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"really" making new friends!

Is it just me, or am I missing something?? I have tried joining several groups~ (U3A, National Trust, RSPB, walking groups, etc, etc)~ and good though they all are in their own ways, I have made no "real "friends'.


I am fairly sociable and outgoing and reasonable intelligent, so I Can communicate well ~BUT~ ~ The groups all meet at the appropriate times and places, the individual activities are participated in, the session ends, and we all go home! Try as I might, Nobody wants to pursue the "acquaintances"~ (I use that word rather than the word "friend")~ outside of these groups, even though I have suggested to some of the folks I Seem to get on with that we might meet outside the group for a coffee, or anything else. They all scuttle off like frightened rabbits and don't appear to want to take it any further. I have noticed that most of the folks seem to come in twos or threes, so already Know others with whom they have closer/longer friendships.


One lady actually said, "~I don't need to make any more new friends, I have enough already". Think it just about sums it up! So ~ ~ this mythical idea that joining groups allay loneliness to me seems the exact Opposite!


I feel more lonely and isolated at the end of the sessions than before I went in! It's "goodbye, see you next month", and everyone is gone!


Any suggestions? Does anyone have similar experiences??


Created By on 15/02/2020

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LindaluB
30th Nov 2020 20:33:19
1
Thanks for voting!
I think it is difficult to make real friends as we get older. It was easier when we went to school together, raised our kids and had a lot in common with other parents. Plus we had YEARS to forge those relationships.
I have had similar experiences. Some of it was because members of those groups were friends long before I arrived on the scene, some because of age differences with members of the group.
I was a professional dancer many years ago and also owned dance studios. I volunteered to teach a dance class at our local senior center and that did help with making deeper connections for some reason. Go figure...
Response from Sally - Silversurfer's Editor made on 30th Nov 2020 20:38:33
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Response from waterdragon made on 6th Dec 2020 21:32:49
Hi Sally

I think what you say is sad but true. So many lonely people out there. I do some local volunteering which helps others and me - very hard trying to understand people sometimes! Take care.
JoannieF59
27th May 2021 19:47:17
0
Thanks for voting!
I totally agree Lily with what you are saying. The older you get the harder it is to make new friends. People are friendly but all have their own groups already set up and I always feel like a spare part. Luckily I am still working but dread the day I retire and have nothing to do but look at what groups are out there.
Lesley27
24th Apr 2021 14:05:58
0
Thanks for voting!
Hi Lily49, only just seen your post but you're right aboiut lots of people already having friends in these groups and not being particularly welcoming to new members. I only belong to a photo walk group which is very informal, I don't even take photos, but we would love new members even if they only came for a walk round the local park. Unfortunately it's not your area but now that restrictions are being eased hope you find a group that welcomes you.
I think you're so brave for going to these meetings alone in the first place, I am far too shy to walk into a room or try to meet up with strangers, and as my partner died very suddenly last year I find it is very lonely especially at weekends - I work until 10pm Mon -Fri so that keeps me occupied as I don't drive so don't get home till late with the woeful bus service provided.I'd never have the confidence you obviously have to keep trying new groups.
Anyway, take care and hopefully one of these meetings will have someone who wants to be a proper friend rather than just a member going there to fill an hour or so in,
mercury
15th Apr 2021 19:46:45
0
Thanks for voting!
Oh God Lily, you could be relating my story. We moved to Swindon from Birmingham over 30 years ago and have tried three or four U3A groups. In the end we were so depressed and disheartened we packed them all in. Nobody made us feel at home or suggested we sit with them or even wanted to chat. Our history group just sat round in a circle while the group leader asked various people to read from dusty travel books, there were no lively discussions about places we'd visited, no humour to speak of, and the few tentative suggestions we made were ignored. One elderly chap next to us did a crossword, another fellow slept through all the meetings - you'd think that would tell the leader something wouldn't you?

