Author Topic: Single with free time, but everyone you know works  (Read 2508 times)

PlantBased

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Single with free time, but everyone you know works
« on: January 01, 2020, 03:08:39 PM »
So I'm borderline retirement ready in the 2nd half of 2020. And have a question more for the single community, without kids.  Earlier in my career I was laid off from work, and given the location it was very difficult to find work.  So I did contract work for a few years, and had a lot of free time.  But the thing was, you have free time, but everyone you know is working.

And it seems like the older you get, the more difficult it is to make (quality) friends or even meet someone of the opposite sex.  Quite honestly most women on dating sites appear to be afraid of their own shadow after the age of 40.   Where it's really hard to even have conversations. Does this apply to others, if so maybe you could share how it worked for you?

I can live very low cost, but it might be a lot easier to meet people with extra spending money.  Also I moved around a lot so my connections are all over the states, 4 states in the last 15 years... so no home base.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2020, 03:10:53 PM by PlantBased »

Malkynn

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Re: Single with free time, but everyone you know works
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2020, 03:57:40 PM »
Wow, you've got a few issues going on there.

First, the whole free time thing is not an issue. If you were working too, you would have the exact same time limitations, so try to see it as you having a lot more flexibility to meet your friends on their terms on their schedules.

I'm free 4-6 days a week and I socialize regularly. Rarely during work hours, but others working doesn't slow we down.

Second, making friends is super easy. You just need to know how to make friends, and it's not what society tells you. Spending leisure time with people doesn't really build bonds, that's why a lot of adult friendships seem to go nowhere. Some drinks or meals together and shooting the shit about life and interests does not make good quality bonds.

You have to go through something together, share an emotional experience, tackle a challenge, whatever.

Do the things that naturally form bonds between people and bonds will form. If I want to be someone's friend, I figure out a way to tackle a challenge with them. I help people move, help them on home projects, invite them over for batch cooking, invite them to join a team of some sort, whatever.

Shared triumph over challenge is more connecting than shared lifestyle/opinions any day. Volunteer, play a team sport, enter a trivia tournament, take a challenging course, etc.

Third, dating and women being timid.
Sorry, can't help you with this. From what I remember from dating in my 20s, 90+% of my options turned out to be just terrible. I can't imagine the ratio changes much. It's a volume game, don't be discouraged just because the vast majority of fish you catch need to be thrown back.

Yeah, it's tedious, but hasn't dating always been tedious?

That said, if you start volunteering, taking courses, or playing team sports, you are infinitely more likely to meet people with similar interests whom you will already have a connection with through the shared activity/challenge.

There are also a lot of classes that tend to be popular with women: dance classes, cooking classes, language classes, sewing classes, writing classes, sommelier classes etc. So you can meet women, bond with them, and learn something that actually makes you more interesting to the exact kind of person you are seeking.

If not to directly meet women, these activities will introduce you to countless other interesting people with similar interests and those people might know other interesting and single women.

I have a number of single female friends over 40, and none of them are afraid of their own shadow. So if you meet someone male or female who is absolutely fantastic, then they probably have fantastic single friends, so friend that person up. Just keep adding to your social network until you are replete with quality human bonds.

DaMa

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Re: Single with free time, but everyone you know works
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2020, 05:55:09 PM »
You have to make a point of making time, especially for your working friends.  I meet them for lunch on workdays near their work.  One friend I meet for dinner on her way home on a day when her husband is working late.  I try to be available at times that are convenient for them, because I'm single and retired.  They have work and family to juggle.  Don't be bothered if you are always the one reaching out to set something up.

Take a class.  I got in with the most wonderful group of women when I took a knitting class through my town's community education program.  We get together one night a week to knit, but I've also done lots of other things with these women.

Volunteer.  I haven't done this yet, but it's on my list.  I just moved, so I'm going to see about volunteering at the library.  I've read that you should make a point of volunteering where you would meet like minded people.

Dating is not on my radar, and most of my friends have been married forever.  Three of my single girlfriends are doing online dating, and it seems to be going well for them.

I also meet friends for walks and gym time instead of meals.  I'm working on doing more of that.




PlantBased

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Re: Single with free time, but everyone you know works
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2020, 07:30:16 PM »
Quote
That said, if you start volunteering, taking courses, or playing team sports, you are infinitely more likely to meet people with similar interests whom you will already have a connection with through the shared activity/challenge.

