How to Make Friends as a Grown Up

Discussion in 'Dating and Relationships' started by ControlledXaos, May 30, 2019.

  1. ControlledXaos

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    How to Make Friends as a Grown-Up | Nerd Fitness

    This is not a pity post or a cry for attention.


    I have been in Atlanta for almost 5 years. I feel like I have only actually made acquaintances. I have not been able to make a new friend that I did not know in some form prior to moving here. By friend I mean a person who I talk to, visit, hang out with, and do activities with on occasion who shares mutual interests with me on a platonic level.


    Honestly it's been very lonely at times here and I have felt isolated and closed off despite what any photos I have posted may have one to think.


    "So often we let little connections lapse and fizzle out because each person assumes that the other would reach out if they wanted to… so then neither one does… and then the other doesn’t, either."


    While I have met people here things just kind of faded away or we've drifted apart for whatever reasons. The above statement has definitely been me. Now I wonder if all of my disconnections were in fact this. As person who has felt they've put in efforts to connect, my analytical side keeps track and notices when the ratio of me making the first contact is higher than that of the other person's. It's tiring feeling like you're the only one reaching out. I decode that to mean "you're not interested in hanging out with me and that's fine at least you're not ignoring me, I have not been impressing upon you that you'd think of taking initiative with communication with me first. Noted."


    I have been told I'm a "great guy" "hilarious" "smart" often but it gets hard to see that for myself when others get invited to places or always have people to hang out with and talk to. So then I constantly wonder what is wrong with me if all of those adjectives are true. I mean how could they be if my phone hardly rings or text alert hardly goes off? I have questioned for a while if I'm just not likeable as those adjectives are not mutually exclusive to likeabliity. Again I'm told I am likeable but don't give off that I'm actually approachable. So I'm working on body language going forward.


    This posting showed up in my inbox today and gave me some independent, objective advice I had not really considered and ways to work around them. Maybe I have been too black and white and robotic when meeting people or engaging in Conversations? I don't consider myself charming or that interesting. But I can say I've been skeptical and cynical. My best friend suggested to not use past bad experiences as the expectation. I am definitely taking that into consideration.


    Maybe people are actually trying to talk to

    /with me instead of my perception of them talking just at me?


    We will see.
     
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  2. Gxvision

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    I can relate somewhat. I think we are unknown universes to each other. A lot of kats are afraid of rejection because I think at times we really want to be accepted and likeable. But what is Likeable? Do you like you? Would you approach you? I believe we ultimately want to connect with people. I don't think adjectives here do us any service.

    For the body language thing.. In the end a smile is the most universal language we can speak in. Somehow it breaks the ice, no?


    Loving yourself can sustain you if you let it. The ones who matter won't dissapear, the ones who do, well the universe is helping you out.


    May we continue this journey with love and understanding of ourselves and fellow brothas. Peace and positive vibes coming your way.
     
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  3. ControlledXaos

    Squad Veteran Most Valuable Player The 1000 Daps Club

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    Well hopefully someone else can get some take aways from the article. I don't think anyone is meant to be isolated but some of us have harder times socializing than others.
     
  4. King Zorro

    King Zorro I've learned that I still have a lot to learn.....
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    IF this isn't the story of my life, I don't know what is.....
     
  5. Ishmal

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    When I first moved to Dallas, it was the same way. It was difficult finding folks to just hang out. I did eventually make a few real friends and a shit load of associates. I extracted 2 pieces of wisdom from this experience regarding friends and friendships.
    After your early 20s, making new friends is hard. It is particularly harder for Black LGBTQ folks cause most of us don't have kids or wife/husband to keep our social circles growing. Or at the very least sustain it's radius. Then we have the added layer of our sexuality to contend with. The advice here is don't internalize those struggles. There is nothing wrong with you and the struggle is not uncommon. Shit the few friends I have here all say the same thing, I only have like 3 true friends here.

    The 2nd piece is making friends is a numbers games. Shit sometimes you have to go to dinner with someone who you know is just gone be a friend to get that friendship started. Invite folks to meet out, meet them out, hell invite yourself out, go to an event that is not your norm. The worst folks can say is naw and you never know who you will unexpectedly meet in a new space. The more shots you put up, the better your average.
     
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  6. Nick Delmacy

    Nick Delmacy is a Verified MemberNick Delmacy Da Architect
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    Didn't see this thread before replying to @RolandG 's similar thread on the same topic. Here's what I wrote there:

    Add to this, the need for many gay guys to only want "friends" that they find attractive.

    I have straight friends that I hang out with regularly, even one group that I meet with almost weekly and we text each other throughout the week while planning the next meetup. Even as I'm typing this, I have an iMessage window open texting with one of those friends.

    But of course as a single gay man living in Atlanta, I do sometimes wish I had gay friends to meet and hang with on the regular (Ocky is anti-social and married and we rarely hang out/talk given that our work schedules are currently so conflicting).

