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Suggestions on how to make new friends

Old 07-11-2014, 07:41 AM
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Suggestions on how to make new friends

I know this is going to sound stupid, but I really don't have any close friends. I don't feel I really know how to make friends with people anymore. It's been so many years, lol. I would love any feedback about ways to get out there and meet people.

After DH and I got married, I lost touch with a lot of my friends. They moved or didn't marry and have kids so we were at different stages and grew apart. Then DH and I had children and I guess over the years as his alcoholism got worse we sort of became more reclusive and lost touch with our couple friends. I look back and see now how I avoided people because I was ashamed of his disease and also because I couldn't count on him to participate. He would cancel at the last minute and who wants to go out on a "couples date" without your other half? So I followed his lead and now have no close friends.

Now that we are divorcing. I would love to start connecting with people. I just dont know how. We live in a very upper middle class area where everyone is married with kids and has their established friends.

Any suggestions on meeting people and making friends?
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Old 07-11-2014, 07:51 AM
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I think I would start by finding something you love to do. Hiking, playing bridge, cross stitching, gardening, political campaigning -- and then find a local group that does that. I would rather start in that end than, say, join a group for single people (that's what I hear from my girlfriend who's been single for a long time -- she feels like those singles groups are more like a meat market). Worst case scenario, you won't find anyone you click with but you'll be doing something that interests you in the meantime.

When I look at how I met friends, it's largely through work. When I was single and working full time, it was either through work or through kid activities (and because I'm an older mom, the second didn't work out for me -- the moms who had kids my kids' ages were in their 20s or 30s and wanted to go clubbing; not my scene).

I don't have many friends and I have to admit that it's definitely for lack of trying. I'm more guarded; I'm also pickier, and I simply haven't felt like making the time investment was worth it, compared to what I could be doing with my time.

But if I did, that's how I would approach it -- joining a club or class or organization that does something I enjoy.
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Old 07-11-2014, 07:56 AM
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I would kill two birds with one stone. I would do something I really love to do. Always wanted to take a photography class, a pottery class, bible study, cooking? If you do what you really like to do socializing and meeting people with similar interests easier clicks into place.

I too am very good friends w/my co workers.

The important thing is just to put yourself out there.
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:12 AM
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Lillamy and hopeful have good suggestions. I'd also check into "Meetups"--these are local groups who meet to do everything under the sun. You can google it and find out more. I've had some fun thru these groups doing hiking and other outdoor activities.

Volunteering might help you find people of like inclinations too--at an animal shelter, food pantry, public gardening group, Habitat for Humanity or any of the tons of other volunteer activities. Just googling "volunteer" got me a bunch of volunteer databases; adding your town or county gets more specific info.

If you try some of these things and don't find a friend, you'll at least feel like you had some fun and did something worthwhile, or at least that's been my experience in this area so far.

Congrats on realizing you need to get out and connect--I wish you all kinds of interesting adventures!
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Old 07-11-2014, 11:22 AM
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In my case, friendship has been just as much about learning how to connect as it has finding healthy people to connect with. I've been breaking down the protective shell around myself and then actively learning to open my heart to others. Within this, I'm learning how to connect and care about others. I used to wonder how to make friends, and there's that old adage is to the best ways to make friends is to be one, but I never internally knew how. It sounds like you do, but for me it was a foreign concept. Even in school when I had plenty of friends, I always felt like the outsider. That's not how my friends would describe me, but it's how I always felt inside. That's changing.

Learning to live in the moment, to accept myself, my family and others as we are and as we are not, is bringing a transformation within me. I'm starting to connect with others. It's a slow process for me, yet internally it's been a major shift that I need to work at every day to keep and grow from. As my self-worth and self-esteem grow, so do friendships with healthy people.
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Old 07-11-2014, 11:29 AM
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Meetups, for sure. I even do "tweet ups". I'm active on twitter and my local twitter people get together for dinner and chatting. It's really fun.

All of the local hobby stores in my area hold classes and whatnot -- like knitting, biking, food co-ops, book clubs. What about a neighborhood association? Volunteer at the library or the humane society.

I've heard that for people to connect, they have to share at least two primary interests in common -- so like, cats and Game of Thrones. Or Biking and Knitting. Or underwater basket weaving and motorcycles.
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Old 07-11-2014, 11:53 AM
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I have the same problem. Very few friends due to the years of xah alcoholism and also the fact I have disabled children to care for who hate socialising. I've been out of the loop for 25 years but determined to get back in. What I've done is fairly radical (for me.) I go every week to the town I 'm hoping to move to and trawl the charity stands down the main street. So far I've join an Amnesty International group and once moved there they have meet ups every month, an historical society and a quilting bee and bird sanctuary. I'm also joining the re-enactments at a castle this July and August. All the people I've met so far have been friendly and happy to include me. It's boosted my confidence no end. You need to be able to open up to people and accept the friendship for what it is. I found that hard at first. I was amazed anyone even liked me.
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Old 07-11-2014, 12:10 PM
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Where I live every Saturday morning they have a group that meet at a local pet supply store and walk their dogs together. It's called the Canine Cruisers, and everyone is welcome. Awesome way to meet people and socialize your doggie!
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Old 07-11-2014, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by keepingthefaith View Post
In my case, friendship has been just as much about learning how to connect as it has finding healthy people to connect with. I've been breaking down the protective shell around myself and then actively learning to open my heart to others. Within this, I'm learning how to connect and care about others. I used to wonder how to make friends, and there's that old adage is to the best ways to make friends is to be one, but I never internally knew how. It sounds like you do, but for me it was a foreign concept. Even in school when I had plenty of friends, I always felt like the outsider. That's not how my friends would describe me, but it's how I always felt inside. That's changing.

Learning to live in the moment, to accept myself, my family and others as we are and as we are not, is bringing a transformation within me. I'm starting to connect with others. It's a slow process for me, yet internally it's been a major shift that I need to work at every day to keep and grow from. As my self-worth and self-esteem grow, so do friendships with healthy people.
KTF, this is a GREAT post. I've found the same to be true. I just feel that I'm coming from a completely different place than I used to. Thanks so much for mentioning this--I think it's really important!
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