Do you have loads of friends?

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monquixotemonquixote Frets: 11062
Something I was thinking about yesterday. 

I saw my father in law and what always strikes me about him is that he's always going out for coffee with the guy he sat next to at primary school, or someone he worked with for 6 months in 1973. 

I am essentially a confident introvert in that I find taking to people and making friends quite easy, but I much prefer being on my own. I'm 40 and I've been with my wife since I was 16 and have 3 kids so I don't have a huge amount of time for socialising.

I on the other hand lost touch with my school friends when I went to university, my university friends when I started my first job, any band mates within 6 months of leaving the band etc. Mostly this is my fault because I'm terrible at keeping in touch with people, sending birthday cards, etc and I don't use social media. 

I've been WFH for about the past year and as a result I haven't made any friends in the new job and have started to lose contact with the people from my previous job.

It doesn't really bother me that I don't have any friends, but maybe it should. I actually find it annoying when I do have a group of friends as they are always asking me to do stuff and I usually don't want to.

I'm interested to see how typical this is or if I'm a total weirdo.
Handsome_Chris said: Like white Nile Rodgers. 
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 22570
    Two of my best friends from school are dead and two others are on the other side of the world. I have friends but they tend to be through business .. one advantage when you get older it's easier to meet new people with similar hobbies as you. There are loads of societies and clubs, especially creative - photography, music, painting, etc and fitness - walking, cycling and so on.

    I have read than many men in the UK have no close friends ..






    A good swordsman is more important than a good sword — Amit Kalantri

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  • SnagsSnags Frets: 2233
    I think most people (??) probably have at most two or three really good friends,  and then a mesh of friendly acquaintances, largely contextually based.

    I've certainly had friendships that were very real, but were never going to survive either party moving (geographically or even just socially). I think the word friend also covers a lot of ground. There's my best mate from my teens, who I still see fairly regularly and who each of us would drop anything in an emergency for the other. Then there's friends I have on the local open mic circuit, with whom I've had no contact since open mic events were canned, and who would give a shit "on the night" but not spare a thought once the bar shuts. And various points in between. The "in the moment" pool is inevitably larger than the "life long best buds" one.
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  • scrumhalfscrumhalf Frets: 6844
    I have lots of friends. They are all imaginary. And they all hate me.
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 10126
    I think I’ve only really had what I’d describe as ‘functional friends.’ So, my friend at school, my friend at college, my friend at university, my friend at work, my friend in the band,etc,etc. Social media means I keep in some contact with people for longer but I probably have more interaction online with people on here than I do with people I worked with for ten years. 

    I don’t think my father had any clear close friends, he had a group he played golf with but they all moved on. My eldest son has his girlfriend but outside of that only people he is friendly with. My youngest son doesn’t have any obvious close fiends although there are multiple people he is in touch with. So, it seems normal to me even if we are abnormal to everyone else! 

    If MrsTheWeary left me and I needed to cry on someone’s shoulder? The kids, my sister, the Samaritans... there’s no go to buddy like everyone in a sitcom has. 
    When the rich wage war it’s the poor who die. 
    Jean-Paul Sartre 
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  • StrangefanStrangefan Frets: 4234
    I have about 4 in total, I see about once a month which is enough for me, I'm quite happy associating now and again spending the most time with the famalam 
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  • chillidoggychillidoggy Frets: 12641
    I have about 3 or 4 friends that I see, but not regularly. I was an only child, so spent plenty of time on my own and I’m quite happy with my own company in my old age. That said, my wife is my best friend, and we’re never really apart, which suits me just fine.


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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 14831
    I'm 35. I still keep up with a couple of old school friends, though we all live in different countries, so don't see each other often. I'm quite close with a few current and former colleagues, and we're good friends with some of MrsF's colleagues as well. But I don't have a lot of close friends I see regularly. It's hard making friends as an adult.
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  • LeiversaloneLeiversalone Frets: 145
    I don't need friends. I have guitars. 
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  • phil_bphil_b Frets: 1050
    edited August 2

    "A real friend is a 24 hour guy you can talk to about any kind of problem you have"

    I have one friend like that plus my farther (who I also count as a friend). but I know I will not get a sensible answer from my friend


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  • GrunfeldGrunfeld Frets: 3365
    I am essentially a confident introvert in that I find taking to people and making friends quite easy, but I much prefer being on my own....

    I'm interested to see how typical this is or if I'm a total weirdo.
    Well, you have described me to a tee -- except I live alone.  My ex-wife wondered why I'd bothered getting married because she thought I was so self-contained.

