OK, I do have one, though he lives far away; we stay in touch by regular email (he himself has friends).
I am a nice person, educated, can carry on a decent conversation, and ... most important for all of you I'm sure, I'm average looking, though enough guys have found me attractive that I'm no toad. Also, I'm well over 40.
I think I just don't "get" how folks acquire friends?
I've found, both on a personal level and by witnessing the lives of others, that the length of a friendship is contingent upon how you met.
If you befriend coworkers, the friendship usually fizzles when one of you leaves the job. If you make friends at a church, the friendship is usually contingent upon both of you remaining at the church. Moving long distance, of course waters down friendships. If you make friends in activism, then those friendships usually only last as long as you both are activists. When one drops out, they tend to want to distance themselves from the reminders of their activist days. So on and so forth.
Some people have life long friends, but I witness that they are the exception rather than the rule.
I've learned to appreciate the time that these people come into my life, but I know it is just for a chapter or two of a lifelong story. There's always another chapter waiting to unfold.
I have LOTS of friends. They just don't know it...
I make and keep friends fairly easily. I have a few that I've known for over twenty years. One I've known since 1976!
The secret is to ask questions. I notice that the younger people nowadays don't even know how to hold a conversation. I am pretty social, play softball, martial arts, etc. So my more recent friends are through those activities. People like talking about their lives. The trick is to find someone who likes to hear about yours, too. And to just be yourself.
R1 -- thanks for the perspective, which makes sense. I've tried the activities, church, etc. and haven't had much luck at all.
I'd like more friends but it's hard because I'm semi-misanthropic and find most of the people I meet not very interesting. That sounds bad, doesn't it?
Friendships have a life. You have to keep finding new friends. Some of the people I know, I've known for decades. But none of them are close friends anymore. As you age, it gets harder to make new friends, especially if you are single. None of my current friends are as close to me now as they once were, though I still see some of them on a regular (though less frequent) basis.
Another thing to consider is that in many cases, lifelong friendships tend to change over time, but then so do romantic relationships. The white hot intensity of a new love becomes the comfortable togetherness of an old couple. Likewise, you might maintain a friendship with someone who moves away or who gets promoted and into a different economic class than you, but you will probably hang out less or your friendship will become one for the holidays, phone conversations, etc. and not as powerful as it was at the beginning, yet you can still consider yourselves friends. There's different levels within relations, it seldom remains the same.
Im like you OP. I think you have to naturally take an interest in other people's lives to have friendships that don't feel like chores. I don't. I also find most people average and unremarkable.
But I love my family.
Hmmmm friendless, you sound like my partner. He's the nicest guy, handsome, reasonably well educated, incredibly nice. No real friends though. My friends are his friends. He just isn't a "people person". People who know him respect him immensely though.
Me, I can talk to anyone. After 40 though, people socialize less and spend more time with their loved ones or are more seriously focused on their careers. I have plenty of friends that I've made through work.
I found out who my real friends were when I got seriously ill earlier this year, and it was a surprise who cared and who didn't bother to even call when they knew I almost died (I had a brain hemorrhage.) It was an eye opener.
Look for quality, not quantity, in friends.
I had one or two friends during my early school years, but none in high school and none since. I have zero friends now.
OP, is your name Robin, by any chance?
I have both life (adult life)long friends and newer friends associated with interests and also my efforts to make new friends. In both categories you have to devote effort to your friends- be supportive of them, listen, as well as enjoy common bonds.
It is sad when you lose a friend, either through a falling out or gradual distance, both physical and perhaps related to activities and interest. But it happens and life goes on, and we can make new friends.
In any case OP- it helps if you are nice, a good listener, and fun. If you exude happiness and well being, you will find friends naturally because people are attracted to you- ditto relationships. So I guess the best way to find them is to get out into the world, and make sure you are happy with yourself because no else is going to be if you are not.
OP what city do you live in?
You are living in a Depression. Strangers are suspicious of overly-friendly people. They assume you want something from them.
You'd be better off focusing your 'friend time' on pursuits that improve the lives of poor people or animals right now
pursuits exempt from the current climate: golf, tennis, sailing, or rowing.
Plus, there's the dependability factor in making friends. If people can depend on you doing a certain activity at a certain time each week, they are more comfortable approaching you.
I like R5. I meet quite a few people, but most of the time I'd rather be reading a good book.
r15, I like you too. Books are usually better than people.
I don't meet many people who keep me interested for 200+ pages.
I care about people but don't connect. Life can be so shitty, you just don't feel like spending time with people.
Right there with you, R5.
I'm 44 and haven't had any friends for over 10 years. I went through a severe depression shortly after I graduated from college, and within a few years found out one by one that my friends weren't really my friends. I suppose the fact that they were mostly actors and musicians didn't help. Some friends that I supported through difficult times dropped me like a rock when I needed help. Since then I've moved around the country several times, which made it difficult to form new friendships.
Lifelong friendships are often not all they're cracked up to be, however. A few years ago, one of my college friends looked me up and we spent time together for several months until without explanation she stopped answering my calls. One thing I noticed about her was that she still had some of the same friends as when I first knew her, but they didn't seem to be very healthy relationships (not surprising since they're all drunks). She was trying to get sober and complained to me about the drama they put her through. I found out later that she went back to the bottle, which I think is the reason she stopped speaking to me.
She was starting to realize that she needed to ditch her longtime friends/drinking buddies, but she chose to keep them. That's the sort of "blendship" I can do without.
Despite my bad luck, I am close to my siblings, one of whom is as anti-social as I am, so I'm not totally lonely. I'm getting to the point where I'd like to try and make friends again, but I don't want to get my hopes up.
I have an excuse now for having no friends. I'm in my early sixties. It makes me feel normal. I like to do things like smoke a joint and wander around a museum or the botanical gardens for a few hours. I also like to make note of new places to eat when I'm out and about. Not sit down restaurants per se, but a Vietnamese sandwich shop, a place to get a good pastrami sandwich or a good burger joint. I also like spending an afternoon in a small bookstore looking for hidden gems and then having a nice lunch at an Indian restaurant. No one I know has the time or interest in any of these things, so I go it alone. Being stoned makes that easier. I watch movies at home on PPV or buy the latest blockbuster when it comes out on DVD. I never seem to get bored being with myself. Go figure.
