Hey Doc, at some point next year, I plan on moving to a new city to start a graduate degree program. I’m cautiously optimistic about this, as it’ll give me a chance to create a new social network and meet more new people; however, as it stands right now, I’m lacking a social life.
I’m 27 years old and have never had a girlfriend, and I’ve also never really had a close, tightly-knit group of platonic friends; mostly acquaintances. Once I move and attempt to make closer friendships, I’ll inevitably have to admit to these people about how I’ve never really had any close friends. I know that you’ve explained that when admitting something about yourself that people may not like, such as being a virgin (which I also am), you don’t try to show that you’re embarrassed or shameful, but it’s easier said than done. Plus, people talk about their friends constantly, whether they’re old friends or current ones, and if don’t, it’ll stick out like a sore thumb. If I ever have to explain that I’ve never had much of a social life, how do I rationalize or explain it in the best possible way?
Furthermore, when attempting to build a new social circle, I’m uncertain about what ages of people (and gender, as well) to focus on meeting. I’ll be studying speech-language pathology, which is mostly girls. I know this’ll give me a great chance to practice talking to women, but I’m not certain as to how well I could relate to most of them, because I’ll be 28 when I start the program, meaning most of the girls will be much younger than me, and it won’t be as easy to relate to them, seeing as we’re in different stages in life. For the record, I want to mainly focus on building my social circle, and if a relationship develops from it, that’s great. Still, I want other friends as well outside of college. I know there are plenty of other ways to build my social circle, but it’s generally been hard for me to relate to many of my fellow millennials throughout my life. At the same time, though I always found it a little odd trying to make friends with those who are 10 or more years older than me, even though some of our interests may be more compatible. (I like a lot of older TV shows and movies, and particularly love 60s rock music that isn’t just The Beatles.) I’m sure you’ll say something like how I shouldn’t care if there winds up being a significant age difference or a significant amount of girls in my social circle, as long as there’s mutual compatibility, but how do I just stop questioning this, just go for it, and get out and meet new people without any of these thoughts creeping up in my mind?
One more thing: I’ll be where I am right now for about five or six more months before I move. I want to practice my social skills now so it’ll be easier to meet new people after I move, but since I won’t be here much longer, it’ll be hard to develop close friendships. With all of this in mind, what would be the best way to improve socially in my current locale?
Movin’ On Up