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Author Topic: Ok. I need help. How do I make friends?  (Read 2713 times)
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Knightshade Dragon
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« on: July 04, 2011, 02:38:21 AM »

So this isn't meant to be a bitch session or a pity party, and I'm not trying to call anyone out, but I am sitting here scratching my head on this.   I am a, as of today, 35 year old married guy with no idea how to make new friends.   I've made a few friends in person on this forum, but let's say that the results have been...spotty.   One set of friends from here fucked me over in a profoundly damaging way, another set of friends just stopped calling completely and without explanation, and a smattering of other friends have become, at best, acquaintances with the amount I hear from them.  Laura is making me a special dinner to celebrate my birthday, but while we were at the store I realized that today is my 35th birthday and the only person that has wished me that is either related or married to me.   The only other person was the girl at the store who overheard Laura mention it. 

So let's have it.  How does an adult make new friends?  Approaching people with the "Hey, wanna be my friend?!" attitude comes off creepy at best, and people in Arizona are so goddamned flaky that even with that approach attempted a few times we've met folks and then had them disappear almost as quick as we meet them.  I'm open to suggestions.    icon_cry
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« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2011, 02:55:26 AM »

First off, Happy Birthday....today is my birthday as well!  (big 38 for me)

As far as friends, i've honestly come to the conclusion that i just don't like most people.   My wife and I have one other couple we like to occasionally hang out with.   But other than that, we don't have what most people call friends.    Maybe it's us, but most people just get on our nerves with something or another and we just don't get along.   We've had some friends in the past and they've eventually proven not to be friend worthy.

So we just hang out occasionally with the other couple i mentioned or by ourselves.   

Then again, maybe my wife and I are just a-holes and it's us and not everyone else.   If so, we are cool with that smile
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« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2011, 02:59:43 AM »

I think the only reason why I've made any friends in the last 10+ years is by changing jobs.

And I take it this means you didn't get the Juggalo stripper-gram I sent you? DAMN YOU JUGGALOS!!!!
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« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2011, 03:00:11 AM »

Hard to say, Ron. I worked for a year at Google on temp basis and basically came away with 2 friends, one of which is way too much drama to keep in touch with and the other, though super cool and a great guy to work with, is just too far away to really keep in touch with either. Though the wonders of IM/chat do help with those situations.

More recently, I started a new job and after about 2 weeks, feel quite comfy there and get along with most. Not sure if I'd necessarily hang with them on a regular basis outside of work, but I think the potential would be there more than with the friends I made at Google.

I can't say I've made any super close friends in the past few years. I think the friends I have are mainly ones I went to school with or grew up with. More recently, with bands I play with, I have met some people. As well as at church. But I find as I get older, I'm happy hanging with my family and seeing those folks every once in a while, as opposed to wanting to go out all the time and hang.

Anyway, I'd say if you have a connection with some people that you hit it off with, call/email and just go hang out. When I got into photography, I found that it was a great ice breaker and met some people that way as well.

Good luck and I'd say that it is great to have friends, but it's not all there is.

And by the way, happy birthday!
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« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2011, 03:54:38 AM »

Happy Birthday Ron!

About the friends thing,  I know how you feel.  I have some friends who have been awesome but I've known them for years.  Ive made some newer friends usually through work but the last few ended up screwing me over.  I have a difficult time making friends now because I have serious trust issues.  My brother always tells me that I am far too trusting and thus easy to take advantage of and considering how much my last "friend" took me for and cost me I decided my bro was right and I really dont try anymore.  I cant say Ill never make a new friend again but the circumstances would have to be unique and they would have to really earn my trust.
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« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2011, 04:06:34 AM »

Places I seem to see others make friends are: Work, sports, their kids' parents, and random other (hobby club, grad school, neighbors). Personally I'm lucky to have a good core of friends from high school and college that are still in my area, so nice long-term friendships. If not, I'd be looking to work/sports I guess. But like someone else, I generally don't like people and am pretty introverted so I don't go out of my way to make new ones if I already have some.

