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I haven't made a new friend since high school
Old 07-31-2021, 02:34 PM   #1
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I haven't made a new friend since high school

I'm planning to retire at the end of the year and my wife (who is [was] a stay at home mom) has made it clear she does not want me underfoot. I have good friends (from high school) that I see a couple times a year, but they don't live nearby.

Where do old guys make new friends w/o seeming creepy.

I know someone will ask what I like to do, so - I golf (poorly), I do some wood working, I have a computer background, I own a handgun/concealed carry (thought about getting better at shooting), and plan to focus alot of energy on getting fit.

edit: maybe a cooking class
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Old 07-31-2021, 02:36 PM   #2
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Have you though about doing some volunteer work? That's often a good way to meet people.
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Old 07-31-2021, 02:39 PM   #3
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Shooting should be fun. I made a good pal, he owned the gun shop and also shot at the range. We ended up going fishing, shooting sporting clays and having lunch.
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Old 07-31-2021, 02:48 PM   #4
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Shooting seems like a good common interest. DH started doing security for gun shows a couple years ago, and has made some new friends there (as well as getting rid of some excess firearms and making some good bucks). Lots of camaraderie in that sport. Is there a range nearby you can visit or even join?

Going to the same places frequently gives you exposure to the same people over and over, increasing the chances of having casual conversations that can become friendships. So like a shooting range, gym, beach, bike path, coffee shop, adult education class at a local community college, Toastmasters, etc.

You might also consider looking at local want ads to see if other fellas in your area are interested in meeting new friends. I know, that sounds like it could be creepy, but it's something to think about and a legit way to meet new people these days.
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Old 07-31-2021, 02:49 PM   #5
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I had lots of friends I made during my career, and still keep in touch with a number of them, but we all live so far apart it's pointless to try to meet up.

What I have found extremely useful is to join a local hobby club. Whatever your hobby is, there is probably a local club of enthusiasts who would instantly have something in common with you. The other big benefit is that I think this is the absolute best way (besides watching Youtube videos) of learning the finer points of any hobby.
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Old 07-31-2021, 02:50 PM   #6
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IMHO. Go "out", and do what you enjoy doing. And eventually you will meet "new" people. Like High School, not all people you meet you will connect with!

Takes a little time, but you will eventually connect with people that share your values.

Good luck.....
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Old 07-31-2021, 02:53 PM   #7
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Most of my friends came from the running club I belong to, skiing at a small local resort, and volunteering. It took more than just doing those things. For example, I met people at group training runs, rather than just running alone and showing up at races. So pick activities you like and figure out how to best meet people through them.
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Old 07-31-2021, 03:05 PM   #8
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How about forming a ROMEO club as you make new friends? I.e. Retired Old Men Eating Out. Everybody has to eat.
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Old 07-31-2021, 03:19 PM   #9
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You can always make new friends through hobbies and volunteer work. But you really donít need to make new friends to gain some separation from your DW. You can go out on your own hiking, biking, exploring, etc for hours/days and have a good time.
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Old 07-31-2021, 03:40 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
What I have found extremely useful is to join a local hobby club. Whatever your hobby is, there is probably a local club of enthusiasts who would instantly have something in common with you. The other big benefit is that I think this is the absolute best way (besides watching Youtube videos) of learning the finer points of any hobby.
What he said. I spent this morning and early afternoon teaching another guy (who is also 71) to fly R/C airplanes, and he has asked me to also teach his brother soon. And of course I've joined a local club that has ~50 members in it.
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Old 07-31-2021, 04:04 PM   #11
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We retired and moved to another state and we have made lots of new friends, including some really close ones through our country club, golfing and social/card games. We also become close friends with neighbors who share similar values as us. We have gone travelling with a number of these people whenever we booked a 2BR/2BA timeshare and invited them to join us. Because I am a pretty decent cook, we find that the best way to build even closer relationship is by hosting a "potential close friends" couple dinner at our home. We host either existing close friends or new ones, separately, every other week. I cook and my husband cleans.
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Old 07-31-2021, 04:59 PM   #12
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We live in a big metro area and there are probably 10 different senior clubs within 20 - 30 minutes drive. Each club usually has trips, day trips, weekly activities, and sub groups - fishing, pinochle, walking, wine tasting, dining out, pool, opera, softball, bocce ball - all sorts of interests. Plus there are a ton of hobby type clubs around here and volunteer activities, in and outside the clubs.
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Old 07-31-2021, 10:04 PM   #13
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I'd recommend Meetup.com. It is a place where people of similar interests meet and do activities together. There is everything from dog walking to Bible study to kayaking and probably target shooting, too.
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Old 07-31-2021, 10:06 PM   #14
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I love this! This could definitely be a thing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by latexman View Post
How about forming a ROMEO club as you make new friends? I.e. Retired Old Men Eating Out. Everybody has to eat.
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Old 07-31-2021, 10:33 PM   #15
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I understand OP's angst, it's tough to meet new people.

I thought I'd join a club, so I went to strip clubs, but had to quit as I felt too overdressed

Then I joined a parachuting club, but I got discouraged as members kept dropping out

So what does OP's wife do all day at the home ?

Why don't they plan a trip.

In the meantime, OP take up biking/hiking, it will get you outside, it's refreshing and will improve your health.
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Old 08-01-2021, 12:26 AM   #16
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Clubs, church, shared interest groups (guns, RC planes, ham radio, travel, sports, gym, etc.) etc. Lots of places to meet folks. Never force it or be (seem) desperate. Just let it happen. Perhaps, you don't NEED folks as much as others do. I'm off scale introvert and have relatively few good friends though lots of acquaintances. It's actually great that you still have HS friends. I've lost my closest HS friends by now. YMMV
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Old 08-01-2021, 04:59 AM   #17
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I'd recommend Meetup.com. It is a place where people of similar interests meet and do activities together. There is everything from dog walking to Bible study to kayaking and probably target shooting, too.
+1
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Old 08-01-2021, 06:36 AM   #18
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Itís not difficult but takes conscious effort. One has to put oneself out there and try. Be interested in things and then find people who share those interests. Talk to them. Make words. Aim to spend time together doing the things, like fishing on a boat, a hunting trip, etc. Itís a two way street and one gets what one gives.
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Old 08-01-2021, 07:54 AM   #19
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Itís not difficult but takes conscious effort. One has to put oneself out there and try. Be interested in things and then find people who share those interests. Talk to them. Make words. Aim to spend time together doing the things, like fishing on a boat, a hunting trip, etc. Itís a two way street and one gets what one gives.
That's the only way we know of. I've met all my friends in retirement through boating and golf. Join in as often as you can, and you will meet people, the activity itself is secondary. My wife and I are about to join a pickle ball league, and it's not because we want to play pickle ball, it's all about meeting people. The people we play with will have other interests, or might lead to meeting other people they know.

The biggest obstacle IME has been seniors whose lives revolve entirely around grandkids. Nothing whatsoever wrong with that, but some of them aren't much interested in new friends.

The other obstacle is seniors in poor health. Makes me sad, but I don't want to sit around and talk about poor health, we steer clear of those folks.
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Old 08-01-2021, 08:13 AM   #20
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Old friends are good - I just came back from a hiking trip with an old friend from my college days. But we only see each other a few times a year as we live pretty far apart.

I recently made a couple of new friends however. Meeting new people is not the hard part IME, as there are many venues to meet people with whom we share a common interest. Building and maintaining friendships demand some intentional effort from both parties however. And this is often where opportunities get missed IMO. Making real friends just doesn't seem to be a priority for many. They seem happy enough with 500 Facebook friends.
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