When we go back to Brum for a visit, no matter what pub we pop into there's someone to have a laugh and a chat with. God, I miss my home town.
MimiM
7th Apr 2021 03:35:22
0
Thanks for voting!
Lily49
I have found the same problem that you have… Sometimes these groups are a little clicky... and those clicks are really hard to break or get into… And sometimes people just join them for the day that they all meet and then prefer to go their separate ways after.
No2FB
23rd Feb 2021 00:16:02
1
Thanks for voting!
As my nickname suggests, I do not subscribe to FB, and other sites like it due to this culture of self centered hypocrisy. Lily49, don't feel bad. Too many people these days are superficial and are very selfish. I know of many friends of mine who are very protective of their privacy and family. They also wouldn't want to jump in and become friends with a stranger. Unfortunately, it isn't a safe world out there, and you don't know who you are becoming friends with.
I would suggest you try a church. However don't expect to be greeted warmly right away, as many churches have become more closed off to newcomers. Another unfortunate symptom of our social dilemma today.
Another suggestion is to try volunteer work. It's rewarding and a good icebreaker for meeting others who may be actually looking for friends too.

I encourage you to be kind to someone. If you hear music at the grocery store, dance to it. You would be amazed at the laughs you might get, and that's a good thing to bring smiles wherever you go.

Just some suggestions.
[deleted]
16th Feb 2021 06:52:17 (Last activity: 16th Feb 2021 07:58:47)
0
Thanks for voting!
[deleted]
Response from Sally - Silversurfer's Editor made on 16th Feb 2021 07:58:47
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Pinksky
25th Dec 2020 16:03:35 (Last activity: 29th Jan 2021 16:14:24)
3
Thanks for voting!
This post and the others associated with it have all struck a chord with me. Perhaps it's something that changes in our brains - as we are so often told happens - that makes us less open to making new friends, so that those of us who are trying to do just this come up against brick walls. The other side of the coin, if I'm honest, is the relinquishing of long-held friendships upon the realisation that really you have nothing to say to one another any more because of - what? - changing personality/interests/circumstances? It's all a mystery to me!
Response from Sally - Silversurfer's Editor made on 25th Dec 2020 17:21:02
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Response from chari made on 13th Jan 2021 08:00:58
Join something which has weekly meetings. It's hard to get to know anyone enough to pursue a friendship if you only meet once a month. It almost doesnt matter what you join, a knitting club, a community choir, archery club, bridge, chess voluntary public space gardener groups. Seeing people often and regularly is the key.
Response from Lottiebell made on 28th Jan 2021 10:43:06
I couldn't agree more. I don't know how it will pan out but I started an allotment last year - it has been a joy and I have met a couple of people - not friends but like-minded people do make a difference. The other joy has been walking. Again, I haven't made any friends, but it is lovely when people call out hello or some greeting which makes me smile, All helps in times when it seems so difficult to find new friends, Good luck.
Response from Sally - Silversurfer's Editor made on 28th Jan 2021 12:47:49 > @Lottiebell
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Response from PurpleHat made on 29th Jan 2021 16:14:24 > @Lottiebell
A person after my own heart! I had to give up my allotment, age caught up with me physically, but I still potter at home and have a greenhouse. I'm recognised and greeted much more frequently in the village which is nice and there are always plants exchanged and to give for local events like the village Show. Gardeners are great for that!
Also there is a local branch of the National Pensioners Association (Now called "Active") which meets every week in a nearby hall, I have made friends there and had outings, coach holidays and met with them outside of the"Club" Folk I have been able to phone and chat with in these times. It takes a bit of effort, but pays off in the end!.
Billythequiche
27th Jan 2021 11:31:17
0
Thanks for voting!
No words of wisdom I'm afraid but do keep trying. The present crisis makes it doubly difficult but it will end eventually. Your choice of groups seems narrow and prone to "cliques". Have you a local seniors fitness or book club? Have you the funds and mobility to try a coach trip or cruise?
Things occur by happenstance, I usually only contribute on speakers corner, I was idly browsing when I saw your comment. Until you team up, chat to Silversurfers, they are a great and varied bunch.
penny55
25th Jan 2021 04:42:10 (Last activity: 25th Jan 2021 07:57:56)
0
Thanks for voting!
Hey Lily49----I think I know exactly how you feel. I don't know if people are so busy with their own lives. I mean we vist and talk about things and then Adios till next time. It seems like real friends are getting harder and harder to find these days.

