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Old 02-11-2019, 12:20 AM
Machinaforce Machinaforce is offline
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Is making friends harder these days?

I mean that today I often see most people on some sort of device or another, even when they are in the same room together. It's like people just get together to do their own thing but with company. I try to strike up a conversation and whatnot, but even when I get a number from someone it's like they never want to talk. Either that or they just text a single response and then it's over. No dialogue.

I'm just wondering how people do it these days. Some make it look easy, and maybe it is. Maybe I'm just bad at this. But it seems like when I get contact info that's the end of further interaction. I get that people have their own lives and stuff, but it just seems like it's easier than ever to ignore people with technology. I mean if we aren't going to talk or hang out at all then why did I bother with exchanging info.

I feel like there is something I am missing. I would rather not blame it on the times because there's little I can do there.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:53 AM
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I feel like the OP needs to expand a bit.

So you're getting people's contact info, but then after that, they don't want to talk?
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:19 AM
Machinaforce Machinaforce is offline
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I feel like the OP needs to expand a bit.

So you're getting people's contact info, but then after that, they don't want to talk?
Maybe itís because I have a different idea of a conversation. But after I get it they donít want to chat (mostly just give a response to my question and some summary of their day and then nothing, sometimes no response). What I ask if they want to hang out there is no response or anything. Itís like I get someoneís number but they never want to see me again.
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Old 02-11-2019, 02:34 AM
BrickBat BrickBat is offline
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I don't know.

You didn't mention your age, but when you say "these days", do you mean you found it easier to make friends years ago as compared to today? If not, it could be just a series unfortunate coincidences of a more outgoing person meeting some who are less so. My closest, and most long friendships are with people who I've come to know slowly and gradually over time: 10-20 years. We know each other as well, and in some cases, better as their families know us, but it took time for the details to come up...we never really asked about them: they took years to come out...naturally. A week, or two, or even three after I first met them, conversations were clipped, and related to what was happening then.

I've been in situations where I've met people ( mostly in the workplace ) who were good to work with, affable enough, but seemed to try too hard to be "friendly" by asking me constant questions, sometimes personal questions, fairly soon after meeting: "Where are you from?", "do you have family here?", "you married?", "girlfriend?", "is she from around here?", "what do you like to do?", "where do you live?", "have you heard of .....?", "we should get together...you wanna grab a beer?". All very nice on paper, but causes unease for me. Decorum prevents me from saying "what, are you writing a book?".

Might be that dynamic?
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Old 02-11-2019, 02:42 AM
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What I ask if they want to hang out there is no response or anything.
Are you in high school? I can't remember the last time I ever asked someone if they wanted to just "hang out." If I get someone's number it's because it's to do something specific--then, in the course of whatever that is, we may (or may not) become friends. And then, after becoming friends, we may just "hang out."

Most grown adults don't have the luxury of time to get together to just hang out for the sake of it with someone they don't even know yet
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Old 02-11-2019, 03:26 AM
Shalmanese Shalmanese is offline
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In general, it becomes harder to make friends the older you get for the simple fact that more people tend to already have the friends they need as time goes on.
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:43 AM
Machinaforce Machinaforce is offline
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I don't know.

You didn't mention your age, but when you say "these days", do you mean you found it easier to make friends years ago as compared to today? If not, it could be just a series unfortunate coincidences of a more outgoing person meeting some who are less so. My closest, and most long friendships are with people who I've come to know slowly and gradually over time: 10-20 years. We know each other as well, and in some cases, better as their families know us, but it took time for the details to come up...we never really asked about them: they took years to come out...naturally. A week, or two, or even three after I first met them, conversations were clipped, and related to what was happening then.

I've been in situations where I've met people ( mostly in the workplace ) who were good to work with, affable enough, but seemed to try too hard to be "friendly" by asking me constant questions, sometimes personal questions, fairly soon after meeting: "Where are you from?", "do you have family here?", "you married?", "girlfriend?", "is she from around here?", "what do you like to do?", "where do you live?", "have you heard of .....?", "we should get together...you wanna grab a beer?". All very nice on paper, but causes unease for me. Decorum prevents me from saying "what, are you writing a book?".

Might be that dynamic?
Iím 27. With Aspergers for what itís worth.