[quote]I find most of the people I meet not very interesting.
would that be because interesting people are seldom in one place long enough for you to get to know them? Somebody who travels, parachutes, wrestles with sharks in the Amazon, works part time as an undercover spy, etc. probably does't have time for friends.
Somebody who wants to watch your favorite show with you, or meet for drinks and conversation at a nice restaurant for a few hours is going to be the type of person who has enough time on his/her hands to be your friend.
Just something to consider. We're not all here to entertain you.
i'm like you OP. I think for most people the time for making friends was when you were in school, high school, college or just starting off. If you move away from these places then these type of friends start to dwindle.
It then becomes more & more difficult to make friends as you get older especially if you're an introvert, not because you're not a nice, interesting person but other people just aren't interested in putting the effort into making new friends. They're comfortable with their lives and making new friends become a chore for them, like going out on first dates. And many don't want to relearn other people likes & dislikes especially after 40.
My theory is that when these people get even older and start losing their partners or families start to drift away from them then they'll be open to making new friends.
In the meantime, may as well enjoy what you have, develop a hobby, read lots of good books and do some volunteer work and console yourself with the fact that many others just have superficial friendships who aren't really there for them when the chips are down.
People can be interesting in the way they think, and the opinions they have, R22. They don't have to be daredevils to be interesting.
Unfortunately most people aren't interesting in either way.
Like R22, I do a lot of wandering and looking at things. I love to bake so I'm very happy trying new bread recipes. I tend to prefer spontaneous activities rather than planning ahead, which you usually have to do when others are involved.
I work at home so I don't associate with co-workers.
Some of us are happy on our own. I wish it weren't considered a negative trait in our culture. I was much unhappier when I thought I had to be social.
I want the deep kind of friendships that I see among characters on TV shows.
Someone to share deep intimacies with.
The people I like being around are carefree and seem to have a 'don't sweat the small stuff' attitude.
It's hard to find someone who feels the same way about me.
You sound interesting, R21.
Not as many as I'd like and like you, OP, well over forty. Don't really know what to do.
Meet-up groups are very popular for meeting people who share similar interests like theater and tennis, and there are even eldergay groups. Check out the link, OP. Best of luck!
If you feel like you need friends, you'll never have them, or certainly not good ones. People can smell the desperation. I don't need anyone's approval, over a certain age that kind of neediness is just childish.
R26 reminds me of me. I felt unworthy because I couldn't maintain the "quality" of friendships and family relationships like I saw on the TV. How messed up is that. Like TV is real. Nobody hands me a script when I get up in the morning...
But I do have friends and this string made me wonder how I got them and how I hold on to them. I didn't joint groups, I'm not a joiner, and I don't go out to bars as much as I used to.
Maybe it's my personality. I don't talk about people behind their back and I can keep a secret. I love to talk about myself and the things I've done, the places I've been, but then I make sure I stop. And ask a question of another person. Don't hog the floor, even if you think you have the most interesting life in the world. Have the courage of your convictions, but don't browbeat people with them.
That said, some people just aren't hardwired for friendship. It's more difficult for them. My sister is a good example. She complained for years about not having friends. Eventually she found some through work. Her only problem that I could see is that she has a tendency to feel self-conscious and to paint herself as a victim at times. That doesn't work, because then you end up trying to top the other with your tragic tales.
I also like a lot of free time to myself. Like R21, I like to smoke a joint and go out exploring. If you like being by yourself, as trite as it sounds, people will like being with you as well. Good luck.
DL'ers have no friends. Color me so surprised.
And a friendship's like a garden. You have to water it and tend it and care about it.
I prefer my own company a lot of the time, which makes it impractical to maintain close friendships- therefore I don't. I got fucked over by the last few people I was close to, so as my own company is usually preferable, combined with experience, it's really not worth bothering with most of the time.
I have almost no friends. But I wish I were friends with R21. He could teach me how to enjoy being alone more. Most of the time I don't mind, but then I fall into a deep depression. Would love to know how to avoid that cycle.
I usually only have one close friend at a time,and the friendship tends to be very deep and intimate. When they end, I don't have any back-up and end up alone. I dread social situations. I just don't understand how people who don't know each other can have a conversation.
[R20] - are you me? My brother, whom I think is at least somewhat autistic, has no friends either as far as I know.
No, I am not Robin, although I wish him only the best.
This is an old problem...
Here's what Dale Carnegie had to say about it:
Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
1.Don't criticize, condemn, or complain.
2.Give honest and sincere appreciation.
3.Arouse in the other person an eager want.
Six Ways to Make People Like You
1.Become genuinely interested in other people.
3.Remember that a person's name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
4.Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
5.Talk in terms of the other person's interest.
6.Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.
And you can influence them too!!
To have a friend you must first be a friend.
I'm with some of the others. I prefer books or an animal to a person. I've gotten used to doing everything by myself and I really like it that way.
All very nice and true up to a point R38, but taken as a whole, Dale sounds like a bland and passive personality.
I always feel like you have to have friends to get new ones, at least when you're an adult. People like to talk (brag) about what they did on the weekends during small talk and on Facebook etc, so I imagine it takes about two seconds for other people to identify me and others who refrain from doing so as social losers.
Sometimes I feel like I would have an easier time if I were born in the fifties where there was no social media and were you weren't expected to drink alcohol 24/7. I don't drink and that sets me apart from almost everyone in my age group.
I have a friend who would describe himself exactly as you have described yourself.
However, I would describe him as a dull, dull, dull man who never reads a newspaper let alone a book, is only interested in sex with strangers and food. Has absolutely no sense of history, literature and has absolutely NO IMAGINATION. Are you sure you are being truthful with yourself?
