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.
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.
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..
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]
I wish I had an answer for you, but I'm in the same boat newly single at 54!
Hopefully others can give us some advice!
I'm looking for groups to join. There's a science fiction club in my town. And a group that plays board games twice a month. Thought I'd check those out!
Other than that, I'm afraid I don't know what to tell you!
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!
Not having dealt with it myself, I'm not really sure. But I'd say find something you like to do, and then find a group to do it with. A book club, a bowling league, a gardening club, whatever you like to do. The fact that you like the same thing as the group should ease the awkwardness somewhat.
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.
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.
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...
The biggest reason we make friends more easily as kids is because we are forced to interact with more people. School, after school events, and so on... you're going to meet more people and odds are you'll hit it up with at least one. Same is true as an adult, but you have to make the conscious effort to interact by yourself. Find things you enjoy, a league/club/group that you can participate in. Odds are you'll meet people and some of them you'll befriend.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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