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Jen Helant
Jen Helant, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1124
Experience:  I have a degree in psychology and worked with many couples. I am happily married and have been for 10 years.
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Im 58. I have not had a close friend in over 12 years since

Resolved Question:

I'm 58. I have not had a close friend in over 12 years since my husband and I moved from my home town in Indiana to Michigan so he could take on a job. I'm not close by to family, either. I've tried making friends but have not had any luck. How can I find a real-life friend to call on, to see, to spend time with, share common interests and activities, to talk about things that matter, to be myself with that will reciprocate that same desire to call me, spend time with me, etc.. I'm really lonely and would really love to have a close friend.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Jen Helant replied 1 year ago.
I agree with you that it is difficult to find a close friend especially as an adult. This is because everyone is usually wrapped up in their own lives and family that don't make time for friends then there are others who already have friends from younger ages. It is extremely difficult when you have no family close, so understand why it is important to you to make friends.

I think you have made good attempts to make friends. You can also try maybe taking up a hobby. Something like cooking or etc. Your local library may have these classes or even a community college. Maybe you will be able to meet people there. What about a different church. Some have womens meetings or special clubs. You can switch until you find one that you are comfortable in.

You can also check online for some clubs in your area such as a running club. Instead of a gym try like a zumba or jazzexcerise. That usually is a group of women together instead of people just around doing there own thing.

Lastly I would recommend maybe you starting your own womens club for women to get together to do activities, talk, and etc. They have things like this for moms with toddlers and etc. You can start your own and put some local ads. Just be sure to start at a public place because you would not want to be alone with new people from ads just for your own protection in the "world today" until you know them better.

I hope this was helpful!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Sorry, I have tried the library book clubs, local concerts in the park, tried the hobbies idea, tried the running club, the dance and gym classes, the local senior center and meet-up groups. Nothing. The activities at the senior center don't match my interests, abilities. The meet-up groups are too far away and meet in the evenings or other inconvenient times. I've been burned by every local chuch in the area that I would consider going to. So, at this point you have not given me I haven't already tried.

Expert:  Jen Helant replied 1 year ago.
Wow, I am so sorry I couldn't help. I will remove myself to see if someone else can help you better.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


If you want to remove yourself to see if someone else can help, I hope I won't be charged just yet until someone can help me.


 


If I will be charged for sending this off to another person, let's end it here. You tried. However, you gave me ideas I have already tried.

Expert:  KansasTherapist replied 1 year ago.
Perhaps I can help. It seems you been in lots of situations where you might have made friends but it just didn't happen. You mention a couple of things that make me wonder if it's not just a matter of creating opportunities, but some other difficulty. What kinds of things went wrong in the churches you tried to join? Do you have any idea why you were excluded by your coworkers?
Expert:  Jen Helant replied 1 year ago.
No, you will not be charged twice. You made a deposit, but have not paid anyone yet. When you are satisfied with an answer then you will give a positive rating to whoever helped you and that will be when you pay!

Hope that was helpful and again sorry I did not have more ideas for you!
Jen Helant, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1124
Experience: I have a degree in psychology and worked with many couples. I am happily married and have been for 10 years.
Jen Helant and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The main problems I have run into in general, whether it was at the gym, at church, at work were: 1) I don't live close enough to them; 2) I'm not the same age; 3) we don't share the same interests or the same passions or the same or similar levels of abilities to do things together; 4) we are not free at the same times to get together for activities; 5) people I meet are already paired up, in groups or in cliques and don't want to add anybody new, including me.


At church: Went to a church where the pastor's wife moved from her hometown to MI and was unhappy about it at the same time I moved from IN to MI and was unhappy about it. Thought she could help me make the transition since she had been here awhile. Her advice: get a divorce. Got a job and my boss invited me to her church. Because the co-workers there didn't like me, she fired me. Went to a different church. Being out of a job, my pastor referred me to a busninessman who offered to help me. Long story short...this guy took me under his wing and snuffed me out emotionally and finacially by scamming me and lying to me and suing me. Found out he had done this to other people as well. My pastor supported this guy over me! Moved on to a different church after my teenage stepson with asperger syndrome moved in with us when he was13 and starting high school. Don't have kids of my own. I had hoped to meet up with the pastor, the pastor's wife and mothers of teenagers for support and help with the idea of raising a teenager. I was not pushy about it but I was still rebuffed by everbody. Tried one last church....same thing. I'm so done with churches.


