Making friends as an adult - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-18-2010, 10:42 AM
 
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I wish I knew! Before we moved, I had a great circle of awesome friends that I met through the very active babywearing group.

But now I'm in Georgia and there's definitely not that same community. And I haven't had any luck, really meeting anyone. I have one neighbor with kids, but there's been some friction there. And DH has tried to get me to be 'friends' with some of his female co-workers, but aside from them having kids, we don't have anything in common. They don't parent anything like I do, in fact, I often have pretty significant issues with how they parent(not just basic disagreements, but real feelings that they're doing a very poor job). And we don't have anything in common otherwise, no shared interests.

It's hard!
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Old 07-18-2010, 10:38 PM
 
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I seem to the type of person that tons of folks like to know but still never gets invited to anything. It's really hard. I moved away from a city I finally had a few friends in to marry and live with my army husband and have struggled with the isolation for years now.
Without kids when most folks I know are having them makes me miss my kidless friends in SF even more.
Now we are finally having kids in Jan we are moving again. I don't like were I live in the middle of nowhere but at least here I am two hours away from some eery close friends of the past that I was so looking forward to rebounding with now that I would have kids too.
Instead we are moving across the in tire country, to a city that seems fun to live in, I really miss a city, but away from everyone I even remotely know. I feel like I'm going to be so isolated with twin newborns and a winter on the east coast.

It only makes it harder because hubby seems fine with only hanging out with me, he'll I had to kick him out of the house this weekend so he would spend the weekend with his best friend before we move.

So basically I have no idea how to meet folks, I seem outgoing so they never consider that I am shy and could use a hand.
Sorry I'm rambling. (and crying now) this is a huge issue for me right now
I'm sorry you're feeling sad, but I'm going to be blunt here. In a way, it's like dating, you can't rely on the person you have an interest in to do all the work and be a mind reader. You have to show you're interested in the other person. Maybe you don't invite someone over for a big dinner party, but you ask them over for coffee & dessert (or go to a coffee shop). You go to the park for a picnic with your kids. You get the idea. If doing the asking in person makes you nervous, try via email, etc. But do it!

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Old 07-19-2010, 03:07 AM
 
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A few specific places on the internets (here being one of them), networking through other friends, kids activities, work (past coworkers, I don't work anymore). Plus old friends from school, but I have the benefit of never having moved very far.

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Old 07-19-2010, 07:41 AM
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i moved to the other side of the planet.

the biggest hang up here is simply being *busy*. everyone is busy, including me. it's freakin' insane how busy i am.

and seriously, i *want* friendships with people and i really *like* a lot of the people whom i met (and we are becoming friends). i just wish i *could* do more cool things with them.

it's just i'm so busy!

i do go to play dates, but i owe a friend one for sure. i should bake her a cake, that's how much i owe her one! (that's you, my mdc friend in the northern burbs!) but like, i can't even get my head around trying to do it.

i need to just do it. put it in the ICal and do it.

bad me!
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Old 07-19-2010, 09:23 AM
 
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I've made most of my friends through my kids...usually through the homeschool group. With kids, I find it very easily to make plans (as in hey, let's get the kids together for a playdate, and meet at x park/x time), or We'll be going X place on X time, want to join us?

All of my friends have kids, and the few that don't I made in college (and am still friends with).

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Old 07-21-2010, 07:22 PM
 
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I'm sorry you're feeling sad, but I'm going to be blunt here. In a way, it's like dating, you can't rely on the person you have an interest in to do all the work and be a mind reader. You have to show you're interested in the other person. Maybe you don't invite someone over for a big dinner party, but you ask them over for coffee & dessert (or go to a coffee shop). You go to the park for a picnic with your kids. You get the idea. If doing the asking in person makes you nervous, try via email, etc. But do it!
maybe it will be easier when i have kids, but right now that problem is not that i dont take the first step, but that i am not often in a place were i even meet new folks. i have been my FRG leader (army families support group) and hoped that would help, but i have a very unsociable unit, the few i suggested to that we have coffee, never got back to me. And the school i go to in over an hour away so beside the occasion lunch with them i dont usually see them. In the new town i wont even have school.
When i get to my new town i am going to join the moms of multiples group since my twins will be born in Jan and will join and volunteer for whatever military family groups are at the new unit. I am sure going to do my best that its not a lack of reaching out on my part!

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Old 07-21-2010, 07:26 PM
 
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Through local NFL type organizations. And through MDC - really! I met several IRL friends through MDC!

I'm Olivia. I blog about physiological childbirth, homebirth, and unassisted homebirth!
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Old 07-23-2010, 02:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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When I originally posted this, I thought that it would get maybe one or two responses. I had no idea this was such a commonplace issue.

