Where did all the friendships go?

User Forum Topic
Submitted by mydogsarelazy on September 23, 2006 - 1:59pm

Hi Everyone,

I am in my late 40's and in the past five years I have found myself losing friends left and right. Has anyone else been through this?

A little bit of background...

When I was growing up I always had friends. It wasn't that I was one of those "popular" kids, but I always had a circle of close friends, and also plenty of people who I just felt comfortable with.

My friends from High School stayed friends even when I went to college six hours away, and of course I made more friends there.

Through my thirties, the phone was always ringing, and the friendships continued.

Five years ago, my whole life went on hold when I was diagnosed with testicular cancer, needed chemotherapy and did not go to work for six months. During that time, my wife of ten years filed for divorce so that was a tremendous jolt. That is when the friendship losses began.

Naturally, going through a divorce made me wonder how much of a "friend" my ex-wife had been, and of course her continuing close friendship (although probably not an affair) with my closest friend from High School meant more pain. My stepkids were of course totally conflicted by the divorce and my relationships with them have never recovered.

Other friends, who I had expected to say "thank god you made it through cancer and divorce" also fell away gradually. Maybe when I re-married, many of them didn't quite know how to revive a friendship with me and my new wife. Going through a crisis like I went through matured and changed me, so many of my old friends and I seemed to have less in common.

Where I work, I have many "hey, how are you?" informal friends, but that circle of close friends has really dwindled.

Yes, divorce is a bit part of this -- it divides people and shakes things up -- but I also feel that so many people around me are just too busy with their families, money problems, careers etc. to give time to friendship. A recent acquaintance who just moved here from Germany tells me that she finds Californians pre-occupied and flakey, and that people often make then break social commitments to her.

OK, that was quite a rant. How are you doing with friendship in this very busy world?


Submitted by lindismith on September 23, 2006 - 3:12pm.

I've found friendship takes work.

About 4 years ago, I decided to travel for a year. When I left, my circle of friends fell apart. They told me it was because I was the glue. A compliment, but a reality check too.

People are very busy these days. I do a lot of volunteer work for Surfrider, and while I always forward the event details to friends, few of them show up. I wonder what they are doing with their time? Are they going out to eat, watching tv, shopping or perhaps doing errands?

MyDogs, I'm glad you made it through your ordeal! Sounds like you learned a lot. I hope to meet you at our meet-up! So far, I've been really impressed with everyone I've met through Piggington. Can't wait to see what else it brings.


Submitted by Chrispy on September 23, 2006 - 3:14pm.

Here's my take on it. In high school, college, and the early working years it is easy to make friends because you see the same folks, doing the same thing every day right along with you - taking classes, going out for extracurriculars, working up the corporate ladder. If you're lucky, you mature/start a family and it's no longer so cool to hang out at the bar watching a game with your buddies while drinking a ten-pack.

The older you get, the less you're around new people to make new friends with, and you're a little more picky. I have a harder time making friends these days but I find taking classes and continuing to do stuff like play tennis keeps me around like-minded people.

One of the best feelings in the world is to be OK with being alone (unless you're the Unibomber, that is)!

Submitted by rseiser on September 23, 2006 - 3:28pm.

Hi mydogsarelazy,
I think your post is quite long and involved, and I can now write you ten pages of rant too. But let me just point out a few observations.

  • Generally, I think it is a little true that people are more self-absorbed, and I think economic boom-times go hand in hand with that. Why keep friendship, if the house returns 20% every year. Same when I was going out in San Diego, I only met people working in real-estate or owned a house in La Jolla. So basically, either you own a house or you are a loser. I think this is what recessions exist for. Purging excesses, bring back people down to earth. Having some friends to help in hard times. Hey, what's better than a friend. It's entertaining and free! So I hope it's going to get there.
  • It has a little to do with getting older, having busy lives, and also expecting more from other people. Still a lot of people are calling me, but if you aren't nice to them or give them something in return, they will stop calling. So it's up to oneself to offer something to one's friends, like calling them yourself or taking them to places they like (restaurants, movies, beach, sport).
  • Finding new friends is also difficult, since most people don't have time, and why would they talk to one of a thousand strangers that they have nothing in common? A good conduct will also help to get yourself friends. I have one friend who always calls me and tells me about all his problems, how rude people are to him, that nobody is calling him back, that people tell him that he stinks, etc. He always gets upset and yells about everything. I told him, that it isn't a surprise that nobody wants to hang out with him. Why doesn't he work on himself a little, get himself cleaned up, do sports, be nice and courteous. I guess he hadn't thought of that.
  • Submitted by powayseller on September 23, 2006 - 3:39pm.

