Making adult friends

moab_cj5

Well-Known Member
As has been written, many adults struggle with growing older and lives changing. I haven't met anyone that doesn't struggle, at least a little, with balancing friends/family/work/interests/alone time/etc with changes in life. We mature (some do anyway, my wife would likely say I haven't) and interests change. Friends grow apart, and adult responsibility can get in the way of interests and hobbies. Time, and money, become limiting factors and obstacles for many people to step outside the norm they settle into, and change can be scary and hard. I don't LOVE meeting new people, and like many have expressed, consider myself somewhat anti-social, but I realize I have to make an effort to achieve the goals and desires I have. I am the only one with true influence over my life.

For the longest time I only wheeled and camped with my dad and BIL or alone. Wanting to do more than their schedules have allowed, and wanting to share the memories with someone else, I looked for more people with similar interests. I met some great people here on RME, but also on another local forum, and I eventually joined a local off-road club. I now have great friends that share common interests that I get to hang with from time to time. We don't get together weekly, or even monthly, but by being in the groups I am in, I find out about trips and can work to fit them in my schedule. I also plan and lead trips for the various groups I am in, and that helps me meet even more people. As I have aged, I find I have more fun when I have someone to share the stories and memories with.

Through my journey, I have wheeled with folks that have I have since developed great friendships with. I have met people through other people, that have introduced me to other people, that I now consider friends. I have wheeled with folks I don't care for too, and I haven't made any effort to contact or spend time with them after. No harm, no foul, people are just different. In my work life I have to get along with everyone; in my personal life I get to choose who I spend my time with.

Like many have stated, kids grow and relationships change. I have an 18 yo son leaving the house in about a month. That will be tough, but exciting! Having our kids be our friends, lose interest in spending time with dad, be our friend again, then leave the house for their own life is a challenge! I have a great relationship with my dad, but remember going through this cycle as a kid. Kids need to find themselves too, and make their own identity. Sometimes that is sharing many common interests, sometimes that isn't sharing many common interests. It can be difficult to bond with a child that has different interests. My solution has been to invite my kids to do my activities with me (occasionally against their will :)), but I try to do something with them that they like too. Sometimes it's great, sometimes it sucks. That is part of life to me.

I am a firm believer in taking control of ones destiny, and attitude makes all the difference. If I want to go wheeling, I plan a trip and make invitations (usually posting the invite on a forum or in my club). If no one comes, oh well, I tried, and I still get to take an awesome trip (sometimes I still like to be alone). If just a few come, great! I might make some new friends! If a ton of people come, there are pluses and minuses to that too, but you still might make some great friendships with like minded people. If it is an awesome experience, do it again! If it is hell on earth for you, learn from it, and don't repeat. You won't know either way though, until you try.

Like almost everything in life, effort and initiative are the biggest contributors to success or failure. By writing your post, you have taken one step. Now there are a few more you have to take to find what you are looking for. Keep an eye out for clubs and events that interest you, then go to something!

Some ideas:
-https://www.rme4x4.com/threads/rme-may-trip-price-ut.116109/
-Delta Classic Rock Crawl
-ExpeditionUtah.com
-WasatchCruisers.org
-Facebook groups (BOAR, UTOR, UTAT, Jeep Crew, etc) just to name a few

Hope to see the OP, and you other guys, on the trail or at a social sometime!
 

Cody

Random Quote Generator
Supporting Member
Location
East Stabbington
I've always figured the only reason I ever got people to hang out with me is because I would plan stuff and invite people. I never felt bad, gave guilt, or stopped inviting people if they didn't show up for something. I never felt bad if different friends became friends outside of my relationship or if we drifted apart for awhile. I just tried to be easy to be friends with, despite being hard to be around ;) I have friends that I might only see once every couple years, and when we finally run into each other again I feel like it's all the same other than I have to fit in a couple years worth of jokes at their expense to make up for lost time.

