been ignored after hanging out once (which is a total deterrent, I mean that really sucks), or I'm too intimidated to reach out. That sounds dumb, but that's the mind of an introvert sometimes.

It's not really that hard, but I think it does take certain personalities, or at least the ability to fake it.  

I think you hit the nail right on the head here about being introverted.  If you want more friends and a more active social life, my suggestion is to work on becoming more extroverted and not worry about making friends.  They will accumulate naturally as you get more comfortable being more outgoing.  IMO, the key is to not talk about yourself, but take a legitimate interest in others as well as developing a good sense of empathy.  Ask others about themselves, and they will walk away from the conversation with a sense that they like you, but not really be certain why.  It's an old sales technique.  

My mother used to be really shy and introverted, and I was a bit like that growing up and into my 20's.  After my mom beat cancer, she decided life was too short to miss out on any fun, and set her mind to be more outgoing.  She was in her early 50's at the time, and she changed herself.  Now she has a much busier social schedule than before, and she's much happier.  I wanted to enjoy life more, so I forced myself to develop better social skills.  It was work to get out of my comfort zone, but once I did, I found that making and keeping friends was easy.

My wife and I (now) are both very outgoing.  We never set out to have a lot of friends, but they just sort of accumulate.  Besides being active in some charities, we're both also the kind of people who talk to everyone everywhere, and I mean that literally.  Check out clerks, delivery people, the person next to us in line at the bank.  Learn to strike up a conversation with people throughout the day about the fun shirt they're wearing, the weather, or the great story about the little boy who got to play batman for a day.  The more you do it, the more comfortable you'll become.  Like most things, it can be hard at first, but it does get easier.  In the end, you will more frequently find yourself in the situation where you need to turn down an invitation because you're already busy.  

It can help to learn not to take it personally when someone seems indifferent to you after meeting or hanging out.  That happens sometimes, and in my experience, it rarely has anything to do with you.  More often people are just wrapped up in their own issues of day-to-day life, but don't want to dump their problems on you, and it comes across as them blowing you off.  In any event, for people who can be more outgoing, new people come along all the time.

 



2013-11-30 10:08 PM
in reply to: TriMyBest

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Subject: RE: Adult friends
And don't underestimate your friends. I discovered last week that one of my older,seemingly unathletic friends has harbored a secret desire to get into competitive cycling. yesterday at 50+ on almost no training, she did a 30K charity ride in just under an hour, on a rental MTB, no less. Now we're talking about doing a relay--she can ride my bike, I'll swim and run!
2013-12-01 12:05 PM
in reply to: BikerGrrrl

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Subject: RE: Adult friends
I am 44, married and have 5 kids.
I have more friends now that I ever have.
It is more difficult when you are an introvert though. I know a lot of people who had friends when they were younger because it was much easier to make friends when you are in school. When you are older I think you need to make more of an effort and be outgoing and many jobs don't give you that same set up to make friends as school did.
My husband also has more friends now but in all honesty that has more to do with me. I could make friends with a lamp post.
2013-12-01 2:07 PM
in reply to: BikerGrrrl

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Subject: RE: Adult friends

This is why my wife and I formed a Triathlon Team.  Instant 80 friends.

You don't have to form your own, just join ours!

2013-12-02 8:19 AM
in reply to: BikerGrrrl

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Subject: RE: Adult friends
I'm married with 2 kids (7 and 6). Late 30s/early 40s.

My wife and I talk about this a lot. We're both very outgoing people and have a very hard time making friends. We're both very outgoing, and consider ourselves friendly people.

We move around a lot and we've tried different things, but always have a tough time making friends. It's almost to the point of giving up. We invite people over and everyone has a great time and then nothing. Invite the same people over a few weeks later and again everyone has a great time, laughter, kids getting along, nothing but fun. Then nothing.

This scenario has repeated itself several times over the past years at several different locations. If we invite people over they come over and have a great time. If we invite people to go with us on a trip, or day out, everyone has a great time and then nothing. Why is it so hard to get invited out/over to do things.

That's where we struggle. We have to be the planner, the party host. We would LOVE to just get invited somewhere.



