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Old 02-02-2017, 12:25 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
6,620 posts, read 3,687,027 times
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I'm a widower and I have a small circle of retired friends but I need a larger social group...I'm relatively new to the community (3 years). Connections are something that retirees have to work on and chip away at -- little by little. I'm content being a single person and doing solo activities or travelling solo but I decided this year to branch out a little more, take classes and join a Tai Chi group. I used to practice Tai Chi and enjoyed it a few years ago. My hobbies are mostly solo endeavors -- writing, photography and fly fishing. I have a church but I just don't find it to be the social network that some do. The new Tai Chi group met last Thursday for the first time...but, oops, I forgot and missed it. I'll try again tonight! The retiree classes are interesting and large but there seems to be no social connections going on. I've been disappointed with the few Meet-up groups I've tried because it is hard to break into an established group. I volunteer at a local professional foundation but we meet as an executive board only once a month. These are all good people but they seem to be a little exclusive and have old grudges with other civic groups that keeps us from moving forward. I'm not Italian (I was tested!) but I joined the Italian/American bocce club and we have monthly tournaments and occasional get-togethers. Part of my problem is that I choose to live about fifteen miles from the city and, with traffic, it takes a while to get where I need to be.
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Old 02-02-2017, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Central NY
4,689 posts, read 3,258,145 times
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At one time in my younger life, I had a large group of friends. My needs at the time were strong and I accepted friendship with those who were not always a good choice for me.

As I've gotten older, I find being alone doesn't mean being lonely. I do have long-time friends who I keep in my life because I have enjoyed having them there, tho the friendships have changed. Some have spouses whose health is failing and my friend doesn't have as much free time as before. I have friends who are totally absorbed in their grandchildren and are unable to do social things because of them. I have friends who are financially better off than I am, so I can't participate in a lot of what they do socially, but that does not affect my friendship with them.

I used to put up with a lot of rudeness because I had not found my "voice" yet. It took a long time for me to realize I could speak up for myself. What liberty that has been!

I have learned to be a better friend to myself. I am not afraid to do things I want to do alone. If someone else is interested in doing it, that is a plus. But it is no longer a requirement.

I have made a couple of nice friendships here on C-D and while we have not met, we seem to have a lot in common and provide humor, compassion, understanding, and support as I share my life with them. Whether or not I ever meet them is not a critical thing, but I hope one day I am able to meet them.

Friendships are important, but in my opinion, being selective in who I share my life with is more important.
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Old 02-02-2017, 04:35 PM
 
5,431 posts, read 3,459,869 times
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It's so much work to look for new friends!! One has to go out and attend all kinds of things, just in the hope of running into a person who might develop into a friend, and hoping friendship relationships will develop organically.

(speaking in this post of those who do not live in 55+ communities, retirement, or senior communities where activities and events are scheduled daily)

I would think a good number of seniors find it difficult or unwanted to go out and attend lots of things. I'd think a good number would give up the quest for friends, at least for certain time periods.

Seems sad that it takes so much effort. Church and neighbors are two ways that might develop from just running into each other.

Last edited by matisse12; 02-02-2017 at 05:27 PM..
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Old 02-02-2017, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Central NY
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matisse12

I don't think it has to be hard. If a person can relax, concentrate on the activity they are doing, be friendly, not negative, have no expectations.... I think it is easier than you might think.

It's a little like dating. We kiss a lot of frogs before finding the prince/ss. If we can just be ourselves, giving a 2nd chance to someone who needs/deserves it, do some weeding out of people we don't like for whatever reason. As soon as we have an expectation that we will find friends, we usually don't.

I don't think I am wording this very well, but I hope the jist of what I mean comes through.
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Old 02-02-2017, 07:08 PM
 
5,431 posts, read 3,459,869 times
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You misunderstood my post. That's not what I meant about it being hard work. I wasn't referring to the actual human interaction between people at a meeting or event. The human interaction at events is the EASY part.

I was talking about the work it takes to go out a lot - to attend a wide variety of meetings and events outside of one's home - leaving one's home to go out to lots of events, hoping someone will be present that could turn into a friend.