It's definitely a different season of life for me. With kids at home and a lot of business stuff going on, I don't have much time to do anything else. I used to spend 50-70 nights a year in a tent, and I'm going to be lucky if I get 10 this year. Hopefully all of this groundwork will work out and I'll be able to have more flexibility to do more things with my friends and kids in the next few years. I know everyone misses me making fun of them.
 

nnnnnate

Well-Known Member
Location
WVC, UT
This was really hard for me from like 25-30, I'm 35 now. My wife was in grad school and VERY busy with that and I was trying to figure out how to unwind from work and learn how to be an adult. My wife doesn't camp so she wasn't very interested in doing anything like that. I started doing day trips exploring areas with my dog but kind of got tired of that too. Like Dave said I hopped around a couple "wheeling" groups and didn't feel like a good fit in one and the second stuck. I feel like its been hard lately because it seems like the trips they are doing seem to be far away or multiple day events and I haven't been able to make them work. I haven't camped in 9 months. I have made some good friends doing that but if I'm not able to go camping than that doesn't help much.

For stuff closer to home...I just moved into a new house and I'm trying to meet new people and make some new neighbor friends. I've made cookies for everyone thats moved in since us but it hasn't led to anything yet. The thing that I thought of while reading the thread was maybe try doing some service. I feel a little self conscience about saying this but I went to talk to my back yard neighbor because he has a big tree with branches hanging real low on my side of the fence. I wanted to do some trimming but felt I should talk to him about it first. I was nervous to do so but I knocked on his door and was invited in. He is 82 and is wore out and his wife has alzheimers. We chatted for probably 45 minutes and he ended up saying something about a neighbor kid wouldn't call him back about mowing his lawn so I offered to do it for him just to help him out until he got it sorted out. Anyway, a week later I went by and mowed and trimmed and he was over the moon about it. I also found out he is into woodworking and has a full shop of tools. He showed me what he was working on and I talked to him about my grand project plans. In the end the neighbor kid is going to do the lawn but I went over again last night to work on the tree and brought my 3.5 year old with me to pick up pine cones in the guys back yard. Eli had a lot of fun with him while I did some cutting and even though I have no real need to go by again I absolutely plan to because through the 3 interactions we've had I consider him a friend. I can tell he appreciated the conversation and he certainly appreciated the yard help but I enjoyed it too. There is a huge age difference but there is plenty to talk about.

Take your dog and/or kid for a walk through the neighborhood as the weather warms up and stop and talk to people that are out working in their yards. Even if its just to complement their yard or whatever. Ask them what plants they just put in or what kind of trees they have. Alternatively if you have yard work to do stop when someone is on a walk and say hi. Its the perfect low stress interaction that'll kick start conversation. That might lead to waving and potentially further conversation.

You mention specifically wheeling and circumstances not allowing you to do that a ton right now. I'd suggest looking at other things that you do each week and try to find the opportunities from them to make acquaintances. With time those might turn into friendships that are tied to things that are a lot closer to home and where you live.
 

jeep-N-montero

Formerly black_ZJ
Location
Bountiful
I used to have more friends, then I got married, found a real job with great benefits, bought a boat, had a son, bought a different boat, had a daughter, and lately seem to rarely talk to anyone outside of our family unless I'm planning a hunting, fishing, or camping/wheeling trip. Priorities and responsibilities change who we know and how we spend our limited free time, and sometimes friends get left in the wind.
 

jeep-N-montero

Formerly black_ZJ
Location
Bountiful
This was really hard for me from like 25-30, I'm 35 now. My wife was in grad school and VERY busy with that and I was trying to figure out how to unwind from work and learn how to be an adult. My wife doesn't camp so she wasn't very interested in doing anything like that. I started doing day trips exploring areas with my dog but kind of got tired of that too. Like Dave said I hopped around a couple "wheeling" groups and didn't feel like a good fit in one and the second stuck. I feel like its been hard lately because it seems like the trips they are doing seem to be far away or multiple day events and I haven't been able to make them work. I haven't camped in 9 months. I have made some good friends doing that but if I'm not able to go camping than that doesn't help much.

