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Friends
How do you make them?
#1
Sorry if this isn't in the right place.

I'm just after a bit of advice on how you guys would go about making new friends. I seem to struggle a little with the friends I have, they seem to be a little busy with their own lives (I haven't been able to meet up with one of my closest friends in over 5 years, despite even going to his city for a few days last year). I appreciate everyone has their own lives, but I'm just starting to get the feeling that it's out of sight, out of mind for them, so I only tend to hear from them when I drop them a message.

This situation is leaving me feeling pretty lonely in all honesty, and at the grand old age of 41, I'm not too sure how I can go about making new friends. I've tried reconnecting with older friends and acquaintances who are nearby without much success. I've joined a exercise boot camp, and whilst I've met new people, they aren't really too enthusiastic about socialising. I started a new job a couple of years ago, and my work colleagues don't particularly want to go out for a drink after work either. I've signed up to an online course to keep myself busy in the meantime...............but it feels like a filler, rather than a situation.

I'm out of ideas, but want to improve the situation, do you have any suggestions?
[+] 1 user Likes rahulsen's post
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#2
I feel very similar to you. I know that's not helpful to you in terms of finding a solution but it might help make you feel that it's not just you in this boat (it's not).

I'm sure people reading this may scream "maybe no-one likes you" and maybe that's true; but I don't think so. It would be EASIER if people didn't like me as that would constitute an explanation which made sense. But like you (I suspect), people actually seem to enjoy talking to me and are often quite complimentary... but they never seem to want to take that next step and actually socialise.

When I suggest or arrange something, people do respond quite favourably but I am sick of always being the one who has to lead it. I dunno if maybe people over 30 are too comfortable with their lot (whatever that may stretch it) and TV/Films misrepresent how easily adults slot into friendships with new people.
[+] 1 user Likes Mikey32's post
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#3
(11-03-2022, 08:56 PM)rahulsen Wrote: so I only tend to hear from them when I drop them a message.

I've joined a exercise boot camp, and whilst I've met new people, they aren't really too enthusiastic about socialising.

I started a new job a couple of years ago, and my work colleagues don't particularly want to go out for a drink after work either.

Yup, what you describe is quite common.  You're not alone.
From what I've read, the prevalence of social media these days is actually isolating people rather than bringing them closer together (regardless of what Facebook tells us).

I have no problem making new friends (in fact I have too many and have trouble making time for all of them).  And I'm older than you.

What I do may not work for you, but here goes:
(I see you're in Birmingham.  I live in NYC which may make a difference)

I make friends at the gym.  I usually initiate with some hottie (young enough for me to be his father) by asking a question about the exercise that he's doing.  I can tell right away if he wants to chat.  (amazing how many daddy hunters are out there in the world)  From there I pick up on something to further the conversation (e.g. his accent - I've traveled all over the world and can usually carry that conversation further).  That can lead to an exchange of phone numbers which can lead to a meet for lunch, or most recently, a chess game.

I make new friends in professional circles.  Having been in my profession for many years and now semi-retired young newbies want to befriend me for professional advice and some become regular friendships (again, half my age).  Tomorrow evening I have a (tentative) dinner date with one with whom I've been friends with for several years now.  We've met many times.

In my semi-retirement I'm taking some (in-person) courses at one of the local universities.  I'm the only "grandpa" in a class full of 22-y/o's.  I've met several ongoing friendships there over the last couple of years.  In fact, in half an hour I'm meeting one for a coffee meet (not the first time with him).

I also visit a daddy-oriented gay dating site.  Chat sometimes turn into dates and also sometimes into platonic friendships.  You just follow where it goes.

Except for the ones whom I meet on the gay dating site I always assume that the guy is straight and am just glad to have a friend.

I also tend to be rather forward when meeting new people (you know, the ugly American).

Good luck.  If I think of something else I'll post again.

I should add that most of my friends from the past have either moved away, drifted away or died. Friendships seem to have a shelf-life.
[+] 3 users Like Parsifal's post
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#4
(11-03-2022, 09:18 PM)Mikey32 Wrote: I'm sure people reading this may scream "maybe no-one likes you" and maybe that's true; but I don't think so. It would be EASIER if people didn't like me as that would constitute an explanation which made sense. But like you (I suspect), people actually seem to enjoy talking to me and are often quite complimentary... but they never seem to want to take that next step and actually socialise.

This is the case with me as well - people seem to get on with me, but that is about it - which has led me to start to think that people don't actually like me. 

@Parsifal - thank you for the suggestions - I will give some of them a go. I have tried maintaining friendships with people who I have worked with, I've reached out and initiated the conversation. It appears that they are happy to chat on Facebook, but when it comes to meeting up, they're not interested. 

I'll look out for local courses I can join though, that might be a good way of meeting new people.
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#5
(11-03-2022, 11:02 PM)rahulsen Wrote: I'll look out for local courses I can join though, that might be a good way of meeting new people.

Attending local courses (in person) can offer a lot of opportunities for meeting people.
Some "study" courses can lend themselves to studying together, or a language course to going to the relevant ethnic restaurant, or an art course a trip to a museum.  If you're of foreign ethnicity and someone in the course is from the same country then that offers an opportunity. Or if you both play chess (or whatever).
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#6
Some real good advice guys.

Hope the OP gets a few new friends soon.
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#7
I'm in the same boat. I went through a divorce that never should've happened thanks to my midlife crisis and now I'm just depressed and lonely.

I'm 39.
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#8
(15-03-2022, 11:26 AM)TheFreak83 Wrote: I'm in the same boat. I went through a divorce that never should've happened thanks to my midlife crisis and now I'm just depressed and lonely.

I'm 39.

All of the above refer to me too, just not having gone through a divorce though, as I’ve never had a boyfriend let alone having been married.
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#9
This resonates with me on many levels, I have a couple of friends who I see on the odd special occasion, but thats about it. Most of the time I find myself at home. I live alone, and since the lockdown bollocks I have become even more withdrawn and isolated from people in general. Large crowds like football matches, bust pubs, busy city centres etc make me very uncomfortable and I avoid them at all costs (even before covid). I have work colleagues, and acquaintances who will speak to me when I encounter them in my day to day work, but if I suggest getting together outside of that environment, for a drink or even just to go for a walk at lunchtime, the answer is ALWAYS in the negative, usually with an excuse thrown in for good measure.
My mental health has gone downhill massively since March 2020 (it wasnt that great before then) to the point I was a bit, shall we say, 'foolish' on one occasion.
I can be in a room full of people and feel like the loneliest guy on the planet. After all, who wants to talk to a fat, balding middle aged gay guy? Not that many people, I can assure you! Despite the be nice / me too / be kind hashtags, I find people in general are just so much more dismissive and self absorbed than ever. I have become more at ease with my own company, and find it relatively easy to find something to do, but I would love to have some like minded friends who enjoy the things I do so that I could have that human connection on a deeper level than just a passing hello in the workplace....
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#10
I am in agreement with everyone who has posted above. I have been telling a friend, who now is probably my closest friend that I'm dropping most of my friends who were in my life. I'm always questioning myself 'Why am I always reaching out?' Would they bother if weeks turned into months. What I really should do is pick up the phone, and explain to them that I feel hurt and disappointed that they do not try and contact me. I know everyone has busy lives etc but I have had a pretty big change in personal circumstances from February. No one has contacted, I even feel disowned by part of the family.
I know it works both ways though and I could make more of an effort but I do make an effort. They see the missed calls/FT calls etc
I'm going to join some classes etc and those who do reach out, I'm prioritizing.
It's a good thread this.
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