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Where do 20 somethings even find friends these days?


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I've tried the volunteer thing. I've tried the joining interest groups thing. They've been okay for making acquaintances but the people there are more interested in you helping their organisation than making friends with you. I've now got most weeknights dedicated to some form of commitment, which is giving me less time to meet new people. They are mostly made up of substantially older people too. I've attended a few meetup groups and they are mostly made up of people in their 40's.

 

I don't understand where I am meant to meet people now?

 

Is friendship a lost cause after 21? Should I just get use to loneliness now? Is it over for me?

 

I kinda feel that unless you are partnered up by your mid to late 20's, you're on the scrap heap.

 

This is depressing.

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Work! I'm 25 and there are always a few people wherever I get a job in their 20's that I end up becoming good friends with, you are with these people most days of the week doing the same thing and after a short while you bond and it's when you start hanging out outside of work they in turn introduce you to more people in their respective social circles and it just sort of grows from there really.

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I know the feeling

I did the volunteer thing for 5+ years but most of the people were in their 40's with families ext. The younger ones had terrible attitudes and only did it to boost their egos.

Work?? Not so good if you work in an office full of 50 year old women (like my office)

Have you tried meet up groups? I have been to one about a year ago (not for me), but I am going to make an effort and go to more.. groups tailored towards the younger crowd.

Finding decent people are hard to come by.. thats for sure. Sometimes I wonder if its better off being alone rather than put up with peoples games.

There is a website where you can meet people (melbourne exchange). I noticed your in Australia but I think you can select your state? I have met one person from that site, but I think guys use it to meet (single) girls, and girls want to meet more females as they are all coupled up.

My "older married friends" tell me to "get out there".. but what does that mean? Go to a club, pub alone and just start chatting to people?? yeah...

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I know what you mean, the only friends I have are people I've known for about 10 years, or the handful of girls I get along with in Uni. If I hadn't gone to Uni, or stayed where I'm living now I don't think I'd actually have any friends. However, there is always the option of catching up with some old ones. Sending someone a message just asking them how they are, what they've been up to does absolutely no harm and I have reconnected with people that way.

I would also suggest things like gigs or festivals, you always tend to meet new people there - or any other hobbies that you're taking part in. It narrows the search down to people you've got at least one thing in common with.

I think the reconnecting with old friends thing really worked for me, because they then in turn introduced me to their new group of friends and I became a part of it - and ended up meeting my boyfriend that way too.

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I also find volunteering a bad place to meet friends, so I've scratched that idea. Work can be good at expanding your social circle but my jobs in the past there were always more women than men and they have always been 10-15 years older and it was hard trying to be friendly with the women in the workplace without coming off as your flirting with them.

 

I would also suggest things like gigs or festivals, you always tend to meet new people there .

 

This is spot on advice. I always find like minded people at music festivals, some have become really good friends. In fact I met most of my long time friends and a few partners through the festival scene. People are always friendly, like to have fun and listen to good music. Outdoor festivals is where the magic happens, you always meet the most weird and wonderful people in the chill out room or people who are your camp site neighbors or even some random on the dance floor. The atmosphere lends itself to meeting new friends, saying that not all festivals are good. You have to pick and choose wisely otherwise your going to run into some bad vibes.

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I hate to sound like a broken record but backstage community theater (or frontstage if you can act/sing/dance).

 

And as far as friendships I have friends who are almost 20 years older than me - nothing wrong with having friends in their 40s (also good to have peers as friends but don't dismiss the 40 somethings).

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Hi Jonty

 

I don't think volunteering is the be-all-end-all as far as socializing, but over the years I've noticed that some volunteering tends to be better than others for that purpose. For instance, in my twenties I volunteered at a suicide hotline. Maybe it sounds bad to say this, but something about the intensity of that made bonding with other volunteers easier then say, volunteering at the soup kitchen. I also think that if you are looking to make connections with people, there has to be consistency. Going to volunteer somewhere weekly for a year will likely help to build friendships as opposed to a one-time event. Of course, it's crucial that you really believe in what you're volunteering for, and want to be there outside of looking for social connection.

