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TheGoggles
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12 Nov 2013, 5:03 pm

One of the most frustrating problems I've encountered is not being able to find social groups where it's socially acceptable to go alone.

I've gone to festivals and events. I was the only one there without friends/an SO/children.

I've tried going to local bars and clubs. Only one there without friends or an SO.

I've tried going to churches even though I have never been religious. They didn't kick me out, but they always treated me differently because I came alone and didn't know anyone.

The only place I've gone that regularly has single people is Alcoholics Anonymous. I've never had an alcohol problem. It's more of a Fight Club thing, where I go to highly supportive groups featuring people that society rejected. But it's not enough. My depression and hopelessness are dominating my life.

Where can a person legitimately go to make friends and not be shunned for being isolated?



JanuaryMan
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12 Nov 2013, 8:34 pm

Asperger's support groups, book clubs, groups on Meetup.Com (soul purpose of most of the groups is to meet new people and hang out together).
To add to that there's regional meetups for interest sites like WrongPlanet, or whatever discussion forum for your special interest.



Dear_one
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14 Nov 2013, 12:31 am

I had good luck with co-op houses. Jobs sometimes work. Volunteer organizations usually get recruits singly. Things like camera clubs are sometimes keen to grow, and sometimes rather closed. If you are in a larger community, Adult Children Anonymous is a better match than AA.



timf
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14 Nov 2013, 10:52 am

Quote:
I've tried going to churches even though I have never been religious. They didn't kick me out, but they always treated me differently because I came alone and didn't know anyone.


You might try calling a church secretary and asking her if she knew of an older retired person who might have the time to meet with you once a week for a Bible study. The way churches operate, they may try to get you into a class with the pastor to be "processed". If you can avoid that and get connected to a real person who has the time for you, you will be ahead of the game.

If you can't get past church systems that always seem to want to process you like they did in school, you may want to consider nursing homes. Sometimes they have programs where you could read to someone and you might develop a friendship there. They might want you to go through an established organization in attempt to make sure you would be likely to harm or rob a patient.

You might contact a prison chaplain and see if they know of anyone who could use a visitor.

As our society becomes increasingly collectivized, there are fewer opportunities for real relationships. Those that still seek them have to work around the fringes.



TheGoggles
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14 Nov 2013, 1:43 pm

JanuaryMan wrote:
Asperger's support groups, book clubs, groups on Meetup.Com (soul purpose of most of the groups is to meet new people and hang out together).
To add to that there's regional meetups for interest sites like WrongPlanet, or whatever discussion forum for your special interest.


I live in a city that thrives on tourism, so there's really nothing for locals in terms of support beyond AA and NA. The Meetup groups are either specifically for women, defunct, or mostly attended by people who are much older than me. No photography club either. I love photography, so I definitely checked that. I tried to volunteer at the Humane Society here, but the staff kind of resented me being there. Not that I blame them for being unfriendly. Their jobs are insanely distressing and hard, and it's a safe bet that the pay is beyond bad.



Yuzu
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15 Nov 2013, 7:50 pm

JanuaryMan wrote:
Asperger's support groups, book clubs, groups on Meetup.Com (soul purpose of most of the groups is to meet new people and hang out together).
To add to that there's regional meetups for interest sites like WrongPlanet, or whatever discussion forum for your special interest.


Is it really ok to go to a Meetup.com event by yourself? I've always wanted to go but if I was afraid to do so.
Have you personally attended any of the meetup event all by yourself?



Stalk
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16 Nov 2013, 12:06 am

Yuzu wrote:
JanuaryMan wrote:
Asperger's support groups, book clubs, groups on Meetup.Com (soul purpose of most of the groups is to meet new people and hang out together).
To add to that there's regional meetups for interest sites like WrongPlanet, or whatever discussion forum for your special interest.


Is it really ok to go to a Meetup.com event by yourself? I've always wanted to go but if I was afraid to do so.
Have you personally attended any of the meetup event all by yourself?

I went to a movie group at meetup.com. We would go and then afterwards spend 3min talking about the movie. The rest of the evening was small talk, socialising. They later renamed the group to 20 something social group to exclude older people.

I think it is the only way to go to meet real people face to face. One of my colleagues at work recognised my picture on meetup. Was kind of awkward since I didn't expect him to go too. He went to groups that were more specific intellectual, like programmers groups etc.



gigstalksguy
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16 Nov 2013, 12:17 pm

TheGoggles wrote:
One of the most frustrating problems I've encountered is not being able to find social groups where it's socially acceptable to go alone.

I've gone to festivals and events. I was the only one there without friends/an SO/children.

I've tried going to local bars and clubs. Only one there without friends or an SO.

I've tried going to churches even though I have never been religious. They didn't kick me out, but they always treated me differently because I came alone and didn't know anyone.

The only place I've gone that regularly has single people is Alcoholics Anonymous. I've never had an alcohol problem. It's more of a Fight Club thing, where I go to highly supportive groups featuring people that society rejected. But it's not enough. My depression and hopelessness are dominating my life.

Where can a person legitimately go to make friends and not be shunned for being isolated?


First of all, well done for getting out there to meet people. Sometimes in order to get the friends you want, you have to take a step outside your comfort zone, and that sounds like the sort of thing you are doing.

I agree with other members that meetup.com may be a good place to meet new people, I've been to loads of these sorts of things, and the majority of people either come on their own or with a friend that they met at meetup.com events, so most people will go alone the first time they do it.

What you said about churches is really interesting, and very sad too. I've been to a number of different churches, and one of the main problems I've witnessed and experienced in cliches forming, particularly among the young people. It can be very hard to get into a social group if you come along on your own, and the only way to integrate into a cliche is by being friends with one person who is part of that cliche, who has a level of social influence. The other problem with churches is that very often they're dominated my married couples with children or older people - single people can easily get left out in the cold. It's a very sad situation, you would think that if the bible teaches to look after after the orphans and the widows, the downcast, poor, and those in need, then church members should be looking out for people on their own and making a special effort to invite them to integrate more. But in reality this does not happen as much, or in the way that it should. But that does not mean you should give up on church!

In any case, building a social life from scratch, something I have had to do and something that it looks like you are doing, sometimes has to be taken one step at a time, like building blocks. Rather than try to get to know loads of people casually (easily done at both meetup events and churches) it is good to try to start with one or two good, loyal friends, who will hopefully help to open some doors for you. Usually the best friends are not made just by chatting in the pub, or over coffee after the sunday morning service. They usually develop when you are doing something together, a common activity, and also when one person has a need for the other (or both ways). For instance, if you are into DIY and I needed someone to mend my ceiling roof, someone may recommend you come round and take a look By having a reason for meeting up with someone to begin with, it is much easier to start talking to that person socially, get to know each other, and organise some type of social event. Hope this makes sense.


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Enigmatic_Oddity
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17 Nov 2013, 3:16 am

As someone who frequents music festivals, if you're really into the music, it's a better experience alone. Don't have to coordinate your schedules, don't have to sit through sets you aren't interested in because someone else wanted to see it, can go to take a dump without having to worry about the logistics of meeting up again in huge packed crowds.



Cafeaulait
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17 Nov 2013, 6:29 am

This is the same for me too. I am too conscious of judgement.