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Is going back to school the only way left to make friends??

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Zen28

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I'm in my late thirties and am trapped in a catch 22 with building relationships. You need friends to make friends, and I have no relationships at all. It's not as bad as it sounds but it is very tedious and there's no help to get back into society. So is going back to school (not distance learning) the only way left?

From my experience the lack of information to build relationships in this situation is pretty depressing. You get the usual:

- Join a club. This only works if you know members already, and have preferably been born in the local area, otherwise no one trusts you.
- Read a book. Great, if you're lonely, read about people having a good time. 🤨
- Volunteering. According to the internet volunteering is the answer to getting anything you want. Actually volunteering is about giving, not getting. You don't get anything back from volunteering, nothing. That's the point.
- Work. Probably the worst environment to make friends is a place where it's stressful, demanding, competitive and serious. Unless you're a masochist or someone.
- Meetup.com. Very unsuitable if you've been out of the loop for a while, and has unfortunately come to dominate the online market.
- Religion: No thanks.

And those are your options. Except those aren't options if you're alone, they're just things for people who want to expand their existing networks. No matter how I reshape my attitude, the lack of choice is really daunting. You're simply screwed if you are alone - you get no chance with people.

So are there alternatives to going back to school? It isn't the cure for everything to me, only that there's so few, if any other options to get back into society. I'm just a bit tired of reading articles that say you can meet people by approaching random strangers in coffee shops or bars like it was as simple as a netflix adventure. Or you just click on the arrows over their heads and select the dropdown options. Yeah just tired of playing against the odds.
 

mizera

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I've spent a lot of time thinking about this. The problem is that it takes a long time to turn an acquaintance into a friend. As adults, we go to work and then go home. So people make friends at work. Then I suppose there is a wider circle from old school friends to friends of friends. People have their romantic relationships and their friends at this age and there's no time to develop new relationships unless there is a job or activity where new introductions are made.

I've given up on the idea of making friends. I'm not particularly needy, so my hope is to meet a woman. I think I can be satisfied with just one relationship. I like being alone, but I don't like it all the time. I need someone to talk to and I'd like to feel appreciated.

I suspect that there are a lot of people who have friends but aren't very close to them. I think there is a lot more loneliness in the world than it seems. I am on the extreme end I think, and it makes me very anxious.
 

Adamridge79

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Both of your posts resonate with me also. There was one therapist I had that loved to bring up how in school we were basically forced to be around a large and varied group of peers. But I wasn't all that friend involved, more like whoever smoked both cigarettes and weed. Kinda was the common theme for my twenties. I found that a relationship was enough for me. It kept me having someone to talk to and if I had a desire to actually do something, someone to do it with. But it's been six years, and I find myself lonely. I do read, so that one's ok for me. And I like the people I work with....at work. I don't like large groups of people, so no clubs for me. I'd rather financially support a cause than volunteer for one. And I'm glad that some people enjoy what they get from their chosen religion, but that's also not for me. Maybe something will change in my near future, but I won't exactly hold my breath. So I come here and type words, and sometimes words are typed back.
 

xxReidxx

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Your posts resonate with me. Out of all of those options, it seems like meetup.com is the next holy grail for social opportunities- I'll have to explore that. I agree with your points about friends- I haven't had one for years and don't need one anymore. Acquaintances are nice though. Religion is not a good place to meet people- it's a place to meet God but then God wants you to meet people so it's complicated. School is better online nowadays tbh. Community college was more like high school in the fact that social clicks made it hell to feel involved- I didn't make any friends in on-campus Community College and Undergraduate.
 

4No1

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And those are your options. Except those aren't options if you're alone, they're just things for people who want to expand their existing networks. No matter how I reshape my attitude, the lack of choice is really daunting. You're simply screwed if you are alone - you get no chance with people.

I have some friends(most of them I see once a year and our interests are quite different now, I'm not sure we are still friends), but the options don't work for expanding a network as well. At least in my case.
Have no idea how do people meet each other "everywhere", maybe they are just super-extroverts.
 

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