Creating a Support Network as a Single Adult

Creating a Support Network as a Single Adult

Relationships Women

When I moved out of New York City, leaving all of the friends and activities I’d been involved with for the past 15 or so years, to live “down the shore”, I realized pretty quickly that I was starving for friendships. Being the enterprising sort, I started looking for ways to meet “my tribe” – people who shared similar values. I came across almost immediately a pocket of holistic professionals and started to attend their events. I befriended three women who I felt I had known my whole life – they were the kind of people who I would have been roommates with had we gone to college together.

That was two years ago. We’ve seen each other three times since. We’re “friends,” butnot quite friends. We keep trying to get over the hump, but life gets in the way.

My story is not unusual. In our 30s and even in our 40s, new people enter our lives through work, children’s play dates and of course, Facebook. But actual close friends – like the ones you make in college or the kind you call in a crisis – those are in shorter supply.

As people approach midlife, the days of youthful exploration, of making friends wherever you go, fade as our work schedules compress our leisure time, priorities change and people often become pickier in what they want in their friends. After a certain age, people fall into a sense of fatalism, thinking that the opportunities for making BFFs the way we did in our teens or college years is pretty much over – that it’s time to resign yourself to situational friends or kind-of-friends.

People also often don’t realize how much they’ve neglected to replenish their stable of friends as the years progress –until they encounter a big life event, like a move, or a divorce. Then most wrestle with their sense of sheer loneliness and regret over not nurturing their friendships.

That thought struck me few months ago when I was contemplating organizing one of my (previously) renowned “Virgo-a-go-go’s” for my birthday. (Back in the day, I would often host some sort of blow-out birthday party at a favorite bar in New York, where my friends and I would gather and celebrate – often until dawn. And yes, you guessed it – I’m a Virgo.) But I realized that even though I have 926 Facebook friends, I still didn’t know if I could fill my party’s invitation list.

Many of my clients are also facing the same situation. In fact, after a divorce in his early 40s, one of my clients, Robert, a public relations executive, realized that his roster of friends had quietly atrophied for years as he focused on his career and family. “All of a sudden, as someone who became suddenly single, I realized I was lonely,” said Robert, now nearing 50. “I’d go to swing dance lessons. Instead of trying to pick up women, I’d introduce myself to the men and suggest ‘Hey, let’s go get a drink.’”

The benefits of having a strong support network is endless* yet these days, our lifestyle conditions have changed to such an extent that it becomes tougher to meet the three conditions that sociologists since the 1950s have considered crucial to making close friends: proximityrepeated interactions; and a setting that encourages people to let their guard down and confide in each other.

With that in mind, I’m creating live-and-in-person opportunities for people to connect and form friendships while learning key life skills that will in the end help them create a life they love. I’m also offering a teleseminar on this subject that will give you the know-how to create a support community wherever you may live. Check out my Upcoming Events section to learn more. And over the course of the next few blog casts, I‘ll share with you some ideas on how to form new friendships and nurture them, no matter how busy you are or how introverted. Stay Tuned!

* Check out my teleseminar on this topic to learn more about the benefits of strong networks: http://aurorasana.wordpress.com/events/

Ask the Coach: Isn’t Relationship Coaching Nothing More Than Snake Oil?

Ask the Coach: Isn’t Relationship Coaching Nothing More Than Snake Oil?

Ask the Coach Courage Freedom Self Esteem Women

Dear Coach Linda:
Forgive me for being blunt, but what do you think you’re doing here on Meet Up.com, promoting yourself as a relationship coach? You are nothing more than a snake oil salesman, out to make a buck. – Jim

Hi Jim,
I’m curious about how vehemently you are opposed to relationship coaching – I assume stems from your concern about people being taken advantage of, especially those who have recently gone through a divorce and may be feeling vulnerable, hurt, and lonely. If this is true, then I appreciate your desire to protect people from vultures.

But I whole-heartedly disagree with you about relationship coaching being nothing more than snake oil. Here’s why. Continue reading

“Survey Says!”…dating & relationship statistics

Attitudes Dating Dating Skills Fulfillment Goals Planning Relationships Solutions Women

Because I am a research geek (I love surveys and statistics), I was cruising around the interwebs, looking to see if I could find any recent stats on Singles in the U.S. I found a site that I’ve now bookmarked, statisticbrain.com, just in case I have the urge to know more about how many people visit national parks and things like that. They did have a pretty cool table that highlighted findings from a survey chronicled in a book called Sex in America, A Definitive Survey. As you can surmise, researchers like clarity, even in their book titles. I’m summarizing the stats that I found super-interesting here – some of which I think you should consider as you map out your scouting strategies – and of course, Continue reading

Women ~ get your shields up … ?

Dating Dating Skills Relationships Uncategorized Women

Advocating for the safety of women doesn’t mean that men suck

Shields Up! (Is this what he meant?)

Shields Up! (Is this what he meant?)

The other day I posted to my Google+ account a clip by Louis CK (see here) in which he marveled at straight women’s willingness to continue dating men, considering that men are the leading cause of death to women. This post started to get some commentary from men who felt defensive, claiming that I was contributing to the problem because I was advising women to “shield up” by painting all men as Continue reading