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To hope making friends is still possible

(29 Posts)
Korovaj Fri 03-May-13 14:41:22

In short, I'm 35, work full time and am about to have my first child. But at the moment i feel quite lonely and am wondering whether making new friends at this age is actually possible??

I've been to university (twice) but always seem to make the wrong friendship choices - people seem to 'use' me when they have problems and drop me when they are happy. I have some great work colleagues but they're not true friends. I think I'm quite a nice person, interested in lots of things so feel I do have something to offer in the friendship stakes.

I've joined some online parenting groups and have tried night classes but to no avail. So I am just wondering, is it unreasonable to hope that there are people out there who aren't already in tight cliques etc etc? An I just too old to make new friends?

I'm wondering whether to just give up and settle for enjoying my own company....

Ragwort Fri 03-May-13 14:45:09

There are numerous threads on friendship in Mumsnet, it is all about your attitude, not your age. I am mid 50s and constantly making new friends grin

Ragwort Fri 03-May-13 14:46:15
WilsonFrickett Fri 03-May-13 14:54:53

The thread Ragwort linked to is interesting.

I have loads of friends, but I don't tend to put them in boxes or categories. I accept them as they are: some will drive me mad at times, some will go bail for me, some will tell me off, some are simply pleasant people to stand at the school gate with. I'm saying this because I'm interested in how you described your colleagues as being great but not 'true friends'. What's a true friend?

And yes, it's never too old to make new friends, but you have to put yourself out there. Accept invitations, issue invitations, be interested in people, be able to laugh at yourself, be good value - that doesn't mean everyone has to be the crazy extrovert, but for a social circle to work everyone has to contribute to it.

Korovaj Fri 03-May-13 14:56:42

But if I have a good, positive attitude (which i think i do when it comes to this topic) it is no use if I can't actually meet the new people in the first place!

Guess I just feel a bit dejected today as I'm really trying!

catsdogsandbabies Fri 03-May-13 15:00:50

Antenatal classes enabled me to make loads of new mum friends. NCT in my opinion was no use for information but I made great friends at a time I needed them.

Salbertina Fri 03-May-13 15:02:33

You will meet so many new people thro kids, best way! Join antenatal swim/yoga, NCT, baby groups etc.. You won't like all of them but will come across enough likeminded people to accompany through the baby years/join you down the pub, honestly.

runningforme Fri 03-May-13 15:08:01

I have struggled myself with making 'true' friends as I have moved a lot - and am now abroad. I have lots of friends, but was actually thinking myself just the other day, that I have few who, when the chips are down, are there for me. I think that when you meet people later in life (ie, after school/uni) it can take much longer to forge those deeper bonds as everyone has work/partners/family commitments etc that mean you don't get to spend as much time on developing the new friendships that you could when you were at school/college etc and didn't have all the responsibilities and stresses of adult life.

Having kids is a huge ice-breaker though. You'll meet more people through your child/ren than you could imagine. Not all will be 'true' friends, but some might just end up being x

neriberi Fri 03-May-13 15:11:25

You are never too old to make new friends Korovaj!

I'm 38, I had my DS at 36 and had to return work full-time because of money issues. Its taken a while but I have managed to make a couple of lovely friends via the mums meet-up board on cough netmums

Salbertina Fri 03-May-13 15:18:28

Running, me too- also lived overseas/moved a lot, sometimes feel the green-eyed monster haunting me when i realise half my 13yr old's classmates' parents met in antenatal class! And many have become firm friends , bbq and hol together etc etc. how to break into that? We've moved 4x since then, obviously our choice so trying not to be victim but hadn't quite appreciated social consequences.

I accept now that most/all of my current friends here are only friends "for a season" and they're mainly people who have kids of similar age or are for fun nights out. Not really the deep stuff. I often feel lonely and isolated, must admit but am trying to draw on my own reserves.

Korovaj Fri 03-May-13 15:25:15

I suppose the comment about my work colleagues is that we get along at work but don't talk outside of work for various reasons.

I have booked onto the NCT classes do have fingers crossed.

As I say, I'm really open minded and am certainly interested in people, just struggling with where to find people I suppose.