You're comment was helpful, basically make sure you are spending time where relationships can form.  While I like yoga, it's pretty difficult to make a meaningful connection.  I was thinking of going that route, but it's really more for personal enjoyment rather than making friends.  It's odd how you can get into a rut in life, and simple things feel difficult. 

Society has changed a lot over the years: cubicles, remote jobs, driving to work in a car, tv, computers, etc. so much of it now lacks social interaction.  It's amazing how much of life is geared that way, especially with some jobs, like IT.  There was a popular hiking trail, near a large city, that I would hit every once in a while.  Probably 80% of the people hiking it would look at the ground rather than at the people they would pass.  Some probably think the issue is very simple, but it likely affects many.

At least one more relocation on the horizon, but I'll look more into volunteering, that sounds like a good fit.

Thanks for the reply's.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2020, 07:43:44 PM by PlantBased »

Malkynn

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Re: Single with free time, but everyone you know works
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2020, 05:33:45 AM »
Quote
That said, if you start volunteering, taking courses, or playing team sports, you are infinitely more likely to meet people with similar interests whom you will already have a connection with through the shared activity/challenge.

You're comment was helpful, basically make sure you are spending time where relationships can form.  While I like yoga, it's pretty difficult to make a meaningful connection.  I was thinking of going that route, but it's really more for personal enjoyment rather than making friends.  It's odd how you can get into a rut in life, and simple things feel difficult. 

Society has changed a lot over the years: cubicles, remote jobs, driving to work in a car, tv, computers, etc. so much of it now lacks social interaction.  It's amazing how much of life is geared that way, especially with some jobs, like IT.  There was a popular hiking trail, near a large city, that I would hit every once in a while.  Probably 80% of the people hiking it would look at the ground rather than at the people they would pass.  Some probably think the issue is very simple, but it likely affects many.

At least one more relocation on the horizon, but I'll look more into volunteering, that sounds like a good fit.

Thanks for the reply's.

Again, I live in the same world as you do and I have no problem meeting people and making friends.

It's not that it's gotten more difficult, it's just that it doesn't happen passively the way it may have when you were younger.

I'm actually often in anti-social mode where I don't want to talk to anyone, but when I'm in social mode, if I'm walking the trails, I flash a big smile and say hi to people as they walk by. Some will ignore me, some will politely say hi, and some will stop and chat or some who are also alone will choose to walk with me.

The convention is to just give people their space, but most people are out there wishing to make new friends, so if you assume that almost everyone you see is actually open to new bonds, then you will find a lot of people to bond with.

If they don't want to connect with you, they'll send you a polite signal to leave them alone. This is what I do when I'm in anti-social mode.

I swear that it's really, really, incredibly easy to meet and connect with people. You just need to figure out how to make those connections happen, not passively wait for them.

Rdy2Fire

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Re: Single with free time, but everyone you know works
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2020, 08:21:37 AM »
Interesting thread.. I am single as well late 40's and wondering now that I kind of, sort of FIRE'd; haven't truly decided yet on if I want to work or more so what I want to do. Am I going to get more and more bored and what I can do to utilize my time as everyone else works. Thinking about some classes, thought about looking into substitute teaching, not really sure but will follow this one

spartana

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Re: Single with free time, but everyone you know works
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2020, 05:37:49 PM »
PTF and will comment latter after I tead all the posts but fwiw I FIREd single and childless around 40 and have been fairly successful in both meeting new friends of all ages and dating/relationships. It isn't really as difficult as it might seem.

mozar

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Re: Single with free time, but everyone you know works
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2020, 09:20:14 PM »
I'm 37 and I used to have the same complaints.  I realized that I needed to become the sort of person who makes friends/ dates easily.  It was a process of getting over my own shyness and I noticed that after going out on a limb and hitting on people that more people started hitting on me. I also learned that people who find happy relationships, friends or otherwise meet the same people you or I do. They just go through them quicker. So instead of sitting around making snide remarks about a handful of women you talked to online, start messaging a lot more people and try different apps too.

spartana

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Re: Single with free time, but everyone you know works
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2020, 09:22:29 AM »
I'm 37 and I used to have the same complaints.  I realized that I needed to become the sort of person who makes friends/ dates easily.  It was a process of getting over my own shyness and I noticed that after going out on a limb and hitting on people that more people started hitting on me. I also learned that people who find happy relationships, friends or otherwise meet the same people you or I do. They just go through them quicker. So instead of sitting around making snide remarks about a handful of women you talked to online, start messaging a lot more people and try different apps too.
Or join meet up or similar groups for activities you're interest in and meet people (and very often singles) who share your interests. Depending on where you live you may be able to meet literally hundreds or even thousands of people each month. Some may end up just casual acquaintances, others good friends, and others life long SOs.

