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Old 11-09-2013, 05:33 PM
 
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tl:dr: As people get older (mid 20s and on), they just don't care about making good friends with people.

I’m a 26 year old guy. Introverted by nature, but definitely not shy. One of my goals over the past several years has been to find new friends. The last time I can even remember having a good group of friends was back in my high school days. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ve had a single friend since then. I’ve had many good acquaintances and the occasional guys or gals to grab lunch with, and I go out to different events and mixers where I always find myself getting in good conversations with a couple people. But a good friend to hang out with often, talk about life, and share other good times with? None in sight!

So it’s been on of my bigger goals to be more social and find new friends as I’ve gotten older. When I was in my teens and early twenties, I stuck to myself and stayed at home a bit more than I should have. You can’t make friends when you never go out! It was when I was 23 that I really started putting myself out there more, almost making it a goal to get out of the house at least once a week and go meet people. Like I said, I’m not extremely introverted, and I wouldn’t consider myself shy, it’s just that going out often drains me so I don’t do it too often.

And now here we are, 3 years later of looking for friends but nothing really panning out. At first I wondered the obvious things, “Am I not going out enough?”, “Do these people not like me?”, or “Maybe that person is just really shy”. But after time, It was clear it wasn’t probably any of those things, but more that I think that people as they get older just DON’T CARE about making friends anymore!

There’s a number of reasons why I’ve come to this unfortunate (and hopefully wrong) theory. To preface this, most people I end up meeting are in their late twenties, 30s, or 40s. I wish I could meet more people in their early or mid twenties, but luck never seems to be on my side. It’s rare I meet someone that is younger than me. Maybe that’s the problem. Nonetheless, let’s consider that the people I am talking about are 25 or older, with the average age being mid 30s. I’ll refer to them as adults. Now I’ll break down my reasonings into a few points:

1. Adults show poor initiative to making plans with others after they suggest hanging out / meeting up.

I can not even remember the last time someone has actually CALLED me up to make plans. Not only that, I’ve experienced tons of situations where I’ve been talking with someone, or even ran into an old-time friend and they might say something like “We really need to catch up, we should grab lunch sometime!” or “We should go grab drinks and catch the sports game next week!”. Then you never hear from them again...

I’m not the only one that’s experienced this, my girlfriend says she experiences the same exact thing, and I’ve had other acquaintances share similar stories. People just NEVER seem to follow through, even when they suggest hanging out first! In my experience, I’ve found that if I don’t take the initiative to actually followup with the person, schedule the place to meet, the day and time to do it... it’s not going to happen otherwise.

And that’s OK sometimes, but when it’s at the point where you always need to be the one to make the plans, you begin to wonder if the other person even wants to hang out with you, or is just using you as an excuse to go out. (Which believe me, that happens unfortunately) It doesn’t feel good to always do the asking and never be asked back in return. I think back over the years, and it seems I only might get asked to do something about once or twice a year, when I’m doing the asking the other 99% of the time. Bummer.

2. Adults “think” they are too busy for friends.

I haven’t hit a point in my life yet where I would feel too busy to make time to hang out with friends a couple times a week. Maybe I’m lucky, but I consider myself a pretty busy guy too. Don’t get me wrong, adult life makes any responsible guy or gal a busy person. There’s work, pets, errands, chores, family, kids, pets, and a variety of other time consumers, but let’s be honest, sometimes people waste more time than they should. I think everyone here is guilty of pointless browsing the web, watching TV, or shuffling around the house, ultimately wasting a couple hours of your time. A strong social life in important, whether you’re introverted or extroverted. One study showed that a good social life (People to hang out with and share conversation about life with with) were worth the equivalent of a $136,000 salary. That’s substantial, and it’s healthy for everyone to make time to have friends.

But it seems like people don’t. “I can’t make it”, “I won’t be able to go”, “We need to reschedule” (only to never hear from them again), these are all common phrases I hear more often than not. And that’s fine once in awhile, I get it, we are busy people, but when it seems like all your prospective plans are getting canceled because the other person won’t be able to make it, it makes you think that other people just don’t really care enough about friendships to make the time to hang out.

3. Adults are disinterested in making friends.

It seems to me that most adults just really don’t care about making new friends as they get older. They spend more of their time with their spouse, family members, children, or pursuing their own personal interests. I blame social media and the internet a lot for this disinterest. With the internet, it’s hard for anyone to become bored sitting home alone, and utilizing social media and sharing “status updates” makes a majority of people feel social even though they are anything but at the moment.

With the world at our fingertips with the Internet, and the ability to feel social through social networking, it’s no wonder many adults are seeming to forget about real friendships. I mean, building a friendship is hard work. It takes time, and there’s ups and downs like there is to any relationship. Why put all the work into making friends when there’s never ending positive reinforcement from our families, social media, and the internet. The point is, I think most adults don’t really care if they have friends or not.

--------------

Wrap Up:

But I do care about making real friends, but so far it hasn’t seemed like many others have shared that sentiment. I’ve made tons of great acquaintances with people over the last 3 years, but not a soul I would call a real friend. In the end, other adults just don’t really seem to care about making a solid friendship. You get many the people that say “Sure I’ll grab a drink with you (if you make the plans of course!)” but it never really goes beyond that. While it’s good to have these types of acquaintances, just why is it so damn hard to go that step further and make hanging out and talking regular? I mean, remember when people talked on the phone???!!! I do, and I miss those days.