The thing is that I have tried the usual techniques with friends but I didnít realize that the questions being asked were uncomfortable rather than showing interest. What I was told is that such things were standard questions that people asked each other to get to know each other. I was told that people love to talk about themselves so if you ask about their lives it shows interest. Maybe thatís wrong.

I didnít know that hanging out wasnít used anymore either. So what then?
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:03 PM
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Almost all of the friends I've made post-college are friends-of-friends. My friends would invite me to events and they'd invite their other friends and I'd see these other people a few times and do some chit-chat and sort of get to know their deal. Then we'd friend eachother on Facebook and then we'd be passively friends (watching each other's lives go by on the newsfeed). Then we'd see each other more at more mutual-friend events and maybe at some point we'd get to where we're having deep conversations or texting each other.

Like my friend J went to college and met some cool people, and after college he'd have parties and invite me and his college friends. These college friends would invite their high school friends and I'd become friends with the college friends and the college friends' friends. And even one of the friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friends I'm friends with her sister and we do stuff together from time to time without any of the associated friend chain.

I've made at least a dozen friends this way. Very cool.

Seems like meeting a random person once at an event and getting their number and then texting them about their day is just way too direct. For me, having that passive relationship on social media before having a texting sort of relationship seems way smoother.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:25 PM
lingyi lingyi is offline
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[QUOTE=Machinaforce;21481780]Maybe it’s because I have a different idea of a conversation. But after I get it they don’t want to chat (mostly just give a response to my question and some summary of their day and then nothing, sometimes no response). What I ask if they want to hang out there is no response or anything. It’s like I get someone’s number but they never want to see me again.[/QUOTE

Are you conversations along the lines of your posting history? Most people don't want to engage in long philosophical conversations or be asked questions that are of little interest to them. You've had several of your threads closed because your questions and answers (including those of other posters) lead nowhere.

Friendships develop because there's a mutual benefit between the persons involved. The "...summary of their day..." is part of a "normal" conversation. Most people want to talk about themselves or a common interest, not be a sounding board for questions that have no answer or no end.

Last edited by lingyi; 02-11-2019 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Machinaforce View Post
Iím 27. With Aspergers for what itís worth.

The thing is that I have tried the usual techniques with friends but I didnít realize that the questions being asked were uncomfortable rather than showing interest. What I was told is that such things were standard questions that people asked each other to get to know each other. I was told that people love to talk about themselves so if you ask about their lives it shows interest. Maybe thatís wrong.
No, that's absolutely right. The secret to good conversation is to ask questions. Don't turn it into an interrogation, of course, but people love talking about themselves.

I strongly recommend you read Dale Carnegie's "How To Win Friends and Influence People." EVERYONE should read it. It's an old book but still popular, and for a good reason; it's wonderful.

I think it's in the public domain now, so you can probably get it for free or for a nominal fee if you don't mind reading it on a screen.

In terms of practical advice, going out and looking for friends is kind of pointless. Joining groups with common interests is a better idea. Go do something you like with other people, and the friends will eventually make themselves known.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:35 PM
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I'll posit that it has become harder and largely because community is a dying thing. Not that it's impossible, but it used to be that life was lived more communally and not being in the community was an exception. Now, it's the opposite. Most life is lived individually and being in the community is the exception. People I think tend to schedule their community more. "We play Dodgeball at 7 o'clock on Tuesdays" more so than "I'm heading down to the auto shop to chat." I think the fall of churches impacts at least part of that. It used to be that you had these groups of people that would constitute your life and now it's more like people that flit in and out of it with the only real steady people being your coworkers. It changes the dynamic of making friends in pretty profound ways.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:39 PM
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I have made more new friends in the past two years than I had in the previous twenty.
Moving to a new state and habitually day drinking is my life hack.
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Old 02-11-2019, 03:55 PM
Machinaforce Machinaforce is offline
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Almost all of the friends I've made post-college are friends-of-friends. My friends would invite me to events and they'd invite their other friends and I'd see these other people a few times and do some chit-chat and sort of get to know their deal. Then we'd friend eachother on Facebook and then we'd be passively friends (watching each other's lives go by on the newsfeed). Then we'd see each other more at more mutual-friend events and maybe at some point we'd get to where we're having deep conversations or texting each other.

Like my friend J went to college and met some cool people, and after college he'd have parties and invite me and his college friends. These college friends would invite their high school friends and I'd become friends with the college friends and the college friends' friends. And even one of the friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friends I'm friends with her sister and we do stuff together from time to time without any of the associated friend chain.

