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How do men make friends?!(34 Posts)
I'm really feeling for my husband at the moment. We lived in this area when we met (at work) and had a good circle of close friends (also from work). Then we moved to London for 5 years, then came back. At that time we still had good friends here, and my mum.
Gradually our friends all moved to different areas for work. My mum passed away. My husband works from home and I was self employed so we didn't get to meet new people. I have a couple of friends reasonably locally but never see them (they have small kids and health issues, I have health issues etc).
Since I had the twins a year ago I've made some lovely twin mum friends - we are not overly close yet but at least I have people to meet up with during the week and chat to. My husband feels really isolated. He loves being at home with us, but he needs to have some friends too - he just has no idea how to meet any!
Any suggestions for getting him out there? I did say we could try getting together with the twin mums and their other halves but having met them all I don't think that any of them have much in common with him.
Do a hobby regularly (one night a week)?
My DH is in a similar situation- he’s been looking at joining the Round Table. They run events like curry nights or go axe throwing!
Take up golf? I understand you're paired with someone for tee-off if you go alone.
Join a running club or try a martial art?
Hobbies, gym, maybe volunteering? May well not be his cup of tea but I know most rotary clubs are dying out for young blood and some are fairly nice blokes, in my experience.
TammySwansonTwo do you live in a town or a village, and is it rural or (sub)urban? How big is the population in your town/village? How old is DH? What does he like to do for fun - sports, going to the pub, creative hobbies, group activities, etc?
I think it’s harder for men but they generally bind through sports. Would your DH be interested in joint a local cycling or running club?
Thanks everyone! He has been saying he wants to train in a specific martial art, which is good.
I think the difficulty is trying to find people he has things in common with. Most social stuff for men is sporty which isn't really his thing (he wants to get fit but isn't particularly into sports - he definitely wouldn't want to play golf!). He's a developer and used to be in the games industry and all of his mates were in the same industry - he's into technology generally, reasonably geeky, I suppose although doesn't look it, and used to be into video games, doesn't really play them these days though.
We live in a reasonably sized town, he's in his late 30s.
He struggles with new people whereas I can talk the hind legs off a donkey, so I think it's difficult for him.
If you’re near Manchester there is a meet up group called Manchester Futurists that’s worth a look. Technical subject matter and they meet to discuss different topics - and it’s sociable. There maybe other groups in other cities
I think he’s at a disadvantage not playing sports, so should maybe look at meet up groups or something like that?
How about board games clubs? A lot of towns have those and they are full of geeky types.
TammySwansonTwo - does he like swimming to keep fit? Or would he join a gym? Also, given that he's into technology/IT, perhaps he could offer to volunteer for a local social group/association? Or is it just games that he's into?
As you live in a reasonably sized town and you're in your 30s you'll have more chances of finding like-minded people. DH and I moved from London to a rural market town 12 years ago. We are now 49 and 58, no kids. We thought - perhaps naively - that connecting with local people in a small town would be a piece of cake, and that we would find a bunch of new friends just as easily as we did in London (purely because the geographical area of a rural market town is a lot smaller than that of London, so you'd bump into the same locals more regularly, and they'd happily welcome you into their midst, right - at least that was our theory). DH and I were never members of social groups or associations in London. Instead we would meet up at pubs, bars and restaurants with both our work colleagues, my female friends or DH's long-term friends (they'd know each other since they were teenagers and also shared flats and lads only holidays together). I guess by not joining local groups after we moved out of London - and not knowing anyone in our new town - we kept ourselves to ourselves too much and we expected things to just happen. We started focusing on our jobs instead. I have now identified 2 local groups I'd like to join.
I wish your DH all the best.
He should look at a course that will attract like minded folk, what about something like photography. Or alternatively some volunteering. Has he ever done table top games? People actually meet up in real life for this.
Definitely have a look for a meet up group www.meetup.com - there are several groups in my area for developers or techy people, the best one meets in a pub, there are a couple of short talks and then drinks and socialising. Loads of other interests covered too on Meetup, not just tech stuff. Get on Twitter to find like minded people. My husband met other dads (and mums) on the school run, some into the same kind of music as he is, so they've been to gigs together - bit in the future for you, but it is an advantage to doing it when the time comes.
