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How to make friends in your 30’s w. BP

Community Member

This is a question not a statement. I’ve always struggled to make friends and keep them and I have trouble trusting people and people of always bailed so now I just expect that everyone is gonna bail so I stand back a little bit or I get so excited about having a new friend that I’m too full on and scare them away. I know I need friends; it’s important to have people in your life that will be there for you when times are really hard and will be there for you in times when you need a good laugh, but in your 30s when you’re not working and you have a mental illness like bipolar, it makes things a little bit trickier there is no tinder for friends that I know of so how do you make friends in your 30s when you have bipolar? thoughts?

my blog quote today was “I feel lik my whole life I have been waiting for someone to find me”

10 Replies 10

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Tasa83~

An awful lot of us need a companion or partner in life, I'm one of them, and life is simply incomplete alone. So I well understand how you feel.

As a practical matter depending on your parents for love and support is fine and natural, but it would be great if it could be supplemented with other relationships too. You do have a lot you can offer. As you say yourself 'it can't rain all the time'

As someone later in life with PTSD, anxiety, bouts of depression and no paid job I found someone and have lived happily together for very many years.

Now I read what all you said and agree with it,

I know I need friends; it’s important to have people in your life that
will be there for you when times are really hard and will be there for
you in times when you need a good laugh

But that is only half of it. Please excuse me if I'm saying what you already know, I suspect at 30+ you do, but a proper friendship is a two-way thing, and you really need to be looking inside yourself and acknowledging all the things you can do to be a friend. This may already be the case, I don't know. What I'm trying to say is one should see the need in others and be prepared to answer it.

BiPolar 1 and chronic back pain are limiting factors in life, no doubt about it, but are not something that precludes friendship. Just glancing around the Forum to see those who have BP and successful long term relationships should convince you of that.

I've been impressed with your accomplishments, your volunteering, your study and your books. I would imagine study and volunteering are arenas where you can meet people, hopefully by not going overboard or holding back as you say, but trying to see their needs friendships may start.

One other thing I'd say is that proper friends, not mere acquaintances, are rare, a handful in a long lifetime.

I'd like to know if you think all this is on the right track


Community Champion
Community Champion


Hello again. It is interesting for me as I was diagnosed at 16 and am now nearing 60 and in my 30s I had young children so I suppose I made friends with other mums but we had to have more in common than just our children. Back then I was not open with everyone about having bipolar as it was not spoken about much then.

Of course if you don't have children and you are not doing paid work it can ben hard t meet them.

I know that if you look as though you are trying too hard to be friends people may be wary.

I have never had a lot of friends but a few close ones I can trust.

Do you have a hobby or interest or sport where you can meet people ? Are you a member of a writer's group or a book group?

Do you like walking? I know many places have walking groups you can chat to people while you walk.

You seem to have insight into why some of you friendship may not have lasted.


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Tasa,

Like you, I'm in my 30's (34 to be exact) and I too have struggled most of my life to make friends, well the kind of close, do anything for you friends that I would like to have. I think my problem has been that I've always had unhealthy relationships with men and so have been drawn to them, either as close friends or romantically and so women always seemed somewhat wary of me (likely for that reason). Now I'm in my thirties and single and I find myself just wanting to have friends that I can go to the movies with, dinner, or just talk on the phone and I don't know where to start.

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Sorry Tasa, it ended up sounding like it was all about my - my apologies, that wasn’t my intention :)! What I mean to say is, there are plenty of people in your position, myself included, and so I’m sure if you extend the hand of friendship no one will judge you. So perhaps placing yourself in situations where you can do that would be good. A lot of people join activities to meet friends, perhaps that’s a good start? Or maybe there’s some bipolar support groups where you can meet people who are in a similar situation?

Community Member

Thank you for your reply and kind words.

it is interesting to read what you have said and I have looked at myself and tried to understand. I think I am a good friend; maybe too good. I do anything for people and am kind and funny and bring soup if they are ill. I listen to their woes and laugh with them.

I seem to make friends wherever I go but holding on to them is the hard part. Maybe I’m too nice? Maybe people don’t want to travel out to the mountains to visit. Maybe most people my age now have kids and husbands and I don’t fit in their world.

I probably don’t make as much effort as I should. I have had some great friends over the years. Just fell out.


I can’t walk much with my bad back and bad knees. I’m a slow reader so no book club for me and I write mostly at night, solo. I know these are excuses but I don’t really like going out much. Ironic that I want friends but wont go find them.

I went to a support group for BiPolar and then ended up running it but made some bonds there and just don’t know how to turn that into a proper friendship.

I have an online penpal which is great support. I get a lot of encouragement and kindness from that. Maybe it’s easier to have online friends nowadays? Maybe thats why I like it here.

thank you for understanding

Community Member


thank you for your reply. Nice to have you in the boat.

I was always a tomboy when I was young and then sent to an all girls school so I was bullied and alone mostly. I think it turned me off friends and trusting people for a bit.

then came the 20’s and you can’t just walk up to someone and say “be my friend?” Things took time and it was hard as I didn’t drink, I didn’t like going out much and I couldn’t handle big groups of people or loud music.

I am also 34. I love movies and painting and writing and studying. All of which I do alone. But I crave a good gossip about the cute guy worling at the butcher or as you said going to the movies with someone else and then comparing thoughts later.

maybe we should go see a mobie alone on the same day and then come back here and compare notes? Hehe

Community Member

No apologies necessary. I loved your post. I felt less alone in this.

I love the suggestions people give but most I have tried and feel worse. So it was nice to read I’m not the only one who feels like this.

I run a BiPolar support group in the mountains 🙂

and I meant movie before not mobie 😉

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

TasaI do not have BP and in my 60s the amount of people who I call friends I can count on one hand with alot of fingers left over. because like your self they have all bailed. having depression has chased a lot away still if you have even three it's something hope all goes well for you