My therapist always gets on me about making friends. Do people still do that? To me it always seems like people are mostly interested in relationships and work.
I agree, depending upon what stage one is in life and what age group, it can be very difficult to meet enough people to even begin making friends.
Not only does one need to be in contact with a good number of people daily or on weekends, one has to be lucky enough to connect with one or two them and have enough in common with which to build a friendship.
It's a boilerplate shrink pronouncement.
Friends are less demanding than lovers and they certainly should be less tense to deal with than colleagues can be. They are great companions for activities and can introduce you to new things. Your shrink is right. Friends are worth your while.
The older you get, the harder it is to meet new friends.
I tell ya, it is hard to make friends as a late 30's guy who moved to a new state. Sure, I can get laid, but to find someone that I can just hang out with, someone I could depend on to bail me out of jail, or help me move - well, the only person that would be would be my ex. We were together for 5 years, split up a few years ago, he's in a relationship with a great guy now and we're still friends.
OP, Friends that are really just acquaintances, or loyal friends who will be there for you when you really need any kind of help, kind of a family substitute? Someone who'll be there for you when you've had a bad day? Hope you're better at judging character than I am, as there's way too many selfish users in this world.
The problem with loyal friends is you don't know if they are loyal until something bad happens.
It's never the ones you would have thought.
If you want a friend, get a dog.
It's dreadfully difficul to make frieds as you get older. I have been doing a lot of taking stock. I had work frieds I knew for 20 yrs. But some have died some have movedto other states and even the ones who are still around I have lost ocntact with. I've attempted over the years to maintain or renew these but to no effect.I haven't been ale to establish a connection beond superficial ordiality in my new job. I have been here for five years.
Now that I'm about to turn 60,I worry about this. I want to move to a new city,for retirement. Less expensive cost of living, but I'm worried. I was thinking of going somewhere where there will be other people like me, transplants, so that may make it easier.
The thing is,of course you can join a club or participate in activities on a regular basis and meet people you have common interests with, but ths rarely ever translates to anyting beyond a situational cordiality.
I can't remember when was the last time somone invited me to a movie or for coffee. Even worse, I find that I long for people I have a shared history with. That's something I miss from my old job where I stayed the longest.
I have no family. I live in an apartment and that is a small comfort because at least I see people arund outide of work. Don't tell me to take the initiaive.I have, but I get shot down.
I do volunteer oce a week at an art center in the gift shop, but everyone else I see there regularly is very busy and involved with their own lives.
I'm a pleasant looking guy, not at all ugly or devastatingly handsome either. I smile and speak to people. But there's no connection. It's as if I'm invisible and I don't matter to anyone.
R7, We are 100% on the same wavelength. Any good tests to determine the truly loyal and supportive friends, vs the 2-faced backstabbers?
OP, Please tell your therapist for me that it's really better to have zero "friends," then to be truly disappointed after spending time, energy, and money cultivating the "wrong" people in your life.
If you are having difficulty finding friends, don't give up. You don't need LOTS of friends, so don't feel like you need lots. If you have a few really caring friends you are lucky.
I think the best places to meet really nice people are:
1. Friends of the Library at your nearest public library. There's lots of time to chat & get to know people as you sort books. And you meet smart, nice people in this setting.
2. PFLAG meetings. Wonderful people, gay and straight. A huge variety of types of people. And many caring souls.
3. Gay churches and synagogues. If you are religious. And Unitarian churches if you are not religious.
4. Coffee shops. If you go to a coffee shop at the same time every day you might notice the same people there at that same time every day. Find an excuse to strike up a conversation and see if they are friendly...
The key is to not give up. And when talking to someone, ask them questions about them. Don't talk about yourself, no matter how great you may be. Friendship must be a two-way street and you must show interest in others in order for them to show interest in you.
Here's a start, R5 -- Never ask a friend to help you move.
People give up and hibernate in their 30s
I made a lot of friends through PFLAG. Volunteering is another good way to find people with common interests and an additional social outlet.
It's difficult for anyone to make friends after a certain age. We're less generous with other people's behaviour as we grow older unlike when we're in our teens and 20s. It's normal.
With that said I believe a big chunk of this issue for gay men has to do with being gay. The older I get the more I realize that. Straight people are whisked into marriage which forces them into relationships and probably living a different neighbourhood or city. People at work or anywhere else pick up these clues: after a certain age (30s) everyone expects to hear the same from coworkers: they're married with kids and living in the suburbs. If they see that you're in you're 30s sans wife and kids and still living in an apartment with roommates this automatically triggers a response in them: loser or, gasp, gay. People are friendly but keep their distance which makes it difficult to create bonds at work or any other setting.
I also think the concept of friends has been warped in our materialistic world and a friend today is basically someone you can depend on in helping you financially and stuff like that, not emotionally. I don't know how many friends I had who fit this category. It's all about their needs and how I fit in their lives regarding their needs, not true friendship. Once they realized I wasn't willing to help them financially anymore or in some materialistic way, I never heard from them again. I'd rather be alone than have friends like that.
What r15 said. Bingo. That applies to family as well.
Countless immature losers live in their own houses around here! They have tons of friends and money, too, and just keep making more!
I have a group of friends from college (decades ago, so you know I am an elder....) and they are very determined to stay in each other's lives and in mine, and we are in contact often....but there is an intrusive quality to this.
They do not want to accept that we are not all joined at the hip, and that not EVERYTHING has to be a group activity. I would love to spend time with them individually and really talk or have some meaningful interaction, but they resist being invited to do anything alone. They do not ever suggest coffee or a movie to anyone individually, and if I ask one of them to do something with me, they immediately say, "Is so-and-so coming? Where are we all meeting?"
All that is just to say that old friends are not necessarily the "best" friends. I love them and have no desire to drop their friendship, but I could use less of their hive-mind attitude.
R18, it's because none of them like you enough to be alone with you.
R5, hire movers. Never burden your friends with that shit.
I agree about R5. Honey, by your late 30s, you should not be asking your friends to help you move. Just... no.
Friends are easy, it's all I have. Gay, single, and terrible with relationships I can look around and count many friends and acquaintances. Not all of the relationships are perfect or have perfect history but over the years, it's helped me feel less alone. I try to be a good listener and am open minded in trying/doing new things. Though I tend to isolate, and can jeopardize said friendships if I am not careful.
OP, troll-dar indicates you're the pathetic troll who started multiple evil threads about Sandy Hill, including the noxious "Man up, Obama - you look like a pussy crying" bullshit. And you wonder why you have no friends!