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RobPal

Less and less in common

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RobPal

I recently turned 40 and tonight had a pre planned belated birthday drinks (I had water) with a couple of chaps from work.

 

They know I'm an introvert so it was just the three of us, so I appreciated the effort they made, however the conversation was primarily just the two of them telling stories with occasional interjections from myself.

 

On my drive home I was thinking about it and why I felt so empty and down hearted about it, then I came to the conclusion that I have found myself in a situation where I was too old to truly relate to these early to mid twenties guys, and with no long term partner or kids I don't have much in common with the few friends I have closer to my age. I'm in total limbo and at a loss as to where to go with this realisation.

 

Does anyone else relate to this?

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Jon A.

For sure, outside of this forum I'm a total misfit, but it's been that way for ages and I've gotten a lot more comfortable with it. Having a partner, at least for a "normie", is more trouble than it's worth from my point of view.

 

I used to know a fellow who, over the time I knew him, started an engineering career, bought a house and had a kid by his live-in girlfriend; in other words, your basic nightmare. He once lamented how he missed the simplicity of his earlier life and how he didn't have time for anything, and I didn't envy him. Our friendship was somewhat strained by the rather long periods of time without communication, so when he announced that he had knocked up his GF a second time it was the beginning of the end for us.

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Guest
4 hours ago, RobPal said:

On my drive home I was thinking about it and why I felt so empty and down hearted about it, then I came to the conclusion that I have found myself in a situation where I was too old to truly relate to these early to mid twenties guys, and with no long term partner or kids I don't have much in common with the few friends I have closer to my age. I'm in total limbo and at a loss as to where to go with this realisation.

 

Does anyone else relate to this?

Yes, all too much.

 

Can't offer a solution, though. I think I've kinda resigned myself to it, and compensate with escapism (roleplaying and/or video games, mostly).

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chairdesklamp

Yeah, my old job of several years, everyone my age was a manager, and everyone my rank was almost to actually young enough to be my own kid. So I ended up doling out advice, but not making friends because of a rule against fraternising between ranks.

 

(I recently left this job over joint degradation, and my new job starts after the place is rebuilt, but may be the same)

 

At the LGBT Centre, I only run into"general" groups gatekept hard by cliquish exclusionist cisgays (queer men's groups otherwise unspecified), or, at, say, the trans group, it's all 20 year-olds. 

 

Meetup groups reveal the same tendency of skewing very young.

 

I have a couple of friends my age where I used to live, who accepted me after I came out, and we talk long-distance, but it's been hard to even go about making friends here.

 

I wanted a family and to keep my previous career at this age, but my best friend does have a family and career, and it's not much of an issue. At the same time, being part of the queer community, I'm less expected to have a spouse and children. 

 

But, yes, different circumstances, but I'm also craving peer interactions hard. My best friend is great, but six hours away. 

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ryn2
16 hours ago, chairdesklamp said:

Meetup groups reveal the same tendency of skewing very young.

This was what I noticed where I live as well... there is a small ace meetup group that meets regularly but I could be their grandparent.

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Skycaptain

I think it depends on the meet and the itinerary. I've been to meets where at 47 I'm the oldest by a while, and others where there's people older than my parents attending 

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Spotastic

@chairdesklamp I get this sentiment, to an extent. My best friend is 1100 miles away, across the US from me. I live in a small town, on a farm, without reliable transportation. The few people I have talked in town have nothing in common with me. All of my friends are exclusively online relationships (unless you count my wife). I've always done things on my own, so it's my comfort zone at this point, but I come to AVEN mostly because of the people and friendly coversation.

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wyrdwyrm

I'm in this gray area at work between coworkers who are old enough to be my parents, and coworkers who are old enough to be my children - sometimes it hits me how isolated it feels when there's no one my age working directly with me. Despite how nice they are, and how many interests we might share, I just don't get invited along with the social groups. (Being an awkward introvert doesn't help at all!)

Funny how it seems to hit you when you reach 40. It's been a couple of years since that birthday and I still haven't recovered. ;) 

 

So...who wants to grab a roll of quarters and hang out at the arcade after work?

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chairdesklamp

@Spotastic Yeah. I live in the big city, but I'm in the same boat. I have nothing in common with the Hollywood type. It might as well be farm country for how much success I've been having here.

 

@wyrdwyrm I actually know a bowling alley that has an arcade room! It's just a question of who the heck I could go with. They have a 4-person Pac-Man Table!