It is true that the easiest way to make friends is to be genuinely interested in them. You can never go wrong by just asking them questions about themselves and their life, segue into different topics but keep the focus on how THEY feel about those things. And it's true, use their name a lot. People love to hear their name called. Especially later, in bed.
I have friends but only one isn't a fake.
Pretend you're a reporter, r36.
It sounds dumb and trite but once you start asking people about themselves and what they like, most of them will just start yapping. It may take a little coaxing on your part but most of them will warm up.
I've got tons of acquaintances but few very close friends. Some of them I've known for 20+ years but it takes an effort on both parts to keep it going.
I'm 46 and have less friends now than when I was younger. It's a weeding out process brought about by many factors. I find that I don't need people as much as I used to; I no longer depend on them for validation. The friends I have now? I'm grateful to have them in my life, but I want them there, as opposed to wanting them to like/approve of me and being foolish and clingy about it.
Quitting drinking five years ago also helped weed out a lot a really toxic people from my life. Now there is just this small but loving circle of gay men I share my life with and I could not be happier.
r46, there is no better way to attract people with NPD into your life.
[quote]Some of us are happy on our own. I wish it weren't considered a negative trait in our culture. I was much unhappier when I thought I had to be social.
It's true that everybody loves to talk about themselves, but some of you are making it sound like the only way to be a friend is to be a sounding board for narcissistic people. That's not a friend, that's torture.
I love hearing about other people, as well as talking about my experiences, too.
Folks seem to have tons of friends here, attending parties nonstop. Where do they meet them?
I moved a lot growing up - which I think really colored how I view friendsships. I've found some people cling to others way too much and just can't be alone - I've found that to be a terrible quality.
But - I also think it's hard to have gay friends. There's the element of attraction that can get in the way for one party or the other.
Then there's the element of straight friends who aren't so keen on having gay men around. Most straight couples are friends with other straight couples. Throwing gay men in the mix usually make the straight men feel strange - or at least for guys who are over 35 or 40.
Nonstop parties would be big city life. A lot of people live in big cities but most of us don't.
Nonstop parties also gets old after a few dozen or so.
Once you get good at pulling others into your orbit, you are allowed to enter the realm of the "anticipated houseguest." You have passed muster, which means you have had at least three interesting tidbits to add over martinis and have interacted well with the people you are relaxing with. And that's the key word. Relax.
But then again we're talking about the over 40 crowd here.
If you are 20-30s, you're probably not interested in hanging out in lovely apartments with amazing menus and stunning floral arrangemens if there isn't a chance you're gonna get laid at the end of the evening.
Wow, R20, I went through a very similar experience a few years ago, also with people I thought were close friends, who were actors, musicians and singers. I supported them through all their personal and professional ups and downs but, when it was me who needed a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen, they all vanished.
My therapist -- whom I began seeing a while later -- explained that, sometimes, people who are performers are so intent on trying to get people's attention and to stay in the spotlight (i.e., "look at ME! look at ME!") that they have little energy left to expend on other people. And, not surprisingly, being there for others isn't really a priority.
R55, ah honey, I would've given you the same advice for a lot cheaper.
I think it is so important to know who you are first. When you understand what you're interested in and what is important to you, you will know what you have in common with others.
Get to know what your interests are and that will be a good starting point for conversation with others. You won't just be a sounding board for them because it will be of importance and interst to you too. It will also give you ideas about where to go to meet like-minded others.
If you are a bit self-conscious about getting out there on your own, volunteering is a great option because unlike social events, most people go into volunteer activities alone.
I agree with those who have said that liking your own company is certainly a huge feather in one's cap, and nothing to be sneered at. Friendships are like romantic relationships. When you are not desperate for them, but let them come to you naturally, it makes you so much more appealing.
Good luck, OP!
Quality, not quantity.
OP, if we had ANY friends, do you think we'd be here now talking to you?
Ha Ha [R58]!
[quote]I found out who my real friends were when I got seriously ill earlier this year, and it was a surprise who cared and who didn't bother to even call when they knew I almost died (I had a brain hemorrhage.) It was an eye opener.
I hope you are OK.
When I had a procedure for a brain aneurysm, my Mom flew out to be with me, my partner was by my side, co-workers called and sent gifts and cards, friends stopped by. My only sibling never called to see if I had survived or not.
I'd love to invite my friends over, but my mom's basement gets so cold in the winter.
I can't believe I'm admitting this on here. My issue is I never made any gay friends. I was never in the closet, but all of my friends were straight. The friends I made in high school and college were straight guys and we remained great friends throughout our 20s. Then they all got married and started families and I discovered that I was the single gay guy at all of these straight parties and hanging out with straight friends and it started becoming awkward.
Maybe it was in my head, but I felt awkward. Their lives had changed focus to kids and families and mine didn't. I met a guy and we dated for a bit, he was younger and I was in my 30s and then I found myself trying to live the life a 20something year old gay man. I was trying to do all the things that I should have done in my 20s, in my 30s and it was just sad.
So here I sit, knocking on 40's door, without any real friends. And that's my story.
No friends either. A few people consider me THEIR friend, well I'm not and I don't really like them. I wish people would just leave me alone.
I have evaluated my "friends" situation in life and have found that there have been 2 lifelong male friends who were also gay (one of them is now dead). They were not without down sides though, but overall it was more a matter of being able to relate to each other in a way that I don't think I ever could with a straight male. And both of these men were about 20 years older than I was (I liked older men when I was in my 20s and 30s). I sort of made friends of straight men from work but pretty much it remained at work. I think that if they can't accept me after they know about me then there can't be a true friendship. I had a straight male friend who "didn't know" and it eventually fizzled out as I just didn't care to go into it with him. Besides that, it seems to be generally true that if you are a "gay" male and have a straight guy as a friend, you're going to get his wife/girlfriend and kids, if any, and this is something I don't care to deal with. That said, I have found many other gay men (aside from the 2 I mentioned), despite the common "minority sexuality" to be, in general, puzzlingly alienating and that I'm sort of on the periphery of the gay scene and kind of like it that way. I go to the baths and that's fine as far as that goes, but I tend to think there really is no gay "lid" to my "pot" and I'm not altogether sure that that is a bad thing. As far as women friends are concerned, I'm not sure that would ever truly work and besides that, I rather prefer men around me, no offense to women, but that's just how I feel. Now, before I leave, a question: has anyone befriended a male cop? By that I mean a true friendship of intimacy and confidence. I have always heard that generally cops are odd and are loners and if married they tend to have high divorce rates. Are there any gay cops out there who can elaborate?
