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Old 10-30-2015, 01:23 PM   #141
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Some years prior to ER I had identified where I wanted to move. I already had a couple of friends there. I also found a temporary job, which helped me to learn a lot more about the new area and helped pay for the move. As well, there is a wonderful newcomers' club where I have found many new friends. I feel quite at home here now and I can regulate the amount of social contact I have.
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Old 10-30-2015, 09:11 PM   #142
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Originally Posted by Major Tom View Post
Very interesting thread - thank you Sojourner for starting it. I have to nip down the road to get a back x-ray, feed the neighborhood cat, and buy some fish, but I will be returning to read every post here in detail.

No matter how introverted anyone in this thread says they are, I bet I have you all beat
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I think nearly all people (and probably everyone in this forum) need some social contact - no matter how introverted, shy or grumpy we are We just differ in the amount.

Although I did have same-sex friends when I was younger, that has dwindled as I have aged (I'm now 51) and now my only close friend is my SO. She's not my girlfriend, and we drive each other nuts if we spend too much time together but for where I'm at in my life, it seems to work reasonably well. I do have one or two other people I can talk to about problems and personal issues, but she is my main buddy and companion. We speak on the phone every day, and see each other once or twice a week. That is enough for me.

I've heard people say that having very few friends is a risky business, as if you lose the few relationships you have, you have little left. That's true, but the people who say things like that are usually extroverts (or reasonably sociable introverts), for whom socializing and making friends comes more easily, and is something they naturally want to do. Having more than a very, very small close social circle would put my circuits into overload, and probably trigger off some combination of social anxiety and old-retired-man-grumpiness I'm just way happier with one close friend, and a fair amount of casual social interaction. Any more is too much for me. I'd rather risk losing the very few friends I have and have to go through a period of loneliness than suffer the excruciating tedium of having to cultivate more friends than I want or need. I am not by any means a misanthrope - I think people are fine. I'd just prefer, for the most part, to observe them from a distance.

I get to talk to lots of locals when I sit outside and feed the neighborhood cat every day. I enjoy talking to my neighbors, and people in the places I shop at. I had a lovely chat and a laugh with the X-ray technician who X-rayed my back this afternoon. Yesterday, a great chat with the proprietor of my local bicycle store. When I'm done with my errands though, I like to go home, maybe talk to my SO on the phone, make dinner, and hang out with the cats. To some it might be dull, but this life is wonderful for me.

Sojourner - sorry I don't have any tips for you, but I think others have already contributed in that regard. You'll find your own level, I'm sure. Just give it time.
I think I would give you a run for your money. That is extroverted as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 10-30-2015, 10:13 PM   #143
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I finished reading the entire thread and unfortunately discovered I have misanthropic/schizoid tendencies after doing a quick internet search. I think I'm on the mild side of the m/s spectrum but may be on the somewhat extreme end of introversion scale. I'm cool with that.

Good luck op and I enjoyed reading the discussion.
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Old 10-31-2015, 06:23 AM   #144
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Another introvert here. Still working for a bit longer, but a couple of thoughts.

As a married couple with no kids, our social life really suffered through our late 30s and 40s. Due primarily to our peers and their kid-centric lives. Now that we're past that, it's like a different world. Yes, some of our friends are older, but that's OK.

Here in Texas, we really enjoy the FREE country-western dance lessons at two dance halls nearby. It's a lot more diverse group than you might imagine. Lots of regulars and so it's like a big group of new friends.

Introverts recharge with alone time, extroverts with other people time. Introverts want social contact, but then need the solitude again.

As a lapsed Methodist/Presbyterian, I would second the recommendation to try the UU church. It is very different and there is no dogma, other than "please stay afterward for the coffee/tea and discussion". Like any outfit, it all depends on the people there, so you never know if it'll click or not.
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Old 10-31-2015, 10:30 AM   #145
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Another introvert here. Still working for a bit longer, but a couple of thoughts.

As a married couple with no kids, our social life really suffered through our late 30s and 40s. Due primarily to our peers and their kid-centric lives. Now that we're past that, it's like a different world. Yes, some of our friends are older, but that's OK.