    I thought I was working my way into a new gay group here in Atlanta, until my main connection to said group started texting about how much he wanted to cuddle and "kick it" with me. I lightly brushed him off and poof went my invitations to their meetups.

    And a lot of my current "problems" are internal insecurities at work. Old Nick would meet a guy on an app or site and immediately push for a meetup. Nowadays I drag my feet and look for the smallest reasons to just stay home and binge watch Top Chef.

    I do like some of the advice in the Nerd Fitness article though. The "play in the right sandbox" advice was solid. Too often I try to make others into the friend that I want doing the things that I like to do, rather than being realistic about if we're even compatible at all.

    Someone once said to me, "it’s easier to just meet new friends that like the things that you like than it is to force/coerce your current friends to do so."

    So while I still freely travel, go out to sports bars, parties, gaming events, music festivals, etc (ie: the things that I like to do), I don't introduce myself to new people as much as I used to...especially at the cliquish Gay events.

    Also, I've been told that I'm not very approachable. Even though I'm friendly and will talk to anyone, I guess I give off a certain vibe. I've been told to "Smile" by passerby gay dudes at gatherings.

    [​IMG]

    Lastly, @ControlledXaos while I can relate to not initiating the invitations and reaching out b/c I'm assuming the other will do the same, for me most of that comes from having my open hand slapped away so many times. I've written on the site often about how flakey gay men seem to be. If not cancelling on the day, I'll often get stood up with no call, no shows. And this is with guys that were just friends, no dating involved.

    I'm the type of guy that will make plans with my friends (straight or gay) and will put it in my calendar just so I don't schedule a conflict or forget altogether. I get that not all people are this rigid with their lives, but I value my time and others. If someone is not as equally excited to hang out with me, we should both not waste our precious time.
     
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  7. RolandG

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    The funny thing about what you've said is I used to snicker every time I saw a gay dude who was friends with females almost exclusively. Just thought it was sorta fad(ish) to see a gay dude with a female best friend. I have to admit, that the two people i really talk to the most are female. They don't like sports and such so I have guy comrades I can do those types of activities with but now I understand the ease of gay male/female friendships. There is no gray area and no tricks to try to fuck on the sly.

    In general, gay guys or guys in general, seem to be self-centered. There is very little effort in initiating deep friendships. It really is an out of sight out of mind type thing with most guys. If you're not in their face constantly trying to freak, they aren't really thinking about you. Like you Nick, I've gotten accustomed to doing stuff on my own and being completely happy.
     
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  8. Nick Delmacy

    Nick Delmacy is a Verified MemberNick Delmacy Da Architect
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    I'm not this jaded, lol, but I do think finding a squad of platonic local a-alikes who are not flaky is def difficult. Luckily I have tons of straight friends of all races, ages and genders so I don't get as lonely as I could if I didn't have that foundation. But I can't really be totally myself around them. I mean, I guess I could...plenty of openly gay men make gay comments around their straight friends. But those are usually the stereotypical token gays. I am not interested in being that, lol
     
  9. RolandG

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    LOL. Yeah, I can understand that. But do you have deep conversations with your group of friends or is it more surface stuff like the article spoke about? I think that's the obstacle for me. I don't speak about my personal business much to my friends and I'm not sure why. Not even the gay friends. Maybe I think they'll be judgmental. More likely than not, too may people have too many "friends" so I'm apprehensive about divulging too much knowing that it will hit the streets and get out to other people. Most of my "friends" prolly wouldn't even take the time to come see me in the hospital. LOL
     
  10. Karma2016

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    This how i feel in Charlotte everybody is really standoffish and cliquish
     
  11. ControlledXaos

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    I think for me, I'm going to just go for the Numbers Game. Just have to treat it like dating. I mean... I can't make friends sitting at home staring at the walls.

    For example... after this article was posted I took stock and reached out to a few people who had 'fallen off' just to see if we'd be able to hang out. I was .5/3. .5 seems cool but I am faced with being the one making the initial contact but I'm going to put it out there one more time just to see if he'll be receptive or not. The other 2 guys...meh. I'm done trying. If they text, they text, or if I see them out...cool. But As far as me making that first step... it's gonna be a 'no' for me.

    "Let catch lunch...I"m off for the summer"

    "Okay I'll hit you up."

    /me hit them up.

    /them Crickets.
    It's a different type of rejection feeling though. I could take someone not wanting to date me.... maybe I"m not their type or their look or whatever. Cool. But getting rejected trying to befriend someone is kind of devastating because you internalize but can't really ask 'what is wrong' to the other party. At least with dating I can say it was a particular physical aspect. To get rejected for your personality is crushing.