Oh, and happy birthday to you both!
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« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2011, 04:07:12 AM »

I have very few friends and those I call friend are very indeed.  I wish I could help, but I think it might come from being social.  Happy Birthday, Ron
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« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2011, 04:31:47 AM »

Take up a social activity...
Join a book club. Take conga lessons. Sign up for some board game sessions at your local game shop. Take a cooking class. Check the community classes that your local colleges offer and sign up for some. Granted, you may not meet anyone that you have any interest in but you're going to have higher odds than you will trying to randomly click with someone online.
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« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2011, 04:44:07 AM »

Quote from: Gryndyl on July 04, 2011, 04:31:47 AM

Take up a social activity...
Join a book club. Take conga lessons. Sign up for some board game sessions at your local game shop. Take a cooking class. Check the community classes that your local colleges offer and sign up for some. Granted, you may not meet anyone that you have any interest in but you're going to have higher odds than you will trying to randomly click with someone online.

This
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« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2011, 04:53:59 AM »

+1 to the happy birthdaying and all that hullabaloo.  as for the root problem, if you want to call it that, it's not something most people really do in large numbers outside of school and work.  i have several fake friends from the job i held longest in that they are on my facebook list and nothing more.  we don't hang out, we don't call or see each other.  the one guy from my last job is something of a conservative agenda repeater on fb so despite the fact the family once went to his place for a get together, our views are not aligned.  

i have one at the current job that may be considered a friend, but the long term prospects of this place mean that it isn't something i would wager lasts outside of the next 6 months, especially given the way this job is headed.

like you, i find it hard to keep many friends or make new ones lasting outside of the common area.  1 from junior high school, 1from college.  that's all i keep up with now.  

sorry i haven't got much to help you with, but wanted to let you know it's not unusual.
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« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2011, 04:54:20 AM »

The only thing I can come up with is join a club type deal with your new Spyder. I don't mean Hell's Angels but there has to be meetups of people with your shiny new toy you got that you could potentially hang out with? With that type of...trike? There has to be a bit more geeky crowd that might play games and so forth. Just throwing that out there. At least you would have some other people to ride with and maybe get some fun spots to ride and all that. In either case maybe start with a forum and see how big the group is where you are. 

And happy birthday!
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« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2011, 05:28:31 AM »

A club or class is definitely the way to go.

It gets much weirder making new friends as you get older, though.  My daughter made a friend at school and as I picked her up for a playdate, I realized that the husband had stacks of board games around.  Good ones, too.  After a few months of circling, we finally got together to play Dominion (he plays regularly and stomped me).  I'll tell you, though, that the first meeting and eventual phone call felt awkward in a way that I haven't felt since high school.  Hell, maybe even middle school.  Just cringe-inducing.  It doesn't help that the wife kept calling it a playdate, either.

Louis CK just had a bit about this on his show recently, too.

EDIT:  Damnit.  I had it in my mind, and then I got caught up in my story.  Happy birthday, KD and Xmann!
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« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2011, 05:38:27 AM »

Mutual interests are probably the only non random way of making friends.  The vast majority of my friends are either from high school/college, work, or friends of people I am friends with from high school/college/work.

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« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2011, 07:01:02 AM »

You don't make new friends...you meet new people. Then over time you may become friends with them. Since high school I have probably made a dozen new "friends"......a friend is hard to make as true friends overlook everything..mostly. It takes new people time. So don't push, just share. Share experiences, likes and dis-likes, hobbies, sports etc. If you click as friends, you click. If not, then you still have met somebody new.

Friends are like girl friends...you can't force yourself on them, you can't make them like you, etc etc.

and oh yea...Happy Birthday.
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« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2011, 07:06:16 AM »

Happy birthday Ron!

I'm one of those people with very few friends but the few I call my friends are pretty darn close, the rest are just acquaintances. I tend to keep my co-workers as work friends only and hardly ever hang out with them outside of work, and most of the friends I hang with are friends from high school and new friends that know my friends, and a few from the forums that I've met.