    The only thing which has started to bother me is that my level of isolation is associated with mental health problems and despite feeling fine I guess it's something to be aware of. 
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  • SpringywheelSpringywheel Frets: 170
    edited August 2
    I’m also happy with my own company. Growing up I was quite introverted and attracted friends who would talk ‘at’ rather than ‘with’ me. Being a little insecure, I always got the feeling they used that insecurity to feel better about themselves. Any attempts to improve myself, and their true colours would show..because people like predictability, and to not be reminded of their own failings. True friends will push you to be better, but it seems they’re hard to find.
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  • kinkin Frets: 722
     I was part of a large circle of people that all knew each other from the age of seventeen to about thirty five, that constantly evolved with new people arriving and others leaving but that mostly revolved around drink, drugs, music, football  and motorcycles.
     
    Well to be fair it revolved around getting wasted...go watch football and get wasted....go to a rave/festival and get wasted etc...eventually I tired of it.


     Haven't seen most of them for twenty years ( some are dead, some have moved on and others haven't moved on at all, still doing exactly the same things as they were thirty years ago) and to be frank I don't really miss the interaction , quite happy spending time with my wife and daughter, see my mother and father about once a week and my brother every couple of months but that's it.




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  • boogiemanboogieman Frets: 7319
    I’ve got about 4 close friends but we don’t see each other all that often. That’s ok with me, I always think a real friend is one where there’s no awkwardness when you do meet up again, it’s like you only saw each other last week. 

    I’m an only child too and pretty happy with my own company but I also miss talking to people in the flesh of after a little while. 

    I’m Facebook friends with a couple of old schoolmates and some college mates but we meet up very rarely. I went to a school reunion when Friends Reunited was going strong..... all it did was remind me why I hadn’t kept in touch with most of them for 35 years. 
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  • exocetexocet Frets: 994
    I have a select group of friends. I generally keep work "colleagues" outside of my friendship group. There's been one or two exceptions over the years but that's it. 

    I can easily count the number of close friends on the fingers of one hand. I prefer it that way. 
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  • Philly_QPhilly_Q Frets: 8321
    I was always quiet and introverted but had quite a lot of friends at school - if you did a Venn diagram of popular kids and misfits I'd have been in the very small area where the circles intersected.

    However, when I went to university I became extremely introverted - I don't really know why, although I could speculate - and barely spoke to anyone for three years.  I certainly didn't make any lasting friendships.

    Also while I was at university my family moved from Swansea to Hemel Hempstead but I did eventually track them down so I lost contact with the friends from childhood.

    Starting work increased my confidence - and ability to function as a human being - a little because I had to spend time with people and get to know them.  And there was always work to talk about, if nothing else.  I'm still not at all self-confident - I don't like asking questions in shops, or telephoning people I don't know, or asking for directions.  I'd never start up a conversation with a stranger.  I have become reasonably capable of making small talk - again mostly in work - but I don't seem to be able to make that step up to knowing people really well which seems to come naturally to some.

    I'm single, I've always been single and always will be.  I've lived on my own since leaving the family home.  Now, I do have a handful of friends, mostly people I work with or used to work with - one I've been to all of her weddings, and she's just split up with husband number three!  But no-one I really see or talk to regularly - a few times a year at most. 

    Probably my closest friend is my youngest brother, but in this bloody lockdown we've lost touch a little.  No falling-out, not at all, but he has a partner and perhaps he's finding it easier to just get on with life whereas I'm stuck here on my own - which is OK, most of the time, but I am beginning to feel like the walls are closing in and there'll be no end to this.
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  • Dav275Dav275 Frets: 25
    Interesting thread. Seems like several of you here have virtually written my reply already - only child,.  2-3 friends whom I see occasionally,. happy/prefer my own company/just me and the wife.

    Not sure I agree that it's harder to make friends as we get older. I think more maturity and broader life experiences can make for the basis of new friendships if desired.  Personally though, I find I just don't feel the need (or can't be bothered).

    I wonder if, since many of us are of the same demographic, (and with at least one shared interest),  the similarity in responses here is not too surprising.
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  • JCA2550JCA2550 Frets: 165
    500+ Facebook "friends" and friends for life I can count on one hand, including Mrs JCA2550. A lot of people I can socialize with, but only a handful that I truly miss if we don't catch up with at least once a year.
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  • dafuzzdafuzz Frets: 1515
    When I was still with the mother of my child I had 2 or 3 male friends I'd see monthly-ish and that was it. I honestly did not have the energy for going out all the time and it would've caused tension at home if I did I'm sure, plus she'd want to do things that in her head were important like endlessly doing up the house, going for pointless walks, or meeting up with other couples