 

I would also recommend classes for fun. I have almost always been in an art class for most of my adult life, because I love art. I have met many people in my classes, and even if they don't all necessarily become close friends outside of class, they are still there for me to see and hang out with weekly during class.

 

I think you mentioned before that you were meditating. Are there any groups that meet consistently?

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I agree with what you wrote about volunteering and I would also suggest joining meet-up groups that are more hands-on, so like sport teams or adventure travel excursions, rather than just a book club or coffee group etc. I also think Batya's idea of community theater is also good. The reason why is because people form bonds when they go through something together. So coming together as a team to play in a tournament, or to get a stage production off the ground etc. gives a sense of community and teamwork, which is a stronger bond.

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I hate to sound like a broken record but backstage community theater (or frontstage if you can act/sing/dance).

 

And as far as friendships I have friends who are almost 20 years older than me - nothing wrong with having friends in their 40s (also good to have peers as friends but don't dismiss the 40 somethings).

 

I agree with what you wrote about volunteering and I would also suggest joining meet-up groups that are more hands-on, so like sport teams or adventure travel excursions, rather than just a book club or coffee group etc. I also think Batya's idea of community theater is also good. The reason why is because people form bonds when they go through something together. So coming together as a team to play in a tournament, or to get a stage production off the ground etc. gives a sense of community and teamwork, which is a stronger bond.

 

I like the idea of a stage production, but I would need to get my anxiety under control first and it might be a bit beyond me right now. I was thinking of doing an improv class in the future potentially.

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Yeah, without stereotyping, my experience with volunteering is that it is mainly women 40+.

 

I do go to a lot of gigs and music festivals. In fact, I'm going to a music festival on my own next Saturday. I mostly go on my own though.

 

I feel weird going to music festivals on my own and talking to strangers.

 

Have you made friends at festivals after going alone?

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The problem I find with meetup is that it is mainly people in their late 30's or 40's. I'll check again though.

 

I know this is kinda selfish maybe, but I need a social aspect to volunteering. I am happy to volunteer (I volunteer a few hours a couple of days a week) but I am doing partly to meet like minded people.

 

I'm intrigued by this Melbourne Exchange. I wonder if it is in my state. I'll have a look!

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This brings up something interesting. My current friendships never introduce me to new people. I'm not sure if that is a statement about me? All of my friends keep me separate from their other friendships, even though I introduce different groups of people to each other. It's left me a little jaded. I wish some of my friends would repay the favor.

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This brings up something interesting. My current friendships never introduce me to new people. I'm not sure if that is a statement about me? All of my friends keep me separate from their other friendships, even though I introduce different groups of people to each other. It's left me a little jaded. I wish some of my friends would repay the favor.

 

It really might not occur to them. I don't go out of my way to introduce friends unless there is a specific networking reason or we have children the same age(or someone asks me). One reason is that I'm really into dynamics so if I have a plan with one friend, bringing someone else along (including my husband) really changes the dynamic). Same with larger groups although that makes it easier.

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Hello BP!

 

Agreed, my volunteering is a regular commitment. Maybe it is just impatience? Maybe I'm trying to force something that will happen organically over time. However, I don't really believe in letting things fall into place. I think you have to be active in getting what you want.

 

Is it wrong that I have several reasons to volunteer? I feel bad, but I feel jaded after a while spending so much time with people and still being treated on a very superficial level. I volunteer at a Buddhist library, because I want to give back to the organization that taught me how to meditate and got me through a particularly difficult time in my mental health recovery. I also volunteer at several political/social issue groups because they reflect my values and living my values is important to me.

 

Yeah, I do meditate! I go do a group meditation every Friday night. I made one really good friend out of it actually. Generally, I'm not sure if meditation is a fertile ground for company, because it is a solitary hobby.

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It really might not occur to them. I don't go out of my way to introduce friends unless there is a specific networking reason or we have children the same age(or someone asks me). One reason is that I'm really into dynamics so if I have a plan with one friend, bringing someone else along (including my husband) really changes the dynamic). Same with larger groups although that makes it easier.

 

Really?

