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How to find friends

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

I've noticed a growing trend on this forum with new members having difficulty finding friends. Let's look at the history of how people found friends in the past, then we will look at today.

In the 1800's before cars, telephone and planes there were trains but by and large travelling wasn't done in great distances. People relied only on the immediate town/s for friends and partners. This limited peoples ability to find friends or members of the opposite sex in large numbers, which meant people often married the best available which likely wasn't so compatible in the long run. It didn't matter though as marriage was forever...like it or not.

How times have changed but up until the 1980's the most common way to meet was at dancing. That most common way to meet a future partner was really popular from ballroom to disco. Then dancing became old fashioned...the best way to meet up with someone vanished.

Suddenly we relied on computer dating. In fact imo it is far more efficient than dancing. you can place your profile online, search for similar profiles and sometimes it works- like my daughter and her husband did and what a match it turned out to be.

So I'd recommend that method, what about plain friendships?

Friendships need key ingredients. The glue that binds the friendship is the common factor like a hobby, vintage cars, model airplanes, sewing groups, voluntary work and so on. In fact my ex BIL had no friends and so he took my advice and he joined StJohns first aid organization. For years he has walked the footy grounds among crowds to render first aid, most of his friends are his colleagues now. No different than joining the armed forces (but they have a contract) where you will make friends in fact, some of my friends were in the RAAF like me some 45 years ago.

Not everyone wants to join the ADF even though there are many reasons why I'd recommend it like good pay, adventure, cheap meals and mates. But in general you need that "glue" to meet others or you are guessing on the compatibility.

Do some deep thinking about this "glue". Seek out your interests and pursue that field to meet others. Don't expect to fit in immediately, take your time to suss out the people, to trust some but beware the unsavory and take your time entering into committee membership. Many of us that do have mental illness issues cannot cope with the squabbling and criticism.

Good luck


17 Replies 17

Community Member

I have found personally that online dating is very very hard for most people. I’ve been on those sites for a long time and I’ve struggled to make a dent. I don’t think it’s as simple as putting a profile and getting responses. I know this isn’t the forum for this topic but I certainly believe that online dating is quite a toxic and lonely environment for most people and those “success” stories are no different and no more successful than meeting someone at a disco.

My problem with meeting with friends is that alcohol is a really big part of it. I don’t drink, I’m a straight edge, but I find that that offends a lot of people for some unknown reason. I also have interest that are not in the mainstream and have found difficulty finding stuff online.

My struggle is that most social things revolve around alcohol and there aren’t many places for people who don’t drink. So what can I do to find people who won’t get offended by that?

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Azzdog,

You've been around for quite some time, thankyou for replying.

Public places, swimming pools, supermarkets, cafe's. But the very best way is to walk a cute dog. People laugh at this but my wife and I have met so many people while walking our dog. They also tend to say something like "I live alone so my dog is my comfort" or to that effect.

Clubs like motoring clubs don't often include alcohol as their events are often BBQ's at parks during the day.

Sports- grass bowls, carpet bowls clubs. A friend of mine joined the bush hiking club based in Melbourne. On weekends a large group meet in the hills and walk, talk and laugh.

Garden groups. Volunteer groups.

What we should take on board is that people know people. Enter a group and those older people have children and so forth. The focus could be on just meeting people and creating a network. it can snowball from there.


Hey WK,

Those are good choices. Some of this sports groups are good but are they for people my age? I know you said that people know others.

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

I dont know. My local footy club had senior members as helpers that got to know everyone.

One lady about 50yo had a son playing footy, so she volunteered to operate the bbq on training nights. She met the father of one of the players and they ended up together.

Whatever you do, joining groups even lions or rotary eill build a network


I have some intensives for uni this week so I'll get more into it next week.

Community Member


I feel I'm so related to this post at the moment! I'm a mature aged uni student and I'm so stressed to make friends at uni. Even though I have the chance to meet hundreds of new faces at campus every day but just watching them passing by. Especially in lectures, classmates sit away from each other. Half has already joined a small group, half still sits alone like no one wants to be the first one to start conversation. Even if I made the breakthrough to talk to someone, it feels like the next week he/she has totally forgotten about me.

Its probably a part of the reason for my background that Im a migrant to Australia and I'm not an English native speaker. Less confidence and less self recognition have always been the issue. Plus, myself being a shy introverted person, sometimes afraid to make mistakes, makes it even worse!

Feel disappointed to myself at the end of the uni days and the next day come to uni hoping something bright would happen. Its like always repeating but Im already used to it. LOL... Make friends seems easier said than done to me.

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Snowyy

I wouldnt say the uni environment is ideal at all for making friends. It is all too impersonal and far away from personal conversation.

Different if you attended a group of 5 or 6 at a sub commityee that plans bushwalking weekenfs for students that results in you communicating after hours through text/phone etc.

I think due to young adults not getting such good opportunities you end up feeling like you have hangups, its simply rarely the case.


Hi Tony,

Thank you for your reply. You are right. That's all about the high expectations to uni. I should be considering some outside activities. Also very interested in participating some volunteer work. Hopefully will gain some skills and experience.

Community Member

I have to admit i strongly disagree with your assertion somehow life long relationships of the past are a benchmark.

In the past life expectancy of males was 40-60 years we are now looking at 80-90 years women obviously higher with greater increase.

That means 30 year marriages ofcoexistence is now stressed into volatile 60 year. I dreamed my parents would be together for-ever but my parents really went from happy to very sad and bored around 50 arguing constantly increase distant and depressed, it sounds terrible however sadly or positively my father died at age 55 from natural causes.

in life these days both men and women need to let go of the feelings of inadequacy and shameattached to separation, family members to be more supportive to decision. Look at the benchmarks being majority of years instead of marriage to death do part

Move this ol adiage indicator of success to a state we had a happy supportative collaborative prime life together.

We are successful , we are best friends but we should take pride and take seperate adventures for our overtime in life.

for all those feeling miserable in relationship please don't fear moving on. It is not some sort of failure, sure you had some great shared experiences but we all change as we grow everything that preceded that is still a success.

As far as internet dating i personally feel it ruins more lives than benefits it brings. Why? Ever noticed how everything seems so perfect and blemish free in movies let'sface it no-one ever seems to have those terrible bowel movements. Internet profile are strongly choreographed in perfect blemish free lives making our nonchoreographed real lives feel inadequate leading this sadness in manyy of us even though or lives may be perfectly equal to any one else of stature