    I make friends by inviting people over. Either the family is invited for brunch or dinner, I ask a lady to go running with me, meet me at dog park with her dog, meet me for coffee, meet me for a walk. At the gym, I usually chat with the front desk staff, so I reach out when I can. People appreciate that attention. I started a group of neighborhood gals meeting every week for coffee, just other housewives who are otherwise at home cleaning also, and they were so happy for these get-togethers. My husband meets guys at his soccer games, but otherwise is pretty busy with his kids and doesn't want to make time for friends. So my suggestion is to be the one to make the invitation. I have rarely had someone say they could not come.

    I find that few people invite others over for a meal or for an outing, so I have to make the first move. It is *always* appreciated. I teach piano, and my students' parents love to stay and talk with me afterward. So once people are in a situation to talk, they will gladly chat. Making the first move is the key.

    Submitted by ctlmdjb on September 23, 2006 - 5:54pm.

    How many REAL friends does the average person have? 4 or 5 is my guess. Everyone else is really an aquaintance.
    I'm in my early 40's, I've moved a lot and I find there's 4 or 5 people I stay in touch with. I've changed a very great deal and I find the people I was frends with in my teens and early twenties I very often dislike today.
    I'm from the UK and I agree somewhat about the California flakiness thing. Part of the problem is that Americans APPEAR very friendly on the surface. In England or Germany people are much more standoffish until they get to know you.
    Europeans mistake the 'Hey, how're you doing?' for genuine friendship and get offended when they are then treated casually.
    But in my time in San Diego I've made 2 or 3 close American friends. Idon't hang out with fellow Brits too much (except my next door neighbour). I find Americans generous to a fault usually - but it takes a while to be able to read them...I've assumed friendship several times that hasn't really existed.
    The corporate world here is tough as well. I used to get into trouble all the time for being too blunt. Now I've learned to agree most of the time regardless of what I think...my girlfriend is from Colorado - she finds the same thing. We come accross as agressive when all we are doing is expressing our honest opinion.
    'Two cultures divided by a common language' - Oscar Wilde?

    Submitted by lewman on September 23, 2006 - 6:30pm.

    ctlmdjb, very interesting comments as my personal experience is completely opposite yours.
    I'm a chinese american educated in america then moved back to HK to work for a british firm after spending about 10 years in california (5 of which I was working). I had trouble at first because I was always giving my honest opinion and ended up offending people. Then I was told that the british tend to be more courteous and agreeable at least on the surface, always carrying a gentlemenly smile on thier faces even though they don't agree, whereas the americans generally shoot from the hip.

    Now that I've been in Asia for the past 10 years I've learned to raise objections and disagreements in a more diplomatic manner, probably due to british influences during the 7 years that I worked there. Very interesting indeed.

    And I'm in my late 30s now and I also found myself having fewer and fewer friends and friends I meet nowadays are also more suferficial ... mind you I admit I'm perhaps the superficial one as I think I'm getting lazier by the year to "develop and cultivate" freindship. Whne I was in my 20s and early 30s I was known to be the guy to organize things like ski trips, a nite at the football game, or just dinner. I moved to beijing about a year ago and started doing that with a bunch of expats in beijing ... unfortunately while the group started out with a few dozen people as time goes by the number of people who'd show up seemed to decline. Perhaps I'm just not that great of an organizer, and gradually I'm also losing interest as others lose interest as well. Is it all due to age ? I have no idea; perhaps someone with a sociology background or a pyshcology degree can enlighten us here ...


    Submitted by barnaby33 on September 23, 2006 - 7:50pm.

    I can't speak for other cultures but fear plays a part here (San Diego.) I grew up here and only moved away for two years in college. All of my college friends, except one, have moved away. Some wanted to experience life elsewhere. Most were forced out by the rising cost of living.

