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Old 11-23-2016, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Boca Raton, FL
5,200 posts, read 8,725,142 times
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I worked all the time and after I got married and had kids, I was not clued in to the cliques and what to do.

We finally moved to a family friendly neighborhood and there was a monthly publication where you could sign up for things - well, there was a play group, social group, card games, etc.

Well, I worked but felt - I have to be more social and I wanted to be more like the other mom's -
my son used to stand outside - he was 18 months and when my car turned the corner, he would jump up and down so I knew he loved going. (I had a grandma for hire type taking care of my kids - I had my job before marriage/kids and I had 34 people working for me but I had to be there).

So, after 3-4 months or so, Dumb me says "You know, we should get our spouses or SO's and have a BBQ on the weekend and bring the kids so everyone could meet" - DEAD SILENCE - No one spoke - I guess I broke some cardinal rule.

However, the result, everyone came - it became a thing - and believe it or not, the play group still exists today with people reaching out more than when I was involved. So much fun; miss those days!

At some point, now that my kids are older (20's), I want to reach people again. I know what the OP means - it's really hard to make friends - even when you grow up in a place, things change, people change.

I know a couple who moved to The Villages this past year - they had tons of friends but decided to move, built a home and I understand they love it. They are very social and I am sure they wanted to be somewhere where it was easier to make friends.
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Old 11-26-2016, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,486 posts, read 43,925,068 times
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I'm 70 years old and today we celebrated our 40th anniversary. I am much more social than my husband. In fact I would say he is happiest alone. It has long been a sore spot for us because I would like to have some sort of social life. Because of macular degeneration I don't drive anymore and I feel bad asking "friends" to pick me up and I don't want to include DH all the time. He would be happy to drive me anywhere I want to go and find a place to read and then pick me up but I sense some friends are uneasy with that.

Also I have a hearing loss and wear hearing aids. Being in public places is extremely difficult for me. Most people don't understand that hearing aids do not bring hearing back to normal levels. For those and other reason I'm afraid most of my social life is on Facebook. I have reconnected with old friends who share similar (liberal) interests and who might be rather isolated themselves. If I outlive my husband I know it will be extremely difficult for me. I guess I'll look for somebody to live in to drive me where I need to go or set up some service.

When my mother was my age she often complained about her friends who were desperate for a man. Some for financial reasons, some for companionship and one in particular for sex! She had never been married and was used to men pursuing her and she was quite unhappy to see younger and more attractive women getting more attention than she was getting.

We will be moving soon to a 55+ neighborhood and I've decided to do everything I can to make new friends because I need more social interaction.
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Old 11-27-2016, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
5,872 posts, read 4,889,275 times
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Once we retired, we realized that our friends in our age group had not retired yet and so were only available weekends, and even then they had many chores or other activities they needed to do with limited time to do them. So we were alone a lot, and even though we enjoy being together, we both needed some outside friends and activities to give us something new to talk about at home!

When we moved cross-country to an area where we knew NOT A SOUL, we were a little concerned about making friends, but realized that we needed to be willing to go out of our way to meet people with similar interests and accept that they will not be just like us, or even near our age, but to give them a chance. We moved to a community with many clubs and activities, lots of volunteer opportunities, and community get togethers. We are both pretty good at keeping a conversation going and willing to talk to anyone. This has proven to be a great opportunity for us and we've made quite a few friends just by being open to the suggestions of others, and inviting others to participate in things we enjoy.

I think one of the biggest difficulties in making new friends is the step that comes between your first meeting and getting together a second time outside of the original venue. One way we bridge this awkward transition is to suggest going out for a meal or drinks after meeting people at an organized event. So after playing golf with an interesting person we've met on the course, or chatting with dog owner at the dog park, we suggest meeting for lunch or a beer after with, or without, our spouses. It also helps to have a card at the ready to hand them with your contact info if they state they are busy at that time. It's less threatening than asking for their number and it takes just a second to say "I've enjoyed talking (or playing, or whatever) with you today. If you'd like to get together for lunch (or another game, or to walk the dogs, or whatever) give me a call some time". This also gives them an opportunity to give you their info if they are also interested in seeing you again. It seems almost like dating, but without all the sexual stuff. We even joke between ourselves about us "dating" another couple. Asking for the "date" is the hardest thing. I try to follow up with a phone call a few days later to say that I enjoyed meeting them and suggest a specific event, or a local group activity to which I invite them. I've even just called to invite someone to drive with me to Costco. Everybody shops there once a month, but it's a 20+ mile drive each way, so having a free ride and a shopping buddy is a nice offer. You can usually tell at this point if they are interested in making friends with you, or if they make awkward excuses to avoid getting together. That's okay, there are plenty more friendly fish in the sea. Make sure they have your info so they can reach you later, and move on. The more you do it, the easier it gets. Don't take a declined invitation personally as a rejection. Just realize that not everyone is going to like you, just like you don't like everyone either.

