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Resources for lonely people wanting friends - IRL and online

Lady Wolfshead

"Don't fear mistakes. There are none." Miles Davis
Okay, so the reason I'm creating this topic is because I've talked to so many SF members who are alone or lonely in their cities/towns and have no family or friends close by (or at all). Please excuse me if some of these resources are things that seem obvious - I'm going to include everything, and hope people will add their own tips/suggestions.

Some of these have worked for me personally to meet friends, and some I'm planning to try. I personally am married but have few friends within an easy driving distance (and currently I don't have a vehicle which makes it even harder). ALSO, I realize many of these resources are not currently possible but will hopefully be within in the next year.

Another caveat: Be safe. There are lots of predators out there, whether they are seeking money, sex or other things. Predators often seek lonely people or people without connections so there is less chance of them getting caught. Here are some articles about Internet Safety:

Oh one more thing (sorry) - this is a tip I read years ago: remember that even casual friends are valuable. That neighbor you chat with about your garden, guy at the dog park, or the woman you meet to play tennis with. Cultivate lots of acquaintances and some may become good friends. But even if they don't, these relationships are worth maintaining. If your next-door-neighbor knows you they are a lot more likely to question if they see some stranger hanging around your home, for instance.

Okay so here are the Suggestions/Resources:

Online connections. If you're here on SF you probably already know some ways to meet friends online. You can meet people through all kinds of forums, gaming and clubs and Meetups. Here's an article in a reputable magazine that lists apps for finding friends in your city, and even your neighborhood):

Classes and Groups for creative or other pursuits: These can be found in community centres or the "continuing education" or non-credit section of school boards, colleges and universities. I've met a lot of people this way.
Here are some ideas:
- classes in writing/art/photography/pottery/languages/bird watching/ -- then form a group to continue doing the activity once the class ends
- gardening club, knitting "stitch and bitch" meetup
- cooking classes

- Take a for-credit class at an adult education class, college or university

- walking/hiking/cycling groups. I once asked a neighbor if she wanted to go walking with me for exercise, and she said yes right away.
- team sports
- dance classes. I don't advise single men to use couples' dancing to meet women - it's too overdone and women see it as predatory. But guys if you take a beginner's jazz or ballet class (or even belly dancing) you will be the only male, the hit of the class, and plenty of the best dancers are men. Okay, I'm just saying think outside the box. But yes there are fantastic male belly dancers and I've seen some.
- swimming/skating/tennis/badminton/golf classes

- a great way to meet people. Art galleries, St. John Ambulance, church groups, festivals, cleaning crews, Block Watch/ community policing, food banks, seniors/youth organizations, crisis/support lines (a friend of mine volunteers for the city's crisis line and has met several friends there).

Church groups or other spiritual classes/groups:
- Zen meditation, Christian groups, Quaker meetings, Unitarian Universalist discussion groups. Bahai. Interfaith groups. Skeptic/atheist groups

Special Interest Groups/ Clubs
- No Kidding (social group for people without children) health organizations, support groups (including mental health or physical disability), strata committees/tenants associations., pet associations.

Nothing here you like? Get creative - start your own group by putting up notices in your neighborhood, doing a Meetup, or even advertising a group/gathering on Craigslist. A single mother in my city made the newspaper by advertising on Craigslist for people to get together with at Christmas and she got over a hundred responses..
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o O Oo oO oOo O ooo..!;)~
SF Supporter
This is the extent of my social interaction online. . . (So!)- Always good to get some helpful ideas to get the train of thought going in a more familiar manner. :^) (that is to say: in person; even though, I don't do it much anymore..;))

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