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Old 10-27-2015, 07:09 PM   #121
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That's a hard age group, as you said, with most of your peers working full time and having limited time for socializing, and I think it can be difficult for men to make close friends with other men after a certain point.
This is really true. When we are young, men make friends easily. Then most of the more sociable ones get married, and if there is anything a typical wife is not fond of is her husband having single friends.

What I call quasi-friendships are one possibility. You may share some sport, and get together to play. Sometimes it can generalize from this, sometimes not.

OTOH, women are often available as friends for single men. And women make good friends because they are not afraid of feelings. Male friendships can resemble jousting, which is fine when you are 30 but gets old when you are 60 or 70. The rub with cross-sex friendships is that some number of them detour to bed, and if you or she already have a man-woman thing going with someone else, this is awkward. I have made a good friend in one guy who lives in my building.He might borrow cooking oil or some utensil One day he asked me to borrow some Viagra. I guess my age made it seem likely that I might have some. When I said I didn't have any, he explained that it was for a friend. True friendships IMO are often made when you have been drunk together, or somehow exposed more of your true self than many men feel comfortable doing (or observing). This is part of the reason it tends to be easier to make deep friendships when you are young.

Regarding meetups, most of them that are general interest or neighborhood based tend to be mostly women, which for a man who is not looking specifically for a female can be tedious, especially in a hyper-liberal, hyper-PC area like Seattle.

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Old 10-27-2015, 07:14 PM   #122
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I'm in the same situation as OP, mid-40's, no spouse or kids, live alone, and like OP I soon felt isolated after ER. For me it was mostly about feeling connected, not to just other people but to my community, society in general, and even my old profession (software engineering in a particular niche) where I still have an academic and research interest.

What I did find was I don't like going out during the weekdays, because around here anyway it's almost all the conventionally-retired 70-90 age group and if anything the age differences made me feel even more disconnected. Instead, I spend most weekdays "w*rking" in the sense I sit in my home office with one of the business or news channels on the TV in the background (helps me feel part of what's going on "right now," almost like an office environment but without any of the stress or B.S.) while I do research (researching whatever the heck interests me), participate in my old industry chat boards and forums (keeps me feeling connected to a big interest in my life) and working on open-source software projects (keeps my skills sharp, plus I like programming). To me, it's all the good parts of w*rk with none of the bad.

Other than that I've done many of the other things people have suggested here. I'm happy with ER now after six years and don't feel isolated like I did initially.
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Old 10-27-2015, 07:44 PM   #123
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Oh, they are very disorganized.
True dat! Unitarians come from all religious back grounds and are usually not pedantic. They do tend to swing to the more liberal side but for a liberal person it can be a great place to meet like minded people.
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Old 10-27-2015, 09:00 PM   #124
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This is really true. When we are young, men make friends easily. Then most of the more sociable ones get married, and if there is anything a typical wife is not fond of is her husband having single friends.



What I call quasi-friendships are one possibility. You may share some sport, and get together to play. Sometimes it can generalize from this, sometimes not.



OTOH, women are often available as friends for single men. And women make good friends because they are not afraid of feelings. Male friendships can resemble jousting, which is fine when you are 30 but gets old when you are 60 or 70. The rub with cross-sex friendships is that some number of them detour to bed, and if you or she already have a man-woman thing going with someone else, this is awkward. I have made a good friend in one guy who lives in my building.He might borrow cooking oil or some utensil One day he asked me to borrow some Viagra. I guess my age made it seem likely that I might have some. When I said I didn't have any, he explained that it was for a friend. True friendships IMO are often made when you have been drunk together, or somehow exposed more of your true self than many men feel comfortable doing (or observing). This is part of the reason it tends to be easier to make deep friendships when you are young.



Regarding meetups, most of them that are general interest or neighborhood based tend to be mostly women, which for a man who is not looking specifically for a female can be tedious, especially in a hyper-liberal, hyper-PC area like Seattle.



Ha

I get some social time with a weekly golf meet up and beer get togethers every other week usually. That is about it and really all I need for true "fellowship". So it is a good thing I am fine with extended solitary times. If I told my GF (who works and does not live with me) I was going to some group meetups to not be so isolated, she would immediately think I was up to no good and probably dump me.


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Old 10-27-2015, 09:13 PM   #125
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Regarding meetups, most of them that are general interest or neighborhood based tend to be mostly women,...
Ha
This probably varies from place to place. I belong to about 25 meetup groups...some are very active and some are quite inactive. I have found tons more men than women in all of the hiking/adventure meetup groups to which I belong...and especially when those groups are going on hikes (easily 70-80% males on a hike). Other meetup groups are more social, and although they are open to men, I see a handful of guys show up at happy hours, house parties, live theater events, and urban walks....but a whole bunch of guys showed up at a potluck /bonfire. My Spanish language meetup is about 50/50. So, it all depends.