 

I go out of my way to introduce people to each other. Often they end up becoming better friends than they are with me and I lose two people. lol

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Yeah, without stereotyping, my experience with volunteering is that it is mainly women 40+.

 

I do go to a lot of gigs and music festivals. In fact, I'm going to a music festival on my own next Saturday. I mostly go on my own though.

 

I feel weird going to music festivals on my own and talking to strangers.

 

Have you made friends at festivals after going alone?

 

I have friends I go to festivals with, usually they bring new people I haven't met before and we all end up getting along in one big crew.

 

If you don't have friends to go with that sucks Your sure you have no one? Not one old friend you could contact from way back?

 

It's much harder going alone to clubs and meeting people than at festivals, when I've gone alone to clubs it's because I wanted to see a certain music act that no on else did and just really danced. Didn't bother trying to make friends, I just wanted to dance.

 

Maybe you need some good icebreaker's at festivals to make new friends from randoms you meet, your lacking that introducing/getting to know you part I feel. Stuff like "nice costume, I really like it mind if I get a picture of us" or "nice boots/jacket/skirt etc..." are good icebreaker's and then the conversation flows from there. Nothing like a good compliment to get things going. Also be nice and get to know your camping neighbors!

 

And make sure you visit the chill out rooms, that's where the casual conversations with randoms happen.

 

Another good way to meet new people is to car pool to the festival, usually you get heaps of people asking for a ride at online forums (where they also have meetup's ) and as long as your not a weirdo you usually end up camping together and making new friends.

 

Oh yeah #1 advice, make sure you have fun and look like it. Nothing worse than someone just standing there looking for someone to talk too. I hope that helps somewhat.

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Hahaha! Well, I don't think I'm a weirdo.

 

Most of my friends don't like my kind of music or don't have 100 dollars to spend on a music festival. Then I feel weird being around groups of people with their own friends at music festivals, wishing that I had a great group of friends like that.

 

I never let going on my own stop me from going to a gig or festival. I guess I could afford to be a bit more open to talking to strangers, given that we have something in common (music taste).

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Jonty, if you are involved with music, I know in my twenties I met a lot of people through jamming, bands, shows, and parties that were centered around music. Online too; you can meet up with people to jam or try out for bands with. All the way from very serious folk to people to who are simply looking for friends and a hobby.

 

Twenties are a great time to meet people. I also met people through sport and sport classes (I took a bunch of martial arts, and that was male dominated, so pretty awesome for me).

 

I also met people through writers groups, the library, the book stores, the universities (whether you are in uni or not; taking classes or going to lectures here and there), even cafes.

 

I'm introverted, but not shy. Keep yourself open to what is going on around you, and don't be afraid to chat anybody up. wherever you are ; even if you just going for a coffee.

 

I did meet people through volunteering and work too; though those were mostly people who ended up being 'better' as far as further work connections and opportunities than as friends. THough some friends out of it.

 

The music festivals, IMHO, are more about getting wasted and a big party. Not so much actually getting to know someone. Easier if you are DOING something which involves actually getting to know the person in some capacity or can lead to that easily and with more regular times you will see the same people for a while.

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Hahaha! Well, I don't think I'm a weirdo.

 

Most of my friends don't like my kind of music or don't have 100 dollars to spend on a music festival. Then I feel weird being around groups of people with their own friends at music festivals, wishing that I had a great group of friends like that.

 

I never let going on my own stop me from going to a gig or festival. I guess I could afford to be a bit more open to talking to strangers, given that we have something in common (music taste).

 

Trust me they are just as nervous as you are at meeting new people, It takes time to get to know someone and become friends. So even a gesture like offering someone a drink of water (I hope it won't be spiked) while dancing near them can go along way to break the ice. Like I said maybe you need to work on your icebreakers to start the conversation rolling.

 

So yeah you could be more open in talking to strangers I think.

 

I have this attitude that I'm never at the festival to pick up girls, and you know what I actually meet lots of girls and have had friendships and relationships with them after meeting them at a festival. Just don't put too much pressure on yourself is what I'm saying, your there to have fun and dance to the music you love, anything else that comes is a bonus. People love being around fun people so have some fun.

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