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To wonder if making friends just isn’t possible once you are at a certain stage?

(27 Posts)
Desertnight Mon 08-Apr-19 08:42:28

It isn’t a suggestion of things to do, by the way, but I’m fast approaching 40. I do do things, but it seems to be a case of doing them and going home - people go to do the thing, rather than make friends!

I am trying to be light hearted but my life feels very empty and unsociable.

Holidayshopping Mon 08-Apr-19 08:45:36

No, I don’t think that’s true at all and sounds like a self-perpetuating prophecy. If you’ve decided that’s the case, then that’s what will happen!

I made three very good friends in the last couple of years (since turning 40).

What sort of things are you doing?

DuesToTheDirt Mon 08-Apr-19 08:52:10

I don't think it's just age. I've done loads of evening classes over the years and I think there was only one at which I made friends who I saw outside class.

madcatladyforever Mon 08-Apr-19 08:54:38

I had trouble making friends in my 30's and 40's but once you get to 50 it's really easy, older people want to go out their way to make friends as they are no longer absorbed with young children and family.

MrsGrannyWeatherwax Mon 08-Apr-19 08:56:39

I’ve just made friends with a lovely lady (just about to turn 43) in the last few weeks. We are v different in lots of ways, age being one factor. But we’ve gotten on well and are meeting up atleast once a week since we met in December - met at a social group and clicked. I am a decade (or more) younger.

jackstini Mon 08-Apr-19 08:57:15

In my 40's the new friends I have made have tended to be friends of friends or friends of family members

The exception is at church; made lots of new friends as it's not just a 'once a week and leave' thing, have joined different groups etc.

SosigDog Mon 08-Apr-19 08:58:18

I’ve had the same issue since I left university. Tried joining hobbies but like you said, people do the hobby and go home. And if they do get together outside of the hobby I’m never one of the small number of individuals from the hobby who were picked out to be invited. Usually I go on Facebook and see photos of 4-5 people who got together outside of the hobby and I wasn’t invited.

Lolly34h Mon 08-Apr-19 08:58:23

I don't get opportunities to make friends I have a young baby and not much of a life so u agree

Nanny0gg Mon 08-Apr-19 08:58:28

Ever thought of the WI? Loads of different activities and opportunities. All ages.
You don't need to be a baker or crafter or jam maker either! They all have a different 'feel' to each other so you can visit till you find your fit.

Worth a try?

Gwenhwyfar Mon 08-Apr-19 09:00:47

It depends on the activity. Evening classes are definitely just go there and go home, but other things are more sociable. You have to join a group that does obviously sociable things like dinners and drinks or if they do walking that they always go for a drink afterwards.

NancyJoan Mon 08-Apr-19 09:01:02

When you go to do the thing (class, hobby, whatever), are there people there you might like to be friends with?

If there are, you need to ask them to meet for a coffee, or whatever. Passively waiting for friendship to come calling is a lonely game.

Gwenhwyfar Mon 08-Apr-19 09:01:47

"All ages."

The WI is all ages. Are you sure? I can imagine that maybe in a little village every woman goes, but I really don't think an urban group would have people OP's age.

Gwenhwyfar Mon 08-Apr-19 09:03:21

"When you go to do the thing (class, hobby, whatever), are there people there you might like to be friends with?

If there are, you need to ask them to meet for a coffee, or whatever. Passively waiting for friendship to come calling is a lonely game."

I don't really agree with this. Some activities just aren't sociable in that way. I used to do an evening class from 7 till 9. Who wants to go for a drink at 9pm on a week night?
I think it's better to join an activity that is already sociable, where there is a tradition of going for a drink afterwards than trying to against the tide.

Bigearringsbigsmile Mon 08-Apr-19 09:03:43

i live in an urban area and loads of mums from the primary school are members of the WI. They meet in a local pub.

SosigDog Mon 08-Apr-19 09:21:16

My mum goes to the WI and there’s nobody under 70. It really depends on where you live.

Amongstthetallgrass Mon 08-Apr-19 09:23:26

My granny went on a cruise by herself at 80 and made friends with another lone lady aboard and they go together now!

Join lots of groups. Get yourself out there.

Essexgirlupnorth Mon 08-Apr-19 09:29:36

We are a new urban WI and have members ranging from late 20s to 60s. It does depend on the group. Have made some good friends through WI we also have a craft and book group.

mrsnec Mon 08-Apr-19 09:41:17

I think it can definitely be difficult. My husband has played on a sports team for years. Nobody socialises with each other outside of the sport and it's not an active one either. The team members drive past each other's houses and don't share lifts either.

My fil plays a different sport in the same area and he has the same thing too.

I find it difficult to make friends too. I have tried various mums groups and have tried making friends with other mums at dd's nursery. Had a couple of play dates with one and she didn't reciprocate and didn't accept my friend request on fb. I try not to dwell on it or it would effect me too much.

I have taken dd to soft play all over the place and have never managed to strike up conversation with other parents. I have accepted that it's just the way of the world these days.

Desertnight Mon 08-Apr-19 09:52:13

I know nancy but it is also important not to be overly pushy and put people off. It would be different if I had any real connection with anybody but just approaching randoms is probably going to scare them! grin

FraAngelico Mon 08-Apr-19 10:01:27

I'm 46, and have made two close friends in the last two years, both via work -- though one of them was only very briefly a colleague, as she didn't like the environment, but we stayed in touch after she left. In fact, virtually all of my post-university friendships have been via various jobs. That said, none of my close friends are local, and many are abroad.

I have a seven year old, but I didn't find the baby/toddler group stage at all conducive to proper friendships, and I don't find the school gate so either. It was definitely easier to find new friends in London compared to the rather 'closed' village we live in now, but I think that's just a mismatch between person and environment.

CurcubitaPepo Mon 08-Apr-19 10:03:33

We are also an urban WI (only been going about 6 years or so) and the vast majority of women are in their forties. Our oldest member is a young 72. Before joining us, she visited another local WI where she was the youngest there. So it really does vary from WI to WI.

Desertnight Mon 08-Apr-19 10:05:30

It does I am sure, but I’m not sure how joining a WI would necessarily be different to anything else (genuine question, I’m not being an arse!)

MereDintofPandiculation Mon 08-Apr-19 10:21:32

It's easier making friends through a shared activity. So as people have said, difficult in a class where you turn up, listen to a teacher, then go home. Easier in, say, a walking group, where you chat to each other during an activity, are any practical class. Volunteering (not in a charity chop which is relatively solitary) is good, as is getting involved in community work - even if it's just going out on a group litter pick. Anything which gives you a role where people have to talk to you is good, and most small groups will welcome you with open arms if you offer to become their secretary or treasurer or help them with publicity or fundraising. It's worked for me, and I'm an introvert with limited social skills!

You do need to work quite hard at it - you probably need to get to know about 30 people to find one who will become a close friend.

MereDintofPandiculation Mon 08-Apr-19 10:23:12

It does I am sure, but I’m not sure how joining a WI would necessarily be different to anything else (genuine question, I’m not being an arse!) I think it's because WIs do activities, it's not just about listening to talks. It's doing things together that develops friendships, not listening to things together.

ScienceIsTruth Mon 08-Apr-19 10:30:39

Desertnight, I completely agree. I've tried joining groups, but often they're well established groups so people have already formed their little friendship groups and I feel like an outsider.
They're friendly enough to me, but it never goes further, although I know they meet up outside of the hobby, I've never been invited along.
I don't work, so I really struggle to meet people, and as a consequence I don't really have any friends.

It's a very lonely existence.

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