    My social life is much more active now: I'm free to go out for a drink at the drop of a hat, so if I meet someone at work and we get on I'll normally swap numbers and/or go for a quick drink after work. I meet a lot of people that way (friendly and romantically). Oftentimes I won't see them again, but that's as it should be imo

    I have a fairly close circle of 4 male friends and we've known each other around 5 years now, although there's been some roster changes in that time. We all met up yesterday actually and while we were out we ran into another friend with his new boyfriend and they were meeting others so it ended up we knew most of the pub by the end

    I'm confident I could move to a new city and make friends without problem if I had to. I also think if I got into a serious relationship again I would socialise a lot less, again that's as it should be when you're setting up shop with someone imo

    My advice for those looking to be more popular is this: encourage other people to talk about themselves, it's their favourite subject
    All practice and no theory
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  • DefaultMDefaultM Frets: 3062
    I married my best friend, which is pretty good because it means you can still have conversation about stuff you like, but you don't have to leave the house. Every day is like a sleepover, but you don't get shouted at when you put your face in their boobs.
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  • spark240spark240 Frets: 1483
    Yeah I got pals....some from school,days, some through work, some through guitars and music....probably about 20 of people we see fairly regular....then there’s a bunch of folks on social media who I converse with....are they friends ?

    I will talk to virtually anyone TBH !




    Mac Mini i7, 2.3Ghz.
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  • RaymondLinRaymondLin Frets: 6165
    I immigrated here at 10 and pretty much had to start making friends again from scratch. Learn early on that life is all different chapters so I am used to losing touch with old friends and making new ones.  That said I am still in touch with the friends I made when I first got here at 10, and we catch up every few weeks/months too.  The ones in university, a couple I still do, most don’t.   I’ve made more friends since working and some online through forums.
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  • robgilmorobgilmo Frets: 2872
    I work for a living.
    A Deuce , a Tele and a cup of tea.
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  • @monquixote I am the same, but younger and no kids. Confident at work, but I find socialising extraordinarily exhausting - I enjoy it, mostly, but prefer small groups.

    I'm fairly popular at work (as much as directorate/admin staff can be, anyway) but I think I could probably count the number of friends I have on one hand. 

    I don't mind, either. I get on well with most people, and am pretty laid back. I just find socialising sucks away my energy, and the first thing I want to do afterwards is play guitar or read for a couple of hours to "reset". 
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  • underdogunderdog Frets: 6434
    No friends from school days, no friends from old jobs, my current job is my own business with only 4 people working there (including me and my wife) so slim on real friends to be honest.

    I have lots of people to go for a drink with, from all walks of life, but maybe 4 or 5 people of consider real friends. 
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  • earwighoneyearwighoney Frets: 2596
    Philly_Q said:

    one I've been to all of her weddings, and she's just split up with husband number three!  But no-one I really see or talk to regularly - a few times a year at most. 
    I hope you enjoy your friend's next wedding, and for her husband no.4 is the one.

    ***
    I used to have a lot more friends in my early 20's, but around 15 years later of having quite a few issues with mental health I've found it increasingly more difficult to be social and consequently I seem to only have a few friends I speak to/see on a regular basis.
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  • I would add, I get a lot out of this forum in terms of friendly chats. Perhaps I have friends who don't know it... I'm such a creep. 
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  • strtdvstrtdv Frets: 1819
    I'm friendly with lots of people but am really good friends with about 5 or 6 people (married to one of those).
    I'm perfectly happy in my own company though
    Robot Lords of Tokyo, SMILE TASTE KITTENS!
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  • SPECTRUM001SPECTRUM001 Frets: 14
    Very interesting discussion - thanks for posting it !

    I have always felt like an outsider, though managed to maintain friendships both inside and outside of work. I was never very good at the pub, and really struggled with the partying when I was in a band - that said I got by (just).

    Getting married in 1994 really helped my confidence, primarily as I was no longer worried about my social life, which ironically; improved as I wasn’t worried about it.

    I reckon I make more effort than my ‘friends’ do, but that is ok.

    Totally agree about old friends that you do not see for years, but are so comfortable that it feels like no time at all.

    to be honest, I am not sure I have the energy for much - and I don’t even have children !!!
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  • RandallFlaggRandallFlagg Frets: 10516
    edited August 2
    I've got loads of friends in the P&E section
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  • bodhibodhi Frets: 1196
    I have a handful of friends from our school days who got back in touch via Whatsapp.  Some of them I haven't seen for 36 years, but it feels like the bond is still there.  There are only about 4 people I'd call close friends since then - the kind you'd feel comfortable asking for help if you needed any.
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