As for the comment about women over 40 being afraid of their own.shadow I'm not sure what the OP meant at all. Everyone I know who is single is very active and engaged in all aspects of life - including dating and relationships - and I sure don t see anyone fearful. Usually the opposite for all those SoCal Cougar friends. Not that I'd know about THAT though ;-).

Also dont limit yourself by age. You will find many meaningful and fun relationships by hanging out with a variety of people who may not work or work non-traditional hours (students, retirees, SAHPs, weekend or night workers, seasonal workers, etc). I play a lot of sports and I can find a pick up game even mid week during normal working hours with a variety of people - older or younger. Same with things like hiking or biking etc meet ups. Tons during the weekdays.

The other thing that's great about being ER is that I can do all my own solo stuff during the week - both chores and fitness and activities - and am totally free to spend ALL my time with working friends and dating on weekends or evenings when they are off work.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2020, 09:36:31 AM by spartana »

obstinate

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Re: Single with free time, but everyone you know works
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2020, 11:45:59 AM »
Second, making friends is super easy. You just need to know how to make friends, and it's not what society tells you. Spending leisure time with people doesn't really build bonds, that's why a lot of adult friendships seem to go nowhere. Some drinks or meals together and shooting the shit about life and interests does not make good quality bonds.

You have to go through something together, share an emotional experience, tackle a challenge, whatever.

Do the things that naturally form bonds between people and bonds will form. If I want to be someone's friend, I figure out a way to tackle a challenge with them. I help people move, help them on home projects, invite them over for batch cooking, invite them to join a team of some sort, whatever.

Shared triumph over challenge is more connecting than shared lifestyle/opinions any day. Volunteer, play a team sport, enter a trivia tournament, take a challenging course, etc.
Solid advice. I mean, I often see solid advice on here, but I don't often see advice so solid that it needs to be called out as solid.

Sibley

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Re: Single with free time, but everyone you know works
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2020, 12:09:56 PM »
Second, making friends is super easy. You just need to know how to make friends, and it's not what society tells you. Spending leisure time with people doesn't really build bonds, that's why a lot of adult friendships seem to go nowhere. Some drinks or meals together and shooting the shit about life and interests does not make good quality bonds.

You have to go through something together, share an emotional experience, tackle a challenge, whatever.

Do the things that naturally form bonds between people and bonds will form. If I want to be someone's friend, I figure out a way to tackle a challenge with them. I help people move, help them on home projects, invite them over for batch cooking, invite them to join a team of some sort, whatever.

Shared triumph over challenge is more connecting than shared lifestyle/opinions any day. Volunteer, play a team sport, enter a trivia tournament, take a challenging course, etc.
Solid advice. I mean, I often see solid advice on here, but I don't often see advice so solid that it needs to be called out as solid.

Honestly, that's by far the best advice for making real friends that I've ever seen. Really. That's better than captain awkward's I think. Thank you.

Malkynn

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Re: Single with free time, but everyone you know works
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2020, 12:48:42 PM »
Second, making friends is super easy. You just need to know how to make friends, and it's not what society tells you. Spending leisure time with people doesn't really build bonds, that's why a lot of adult friendships seem to go nowhere. Some drinks or meals together and shooting the shit about life and interests does not make good quality bonds.

You have to go through something together, share an emotional experience, tackle a challenge, whatever.

Do the things that naturally form bonds between people and bonds will form. If I want to be someone's friend, I figure out a way to tackle a challenge with them. I help people move, help them on home projects, invite them over for batch cooking, invite them to join a team of some sort, whatever.

Shared triumph over challenge is more connecting than shared lifestyle/opinions any day. Volunteer, play a team sport, enter a trivia tournament, take a challenging course, etc.
Solid advice. I mean, I often see solid advice on here, but I don't often see advice so solid that it needs to be called out as solid.