R63, your situation is not unique. I know several gay men in their late 30s/early 40s who did exactly the same. I became good friends with one briefly through work: my impression of him was that he thought other gay men were for sex, but reserved his emotional and social life for his straight friends.
I enjoy my handful of straight friends, but they all have their own families now and I cannot count on them for anything. Perhaps it will change with the advent of legalized gay marriage and parenting, but right now, gay mens lives are different from anyone else's.
See, I think "friendship" is wildly defined by each person. Some people really think their 4,000 Facebook friends are really their friends. If you meet on the street and talk a few times a year you are really friends. Some however think you have to be really connected with each other to be friends.
For me, its funny, I do not consider myself to be a people person. But, I will sit and listen to someone blab on and on and on about their life. Mostly, I am am truly intrigued. The other part of the time I am internally thinking "this person really like to hear themselves talk." Most of my really good friends love to talk. And, I really do love to listen. They consider me a really good friend.
BUT, when its time for me to talk. They look around...look at their watch....play with their phone. After I have sat and listened to their mostly unexciting but somewhat interesting life all night...they have no time to hear mine. So, in short, its like R2 said. The real truth in friendship is finding someone who will sit and listen to your story.
It's not even about being interesting or uninteresting. I have plenty of "friends" who think they are interesting, but even after listening to them talk all night, they aren't. But, I care about them so I listen. I will admit I am not really interesting. But, sometimes you just need someone like me..someone to pretend your stories are interesting because you care.
I've had a waste of a life since high school, and the last few friends I made were about 8 years ago. It's embarrassing, but I do talk to my pre-existing friends via social networking. Otherwise, I would probably go crazy. I've had no one to talk to and become friends with (in person) for quite some time. And I don't foresee that changing soon.
By coincidence there is a thread on having sex with cops and firemen that I discovered after asking my question about cops--it sort of answered my question and it was a good thread to read but if anyone has more to add here.....
[quote]It's not even about being interesting or uninteresting. I have plenty of "friends" who think they are interesting, but even after listening to them talk all night, they aren't. But, I care about them so I listen. I will admit I am not really interesting. But, sometimes you just need someone like me..someone to pretend your stories are interesting because you care.
R20 here. I completely identify with what you're saying here, R67. I've known too many people who used me as a sounding board but wouldn't give me the same attention. People respond to my "How are you" with a windy monologue and never bother to ask for my story. My father was really narcissistic so I wonder if I'm still subconsciously attracting the self-involved.
I do think our social culture has become narcissistic to the point where people won't deal with you unless you reflect their specific brokenness back to them. Anything else is terrifying.
I'm not the most fascinating person either, but people tell me I'm funny and I know I'm more interesting than the people I've often been ditched for. There's no accounting for taste, I suppose. I'd still rather be me than them, though, despite the loneliness.
Accept people for who they are. Don't try to change them.
Find the common humor in situations.
Keep things light, but be there for people when they need you.
Good luck. I hope you find friends. Friends have made my life a lot of fun and I have learned a lot from them.
My father has no friends. He never devoted any effort to friendship and let friends of his youth slip away. He's sorry now -- sorry for himself, that is.
I see a lot of closed-off people who shut others out, never reach out or take a risk. They never try to imagine themselves in others' shoes. Most of these people are unfortunately men. I think women, in spite of their penchant for drama, want to preserve relationships more than men do and are more forgiving of faults in others.
Broad generalization of course but I have worked with, spent a lot of time around, and noticed many men who are totally friendless.
My 29 year old son has aspergers (no jokes please - he's a non-violent person) and had a tight knit group of friends growing up which was lucky for him since most kids with aspergers don't make friends.
But as he got older, his friends got married or got careers and moved on. He hears from a couple of them now and then but for the most part he always tells me how lonesome he is and I don't really know how to help him. It breaks my heart. He's an only child so when I'm gone, he will really be all alone. Any real suggestions?
I agree with you R70. And it's most revealing when you're telling them something about yourself and are interrupted (like in a restaurant and the waiter appears or, worse, their cell phone rings.) Once that is finished they never ask you to finish your story or ask you a question about it. For them, it's "now back to me."
I've lost faith in people, even to my family members, so I would rather feel lonely than get hurt from them. I had friends but in different stages of my life, it seems I cannot be able to keep it long term, we drift apart. To me all relationships can be changed from close to distance, it is so fragile.
R73, look on meetup dot com for a local group, join a church if that is your thing, look for a nonprofit like big brothers/sisters but for adults, there's got to be groups out there that cater to the need you have.
Not a single real friend. I know many people but that is not friendship.
OP here (again)
You folks have had some great insight - thanks! I get along well with a cousin who is an older, single female with no kids, though my brother and I run out of stuff to say after a few minutes together. As additional background, I have had friends in the past, so it's not as though I'm completely devoid of social skills; we've grown apart.
To be brutally honest, I love chatting with the other person on a plane flight (I can hear many of you exclaiming, "Oh no! This is THAT guy!"), etc. with many of the folks seeming to have enjoyed our conversation a lot. So, I'm not one of those who likes being alone all the time.
I truly thank you all for those good suggestions. I wish you all a happy, healthy New Year :)
The older I get and the more I learn about people & how the world works, the more I just want to stay home with my cats.
Luckily, I am never lonely when I'm alone. The loneliest I've ever felt was in a huge crowd of people.
Joining a conversation here on DL can be fun, but that's about the extent of my need for human interaction these days.