Sorry, not really helping in the "how to make new friends" department.
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« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2011, 01:03:21 PM »

Hang out in country bars like me! I understand Graham Central Station in Tempe is awesome. Seriously, people who hang out in country bars are very friendly. You can drink and watch people dance and not worry about the place being a meat market. You'll also find people of all ages there (depending on the age limit for the night that is). It helps to like country music, but it's not a requirement.

-Lyno
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« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2011, 01:52:53 PM »

I'm 46, and I feel like I know where Ron's coming from. My 50 year old brother probably does too.

I worked at a local newspaper 1993-2006 that had frequent turnover (due to the low pay and grueling work schedule) but also kind of served as a rotating "friendship engine" over the years, with people from all ages and backgrounds. My current trade media job is so much better, but it's a small office and we don't socialize after work. It's something my publisher warn me about at the job interview in 2006, that "we're not going to socialize or go bowling together, but we try our best to make it a nice, great place to work." She has been true to her word. smile But I do miss making new friends fairly easily and often as I did in my newspaper job.

The few lasting friends I made while going through a 1-year a county leadership program in 1998-1999 and serving on its board of directors about 2000-2006 meant a lot to me and I keep those friendships going as best I can. I probably haven't made any new "real world" (not online-only or gaming-only) friends since 2006. I have sort of re-connected with some of those said newspaper friends (a few of us are gathering for a "Scrabble night" July 9), and I invite some of my pals from the leadership group out to lunch a few times a year to keep in touch.

So I don't really have any advice on making new friends. Mine was probably more about reconnecting with and keeping in touch with old friends. And that's hard too. I've probably lost more friends in the last 10 years to job changes, people moving, or marital status changes, than I would've ever believed as a kid. I'm single, and quite a few friends disappeared after they got married and had kids. Though I am meeting a couple married friends (to each other) at a restaurant for dinner today (the 4th), and they often refer to me as "Uncle" to their son, which I appreciate.  icon_smile

As a high schooler in Army bases in Korea I often had no real friends at all. I missed the ones in Virginia, and... I don't know what changes. As a kid, it's just sort of "hey, you're kinda cool, wanna be friends?" Somewhere as a teen it seemed to get awkward and difficult (for me anyway). Cliques develop. If you're not "cool," a "burnout" or a "brain," sometimes you just don't feel like you fit in. I felt mostly the same in college until working on my college newspaper my last year, where I made some friends finally, and fellow staffers seemed to love my quirky humor.

It seemed far easier to make pals in my later newspaper days in my 20s/30s/early 40s; as if when people worked with me every day 8 hours, started to get my weird sense of humor, and appreciated how I always wanted to help in a work or other type jam, they appreciated me, and I appreciated them too. But if you just met me in the street and knew nothing about me, we probably wouldn't be friends. I wasn't "cool" enough. You had to get in a "work foxhole" with me to appreciate me, I think. Sorry if that sounds like Stuart Smiley.  icon_razz icon_smile

When I went down to hang out with my 50-year old brother for a day around his birthday in March, we were talking over beers at a BBQ joint about making friends at work, and he was  excited a guy at his law office seemed to like bad horror movies (my sister-in-law doesn't). He was lamenting how long it had been since he'd made any real friends at work. Of course (aside from not liking the same movies usually) my sister-in-law is great as our my niece and nephew, and he spends lots of time with them and enjoys doing so.

Lastly, advice columnists would probably suggest doing some volunteer work. I'm sure if your expertise is computers and building servers etc. you might find an interesting group focused on that (though perhaps you want to make pals with more diverse interests too), or maybe some local nonprofits desperate for qualified volunteers to help with IT work at the like.
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« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2011, 02:09:35 PM »

Quote from: Lyno on July 04, 2011, 01:03:21 PM

Hang out in country bars like me! I understand Graham Central Station in Tempe is awesome. Seriously, people who hang out in country bars are very friendly. You can drink and watch people dance and not worry about the place being a meat market. You'll also find people of all ages there (depending on the age limit for the night that is). It helps to like country music, but it's not a requirement.

