Author Topic: The Loneliness of Being a Mustachian  (Read 4548 times)

joet86

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The Loneliness of Being a Mustachian
« on: September 12, 2012, 05:45:32 PM »
Hello fellow Mustachians,

Ever since growing a Mustache, I have felt more and more isolated from society. Has anyone else experienced this? I am a single guy who enjoys being with friends and the occasional date, but I feel more and more like an outcast with all of my relationships. It's hard to find others who enjoy the simpler (and cheaper) things in life, except in this online community. What to do?

arebelspy

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Re: The Loneliness of Being a Mustachian
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2012, 05:52:57 PM »
Sorry to hear that.

It can be tough if the people around you value monetary spending.

Try to find some activities and hobbies that are done cheaply, and connect with those type of people who enjoy those things.
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kisserofsinners

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Re: The Loneliness of Being a Mustachian
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2012, 06:09:31 PM »
That sucks, I'm sorry you're having trouble adjusting socially.

It sounds to me like you don't like doing the things you liked to do, but your filters for selecting companions hasn't quite caught up. The structure that holds us as consumers is very large and complicated, but it can totally be removed.

I'd start hosting events related to your interests and filter for people you'd enjoy spending more time with understanding that the things you looked for before are not going to be as helpful as they were. It might sound abvious, but our behaviors in front of people are hard fought for and take practice to reprogram. You might find that you're still attracting the same types of people becase you're going about it in a very similar way.

Even the way you're talking about it here, "that are done cheaply". You're not selling it here. You're probably barely selling it to yourself. It's very unlikely that you'll convince others to join you.

Remember free fun is still fun. Hiking, biking, cooking, hosting and even being out on the town doesn't have to be "cheap". It's fun! Do the things you like and others will be into joining you.

It might take time, but it's just like starting here with your money. Social capital has it's own compound interest. It's not calculated AT ALL, but you'll feel it when it starts to happen. Your first steps are going to be really hard and possibly aganizing as your apt to fall back into your old patterns without good feedback, but stick with it. It'll be worth it.

Good Luck

menorman

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Re: The Loneliness of Being a Mustachian
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2012, 06:11:24 PM »
Let them copies of books like Your Money or Your Life, Early Retirement Extreme, Debt is Slavery, etc. so that they too can get on board with what you're doing and even if they don't want to do the same, they can at least encourage you.

Use it up, wear it out...

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Re: The Loneliness of Being a Mustachian
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2012, 06:19:53 PM »
joet,

I hear what you're saying - it can be frustrating, for example, to always be suggesting potlucks when everyone else wants to go out to a restaurant, probably because they don't usually cook!

These sorts of experiences have reinforced for me the importance of building a social circle / community that shares some of your fundamental values. It's also normal that, as your values evolve, you will lose the close connection you once had with some friends. Many of us have a similar experience when we go from high school to university, or graduate from school and go out into the work world.

People who share your mustachian values CAN be found, but it takes time. As my wife is fond of saying, "it takes a long time to make old friends!"

Russ

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Re: The Loneliness of Being a Mustachian
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2012, 08:01:34 PM »
If you're in a reasonably large city, have you tried making or joining a thread in the Meetups and Social Events subforum? Although I have quite a few Mustachian friends back home (I lucked out, it's just how we've all always been), I recently moved to a new city and didn't know anybody when I got here. I posted a meetup thread, and got invited to a weekly board game night with a local Mustachian and his more-Mustachian-than-not friends. I haven't been able to go for the past couple weeks for various reasons, but it's very fun when I get the chance.

You might also try meeting your friends halfway. For example, I just met some new people who like to go out to eat a couple nights a week. They're my only friends in the city besides the folks from board game night, so I try and hang out with them whenever I can, despite the expense. Next week, though, rather than go out to a restaurant or bar on Thursday night, I suggested we meet at a coffee shop to play cards. It's still going out to pay for food and drink, but the options are a little less expensive. More importantly, the card game will hopefully replace the food as the entertainment, which might eventually lead to playing cards at someone's house rather than at the coffee shop. I'm not going to push it, but that's a smooth enough transition that it might happen on its own.