This is how I read your post:
I am a nice person: Says who? Only other people can tell you you're "nice". Sounds like you're trying too hard.
educated: or is it over-educated, so much so that you can't relate to someone without a master's degree or more?
can carry on a decent conversation: doesn't sound promising. Is it an effort for you?
and ... I'm average looking: that can mean a 1,000 different things.
enough guys have found me attractive that I'm no toad: "relationships" tend to be shallow and brief.
Also, I'm well over 40: sounds like a tendency towards dishonesty. What is it- 56? 65?
I think I just don't "get" how folks acquire friends: touch of Aspergers.
The Friendless One: cloyingly self-pitying, passive-aggressive.
Would be great to be even email friends with some of the people on Datalounge. Is that possible? How would we do that?
Thanks for the analysis [R82]. I phrased things the best I could. I'll grant you that being "over educated" I have limited patience for some mainstream culture stuff, but otherwise I honestly feel you're being rather unfair.
Many single guys here at DL sound really nice. Too bad we can't all be friends with each other!
r81, your post could have been written by me, word for word.
Do you live in LA? Cause its a very tough place to meet just friends (with no agenda) whether you are young or older.
Seattle is NO piece of cake either!
We data loungers need an annual meeting in a different place every year....a convention center or the like. Who can help organize?
Being gay in your 20s and 30s is so damn easy. It's easy to make friends and socialize. But it was a shock to me once I hit 40 how quickly everything changed. My straight friends and family members started having families of their own and had little room in their lives anymore for a gay person. I feel like they all look down on me and what they perceive to be meaningless life choices.
Even if you're smart and/or highly-educated, it's not impossible to bond with people who are not. Most people who aren't completely out of touch with reality are good at something.
There's also no greater chance of building "friendship" with people who are similar to you. I imagine that sustained friendship was easier to do in eras past, when the presence and help of people around oneself was more essential.
I found that in my 20s life was a blur of people, places, things and experiences.
In my 30s that pace slowed dramatically. I was in a different place as were a number of the people I knew in my 20s. Then a lot of them were suddenly gone (AIDS) and things slowed down. I threw myself into my work which drew in another set of people, all acquaintances, no true friends.
In my 40s, I moved again. Life slowed even more, Nobody from the past was around in this decade other than the occasional visit. It was all work until the enconomy went bad.
In my early 50s, pretty much everybody has disappeared from the past. Nobody wants anything to do with somebody who loses everything.
I'm not at the point of starting over totally fresh except for the ghosts that haunt me.
There used to be DL meetups in various cities (sorry flyovers).
Otherwise, try the DL Facebook group Sausages McGee moderates. There, you can follow Pollyanna Prisspot in Luxembourg IRL.
A lot of the guys who follow that Facebook account are quite cute! I'm sorely tempted to start an account of my own there with a name like Jack Friendless. At least we no-friends guys could chat with each other ... fill in the details of our empty lives.
How does a gay feel about the vagina? He finds it repulsive?
OP lick my clit
R94 and R95 same sickening person
Please begone,at once.
R96, let's talk...i'm bored...
Who are you...?
I'm a girl...you like that?
So you got cold feet?
Let me hook you up with DL's very own JANBOT.
You can sit around a fireplace listening to What Have You Done For Me Lately and wonder together why you both have no friends.
I have zero friends. I was poisoned by a Rx drug a few years back and as a result have been disabled ever since. They say you learn who your real friends are when times get tough...well, as it turns out I never truly had any friends. No one calls, no one checks up on me, no one gives a shit. It's really too bad that I had to become crippled in order to see these people for the who they really are. As a result of all of this I have become severely introverted and, to be blunt, I now hate the entire human race.
Either you are making this up, or it's obvious why you have no friends.
There are many informed and insightful comments on this thread. I especially appreciated what R48, R75, R81 and R101 had to say. People who subscribe to the "Dale Carnegie School of Public Relations" and happen to have been surrounded by narcissists in childhood will be set up for a rather rude awakening when they seek reciprocity from their putative friends. As a result of too many betrayals, I've gone from being a very outgoing, generous and optimistic "people-person" to a major misanthrope who, thankfully, loves her own company.
No longer Narcissistic Supply
As a kid, I had a real hard time making friends. My mother found my lack of friends to be worrying and would actually drive me to playgrounds at parks and command me to "go over there, make friends with those kids." It was torture. Part of the problem was I lived in a neighborhood where there were no kids my own age. The other problem was I was sent to a private school where most of the students lived in a neighboring town miles from me. So the ritual of hanging out with kids after school or on weekends was unavailable to me. But the real issue was I always felt self conscious and unsure of myself. Most of the time, I would make friends with one boy a year, the one who I would eat lunch with and sort of mill around the school yard with everyday. But when we came back from summer break and started a new grade, he and I were no longer friends and no longer hung around and I would eventually gravitate to some other misfit to be my companion. Everyday I would come home from school and go directly to my room where I would read or draw or play with legos. In the summer I would get my mom to drive me once a week to the library and spend each day sitting by the pool reading. Alone. I was perfectly content.
When I went to college, everything changed. In the first semester I made a ton of friends, was going to parties and joined the crew team. After graduation, many of us drifted away but the core of us stayed in touch. Then, 4 years ago I moved to another part of the country for a job. Shortly after that my partner and I split up after being together for almost ten years. This has totally fucked me up in the head. Since that time I have had zero luck finding friends. I'm still in touch with a few of the friends I made in my 20s, mostly through Facebook. But actual human interaction with people has become more and more rare as time passes. This year was the second one in the row that I spent Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years alone. I fear, given my past history, that I am on the fast track of becoming a recluse and I don't know if that is a good thing or not.
I, too, went to a small private school with kids from various towns, so didn't have lots of friends to play with as such. We went away for the summer to New England, where I'd encounter other kids from all over for a few weeks a year, but never really made a lot friends that way. I did have some in high school (a much larger private school) and college. Never kept in touch with those though. BF #1 in my 20's was as bad as I was if not worse; "socializing" was largely with his family. I am not "happy with my own company" but what is there to do about it?
