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Friends or a relationship which to focus on first

(9 Posts)
sixteenclumsyandshy Tue 20-Dec-16 14:47:35

Hello. Firstly I am a new joiner and a man. I have a nephew and some indirect parenting experience. I want to be upfront about this as I know some people may well question why someone like me should be posting here at all. If anyone feels I should not be, because of the situation outlined above or because the site administrators feel they are being overrun with men, I promise I will stop immediately.
OK so here goes. I am early 40s and look ok, possibly a bit younger. For economic and work reasons- I am self employed- I recently relocated to another part of the British Isles, pretty far away from London where I was stressed and unhappy. I have one family member here who is in her 70s, and an as yet untapped but I think very kind network of family acquaintances partly known through her. As I am newly self-employed and I never lived here before, I don't really know or see too many people outside this. In the New Year I will look for part time work both to supplement the self-employed income and more importantly for the social contact and structure it will hopefully bring. I do of course have a reasonable number of friends, some close, some more acquaintances/ex colleagues, in the UK and a smattering abroad. I would like to meet someone to share my life with, and in many ways the conditions here are perfect- I live in a lovely seaside location, am under much less financial pressure and I am actually content for the first time in ages. I'm also making efforts to dress well and look after myself with exercise and so on. I feel a bit self-conscious about the fact I don't yet have a network of regular friends here, and often worry what people will think of me when they see me sitting in a cafe alone doing my work like I (should be!) now. Although this in itself doesnt bother me. What concerns me is if I do meet someone (possibly through online dating, where to my surprise I got a small amount of interest, wasnt really expecting any) that they might think badly of me if I havent by then got tons of social friends here. All the people I have messaged seem to have brilliant social lives and are always out. Even in London, where as I said I do know a reasonable number of people (but everyone was always stressed and working, so I didnt get to see them much) I did feel the need, and I am really ashamed of this, to sometimes slightly exaggerate my social life so I would not be badly judged, if I met someone that is. I also worry that my London/UK/Euro friends who are all now booking themselves to come and visit me here will expect me to know tons of people here already, and that I might be dimished in their eyes if as I expect that takes a while. I am a huge admirer (generalisation I know) of how many women including my own widowed mother manage to keep a big circle of supportive friends and it makes me all but despair when I see how little priority men especially partnered up ones, seem to give to their friends. Advice gratefully received, thank you.

Cricrichan Tue 20-Dec-16 14:53:13

My advice is to be yourself and not pretend. Having friends isn't a competition, it's about having people you enjoy spending time with. Be open and honest with your dates and say you'd like to make new friends too.

I make friends easily because I'm used to moving but some of my closest friends are quiet and shy and though they may not have the quantity of friends I have, they are amazing people who I love. And I've never cared about how many friends people have.

So again, be honest , be yourself - that is attractive. Don't pretend. You sound like a lovely man, and I'm sure you'll find no problems finding someone and making new friends.

bananagreen Tue 20-Dec-16 15:05:37

I'm female and have never had large friendship groups just one or 2 close friends. I'm quite introverted and this is how I have always been. DH is the same. DH is my best friend and most of the time that is enough, its only since DH has been ill I've realised how isolated I am and made an effort to increase my social network. I can't ever see myself as a bff type of girl though. Everyones different just let what happens happen and don't overthink it.

BumDNC Tue 20-Dec-16 15:26:13

I think everyone is trying to sell themselves online so it's not always exactly accurate... truth be told I have about 3 friends but many aquaintances - they aren't the same thing, very different. I wouldn't be put off by any of what you describe but it is important to focus on being yourself! If you collect some new friends along the way that's great but a happy content person is what is attractive not one with a bulging Facebook friends list

RedMapleLeaf Tue 20-Dec-16 15:34:27

I would focus on enriching your life in all of the ways you have described. As well as part time work and connecting with family how about joining a club connected with a physical activity (walking, sports team etc) and is there anything going on on MeetUp near you?

Dayna1 Tue 20-Dec-16 15:37:35

If you meet someone he should be more interested in who you are as a person, rather than who and how many your friends are. Focus on that.

Saltedcaramel2016 Tue 20-Dec-16 15:40:45

Don't worry about it. You have the perfect excuse not to have friends, you are new to the area and work from home!! I think Social Media makes everyone revert to how they were at school with the popular and less popular people! The thing about being an adult is you can go to places alone and not care!!

If you meet people online just be open and say you have yet to meet many people where you live, it is quite normal.

Are there any local clubs you can join to meet people? Seems quite easy to build up friendships through a sport if you are that way inclined.

Gorgeoussunset Tue 20-Dec-16 16:53:41

Keep trying and failing to post. You sound lovely and your posts on my staying single thread touched a lot of people with your articulacy and sensitivity. I would say, go out with an open heart and set out to meet as many people as you are comfortable with. Just people. Some will probably be men and some will be women (some of whom love nothing more than to help a sensitive male friend with his love life.) Don't be desperate not that you sound it and take joy in the friends you already have even if you have to "import" them for now. Good luck and let us know how you are getting on.

sixteenclumsyandshy Tue 20-Dec-16 18:22:43

Thanks. I agree people can be a bit best foot forward online. Understandable in a way

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