Thanks everyone for all the suggestions. He's never been into actual board games etc - I think it's tough for him when his work gave him a ready made group of friends with similar interests, since they were all really into what they worked on, and now he struggles. I'll definitely suggest he be a bit more creative and look at what's around here. It's much easier for me as I have the mums obviously, and I'm into a lot of crafty stuff so I could find groups more easily. Will definitely see if there are any techy type meet ups - I think he feels a bit weird about forcing things by actively looking for it, but he works from home so if he doesn't he's not going to find any friends!
Our tiny village had several dads working from home and they formed a weekly pub early evening on a Friday night to get some interaction going, several of them IT based. There’s likely to be some kind of home working network as you’re in a more sizeable town.
Also volunteering: Round Table / Rotary, local groups, Cubs/Scouts.
The biggest thing is getting yourself out there. Around here lots of dads would be out with their babies and toddlers on Saturday mornings while mums got a lie in. My DH met other dads at the playground and they ended up playing football together in the evening once a week. That was nearly 12 years ago, and we’re all still friends, including the kids!
What about a walking group? I am a woman but was in a similar position to you DH a few years ago. I joined one via meetup.com and it was a great way of making friends, both male and female.
My DH is very similar, he’s never really been good at forming close friendships. He tends to be very task orientated, though, so doesn’t seem bothered about it. He likes trains, though, and will go to model railway type events, where he happily chats to people. He gets very little time, though.
Does your DH like this sort of thing? There are a lot of men into it, so there would be opportunities for bonding? (Not everyone’s cup of tea, though!)
Otherwise, I do encourage my DH to accompany our DDs when they go to parties, and he then gets to know some of the other dads. Obviously that won’t be possible for much longer now that DD2 is 5, she won’t need accompanying any longer.
Dh doesn’t really have many friends, but the ones he does have are through the scouts. He volunteers each week for their troop night, but that leads to other things which are more social for the leaders, like camps, days out, we went for a meal with the other leaders and their families after Remembrance Day parade, Christmas meal booked for after bag packing etc.
Our area have a round table, rotary club, lions group, who are all groups of people needing volunteers to carry on their work.
I always recommend volunteering to people, as well as doing something for yourself (getting out and meeting people) you are doing something good for the community which will always make you feel good.
Might also be worth looking into co-working space, not all the time but just occasionally? Lots of homeworkers/freelancers feel a bit isolated sometimes! Have a look at UK Jelly www.uk-jelly.org.uk, though there will be other resources
I'd second joining the Round Table, they fund raise for good causes and tend to be blokes from all sorts of backgrounds, some geeky, some sporty a good general mix and they genuinely encourage new members. They do fun things and they tend to end up becoming good friends.
I have some experience with building a new group of friends albeit my circumstances are different as my DW is controlling (which she admits) and has isolated me (probably subconsciously) from friends over the years, so I have had to build new circles of friends and try to reconnect with old ones as I've grown a pair over the last five years.
Hobbies and sports are a great way to build friends, clubs will have a regular meeting time and some of the people there will also want more of a social side too. Often times they will encompass both real meetings and online which give some daily contact beyond the family.
Popping to the local pub can be a good thing so long as its not too cliquey and he's not overly shy.
Rotary, round table and even the masons might be worth checking out. Our local rotary guys seem really nice but meet at a time I can't make, I did attend the local round table a few times but found them to be a tad childish albeit I was towards the upper age limit so that might explain it. Masons have been after me for a while, my father was one, but with all the secrecy I'm not sold on the idea. However my dad loved it for many years.
I now have 3 circles of friends, 2 based around hobbies and sports which I mix with regularly and old work friends who I meed up with once or twice a year but who I chat to online regularly.
Hardest thing is that (other than DW) I can't seem to get a best mate, I really wish I hadn't lost touch with the guy who was my best man.
I think it is extremely difficult for men this age. I too can go to any party, any event and talk the hind end off a donkey, but Dh not so much.
This makes me sad and wish I could be your DH’s friend! (Lesbian, no threat )
I think it’s hard for adults to make new friends in general. I really struggle with it.
Volunteering and join some local clubs like sports, motorbikes, geo cache, drama, cycling, walking, book club, first aid, allotments, it's all about trying something and if he doesn't like it try something else
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