    I was at dinner on July 3rd in Longmont Co, with one of my oldest friends and my girlfriend. I lamented to both that I really felt deeply disappointed by my friends leaving and my inability to find new ones to replace them. My fear is not being able to find those relationships. What my friend and girlfriend pointed out to me though was that I had high expectations. Lots of people aren't willing or able to meet those and so in a way I was sort of doomed. I thought to myself, "high expectations?" I think what they meant is that most people have a latent fear of opening themselves up to others. As we get older it becomes progressively more difficult. It becomes harder to bridge the gaps between ourself and other people. Our moats get bigger, our bridges get shorter.

    I have always thought that deep meaningful close relationships with others was the most important characteristic of a successfull life. That and health. On the plus side, if you are looking for a good friend, I have spots available!


    Submitted by speedingpullet on September 24, 2006 - 8:17am.

    Chripsy, your comments echo my own.

    When I was in my 20s and 30s in the UK, I was part of huge group of friends, who went out every weekend, played badminton, swam together etc...most of us were single and childless, so had the time and energy to dedicate to our friendships with each other, rather than family commitments.

    Once I moved over here, 6 1/2 years ago, it was a shock to the system, as suddenly I didn't have a whole gang of people within easy calling distance, ready to go out and have fun at the drop of a hat.

    Added to that the real 'culture shock' that most foreigners suffer when they move, even to a country that ostensibly is 'similar' (ie US vs UK). Even though we were invited to places via people from our work, not many of these casual get-togethers turned into real friendships. When I started college, I made maybe a couple of what I would call 'real' friendships, but I can still count the number of them on the fingers of one hand, even though I've been here for over 6 years.

    Having said that, things have changed drastically amongst my UK lot, too. I went home again this summer and attended the first 50th Birthday party amongst my group closest friends. As it was an afternoon barbeque, everyone brought thier partners and kids, and, astonishingly, since we've been in the US, no less than 14 kids have been born to my old club/pub mates!

    It made me realise that, even if my husband and I had stayed in London, our social life would have been different anyway. We left at the precise time that eveyone was starting to pair off and having kids, but because we were starting a new life in L.A we weren't there to see it happen.

    I also find it difficult to guage the temperament of Americans - as I had been amongst a group of people that had known me for ..ooh..almost 20 years..in the UK, I had no inhibitions about saying stuff to them.

    Over here, I find myself double checking everything that comes out of my mouth
    - politics, mmmm, too risky: I got into an argument with a coworker once, where he almost shot me (on work premesis), about the start of the Iraq War. As it turned out, my reaction of "WMD...wha?" (to quote Jon Stewart) was largely correct, and he had a bipolar disorder (later committed suicide), but by then the damage was done and I've learnt to keep my mouth shut over here about my politics.

    - same with religion. Many Americans are anaware that 99% of so-called 'Church of England' christians in the UK actually have no religious feelings at all, and the population is much, much more secular than over here. Some of my comments along the lines of doing something bad and 'making the Baby Jesus cry' have earned me a few Hairy Eyeball looks from people over here, so i've learnt to bite my tounge around all things religious.

    - being an ex-Raver, and having spent a couple of decades in the Uk, running clubs/DJ-ing and going to friends parties for support and help, has given me scores of unsalubrious anecdotes of a drink/drug/inapproprate sexual activity/law enforcement flavour (thankfully, almost none of them happened to me personally, but you know what I mean....) Again, this sort of behaviour is frowned upon here, and so I keep my thoughts to myself.

    So, along with my self-prohibition, and the fact that my accent will always bring comments like 'oh I LOVE your accent' (me, internally: 'yeah, its only an 'accent' over here'. Or, 'yeah, me and 20 million other people'), I often find I have a very slim range of what I can talk about and share with other people, and always feel like the 'redheaded stepchild' of most groups.

    I'm not complaining - and as an only child, i've always been happy with my own company from as far back as I can remember, but I find that my skillset and life experiences simply don't gell with many people over here. Added to the fact that everyone, on both sides of the pond, has gotten older and less fancy-free, I find it harder and harder to make real 'mates' like I used to.

    So, mydogsarelazy, et al, i guess its just an 'age thang'. The older you get, the harder it is to make that fundamental connection. It does mean that I treasure my old life-long friends in the UK all the more, and am more appreciative of the real friends i have made over here (the very few of them), so I guess you win some and you lose some.
    "What you gain on the swings, you lose on the roundabouts", as they say in Sarf East Lahndahn...;-)

    OK, need more coffee....