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Old 10-27-2015, 09:41 PM   #126
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This probably varies from place to place. I belong to about 25 meetup groups...some are very active and some are quite inactive. I have found tons more men than women in all of the hiking/adventure meetup groups to which I belong...and especially when those groups are going on hikes (easily 70-80% males on a hike). Other meetup groups are more social, and although they are open to men, I see a handful of guys show up at happy hours, house parties, live theater events, and urban walks....but a whole bunch of guys showed up at a potluck /bonfire. My Spanish language meetup is about 50/50. So, it all depends.

omni
No doubt this is true. At my last 55+ coffee club meetup before I took a trip one of the women told me "these groups tend to be mostly women." However, I am sure that a rugby meetup would be all or very strongly biased toward men. My Spanish group is also about half and half, mainly Hispanic native speaking men and Anglophone women. It meets in a bar, so it is pretty hard to actually hear any language.

Ha
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Old 10-28-2015, 09:34 AM   #127
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As a fellow introvert, not in a relationship and with no family close by, I struggle with the same issue. I've come to regard social contact as a basic need I must fill like food or exercise, so I try to build some into every day.

Although my preferred means of interaction is with close friends and family members, I've come to realize that I can get those needs partially met in other ways. I've found the diagram below helpful:



From what I've read, introverts tend to prefer limiting their interactions to the inner circles. However, without an SO, it can be hard getting enough social interaction from just friends, so I've learned to derive nourishment from the outer circles as well. You don't have to be close friends with someone for the interaction to be of value. People enter our lives in different ways and it's possible for a brief encounter to be life-changing.

I do this in my own way though. Loud parties and bars are not my style. I've also found interactions with acquaintances and strangers to be much more satisfying if the circumstances apply a kind of filter to ensure we have some values or interests in common.

For example, I find the interactions with acquaintances at my book discussion group interesting and thought-provoking. The community at my Unitarian church are also caring, thoughtful people I enjoy being around.

Attending classes is also good since it gets me out of the house and allows for some social interaction without being too draining. For example, when I attend a yoga class, I generally have a brief pleasant exchange with the receptionist, perhaps exchange a smile and a word with the other women in the locker room, and then enjoy the cameraderie of doing yoga in a room of likeminded practitioners.

Other examples of this type of activity might be volunteering with animals or attending foreign and indie film Meetups.
Where do coworkers fit in on that graphic
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Old 10-28-2015, 10:02 AM   #128
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Posting, in itself, is reaching out to others so no one here can truly claim to be an introvert.

I find it exhausting to socialize with others (even via the internet), but it does not mean that I avoid it at all cost. Socialization has its rewards too. But I think that it still puts me on the introverted side of the spectrum. If, on the other hand, one gets energized by social interactions, then one is more likely to be extroverted IMO.

At the end of the day, those are just labels anyway. We each have to find the level of socialization that best fits our DNA so to speak. Going back to the OP, I see solitude as voluntary and therefore desirable so perhaps what you are hinting at is loneliness?

Posting is not quite the same as going out and actually MEETING people....


And if I get tired after 5 minutes of reading here I can go to another page or even go downstairs and watch TV.... when you meet with people they expect that to go on for a certain amount of time... say 1 to 4 hours....

Nope, posting here is nothing like socializing....
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Old 10-28-2015, 03:33 PM   #129
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Introvert's guide to socializing, from Comics, Quizzes, and Stories - The Oatmeal
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Old 10-28-2015, 03:49 PM   #130
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I'm in the same situation as OP, mid-40's, no spouse or kids, live alone, and like OP I soon felt isolated after ER. For me it was mostly about feeling connected, not to just other people but to my community, society in general, and even my old profession (software engineering in a particular niche) where I still have an academic and research interest.

What I did find was I don't like going out during the weekdays, because around here anyway it's almost all the conventionally-retired 70-90 age group and if anything the age differences made me feel even more disconnected. Instead, I spend most weekdays "w*rking" in the sense I sit in my home office with one of the business or news channels on the TV in the background (helps me feel part of what's going on "right now," almost like an office environment but without any of the stress or B.S.) while I do research (researching whatever the heck interests me), participate in my old industry chat boards and forums (keeps me feeling connected to a big interest in my life) and working on open-source software projects (keeps my skills sharp, plus I like programming). To me, it's all the good parts of w*rk with none of the bad.

Other than that I've done many of the other things people have suggested here. I'm happy with ER now after six years and don't feel isolated like I did initially.
Sounds like we have a tremendous amount in common, Kabekew. I'm also from the software/programming world and still enjoy doing that on a semi-regular basis, although not quite to the degree that you described. It's great that you found your comfort zone and don't feel isolated anymore. I'm definitely struggling with it, as is pretty obvious from my comments in this thread. I think what I'm really searching for is a good mixture of social interaction and "projects" that can fill my days and give me a sense of purpose and meaning and connection with the world. I don't think just filling my days with projects will do much to quench my thirst for more extensive, meaningful human contact. I definitely feel like I need both, and they would work in synergy to keep me fulfilled and happy. The trick, of course, is to figure out how to find the right projects and meet the right people and then to cultivate and nurture those aspects of my life to keep them in balance. Right now, I'm just struggling to overcome that inertia that is keeping me from taking those first steps to start actually making those connections and improving my situation. I'm determined to make it happen, though, regardless of how uncomfortable the introvert inside me feels about it.
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Old 10-28-2015, 04:19 PM   #131
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Start where you are.