    Gay men definitely are there for the mess and drama but the thing with that is, you have to figure out who to share what with and when. Some people probably won't get every single detail of your trouble. Some will. I do not think every single friend you have needs to be on the Inner Circle but I do think I'd like about 4-6 guys who were close enough and cool enough with each other where we could all go out for drinks or dinner or watch a movie or take a trip together. Only two of those guys would have a key to my pad and 1 of them already has it. I'm not trying to get a replacement bff but another close local would be awesome for me.

    In the article @RolandG posted, the loneliness can get really tough. I probably look like I'm ok online but I admit to having some FOMO and wondering why I can't a nice "Noah's Arc"/"Living Single" style group to be a part of? But I realize that I have to put in more effort. Too many men are just brick walls when it comes to connecting.

    And the 'Attractive Friends' thing is just odd. Like I have been a part of an emerging Facebook group that has been having regular IRL meetings. I have felt a little out of place at the meetings but see how guys have cliqued up together. I don't consider myself super attractive but I noticed that people who have a certain look or style of dress seem to always get together and chum up and make connections and network.

    I don't care what any one says...gay men will bend over backwards for attractive men. They will befriend them if they think there's a .00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000009 chance that the will get to fuck one day. If you are not 'hot' you have to work harder. But if people find you hot, they'll figure out ways to call, DM, or text you. Trust that. And it is frustrating when I try to tell people who have this factor that that is what it is and they don't think it's the case. I just don't think they are that unaware of it and I'd rather them just say 'that is a factor' than to act like it is not. It is though.

    I don't have to think my friends are hot. I just want to talk and hang out and that's it.

    upload_2019-6-17_22-31-5.png
     
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  12. Chris00656

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    i needed to read this so bad
     
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  13. Nick Delmacy

    Nick Delmacy is a Verified MemberNick Delmacy Da Architect
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    One thing to keep in mind is making new friends is like dating in a lot of ways. Just because two guys are single and gay doesn’t mean they are compatible to date, likewise with friendships.

    Just because two guys are alone at the sports bar doesn’t mean they are compatible in friendship.

    And like relationships, long term friendships require work to maintain and nurture. True, you can not see a friend for years and pick back up like no time had passed, but what about all those years in between? Does your need for male bonds just hit the pause button?

    Lastly, it also depends on what kind of friends we’re talking about. Sometimes the friend you hang out with at the club isn’t the person you can confide in or get advice from or depend on to call at 4am in an emergency.
     
  14. RKnNLV

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    Currently, my thoughts was on this matter, that all because I am apart and involved in a community, faith-based, non-profit, and/Or student organization that does not require males (and even females) since its about making friends in general to be emotionally invested, or share common ethics, interests, and morals.
     
  15. ControlledXaos

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    Update...

    I'm 1.45 / 3 maybe.

    So I'm gonna give these guys names...Tom and Jerry.

    Tom I met months ago at a party and we had a good time hanging out. we follow each other on the ig. Well he slides into my dms after I put up a story.

    After Yadda Yadda small talk...I ask him directly why we haven't hung out. I never asked he said. I said I thought I was bothering him since I was always making the first contact. He's been working. I say I can accept that and he should prepare his text box for my memes. Now to figure out a time and spot for lunch.


    Jerry.5 from above, i texted him to tell him my experience at an event he told me about. Text convo went well. After success with Tom I figured I'd just straight ask him out to lunch or coffee Or the Korean spot where we met.

    So now as mentioned...this is like dating and a numbers game. I'm just gonna throw more boogers on the wall and see what sticks. Getting possibly rejected is fine. But I'm glad I got things cleared up. Had I not asked Jerry we both would have concluded disinterest which would have been wrong.
     
  16. Austin MD

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    Making friends as an adult is so much harder than it was when I was in school. I mentioned it in a post but yesterday a coworker who I really thought we were good friends said some shit that made me feel like I’m just someone who he can just fuck around with at work! The brunt of the frustration was when someone at work said that we were “best buds” and he made a face! And saying that I was all the way down here and we maybe buddies! I get that we are not best buds but fuck he made it seem like I’m not shit! I didn’t want to mention it to him today and take my usual high road but I did. He came in my office talking and shit and I was like I don’t want to do small talk with you and asked him to leave! He didn’t understand it but another coworker walked in letting him know why I maybe acting like this. Then I left work for the day. I will apologize just want to know if I overreacted. But it’s like we hang out regularly but all you see me as just like a coworker then get the fuck away from me and leave it at that! It’s been a rough day!
     
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  17. ControlledXaos

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    Oh wow.

    Well I don't like my job so I don't associate with my coworkers outside of work. That is my choice so I'm not open to work friends at this location. I just compartmentalize like that.

    However there's plenty of inter office friendships I'm just not in one of them. If I felt I had a work bro who was cool I would definitely be open to hanging out outside of work.

    I'd have felt a little butthurt too if he said that and I thought we were better than that.

    For me all new friends need to know I'm gay. I rather not be out at work but I won't be worried if they found out either.
     
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