So, please know, everyone, I'm thankful to you for writing, and I'm also so sorry if you're having the same problem. (((hugs)))

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Old 07-23-2010, 03:32 PM
 
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I wish I knew... I don't really have any friends my age either. I have some choir friends (who are all at least 35 years older than I am) who I go out for coffee with after choir practice... When I think back to how I made THOSE friends, I think the first time I really connected with them was when I revealed to them my inner termoil and had an emotional break-down about something that the choir director had said to me at practice.

Since that day they started inviting me out for coffee after choir practice on Monday nights. The conversations around the coffee table on most nights usually revert to aches & pains, hospital visits, who's sick, who's dying, etc. That aspect is not really fun for me at times, but then there are other times when one or all of us have an emotional moment talking about what's going on in our lives and it can be healing to discuss the challenges and still feel safe talking about it with friends. There are times when I realize that even at 70+ years old, they are still struggling with some of the same issues of insecurities that I struggle with, and it reminds me that I don't need to have everything all perfect and worked out in my life. I have lots of time to figure it out.

After typing this out, I realized, I should call up one of them who's a real-estate agent. I'm sure she'll want to learn about my Aunt who's about to sell her house

It's not easy making friends. I've struggled with it all my life. Its very lonely, not having anyone to talk to That's part of the reason why I come on here when I need to just let something out and talk about it with others who I know have BTDT...
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Old 07-23-2010, 04:38 PM
 
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I also wanted to add (because I've just thought of this)...

I never learned this skill until I was into my 30's, but I've also noticed that to make friends, you have to genuinely show interest in what they have to say and to let them talk and carry the conversations. It's better to show the other person that you think they are the most fascinating person in the world than to try to be the most fascinating person in the world, ya know?

For me, I gravitate towards finding people who like to talk, because I am usually very quiet. So if I can find someone who's willing to talk a lot, that's usually a good fit for me. If I try to connect with someone who's also shy, then it doesn't really go anywhere because there's this uncomfortable silence between us. So I guess you also have to find people who's personalities complement your own, kwim?

Good luck
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Old 07-23-2010, 07:22 PM
 
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I have a few friends I've made at work over the years and we've stayed friends even after I left the job. Some of them live a few hours a way, but we make an effort to maintain the friendship through phone calls, e-mail. At my current job, I have one friend, she is 15 years older then me, her kids are in college, and is the political opposite of me, but she's an absolute blast to hang out with.

Most of my other friends are by chance. My next door neighbor and I just it off and our kids are really good friends. One friend I met at a play group, another one I met while waiting outside my kids's social skills class. One of my best friends I met through a homeschooling group.

I've lost two friends over the past few years, as I was dropped, and that has never happened to me before. One was because she and her husband joined a church that discourage outside influences. The other one was my best friend at the time, we saw each other 2-3 times a week and talked every day. When she fell in love with her new boss, she left her husband, kids, and everyone else behind. I realize she's not the person I thought she was. I've had friends drift away, but I haven't been dropped since high school.
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Old 07-25-2010, 06:29 PM
 
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I don't think I've had a close female friend in over a decade. I've had a male friend who lives out of state. We've never met in person. We met online. I've known him for almost 10 years now.

To be honest, it would be nice to have a female friend who is in the same boat as me. I met a couple of stay-at-home homeschooling moms who were great. But a lot of times they couldn't realize that I couldn't go and do something at 9 am. I had to go work to support my kids. Or I couldn't spend a lot of money on out to eat or running around all the time. I always felt out of place with them even though they were nice.

I lost a friend I had had since the 5th grade. She was someone who enjoyed throwing money and objects (nice cars, clothes, trips) up in my face. Then she married a man and got really religious. So that was the straw that broke the camel's back. Sometimes I think about her. It's amazing how people can change.

I was really close to my cousins for many years. Even though my dad had been a drinker until the last few years of his life, I very seldom drink at all. Actually don't like to be around it. A lot of my cousins (who's parents didn't drink) turned to drinking, clubs, partying, etc. I have a cousin who I know quit coming around me cause I refused to go to the bars with her.

It sucks sometimes. I like being alone, but it would be nice to have female friends to confide in. Maybe one day. Sorry I rambled on. (smiles)

I'm a single, self-employed, homeschooling mom of 2 great kids. Girl 9/95 and Boy 3/99.
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Old 07-25-2010, 11:08 PM
 
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I wish I knew. I've made 1 friend since high school (& I sucked making friends back then, too). We met via The Babywearer, arranged to meet & just really clicked. Sadly, she moved to another country almost a year ago & while we try to stay in touch, it's just not the same without ever being able to hang out.

I'm a member of a freebirthing group here. We have monthly potlucks, but with no car & 3 kids, I seldom make it. I hosted twice & am scheduled to host again in a few months. The first time, no one came. The second time 3 ladies came with their kids & we had a good time, but nothing further came of it. It makes me sad to see them all talking about doing stuff together outside of the potlucks, but they never even invite me, much less help me figure out a way to get to their places (several live out in the country, so no bus there).

