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How do you connect and make new friends in your 30s?

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  • #347202
    E.E
    Participant

    Hi guys, I just wanted to get your advice, on how you connect with people in real life in your 30s?

    Do you meet friends at work? Or take up a new hobby? I’d love to hear your tips and suggestions, or stories to share.

     

    About me: I’m 32yrs, lady… my family moved around a lot when I was around 10yrs-20yrs, and so i never really grew up with childhood friends, or close cousins. I also made a very drastic decision in my early 20s to cut off all my social media, changed my email and phone number as I didn’t want to be “stressed out” by my friends at that stage. I felt like a lot of the friends I made between 17yrs-22yrs were actually quite toxic, and not very sincere friendships. There were some friends whom I wasn’t close to where there was potential for friendships to grow, but unfortunately I never gave it a chance. I threw myself into work and routines were very helpful, but as time went by I look around me and realize that most people have formed such strong friendships that I feel that I’ve missed out on that part of my life. A lot of people I know through work assume that I have friends outside of work, and I feel ashamed to let them know the truth that I actually don’t. I feel stuck in that sense. I would really like to open up and meet new people, but this Covid situation is tricky as well, as most public activities like walking groups, etc, are now cancelled.  Would love to hear your thoughts.

    #347808
    anita
    Participant

    Dear E.E:

    I will read and reply to you in about 14 hours, if not earlier. I hope other members reply to you as well.

    anita

    #347860
    anita
    Participant

    Dear E.E:

    In this day and age, meeting a partner through an online dating website seems to me most reasonable, if you choose the right website and participate in it in a planned, reasonable, responsible way.

    What do you think of the online approach?

    anita

    #348606
    E.E
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    Thank you so much for your reply – I really appreciate you taking the time to read my posting. Okay, so maybe I do need to elaborate a little about my background. I’m NOT looking for a partner. My boyfriend, my soulmate, passed away in an accident 10 years ago. That was the reason I went “numb” and made sudden drastic changes in my life. I just wanted to be alone at that moment, and sort myself out. Looking back I realize that even my personality changed after that, and till today I’m a little confused about who I am at the age of 32yrs old 🙁

    A lot of time has gone by since then… I got close to my grandparents, but they both passed away of old-age related illnesses a few years ago. And my one friend which I was getting close to moved back to India with her family. So anyway, it just seems a little fated that in my life the people I get close have to leave. But I’ve been very very blessed in my life in so so many ways.

    Sorry that was a long explanation.

    Basically, I hope you understand my situation a little better, and what I’m really looking for now is to come out my shell, meet new people and hopefully form some female friendships. As I haven’t been on social media for more than 10 years, I am not really sure if online approach in meeting friends is suitable for me. I don’t think people go online to make friends with people they don’t know…I’m not into Instagram/FB or anything.

    So apart from online, do you have any other advice or suggestions on how do you meet friends when you’re in your 30s? I tried joining a women’s meetup walking group last month before my country imposed a lockdown, but generally  I find myself very shy and awkward in social settings. I’m always thinking to myself “I hope they don’t know I don’t have any friends!” Does anyone else feel this way?

    Thank you.

    EE

    #348620
    anita
    Participant

    Dear EE:

    You are very welcome. I hope other members answer you as well, and have ideas that I don’t have. But it may not happen; it’s been very slow here for a while. I understand better what you need. I think that a lot of people in this day and age have the experience of not having friends in real life. Even when with friends, each is engaged with his/ her phone, separately.

    To meet and make female friends, in real life, during the pandemic, that’s almost impossible, or at least, not recommended! I imagine the best way to make female friends at this time, if it is possible and safe enough, would be to join a volunteer group that helps people in need. Problem with this idea, I imagine, is that the volunteers are there to do a job, not to make friends.

    But in any case, within a volunteer group, during or after the pandemic, you will be able to spend quality time with other women, doing something that you all believe in.

    * You lost the man you loved when you were 22. I am sorry. It must have been- and still is- very painful for you.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by anita.
    #348826
    Hannah
    Participant

    Hi E.E

    After reading your post I want you to know you are not alone! I am also in this situation. I am 31 and also find it very hard to make new female friends at this time in life as everyone seems to have there friendship groups or partners and aren’t willing to accept anyone else.

    I was bullied at school very early on and this continued to my teenage years so I haven’t kept any friends from school as I didn’t really have any to keep.

    However I had a great time at college and met a couple of great friends. They are all settled down now and I barely see them. If I try to arrange something I have to give them 6 months notice and even then they sometimes cancel.