In the olden days when high school yearbooks had quotes under the pictures there was one that said, "The best way to have a friend is to be one."
I've always had friends and this is how you do it. The best friendships are mutual. If you want to get together for dinner or drinks or whatever it is NOT the responsibility of just one person to set it up.
I've also had a partner for almost 40 years and, while we are each other's best friend, we also recognize the need for other friendships. And for making the time for them.
You don't need twenty best friends. You can have just two or three and it's just fine. It's not quantity; it's quality. Especially in these days of email it's easier to correspond with friends and keep up. If you want to commit the time to it.
(In the olden days you had to write what we called LETTERS to other people.)
Work acquaintances are just that. You can become friends with work friends but it's usually after you've found another job.
And it's important, as some have mentioned, that friendships will not last forever. Some will. I've been friends with someone for over 30 years and she lives on another continent.
And, in these days of email and facebook, you can become friends with people from your past. This year, for example, my partner and I became reacquainted with an old college roommate of almost 40 years ago. We haven't seen each other for years - and live in different cities - but our friendship has been renewed, and, especially because of some shared troubles, is better than ever.
Friendships are possible if you are willing to commit time to them. And they are willing to commit time to you. No matter how busy people claim to be, people can always find time to do the things they really want to do.
Not to hijack OP, but this struck chord in me. I have this friend whom I've considered to be almost family. We grew up together until she started a family and moved many states away. In a nutshell, she's very active on FB and she know I'm not. I tried by commenting on her posts which were mostly about her children, but I find FB tedious and impersonal. I would email her once in a while asking how she is and I wouldn't really get a reply--- unless you count a reply comment on FB that acknowledges the emails. I send her kids gifts. Email her things that I know interests her. On the other had, I can't even remember the last time she asked how I am doing. I'm tempted to discard this friend, but when she's in town and we get together, we get along well. It does bother me that I am an out of sight out of mind friend, but I don't know if I'm just being a drama queen.
I've always had friends over the years, although to be frank in the last decade it's gotten so I rarely speak to them. They are good friends, although occasionally competitive. Their competitiveness not a subject I usually bring up because I have no interest in getting into pointless ego struggles. Anyhoo, homophobes from the time I was a kid made a regular point of accusing me of being introverted and socially awkward as part of their antigay bigotry and general lying, and while I don't think it's really true because I do have those friends, what is true, is that I just don't feel a need to have someone around or join a group for social goals. I felt actual loneliness a few months ago for a couple days and it was the first time in many years, and I felt like I was being reintroduced to an emotion I barely remembered. I don't know why. I don't hate people. I love them in the abstract and a few of them very concretely and apparently forever, but I don't like to bother people if I don't have to and I don't like it when people bother me although I also get peeved when they need my help and fail to request it.
R107, if you can't remember the last time she asked you about your life, what kind of friend is she? Has she ever commented about a post of yours on facebook? There is a mutuality about friendship. She doesn't have to be in your business 24/7 to at least occasionally be interested in your life.
I don't have any friends either, and when I needed outpatient surgery a few years ago, I realized how badly that I need a trustworthy friend for mutual support in times of need. It was not life-threatening condition, just a decompression on a bone in my shoulder causing awful pain from chronic bursitis. They refused to do the surgery unless I had someone present to sign a statement that he or she would drive me home and see that I was safe until the drugs wore off. I had to depend upon the pastor of a church where I am estranged because they are so hateful toward homosexuals, and involed in rightwing Republican politics. All they care about me anyway is taking 10% of my income and having another warm body sitting in a church pew to boast about. If anyone in the Hot Springs, Arkansas area is interested in being my friend for mutual support with neither trying to take any advantage of the other, please let me know and I will give you an Email that I only use on rare occasions. Then I will give you my phone number and real Email on that anonymous Email account.
Need Friends in Hot Springs, Arkansas
I really dislike people, I do. I just can't help it.
I'm bad at keeping friendships because I'm a bit abrasive and too direct. Ironically though Friends is my favorite old(ish) sitcom.
A friend of mine told he I was too direct and that I can "come back ugly," that I'm way too sensitive. It's true. It happens if I feel taken advantage of, or taken for granted. But then I asked her, how come I have friends, how come people want to hang out with me, she said it was because I was "charming." So maybe the solution is to be direct and frank, but not rude, and to understand the limitations of your personality. I don't recommend coming back ugly though. I cherish my friends.
Tried an experiment last week. I was in a good mood after the holidays and found myself walking around with a grin on my face. Almost everyone I passed seemed to reflect my expression back at me. Maybe they thought I was crazy but I honestly think that seeing one person on the street who looks happy made others feel good too.
I know...I'm a Pollyanna.
[quote]I realized how badly that I need a trustworthy friend for mutual support in times of need. It was not life-threatening condition, just a decompression on a bone in my shoulder causing awful pain from chronic bursitis. They refused to do the surgery unless I had someone present to sign a statement that he or she would drive me home and see that I was safe until the drugs wore off.
The way US life is currently structured has had a bad effect on those who are naturally loners or who have found themselves in toxic environments and isolate themselves out of necessity. Unless you are married (and that hasn't worked out for many) or are naturally gregarious, those new-fashioned Out=patient Surgeries have caused many to put off procedures just because they do not wish to involve others in their personal life.
Once, when you needed a procedure, you would go to the hospital, get it done, and be released when you could again take care of yourself. It was your procedure and your business. Then hospitals realized how much they could save by making most of these procedures outpatient, and making recovery the patient's problem.
Early on, you could just call a cab abd be taken home (as the driver is like 90% of the "friends" now involved, who take you to the door and then leave), but the liability issues (and potential additional costs) put an end to that fairly quickly.