Here in Texas, we really enjoy the FREE country-western dance lessons at two dance halls nearby. It's a lot more diverse group than you might imagine. Lots of regulars and so it's like a big group of new friends.

Introverts recharge with alone time, extroverts with other people time. Introverts want social contact, but then need the solitude again.

As a lapsed Methodist/Presbyterian, I would second the recommendation to try the UU church. It is very different and there is no dogma, other than "please stay afterward for the coffee/tea and discussion". Like any outfit, it all depends on the people there, so you never know if it'll click or not.

I can see the child thing causing problems, because it has for us in the opposite way. Out of my 4 adult life friends, two had kids the traditional age that I did and the other 2 (about 5 years younger) waited until their 40s a few years ago to start a family. We (GF and I) find ourselves involved way more with the other 2. We have gotten old and crotchety and don't want to hang out with kids. Still good friends but the time together doing things has shrunk considerably.


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Old 10-31-2015, 11:32 AM   #146
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...As a married couple with no kids, our social life really suffered through our late 30s and 40s. Due primarily to our peers and their kid-centric lives. Now that we're past that, it's like a different world. Yes, some of our friends are older, but that's OK.....
In my 40's and same thing as far as not having kids and friends having kids. Some of your friends disappear while the kids are growing up and then reappear. Some never come back. We belong to a couple car clubs and see it all the time. We were talking about this recently. People start coming back to the club once the kids are older, if they haven't sold their car. Then the same people start disappearing when their kids start having kids. Their now grandparents and they disappear again. We went to a retirement party last night and more than one couple wasn't there because the grandkids were in Halloween parades/parties.
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Old 10-31-2015, 03:38 PM   #147
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I moved with my hub due to his work, and never made friends here before we retired (just too busy working). So this year I made the effort to make friends, and I thought it was pretty easy. I used Meetups. There were maybe 10 that were interesting to me, but I zero'd in on two - one was a wine club that did regular tastings maybe 2-3 times a month. The first night I sat myself at a table with all women my age - I liked one woman and texted her after the. We now do things socially regularly. She was also new to the area.

I did the same thing with another group, it was a group of people in 50s and 60s just social, getting together at various low kep activities (pizza, mexican food, etc). I did the same thing, and met another friend.

I was sort of surprised at how easy it was for how long I drug my feet. My hub is a serious introvert and he was happy that I made friends and invite them over so he does not feel stressed to do social things with me.
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Old 10-31-2015, 03:40 PM   #148
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When my husband was single after divorce he joined a hiking club as he loves hiking. As an introvert he was able to take a break by just looking down and climbing. He met lots of people - lots of single women also - this was about age 45 or so.
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Old 11-01-2015, 09:04 PM   #149
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As an introvert, I'm happy to be alone with a good book or out on the trails by myself, but I don't want to feel isolated. Fortunately, it's not hard to find things that let me have a controlled amount of interaction with others:

go and study something old or new - I did a part time MFA
volunteer at a non-profit there are lots to choose from - I do fostering for the SPCA, act as secretary for a nonprofit and race marshal for one or two running races
take up a new hobby and meet with other enthusiasts - my local writers' group has a monthly social
meet up with former colleagues/friends - I keep a list of the people I like and usually do 1-2 lunches or drinks/dinners a week
join a gym (what W2R said)
remind family that I exist from time to time

get a job


The nice thing about all of these is that I am in full control of how much contact I have and can dial it up or down as desired.
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Old 11-01-2015, 11:18 PM   #150
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Although I did have same-sex friends when I was younger, that has dwindled as I have aged (I'm now 51) and now my only close friend is my SO. She's not my girlfriend, and we drive each other nuts if we spend too much time together but for where I'm at in my life, it seems to work reasonably well.
Can you help me? I must not understand what an SO is. I thought it was someone's steady lover, who would then also be a boyfriend or girlfriend, depending on their sex.

Is there some other meaning of SO? I realize it means "significant other", but what relationship isn't significant? I assumed SO was code for "I'm not married, but neither am I open to dating because I have that covered already".

Ha
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