    Submitted by PerryChase on September 24, 2006 - 9:23am.

    Barnaby is right. It's a question of taking a little risk, approaching people and making friends. I think the key is to reach out and talk to people.

    Having grown up in Europe and other parts of the world because dad's work moved us frequently, I can say that America is one the most puritan of all cultures. We want "black and white" moral clarity. In America, you have to believe in God, any God; but you must believe in God.

    We are polite and friendly but we don't feel comfortable making "friends" with people who don't belong to our same group (church, work, etc..). I think that's because America is a big country and we self-segregate into neighborhoods. For example, people who are solidly middle class would live in Carmel Mountain Ranch. People who think of themselves as upper middle want to live in Carmel Valley. We are isolated in our cars and don't get a chance to bump into others. I think it's so dull to live in cookie cutter houses and talk to cookie cutter people.

    If you want to make friends of all kinds, New York City is the place to be.

    Submitted by mydogsarelazy on September 24, 2006 - 9:25am.

    Hi All,

    I am reading and appreciating all your comments. It does sound like some of you have dealt with some of the same friendship challenges I have.

    Did I mention that I am liberal agnostic/buddhist living in a conservative area (Murrieta) so that makes finding local friends even more of a challenge.

    I think I am going to take to heart the advice of working at this a bit, and maybe throwing a dinner party or two.

    Perhaps I will try a Piggington get-together sometime as this group seems to have many great folks.

    Should mention, my wife is running a meetup.com mom's group and she is making many new friends that way.


    Submitted by ctlmdjb on September 24, 2006 - 10:06am.

    Let me know the time and place I'm in.

    The American puritan thing is really weird. I work with a bunch of great guys, but most of them go to Church every Sunday. In the UK that would be seen as odd to put it mildly (Church attendance rate there is something like 6%). Then in the corporate world these same guys like nothing better than a night out ending in a strip club...watching 22 year olds take their clothes off for money. Sorry - I find that disturbing (and damn boring as well).

    Politics - I agree, don't even go there. One of my colleagues the other day started telling me how 'measured' he thought Israel's response had been in Lebanon....yeah I thought, they've only killed a couple of thousand innocent civilians so far, but I didn't say anything.

    But the weird thing is, these are genuinely good people. They love their kids, generous - I blame the American media, which it seems to me is slightly to the right of Attila the Hun.

    America is an amazing place - I just drove through Southern Colorado back to San Diego. Scenery is just stunning through monument valley, 4 corners. There are a wide variety of great people here - I practice Yoga a lot and get to meet some hippies and alternative people there, so I know the corporate world isn't the beginning and end of this country. But there's that puritanical streak just under the surface that is hard to deal with for a liberal European. I guess that's why we kicked the Puirtans out in the first place (joke - sit back and wait for the blasting).

    Submitted by jg on September 24, 2006 - 1:57pm.

    You atheists/agnostics put your faith in friends. We puritanical Bible-beaters get our comfort from our spouses (one, for life) and kids.

    My dearest friends are the ones who've gone down the same path: wife, kids, work. My friends from my college and Navy days who've never married or are now divorced, I'm not comfortable having my dearest possessions -- my family -- around them. We're not dear friends anymore as we value different things.

    We Puritans have dear friends who are agnostic or non-practing Jews, and liberals, too; it makes for interesting discussion. But, as we have similar values -- a good marriage, raising good children, modesty, work, etc. -- we get along just fine.

    One last thing: selfishness is the cause of much of the world's woes. Marriage without children is a sign of selfishness, as is being single. Happiness comes from living for others, such as your wife and children.

    Submitted by JES on September 24, 2006 - 3:17pm.

    ctlmdjb: I challenge you to read the book The Case for Christ and the follow-on book The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel, a Yale trained lawyer who used to be an atheist. In these books he tackles most of the objections to Christianity and his analysis is very analytical and does not merely rely on just having faith.