-Lyno

That's pretty funny. I go to Graham's quite often on Thursday's and Saturday's to dance.
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« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2011, 02:41:09 PM »

Happy Bday bud.

I'd come by and visit, but the commute is a bitch. slywink
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« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2011, 04:22:45 PM »

Happy b-day Ron.  smile

If it makes you feel any better, I'm turning 37 next month and am in the exact same boat.  I can count the number of people outside of family that I would consider good friends on one hand.  Strangely, I'm perfectly OK with that.  I'm not a terribly social person to begin with, and don't have much desire to hang out with people on a regular basis.  The occasional get-together and online interaction suits me fine.
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« Reply #20 on: July 04, 2011, 04:24:23 PM »

Quote from: Gryndyl on July 04, 2011, 04:31:47 AM

Take up a social activity...

My wife meets a lot of people that way, through various art and writing groups that she's in. She makes a lot of casual friends and the occasional close one. I'm not a joiner, myself, and haven't made a new friend in at least 10 years. Working alone from home does not help.
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« Reply #21 on: July 04, 2011, 04:36:19 PM »

Ceekay has, through his own experiences, taught an important lesson:

Spoiler for Hiden:
Do *NOT* try to make friends by hanging out in parks and talking to children.
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« Reply #22 on: July 04, 2011, 06:43:38 PM »

+1 on using your new Spyder to meet people.  http://www.spyderlovers.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=4f9497e3acaac64b746ec1850a1df8de&f=16

I've been on a few scooter rallies that were quite fun and you meet all types of people at them.

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« Reply #23 on: July 04, 2011, 08:03:03 PM »

Happy birthday.

Unfortunately I don't have any advice for you. I'm 29 and still hang around the exact same social circle of about 10-15 people I did back in high school. That way I don't have to worry about making new friends.
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« Reply #24 on: July 04, 2011, 08:07:40 PM »

Happy belated birthday
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« Reply #25 on: July 04, 2011, 08:11:59 PM »

Happy birthday, Ron!

Unfortunately I'm pretty non-social these days so I have no advice on the meeting friends thing.  I get the socializing out of my system via "work friends" and that's about it.  Hell, even my closest friends from 15 years ago are now in different cities and so occupied with wife/kids/job concerns that we hardly keep in touch.  It sucks getting older, but I've come to accept it.  

I think, as people said above, joining some sort of club or group based on something that interests you would be the best bet of meeting some new friends.
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« Reply #26 on: July 05, 2011, 12:30:56 AM »

Quote from: Moliere on July 04, 2011, 02:09:35 PM

Quote from: Lyno on July 04, 2011, 01:03:21 PM

Hang out in country bars like me! I understand Graham Central Station in Tempe is awesome. Seriously, people who hang out in country bars are very friendly. You can drink and watch people dance and not worry about the place being a meat market. You'll also find people of all ages there (depending on the age limit for the night that is). It helps to like country music, but it's not a requirement.

-Lyno

That's pretty funny. I go to Graham's quite often on Thursday's and Saturday's to dance.

I know the place has several different areas with different themes for each room (country, hip hop, top 40, 80's, etc). Which part of the club do you hang out in and what nights do you recommend? I plan to visit in a month or so and want to check the place out.

I've met many people the past few years while dancing in country bars. Before then, I wouldn't meet anyone new. Now I meet new people every week (most of them pretty girls). I highly recommend it.

-Lyno
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« Reply #27 on: July 05, 2011, 12:35:18 AM »

Quote from: Lyno on July 05, 2011, 12:30:56 AM

I know the place has several different areas with different themes for each room (country, hip hop, top 40, 80's, etc). Which part of the club do you hang out in and what nights do you recommend? I plan to visit in a month or so and want to check the place out.

I've met many people the past few years while dancing in country bars. Before then, I wouldn't meet anyone new. Now I meet new people every week (most of them pretty girls). I highly recommend it.