 


The people I worked with either lived too far from where I worked, had their own friends and families they spent their time with, had interests different from mine. Seeing that, they rubbed it in my face when they all did things together at my exclusion making me feel bad. I wanted to go out to lunch with them. They would say we would go but when it came down to it, it never happened. The co-workers were like cliques who hung out together in and out of the office. They even did personal errands for my boss during the work day and on weekends! But I don't believe in doing that. My boss wanted me to put a webcam on my computer when my husband and I went on a cruise so she could see everything we did! I refused. I quit this job after 7 years as I could tell the co-workers had it in for me and were making me unhappy and miserable there.


 


At my gym: there are two trainers there than rule the roost there because they bring business and money into the gym by bringing in their friends. To say they are snobs is being nice. Their egos are so big. They know they are untouchable and do anything they want and decide how the gym is run because they are the moneymakers. They ignore me, snub me, do not acknowledge me because I made the mistake of questioning one of them, who used to be my trainer, why she was pushing me to lift 40-pound dumbbells right after I completed physical therapy on my shoulders. She got livid with me and replaced me with someone else in my time slot without telling me. These trainers have spread it around that I'm worth ignoring and so others don't talk to me.


 


Is this enough?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Anybody there? I first posted on Oct 3 and jenhelant responded first. She offered to have someone else help me when she didn't think she could. KansasTherapist wrote me a message asking a question. But I couldn't reply that same day. I replied to her on Oct 4 but never got an answer. Figured it she was not scheduled at that time to answer. I now got a feedback questionnaire.


 


I was hoping someone could continue working with me. Do I pick up with KansasTherapist or start with a new, third expert who is available online now?


 


I must say I'm a little confused with all the requests for providing ratings on your service. When do I rate someone's [the expert's] answer(s)? I rated jenhalent's service since she referred me to KansasTherapist. Should I have done that? Do I rate the expert's answer each time or after we're done? Does rating the expert]end our discussion and generate a fee or a questionnaire?


 


Also, I'm interested in the week of help for free but when do I accept that offer? After we finish my first discussion? If this goes well well, I'd be open to continue to the next level. Just want to understand how this works.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


HELLO?!!

Expert:  KansasTherapist replied 1 year ago.
I'm sorry that I haven't responded. I didn't see any replies from you until today. You seem to have had very bad luck in meeting people in your community. With all the problems you've had and the things you've tried, you seem pretty stuck. The one suggestion I have is to try to make on line friends. I know this isn't the same as having friends in your community but it can provide some support and companionship. Since your step son has Asperger's that could be a place to start. There are a number of support groups for parents of children with Asperger's. In addition, there are groups of every kind covering all interests. Because there are such a vast number of people from all over the world, the chances are much higher of finding a group that matches your needs.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I tried making friends online, as well.


 


I tried EONS, a site for those 50 years and older about 5 years ago. EONs shut down in May, 2012 and has not come back since. Making friends here was not the easiest. I did join some groups and did post at times but didn't have many friends there at all.


 


I also tried SparkPeople four years ago. This site is still up and am still with with them. I have a handful of friends that respond to some things some of the time. I have one person I share private messasges back and forth with but they're rather infrequent. She and one other person in particular do provide regular feedback on the friendship feed letting me know they read my updates and provide standard encouragement statements of "Way to go!". But that's about it.


I have a Facebook account. That's a joke, considering most of my friends are family and nobody even responds to anything I say or contacts me even if I contact them, so I quit. The best I have there is a niece that pokes me regularly. But there's no meaningful communication.


 


I thought of the online idea years ago when I couldn't find real life friends, hoping it would find friends who would share my interests, someone to share ideas or experiences or ask questions for feedback on things or to seek and provide encouragement and support. I did find some of that but not nearly enough. It was better than nothing but it just doesn't take the place of actually seeing someone, being with someone, hearing that person talking to you face to face or having that person calling me on the phone knowing this person thought to call me and wanted to talk to me. I miss touching that person, hugging that person, hearing the laugh or seeing the smile or tears or feeling the hug. I miss that more than I can tell you.