2013-12-02 8:46 AM
in reply to: sfm15

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Subject: RE: Adult friends

Originally posted by sfm15 I'm married with 2 kids (7 and 6). Late 30s/early 40s. My wife and I talk about this a lot. We're both very outgoing people and have a very hard time making friends. We're both very outgoing, and consider ourselves friendly people. We move around a lot and we've tried different things, but always have a tough time making friends. It's almost to the point of giving up. We invite people over and everyone has a great time and then nothing. Invite the same people over a few weeks later and again everyone has a great time, laughter, kids getting along, nothing but fun. Then nothing. This scenario has repeated itself several times over the past years at several different locations. If we invite people over they come over and have a great time. If we invite people to go with us on a trip, or day out, everyone has a great time and then nothing. Why is it so hard to get invited out/over to do things. That's where we struggle. We have to be the planner, the party host. We would LOVE to just get invited somewhere.

I think that's always the struggle. Some people are planners and others just show up. People forget to have a friend you have to be a friend. There are people we are "friends" with who never invite us to anything, but we invite to stuff all the time. It does get old. 



2013-12-02 9:20 AM
in reply to: KSH

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Subject: RE: Adult friends

Since I originally posted this (in a kind of dark mood, I think), and after reading everyone's responses, I find many interesting things.  I am surprised and somewhat comforted that I am not alone in thinking about this.  And no single approach is right for everyone.

I realize that, in addition to friends who I like to do things with, I also am missing really close friends.   I am missing someone to call when I need an ear or some sympathy, other than my husband.  It's easy to post good things on Facebook, but I am not the type to say anything negative in that forum and keep things close to the vest.   I do think spouses are definitely the people who one can/should go to with "things", but that's not always acceptable.  Sometimes the spouse is also burdened, or even the spouse is the problem.  I would be very lonely if I didn't have him, even though I joke that I would be just as happy alone.

I do think, based on what I read here, that there might very well be some friends I already have who would be more than happy to listen but need to be asked.  It's complicated.  I hope there are some books on this topic, because there appears to be a need!

2013-12-03 2:27 PM
in reply to: BikerGrrrl

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Subject: RE: Adult friends

My wife and I have been together for 17 years, married for 11 and no kids.  Our pool of friends is ever changing as the ones without kids have moved away and the ones that satyed have different priorities - like children.  One of the hardest, or leanest times we had was while in our 30's, especially the later 30's as more and more of our old friends had the lifestyle change of family or career.  

Now that Im in my mid 40's (damn) I am noticing that we are finding new friends.  We havent changed our lifestyle all that much its just that either couples in their early 30's that want to be DINK's like us (Duel Income, No Kids), or people who had kids earlier in life as they now have more freedom w/ the kids either in college or at least old enough to have a car or be somewhat self sufficient.   

Like I said, we've been there.  Just keep doing what you like to do and soon enough someone else will come along that has similar interests.  And worst case scenario, like you - we've always said we were lucky to have each other as we really enjoy each others company.  

2013-12-07 7:49 AM
in reply to: BikerGrrrl

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Subject: RE: Adult friends

Originally posted by BikerGrrrl

Since I originally posted this (in a kind of dark mood, I think), and after reading everyone's responses, I find many interesting things.  I am surprised and somewhat comforted that I am not alone in thinking about this.  And no single approach is right for everyone.

I realize that, in addition to friends who I like to do things with, I also am missing really close friends.   I am missing someone to call when I need an ear or some sympathy, other than my husband.  It's easy to post good things on Facebook, but I am not the type to say anything negative in that forum and keep things close to the vest.   I do think spouses are definitely the people who one can/should go to with "things", but that's not always acceptable.  Sometimes the spouse is also burdened, or even the spouse is the problem.  I would be very lonely if I didn't have him, even though I joke that I would be just as happy alone.

I do think, based on what I read here, that there might very well be some friends I already have who would be more than happy to listen but need to be asked.  It's complicated.  I hope there are some books on this topic, because there appears to be a need!

You only need one or two friends to really talk with.  My wife and I both have one with whom we share long runs.  Galloway walk breaks are a great way to catch up.  Occasionally, my wife will walk about 7 miles of an 8 mile run with her friend so they have more time for talking.  I have two friends like this.  One for biking and one for running.  Spend two hours running with someone or four hours biking.  Stay in Z1/Z2.  You will be friends (or enemies) by the end.

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