-Lyno

I do most of my dancing in the main country area. Thursday and Saturday are the best nights, but Saturday can get pretty busy so there isn't as much room to actually dance. I try to get there early to avoid the cover charge and to dance before it gets too busy, usually right after the lesson ends around 7:30pm.
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« Reply #28 on: July 05, 2011, 01:20:11 AM »

I started working in the DC/VA area not knowing anyone at all 15 years ago. And now I can safely say I have 5 good friends, we're all friends with each other's wives, and we're all starting to know and be good friends with another couple that work with some of my friends. What started it all was an innocent conversation about computer games with another contractor on the same project as me. "So, um, do you play any computer games?" The rest is history.

We realized we both played and enjoyed computer games. Next thing I know, I'm bringing my computer over for a LAN party at his house and I meet several of his friends. One of whom was the catalyst for me meeting someone who is now my wife. Which is another great story on its own. But another friend of his is now among the 5 that I call good friends.

That project ended but we still stayed in touch. On my next job I met another person close to my age. Come to find out he also plays computer games. I convince him to come to a LAN party with me and soon afterwards he's hanging out with the regular group as well. Another friend of my first friend moves into town from LA and he gets along great with all of us.

So I guess the bottom line is to find friends via activities you like to do. Drop subtle hints when meeting new people at work or at social outings. If I had to start from 0 friends again, I'd say things like "So yeah, I saw the Supreme Court overturned California's violent video games law" and see who speaks up for video games or says they play them. I'd hang out at the local board game store and see how people play with each other and ask if I can join in. Stuff like that.

And something I've found too is that when you find the real good friends that are worthy of the name, they tend to gather good friends via their social circles as well. And those good friends often turn out to be ones worth hanging out with, thus expanding the group.
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« Reply #29 on: July 05, 2011, 01:46:05 AM »

Quote from: Moliere on July 05, 2011, 12:35:18 AM

I do most of my dancing in the main country area. Thursday and Saturday are the best nights, but Saturday can get pretty busy so there isn't as much room to actually dance. I try to get there early to avoid the cover charge and to dance before it gets too busy, usually right after the lesson ends around 7:30pm.

Introduce me to all the good dancers?

-Lyno!

PS: Ron, you should go too! I will teach you smile
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« Reply #30 on: July 05, 2011, 04:55:50 AM »

Happy birthday amigo!
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« Reply #31 on: July 05, 2011, 10:50:32 AM »

What is your definition of "friend"? People who you get along with and joke around with at work? Or do you also need to socialize with these people after work in order to call them friends?  Can someone you only communicate with via the Internet be a friend? I guess my first question would be where do you draw the line between acquaintance and friend?

For my birthday I received one gift, from my girlfriend. I'm not close to my family, and most friends I had moved out of state and have families and children that take up all of their time.  And sadly the days of knowing the people in your neighborhood are all but gone. I find it sad that the neighbors on both sides of me are about my age, and NONE of us have gotten to know each other on a first name basis.

I would absolutely love to get together with several close friends once a month to share a nice dinner and talk about sports, gaming, politics, or whatever. Maybe afterward play a board game or two. But people have such bizarre and conflicting schedules that I can rarely hold on to anyone for any period of time.

My girlfriend says I have "lone wolf syndrome" because I spend so much time alone. Part of that is indeed my nature. But part of that is because the good people always seem to move away, and there are entirely too many petty, dishonest, and disloyal people roaming around that don't deserve my time. I'm fiercely loyal to my few friends, try my best to walk the straight path, and would sooner cut my arm off that screw over a friend. Unfortunately, I have a hard time finding people with the same principles and who have a minute to spare between work and family..
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« Reply #32 on: July 05, 2011, 11:30:29 AM »

Ron, I'd suggest starting with your interests. What interests do you have that you can use to meet new people? Can you visit a new martial arts dojo - or take up a new martial art? Is there some other hobby/interest you have that allows you to use it as a vehicle for meeting new people? Consider taking up a new sport or activity that provides social opportunities.