I've made at least a dozen friends this way. Very cool.

Seems like meeting a random person once at an event and getting their number and then texting them about their day is just way too direct. For me, having that passive relationship on social media before having a texting sort of relationship seems way smoother.
Friends of friends seems to be a common account that I have heard among other people. I think my issue is the slow burn thing. I get how trying to get them to divulge too much too soon is an issue and makes people uncomfortable. But how do you balance the gradual while not coming off as disinterested.
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Old 02-11-2019, 04:04 PM
Dale Sams Dale Sams is online now
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Neither of my kids have a circle of friends like I did in the 70's. Nor do they climb onto half-built houses, climb trees, build treehouses, get into dirt clod fights. Also, through FB I've discovered a huge portion of my former friends/acquaintances are idiots.

Dunno if any of that is relevant.
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Old 02-11-2019, 04:19 PM
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Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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I don't know what type of conversations you try to have in meatspace, but here, at least, you tend to say things that suggest that you are very negative and/or depressed, and that usually doesn't lead to people wanting to spend more time with someone. Are you trying to have conversations like this, this, this, and this?
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Old 02-11-2019, 04:22 PM
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Friends of friends seems to be a common account that I have heard among other people. I think my issue is the slow burn thing. I get how trying to get them to divulge too much too soon is an issue and makes people uncomfortable. But how do you balance the gradual while not coming off as disinterested.
Social media. You follow them, they follow you, you learn about each other without having to specifically ask. Interact with them to let them know you appreciate or share interests. Get invited to and attend the same events they are at. Plan your own events and invite them as well as your mutual friends. Yadda yadda...you're friends.

I'm 39 by the way, so I'm a decade older than you. I didn't really get good at this until I was about your age and I've had a decade to perfect it. But also, social media was just taking a strong hold when I was your age.
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Old 02-11-2019, 04:32 PM
Machinaforce Machinaforce is offline
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I don't know what type of conversations you try to have in meatspace, but here, at least, you tend to say things that suggest that you are very negative and/or depressed, and that usually doesn't lead to people wanting to spend more time with someone. Are you trying to have conversations like this, this, this, and this?
No nothing like that at all. Just basic stuff like how are things? What do you like? Etc.
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:39 PM
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I'm not a big social media person, so most of my current friendships are through shared activities - either work, or meet-up-type groups. Look up meet-up groups in your area and start attending them regularly. Atheist groups, philosophy groups, walking/hiking groups, dinner groups, science discussion groups, etc. You'll have a good time, while also meeting and getting to know new people.
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Old 02-11-2019, 06:35 PM
Machinaforce Machinaforce is offline
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I'm not a big social media person, so most of my current friendships are through shared activities - either work, or meet-up-type groups. Look up meet-up groups in your area and start attending them regularly. Atheist groups, philosophy groups, walking/hiking groups, dinner groups, science discussion groups, etc. You'll have a good time, while also meeting and getting to know new people.
I remember trying something like that, but most of the meet up groups either had no members or the group was still listed but hasn't been active for over a year. Plus I am still a bit anxious about telling some people that I am gay. I know that things are getting better in terms of public attitude about it, but that has always been a bit of an anxiety point with me.
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:17 PM
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No nothing like that at all. Just basic stuff like how are things? What do you like? Etc.
I speak from formerly being like you.

This is the problem. You are approaching it with the goal of making friends. As if it is any other problem to be mechanically solved.

Approach it with the goal of having a good time.

If you already talked, bring up what you talked about ,take it from there.
If you haven't then find something , anything about them you find interesting or cool.

And yes , don't ask to hang out , ask to do something specific.

If you know little of the person, make it a pretty broad activity.
It helps if it conveniently lines up to what you've talked about.

Btw, this all applies with romantic interests as well.
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:35 PM
Machinaforce Machinaforce is offline
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I speak from formerly being like you.

This is the problem. You are approaching it with the goal of making friends. As if it is any other problem to be mechanically solved.

Approach it with the goal of having a good time.

If you already talked, bring up what you talked about ,take it from there.
If you haven't then find something , anything about them you find interesting or cool.

And yes , don't ask to hang out , ask to do something specific.

If you know little of the person, make it a pretty broad activity.
It helps if it conveniently lines up to what you've talked about.

