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Meeting people?
October 2, 2009 5:49 PM   Subscribe

How do I meet people in this somewhat unique situation? I know this has been addressed over and over, and all over google, but I like to think my situation is somewhat unique. It probably isnt!

I am essentially at a loss. I'm a 22 year old guy and frankly I feel lost.

Me: 22, no college education. Recently out of a relationship, which lasted 6+ years and all my friends are tied to essentially.

Great - so just go out and meet people, right? Not entirely. I work on a military base job-wise. My entire peer group there is easily 20+ years over me, all have families, etc - theyre at a different point in their life.

With that said, where I live is also basically on top of said military base, and well - in all honesty, there is not much of a social scene around here in my observation.

Any suggestions where to turn? I've tried to find dance classes, tried the two shitty bars we've got here, and tried to find people on meetup.com

Dont get me wrong, its not a small town either, but it is all military families and thats about it, leaving me in an awkward spot.
posted by yarrr to Society & Culture (24 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Have you considered moving?
posted by dzaz at 6:13 PM on October 2, 2009


Why are you staying there?
posted by aburd at 6:24 PM on October 2, 2009


Definitely consider moving. There are so many wonderful places in this country, and there's no reason to stay somewhere if you're not happy.

Feeling lost? Find yourself somewhere else! You're in Virginia, right? Pittsburgh is a cool town these days. That was my first big city move. Or, what about Florida? Seattle is an amazing city. Then again, I know people who've moved to Nashville and love it.

Best of luck.
posted by 2oh1 at 6:30 PM on October 2, 2009


Move somewhere where you can find a job and where there is a state college you can attend. You seem sensitive to the fact that you don't have a college education. This time in your life, when you are still young and unattached, is the time to continue your education. And you will meet an entire new pool of potential friends in college. And develop additional job skills, and then you will eventually find a relationship and get a better job and live happily ever after!!
posted by DMelanogaster at 6:44 PM on October 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


The trick is to expect only acquaintances as you pursue things that make your life better. Then out of that, friends naturally appear.
posted by beingresourceful at 6:53 PM on October 2, 2009


Don't be afraid to make friends with the married folks! In a lot of military families, the non-active duty spouse works off-base and may be a great connection to the rest of town. Where in VA are you?
posted by juliplease at 6:58 PM on October 2, 2009


Oh. mah. gawd. You need to get you to a school posthaste. I'm actually a little jealous of the great life you're going to have after you pick up, move to $town_of_dreams, and start school — even if it's "just" community college for the first couple of years.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 7:04 PM on October 2, 2009


Unfortunately, moving is not really a valid option. I've got a mortgage on the property, and its not one that is going to sell. It was purchased while in a relationship with the intention to settle down, and out of the breakup the place is mine. Moving is not possible with the current economy, if you know what I mean.

That, and my job is a very, very good one. It's basically _the_ job which will make my career. It's with a top-tier federal contractor, resulting in my security clearance, and a number other huge boons for me - I assure you the position is too go to pass up or move away from.

I know it sounds like a cop-out, but both are entirely true, and I see no real way to dodge either.
posted by yarrr at 7:14 PM on October 2, 2009


Can you give us some clue as to where you are? City/region? People might be able to suggest some specific local activities.
posted by procrastination at 7:32 PM on October 2, 2009


Sure. I'm between Fredericksburg and Woodbridge, but kindof in the middle of nowhere area westish.
posted by yarrr at 7:33 PM on October 2, 2009


If you work where I think you work, I agree, not much out there. My specific recommendation is to check out the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton. It has quite a number of events. While I'm not sure what sort of age group attends these events, it's a start and it's a lot closer for you than, say, D.C.

My general recommendations is just to talk to people -- or even just interact with them. Don't worry so much about making friends. Just talking -- like at a bookstore or even the grocery store or whatever. And then as time goes on, you get more comfortable doing it.

I know you say you can't move, but if you like the job and the general region, it's something to work toward. If you go a bit further north, you'd be closer to nightlife and such (and reverse commuting is awesome!).
posted by darksong at 7:56 PM on October 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh Dude! You totally do live in the middle of nowhere. You've just got to wait it out. Life will bring people your way.

You just ended a six year relationship that began when you were a teenager. I think that's the catch, here. It's going to take a while for your social world to catch up with that big of a transition.
posted by dchrssyr at 8:06 PM on October 2, 2009


Meeting friends after school (college or not) is difficult, IMO. I personally have a lot of people I know and am friendly with, but none are close friends. I know that you're only 22 and without kids/wife, but that doesn't mean you can't be friends with these other co-workers (if you like them). We're having a kick-ass Halloween party, and there will be people ranging from 21 to their 60s. Likewise, one of my mom's best friends is younger than I am!!

