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What happened to all my friends? (And how do I get new ones?)


Friendship Having issues with a friend? Get it off your chest!

Old 22nd August 2012, 6:44 PM   #1
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What happened to all my friends? (And how do I get new ones?)

I'm in my 30s, happily married (six years this month, and common-law for five years before being officially married) without kids, and work full-time. I don't have any problems, health or financial, save one; I don't have any friends. I used to. I would like some. So after a few nights Googling the topic at hand, I decided to make a thread here. (This site seemed to come up a lot in my search engine queries, the other site being EP but I hear bad things.)

I had friends as a kid, and in high school, and college. However, we have all drifted away and I haven't spoken to any of them, except one, but that is often limited to an infrequent email or text. (We live far apart.) Since entering my mid-20s, a lot of people haven't really come into my life. (I've been with my wife since I was 21.)

My wife has friends, and she makes more and more of them all the time. I get along with her friends just fine. They are all women, and sometimes I go out with them. Though it is nice to go out for dinner and a movie, or mini-golfing, or to a concert with three or four girls and be the only guy, it makes me feel a little odd. Their husbands and boyfriends aren't there, they are all off golfing, playing hockey, or eating wings in a sports bar. (I do none of those things.)

I don't have any family, other than an ailing elderly father. My wife has a huge family and I get along with all of them. They like me, and I like them. I have no siblings, and all my cousins are 20 - 25 years older than me and mostly estranged.

I got work buddies, but we work on the railway and we all live scattered across three provinces. We all drive/fly to a job site and work for a couple weeks before going home. It is kind of hard to make plans to hang out when you live hundreds of KMs away from each other. While we are at work we have a blast though.

I am trying out MeetUp.com but there is not a lot of activity in my rural home community. I use it to find groups to go hiking and kayaking with (two of my favorite hobbies), but they are all older. For example, in my kayak group I am the only one under 55. They are great people, but I cannot relate to the long discussions about their infant grandchildren.

I have up to six days off at a time, and I spend most evenings at home with my wife but she works a normal schedule, so I have a lot of time on my hands during the day. I spend that time running, kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, swimming, and working out. Alone. (My wife hates all of those activities.) I joined a local kick boxing and karate dojo, but the kick boxing group consists mostly of young girls, and though it makes for nice scenery, there is a bit of social awkwardness for me. I went to the yoga class, but that was even more awkward as I don't fit in with the patchouli/Lulu Lemon/people-who-use-the-word-"delicious"-to-describe-a-physical-exercise group.

I don't know what to do. I will press on as I always do, but I cannot help but feel a little lonely. Any advice would be appreciated.
Afancyhat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd August 2012, 10:12 PM   #2
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Well I want to be friends with you just because I love your screename but that doesn't do you any good.

It's surprising that most of the people in your outdoor activities groups on meetup are all so much older than their 30s. I'm a frequent meetuper and there seems to be a good mix.

Maybe something more low-key like a movie group? I know there are lots of mix and mingles for different age groups on meetup also. Maybe you could target something specifically 30s related.
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Old 23rd August 2012, 12:56 PM   #3
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I appreciate the response!

I too am surprised about the local MeetUp groups being dominated by baby boomers, but I think that is an issue where I live. There is not a lot of employment opportunity where I live, it is a rural area with shrinking farms and no manufacturing. Many people interested in a career have to move away to find work, to places such as Toronto and Kingston.

I did do a search, as you suggested, for a 30s mix and mingle type MeetUp group and there were a couple but they were in the Greater Toronto Area, so it's quite the drive for me.

...

OK, after reading what I just wrote it sounds pretty self-defeatist. :/

I have been thinking about starting my own MeetUp group to see if I get any bites, and try to better attract members in my age group by focusing it on the fitness aspect. It'd be fun to find a group to play soccer with down at the park, for example.
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Old 30th August 2012, 8:37 AM   #4
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Old 30th August 2012, 2:21 PM   #5
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I suggest two things. First, read Hold On To Your N.U.T.S. It describes how men can have happy balanced lives that involve wife and family but also leave room for things that are important to you, so that you don't become consumed by the marriage/family. Quick read and very helpful. Get it from www.bettermen.org. (great website, too)

Second, now's a great time to take stock of who you are, what you want to do when you're grown up, and decide which of those things will help you become fulfilled. Maybe you always wanted to restore cars. Maybe you wanted to play soccer but never learned. Maybe you love to play music. Figure out what you always wanted, but never pursued...until now. Now find a way to make that happen. Join a club, take a class, sign up for a team...do what it takes to pursue that dream. You will make friends along the way, and they will be friends who enjoy the same things you do.
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