When I am sick and in need of an operation, I am already feeling vulnerable and bad, and to have to next find someone to be my friend only makes it worse.
r109, I really don't post much nor personal stuff on FB, but the few times I do post/comment, we banter. That's what makes it quite painful for me. I know she has time to spare judging by the amount of time she's on FB. Weakly, I try to justify in my head that she's terribly busy with her kids and being a single wahm and all, so fb's her main source of communication. She is updated with the rest of our group who are equally active on FB, though I don't know if it's limited to shallow commenting or real communication. Sometimes I feel like I am acting like a special snowflake to want non-FB attention, but then I do feel how one way the relationship has become. Really, you can't write out a short email to ask how things are nor send a bday greet? Sigh. I feel reluctant to let this person go, due to our history and she is fun to hang with when she visits, but I do ask myself the question you asked-- what for? Then I feel very misanthropic for cutting off close friends who do not meet my definition of Friend one by one (2 down so far).
I'm seeing a business opportunity here:
"Rent- A- Friend"
[quote]"Rent- A- Friend"
There's a internet business (Bunnies something) already established. Another penalty for being single/alone.
I've spent so many years prior in te closet due to professional reasons. Most of my friends years ago were straight. They have moved on, started families etc. they are still great people but as far as hanging out, going to a movie, having a beer, I'm pretty much alone. I have a great job, nice looking, fit, just not convinced I want to go out and start over again.
I have been living abroad in swamp countries for many years and friends are around every corner. It is like all the ex pats bond in seconds on the merit of being an outsider.
I was planning to return to the USA and probably to a city where I never lived before and knew no one. My biggest fear was how could I ever find friends. I talked to an old friend in San Francisco who told me I should go out and have sex with as many people as possible and give them my phone number. This is the way he found friends. I am not convinced.
Social Isolation Growing in U.S.
Americans are far more socially isolated today than they were two decades ago, and a sharply growing number of people say they have no one in whom they can confide, according to a comprehensive new evaluation of the decline of social ties in the United States.
A quarter of Americans say they have no one with whom they can discuss personal troubles, more than double the number who were similarly isolated in 1985.
The comprehensive new study paints a sobering picture of an increasingly fragmented America, where intimate social ties -- once seen as an integral part of daily life and associated with a host of psychological and civic benefits -- are shrinking or nonexistent. In bad times, far more people appear to suffer alone.
I appreciate your chiming in R107 - not "hijacking" at all; however, your "friendship" seems rather one-sided to me, regardless of those rare get-togethers.
R110 - I faced that after same day ambulatory surgery, but they let me go home in a taxi alone. They can't FORCE that issue; do you think they'd cancel the surgery altogether if you'd said at the last minute that your "friend" had an emergency of his own? I think not. My brother and I live nearby, but are not at all close, We neither like nor dislike each other. If I asked him, which I REALLY would hate to do, he'd show up to shut them up, but there's no one else local I could think of for that.
I have learned that my closest friend from college days has become rather religious. In our dorm there was another of our "(theoretically straight) college guys who pal around with each other, but never go on dates with girls" set, a rather fem fellow (some here might toss out a MARY! but anyway). He and my then-BFF each took me aside at various points saying, "You know he's (the other guy) gay." BFF was a bit rednecky, knew I was gay in a "don't ask, don't tell" way ... and had rather an obsession with Jack Wrangler (this was the early 80's). There were two other guys, "straight" roommates, whose interior decor was two mattresses pushed together on the floor, with some reason I forget given. A female friend of mine, who'd lead a fairly sheltered life herself, would roll her eyes at the mention of them ("How STUPID do they think we are!").
To un-hijack my own thread, I can't be THAT dull as I've had chats with strangers who have said sincerely they enjoyed chatting (our conversations were truly animated, rather than polite). And, I can't be THAT bad looking as in online chat rooms I have had guys say they think I'm cute. How does one connect the dots to get from HERE to THERE?
Read r120 again -- no one has friends anymore.
Wow, R121's post could be the most eldergay post I've ever read. He just needs a Lucille Ball and/or Charlotte Rae reference to seal the deal.
I'm 52, R123 and not ashamed of it. You seem like someone from that film "Logan's Run" (I think it was), where they kill everyone on their 35th birthday so there'll be no old people.
I'm certain you have lots of friends, getting together to giggle and point at "geezers".
It is tough as you get older. Especially if you are married or have a partner. How can you be friends w/someone outside the marriage?
I am a married hetero lady. Met a really smart guy who is also into meditation- which I also have been pursuing. But really, we cannot be "friends" because it is just inappropriate.
I won't take part in Facebook - it is sociopathic - and I have cut off "friends" (*this is Los Angeles-based) who seemed to be shoving me into "pathetic single" category, although their own relationships are extremely shallow and seemed guided by role playing and pooling resources rather than intimacy. Some have completely lost the plot themselves, others - freeloadin' Freddies - aren't worth contacting again. The past is past.
I didn't like what I was turning into in these peoples' company and how it was meeting these people's "needs" to believe single people are broken and to be pitied.
None of them I would describe as especially developed or self-actualized people. The veil dropped when I became socially excluded.
Suffering that on Facebook would have killed me.
Not taking part in social media, needing time alone, and finding myself reacting differently - more honest, less desperate, not tolerant of gossip and competitiveness - has led me to be completely alone.
My family is deceitful and always keep me shut out of goings on. I am now grateful for that and keep them at a distance, like untrustworthy feral dogs.
I like the "clean slate" feel, but trying MeetUp in an effort to make new friends led to meeting some awkward, sort of dull people. I would try again, but it didn't work out the first time.
I took some classes too, but being a man, women assume I want pussy. Men assume you are needy or want ass-pussy if you try too hard, and most dudes 30-40 really are pretty shifty. This could be a Los Angeles phenomenon.
My need for contact with others was destroying me. I have eliminated it, largely through meditation, exercise, self-reliance. I'm no longer desperate for friends, though I would like to find a new way to meet people. I think I might try chess and hang out with seniors. I'm thinking of joining a running club too.
I used to meet people through girlfriends (her friends, other couples), but after going broke for a while and depending on family, dates were no longer an option.