Around here it seems that everyone has their standard conversation starting questions and armed with those, and the ability to ask relevant follow up questions, we have no trouble starting interesting conversations and learning the most amazing things about people. People love to talk about themselves, the ability to "listen to understand and not to respond" is a most valuable skill.
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Old 11-27-2016, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,486 posts, read 43,925,068 times
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Re Costco--it's nice to have one or two other people to share those huge packages of whatever with. Who wants a gallon of artichoke hearts? I have a friend I share frozen chicken tenders with, shampoo packs, etc.
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Old 11-27-2016, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,698 posts, read 23,740,767 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
Re Costco--it's nice to have one or two other people to share those huge packages of whatever with. Who wants a gallon of artichoke hearts? I have a friend I share frozen chicken tenders with, shampoo packs, etc.
I did this with a former neighbor when I lived in Portland. In my new place I have found someone else with whom I can share groceries in bulk.

Just recently we split a large sack of potatoes that were on sale. The amount of potatoes was too big for just one person to get through.

I was also able to share with her my world famous homemade fudge which I don't dare make without someone to give a portion to because the recipe makes a huge batch and I can't eat all of it.

Well I could but I shouldn't.
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Old 11-27-2016, 11:27 AM
 
5,499 posts, read 2,883,990 times
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Childhood: Everybody in school sees the same people 5 days a week, neighboring kids see each other potentially every day if they play outside. Kids are naturally curious and open unless taught by adults not to be. Result: EASY to make friends.

Age 18 into the 20s: People start going their separate ways from childhood routine, BUT they also (hopefully) venture out to college, work, or other pursuits that expose them to new people, places, activities. Most are not yet married or raising children, thus allowing more freedom with time. Result: Still easy to make friends.

After marriage and/or having kids: Tied down more, but many make friends from the children's friendships (shared parenthood). Spouses may enhance OR restrict making friends, especially outside of "couplesy" acquaintances. Some like making friends from coworkers; others not so much.

Retirement: By now, most people get more set in their ways. Workplace or school no longer provide required daily interaction with others. Some either are or think they are limited by age-related physical changes, and unnecessarily restricting mobility in fact ends up hastening their "oldness." Financial disparities among different groups, always a factor no matter the age, seem to become more pronounced as some start ticking off bucket list items while others barely get by. Some people have turned cynical about ulterior motives of those who try to befriend them. Others decide they really didn't need many friends after all, so no need to make much effort finding new ones. And some adamantly do NOT want to even associate with people who are different from them; this seems to get worse with age, from what I have noticed in the last few years. But that may have been only the local attitude rather than one true for the entire US.

And maybe advancing age pushes people to go for things or people they are sure, or more likely, to enjoy rather than waste the rest of their years on irritating or destructive people, activities, and environments.
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Old 11-29-2016, 12:05 AM
 
Location: Planet Woof
3,139 posts, read 3,524,937 times
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When I lived in a rural area in my 50s everyone on our 4 mile road was friendly. There was always a wave or someone stopping by for coffee or to share things from their garden. We even had an annual ''road party'' where we all brought food and sat out at someone's place and ate and socialized. All ages, all backgrounds, just ''neighbors''.
Here in an apartment complex only the retired older people even speak and if I did not walk dogs I would not have those interactions.
It seems everyone is in a hurry or does not want to be bothered.
I am planning to move back out into the country next spring where we had friends and neighbors eager to interact.
My few ''close'' friends are lifelong or are family members. I like my solitude too and need that.
I think more than a lot of friends I hunger more for a sense of community or belonging. I got a taste of that during my 7 years of rural life and I hope to find it again.
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Old 11-29-2016, 12:09 AM
 
7,985 posts, read 3,493,086 times
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I got a small dog and now know everyone in the neighborhood. Why? Because you see them when your out walking the dog. Just be neighborly and pick up after your dog...
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Old 11-29-2016, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Prescott AZ
6,141 posts, read 9,128,175 times
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That depends on your neighborhood, although I agree, a dog will help.

Here most people are never outside. Not even in the good weather. Everyone seems to be in the house and when I walk the dogs, I only see other dogs ! Sometimes I want to go knock on doors and say " What are you doing inside?" What is so important in the house? Must be the TV, the computer, or the refrigerator I guess. Community and neighborhood are not common around here.
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Old 11-29-2016, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Edina, MN, USA
6,956 posts, read 7,415,011 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhxBarb View Post
That depends on your neighborhood, although I agree, a dog will help.

Here most people are never outside. Not even in the good weather. Everyone seems to be in the house and when I walk the dogs, I only see other dogs ! Sometimes I want to go knock on doors and say " What are you doing inside?" What is so important in the house? Must be the TV, the computer, or the refrigerator I guess. Community and neighborhood are not common around here.
\
When I was looking in FL - Bonita Springs/Naples this is the way it was - nobody was outside in these over 55 areas. It was like ghost town.

Then when I went to NC to mostly over 55 communities - same thing. It looked like it had been evacuated. Creepy.

Now yours in AZ - conclusion = stay away from these communities. I need life around me.
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