Having no friends made dh's recent 2 month hospital stay & repeated near death experiences even harder on all of us than it already was.

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Old 08-03-2010, 04:38 PM
 
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I had a terrible senior year of high school where all the people I *thought* were my friends sold me out to get in the graces of a queen bee who decided she didn't like me. It was horribly scarring and I have never really felt like I can trust other women enough to form close friendships. I spent an entire year completely isolated. Hardly anyone in my school would really even talk to me.

you'd think I'd just get over it, but when my first child was born I finally found a group of women to spend time with. Turns out one of them knew some people I went to school with. They stopped inviting me to spend time with them. I graduated from high school 15 years ago.

seriously though, someone needs to set up an online friend-finding service, like an online dating service. It shouldn't be easier to find a partner than a friend.
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Old 08-03-2010, 05:40 PM
 
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as sad as it is to admit, my current friends are still the same ones i had in high school and college. or they're my husbands friends also from HS/college. actually, my very best friends are the same friends i had in high school and also my sister, which is awesome that we've had such strong relationship since those days. i have one co-worker who i will see outside of work and hang out, but nothing too serious or deep.

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Old 08-03-2010, 07:25 PM
 
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I'm in the same boat as most of you. I've really never had trouble making or maintaining friendships as a child/young adult, until my first child was born 6 years ago. Since then, I've become a SAHM, had 2 more kids, and all of my local friends have moved far away, including my best friend. It hasn't really bothered me until recently and now it is quite depressing that I have nobody to do stuff with, talk on the phone with, or hang out with. I've tried joining AP groups, church groups, school groups, etc...nothing ever comes out of it. But I also just simply don't have the energy to put into making new friends. I just want my old ones back. I'm sure the energy I'm sending out doesn't welcome new friends either, since I'm mostly a homebody, but whenever I make an effort to make friends, it feels desperate and forced, not natural. I'm an introvert.
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Old 08-04-2010, 03:39 AM
 
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I'm kind of shy, so I've never been good at making friends. Love to hear more. I did meet some moms from LLL, but their kids are around 2 years younger so it's not been working out. The local homeschool groups are very scattered, and from what I can gather, cliquish.

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Old 08-04-2010, 03:59 AM
 
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I don't really have any friends. I'd lived here for 10 years and still don't have a "real" friend. Yes, people I see but not for coffee etc... Even at playgroups, mothers are so different, or they have there groups already so I can't seem to break in to them. Also my interests just don't interest them at all... I am in to classical music, stimulating conversation appart from about the kids, reading mostly non fiction etc... most concerts and stuff aren't really geared to kids, so that makes it hard... I'd given up on trying to reach a world that just isn't interested... The other aspect of it is taht people are so busy... kids are going to all this extra stuff, like sports etc all the time... even as babies... So busy helping at school and preschool, and being a taxi service for the kids, they don't have time to meet for coffee... Any words of wisdom? I even tried email groups, but there are very few in Australia, and most don't have must traffic on them, or the people don't live in my area... What else can I do? or am a doomed to a life of loneiness.
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Old 08-04-2010, 09:54 AM
 
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I just brought this issue up to my husband last week. I have lots of friends, mostly holdovers from hs and college, but since having children we don't have much in common anymore. I've tried making friends through playgroups, but most of the moms there are either 10 years older than me or teen moms. Not that I'm being an age snob, I just don't have much in common with them. My husband, bless his heart for trying, is now trying to "set me up" with his work friends' wives. While one or two have potential, again I don't have much in common with most of them.

Thanks for posting this topic and sorry I couldn't be much help, but it feels good to talk about it. It took me a lot to finally bring it up to DH.

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Old 08-04-2010, 02:51 PM
 
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Finding a adult friend is like dating. I have given my # out so many times thinking this "mom or woman" will call. Sadly they never do. The last time I gave out my number I was by the phone like a lost puppy.

I think that part of the problem is that so many people don't know how to be good friends. Also we here on MDC are so strong in our belifes that maybe we don't always "fit a mold"/ I know that I don't. I tell people that I have a drug free birth, don't watch TV and cloth diper and they look at me like I from another planet.

So why we on MDC can't get together. We need to tell where we live and be each other friends.
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Old 08-04-2010, 08:08 PM
 
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as sad as it is to admit, my current friends are still the same ones i had in high school and college. or they're my husbands friends also from HS/college. actually, my very best friends are the same friends i had in high school and also my sister, which is awesome that we've had such strong relationship since those days.
Dude, how is it "sad" to admit that? I've always really admired/envied those friendships that started young - I knew best friends at school who'd been friends practically from the cradle, and thought it was the coolest thing ever. Having a long history and understanding of each other from way-back-when, all those memories - that's neat. And being friends with your sister is definitely a blessing. I'd never have believed growing up that I'd be good friends with mine these days.