    The fact that we live in a fallen world provides all the explanation I need for the situation that some people go to church and then to the strip club. It is a sad state of affairs that only 6% of your countrymen attend church services; more immigrants attend Muslim services there than Christian services, by the way. Does it provide you peace of mind to know that by many projections, within 75 years, Islam will be the majority religion in Europe and your liberal, socialist policies will be replaced by Islamic law?

    And exactly how to you propose the western world should respond to terrorists that hide amongst the civilian populations, launch rockets at our cities, slice off the heads of innocent children and whose stated goal is the downfall of our entire civilization? Were you equally appalled at Hamas when they blew up the U.S. Marine barracks in Beruit killing 225+ U.S. Marines in the 1980s? Do you blame George Bush for the London subway attacks, the Spanish train attacks, the recent plot uncovered to bomb trains in Germany? Is the U.S. media at fault for the radical Islamic ferver sweeping the streets of Amsterdam and the suburbs of Paris?

    The undeniable truth is that the style of warfare the enemy is waging upon us is forcing us to make difficult decisions. In my opinion, and the opinion of the vast majority of analysts, Israel responded with kid gloves. It is a sad and unfortunate state of affairs that civilians die in warfare, so why don't we ask the terrorists to fight fair and stay away from civilians? Let's put the blame on them and not on George Bush. Let's recognize that it's militants and not the US Military who are killing innocents in Iraq, beheading families and slaughtering bus drivers.

    Living a liberal, carefree life where every point of view and belief is accepted and celebrated sure is appealing isn't it? We could all live in communes, practice yoga and meditate all day long. Unfortunately we live in a world where there are people who would nuke an American or British city if given the chance and kill millions of our innocent people, and there are countries who would support them. How would you go about killing them on the battlefield? Do you have a better way of avoiding civilian casualties? Or perhaps you would rather we just let them go free? After all, who are we to call anyone an enemy purely based on their beliefs and stated goal of destroying us.

    Submitted by speedingpullet on September 24, 2006 - 3:33pm.

    Whatever floats your boat, jg :-)

    I have nothing against people who believe and pactise a religion, but it does reaffirm my previous thoughts that a) religious people get a bit testy when meeting unreligious types (for instance I notice that you've changed your signature to 'The Puritanical Bible Beater', for no apparent reason) and b) look down on people who don't hold your views as being somehow inferior. Cutting off your old friends because they are unmarried and/or divorced seems a bit of high price to pay to 'get good with god'...

    As for being single/childless being 'selfish', I beg to differ.

    Its not that common anymore for young people in the UK to marry, but it hasn't stoppped many of my friends being in loving stable relationships for decades, with and without children. Being agnostic, the hassle of getting married isn't really worth it for them. After all, if you don't believe in Religion, then its just a piece of paper and a very expensive day in uncomfortable clothes....

    As for the meme 'living for others', its a very good one, that I try and practice myself daily. However, my 'others' inlcude furry four-footed ones, and non-genetically related ones too. Just my decision and no one elses. I don't consider myself selfish for not restricting my love to my spouse and my kids.

    @ JES:

    Mate, sit down and take a deep breath. You'll scare yourself to death otherwise. The world is a scary, scary place but you're more likely to die in a traffic accident than any of the above scenarios.
    You might find a more sympatheic audience over at housingpanic.com, where that kind of rant goes down quite well.

    Submitted by FutureSDguy on September 24, 2006 - 3:56pm.

    "Did I mention that I am liberal agnostic/buddhist living in a conservative area (Murrieta) so that makes finding local friends even more of a challenge."

    I am quite conservative. As long as you treat others as human beings and respect differences in world view I don't see why a conservative and a liberal can not enjoy each others company, friendship, and enrichening conversation. As long as you seek to find others to agree with you before you are willing to socialize with them, you put up a wall that prevents a bond from forming. Respect for other people's opinions goes a long way--you can't be as picky with people as you can with say, toilet paper made of recycleables or organic canned tomatoes. Sometimes when you finally respect a person from the inside out and you actually listen to their views, 180 apart from yours, your eyes open a bit more about the world around you.

    Submitted by jg on September 24, 2006 - 3:52pm.

    Death via auto accident happens; there are lots of bad drivers on the road, and I make dumb mistakes, too. Death via terrorism can be stopped; coming to a highway near you:


    I know, we shouldn't prejudge.  Probably just arranging for spectacular fireworks for their next 'Crucify the Pope' party.