Playing up the "fun" aspect is a big help too. I don't think anyone here has caught on that I don't own a car - not even the guys I work with who see me ride in every morning. I just play it off as fun, whether that particular ride was actually fun or not, and everybody says "oh cool!" and goes on with their day. Playing cards is fun, hiking is fun, picking apples at an orchard and baking pies afterward is fun (perfect season now too). Play up the fun part instead of the cheap part and that should get you a bit further.

c

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Re: The Loneliness of Being a Mustachian
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2012, 09:05:56 PM »
I think it's less about finding people who are frugal than it is about finding people who have interests they want to share and the time and desire to do so.

For ages I tried to start some sort of supper club. Everyone is always complaining about how expensive it is to eat out, what a pain it is to cook decent meals for only one or two people, and how great it is to have people over just to hang out. In many ways, even when you're the host for the group, it's less effort than going out. It always fell through because of other commitments - work, travel to see family, holidays etc.

For about a year we had a Proust Group. It was a few of us who randomly met at a bar and who wanted to do something other than hang out in bars spending money and drinking too much. It was great because once every 5 weeks or so it was your turn to host and everyone put on a great spread of what they enjoyed - the husband of one member (and he wasn't part of the group) loved to smoke meat. She didn't eat meat, so he had an excuse to indulge in his hobby. He had a smoker on his balcony and did amazing things with it. At the time my husband and I were into Sake, so we'd buy something new to try when we hosted, another guy was really into cheese, one woman loved music and would buy a cd to play.  It was a cheap way to hang out and do something different every week. Eventually the group disbanded because of work, new relationships, other social commitments and generally laziness (also, because, have you read Proust?).

Making and keeping friends is such a commitment. I think that for the most part, people want to be frugal and take a break from the going out/spending scene, they just don't know what to do instead.

jsloan

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Re: The Loneliness of Being a Mustachian
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2012, 08:12:57 AM »
Are you currently 1.) rejecting invitations from friends when they invite you to go out (you really do want to go, but feel bad about spending the money) or are you 2.)  finding yourself more isolated because you really don't want hit the bar every weekend?  I think these are 2 different situations. 

joet86

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Re: The Loneliness of Being a Mustachian
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2012, 04:12:56 PM »
Thanks everyone for the thoughtful responses. I will try to respond to the main points of all of your great replies.

Try to find some activities and hobbies that are done cheaply, and connect with those type of people who enjoy those things.

My hobbies do include hiking and bike riding, but I have trouble finding others my age with these interests. The Meetup groups I have found in my area consist of lots of older couples and not a lot of young singles.

It sounds to me like you don't like doing the things you liked to do, but your filters for selecting companions hasn't quite caught up.

Very well put, kisserofsinners. This is exactly how I feel. I have changed quite a bit from my college days, but none of my friends have. And now that I am not in a large social environment like college where making friends is easy, I feel more and more isolated from others.

Making and keeping friends is such a commitment.

Hell yes it is. And it's become even more challenging now that I look at the world through a much different lens.

Are you currently 1.) rejecting invitations from friends when they invite you to go out (you really do want to go, but feel bad about spending the money) or are you 2.)  finding yourself more isolated because you really don't want hit the bar every weekend?

It is more of #2. I normally do not reject invitations; I just find ways to make the event as frugal as possible. I hate going out to bars and blowing money, but I will go when invited and get a refreshing and free glass of water.

Thanks again everyone for the responses. I hope I do not sound like I'm just a complainer who is unwilling to make the necessary changes; I just don't know what to do at this point to expand my social circle. Feel free to cyber-punch me in the face.

AJ

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Re: The Loneliness of Being a Mustachian
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2012, 04:23:06 PM »
I don't know how old you are, but another compounding factor is just getting older. DH and I are finding it difficult to find like-minded friends in general as we enter our 30s. After your school years fade into the distance there just aren't as many opportunities to get to know people built into life. Plus everyone gets busy with careers and kids and there just isn't as much time for getting to know new folks.

This probably won't be much help to you, but lately we've made a commitment to saying Yes to everyone that asks us to hang out, even to the folks I find kind of irritating. My social cohorts are all (economically) poor, so this is usually a box of wine and a borrowed movie at someone's house, but we do hit local happy hours as well. Just nurse a beer and pack a flask :)