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Old 08-04-2010, 09:10 PM
 
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Trying to make friends as a mom with kids has been harder than before kids for me. It feels like part of the losing your sense of self that having little kids can bring about. You have so little time for yourself, by extension you don't have the time to nurture the interests and areas of your life you used to, to meet the people who did the same things and thought the same way as you. Now it's just, "we both have kids so we must have something in common". It might take several outings with someone before you realize you didn't say a single thing that wasn't about their kids or yours.

A reminder to all of us to take care of that part of our lives.
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Old 08-04-2010, 09:38 PM
 
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dang if i know...
right now im in a 'books and crafts' are my friends stage.... and im ok with that.

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Old 08-10-2010, 12:34 AM
 
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DH and I have talked about this recently. I think we are somewhat antisocial in that it is hard for us to reach out (make a call, invite). We have lots of professional colleagues that have kids similar in age and we do get together for play dates once in awhile, we are trying to reach out more. But, socializing to me is different than having a real friend. I have lots of people I can call for play dates, very few to call for having lunch or coffee. DH and I are BFFs and I don't usually feel the need for girlfriends.

It is difficult for me to trust people, I think most have giant walls around them and a 'public' persona. It is rare for me to trust someone enough to let them into my 'inner' circle. I have one close friend and it took about a year to feel comfortable talking to her, she definitely reached out to me in a personal way first. I had some disagreeable happenings with work 'friends' last year that made me distrust people.

So, that being said, most of the people Ikeep in touch with are professional colleagues, I meet the most people through my kids' activities, even more so now that DS is going to classes where I wait around for him and have a chance to talk to other moms.

We create our own reality.
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:12 AM
 
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I am recently separated and now see how much I let all of my friendships go over the last few years while focusing so much on my personal situation.
So rather than 'make friends as an adult' I am in the process of 're-kindling' (sp?) friendships, and also trying to turn some acquaintances into friendships.

I think the best way to do it is dedicate time to friendships, like actually make time to spend with other people, to spend time on the phone, or make time to send or reply to personal emails. I think it also takes an initial invitation to do something together, like invite someone over for tea/coffee, or make a play date, offering someone a ride if you both have to go to the same place, or whatever, but you have to initiate contact somehow, and then things usually evolve from there.
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Old 08-14-2010, 12:01 AM
 
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[QUOTE=anon_abroad;15719714]I am recently separated and now see how much I let all of my friendships go over the last few years while focusing so much on my personal situation.
So rather than 'make friends as an adult' I am in the process of 're-kindling' (sp?) friendships, and also trying to turn some acquaintances into friendships.


What a great thread! I am in the same situation; only slightly worse. I am an immigrant so I do not have any "old friendships" to rekindle. I am shy. I speak with accent. I also moved around U.S. a lot. I have recently relocated to PA, got married almost immediately and has been living here for four years but have not managed to make friends. I am shy, so I am having trouble striking up conversations in the public setting like a playground. I mean, I am trying but without much luck. I did not make any friends thriugh work.
We also do not go to church (well, almost). I was very desperate to make female friends when I moved to PA, so I went to a church few times but I felt out of place there. I posted in the Tribal Area here but got no response.
Finally, I went to meetup.com and found a mothering group in my county. I sent numerous e-mails to women and got one response. She is a nice woman and has a child slightly younger than my daughter. We organized weekly playdates and are having them for almost five weeks now. I like her a lot, although we do not seem to have much in common. The question I have for all of you is how whould I advance further in my relations with her? She seems very active and outgoing - she does a lot of different activities with her DD; she has many friends, and I just am not sure if she needs any more frriends that she has right now. She does not invite me to meet her circle of friends, although I let her know that I would love to meet them.
What bothering me a lot is that the social culture here, in the U.S. is so very different from the one of my home country. Back home we could always drop for a visit announced; we always share a meal with guests (even if they have already had dinner, they would still sit down and talk with us at the dinner table). The people here seem very reserved and formal (we have to make appointments to see each, for crying out loud!) and they do not open up easily (or not at all).
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Old 08-14-2010, 12:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think one issue here may be that our new home is on this quiet little island in Washington, everyone here refers to living on "island time" and I'm still a New Yorker - I'm very go-go-go, let's plan it now, extremely organized type. This has been my personality and I don't see much of a change taking place for me.

But I'm trying to meet people. Every week, we go to farmers markets and chat with people. I am a birth doula, postpartum doula and childbirth educator and, just this past week, have made some professional contacts that I'm looking forward to meeting with and seeing if friendships can grow.

Honestly, I really miss my gays too. I haven't found too many here yet!

Michelle
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