For most of my life I've had trouble making lasting, meaningful friendships. In the last 5 years I managed to make some of the closest friends I've had so far in life at my job, but even then they weren't always people who I could count on to help me out in a bind or to spend time at each others' places or anything like that.
Recently I left my old work and stopped seeing my old friends as regularly, and few have made much effort to stay in touch. It's still often me being the one who initiates conversation with people. I don't really know why I'm not usually well-liked. One or two of my former co-workers may stay in touch in the coming months, but I don't expect to see them very often and I don't expect much more out of our friendships than what they've been.
Many of my friends have young children, or significant others, and I get that those require a lot of attention. I'm single and have no children of my own. I would like to date someone, but I have had limited luck with dating as I do with friendship.
One of my friends listened to me talk about a lot of my issues for the past few years, and offered advice. He opened up a lot about his life. I think he has tried his best to be an actual friend to me, despite having a busy life. ...But he always tries to "one up" people during conversations, shifting the subject to things he wants to talk about. Oftentimes he will completely put down things I'm interested in and want to talk about, and it makes me question how much he cares about my perspective. Sometimes he's not very open-minded, only finding interest in things that are popular or new.
Another friend of mine grew up sheltered, and I gradually noticed some things we both had in common. One day I was in a bind and nobody else helped me, but he did - and went above and beyond. The problem is he is socially-awkward. He leads a very structured life, and I can usually only spend time with him on his terms - usually I have to go visit him at his out-of-the-way place. We got to hang out a few times and it was strange but satisfyingly deep. But he left and hasn't been in contact much for some time now.
I do have friends from the Internet who I've talked to off and on for longer than anyone, but have never met in person. One I've known for nearly 20 years, the other for 10. These friendships seem like they could be very good ones if I was able to spend time with these people in person, as we have things in common and seem to have similar sorts of personalities and sense of humor, but they live very far from me.
These are some of the issues I have had to deal with in my friendships. Self-absorbedness, doing things on the other person's terms, being ditched once the other person is with a partner, being somewhat ignored unless a more liked mutual friend is around, physical distance, lack of lots of common interests, and so on.
I've spent good chunks of time the last couple of years alone, awkwardly going to places alone in public and trying to find things to do. Sometimes I would make small-talk with clerks and bartenders, attempting to find a new friend or date. It's been difficult to deal with at times, and I realize I need more good friends. I'm just not sure how to go about it, especially at my age. I always assumed it would be easier to meet new people in a decent-sized city. Maybe I just don't know where to go to meet people who are my kind.
Being somewhat introverted doesn't help. It can be a challenge for me to approach people sometimes. I think given time I could get to know some people better at my new job, but making small talk there is difficult.
I guess I'm not entirely sure what I'm looking for from this thread. Advice on where to make friends? Advice on what to do differently? An analyzation of my situation? Idk really. But some honest feedback would be nice.
You have talked about what other people’s friendship was for you and what they contributed (or didn’t) but what do you think you can bring to a friendship? Something to think about ...
I think you are right in saying you don’t know where to find like-minded people. Organizations or Clubs are the best. If you like biking or art, then join those groups. Book clubs are great way to develop conversations and friendships.
Your help and suggestions on this site are well thought out. That’s skills needed in groups and social change organizations.
I agree, I think it’s really hard to make friends with like minded people and also agree that joining a club in something you are interested in is the best way.
I’m fairly introverted too, at school I really only had two close friends but tbh I was very happy being in a small group. I was friendly with other people in my year but they never became friendships.
It is also down to pushing yourself out of your comfort and going and doing something, which is hard the first time, but you feel better once you’ve done it. And then you confidence/self esteems grows.
I was really struggling settling into uni, and didn’t seem to be making many friends. Then someone started up a book club and I made myself go and I really enjoy meeting up and discussing the books eve all just read. I wouldn’t say I’ve made any real friends with anyone in this club yet, I think that takes time. It’s also good way to analyse other people (without being too judgemental) and see what kind of person they are too, before becoming friends with them.
I would still keep in touch with the friends you already do have, even if you do have to instigate the conversation first, (does that really matter?) and carry on looking else where too
I also think your replies to threads on here are really good and thoughtful too