 


My stepson moved out 5 years ago and lives on his own. So that's no longer an issue anymore.


 


I went to a family reunion a couple of weeks ago. First one in 20 years. I'm sorry I went because all it reminded me was how I don't fit in with my family. The gathering started at 3:30 with snacks in the clubhouse. Guests arrived late. Those that knew each other stuck together to talk and eat together until dinner time at 5:30. The relatives I knew best, (my aunts and uncles) had dinner served in a private dining room. My cousins sat at tables in a separate dining room. However, my husband and I sat alone at a table because all the other tables were full. To say I was miffed, is being polite. After everybody finished dinner, in about an hour, everybody left the clubhouse to go to my aunt's house and we never had a chance to talk to anybody! They knew we couldn't stay the night. I doubt I will ever go out of my way again to drive out of town to meet with a relative. Every time I do, I regret it. In the nearly 13 years we have moved to MI, not one person has come up to visit us yet we are expected to come to see them if we want to see them. They don't call either. If I want to know what's going on, I have to make the phone calls.

Expert:  KansasTherapist replied 1 year ago.
With all the efforts you've made it seems as though there may be something in your personality that puts people off. For some people it's the expression on their face that pushes others away. For others, it's a tendency to be negative, irritable, or too needy. My suggestion at this point is that you meet with a therapist to talk about why it is so hard for you to connect with people. Even at 58 it's not too late to chance some things that can make your life better.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Wow! Wasn't expecting a reply like that. I find it interesting that because all the suggested ways to meet people have not worked out leads to conclusion that there must be something in MY personality that puts people off. Never mind the kind of people who I have run across, who have been unprofessional, rude, mean, cruel, snobbish, childish and cliquish and other inappropriate ways. Their behavior borders on bullying. Are you saying their behavior is fine? Are you saying I should just take it? Seriously?


 


There are logistics problems here as well. Not living close to people or places where things are or timing of events doesn't always allow for connections. Are you saying that I should just settle my interests to what they want for the sake of being amiable and schedule to everything everybody else wants to do when and where? I'm supposed to let others take everything I give but can't expect even common courtesy or some reciprocation or flexibility in return? It's wrong to want a give and take relationship?


 


 


You're concluding that I'm the one with the problem and that I see a therapist to work on what I'm doing to turn people away. If that's your final thought and conclusion, I guess we're done.

Expert:  KansasTherapist replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Two other points I'd like to add are:


1) there are and have been many people I wanted to be friends with that didn't want to be friends with me and there have been others that wanted to be friends with me that I didn't want to be friends with them. For one reason or another, things didn't click, no fault on either party. It does two to make a friendship.


 


2) It takes time to meet people, it takes time to build and cultivate friendships. I did not and still do not have a whole lot of time to devote to getting out meeting people much less have time for cultivating those friendships because of my job and tending to household responsibilities. I have no one to help me. I have to do it all myself. I have tried making the effort to reach out to those who expressed an interest in being my friend but these people want me to call them and do everything for them but they don't do anything in return. Talk about needy people. I cut them off.

Expert:  Josie-Mod replied 1 year ago.
Hi, I’m a Moderator for this topic. It seems the Professional has left this conversation. This happens occasionally, and it's usually because the Professional thinks that someone else might be a better match for your question. I've been working hard to find a new Professional to assist you right away, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're OK with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you. Thank you!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


If you can find someone else, I'm willing to wait. If unable to find someone, let me know and we can cancel.

 

Question:

I received a message from JustAnswer before I got your message above. It was explaining my membership plan. I didn't think I was at the point of moving on to a "membership plan" until after my question was answered first.

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought I needed to be satisfied with how an expert answered my first question. Then, I was able to have seven days of free questions and answers. After that, I could select a paid membership plan. Has my seven day free trial period started already?

Expert:  Josie-Mod replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your continued patience. We will continue the search for a Professional for you.

To better serve you, I will forward your questions regarding membership plans and free trials to Customer Service where a Representative will contact you via email.

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