If that doesn't fly for you, make your own meetup group or volunteer for something that you're interested in.
posted by texas_blissful at 8:17 PM on October 2, 2009


Thanks for the insight thus far. Lorton is not too terribly far, but I'm not too big into the arts - I lived next to the Workhosue when it was being built - definitely not my thing, but I have checked it out.

I wont argue that social life is going to take some time to catch up with my life situation - but what I'm trying to do is pre-empt it. Not in a significant manner, but here I am on a Friday night in front of the computer - thats what I'd like to work towards avoiding :)
posted by yarrr at 8:56 PM on October 2, 2009


Ask to meet your colleague's local kids/cousins. Don't look for mrs. yarrrr. Just meet people and be less concerned that they're perfect for you.
posted by filmgeek at 9:11 PM on October 2, 2009


I'm going to go 100% out on a limb here and say that sometimes being in front of the computer on a Friday night isn't so bad.

I ended up taking the second half of my bachelors degree using online classes (NOT U of Phoenix) because my job schedule was random month-to-month, and because I worked a lot of 3-10 or 3-11 shifts (with trips to the gym and homework beforehand), I never wanted to go out afterward and tended to go home and sit on my butt.

So, I started playing games online. Counterstrike, Team Fortress 2, World of Warcraft... and I "met" a ton of people that way. When you're in a raid for hours at a time with people just as nerdy as you are... well, you tend to talk about stuff other than the game, and when you play with the same people for 2 years plus, you kinda get to liking some of them, too.

You'll also be surprised at how many people in your area you meet as well.

Granted, it's not everyone's cup of tea, but I sure have made a handful of friends and a few -really good- friends whom I talk to regularly and have met in person. People are people no matter how you meet them, yeah?

I hope everything works out!
posted by Verdandi at 9:12 PM on October 2, 2009


I agree with filmgeek. Those folks you work with who are old enough to be your parents must have kids and nieces your age. Tell them you are single again. They will introduce you in a NY minute.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:01 PM on October 2, 2009


Seconding Verdandi to consider taking some online courses or even an only degree - you have free time, so this is a great way to use it. Also, since the courses are cheaper than enrolling in college full time, you can explore lots of different areas before picking something you really like.
posted by Spacelegoman at 10:32 PM on October 2, 2009


only=online
posted by Spacelegoman at 10:32 PM on October 2, 2009


Fight for your old friends, man, I bet a bunch of them will still be willing to hang out with you after SIX years. You might be embarrassed or afraid that they will reject you, but fuck it, they're your friends too.
posted by kathrineg at 11:05 PM on October 2, 2009


are there any community or tech colleges in the area? see if the gov. will pay you to get some form of professional degree.

oh yeah, and also what kathrineg says - don't give up on your old friends just yet
posted by Think_Long at 7:57 AM on October 3, 2009


Of the old friends, a couple of us do still hang out, actually. Theyre busy people too, and hang out with my ex as well still, and while we're civil, I do avoid those outings. Leaves a lot of free time nonetheless.

Not like they were insta-gone, but it is a cut to the frequency. Matter of fact, I'm playing disc golf with a friend today. Just trying to expand that social circle still.

There are community colleges around, but are a hefty drive from where I'm at. I'll probably enroll for spring nonetheless, at least a class or two.

Insight very helpful still. Thank you all.

Also! Per the computer gaming and all that - thats what I grew up on, and am trying to avoid that. Nothing wrong with it, but not what I want to do :)
posted by yarrr at 8:39 AM on October 3, 2009


You aren't that far out in the middle of nowhere. I was thinking you were probably at Fort Pickett. DC isn't that far away. I would look for social groups that do daytime weekend activities there. Assuming you are a M-F 9 to 5 schedule you can get up there and back and still meet people. Of look for open activities at Mary Washington or other colleges around. Not social events, as that will be weird, but if you can find sporting clubs or other groups that do what you like you can make friends that way. You are definitely going to have to be doing the one doing the traveling, but it is only an hour or so to get places where there is more.
posted by procrastination at 9:11 AM on October 3, 2009


Picking up on the online degree idea, can you just enroll for a course or two while you have a lot of free time and get some credits going for yourself? Do you think you'd feel you're making some initial progress toward your bachelor's degree in that way? (I get the idea now that you can't move away).

You could be using some of your free sitting-at-home time to work toward something that you'll be proud of later.
posted by DMelanogaster at 6:03 AM on October 4, 2009


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