    I was in a long term relationship which ended last year out of the blue I didn’t see it coming and I lost everything including his friends which had become my friends.

    I have since then started again with my own house but I live in a town where I don’t know anyone. I changed my job last year in the hope I might make new friends but all of the people I work with are considerably older than me and they only work part time so most of the time i’m in an office alone so I haven’t been able to make new friends there.

    I’m quite a sporty person so I have joined many sports groups but the only friends I seem to make are male who pretend that they are your friend when actually its turns out they have other intentions.

    I could be wrong but it seems much easier for men to make friends with other men as they just get on with it and everyone seems welcome where with woman they seem to be more standoffish. I don’t know whether you have noticed that?

    There is an app I use called meetup which I have been using to meet new people. I have been to some of the events and making friends is going to take time, but it is good and it gets me out of the house going to events and i’m not alone. Everyone thinks i’m mad because I go to random events with strangers but when you have no friends how do you make friends?

    For me I don’t want a boyfriend what I would like is to make new friends, go on some adventures and have fun. It feels really hard and lonely at the moment but it can only get better 🙂

    HJW

    #349618
    E.E
    Participant

    Hi Hannah!

    I’m so happy to hear your story 🙂

    Just to share more of my background with you: I grew up in Sydney, Australia where making friends there was actually quite easy, as generally people there are more open and friendly. I moved to Singapore when I was a teenager and lost contact with all my childhood buddies.

    In Singapore, I’ve always found it more difficult to make friends, and I find that people here they tend to keep to themselves more. In the local school I went to the kids preferred to speak their native language to each other (Chinese, Malay or Indian), so as I am only English-speaking I often found myself sitting at the table with a group of friends who would be speaking in Chinese and only translate what they’re saying in English to me once in a while – it seemed very rude at first too, but eventually I got used to it. I did go on to meet new friends at school/work later on, but it was quite the effort to fit in.

     

    I absolutely agree with you on quite a few points too:

    I’m quite a sporty person so I have joined many sports groups but the only friends I seem to make are male who pretend that they are your friend when actually its turns out they have other intentions. –> YESS!!! I know exactly. I started a part-time degree programme 2 yrs ago, partly also hoping that it would be a good opportunity for some friendships to form, but while I’m trying to chat to the ladies in the group, the guys’ are more interested in giving me their (unwanted) attention, and I really just try to avoid it. Also, I now realize that part-time studying is not the same as full-time studying. In my Uni, it’s mostly independent self-studying with 1 weekly class. If there are group assignments, everyone would just split the questions and 1 person compiles everyone’s answers for submission – we never meet outside of Uni to discuss the assignment or collaborate on any ideas. All communication is only via Watsapp, and it’s always purpose-driven and related to the assignment. I don’t blame them, as they have busy lives juggling work, family, etc, and classes are from 7pm-10pm, so no one really has much time or energy to chit chat at that point. Plus there’s so many of students taking different subjects so it’s quite uncommon that anyone will meet their group mates again.

    I could be wrong but it seems much easier for men to make friends with other men as they just get on with it and everyone seems welcome where with woman they seem to be more standoffish. I don’t know whether you have noticed that? You’re right! I have noticed this.

    There is an app I use called meetup which I have been using to meet new people. I have been to some of the events and making friends is going to take time, but it is good and it gets me out of the house going to events and i’m not alone. Everyone thinks i’m mad because I go to random events with strangers but when you have no friends how do you make friends? Omg, I literally joined my first Meetup event 1 month ago (before my country’s lockdown) so I know exactly what you mean. Are you my twin in the world? haha. And yes, I think that it’s definitely going to take time to develop friendships from there – I met some nice ladies, but we did not exchange numbers so now I’m thinking, will I see them again? A note to myself, next time, I would offer to start a chat group where we could at least keep in touch. What i find quite awkward though is that it’s mostly Expats who just moved to Singapore, and I do feel a little insecure that they might be wondering why I am joining Meetup events.

    For me I don’t want a boyfriend what I would like is to make new friends, go on some adventures and have fun. It feels really hard and lonely at the moment but it can only get better ? ME TOO – I’m also not looking for a boyfriend, and am only looking for friendship.

    Hannah, would you like to keep in touch via this forum, or email (i will check out if it is possible to send a direct message through this forum? I’m not very sure, but i’ll check after writing this), just to give each other some encouragement from time to time, or just to share experiences in “friendship-making” journey? 🙂

    E.E

     

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