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I'm 34 and am going through a very rough patch (for me) right now. I feel like I literally have nobody to turn to for help. It's so hard. I've never been able to make friends easily, and the few I have made seem to have been easy for me to get because they're already so social and likable. So I end up not being a primary focus. :(

I know what you mean. Fond memories of days long gone, but only rare contact with old friends. I consume myself with work because I literally have nothing better to do. Both my parents died recently, this year and last. I miss them both immensely. And I've never been close with the rest of my family. Lonely times in these 30s. Lonely times indeed. I'm sorry for your lonely troubles too.

It makes me wish I (cliche!) knew then what I know now. I'd have picked (and hopefully been able to recognize) better people to try to follow so I could have lasting relationships. The only person I speak to with any regularity from my high school days isn't somebody I feel I could call with this, and they live four states away anyway.

If you live in either SF or NYC, I'm happy to go out for coffee and a conversation some time. I can't promise we'll be best friends, but we can sure have a try ;)

I appreciate that, zemvpferreira. I'm in Denver, though. Thanks for the offer.

I'm also in my 30s, in Denver and struggling with the same problem. I moved to Denver 2 months ago and realized something rather painful - I haven't actually made new friends in over a decade. It's always been difficult and I've been comfortable with a few folks I am close with. The problem is now they're not here and I just can't seem to take the next step with people I meet and move past the acquaintances stage. Anyway, if you'd like to meet sometime for coffee or something let me know. I'd be happy to chat :)

Thanks, sakopov. How do I contact you?

I'm also in Denver and happy to meet up. My email is in my profile. (Anyone reading this is welcome to email me too.)

Hey there, my email is on my HN user profile page.

Also in Denver! Would be thrilled to hang out with any fellow HN folks. E-mail in profile :)

The email field in your profile is private. Add your email to the "About" field for others to see it.

Learned something new, fixed thanks!

You're in a city! Good news for you -- that means you're halfway there!

There are a lot of people in that city! Do you enjoy playing Dungeons and Dragons? Finding or starting a Dungeons and Dragons group is great way to make long-term friends. It's how I made my group of local friends that I can count on for anything, and I'm nowhere near a city.

edit: Also, let me add something. I used to live in Sunnyvale. Lots of people everywhere, almost like a city. And I'm extremely extroverted, probably the most extroverted tech people I know. But I was depressed. Clinically depressed. Lexapro helped. It saved my marriage and possibly my life. Go see a psychiatrist.

Which part of Sunnyvale was that? Honestly all of my South Bay memories are being outside and hardly seeing another person.

Sunnyvale and MV do have lots of strangers in the small downtown strips, but that's just 2 blocks; San Jose has the inverse where the area near SJCC is always empty but people are in a circle around it. Maybe.

This may or may not help you at all, try augmenting short winter days with a very bright sunlight spectrum lamp. It's no substitute for a nice coffee with friends, but it can still help keep energy levels up.

I lived in Denver for 2 years. I love the city, but it was actually pretty hard to make friends there. I met some random people in the gym that my wife and I hung out with some, but they became nothing more than acquaintances. I'm sure it didn't help that both my wife and I work from home, but it was one of the driving reason why we left Denver.

I hope you do find some new friends. And remember, you have to be a bit of a stoic if you want to preserve friendships and make them last longer.


I don't think it's healthy to rely on alcohol, even if it is the "social lubricant". On the topic of being outside (the other thing you implied in your comment), it can be more difficult for some people than others. If you find it easy to go out and make small talk, consider yourself lucky.

Kind of sad you had to answer your own comment.

Listen, you know, as long as we're alive we can change things. Go out to a bar meet some strangers. It's never too late to make some friends. My problem has always been time.

Just don't give up, we don't need hundreds of good friends just a few. Even one or two are better than none.

> Listen, you know, as long as we're alive we can change things. Go out to a bar meet some strangers. It's never too late to make some friends. My problem has always been time.

FWIW i've had consistently low success with finding friends at bars. Mostly i find people i chat to aren't there with an open mind to getting to know people, at most it'll be a quip here and a joke there, but ultimately they're with "their crowd". YMMV.

> Just don't give up, we don't need hundreds of good friends just a few. Even one or two are better than none.

I totally agree with this sentiment, though.

I know how you feel with that last bit. There's a few people who are very important friends for me but if I'm honest about it, I'm not sure I'm even in their top 10. Don't get me wrong, they've each done wonderful things for me and I treasure their friendship but sometimes I feel I'm not a very high priority and I'm not sure they realize how much I depend on them.

Asymmetry of interest can be a major strain on a relationship; unfortunately it seems true symmetry is a near impossibility.

Very few people are able to become friends with someone on command. It doesn't work that way, making friends is something that 'just happens'.

I have to note that I'm everything but social. Social activities are so exhausting for me that I often end up actively repelling people. But I still have no trouble making friends and it happens more often than I'd like, even friends I can talk to about everything, not limits.

If you want somebody to hang out with and just talk about stuff, that's pretty easy. Look for the group/scene that shares your hobby and interests and communicates on your wavelength. It's easy to talk about your interests and they will listen.

However, if you are looking for someone to talk to on a deeper level, that's more involved but I think it's not _that_ hard. Try to be honest with someone who resonates with you and talks on your wavelength. Tell something about yourself that you normally wouldn't; chances are they will respond with something personal too. Before you know it, you've found a good friend. It takes time though.

Sorry if I made it sound too easy, I'm just relaying my experiences. But I'm pretty sure that you should never ever try to force friendship, it doesn't work. Try and error is key here.

I'm the opposite. I have too many people in my life. I've been trying to go full hermit but somehow I always get pulled into stuff by friends/family. And I'm an introvert.

> I feel like I literally have nobody to turn to for help.

In my experience, almost anyone you already meet casually (work, gym, library) will try to help if you reach out and start talking to them about what's bothering you. (I'm living in Europe, maybe it's different in the US -- dunno.) Even if they can't directly help you, talking about stuff helps.

Reaching out is the hardest part though. Choose the person you feel most comfortable (or least uncomfortable) with.

I feel you. I'm in my early 30's too and have felt just the way you describe.

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