I had to stop bowling because of the covid restrictions-2020 was a tough year, wasn't it?
Response from Sally - Silversurfer's Editor made on 25th Jan 2021 07:57:56
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chari
13th Jan 2021 07:57:36
0
Thanks for voting!
Join something which has weekly activities. I took up crown green bowls( a northern pass time it's lawn bowls in the south). I was persuaded to try it by the constant suggestions from a person in the community choir I joined. I took to it straight away despite my reservations and reluctance. I have already had an invite from another player to show me around her birthplace Isle of Man on a day trip once we are allowed to travel again.
SILVER78
21st Dec 2020 11:33:21
1
Thanks for voting!
I know it's probably not an easy line to go down, but I find one can meet people and make friends if you have a dog to take for walks. I lost my husband 6 months ago, since when I have obtained a small dog. Whilst walking him in our village I came into contact with another recently-bereaved lady (we met in the local churchyard !), ,got talking and as she was new to the village I gave her my number and said if she felt down and wanted to talk, she could contact me any time. She rang me a few days later and asked if I would like to meet up for coffee. This was a few weeks ago and we now go out regularly for coffee and/or lunch (covid regs permitting) and both feel our meeting has helped. I have also started talking to two other ladies in the village whom I'd not met before, because they stopped to pat my dog. It is hard to make new friends when you join a club or group sometimes, because as you say many people join with friends. .Keep trying and I'm sure you will be successful. I have also made a friend online via this group, when a lady replied to something I'd put on a Silversurfer forum, and we now write regularly to each other. Good luck and I hope you make new friends soon.
PurpleHat
19th Dec 2020 22:09:59
0
Thanks for voting!
Making friends, joining clubs, doing activities, yes, you meet people, but from my own experience you only begin to make friends when you put the work in, and get to know the other souls who help to keep these clubs etc open for people to go to. See what you can help with behind the scenes, volunteer to help with the teas and coffees, help put chairs back at the end of the meeting, small things, even maybe offer to go on the Committee, think what you have to offer. When I last moved home I swore I would not get involved again, yet a month later there I was, back on a committee again, but it worked I made real lasting friends to this day, I have the Christmas cards still coming in to prove it!.
sds
18th Dec 2020 14:46:15 (Last activity: 18th Dec 2020 14:53:21)
0
Thanks for voting!
Yep.... I’ve found the same. Been in Cornwall 5 years.... still no proper friendships made.... lots of people I get on with when doing activities I have joined but nothing lasts beyond that....
Response from Sally - Silversurfer's Editor made on 18th Dec 2020 14:53:21
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Sallyallman
18th Dec 2020 12:56:48
0
Thanks for voting!
Thank goodness I’m not the only one who has experienced this! Makes you wonder how these people managed when they first joined the various groups......I guess as you said, they didn’t pitch up on their own which rather puts an immediate barrier between themselves and people like you and I who are hoping to make new friends.
Not sure how we go about trying to change things......
micelf2020
15th May 2020 18:59:04 (Last activity: 11th Dec 2020 13:33:18)
7
Thanks for voting!
I am so happy to see this post. I only joined a few minutes ago as I am looking for some mental stimulation and, lo and behold, I find a topic very close to my heart! I too have tried all the things you mention, hoping to make connections, new friends etc and have had exactly the same experience as you. I think you are right in that almost everyone I meet has come with someone else. Married couples seem to look askance at any overtures. Trust me, I am no oil painting, but I seem to be viewed with suspicion. I thought it was just me, and have literally given up going to groups as I would someimes go home in tears. This lockdown has made very little difference to my life as I hardly went anywhere anyway, but it has made me think a lot about what else I could do as there is literally no one in the whole wide world who has contacted me to see if I am OK or need anything. That sounds pathetic I know But I am at a loss to know how to change my life and get more connected to people I could call friends as opposed to aquaintances. I volunteer at quite a few different charities but find the same thing applies.... no one wants to extend the interaction.
Response from Sally - Silversurfer's Editor made on 15th May 2020 19:51:40
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Response from SallyW27 made on 24th May 2020 09:04:22
Gosh, it was good to read your message. I understand everything be you've described. Please do tell me more...from Sally in London....
Response from SallyW27 made on 24th May 2020 09:06:25
Sorry, I didn't proofread!! Doh. Disregard word "be" above, which I didn't intend to type on miniature keyboard....!
Sally
Response from Sally - Silversurfer's Editor made on 24th May 2020 09:37:32 > @SallyW27
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Response from JoannieF59 made on 31st Aug 2020 16:23:34
Hi micelf,
I can understand how you feel. it can be so lonely sometimes. I have friends who do ring and check I am okay but it is not the same as having a coffee with somebody or a catch up. Or being able to wake up and ring and say do you fancy doing this today. Many of my friends have partners so are not always free and will sometimes cancel.
Married couples can see single people as a threat.
Luckily I am still in work but lockdown has made me start thinking about my life and what retirement will be like. I am not from the village I live in and because I work I don't know anyone locally to make friends with. I speak to people and have just spent past two hours in garden chatting to my neighbour. But I don't socialize with anyone from village. The friends I did have in village moved away.
I drive but sometimes I catch the bus just to be able to chat to people. I think the older you get the harder it becomes.
Response from Nette63 made on 9th Oct 2020 01:38:32 > @JoannieF59
Joannie you are so correct. I am an active and healthy aging adult and find it increasingly difficult to meet new friends to socialize with. And married peopled do sometimes feel threatened by a single friend , odd as that may seem. I hope you have success in your endeavours to find some friends. Being single and retired I find if can be somewhat isolating especially with the covid lockdown. .
Response from Sally - Silversurfer's Editor made on 9th Oct 2020 08:02:56 > @Nette63
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Response from Feklar made on 11th Dec 2020 13:33:18
Can fully identify with everything you said regarding married couples etc.. I left the UK to live in Turkey for 4 years, 2 years teaching English in Istanbul. I am still in contact electronically with many of the friends I met from over there, in fact I made more friends over there. Came back here for a while and nothing. I had to move to Manchester for my job. I've been here since 2015 and I've not made one single female friend up here not one not a work colleague or anyone. ( I have two from my last job in Liverpool that thank God have kept in contact). There is something about the weirdness of British society in this way.
Feklar
6th Dec 2020 05:14:23 (Last activity: 11th Dec 2020 13:22:09)
1
Thanks for voting!
Absolutely agree. I went on a solos trip to Ireland. Yes groups of twos on it. The other singles didn’t want to know and scuttled off on their own. Nobody kept in touch after the event. I’m socially outgoing too. I gave up and just take my camera and act like I’m interested in something else. I’ve just been one of those people that has never really fitted into the age groups I’m supposed to fit in with. I’ve learned to live with it and take the attitude I’m there for me and for what I can get out of this experience because I’m tired of trying to fit in with the playground. I’m an extremely strong woman having been through so much in my life perhaps I’m still wearing my armour on the outside and that’s what people still see I don’t know..
Response from Sally - Silversurfer's Editor made on 6th Dec 2020 09:02:07
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Response from waterdragon made on 6th Dec 2020 21:29:31
Hi Feklar

