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gambori
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09 Mar 2010, 12:32 am

hi i am 59 and i am married. my wife recently left me and i am going crazy with boredom and loneliness. i am wondering how do you people manage? are you able to make friends? or maybe, you do not feel the need to have friends?

my guess is that old people who are alone, either, can make friends, or, can manage w/o friends. i am so desperate that i feel i would have committed suicide long ago if i hadn't married. maybe that's why i have not been able to find somebody else who is alone and desperately needs friends

any comments would be much appreciated



Eggman
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09 Mar 2010, 1:32 am

I have a few friends


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Tory_canuck
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09 Mar 2010, 2:04 am

I have 2 good friends.One is a mature student and the other is an immigrant from El Salvador :)


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lelia
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09 Mar 2010, 2:57 am

Our local newspaper has a volunteer request column on Wednesdays. There must be hundreds of organizations around you that could use your help and be a source of human contact.



Salonfilosoof
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11 Mar 2010, 5:28 pm

I have a few close friends, but most of them tend to either live too far away to see on a weekly basis or they lead quite busy lives or they have settled or are at the point of settling (I'm 28 myself). As a consequence, I feel no less lonely even though ironically my misanthropy grows on a daily basis.



Salonfilosoof
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11 Mar 2010, 5:30 pm

lelia wrote:
Our local newspaper has a volunteer request column on Wednesdays. There must be hundreds of organizations around you that could use your help and be a source of human contact.


You can't join an organisation just for the point of meeting people. I've often wondered what organisation I could join, but I simply don't have a clue. If you join a hobby club for a hobby you're not interested in, you won't feel at ease either.



eb31
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13 Mar 2010, 2:02 pm

I have 5 friends now but went years without any at all. When I was married just being with my husband (borderline personality disordered) was overwhelming and all I could handle. When I decided to divorce him I knew I needed support so I put a lot of work into making friends.

I joined a couple of support groups and also made huge efforts at work and with the parents my kids' friends. Of my friends, one I get together with several times a month, two more a few times a month, and the other two about once a month. I also make as much small talk as I can handle at work and try really hard to inquire about things people have mentioned before (like if they said their kid was sick last week, I want to ask about the kid next time I talk to them). Work is my practice zone.

It takes a huge amount of personal effort for me to maintain these friendships but I really need and want them. In the beginning I read lots of articles on how to make friends and be a good friend and one of the things was a list that I read daily.

I accept every invitation I receive to socialize (yes, its hard) and also invite others over to my home or to events I'm planning to do with my kids. I used to feel really rejected when one said no to me, but now I just go to the next person until one says yes or I run out of people to ask.

I hope that is helpful to you.



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13 Mar 2010, 4:30 pm

I've had my chances, I just haven't capitalized on any of them but this time I plan on doing something about it. I will..... well I say that now.


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ursaminor
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13 Mar 2010, 7:06 pm

I used to have friends.
But I did not make them, they just wanted to be friends with me for some reason.
This was nice because there were things I could not do on my own.
But not anymore.
I no longer feel the need for social interaction.
Or verbal communication, for that matter.



passionatebach
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14 Mar 2010, 11:43 pm

I have made acquaintances with quite a few people over the years. All people have to do is get involved in organizations or activities, and be involved for awhile. I have acquaintances through my political work, through the Unitarian church in which I attend, and from the community activities that I am involved in.

I have had a few close friends in my life, but it seems after awhile, I either become estranged from these people, or they become another acquaitance.

The hardest thing has been for me to make friends from my own age group (late 20's/early 30's), since most of the people I have met through the above mentioned activities are usually older.



jagatai
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15 Mar 2010, 12:41 am

gambori wrote:
hi i am 59 and i am married. my wife recently left me and i am going crazy with boredom and loneliness. i am wondering how do you people manage? are you able to make friends? or maybe, you do not feel the need to have friends?

my guess is that old people who are alone, either, can make friends, or, can manage w/o friends. i am so desperate that i feel i would have committed suicide long ago if i hadn't married. maybe that's why i have not been able to find somebody else who is alone and desperately needs friends

any comments would be much appreciated


It sounds like you are going through a really hard time right now. I hope it can be eased quickly.

Churches can be a good starting point. (Perhaps this is a bit odd, coming from an atheist, but the key issue here is not religion, but an existing and accessible social structure) They are often structured specifically to provide a kind of social network that anyone can join if they need it. I sometimes go to a friend's church and the people there are generally accepting and decent. There are often activities that can be good ice breakers. Sometimes I find the almost forced friendliness a bit off putting, but I guess forced friendliness is better than forced surliness. :lol:

Volunteering can be a good way to at least have some interaction with people and to get a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Obviously you have to find something that you would enjoy helping with and just trust that some social support can come along with it.

Classes are another way to be connected to other people with like minds.

All that said, I have always had trouble making friends. I have relied on others to introduce me to new people and even then it is very hard for me to extend my group of regular contacts beyond the few people I am immediately comfortable with. I don't think that there is any easy answer. Putting yourself out there and trying to make friends is hard work. If you can find a few organizations that help make it easier, hopefully that will take some of the pressure off of you.

Good luck,

Lars



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15 Mar 2010, 1:10 am

I've managed to make friends, but it didn't happen, overnight. I was well out of college, before I've found a decent group of friends to hang out with. I love my friends, very much. :)


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15 Mar 2010, 1:12 am

I have a few friends. Undoubtedly it's hard to make new ones as an aspie or as a generally awkward person.

At 59 the best bet is finding local groups, churches or clubs with interests you're interested in.


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Salonfilosoof
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15 Mar 2010, 6:43 am

Zara wrote:
At 59 the best bet is finding local groups, churches or clubs with interests you're interested in.


But what if you're not religious, you're bad at starting conversations with local strangers and you have no interests really suitable for joining a club?

Classes and volunteering seem the better options in my opinion. In fact, I was recently considering volunteering myself.



CobaltBlew
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20 Mar 2010, 4:10 am

I had friends at school, but when I left I didn't keep in touch and that was about 2-3 years ago.