Really what you need is an excuse to meet new people. While meeting new people, you will inevitably, eventually meet some people you really like and can respect. That gives you the opportunity to make friends. The second part of it is that as we get older, making new friends becomes more and more awkward. When you're a kid it's easy. "Wanna come over and play Transformers with me?" Saying the same thing as an adult will get you some strange looks and a hurried exit.

So you need to find a way to meet people that gives you a socially acceptable excuse to spend time with them, but in a way that's healthy for you and the possibility of forming healthy relationships with new people.

My three best friends I all met through tennis. One of them doesn't even play tennis, but he is a strength and conditioning coach. All three of them are physically active people whom I enjoy spending time with and that I trust. Can't say as I have a lot of friends outside of that, but that's enough for me. You just need to create your opportunities and let the rest take care of itself.

And happy birthday bud smile
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morlac
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« Reply #33 on: July 05, 2011, 11:38:42 AM »

Quote from: Xmann on July 04, 2011, 02:55:26 AM

First off, Happy Birthday....today is my birthday as well!  (big 38 for me)


Wow, how many of us have the 3rd as a birthday?  I turned 37!

I actually want less friends and not more, I just don't have the free time.  I suggest popping out a kid or two.  That should take care of your issue!

Honestly, I got nothing. I am pretty social and don't really have issues meeting new people.  Sorry I couldn't be of more help but happy Birthday none the less.

Edit to add:

Read the rest of the thread.... Agree on the club thing.  I have a local bar I frequent and they have 6 course beer tasting meals they do every month or so.   I try and go to those when i can and find there are always some interesting people there with similar interest.  If you lived near me I would drag you along, provided you like (good) beer? I'm lucky that most of the people I grew up with still live in Atlanta and we are all still very close.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2011, 11:51:39 AM by morlac » Logged

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« Reply #34 on: July 05, 2011, 02:09:30 PM »

Ive found the easiest way to make friends is to start with a medical school cadaver.  Try to steal one before they use it for class, it will require less stitching.  Then visit your local Brain Depository and procure an appropriate brain,  I suggest you go for Hans Delbruck and avoid anyone named Abby something.  It gets rather technical at this point but with a proper application of lightning and various medical techniques, you can have your new best friend up and going in no time!
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« Reply #35 on: July 05, 2011, 02:55:01 PM »

Quote
I've made a few friends in person on this forum, but let's say that the results have been...spotty.   One set of friends from here fucked me over in a profoundly damaging way

Also wondering wtf this is about. Either nothing was previously said about this or I missed something big somewhere along the way frown
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« Reply #36 on: July 05, 2011, 03:25:09 PM »

My newest effort into the friends-making has been to volunteer at a local museum.  Take a look at some volunteer opportunities in your area and see what's available.  If it's something that deals with the public a bit, that will at least help you hone some conversation skills in an atmosphere where you will be more comfortable, as you'll be in a position of expertise to speak from. 

On Sunday, this gave me the courage to strike up a conversation with a hot blonde about her Taurus tattoo.  This is something that I would never have had the courage to do in a freeform ocean situation.
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Scuzz
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« Reply #37 on: July 05, 2011, 03:25:48 PM »

Quote from: Crux on July 05, 2011, 02:55:01 PM

Quote
I've made a few friends in person on this forum, but let's say that the results have been...spotty.   One set of friends from here fucked me over in a profoundly damaging way

Also wondering wtf this is about. Either nothing was previously said about this or I missed something big somewhere along the way frown


I got to admit I was curious about this as well.
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« Reply #38 on: July 05, 2011, 03:32:20 PM »

Nothing was said. I just found out (no details) just before the site relaunch.

Ron is a private person. If he shares info with you and unless it is public knowledge, keep it to yourself as it is a sign of his trust and respect.
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« Reply #39 on: July 05, 2011, 03:41:47 PM »

Quote from: Dante Rising on July 05, 2011, 10:50:32 AM

What is your definition of "friend"?

Mine used to be really simple: A friend is somebody you can ask for a ride somewhere without it being a big deal. Since all of my old friends live too far away to do that now, I need a new definition.
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