It is difficult trying to fit in. I have a very small select group of friends who I chat with when possible. I, too, have tried joining groups but find many people are already in an established friendship group and don’t seem to welcome another woman. Volunteering has helped a little this year. If your life has been troubled then it is understandable that you are wary but I prefer to get to know a person and not judge before I know them better. I do hope things will improve for you, drop a comment if you’d like to chat. Take care.
Response from Feklar made on 7th Dec 2020 08:47:57 > @waterdragon
Hi

Thank you for replying. I've lost friends too one of 9 years over a really petty matter and another of 6 years. However like you I do have two solid friends I meet up with from my home city. These women are a bit younger than me one by 27 years and the other by 10 years but we forged our friendships when we worked together in the same nhs trust and kept in touch ever since. Nothing is expected from any of us but we can meet up and chat like it was yesterday. Terrible isn't it all moaning about being Billy no mates and yet get an offer to chat suddenly we're too busy to chat 🙂
Response from JoannieF59 made on 7th Dec 2020 20:17:02 > @Feklar
Hi Feklar
I think some single people don't like to think they are desperate to make friends and go off on own to show people they are okay especially if there are couples around. I always thought the idea of solo trips is you all get friendly and get to know each other. Other just find it difficult to talk to new people.
I find when I have joined groups people tend to either come with a friend or have already established friendships so hard to break into group. I find the older I get the harder forming new friendships become, Hopefully you will meet some like minded people.
Response from waterdragon made on 7th Dec 2020 21:22:48 > @Feklar
Hi Feklar, well it’s good to have a couple of good friends and know they are there for you. Sometimes, as a single person, there are times when you do feel alone but something always seems to happen which restores your energy and belief. Enjoy life and take care.
Response from Feklar made on 11th Dec 2020 13:20:27 > @JoannieF59
It became obvious on the trip I went on that half of them had been on it before, in fact it was a regular thing and they knew each other. I'm off to Scotland in June cocid permitting but that's not a solo trip I expect couples and such to be on it but no problem I'm highly independent and will just go my own way. If someone gravitated towards me then fine but I won't go looking or feeling bad and excluded.
Response from Feklar made on 11th Dec 2020 13:22:09 > @waterdragon
Yes I agree there can be times when it would be nice to have a shoulder to lean on I'm not made of concrete!
elkiton
28th Nov 2020 18:13:31 (Last activity: 1st Dec 2020 14:16:39)
0
Thanks for voting!
Yes, but mine was a it stupid on my part.