Thanks for the encouraging comments about making friends through my baby though, on a day when I feel a bit dejected it is nice to hear that there's hope!

Salbertina Fri 03-May-13 15:30:00

My only advice is that nct class is luck of the draw... Ours was..Ok but didn't really hit it off with anyone and fell by the wayside within months. Whereas i only went to antenatal yoga for health not social reasons and pretty soon buddied up with lovely group who hung out together for years after. Until i moved.. AGAIN. There's a moral in that somewhere!

valiumredhead Fri 03-May-13 15:33:18

Ime it's never easier to make friends than when you have a small baby everyone talks to you smile

lynniep Fri 03-May-13 15:44:51

Of course! Just to echo what everyone else said, babies are wonderful conversation openers. You may meet people through antenatal classes, through baby groups, through other types of baby activity groups (swimming for instance is where I met a lot of 'baby' friends and am still friends with now 7 years on). I met a good friend through weightwatchers when DS1 was a baby and her babies were the same age. I have met many more since through nursery and school. I have friends that I made through all stages of my life (I'm 38) and intend to keep making them!

shewhowines Fri 03-May-13 16:01:14

yes definitely baby groups.

Be friendly but fairly distant at first. Chat generally but be careful not to be too forward to begin with. Get to know them gradually over a few meetings. I have been put off by people who appear pushy or too forward or too gushing. It's scary and you back off.

Happiestinwellybobs Fri 03-May-13 16:02:59

I was the same as you. My Uni friends from the first time around are a distant memory and whilst I get on we'll with colleagues, they are different ages/live a distance away, and we wouldn't really socialise. I made a friend when I went back to Uni aged 31, but it is only since I adopted DD aged 34 that I can now say I have a couple of very close friends and a wider circle of people that I go out for meals with.

shewhowines Fri 03-May-13 16:06:39

When you do pluck up the courage to say "We ought to meet up for a coffee' after a few meetings, just throw it in casually and then back off. If people want to, then they will carry on the conversation. Leave it to them to suggest dates etc.

You will win some and lose some but nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I made a really good friend at NCT class. She has moved away now but we still meet up occasionally and get on really well. I have also made friends with some mums through DD's school and her hobbies.

chickabilla Fri 03-May-13 16:11:42

I found it so much easier to make friends when I had a baby - there are loads of clubs to join and you always have something to talk about with someone with a similar aged child.

It is quite easy to ask how old the baby in the next swing is or to comment if your children are playing alongside each other at a toddler group.

I didn't do nct but did do a first time mums group when DS1 was 10 weeks old and 8 of us are still in touch (children are now 6).

I have a few close friends but lots to socialise with both with or without children now. Not looking forward to moving away in 3 weeks and starting again but hoping my cute 9-week-old will be a good ice breaker, otherwise I will have to join my son's New PTA!

BadRoly Fri 03-May-13 16:18:41

We moved house to an area a good 100 miles away from nearest friends/family 3 years ago. I knew no one and had 4 dc under 8.

3 years on I have some lovely friends ranging from nodding acquaintances to call in the middle of the night with a crisis friends!

It is hard work and there are soul destroying days but the change in your daily routine by having a baby will help smile

BadRoly Fri 03-May-13 16:19:02

Oh and I was 36 when we moved

DionFortune Fri 03-May-13 17:40:44

How did you do that BadRoly? I've lived here for 10 years and don't know that many people. I'm taking notes! grin

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Fri 03-May-13 17:44:46

your comment regarding people dropping you once they seem happy makes me think you're making friends with people who are naturally reliant or who see you as a shoulder to cry on. Is that what you do?

Cakecrumbsinmybra Fri 03-May-13 18:06:31

I would say that the friendships you form through having children can be some of the strongest and best. You come to rely on people very quickly. You won't have anything in common with some people other than the fact you have kids the same age, but I am sure that you will meet some fab friends.

Korovaj Fri 03-May-13 18:49:14

Neo, yes I do tend to attract people who need a shoulder to cry on. People always say I am a good listener so maybe people who need that tend to gravitate towards me. On the plus side, I work in mental health so having that natural tendency has really helped me at work!

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