Although you're welcomed here, it isn't actual in-person interaction.

A surgeon recently gave me great advice that was simple but helped: "Walk with confidence". You could substitute "meet" for "walk", if meeting people is really what you want.
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Old 10-28-2015, 11:07 PM   #132
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Where do coworkers fit in on that graphic
Depends... I work for a megacorp on a three-month-on, three-month-off basis. For me, only one or two coworkers are in the close friends circle, and the rest are acquaintances or strangers.

My coworkers are good people but I don't have too much in common with most of them outside of the shared work context. It's much easier for me to find kindred spirits in other values-based communities such as the Unitarian church or a secular Buddhist group I belong to.
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Old 10-28-2015, 11:32 PM   #133
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No matter how introverted anyone in this thread says they are, I bet I have you all beat
Interesting: an introvert, yet quite competitive. Anybody know if those two characteristics commonly go together?
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Old 10-29-2015, 05:36 AM   #134
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Where do coworkers fit in on that graphic
They are in the inmates category.

Oh .. it says "intimates" ..
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Old 10-29-2015, 05:55 AM   #135
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I am pretty much alone because I refuse to dial a phone. I have always hated calling people, fine if they call me but nobody does.
My social network is a boyfriend 100 miles away that calls every few days and a brother who might call once or twice a month to invite me to play pinochle and his wife and kids and his wife's siblings and their kids and grandkids on some holidays. Looking forward to Thanksgiving at her sister's I have known her family 47 years but see them less than once a year.
I don't really seek out people but I like seeing them when I see them. My cousin send me a message asking to use my chain saw sharpener so she might come by one day this week. I think I will build a chicken house tomorrow so a trip to the hardware store. So I have been thinking of the design for the new chicken house and can't sleep, it is only for one chicken so will be pretty small, hope she likes it. I will deliver it soon so she can have a nicer place for winter.
I tried volunteering and tried the gym but don't like to schedule things I stay up until nearly dawn then sleep to after noon. I need more regular hours.
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Old 10-29-2015, 08:31 AM   #136
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This pretty much sums me up. "Missing out" bothered me for years until I finally realized it was ok. Only bothers me occasionally now.


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Introvert's guide to socializing, from Comics, Quizzes, and Stories - The Oatmeal
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Old 10-30-2015, 12:17 PM   #137
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I wonder how many introverts avoid moving upon retirement simply due to the difficulty in making new friends. Those who have lived in the same place for a long time have already established a network of friends and acquaintances that fill the need for companionship....even though the need for social contact for an introvert is less than that of others, it is still required for most people. Starting from scratch in an area where you don't know anyone may be too daunting for many.
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Old 10-30-2015, 12:59 PM   #138
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I wonder how many introverts avoid moving upon retirement simply due to the difficulty in making new friends. Those who have lived in the same place for a long time have already established a network of friends and acquaintances that fill the need for companionship....even though the need for social contact for an introvert is less than that of others, it is still required for most people. Starting from scratch in an area where you don't know anyone may be too daunting for many.

Of course, introverts who may have gotten most of their social needs met through work connections may find that they have few social connection outside of work, even if they have lived in the same place for years.

Also, if one chooses to move to an area with an active seasonal senior population (such as places in Florida or Arizona), an introvert might actually find it easier to make connections than at home.

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Old 10-30-2015, 12:59 PM   #139
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"The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulate the creative mind." - Albert Einstein

This quote is quite encompassing for those of us who are introverts... it's rubbish for the other half. For me, I could build a cabin in the forest and not see a soul for months... and come out of it completely energized. For my companion is knowledge and thought, philosophy - crafts and creations. Others, would quite literally go insane. To each his own. It's what makes humanity beautiful.
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Old 10-30-2015, 01:14 PM   #140
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I wonder how many introverts avoid moving upon retirement simply due to the difficulty in making new friends. Those who have lived in the same place for a long time have already established a network of friends and acquaintances that fill the need for companionship....even though the need for social contact for an introvert is less than that of others, it is still required for most people. Starting from scratch in an area where you don't know anyone may be too daunting for many.
This is a big factor for me, one that has crossed my mind many times when I've thought about moving to a new city. With each passing year, I do yearn to live in other places and experience other communities and regional cultures, but it's so hard to imagine leaving behind the few good friends and family members I have here in my hometown, especially knowing how difficult it is for me to put myself out there and meet new people. For now, I've decided to just take some long trips each year to different places to help satisfy that urge for new scenery and communities.
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