Having taken up chess and playing on line my wife Diana suggested that I join the Prague Chess Club which meets weekly in a dedicated section of a popular hotel, to make a few new friends. I joined, and went.
It never occurred to me that 40 people sat in pairs in a hushed atmosphere deeply focused on their games, then in silence swapped partners and did the same again...till the end of the evening.

After loosing 2 matches I joined a couple of guys in discussion at the bar (coffee and tea...) and looked blankly at him when one asked me what I though of Sarkoys 5 th move in the 19xx championship match against XXXXX which they were analysing.

I asked if he was interested in cars / music / model aircraft / photography and that was the end of my part in the conversation.

I still play chess on line.....
Response from Retiredyorkie made on 1st Dec 2020 13:22:17
Think I would too - some people only seem to focus on one interest in life, which then seems to become an obsession.
Response from elkiton made on 1st Dec 2020 14:16:39 > @Retiredyorkie
Yes, agreed, they were really good at the game but I found there was no desire to extent friendship beyond the limits of the chess club, bit disappointing, wrong expectations suppose. Being in a strange country with a very difficult language could make one feel veryisolated if new to the ex pat game, Forus, multiple hobbies and a good partner make for a happy retirement.
Len33
7th Sep 2020 10:57:58 (Last activity: 18th Nov 2020 05:52:12)
0
Thanks for voting!
Unfortunately, I have found that the so called 'friends' that I thought I had; were as shallow as
a thimble full of fresh air! They weren't friends, they were fiends!
All they ever wanted was to use me for their own convenience and, being a soft touch, I fell for it.
I was just being friendly and (Stupidly thought) friends help each other.
It was more a case of 'friends' helping themselves!
Well, I have no friends and nobody that I can turn to.
I have learnt to keep myself to myself and some folk think that I am anti-social and possibly a bit of a miserable ol' sod!
I'm neither of those things........................ I am just very. very careful.
Response from PurpleHat made on 28th Sep 2020 22:43:41
That seems so sad. Where on earth do you live that that all around you are takers and no givers? That cannot be true! I have never found it so.
I still have an old school friend from 75 years ago, we still keep in touch regularly though we live many miles apart. True friends are worth making an effort for after all!
Response from NonnieK made on 18th Nov 2020 05:52:12 > @PurpleHat
that is awesome, a friend still for 75 years!
Shazzan
17th Oct 2020 22:52:13 (Last activity: 8th Nov 2020 12:22:00)
1
Thanks for voting!
I recognise this oh so well Lily The only time I socilaised with people outside of the group activity was a lovely water aerobics group I belonged to but then COVID happened and I have had no contact with anyone. We shared a Christmas outing but did not get to the point of exchanging addresses or phone numbers. I loved choir but can't say I made amny friends aquaintances yes.
Im more than happy to extend my friendhsip group particularly nw since I have retired.
Response from Beatrice27 made on 8th Nov 2020 12:22:00
Hi Shazzan
Yes I have experienced the same situation with choirs myself (although I enjoy music), Strangely i am enjoying my on line choir (as of course the local one is not meeting) People there have thought of new ideas... for example dressing up as the charecters in the singing (I wouldn't have thought of that personally)
When life gets back to normal....must look into the water aerobics thank you for that!

All the best
Leadfoot82
29th Oct 2020 21:13:50 (Last activity: 29th Oct 2020 21:26:27)
1
Thanks for voting!
Lily, My wife had a similar experience soon aft4er we moved from the Northern part of the state to Central Indiana. She was working a part-time job where she waited on a lady wearing a "Red-Hat" Society pin and when she made inquiry as to what would be involved in joining. the lady replied; "Oh, most of us have been friends since school, and you probably wouldn't enjoy our group very much!" My wife was pretty dejected about that for a while, and I said Hoosier Hospitality, my ___! I guess folks in our age bracket do have more of a tendency toward snobbery of various kinds.
Response from Sally - Silversurfer's Editor made on 29th Oct 2020 21:26:27
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