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Alone after 40
When I was younger, being alone wasn't that big of a deal. I had a career to keep me busy and somehow there was always someone around, even if not a close friend. As I go into the sunset of 40, I am starting to notice that old friends are a holiday call, coworkers are eyeballs deep in the joy that we call life and parenting and more often than not I now converse with my TV.

I have tried hobby groups, book clubs, even knitting clubs! I can't connect with anyone. It seems many have a really narrow view of the world and subjects outside of their comfort zones are not welcome. No books in knitting, just gossip will do. All serious in the book club, we don't watch laymen TV, gosh how common! My hobby is not very feminine and "the little woman" was asked to serve refreshments. They got served, all right. 

Online games give me a bit of human interaction but it's rare to find someone my age. Lack of company in games makes me slowly move away from them too. It's a rather jarring reminder of how alone I am when some pixel thingy kicks my tail because it's a party mob and I don't have anyone to even say boo.

So.. what now? I can't do fake. Will not smile at Ms. Knit-A-Lot and tsk tsk about her neighbors' dog and her cardigan. Stuck up is stuck up no matter how many books you wave around. Joe Barbecue will always be stuck in the 18th century and I am so not the type to bat eyelashes and be demure. I do accept it's a me issue. The older I get, the less tolerance I have for BS and thus the less people circle around. Everybody gets so offended now!

Anyway, older fellow humans.. What do you do to feel less alone? How do you cope with them nights when reality hits?
i'm 38 years old. what i do to feel less alone is i use my laptop and modem, doing my sewing projects, play with my cat, dog, sheep, cows, do a little body exercise. in nights i use my laptop pretty much it.

sometimes there's a party with people thank God, it's like once in two month, i'm a loner i enjoyed my alone time.
i go shopping alone, i go to the book store alone.

not faking it. so i say is acceptance with what we have now improve it if we struggle then know its not for us.
must be me right?  Cool

I read a lot. Though, that doesn’t always make me feel any less lonely. Just that fictional characters and people from history who have been dead for hundreds of years, are the only ones who let me get close.

Like you I have tried so many interest groups and hobbies. Real life ones, and online ones. And just don’t make connections with anyone. There seems to be a weariness about anyone who is new, or unknown. If you don’t already know someone in the group ... and you’re not an extrovert who can just talk to people and make friends easy ... it seems like you are frozen out. That’s my experience anyway, and have been told that numerous times in groups I have tried to join.

Plus, I think, in general, most people seem to want friends who are in the same social stage of life as they are.

I also do art, photography. Gym, go for walks and bike rides. Again, not really things that make me feel any less lonely though. For me, part of being lonely is because I want someone to share doing those things with. So. Yeah. It’s not really something that I can say that there is anything I do where I don’t feel the loneliness.
You're doing the right thing in joining activity/interest groups, although it sounds as though you've found groups that have existing cliques and a high-browed view of themselves. New members should really be embraced into any organisation, even the coldest groups should surely at the least realise the financial benefit of more members joining. Don't blame yourself if people don't extend friendship towards you.

Keep trying, don't give up even though giving up is easy to do and seems to make sense sometimes. It can take time to find the right things and get familiar with people, but it does happen eventually.
I don't really know what I do, to be honest. Sometimes I just ride it out tough, as it hits like a large wave that makes me feel as though I won't make it back up for air. On the one hand, I'm desperately lonely and would like not to be; but, on the other hand, I don't really want to let ANYONE into my life. I either distrust them outright, or just can't seem to connect on any meaningful level that could develop any kind of story or dialogue. I don't know why that is. I think I have this sort of reserved seat in my mind, and I can't find the person it belongs too. Or, I had friends, who are more distant now, and I don't know how to let all that past clutter go to make room for new stuff. Maybe I don't know enough about my own personal story to even get started. My book was dropped in a puddle, some of the pages have melted away, etc... Or, I'm just stuck, in a rut, to put it less dramatically...

I watch a lot of youtube, play a little poker, fire up a short gaming session here and there. If I'm lucky I'll write something that I won't be able to publish because I'm not confident in my writing any more, or too critical of it, to the point it just never feels finished. I used to be much better at being alone.

For me, part of it is just, the fee is too high. I'm tired of knowing exactly how everything will play out; but, even more so, I don't want to go through all that. I don't want to be the new person in the group. I don't want to have to be outsider everyone struggles to understand and decide, 'is he one of us?' All the social dynamics are just too fucking tiring. Maybe that makes me stuck up and I think I'm better than everyone else; but, I mean come the fuck on. Isn't there anyone else who realizes how stupid all this shit is? I just don't want all the sing and dance about it. Aside from that, what the fuck am I supposed to say on a light social level? When you are floating down the river with others you can converse a bit about the scenery and strike up conversation; but, when you are struggling to keep your head above water for most of the way, it's hard to do that.

I guess I widdle time away... I enjoy the nights where I can enjoy my Startrek episodes before bed. Or lately, I get a flight of outrageous ideas and I write a bit.

I don't really know... I'm lonely; but, I don't know how to let anyone in. I don't want to let anyone in. I can't.
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard inner battle.
Namu Amida Butsu.

Eveningprimrose, I think your progression in life with its relationship deficiencies is what many of us face, particularly single people without good families.  No doubt, when others are busy and happy with their numerous family relationships, it takes extra effort for the outsider without shared family interests to break into their social circle.  That still leaves a lot of single prospects though who, like you, are in need of a good friend.
The others above make good suggestions to pursue both solo activities that give you daily satisfaction and outside social activities that give you relationship prospects.  You may have done your share of this and not been successful, but I think both pursuits are worthwhile efforts.

Like you, my career consumed much of my time and attention, and losing it 5 years ago has forced me to look elsewhere for satisfaction.  While I've always been a Christian, retirement has allowed me to reassess my faith, values, and priorities, and the result has been a refocusing of my time and attention on what matters most in life - knowing and loving God, and showing love and kindness to others. I now spend considerable time and effort each day towards these two goals and it's given me a new perspective on life in many ways.

While becoming more active with my faith hasn't negated my lack of a mate, caring family, or more good friends, it has compensated for it immensely by helping me to better understand the big picture of life and to appreciate the ultimate love from my Creator.  You see, if life is about love and relationships with God and people, then I have a lot of control over the matter by what I focus my time and attention on.

We may not be able to pick our families, find a loving mate, or ever acquire enough close friends, but we sure can fulfill the first, most important relationship need in life by spending time and effort to know, love, and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.  That really should be easy with anyone having an open heart to the evidence.  Now, loving people?  That's harder for sure, but it's why we're here: to learn.

So, to answer your final question:  I've found that being retired and single allows me abundant time to do things for myself that make a day worthwhile - like hitting the gym for some real exercise, walking around town, biking outdoors, working on personal projects (like my music collection and photo diary), and watching TV and movies for entertainment.  But, I also spend a couple of hours a day building and maintaining my relationship with the Lord and seeking to serve others.  I have a purpose now that lets me appreciate each new day and look forward to it.  Feeling or even being alone needn't interfere with that desirable goal.
I am really surprised and frustrated there aren't more resources on the internet for this.

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