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Striking up friendships can be tricky — and studies show millions of us are lonely.

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It feels so forced, when you need to plan like three weeks in advance when you're going to grab a beer with someone. The people at work would be the next best thing, but aren't always the pool of people you'd necessarily want to be friends with sometimes. College dorms have all of these things.

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No wonder I made some of my best friends there. Now I moved seven states away and I don't see them anymore. Man I miss college.

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The spontaneity of it was the best part. Your neighbor could knock on your door and invite you over for a game of drunk Smash Bros, or you could literally go knocking on doors down the hall and get a gang together to go play basketball, and you can invite people over for teatime in your dorm while you guys discuss your life goals and dreams.

Now, every time I plan something with "friends" mostly co-workers who I'm on good terms withI have to schedule it way in advance, take vacation, pack everything I need, drive, dread whether or not I'll get back home safely or in time, wonder what the socially acceptable time limit to converse or hang out in someone else's apartment is, buy gifts and stuff, ugh. I just end up staying in and watching Netflix. Frequenting a bar that other like-minded people also frequent takes care of all those points.

Yeah I think proximity is huge - it's the largest factor in forming friendships and relationships for an obvious reason, which is that a song, people grow on you, but to break down the barriers you have to meet frequently and under favorable circumstances.

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School does that naturally by the way it's organized. Work does it sometimes but also manages to drive people apart. Still, the best way to make friends is through mutual friends.

Why is it so hard to make friends as an adult?

All my best friends now I met through another friend or a roommate or something. I don't think it's weird to go to your current friends and subtly say "I want to meet all your friends", because it implies that you like and trust them and also trust their judgement about who they associate with, which is quite a compliment. When we are little we make friends where we find them - you live next door?

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Sit next to me at school? Generally we have similar but limited interests. As an adult we filter out the people we don't agree with politically, socially etc. By the time we get to the few people left there's a very small pool of potential friends. Personally, I don't think it gets any harder to make friends as you get older, it's largely that you get better attuned to what you want in a friend. I had 'friends' in school who were terrible, unrelenting assholes to me but school is a situation where you're stuck with the same group of people for YEARS and you kind of have to make the best of it.

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Now I'm older, I only hang out with people that I actually like and who I feel a mutual sense of value with: they bring something good to my life, I feel I bring something good to theirs. It takes time to find people like that, but it's worth the effort. Yeah, a lot of the friends you made growing up were because you were 'stuck' with them.

Why it’s hard to make friends, and what to do about it

Many of the people you were friends with then wouldn't pass the 'checklist test' that most people tend to use in judging people as adults. You wouldn't be friends with them now if you hadn't met them when your standards weren't as high or when you weren't as judgmental. In reality, our judgments tend to be on superficial crap that really doesn't matter.

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When people get over that they find it's much less difficult to make friends. To put it another way, our egos are much more fully developed as adults and we define ourselves by opposition to what we think we're not. This le us to exclude people who don't fit certain criteria and to further isolate ourselves. You put up with a lot more bullshit when you're a kid because the person is your brother, neighbor, ased to sit next to you on the bus etc.

You're able to put up with a lot more bullshit as a .

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As an adult you weed that shit out. If somebody uses you, is a buzzkill, is depressing, a whore then you distance yourself. There is also the fact that you as an adult have less time and energy to invest in making new friends.

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Those that already have a sufficient of friends have lots of other things to spend their limited time and energy on, such as SOs, kids, work, hobbies and so on, thus making new friends will be prioritised less. This often turns friendship making into a side effect of other things.

Thus you end up socialising with workmates, school parents and so on.

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Aside from interests, when you're an adult, you have less opportunities to, as you say, make friends where we find them. In college, one makes friends with roommates, then afterwards it's your neighbors or coworkers who aren't necessarily your peers especially age-wise, so there's less opportunity, whereas until you graduate you are surrounded by s or s of people your age. Another facet is that age really doesn't matter at some point. Somewhere about 30, the new friends I started hanging out with were in their 50s and 60s which kind of sucks because now they are dying.

But still, they were as close to me as any friend my own age.

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So, though you do limit yourself due to common interests, you should not limit yourself due to age. Found the internet!

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Why is it so hard to make friends as an adult? Sort by: best. Copied and Pasted from a New York Times article I bookmarked a few years ago: "As external conditions change, it becomes tougher to meet the three conditions that sociologists since the s have considered crucial to making close friends: proximity; repeated, unplanned interactions; and a setting that encourages people to let their guard down and confide in each other".

You think that everyone else is already in a closed group of friends

Continue this thread. More posts from the AskReddit community. Created Jan 25, Top posts january 22nd Top posts of january, Top posts Back to Top.

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