    Our beagle is a dear part of our family, and we treat him very well.  Funny how, generally, Puritans are dog lovers and not cat owners.  At our kids' two schools, both private and religious, the school dog roams the campus freely.  And, in two weeks, the school chaplain at our daughter's school will be blessing family pets during St. Francis of Assisi day.

    Submitted by carlislematthew on September 24, 2006 - 4:08pm.

    Marriage without children is a sign of selfishness


    You play an excellent over-the-top puritan! I particularly love the classic black and white viewpoints you pretend to have.

    Submitted by jg on September 24, 2006 - 6:41pm.

    CM, my feelings are hurt; I AM an over-the-top Puritan! Just ask my wife, kids, and coworkers. My kids enjoy 'The Simpsons,' and call me Flanders.

    Life's paths are easy to navigate with a well-grounded sense of right and wrong.

    Submitted by Chrispy on September 24, 2006 - 7:26pm.

    Sounds like you might be missing a lot of the scenery.

    Submitted by speedingpullet on September 24, 2006 - 7:26pm.


    But do you agree/disagree that you can still have a well-grounded sense of right and wrong without the religion?

    Submitted by jg on September 24, 2006 - 8:38pm.

    It's possible. But, only religious precepts consistently speak against harm to innocents: poor, young, infirm, weak of mind. While there may be fine sets of non-religious precepts, there are a whole range of them -- e.g., materialism, Nihilism -- that are dangerous. Hence, why one of the Founding Fathers stated that Americans should prefer leaders that are religious, and, ideally, Christian.

    Remember what stopped the slave trade: British Christianity. Remember what stopped slavery in America: the flavor of Puritanism called Abolitionism.

    Submitted by PerryChase on September 24, 2006 - 7:42pm.

    In my view, there's nothing more selfish than procreation. The selfless thing to do is not procreate so we leave the earth cleaner than when we arrived. The right thing to do is adopt and care for a poor unwanted child.

    I find that progressives are quite open minded and accepting of other people's viewpoints. It's the puritans who poison friendships by asking people to "repent." The preachers of America aren't much different from the Mullahs of Islam.

    As for the religious Christians going to the sex clubs, my friend is a psychologist and he tells me that under the surface of propriety, people are "guilty" of all kinds of "sins" (married men having gay sex, adultery, drugs, etc...). I believe that the incident of sinful acts is sky high in conservative areas. Anyone remember tele-evangelist Jim Baker? Look at Rush Limbaugh. He's the voice of the conservative movement. What a good example to follow!

    Progressives have weakness for sure but we don't pretend to be hollier-than-thou.

    I have to say that I enjoy my European friends the most. We can talk, disagree, never feel personally attacked and always remain good friends.

    jd, watch out, a friend of mine dad's is a minister. My friend moved away to the big city for college, "sinned," and no longer believes in God. To this day, he still doesn't have the guts to tell his parents. The parents believe they have the perfect son. And the son is hiding the biggest part of his life from his family.

    Submitted by jg on September 24, 2006 - 7:47pm.

    Rush is entertaining and often thought-provoking. No conservative that I know of considers him a role model: mulitple divorces, drug abuse; what's to emulate?

    Submitted by jg on September 24, 2006 - 7:57pm.

    Being religious in America has its positives and negatives:

    Negative -- commonly called a 'Bible beater' or Puritan.
    Positive -- by definition, we ARE holier than thou!

    Submitted by JES on September 24, 2006 - 8:02pm.

    I'm loving the references to the Puritans. I grew up attending the UCC (United Church of Christ), the church that is supposed to have descended from the Puritans. It is now the most liberal Protestant denomination in the country. If this is the modern day Puritan ideal that we are referring to I claim no part of it:)

    Submitted by bgates on September 24, 2006 - 8:35pm.

    Irony Watch:
    I find that progressives are quite open minded and accepting of other people's viewpoints.
    [one sentence later...]
    The preachers of America aren't much different from the Mullahs of Islam.
    [one sentence after that...]
    I believe that the incident of sinful acts is sky high in conservative areas.

    Interesting word, 'believe'. Christians use it in reference to God, whose existence is beyond the ability of human beings to prove. Christians' belief in something greater than themselves inspires humility and service to others.