Not everyone enjoys going out a lot. The actual human interaction at a meeting or event is the EASY part.

I was also referring to people who do NOT live in senior, retirement, or 55+ communities (where one can attend events & meetings right in the building where they live, or on the same grounds which makes it easier to meet people, and older people are congregated together).

Last edited by matisse12; 02-02-2017 at 07:22 PM..
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Old 02-02-2017, 07:20 PM
 
Location: Central NY
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I do not go out a lot. But when I do, I am receptive to whatever may come my way.
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Old 02-02-2017, 08:03 PM
 
Location: Arizona
5,973 posts, read 5,319,572 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matisse12 View Post
You misunderstood my post. That's not what I meant about it being hard work. I wasn't referring to the actual human interaction between people at a meeting or event. The human interaction at events is the EASY part.

I was talking about the work it takes to go out a lot - to attend a wide variety of meetings and events outside of one's home - leaving one's home to go out to lots of events, hoping someone will be present that could turn into a friend.

Not everyone enjoys going out a lot. The actual human interaction at a meeting or event is the EASY part.

I was also referring to people who do NOT live in senior, retirement, or 55+ communities (where one can attend events & meetings right in the building where they live, or on the same grounds which makes it easier to meet people, and older people are congregated together).
So if you find a friend you won't go places with them? I don't think anyone will stick around to sit at your place.

I don't understand what work is involved in going out.
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Old 02-03-2017, 06:01 AM
 
Location: Location: Happy Place
3,701 posts, read 1,878,296 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matisse12 View Post
You misunderstood my post. That's not what I meant about it being hard work. I wasn't referring to the actual human interaction between people at a meeting or event. The human interaction at events is the EASY part.

I was talking about the work it takes to go out a lot - to attend a wide variety of meetings and events outside of one's home - leaving one's home to go out to lots of events, hoping someone will be present that could turn into a friend.

Not everyone enjoys going out a lot. The actual human interaction at a meeting or event is the EASY part.

I was also referring to people who do NOT live in senior, retirement, or 55+ communities (where one can attend events & meetings right in the building where they live, or on the same grounds which makes it easier to meet people, and older people are congregated together).

I am sort of like that, whereas I enjoy being out, just getting to a place where I want to GO out. Traffic, crazy drivers, crazier people, no people my age anyway, etc. Sometimes I have to MAKE myself leave my house.

I work now, but when I retire maybe I will have more free time to go out. Now, I feel like it takes away from what free time I have to just be home and enjoy my husband, pets, home.
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Old 02-03-2017, 06:29 AM
 
6,337 posts, read 5,075,997 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mschrief View Post
I am sort of like that, whereas I enjoy being out, just getting to a place where I want to GO out. Traffic, crazy drivers, crazier people, no people my age anyway, etc. Sometimes I have to MAKE myself leave my house.

I work now, but when I retire maybe I will have more free time to go out. Now, I feel like it takes away from what free time I have to just be home and enjoy my husband, pets, home.
That's it for me. When you went to school or worked. You went because you had to go. You met people and made friends. Aren't parents of home schooled kids always trying to find activities for their kids so they can have friends?

Anyway, it's the getting there that can be a pain. If we could teleport, we'd be there!

But then, I think of my mom. She would walk to her daily group activity. That woman loved to be around people and so do I. I personally think I just need different groups. I had those in school too. For example, my wild hanging out with group and my church choir group. Think that's the key for me and why I've been in a rut. I need variety.
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Old 02-03-2017, 10:00 AM
 
Location: New Mexico
6,620 posts, read 3,687,027 times
Reputation: 12436
Quote:
Originally Posted by thinkalot View Post

I don't understand what work is involved in going out.


I, for one, don't like driving at night and I suspect there are others in the same situation. I'll go anywhere during daylight but after dark -- not so much. It's more of an eyesight thing with poor street lighting and oncoming traffic with laser-beam headlights -- not just being timid. There are a handful of places I frequent at night but I'm not likely to strike out across the city at night on the off chance that I'll enjoy a couple social hours. I'm heading home by 9:30 if I do go out (sidewalks roll up at 9 PM around here).
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