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Making friends after 30.

I'll be 40 in less than a year and I really don't have any close friends. I mostly just have acquaintances that I rarely interact with and I spend most my time alone. How does someone, who is in their late 30s, an Atheist, childfree, and a socially awkward homebody, go about making friends? Especially since I live in a somewhat conservative part of my state, I do not know where to even begin. It's even worse with dating.

35 comments

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If you are an introvert, participating in meetups, etc. will not be effective. You must first work on this. I strongly recommend participating as an actor in an amateur theatre group. I was very timid and introvert when I was an adolescent, and amateur theatre "cured" me of both traits. Soon I had many friends, which are true to this day 60 years later.

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I was in the same position for a while and I just started saying yes to everything. If anybody asked me if I wanted to go to anything, I would say yes and force myself to socialize. Signed up with meetup groups as well. Joined a workout group. Met some great people, got some nice friends.

It worked for a while, but slowly went back to my introvert-lifestyle. But at least I know how to go at it again if I so please..

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I had a good friend, we knew one another and worked together for 30 years, he died at the age of 52 under sad circumstance in a foreign country under circumstance I found pathetic taken to as a means of combatting loneliness and against my advice.
Friendship is over rated, especially in an age where being someone's friend is measured by how much you will allow them to put on you, while expecting nothing at all back.
Most friendships I know are the user and the used, I don't use people and I will not be used, I have more self respect.
I have a lot of acquaintances we chat, share a drink, even bond a little, but I get no closer than that.
I will do anyone a favour once, if when I ask a favour back they say no, then I am unavailable the next time too, even if I am not.
Friendship among children is easy, friendship among young people is often a cause of tension and jealousy, friendship in adults is great but you are lucky if you find only one or two good friends in your whole life and luckier still if they don't shit all over you when something “better” comes along.

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I totally hear you - that's one of the reasons why I'm here. I'm also approaching 40, an athiest, and childfree, as well as introverted. I have some friends, but once people started having kids, I found the parent friends drifting away. Plus people have moved. But virtual connections are awesome, too, so I have hopes of making some connections here.

I've tried meetup.com and volunteer work. Nothing has really worked out yet, but I'm not giving up - it can take a while to find a group that you click with.

I don't know if you game, but my husband has met people through his various gaming activities.

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Talk. To everyone. Be friendly. If someone talks back and you enjoy it see if there's something you both enjoy and make a date. My best buddy these days was my fish monger at the grocery. She's so much fun! Another good friend is one of my service techs at work. Just like dating, you have to put it out there for someone to notice.

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I think I understand what you are going through. Most of my life-long friends have kids. They just don't hang out with me very much anymore. Others have moved far away, and I talk to them occasionally. Making new friends is tough in your 30's. I mean true friends. For the last few years, I have befriended some felons. Most end up going to their old ways, and being even worse! Be careful who you friend. I'm probably in the same position as you. There is ALWAYS an online friend on here! Plus I hate when everyone wants to get together, grill, have a bonfire, and they stare at their phone most of the night! Don't even get me started on dating after 30!

Take Care ~ Mike

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"Meetup.com", a Huge site geared to getting people with similar interests together....chess? Kayaking? Book reading? Dungeons & Dragons? Go there, it's free.......mostly

I used to belong to Meetup in my area. I met three people at a Halloween celebration at a cute little wine store. I walked up to them as they were in a group discussing I don't remember what. They all had sticks up their asses and thought they were the best thing since sliced bread. All of them owned property and I am a lowly blue collar worker. I walked up to some young ladies and started talking with them and had the best time dancing and talking about everything under the sun. I returned to the three from Meetup and they totally ignored me. I quit soon after because if that's the type of people that were going to be in these Meetup groups, I knew in their eyes I didn't belong.

@TheresaReid2 ohferpetessake....i am sorry this happened to you. I am 4th term President of a 40+ year existing Club for singles over 55. We use Meetup as a cost-effective way to rec recruit new members and go out of our way to be welcoming to new faces. To condemn the entire Meetup site, probably 1.000,000 members or more just in USA, on account of 3 fools seems kind of harsh?

Edited

@AnneWimsey I've been thinking of joining again. If I do, and I go on any meetups, I'll let you know how things went.

@TheresaReid2 I doubt they are all that way

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Join a gym with classes! Your gym buddies become family. From personal experience, I highly recommend mixed martial arts. Or an atheist group in your area

5

Dating is worse, especially these days.

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One thing religions often did well was to provide a community of people we saw every week with things in common. Over time you get to know people. In my case I went on camps and many other events where I got to know people easily.

After leaving religion none of that happens for free. Basically you have to put effort in every single time you want to meet up with someone, and combined with the fact that it usually takes some of us several meets to warm up to people and get to know them, well, it's hard and perhaps next to impossible without some other reason to meet.

That's why people suggest meetup groups. Everyone goes both because they want to make new friends and because they enjoy whatever activity the group is about. Thing is, unless such groups are small they are likely to mostly suit extroverts. I find the idea terrifying, plus most of my interests are solitary.

I like the idea of finding friends through online gaming. Not sure how well that works in one's 30s though.

We need a meetup.com for introverts where we can limit the group size lol. I'm not as keen to find friends as you seem though, so I'm actually fairly happy just socialising at work and having my weeknights and weekends to myself. It's a pretty good deal imo.

Hope you find what you seek though. And feel free to share any successes smile001.gif

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I'm in the same boat. It's tough for me since I have social anxiety and trust issues 😞

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Dunno, sorry. I did it by having kids. Opens a whole world of parenty-type people.