    Perry uses the word 'believe' in reference to crime statistics, which could be established as true or false if he wanted to take a minute to find the facts. His belief that conservatives are lesser than himself justifies his contempt.

    Submitted by sdduuuude on September 24, 2006 - 8:51pm.

    This is a pretty interesting post, mydogsarelazy.
    Thoughs from one who was transplanted in San Diego 13 years ago:

    I'm nearly 40, married, kids. The single friends/married friends thing is pretty rough. I don't think the groups are very compatible, in general, especially when the married friends have kids.

    Strange thing is - I have recently discovered a social group of single guys that I do things with regularly now. I have two lives - stuff with the family and stuff with the guys. It is definitely two different circles, though. Both work well, and the family definitely comes first. You just have to find that single guy circle, I think.

    Right now, with your medical problems and divorce, your friends most likely just don't know if you want them to get in touch. They wonder about you, for sure, but don't know if getting in touch will be appreciated or appropriate.

    Divorced people can be, depressed, confused, angry, annoying, hard to deal with. Add in medical problems and they might be concerned that if they get in touch, they either won't like what they find, they won't know how to deal with you, or most likely they will be intruding somehow where they don't belong.

    Definitely up to you to take that step. I hope you do it. You likely won't reconnect with all your friends, but you will find one or two that are surprised and truly thrilled you are healthy and happy.

    OH, MY GOD! Are there alot of flakes around here. I remember my first few years here. Every friggin week someone would flake on me personally and professionally. Drives me crazy. I can smell flakes a mile away now and until I know someone is solid, I don't put much faith in the reliability of strangers unless they need me to make a final payment. When you find people who show up when they say they will - don't lose them.

    I don't think this is related to the fact that people are stretched thin financially. I think flakes are just flakes. They are unsettled, always feel they haven't found what they are looking for and don't understand the value of commitment. They are always looking for someting better than the great thing they have right in front of them. I know so many people like this here in SD.

    Three thoughts for you:

    1) Get in touch with those old friends. Tell them exactly what you told us: You've been through hell and are now coming out of it. It's been a long time and you miss your old friends. If they are good friends, that will all make sense to everyone in about 5 seconds after you meet again.

    2) Do stuff that you love with people you don't know. I like to take classes. Sports or trade classes are great. Learn new things and meet people - soccer, tennis, welding, whatever. Just show up to class and meet people. Or compete in something you were once good at. I mean - jeez, there's a club for everything now. Or join a team. Don't wait to join with a friend. Just join by yourself.

    3) You don't have to hang out with married people all the time to be their friends. I have single friends that my wife and I do things with, but only when they have a girlfriend. Sometimes we won't see them for months, but when they are looking for a double date, we're in. So, keep those married people in your network, but understand you won't do much together if you are single.

    Submitted by carlislematthew on September 25, 2006 - 7:55am.

    CM, my feelings are hurt; I AM an over-the-top Puritan! Just ask my wife, kids, and coworkers. My kids enjoy 'The Simpsons,' and call me Flanders.

    Life's paths are easy to navigate with a well-grounded sense of right and wrong.

    I agree, but I'd like to humbly request that you allow others to have a different sense of right and wrong. There is no universal morality...

    Submitted by Chrispy on September 25, 2006 - 8:11am.

    "There is no universal morality."

    Ditto that.

    And, JG, it is extremely offensive to read that you think single people and childless couples are selfish. Judge not, less ye be judged.

    Submitted by barnaby33 on September 25, 2006 - 10:18am.

    Wow, JES, I can actually imagine you salivating as you typed that. You took a thread that was mostly about finding/losing friends and really warped it. True JG helped, but man thats a real stretch.

    Your message is full of the same religion based paranoia that seems to permeate conservative discourse. Why does it matter whether people goto church? Why does it matter if Muslims become a majority in England in 75 years? How are either of those things relevant to our search for friendships?

    ctlmdjb: I challenge you to read the book The Case for Christ and the follow-on book The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel, a Yale trained lawyer who used to be an atheist. This nothing, if not an attack. We know by now that there are people here who are religious and people who aren't. I think this thread would be alot better served by addressing how those two groups can bridge their gaps and become friends.

    Big Kiss! (Oh I live in Hillcrest so watch out)


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