For stuff closer to home...I just moved into a new house and I'm trying to meet new people and make some new neighbor friends. I've made cookies for everyone thats moved in since us but it hasn't led to anything yet. The thing that I thought of while reading the thread was maybe try doing some service. I feel a little self conscience about saying this but I went to talk to my back yard neighbor because he has a big tree with branches hanging real low on my side of the fence. I wanted to do some trimming but felt I should talk to him about it first. I was nervous to do so but I knocked on his door and was invited in. He is 82 and is wore out and his wife has alzheimers. We chatted for probably 45 minutes and he ended up saying something about a neighbor kid wouldn't call him back about mowing his lawn so I offered to do it for him just to help him out until he got it sorted out. Anyway, a week later I went by and mowed and trimmed and he was over the moon about it. I also found out he is into woodworking and has a full shop of tools. He showed me what he was working on and I talked to him about my grand project plans. In the end the neighbor kid is going to do the lawn but I went over again last night to work on the tree and brought my 3.5 year old with me to pick up pine cones in the guys back yard. Eli had a lot of fun with him while I did some cutting and even though I have no real need to go by again I absolutely plan to because through the 3 interactions we've had I consider him a friend. I can tell he appreciated the conversation and he certainly appreciated the yard help but I enjoyed it too. There is a huge age difference but there is plenty to talk about.

Take your dog and/or kid for a walk through the neighborhood as the weather warms up and stop and talk to people that are out working in their yards. Even if its just to complement their yard or whatever. Ask them what plants they just put in or what kind of trees they have. Alternatively if you have yard work to do stop when someone is on a walk and say hi. Its the perfect low stress interaction that'll kick start conversation. That might lead to waving and potentially further conversation.

You mention specifically wheeling and circumstances not allowing you to do that a ton right now. I'd suggest looking at other things that you do each week and try to find the opportunities from them to make acquaintances. With time those might turn into friendships that are tied to things that are a lot closer to home and where you live.
I have to agree, we haven't been wheeling much lately but do enjoy taking walks and chatting with neighbors with this perfect weather.
 

Kiel

Formerly WJ ZUK
You have to put in the effort, no kids or outside family life here. But I call and plan a lot. I see a lot of my friends 4 or 5 times a month. The rest of it is filled with the wife's friends
;)
 

Kevin B.

OLAF
Supporting Member
Location
Stinkwater
My biggest hangup is that I'm not outgoing, so that makes for a fun challenge... :D
Right? Now add chronic absentmindedness to that, so that even if you might have been in the mood to be social, you forget to call the guy you wanted to hang out with. And then if you do remember to call and make plans, by the time it comes time to leave the house, your brief excitement for some adult time is gone and the thought of hanging out in public and making small talk is so exhausting that you call your buddy and make excuses. I never ever hang out just to hang out, not even with the guys I consider close friends, and forget going to parties and talking to strangers. I'm lucky to have a couple bros in my life that put up with my BS and are willing to do stuff with me anyway. They're good peeps and without them I'd probably be completely isolated.
 

glockman

I hate Jeeps
Location
Pleasant Grove
People need community. For some that is family or church or friends. For me living in Utah as a non religious person I put myself in my own bubble. That's stupid. Like Davey said, you can look for things you have in common, or you can try to isolate yourself, either consciously or unconsciously. Rme has literally changed my life. It is my community. I have met many of you and have gotten on great. I have a small group on here (mostly moto guys) that I spend a lot of time with, some I only see once or twice a year, sorry Russ. We still get along great and have fun. Don't out yourself in a box and you will be much happier in general.
 

