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Making friends in adulthood

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  • Making friends in adulthood

    Hi, everyone --

    In the past 5 years, I have moved about 6 times. Because of this, I have found myself feeling extremely lonely due to very few "real" relationships. I have made acquaintances through work, networking, etc., but I really feel the need to have some true friends.

    I feel I am very friendly, outgoing, life of the party, very normal. I never had trouble making friends as a teen and other stages of life. I have reflected on my own character and actions, and I really feel I am doing everything I can (without being overbearing) to reach out to people. I attend social events when I can, I try to get involved, I am open to new relationships. I have reached out to various women (I'm more interested in making same-sex connections, because I'm married), but it seems they are always non-receptive to any gesture of kindness or friendship.

    I now live in a very small town, and meeting new people is harder than ever. I don't know if anyone can offer advice or tell me the magical formula for making friends in adulthood, but I'm curious if anyone else has this issue.

    I put this in the Mental Health forum, because I feel lack of socialization has really taken a toll on me lately, leading to mild/moderate depression.

    Thanks so much, everyone! =]

  • It can help to have a lot of online friends, some will turn out to live in your area. Otherwise you are doing the right thing - going places where you can meet people and hoping that some of those turn into real friendships.

    I've never lived in a small town, its possible that people there are more private and slower to make (close) friends than in cities. Is there anything about you that might put people off. Absolutely not blaming you, but there are a lot of narrow-minded people around. I know that I behave in ways that will drive away a fair number of people.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by rcoreyus View Post
      Is there anything about you that might put people off. Absolutely not blaming you, but there are a lot of narrow-minded people around. I know that I behave in ways that will drive away a fair number of people.

      I really think I'm pretty likeable and normal, not confrontational, etc. I get along with most everyone...It's just taking the next step of forging "real" friendships and finding someone who is willing and has the time to give to a friendship. =/

      Comment


      • Yes I'm i the same boat, have moved to a small town also. I find the people are really down to earth and friendly but they already have their own circle of friends and are not usually willing to change it. It seems the older people get the more stuck in their ways they seem to be.

        Men seems to make friends alot easier, my partner just has to mention fishing and he has a line up of guys wanting to go lol

        Comment


        • Originally posted by lissy73 View Post
          Yes I'm i the same boat, have moved to a small town also. I find the people are really down to earth and friendly but they already have their own circle of friends and are not usually willing to change it. It seems the older people get the more stuck in their ways they seem to be.

          Men seems to make friends alot easier, my partner just has to mention fishing and he has a line up of guys wanting to go lol

          I agree about men making friends easier! Plus, men don't seem to need/want many close friends. My husband has no desire to put himself out there for new friends, and he is perfectly happy getting his socialization at work only. =)

          Comment


          • Living in a small town can be a problem for making new friends. As an outsider, no one is likely to ask you about much of anything. Therefore no one gets to know you to become friends. Probably the easiest routes to making friends are religion and volunteering. They are actually both about volunteering, but religion just adds another dimension to it. Places to volunteer are the library, the school, the fire hall, the police and church. Each one of those places have a need for people doing things without it costing them money. Libraries need people to stack books, arrange furniture, read books to children's groups, clean up, etc. Schools need volunteers to help with many functions including sports, day trips, crossing guards, etc. Churches need volunteers for functions and fundraising. Police and fire need volunteers for help with paperwork and possibly answering phones among other things. When you volunteer for a while, others can start to know what type of a person you are and be willing to start conversations with you. It will help if your ideas aren't so different. Keep the ones that are wildly different to yourself until you find a like minded individual. In a small town, expect people to know a lot more about you than you wish. Some of it may even be wrong. It is because most of the people there grew up nearby and know how everybody was in school and how they have been doing ever since.
            I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.
            ...
            Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

            From a speech by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775 at St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia

            Comment


            • I think the constant moving makes it hard for you personally, coupled with your husband happy to socialise at work and then sit back and relax at home.

              What do you do? As, in are you a stay at home Mum that works part time in accounting or do you get out of the house for work.

              I have always been a workaholic so I make friends and then don't follow through. I'm making a conscious effort to do that now. I have a lot of friends that accept this and are happy to catch up 10 years down the track, some that won't. And, off course Internet friends that I treasure.

              Is it your husband's job that keeps you all moving around ?
              PUT A LITTLE 'LIKE' IN MY SOUL!

              Comment


              • I think the constant moving makes it hard for you personally, coupled with your husband happy to socialise at work and then sit back and relax at home.

                What do you do? As, in are you a stay at home Mum that works part time in accounting or do you get out of the house for work.

                I have always been a workaholic so I make friends and then don't follow through. I'm making a conscious effort to do that now. I have a lot of friends that accept this and are happy to catch up 10 years down the track, some that won't. And, off course Internet friends that I treasure.

                Is it your husband's job that keeps you all moving around ?
                PUT A LITTLE 'LIKE' IN MY SOUL!

                Comment


                • Wow, this has also happened to me. I have been moving with my husband due to his education. I have found it hard to make friends. We are looking into moving again and I am not sure if I should try to make friends now or just wait to after we move. It can be really hard. I am a stay at home mom and sometimes I feel very alone.

                  Don't know if I can give any good advice other than try new things and hope for the best.

                  Comment


                  • I am born and raised in my small town, and so I know how hard it is for people "not from around here" to try to forge new friendships. I was actually just talking about this with a friend of mine who moved to the area this year... other than her boyfriend (who she moved to live with), she has no one really except for me and my husband.

                    Perhaps you've already discussed this, so apologies if I missed it.. but does your husband have any friends with wives/girlfriends? If he's made some friendships, it may be a good intro to go and do "couple" things together with one of his buddies and his significant other. Just kind of gets the ball rolling, you know? Like you already have an "in" with the gal because her man is friends with yours. If it all goes well and you start spending time together, you'll meet more people in her circle... and more people, etc, etc...

                    Otherwise, I think you're doing everything you possibly can! Keep going to social events. Get involved in things you enjoy doing around the community. Join a local book club or volunteer for a local event/charity that you are interested in, sign up for a local sports league (no one has to be a pro, but the "team" aspect can really help with making friends).

                    It's almost like you're getting out there and "dating" but it's just looking for like-minded people you think you may want to develop friendships with! Best of luck to you!!

                    Comment

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