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wyrdwyrm
3 minutes ago, chairdesklamp said:

@wyrdwyrm I actually know a bowling alley that has an arcade room! It's just a question of who the heck I could go with. They have a 4-person Pac-Man Table!

Nice! There's a pizza place near here that opened up an old arcade (the pizza tastes like cardboard, classic!) - and I think there's a bigger arcade on the other side of town, if it hasn't closed down already...HOLD UP THEY ARE OPEN, AND THEY HAVE ONE OF MY FAVORITE ARCADE GAMES! Okay, this is going to have to happen sometime this summer.

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chairdesklamp

@wyrdwyrm Nice! It's rare to find one still running. Aside from the bowling alley, last arcade I know closed down in '06 to become a cheque cashing place :(

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kiaroskuro

I can definitely relate to this, but I've felt this way for a long time. Most people's lives seem to revolve around their partners or families, and that starts at a very early age. It's not just that I have a hard time relating to others because I'm ace, but because I'm neither family-oriented nor relationship-oriented in general. It's just the way I'm wired.

It's difficult to find fellow nerdy individualists who are passionate about their hobbies/interests and who actually lead their own life. But it's not impossible - thanks to the internet. 😊

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wyrdwyrm

@chairdesklamp I miss the old mall arcades, even though I'm lousy at them. It was a great place to just linger for an afternoon outside of the house, especially in bad weather. The two we have are new ones, driven by the sudden surge of geeks being cool and mainstream. Who cares, I'll take it!

 

The pizza place had a reeeeeeaaaaally old Indiana Jones game, and the game mechanics were SO BAD it was almost impossible to play. So great!

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chairdesklamp

@wyrdwyrm I miss the old malls, period. Between places like Camelot and B. Dalton, that was the place to be. Now, they're mostly yuppie boutique stuff. I do like the massage chairs, but that's about it. Though the mall in Lakewood has a Book-Off (Japanese company; used books, records/CDs and electronics, but fairly new ones only) and I guess the Target is useful...

 

Malls were so much better when I first came here...

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wyrdwyrm

@chairdesklamp One of our malls had these little lounge areas sunken into the floors - probably a health hazard for people falling into them accidentally somehow, but I liked how cozy they felt. And there was a fountain! B. Dalton/Waldenbooks, and Kay-Bee Toys were great staples. I suppose Spencer's is still around in one way or another, though somehow they seem even sketchier than before?

Even our local strip malls are getting overhauled within an inch of their lives, and I don't always enjoy what replaces the old stores. Or I wish I had the new stores alongside the old ones I enjoyed. There's a great cafe that replaced a Chinese restaurant that was equally amazing.

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ryn2
6 minutes ago, wyrdwyrm said:

One of our malls had these little lounge areas sunken into the floors - probably a health hazard for people falling into them accidentally somehow, but I liked how cozy they felt. And there was a fountain! B. Dalton/Waldenbooks, and Kay-Bee Toys were great staples. I suppose Spencer's is still around in one way or another, though somehow they seem even sketchier than before?

One of our malls was very much like this!  I was just marveling a week or two ago at how Spencer’s was still there... although I’m not sure it *could* be sketchier than it was ages ago when I was a teen.

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wyrdwyrm
8 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

One of our malls was very much like this!  I was just marveling a week or two ago at how Spencer’s was still there... although I’m not sure it *could* be sketchier than it was ages ago when I was a teen.

It was always pretty sketchy, wasn't it? :D 

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ryn2
12 minutes ago, wyrdwyrm said:

It was always pretty sketchy, wasn't it? :D 

It was!  That was the joy of it as a tween/teen.

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chairdesklamp

The blog I dead, but I accidentally stumbled on this at one point

 

https://mallsofamerica.blogspot.com/?m=1

 

There's also the website deadmalls, but it's text-based and tells you more about the malls' fates, which is pretty gloomy.

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ryn2

Yeah, agreed on deadmalls.

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RobPal

I've continued thinking along the lines of my original post and have come to a conclusion that my life is in a state of permanent pause.

 

Pretty much everything I do outside of work and daily chores is centred around the lives of the few people I occasionally spend time with. It's never about what's going on with me. Although this is partially my own fault due to my well practised introversion that causes me to always instinctively deflect conversations away from myself and onto others. I have no idea, even with the awareness, of how to overcome this blockage.

 

I feel like time is quickly running out and unless I get a handle on this soon then I will be completely left behind by yet another generation.