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Start being less of a homebody. Find something you like and start volunteering places. That will get you out and interacting with people.

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The only place I’ve made a lot of friends since turning 30 was gaming with comms. Learn to play a first person shooter on PC or mobile, join a clan, get the discord app and chat away. It’s a bunch of chat servers and voice chat party lines, groups for every game possible, always somethin goin on if you join the right discord servers. Even if you’re an introvert and talking to strangers sounds terrifying it’ll become no big deal after the first time you try it. No matter how new you are to a game there’s someone cool just a little further ahead that’s willing to help you figure it out. Most gamers I met are really chill with great senses of humor.

It’s highly addictive though, don’t spend too much money on in-game extras and treat it as a free strategy exercise. Make it a point to go live in the real world some too. The fraternity you experience in learning how to work together and the laughs are really valuable though. War Robots and Guns of Boom for iOS/Android are what I was playing mostly. A lot of people like Fortnite, PUBG and Rules of Survival these days too.

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Hi, Visco,

You could check online for local meet ups and community groups that do things you enjoy..maybe hiking, bird watching, kayaking, jamming on instruments together, ballroom dancing, etc. You could volunteer to clean up a local park, or repair a hiking trail.

Facebook announced a rollout of a new dating app that combines meetups with dating so you can meet local people at nearby events you both enjoy and get to know each other before dating.

By the way you earn website points, and help other agnostic.com members get to know you better, when you write an informational profile that includes your hobbies and interests, and answer all the profile questions, since that's the first place many people look when they see a new member.

Also, the website uses your profile to find member matches, so the more details you include, the better the match.

Then you make comments and write your own posts to earn more points and privileges; for instance, at level two you can private email people. You get different perks with each level, and when you reach level eight you get an agnostic T-shirt.

To find members near you, click on the "Meet" button at the top of the page, then on "Members," and enter your preferred search parameters.
Or click on the "About" button at the top of the page to find links to FAQ or the website tutorial.
Click on the 'Meet" button to find member matches

Links to FAQ: [agnostic.com],
and a website tutorial: [agnostic.com]

0

I am 40 now, soon to be 41. It's hard.

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In our youth we spend tons of time with peers, so we forge strong bonds of friendship relatively quickly. As we get older, though, we tend to focus more time on career, family, etc., and we don't spend so much social time with the same person or people day after day, week after week. We don't develop such close friendships as easily or as quickly. So, think back to your youth and what you did with the people who became your friends: sports? chess? video games? movies? comic books? It doesn't really matter what it was, but it was shared interests. That's what will get you closer to people in your area. Find some local clubs of interest to you, or sign up for a continuing education course, or volunteer in your community, or join a gym and stick to a consistent schedule, or start your own interest group and advertise on Craigslist. You can't make friends if you never meet people, so go where the people are — and then talk with them. The rest should happen organically, though it might take a fair amount more time and effort than it did when you were a kid. Good luck to you.

Here's an article about how long it takes to make friends that you might find interesting: [thecut.com]

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I've heard it's hard for anyone to make new friends later like this. It can be a problem when people move or lose social groups due to divorce. People have their own lives and aren't out looking for new friends. Once your out of school you loose the social scene that comes with it. Church is good for that to, but its for Christians. Being socially awkward and having different world view can make it harder. That's where I'm at too.. I had friends when I was younger but that was a long time ago.
When I was married I did family stuff and saw his friends and family and did kid stuff with my mom and aunts so it didn't bother me and I didn't really have time to socialize much beyond that. Now it this predicament has really started to dawn on me that there is no one else in my life now. I don't have the "friend in laws" any more and my aunt and mom died. I literally only talk to my kids and the people at work.
I kinda don't feel like I have much to offer in a friendship or dating situation now because I don't have other friends and social contacts. It's kinda weird place to be.
I think the only advice is to do what everyone says and get put there. Do things you like, join volunteer groups, interact.. It sounds scary so I haven't yet but it probably works if you work at it.

@MsAI
In the dating arena, you have a lot to offer. A man's needs are pretty simple. His desires more complex. His dreams... Well that's a secret.

A man can go anywhere with a woman, a woman anywhere without a man. Or some such.

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Living in a religious conservative state is difficult when you are atheist. But there are so many of us who are in the same boat. I am 44, chubby female, and I am a foreigner here. I have zero friends outside the workplace. I want friends, not a hook up and am the ultimate homebody. So what am I doing?
1) No online dating- it’s dire
2) join Meet Up - I have discovered groups that share my ideas and interests
3) I love podcasts and go to those events
4) volunteering for people that need your skills or company. You will meet other volunteers.
You will make friends, so will I!

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I think that most men are in the same boat as you. Not many or hardly any have any male friends. You need to find yourself a hobby where you can mingle with like minded people.
Good luck.

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I stopped accepting applications for new friends around 30 years of age.

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Similar boat but -5 years. I found a hobby rockhounding (digging for and searching for various minerals to add to my art) been making new friends that way through Facebook and gem clubs. Not all hobbies are as social though but just my.experience...

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There are sites like meetup.com, and they aren't dating sites. You search for other folks who share your interests. There are posts for people meeting up in a local bar or park, to talk about whatever interest it may be... boardgames, synthesizers, astonamy, knitting... You'll meet folks who'll want to meet you too.

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Let me know if you figure it out.

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If anyone has an answer for ViscoInferno because I'd like some help. I just turned 71 and have been widowed for 8 1/2 years.

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