Tonkaman

Well-Known Member
Location
Taylorsville
Years ago I realized all my friends were drunk asses and that I needed a change. That’s when I joined RME and a couple other local groups. It wasn’t really for wheeling or anything specific, just an excuse to meet new people. I used to love going to the bar and bull shitting with strangers every night, now I just bs with people online
 

Houndoc

Registered User
Location
Grantsville
. Would you be offended if a guy down the street said, "Hey, I noticed you have a face. I do too, let's go get a sandwich."?
I like that! Just shows we all have something in common with anyone. I think sometimes we are hesitant to try to talk to someone because we are afraid we won't have much to share.

But reality, good friends can be different from us. Especially important to remember that in light of issue like religion as mentioned above.

I am in the same boat as some with my kids all leaving (19, 21 and 23 and all very independant souls). But it is interesting how relationships change. I play in an adult soccer league and am now team mates with young adults I coached when they where kids. It has also been fun to get to know other players in the league that are in circles that otherwise I would never have met or talked to. We don'thang out, but it is fun to chat when we see each other around town.
 

Jesser04

Well-Known Member
Location
Kaysville Utah
I realized about 15 years ago I don’t need acquaintances just good close friends that I know would do anything for me. Now I’m 36 and have about 4-5 friends. One of the them I talk to daily on his way to work we bullshit complain about our wife’s and laugh it feels my need for friendship. Between work and my family I just don’t have much free time. If you golf at all find a cheap golf course and look into the men’s league last year we played swan lakes every Tuesday it was fun and easy to make work because it was the same time every week.

Another thing I realized golfing last year is I was a better father and husband when I had that time every week for myself it seems weird but I was sort of a weekly reset button for me. It got to the point my wife was happy that I was going. Another friend has a cabin up at strawberry with snowmobiles every other Saturday night we’d go up and spend the night and snowmobile Sunday and came home. Again my wife encouraged it she had some free time with my son and I came home happy.
 

Cody

Random Quote Generator
Supporting Member
Location
East Stabbington
Another thing I realized golfing last year is I was a better father and husband when I had that time every week for myself it seems weird but I was sort of a weekly reset button for me.
This is something I'm trying to explain to my fiancé. I try to encourage (and plan for her so she has togo) her to go and do something outside of the house while I watch the parasites, but she doesn't really have any friends and her family is 45 minutes away so it's hard. When I try to go do something, I just feel guilty because there isn't balance since she never does anything.
 

Stephen

Under Construction
Supporting Member
Location
Salt Lake City
This is something I'm trying to explain to my fiancé. I try to encourage (and plan for her so she has togo) her to go and do something outside of the house while I watch the parasites, but she doesn't really have any friends and her family is 45 minutes away so it's hard. When I try to go do something, I just feel guilty because there isn't balance since she never does anything.
I'm trying to wrap my head around you having kids...
 

Jesser04

Well-Known Member
Location
Kaysville Utah
This is something I'm trying to explain to my fiancé. I try to encourage (and plan for her so she has togo) her to go and do something outside of the house while I watch the parasites, but she doesn't really have any friends and her family is 45 minutes away so it's hard. When I try to go do something, I just feel guilty because there isn't balance since she never does anything.
Does you wife work? My wife was the same I encouraged her to go out but it never workout. She has recently gone back to work and will go out with her coworkers after work sometimes.
 

Cody

Random Quote Generator
Supporting Member
Location
East Stabbington
I'm trying to wrap my head around you having kids...
Well Stephen, when a man and a woman love each other a lot, they make a baby.

Does you wife work? My wife was the same I encouraged her to go out but it never workout. She has recently gone back to work and will go out with her coworkers after work sometimes.
Ya, she's an escrow officer for Cottonwood Title. It's stressful, which is part of the reason she doesn't like to do much in general when she's not at work. She's good at making friends at work, but her work is in Orem so most of her coworkers are either 45+ minutes away, or not into the same kinds of things. I'm trying to help her quit her job so she can stay home more and sell cookies. That even sounds weird typing it, but her cookie game is on point ;)
 
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