Why is it so difficult to keep / make friends?

  • Rhi_Bran

    Posts: 904

    Jul 15, 2013 11:10 AM GMT
    Or is it just me?

    I had a great friends group when I was at college. We'd hang out regularly, there was never any lack of conversation, and good times were had. Now, however, I'm lucky if I hear a word from any one of them in a week. I'm always the one to initiate conversations, let alone making plans to hang out. I have to struggle to get any of them to do anything.

    I've been trying to make new friends. I joined a nearby gaymer group of about 10 people. However, out of all of them, only one or two of them are down to earth; most of them are somewhat catty and overly-competitive. I'm no saint, but at least when I play video games I don't get nearly so hot headed. There's one guy from the group I keep trying to hang out with, and he says he wants to, but he keeps putting me off. I've been trying to make plans with him for over a month now. Nothing so far.

    Do people just not care so much about friends after college? I don't enjoy speaking out of hurt like this because it almost always backfires, but I just feel betrayed and lonely. Someone once told me, "you'll never be happy around others until you can be perfectly happy by yourself". I think that's bullshit. I'm not super extroverted, but I love people and love to be around them. I'm happiest when I'm around people. Is that a bad thing?

    I don't know what to do...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 15, 2013 11:24 AM GMT
    Friend groups like you have at college don't really happen in the "real world". When you're on campus, there's thousands of people in the same situation as you, probably with the same interest, and the same age - it's easy to make a close-knit group of friends who all hang out all the time.

    The real world is different. You've got to make friends in different places and in different ways. Work is one way to meet people. So are hobbies. For example, I make music, so I make loads of musician friends by being in bands, doing gigs, etc.

    I moved to Bristol knowing a handful of people, and I've just come to know so many more people through said friends. Helps that this is a super friendly city.
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    Jul 15, 2013 1:46 PM GMT
    Friends keep best if you freeze them promptly.
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    Jul 15, 2013 4:26 PM GMT
    It's definitely not just you. Keeping friends is difficult, especially once you start losing something in common to talk about with them.

    I made a lot of close friends in junior high who I thought I would be friends with forever. We all ended up in same high school and my hope for our lasting friendships only strengthened. Then, university came along and everything sort of fell apart. During summer holidays when I came back home to see them, we could barely avoid moments of awkward silence by just catching up but not really talking about anything new. I found our conversations getting less interesting, and felt less motivated to make the effort of getting them together to see them again.

    It wasn't only until recently that I came to accept that I may come across only a handful of people whom I will be able to establish indefinitely lasting friendship with. It's a harsh truth, but it doesn't mean you'll make "temporary" friends along the way. Based on my personal experience and that of others, it is awfully easy to make friends at work; a few things are as fun as bitching about something you do eight hours per day to meet the budget. Another good place to make friends is through volunteering, where it will be more likely for you to meet selfless, caring individuals than anywhere else. If not, just make a very short list of things you are passionate about, and see if you can find a meetup group for it. You can use this one http://www.meetup.com/find/ , for example, to find a local group to do things with.

    Well, I hope this response has helped. Don't lose hope! I've met plenty of people who've had friends for ages to know that it is possible to meet someone who you can be friends with indefinitely. I am positive that you will find long lasting friends as long as you stay optimistic and open-minded. Good luck!
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    Jul 15, 2013 6:05 PM GMT
    i thought this was going to be another thread by that irish kid.


    Rhi_Bran said

    I've been trying to make new friends.



    yeah. don't.

    trying is the first step towards failure.

    & what that person meant is that you have to love yourself first in order for you to give love to others. that is actually very true.

    you sound so desperate.

    you should be enjoying your moment of solitude.

    but if you want friends so badly then just be a friend.

    that means you have to start caring about people. and not just you.
  • Joe777777

    Posts: 4

    Jul 15, 2013 6:15 PM GMT
    "It's hard to make and keep a friend." I can count them on my 2 hands. 6 to be exact. When in college/school most people you see daily are acquaintances. NOT FRIENDS.

    My friends are people I can depend on for anything. Support/be there when I need them/someone to talk with about anything/non judgemental/loving me for who and what I am.

