I’m an introvert. I don’t particularly enjoy going out to places or events. I’m not particularly shy, it is just that I’d rather be with a few close friends instead of going out to a bar or event. I need down time to relax and regroup. Additionally, I really enjoy just spending time with Grace – evenings on the couch, weekends working around the house or in the garden, occasional events out with friends, and regular date nights. Because of those factors, I have a very limited social circle in The Big City. I’ve lived here for right at five years, and have a lot of acquaintances, but I haven’t really cultivated any of those acquaintances into friendships.
So here I am: in The Big City, with no real friends, no “inner circle”, and no idea how to go about creating those relationships. I’ve hung out with co-workers, but the other two managers have wives and families and little time for social activities, and the lower-level guys are about 8-10 years younger than me. People have recommended going to church, but I can feel single (and divorced) women of my age group circling like vultures when they see a new single guy, ready to get a (new) ring and start having babies.
The guys in my SA groups are nice guys, but I don’t anticipate any profound relationships with them. I am attempting to attend all of the social events offered by the various groups, but men don’t seem to have as many deep social connections as women. My mother independently mentioned this to me the other day. A couple years ago, my parents left their home of 20+ years in order to be closer to the rest of our extended family. Since that move, my mother has made some friends in the neighborhood and their church. My father, on the other hand, hasn’t really tried to connect with anyone. He used to have a group of golfers and close friends from church, but he hasn’t put effort into finding new friends. He seems to be content with being retired and hanging out with his wife. I feel the same way – I’ve had all of my needs and desires for connection fulfilled by Grace. I haven’t felt the need for outside connection. Yes, I have often thought it would be nice to have a group of friends to hang out with, but that hasn’t really been a priority.
Grace, on the other hand, has made strong connections with the other women in S-Anon. They go to lunch before or after meetings. They do things together. They connect more thoroughly. I’ve never heard of SA guys going out to lunch after meetings. All of the interactions I’ve seen between SA guys have been strictly task-oriented – relationships with other SAs are very much secondary to recovery.
I think I’m going to take a couple “extreme” steps. I checked out the local Masonic Lodge yesterday, and filled out a petition. I don’t know if they’ll accept me, because I’m of questionable moral character. Also, I think I’m going to join a crossfit or MMA gym. I’ve always been into fitness, so the community aspect of Crossfit will probably be better for me than just going to a gym.
So, I’m a middle-age man, trying to make new friends. It sucks.