 

Aaarrrgghhh!!!!

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Visenya
26 minutes ago, RobPal said:

Pretty much everything I do outside of work and daily chores is centred around the lives of the few people I occasionally spend time with. It's never about what's going on with me. Although this is partially my own fault due to my well practised introversion that causes me to always instinctively deflect conversations away from myself and onto others. I have no idea, even with the awareness, of how to overcome this blockage.

I don't think I'm old enough to be here and I'm not asexual either, but I can relate to this and to your first post as well. In the past two years, I've gotten a bit resentful and disappointed with friendships after realizing that I don't feel like I'm the protagonist of my own life. I stopped hanging out with my friends because I was tired of never doing something that I liked and talking about the things that I enjoyed or was going through.

 

Not having hobbies and interests in common with people, not having a "real life" (relationship, social life, etc) to talk about, feeling too shy/guilty/idk and not being assertive enough to make the conversation about me, it all contributed to this problem. And I think that I ended up attracting people who were a bit selfish and self-centered because of my personality. It's hard to change the friendship dynamic when you've been friends for too long and people have gotten used to it. I wouldn't be so worried if I had the opportunity and the ability to make new friends, but that's not the case.

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Dreamsexual

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robnrdbrd

Yes, it really smacked me in the face when I showed up fashionably late to a friend's 40th last year and their place was packed with parents and kids. After trying to be social but with parent-talk dominating most conversations, I jumped at the request to go get the food (hosts had had a few, only too happy to help out). There were a few people wanting to make orders at the place while I was waiting for them to put together our order (which should have been done, but I was in no hurry), and kept saying "Nah, you go ahead!" I was in no hurry to get back to parent talk, as much as I love my friends.  When I got back something like 30 mins later, two other single friends were there by that time and we basically formed our own support group that the parents occasionally dropped into.

 

Having the sort of conversations the three of us (and our rotation of guests) had is rare in my life, though. I coach a sport, so that's been a great outlet to chat with people who share a common interest. I've thought about starting something or seeking out a group of people who do something that I'm into (another sport, table top, weekly trivia, some sort of in-person movie/TV discussion group like which was seen on Cracked.com's "After Hours" show! :)

 

 

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GeoAmy

Same, especially when I entered the 40's.  I'm in this weird limbo where I don't fit in anywhere anymore.  The friends I had outside of work are married and/or busy with families.  At work I have trouble relating to people.  Mostly I work with married men or young men.  the 40 somethings aren't well represented, and the few there are again married/families.  Plus I assume they know I'm different (maybe assume i'm gay?) and aren't comfortable interacting with any more than they have to.  And perhaps the guys think I'm flirting with them when I'm just trying to be friendly.  I even struggle to relate to other women.  I'm a scientist/nerdy type that has some gender neutral traits.  I'm not interested in normal "girlie" stuff or kids.  My current main hobby is birding, which of course no one outside of the birding community understands.  I host regular meetups for aces, but they are all quite young and in a different place in life.  Nice kids, but they aren't people I'm going to form bonds with.

 

So being ace, a female scientist, and somewhat gender neutral means I struggle to find my people.   Generally I'm ok doing things alone, but it would be nice to have a couple of good friends.

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RobPal
On 5/6/2019 at 10:39 PM, Visenya said:

I don't think I'm old enough to be here and I'm not asexual either, but I can relate to this and to your first post as well. In the past two years, I've gotten a bit resentful and disappointed with friendships after realizing that I don't feel like I'm the protagonist of my own life. I stopped hanging out with my friends because I was tired of never doing something that I liked and talking about the things that I enjoyed or was going through.

 

Not having hobbies and interests in common with people, not having a "real life" (relationship, social life, etc) to talk about, feeling too shy/guilty/idk and not being assertive enough to make the conversation about me, it all contributed to this problem. And I think that I ended up attracting people who were a bit selfish and self-centered because of my personality. It's hard to change the friendship dynamic when you've been friends for too long and people have gotten used to it. I wouldn't be so worried if I had the opportunity and the ability to make new friends, but that's not the case.

I don't want to be the bearer of bad news, but in my situation of created opportunities to make a fresh start, either in a new location or a new job, but over time, despite my best efforts, I soon found myself reverting to my natural state without even noticeing it was happening. So please don't pin all your hopes on making new friends because you are who you are and finding a way to make that work for you is probably the best way forward. This is what I'm trying to find but not having much success so far.

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