    Yes, they are few. You'll usually know when someone wants to be your friend. Sex never enters the equation with any of my friends. That's usually the best way to ruin a friendship.
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    Jul 15, 2013 6:17 PM GMT
    Try to join the social Meetup groups. Those are more for people who want to make friends, meet people AND then they have the balls to act on it. Gamer/Computer/Tech groups tend not to be social groups because the people in those fields tend to be either shy or very introverted. Your conversations would likely be about the technology/product/application itself versus your personalities.

    You also have to step a little outside of your comfortzone and deal will feeling a little "fish out of waterish" so that other fishes will feel comfortable with you.
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    Jul 15, 2013 8:03 PM GMT
    hotwncguy4u said"It's hard to make and keep a friend." I can count them on my 2 hands. 6 to be exact. When in college/school most people you see daily are acquaintances. NOT FRIENDS.

    My friends are people I can depend on for anything. Support/be there when I need them/someone to talk with about anything/non judgemental/loving me for who and what I am.

    Yes, they are few. You'll usually know when someone wants to be your friend. Sex never enters the equation with any of my friends. That's usually the best way to ruin a friendship.

    Not true. I can say I have like 8-9 GOOD friends from university. It's another thing we are distributed around the world. Even I can count on my friends from high school.

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    Jul 15, 2013 8:06 PM GMT
    Meetup is a good way to meet people but I am doubtful about the level of friendship you develop there.
    Also try to go to meetups with less number of people. When there are too many people, you don't connect with anyone. You just go around repeating your introduction over and over.
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    Jul 15, 2013 8:17 PM GMT
    In college, You either have the same class, go to the same club, do the same activities. You don't have a full time job yet, so I consider College friends to be all right, not really real world friends. It depends on people. I understand what you're going through though, it's difficult to make and keep friends if your family is far away.

    I think part of the problem in the gay community is anyway ....

    . Some guys just want to sleep around and don't want to be friends unless you can offer them something

    . Some guys work all the times, you have to be on their schedule (this happened to me a lot before)

    . I hate to say this but some people just don't see you as friends even if you're trying your hardest, tough luck, move on ! Keep trying, there are good people out there.

    . One of my good gay friend and I just recently stopped talking because he invited me to go to his house to *sleep with him, I politely said no! And now, he just ignored all of my calls and texts !! I think I hurt his ego but I just don't feel that way about him. Yeah I agreed people are weird sometimes. But yeah whatever, I have a core brutal group of friends that can give it to me straight if I seek any sort of advices about boys, love, dating, work.
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    Jul 15, 2013 8:18 PM GMT
    Someone is only a friend if both of you feel loyal to one another in some fashion. Otherwise, they are friendly acquaintances, because their friendship with you is contingent upon the pleasure you provide them by your physical presence.

    This was never something I had to think about, because I have always felt loyalty's presence acutely (like a beagle can sense a rabbit), and so I never get close to anyone who isn't loyal. Consequently, I don't tend to lose my friends (haven't lost one yet), even if most of my friendly acquaintances fade with time. I am now able to articulate what I have always felt ever since I was a little boy.

    It sounds like most of your friends aren't actually friends. Friends are hard to come by, and the number of people who could be true friends isn't all that large.

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    Jul 15, 2013 8:26 PM GMT
    Unfortunately once you're out of college it's the real world. People are busier and are trying to establish their lives. It's not like living on campus with all your friends right there with you. The only people I really get to see on a regular basis are my colleagues.
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Jul 15, 2013 8:32 PM GMT
    KJSharp saidIt sounds like most of your friends aren't actually friends. Friends are hard to come by, and the number of people who could be true friends isn't all that large.

    This is my experience. There are "levels" of friendship, so to say. The acquaintance level friends come and go due to circumstance. The ones that are true friends don't cease being friends no matter what. We may not see one another for months or even years but we do keep in touch and are very much a part of one another's lives. When we do see one another again, it is as if no time has passed at all.
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    Jul 15, 2013 9:18 PM GMT
    OP just keep doing what you're doing. Keep being true to yourself, and then the people who stick by your side will be the ones who matter. And the people who don't stick by your side will be the ones that don't matter. If you find yourself alone then seek out friends who not only share your interest, but also share values systems similar to your own. Cheers & Good luck! icon_wink.gif
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    Jul 15, 2013 10:22 PM GMT
    Get busy. Before long you'll encounter someone who complains about how they're always the initiator with you.
  • Breeman

    Posts: 339

    Jul 15, 2013 10:30 PM GMT
    I have friends from kindergarden, grade school and college. I don't always hang out but we keep in touch and meet up once in a while. It's about making the friendship work; calling, texting, doing things together and working out differences. You have to make the effort to keep the friendships going.
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    Jul 15, 2013 10:31 PM GMT
    It really isn't difficult to meet people and make friends. The secret is to get out there. Don't stay home too much. Get out in front of people and talk to them. One simple way is to have a big friendly dog (like mine) and honestly, everywhere you go people will chat with you (about the dog). Lots of people - and I'm not kidding.