Btw, this all applies with romantic interests as well.
I think you might be right. I'm being too direct which might be putting people off.
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:41 PM
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kenobi 65 kenobi 65 is offline
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I think you might be right. I'm being too direct which might be putting people off.
I think it's entirely possible. It sounds like you may be approaching this as, "I want new friends," and you're setting out for that goal when you first meet people. Even if you aren't literally going up to new acquaintances and saying, "will you be my friend?", if people get that vibe from how you talk to them, that's something that a lot of people might find offputting / creepy.

For most people, friendships grow naturally (and not always quickly) out of social contacts -- you meet someone (often via mutual friends or relatives, at work, or at a social gathering), and as you get to know that someone over time, if you discover that you have mutual interests in common, and you get along, you realize that you've become friends.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 02-11-2019 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:48 PM
Littleman Littleman is online now
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Eg;
A warm meeting


Hey machina, remember when we were discussing that Broward meditation thing?
( We weren't but for the sake of example let's just say I was in on that)
You:
Yeah?

Me: all right so I know a lot of their stuff is bullshit but what do you think about meditation in general?

You:
Idk I'm obviously curious.

Me: well, I think in general it might be kind of beneficial, doesn't hurt to give it a shot I guess. I know it isn't quite the exact one but they're having some kinda class at the library this weekend, wanna check it out?

And Bam now we're going and can continue our conversation.


If this helps at all I can give you an example of a cold meet.


Now already if I wanted to make friends I could say hey, listen I used to have the same trouble. If you want to practice this stuff I'll help just play the other person and see what tips i can give you.....Bam were well on our way to being friends.
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:34 PM
Machinaforce Machinaforce is offline
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It sounds so easy that way that other people do it, but maybe I am making it out to be something more than what it is. Like maybe it isn't as hard as I believe it to be.
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:14 PM
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There was another poster that was looking for a girlfriend and insisted that falling in love could be broken down to: If I do A, then B and C must logically follow. Love and friendships don't work that way. What works with one person, may turn another completely off and vice-versa. Be yourself and be natural, listen far more than you speak and let the 'friendship" develop. It may take several meetings before you click or don't click.

Personally, if I just meet someone and even I we talked for an hour or so, I'd be reluctant to give them my phone number as I view this as part of my personal space reserved for those I feel comfortable with. If I did give them my number, I'd wouldn't expect a call or text the next day or two, that would be creepy, even as a guy.

You say you don't speak about the things you post on this forum, but you may be giving off that vibe. The fact that you've posted them here is proof that it's on your mind somewhere and people can sense that.

Last edited by lingyi; 02-11-2019 at 11:16 PM.
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:15 PM
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ZipperJJ ZipperJJ is offline
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I like to ask people what they do for a living, and where they're from. If they're not from here then I ask how they got to be here. They always have very interesting answers and conversations can last a very long time. And I always learn something.

Last weekend I was at an event where I didn't know anyone, a meet-up type thing. I sat with two other ladies and asked them about their jobs and where they were from and we sat and talked for 2 hours. I didn't have to say hardly anything about myself, other than when relevant to the conversation.

I used to be terribly shy, and I still am. But I'm to the point where I can meet new people and have conversations. Part of it is letting go of being self conscious, which is easy to say, but it does come with age. But, if you don't talk about yourself (see above) there's nothing to be self conscious about.

I have a friend that I met within the past couple years and I can tell that he is either shy himself or feels bad for me because he can tell I'm shy and weird. He always asks me what I am doing over the weekend. Sometimes I actually have something to do and we talk about that and whatever flows naturally and time flies by. Other times I have nothing planned and I ask him what he's doing and the conversation goes that way. When we see each other again we can say "Hey how was that thing you told me about?" Nice stuff.

If you're feeling self conscious about being gay you would really do yourself a favor to try to find some sort of gay-centered event. Maybe that part of your life is making you act stilted and you would find it much easier to talk to others if that wasn't weighing on your mind.
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:40 PM
Machinaforce Machinaforce is offline
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I like to ask people what they do for a living, and where they're from. If they're not from here then I ask how they got to be here. They always have very interesting answers and conversations can last a very long time. And I always learn something.

Last weekend I was at an event where I didn't know anyone, a meet-up type thing. I sat with two other ladies and asked them about their jobs and where they were from and we sat and talked for 2 hours. I didn't have to say hardly anything about myself, other than when relevant to the conversation.