Honestly, that's by far the best advice for making real friends that I've ever seen. Really. That's better than captain awkward's I think. Thank you.

I spent my entire adult life until recently having no time to socialize. None. I was either in school, studying, working, volunteering, or researching. I studied on Friday nights, and if I did have precious free time, I sure as shit didn't have the energy to socialize. I'm also a super direct person whom a lot of people distinctly dislike on first impression.

And yet...I've *always* had tons of friends. Tons, and great friends too, the kind you can call at 4 am and ask to get on a plane and their response will be "how much money should I bring?" or "do you need my kidney?"

I figured out somewhere along the way after the umpteenth time a dear friend confessed to having really despised me at first (not disliked, despised), that the reason I had such deep bonds with so many people was not because of being likable but because of just how hard I'm willing to work on shared goals and because I never put my personal gain first. I'm a committed team player.

When you work really really hard on something with someone, and you demonstrate again and again that you are there for them in this shared mission, that builds deep trust, and that is the basis of all meaningful bonds.

If you aren't tackling challenges together and instead focusing just on leisure and shared interests, it's very very difficult to get an opening to demonstrate and build trust.

No trust, no love, no deep connection, no real friends willing to offer their kidney at 4 am.

Fishindude

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Re: Single with free time, but everyone you know works
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2020, 02:20:22 PM »
I retired at 58, spouse 55.  We tend to find ourselves running around with a group that averages about ten years older than us for this reason.
Most of the folks our age are working still.

spartana

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Re: Single with free time, but everyone you know works
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2020, 12:54:08 PM »
I retired at 58, spouse 55.  We tend to find ourselves running around with a group that averages about ten years older than us for this reason.
Most of the folks our age are working still.
Who did you hang out with when you were working? And when? I bet it was working people and on weekends and nights. You can still do that with working friends in your age range - or any age range. Would you stop doing thing with working people in your free time if you still worked? Don't think so. In most ways you now have way more time to spend on friendships with working people because you no longer have to squeeze a bunch of chores in on your days off AND try to hang with friends.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2020, 12:56:01 PM by spartana »

Schaefer Light

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Re: Single with free time, but everyone you know works
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2020, 04:05:52 PM »
I figured out somewhere along the way after the umpteenth time a dear friend confessed to having really despised me at first (not disliked, despised), that the reason I had such deep bonds with so many people was not because of being likable but because of just how hard I'm willing to work on shared goals and because I never put my personal gain first. I'm a committed team player.
I hate working with others.  Maybe that's why I have no friends.  It probably explains why I love golf.  It's the ultimate loner's sport.

Fishindude

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Re: Single with free time, but everyone you know works
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2020, 09:43:14 AM »
Who did you hang out with when you were working? And when? I bet it was working people and on weekends and nights. You can still do that with working friends in your age range - or any age range. Would you stop doing thing with working people in your free time if you still worked? Don't think so. In most ways you now have way more time to spend on friendships with working people because you no longer have to squeeze a bunch of chores in on your days off AND try to hang with friends.

Still hang out with our working friends, but yes it is limited to weekends and nights.   Anything that involves staying up a bit late or going someplace during the work week and they are out.
Some of the things I like to do such as fishing and hunting are best done during mid week when most folks are working, avoiding the weekend crowds.  Boat ramps and lakes have very little traffic Monday through Thursday most places I go.

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Single with free time, but everyone you know works
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2020, 09:50:40 AM »
I haven't read the other responses here but wanted to chime in on having fun while everyone is working.  My first job out of college I had Weds/Thur off from work.  I got a season pass to the local mountain and had the best skiing of my life.  No lines, no crowds. My advice is to do all of the things you don't want to do when it is busy.  Go to the zoo! Go to a museum! Go to the beach! The movies! Basically, date yourself and enjoy the lack of crowds and you will eventually start meeting some people.

Daisyedwards800

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Re: Single with free time, but everyone you know works
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2020, 12:12:44 PM »
It may be your location that is the issue.  I live in NYC, and it's hard to get through the day without making a new friend, if you join a few activities.

BradminOxt19

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Re: Single with free time, but everyone you know works
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2020, 07:00:41 PM »
For me the difficulty of making friends is finding people who share your values.

I think most of the people here on MMM would make great friends, but in the real world not many people share these core values.  Shallow friends, superficial friends, sure...but deep, long rooted friends, that's harder to do.