    Another thing to do is join your alumni association and go to things they're putting on. Lectures, guest speakers parties, board meetings, hikes, parties at people's houses, you name it. Also - sometimes there are like minded people in our workplaces that we become friends with after hours.

    There are more - but the key is to get out there. I learned that to have a friend, I had to "be" a friend. You can do it. I was once shy - and I made myself overcome it. Good luck!
  • Rhi_Bran

    Posts: 904

    Jul 15, 2013 10:37 PM GMT
    Thanks for all the responses guys. Yes, I was well aware when leaving college that it would mean spending less time with friends. But as I said, some of my closest friends live within at least an hour of me. A few of them don't have full time work. Yet I'm lucky if I see one of them once a month, or hear so much as a "hello" from one unless I say something first.

    Johnny_Sunshine saidi thought this was going to be another thread by that irish kid.


    Rhi_Bran said

    I've been trying to make new friends.



    yeah. don't.

    trying is the first step towards failure.

    & what that person meant is that you have to love yourself first in order for you to give love to others. that is actually very true.

    you sound so desperate.

    you should be enjoying your moment of solitude.

    but if you want friends so badly then just be a friend.

    that means you have to start caring about people. and not just you.


    You must be one of those kinds of people who just assumes that because someone is lonely and hurting that they must be attention-grubbing and narcissistic. You don't know my heart, so kindly don't impugn it.
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    Jul 15, 2013 11:06 PM GMT
    I enjoy when I am alone, in a good sense I consider myself a loner, even though I have a lot of friends and can be pretty social when I want to.

    But I do feel my friendships don't last forever. Unlike some guys and gals I know of, my friendships tend to be very intense for some months, even years, but then it cools down. I am usually the one who tries to keep the bond, but eventually cools down. Our friendship rarely is forgotten, but its never the same.
    Though it hurts sometimes (especially if it happens when you are going through a difficult moment), I feel that friendship is pretty much like a romantic relationship: they rarely last forever, because they need reinforcement, communication, love and support from both parts. We usually depict friendship like an easy state of our lives that can last easily forever in comparison with a romantic relationship, but
    how often do we have a best buddy for a whole lifetime?

    But don't worry mate, eventually you'll find a close friend, and you'll know if its permanent-material or not icon_smile.gif
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    Jul 15, 2013 11:11 PM GMT
    stevee90 saidIt's definitely not just you. Keeping friends is difficult, especially once you start losing something in common to talk about with them.

    I made a lot of close friends in junior high who I thought I would be friends with forever. We all ended up in same high school and my hope for our lasting friendships only strengthened. Then, university came along and everything sort of fell apart. During summer holidays when I came back home to see them, we could barely avoid moments of awkward silence by just catching up but not really talking about anything new. I found our conversations getting less interesting, and felt less motivated to make the effort of getting them together to see them again.

    It wasn't only until recently that I came to accept that I may come across only a handful of people whom I will be able to establish indefinitely lasting friendship with. It's a harsh truth, but it doesn't mean you'll make "temporary" friends along the way. Based on my personal experience and that of others, it is awfully easy to make friends at work; a few things are as fun as bitching about something you do eight hours per day to meet the budget. Another good place to make friends is through volunteering, where it will be more likely for you to meet selfless, caring individuals than anywhere else. If not, just make a very short list of things you are passionate about, and see if you can find a meetup group for it. You can use this one http://www.meetup.com/find/ , for example, to find a local group to do things with.

    Well, I hope this response has helped. Don't lose hope! I've met plenty of people who've had friends for ages to know that it is possible to meet someone who you can be friends with indefinitely. I am positive that you will find long lasting friends as long as you stay optimistic and open-minded. Good luck!