So what’s the deal? I’m curious to see what other people think. Do adults just really not care about making friends these days? Like I’ve said over and over, people never ask me to do anything, and plans never get made unless I’m steering the ship the entire way through. Even then you have people cancel last minute because they are “busy”. People are eager enough to hang out with me if I call them up, but how come they won’t ever call me up to hang out? Even after a great lunch or night out with lots of laughter and good times, I usually won’t hear from this person again (aside from some likes from them on my Facebook statuses) till the next time I call them up to make plans. If I don’t get in touch with them, they usually end up drifting off as “someone I used to know” till I might run into them again at a public event. (In which they tell me how good it is to see me and we go grab lunch next week, only to never make those plans ever).

But I’ll stop my rambling. What are your thoughts? Do people just don’t care about making good friends as they get older? What’s the deal!? Let me know!

Last edited by the_grimace; 11-09-2013 at 06:16 PM..
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Old 11-09-2013, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Pinetop-Lakeside, AZ
1,508 posts, read 1,527,235 times
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Actually this has been the case for a lot longer than since Al Gore invented the internet, longer than Facebook or even MySpace has been around.

It is the way of life as an Adult in the USA. You're not in High School any more. The only person you can count on is yourself.
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Old 11-10-2013, 02:00 PM
 
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It doesnt help that you are more introverted. I think people who are introverted get judged more as outcasts and socially "retarded". I say this being an introvert myself and feeling like I have to fight for the perception of the common introvert.
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Old 11-10-2013, 02:03 PM
 
7,311 posts, read 4,962,162 times
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I haven't had a good group of friends since high school either. Something about being young easily and instantly bonds you with other people. Now in my adult years it seems forced.

Have you tried church fellowships? Those are some of the best bonds that can be compared to childhood.
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Old 11-10-2013, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
5,807 posts, read 4,854,199 times
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This used to be worded "Let's do lunch sometime!" said with enthusiasm and lunch never seemed to happen. It's a fact of life that people have a lot to do and it gets more and more so as we go from college students with no real life other than school and parental family, to graduates with jobs, and then significant others, and then kids, etc. It helps if you have specific interests and can meet folks who like to participate in what you like to do. Just "hanging out" stops for most people when they realize they like to be doing something rather than nothing. The trick is to find people who like to do the same "something" as you. Try meet-up groups in activities you enjoy near your area. It also helps to know your schedule so you can commit to a date when someone says "let's get together". You can say "Are you busy Tuesday night? There's a great concert (movie, event at the park) we could catch". It's just a lot easier if someone suggests a specific date and time instead of some vague "sometime".
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Old 11-10-2013, 02:39 PM
 
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I know I've become less preoccupied with having/making friends now that I'm over 30. You reach a point where it becomes difficult to tolerate other people's issues and nonsense just for the sake of being "friends". It becomes easier to write people off who annoy you or cause grief as you get older and more comfortable with your own identity. I never used to give much thought to how the company I kept reflected on me, but nowadays I roll solo and go about my own business the vast majority of the time. It's rare to catch me with a herd anymore. I've never been good at following people around and trying to lead them takes too much effort. I guess you could say the terms on which I care to deal with other people has gotten narrower with age.
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Old 11-10-2013, 03:01 PM
 
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Yeah all I can suggest is, life is what you make it.

Some people look at it half full, others half empty.

If you want to make friends, get out there. Become interested and more importantly, interesting. Do things that challenge you, constantly. Go places you wouldn't normally go, take up activities you wouldn't normally take up, or better yet, get around to those things you've always thought you'd like to try.

Visualise yourself as interesting and able to attract people, then take the steps to be that way.

I personally can talk to just about anyone. I find most people are just desperate for someone to seem interested and sometimes all you literally need say is 5 words before you have their entire life story.

Everyone I call "friends" and hang out with now, I have met largely through going to see bands by myself. You see the same faces, after a while it gets awkward NOT to say "hi". Hey presto, new friend.
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Old 11-10-2013, 03:24 PM
 
Location: earth?
7,288 posts, read 10,869,982 times
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I think it's a combination of things: People are stressed. Life in Western culture is stressful. Extraverts tend to be kind of shallow and I think they (as a group) band together and "do" activities (sports, etc.) - I think it would be mainly other introverts who would want to "hang out" (get a drink or go out to lunch) - I think extraverts would think you were hitting on them to suggest - what to them - might seem too intimate.

I don't have any answers. I have been wanting the type of friendship you are wanting my entire life - and have made many such friends at work - only to have circumstances change the relationships . . .

Hope you figure it out and report back here.

P.S. There is a related problem: Making compatible "couple friends" who appeal to both of you.
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Old 11-10-2013, 03:29 PM
 
10,604 posts, read 14,223,064 times
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I didn't read your whole post.

But my kid is still friends with his childhood buddies going on 25 years now.

Also you CAN make friends along the way but you need common interests. Something more than going to a bar or whatever.

It's also tricky when you have a GF, like you said.
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Old 11-10-2013, 03:31 PM
 
Location: earth?
7,288 posts, read 10,869,982 times
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Also - if your user name is literal, that could be the problem.
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