I used to be terribly shy, and I still am. But I'm to the point where I can meet new people and have conversations. Part of it is letting go of being self conscious, which is easy to say, but it does come with age. But, if you don't talk about yourself (see above) there's nothing to be self conscious about.

I have a friend that I met within the past couple years and I can tell that he is either shy himself or feels bad for me because he can tell I'm shy and weird. He always asks me what I am doing over the weekend. Sometimes I actually have something to do and we talk about that and whatever flows naturally and time flies by. Other times I have nothing planned and I ask him what he's doing and the conversation goes that way. When we see each other again we can say "Hey how was that thing you told me about?" Nice stuff.

If you're feeling self conscious about being gay you would really do yourself a favor to try to find some sort of gay-centered event. Maybe that part of your life is making you act stilted and you would find it much easier to talk to others if that wasn't weighing on your mind.
I'm trying to get over my fear of people myself. I had a few bad experiences in the past where my kindness and friendship backfired horribly and now it's hard to trust new people that they won't hurt me. I know that logically that was then and this is now,but the fear is real is persists. Fear of rejection is part of it too, even though I know I won't die from it sometimes I wish I would.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:00 AM
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I'm trying to get over my fear of people myself. I had a few bad experiences in the past where my kindness and friendship backfired horribly and now it's hard to trust new people that they won't hurt me. I know that logically that was then and this is now,but the fear is real is persists. Fear of rejection is part of it too, even though I know I won't die from it sometimes I wish I would.
I think you're conflating "meeting new people" with "making new friends" like others have pointed out. There's no hurting or rejection to be had when organically conversing with new people. They can't hurt you, they're not your friends. They're just people you're talking to.

Their ability to hurt you comes waaaaay down the line after you've actually become friends. Mutually agreed upon friendship.

You need to just work on meeting people and being comfortable around people, and being yourself around people. With no expectations whatsoever. You need to not laser-focus on anyone with the intention of being friends. You need to be part of groups, be around when familiar people are around.

If you go in to a setting and find a person expecting to be friends with them and it doesn't work out, yeah that's hard. That gives you that rejection feeling. If you go in all casual and work on the aspect of you being able to talk to a multitude of other people, the friendships will be easier to create.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:06 PM
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Forgive me for asking this but I thought gays have a pretty good social scene. The bars, clubs, meetups, and pride events and all it seems like gays seem to always be socially engaged. Much more than us straight men where often our first and only best friend is our wives.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:10 PM
Machinaforce Machinaforce is offline
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Forgive me for asking this but I thought gays have a pretty good social scene. The bars, clubs, meetups, and pride events and all it seems like gays seem to always be socially engaged. Much more than us straight men where often our first and only best friend is our wives.
Appearances deceive.
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:43 PM
Oredigger77 Oredigger77 is offline
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I'm in the process of making a new friend. About 5 months we got randomly put together in a car driving to an event for our kids. We chatted a bit and it came up that he wanted to learn about whiskey while I'm fairly involved in the local whiskey scene. I invited him out for a tour of local distilleries which we went on about a month after we met without really talking between the two dates aside from coordination stuff. He invited my family over to an event at his house but we were out of town abut a month later and then repeated the invitation for a different event two months after that which we went to. I haven't talked to him in a couple of months and I was just thinking that we needed to get together so I'll come up with something for us to do in the next month or so.

All of that is too say we hang out and enjoy each other's company but don't just randomly get together we're still at the event focused part of the friendship. Maybe in a year or two we'll do more of the random Friday BBQs type of friendship and in twenty years we'll just chat randomly.

It takes time to make friends. When you in school and spending 8 hours together every day for years and then hanging out on the weekend they for much quicker than when you're scheduling time around work and family and your other friends to get the same amount of time in. Initially, your focus should be on someone that is fun to talk to and that you don't want to either hit them or yourself after an hour. Find things you enjoy doing with that person. Talk about things you've done in the past when you get together in the future. Once you've done that several times then it time to start thinking about making them into a friend and even then their are different levels of friendships.
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Old 02-12-2019, 05:39 PM
Urbanredneck Urbanredneck is offline
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I find that most guys who have friends, make them thru sports, clubs, or just by being neighbors. You dont just randomly make friends.

Sort of like as parents you make friends with the other parents involved in your kids sports or activities.
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