    "Meeting people on volunteer groups, I actually hadn't seen it that way. Good idea icon_smile.gif"
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    Jul 16, 2013 12:35 AM GMT
    because most human beings are twisted dangerous violent creatures that care about nothing but themselves. icon_mad.gif
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    Jul 16, 2013 12:47 AM GMT
    That because of three simple things:
    1) People are narcissistic
    2) People let their emotions/temper get the best of them
    3) People are proud (especially men, you know it's true guys)

    1) People tend to hold friends to similar criteria to relationship partners e.g. social status, beauty, and social image. Is he in shape, is he handsome, does he do manly sports, does he have a good job, makes good money?
    People tend to not try to make friends with people who don't meet their criteria and will usually make "Friends" with people they don't even like or maybe don't like them back because they meet the criteria
    2) People tend to fight a lot about difference in ideals, opinions etc. They aren't happy to look pass differences but like to argue to be right in the matter which leads to argument which can develop into fights which can ruin a friendship which leads me to number 3
    3) The poison of mankind, PRIDE, we love being right and we will do anything for pride sadly, wether you're a politician or the average Joe, we are very proud, and when it comes to friendship it can be bad, especially after fights or arguments we tend to be too proud to admit we were wrong and admit it and like to stand our ground instead of turning the other cheek

    SOLUTION: Open your frontiers, maybe that jock who acts like an asshole is a pretty decent guy just with a facade, and that quiet guy who doesn't mingle much has some very interesting things to say.
    Don't fight, he's muslim you're christian, good keep it that way, he doesn't have to convert you and you don't have to convert him.
    And if you guys fight, if you're wrong SUCK IT UP and APOLOGISE, and if you're right and the other is too proud, apologise as well and be the better man icon_smile.gif no reason to fuck up a friendship.

    And that is the secret to a lasting friendship

    *Bonus: Be a good listener, everyone even the people who seem to have perfect lives have problems, ask them about them and listen, they will thank you
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    Jul 16, 2013 1:23 AM GMT
    Jockbod48 saidIt really isn't difficult to meet people and make friends. The secret is to get out there. Don't stay home too much. Get out in front of people and talk to them. One simple way is to have a big friendly dog (like mine) and honestly, everywhere you go people will chat with you (about the dog). Lots of people - and I'm not kidding.

    Another thing to do is join your alumni association and go to things they're putting on. Lectures, guest speakers parties, board meetings, hikes, parties at people's houses, you name it. This has worked hugely for me.

    If any of your friends are in a Rotary Club, you should ask to get invited to be a guest, or join. This is another great way to get to know a lot of people.

    There are more - but the key is to get out there. I learned that to have a friend, I had to "be" a friend. You can do it. I was once shy - and I made myself overcome it. Good luck!


    Very good advice. Everyone loves a cute dog.

    Making friends can be hard. I'm working online, so I'm not out and around other people as much as I'd like to be, and consequently don't meet new people as much as I'd like to, but I'm working on that.

    You have to make the effort, and as Angelo said, being a good and willing listener is a great way to get people to like you.
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    Jul 16, 2013 1:53 AM GMT
    Anything else that comes to mind where you can meet up with a person / people that will create a true bond?

    ..Are you an incredibly picky person when it comes to socializing?

    What is YOUR definition of a great friend?

    ..Do you consider yourself a great friend?

    ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^
    A friend of mine asked me those questions when I was in your shoes.

    Hope it works out icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 16, 2013 2:58 AM GMT
    Although it won't make it any less vexing to hear this, what you are experiencing is quite common. It is easier to make and keep friends in college, when you are surrounded by people with whom you share many things in common. And usually, when you're in college, you don't realize how good you have it and how much harder it's going to become.

    You suspect there is an additional problem -- that your existing friends are slipping away. But it is actually part of the same problem: most people don't want to put much effort into their friendships. I blame Facebook, but that's a whole other story. The bottom line is that most of your friendships are friendships of convenience. They flourish in college, because it's easy to be friends with someone you see every day. Likewise, lots of people are friends with their co-workers.

    An hour away may not seem like much, but it's enough to kill a friendship of convenience. It is simply no longer convenient enough. When you graduate from college or change jobs, all those friendships of convenience fall away.

    What you must do is find people who are willing to make the amount of effort you are, and develop deeper bonds with them.