I do feel this loneliness period was a form of gnostic experience. I am not bitter, but I see the general programmed ugliness of people more than before, and unlike before, I don't find it funny or worth investigating.
Wow, so many of these read like something I could have written, especially R104. I think that even thought I have been saying I am not lonely, in fact I'm just so used to it being a constant thing. I am really afraid if what the future has in store for me. The lack of human interaction, the growing feelings of isolation and bitterness, eventually its going to have a real and deep impact on my health and life.
I'm thinking maybe I should start a damned Yahoo group for us! That way we could at least have an email contact and check in with each other!
I moved to a different city in 2004 for a new job. I now regret it. The job is fine but I've never really made good friends here. I have friends I can do stuff with, but no one in my tribe. All my good friends live in the city I used to live in. I should have stayed. In my new city, I just make acquaintances.
I'm an outgoing and gregarious person. I used to socialize a lot more up until about two years ago, but I found that I was just not really connecting with anyone. It's hard to go to parties where you don't really want to talk to anyone there. I feel like I'm becoming more and more isolated and alone in my mid-40s. I spent the last two Thanksgivings alone. I visit family over Christmas. I'm very close to my brother and cousins who live out-of-state.
My one really good friend in the city I live in now is married and has a daughter who is about 10 years old. She's just always busy with family stuff, which I get. We talk about once every week or two on the phone but only see each other in person a handful of times a year.
I'm getting used to being alone most of the time, but I find it very depressing.
I find it more frustrating than depressing.
I find having no friends totally depressing. I'm now 58, and I expect this to be the way life is for the rest of my years. This is so not what I thought life was going to be like.
I am very close to my father who is as much my closest friend as a parent. I have an amazing partner, but I have no friends. I get on well with people I meet, although friendship is becoming increasingly alien to me. Sometimes I feel profoundly lonely, sometimes I feel relieved.
I've known my friends for years: 36 years, 20 years, 18 years, 16 years, 13 years. Just reconnected with an old college roommate so, without breaks 40 years but only really 30 but we're making up for lost time. Lots of e-mails but in the olden days wrote letters. Lunches, drinks, dinners, etc. Have other strong acquaintances with whom I rarely talk or e-mail but I know in a pinch I could go with them. I've also had a partner for almost 40 years. Most of the friends I've met started off as work-related.
So I find all this "I have no friends" really surprising. Especially with e-mail.
But we've also lived in the same city for all these years so maybe that helps.
Most of my other friends have friends of long standing. Some, very few, have family members who really are friends as well as relations.
It isn't easy. You have to work at it. You have to make time. And it has to be mutual, i.e. not one person making all the plans all the time.
My Dad (who was from the olden days before the world sped up) warned me that at the end of my life, I would be able to count my true friends on one hand.
I'm 32, and I find that it's a bit harder to make friends. I only have about 6 really good friends and about 15 acquaintances.
[quote]I won't take part in Facebook - it is sociopathic
God, some of you are so fucking idiotic.
[quote]I won't take part in Facebook - it is sociopathic
What is it about people here who insist on using this word with no regard to what it really means? This is like the second one here today who has done that.
[quote] This is like the second one here today who has done that.
Who was the second one and in what way is the post like the second one?
I don't have very many friends, but the ones I have are very good and I've known them for many years. I'm careful about who I associate with. Some people just need the company of other people, and it doesn't necessariy matter a whole lot what kind of people they are. I've never been like that and never will.
I never had "friendships" with people through MySpace, Facebook, etc. I don't Twitter. I don't text. Communicating through those means just doesn't do it for me. I like to talk to people directly; I like to see a person's body language and mannerisms. I get a better impression of what type of person I'm talking to that way. When communicating solely through electronic means you don't know WHAT you're dealing with.
People come and go. I have a friend who I'd known since the eighties move with her husband to Wyoming a few years ago. After that, we just lost contact, and I haven't tried to renew it. You just have to move on.
Friends, REAL friends, are to be cherished. They don't come by that often. I never believe people who say they have "lots" of friends. I think they just know a lot of people casually and refer to them as "friends." It really does take work and effort to maintain a real friendship. I don't think most people are willing to do that these days.
This one. Scroll down. I dont know if its the same person and they just cleared their cookies.
Do ever feel like you physically need a hug? I have felt this way the past couple of days.
[quote] I'm thinking maybe I should start a damned Yahoo group for us! That way we could at least have an email contact and check in with each other! OP
Here you go OP. Facebook group.
You have to login to join
I hate Facebook, absolutely do not want to have an account there, but thanks for thinking of me (us)!
People are cunts.
R144 & OP
Why are home ALONE on a Saturday night?
A few that I chat with occasionally, but no close friends. I do like my own company though, and I have a long term partner (long distance). Sometimes I get very lonely,but most of the time I'm fine as I am.
If there are so many gay men who are friendless, and want to have friends, but don't know how to go about making them, shouldn't there be some kind of site to help? Not a dating site, but a friendship making site?
Honestly, I don't want any gay friends. I just haven't been impressed. Joined the local gay chorus and they were all cliquey and screechy, like some grotesque glee club. Once they find out that what you do (i.e. how much you make) isn't impressive, they spread the word and you're shunned.
My ex was into classic cars, so we hung with that gay crowd for a while. Dreary, straight-acting types who couldn't really talk about anything but cars.
Then there's gay bowling. Another flyover crowd that could pass for breeders.
And I won't become a lesbian hagfag.
I gave up. And it's okay.
2 life long friends. One for 50 years, we talk almost every day. One for over 35 years, we talk and see each other at least once a week. Several other tiers of friends, mostly work, exercise or theater related. Some stuck, some didn't. People come and go out of your life. if you're lucky enough to have one true friend, you're ahead of the game. It's a crap shoot. Nothing wrong with you if you don't. It's the breaks of the game. I haven't had a partner in 30 years but I have these friends who I couldn't live without. No one has it all. I don't have tons of social friends. I only have less than 70 Facebook friends. Makes me feel like a loser sometimes.