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Hows your 'Friends' count?

Hows your 'Friends' count?

Old Feb 6th 2020, 7:59 am
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Default Hows your 'Friends' count?

After reading two articles ( one in the papers and one in a magazine) about how important friends are to one's well being and mental health .I wondered how that panned out for the average ex-pat? Have you managed to surround yourselves with real friends ? or just passing acquaintances?. Have you managed to hang on to old friends ,even as far back as school friends Have you indeed made friends with people from a different nationality ?

In my case I only hear from old friends ( school,Uni etc ) at Christmas .Our lives have sadly diverged so much we now have little in common anymore
I am still very much in touch with two American friends from my NL days ,and one Danish friend . My Dutch friends have not kept in touch since I left..no doubt seeing no point in it.
My best friends are two English couples I met in NL ,one of which we see once a year, the other comes here regularly . and my cousin who also comes regularly

Making friends here in Portugal has been somewhat mixed..On the face of it easy to do ,so many clubs to join etc. but there is also a sort of 'snow bird' mentality floating about. People come and go at will. cherry picking what they will join in with and what they won't. The closest we have made are two couples we play golf with .
As to family ! In my case ,forget it. They have never supported our being abroad ,only two members visiting us in NL over 20 yrs ago. If we wish to see them we have to go to the UK. seems to be the attitude
Whats your experience ? and do you agree that it has affected your wellbeing, mental health !
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Old Feb 6th 2020, 9:17 am
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Default Re: Hows your 'Friends' count?

Our experience is much the same as yours GeniB.Our only family we regularly see is are daughter a few times a year.Oh god yes mother once a year phew.The brits we have meet come and go usually leavinging a bad taste we avoid groups of brits because of the back stabbing talking and gossiping behind your back.We found a few older ones latched on as we were seen as helpers and carers.we have a few close friends and quite a few foreign friends which is more than i need.my mental health has not been affected at all as i am happy to be here in spain.we now choose new friends slowly and carefully.
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Old Feb 6th 2020, 9:39 am
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Default Re: Hows your 'Friends' count?

I forgot to say one friend of many i hope on BE is bevs but haven't seen or heard from her in a while is bevs ok or just taking a break anyone know.Hope all is good bevs
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Old Feb 6th 2020, 11:51 am
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Default Re: Hows your 'Friends' count?

I have been very fortunate to have made some great friends here in Australia. I have kept in touch with a couple of people from prior to the move but surprisingly not the ones I thought I would have. Three of the best friends I've had in my 50+ years are people I met here on BE. We've supported each other through some really tough times (they've mostly supported me) and have had some incredible laughs.
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Old Feb 6th 2020, 2:01 pm
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Default Re: Hows your 'Friends' count?

Originally Posted by GeniB View Post
.... As to family ! In my case ,forget it. They have never supported our being abroad ,...
If I was related to you, I would support you being abroad. .... Of course if you were related to me you would probably want to leave the country.
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Old Feb 6th 2020, 2:36 pm
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Default Re: Hows your 'Friends' count?

I'm still in touch with a handful of friends I went to school with. Some I've known as long as 36 years, most of them 21 years from secondary school. Of course, it's mostly digitally in touch but I do have a friend from school up in Canada that I've gone to visit a few times.

I have a few friends here, mostly people who were already friends with my wife, most of whom I see infrequently, a few more often. I don't do well in enormous groups anyway, so that suits me fine, and I don't go out much as it is because skiving around the house is infinitely more fun

There are a lot of people at work who I like but I don't know if I'd necessarily call us 'friends', even though I see them every day.
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Old Feb 6th 2020, 2:43 pm
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Default Re: Hows your 'Friends' count?

Since moving to the UK, I have mainly kept in touch with my friends online. Its only been 2 almost 3 weeks.
I was suppose to go to a girls coffee thing but in the end I slept in.. So welp..
My husband wants me to go to "church" with him but I wont do it as I left a cult and now I cant stand the thought of organized religion.
Anywho, He states that I can make loads of friends there but Im not down for that. I want to meet people organically. So I do go out on my own.
I got a library card now hehe.. They have a few groups there. Ive noticed the brits arent as friendly and approachable but I'm not giving up.
My cousins and I stay in constant contact via whatsapp video calls.
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Old Feb 6th 2020, 2:50 pm
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Default Re: Hows your 'Friends' count?

Originally Posted by LARAHTX View Post
Since moving to the UK, I have mainly kept in touch with my friends online. Its only been 2 almost 3 weeks.
I was suppose to go to a girls coffee thing but in the end I slept in.. So welp..
My husband wants me to go to "church" with him but I wont do it as I left a cult and now I cant stand the thought of organized religion.
Anywho, He states that I can make loads of friends there but Im not down for that. I want to meet people organically. So I do go out on my own.
I got a library card now hehe.. They have a few groups there. Ive noticed the brits arent as friendly and approachable but I'm not giving up.
My cousins and I stay in constant contact via whatsapp video calls.
Brits are friendly when you get to know them a bit better. I can often come across as mean simply because I'm quiet but once I'm comfortable with a person I'm really very nice. Introversion doesn't mean isolation, it just means we prefer to recharge on our own. Not that all British people are introverts but it can explain an apparent aloofness.

I'm not a religious person anymore so I can't really say if your husband's idea is good or not. Libraries are great places though, and some of the groups there might be a nice way to meet people. Not sure if it's your thing or not but I used to do a lot of community theatre before I left Ireland and I made a bunch of great friends doing that.
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Old Feb 6th 2020, 2:57 pm
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Default Re: Hows your 'Friends' count?

Originally Posted by SultanOfSwing View Post
Brits are friendly when you get to know them a bit better. I can often come across as mean simply because I'm quiet but once I'm comfortable with a person I'm really very nice. Introversion doesn't mean isolation, it just means we prefer to recharge on our own. Not that all British people are introverts but it can explain an apparent aloofness.

I'm not a religious person anymore so I can't really say if your husband's idea is good or not. Libraries are great places though, and some of the groups there might be a nice way to meet people. Not sure if it's your thing or not but I used to do a lot of community theatre before I left Ireland and I made a bunch of great friends doing that.

I notice that if i get them talking about something they like or have in their hands they tend to open up. then you have those that just stand around and listen to your conversation and dont join in. its ok. I will persevere. hehe. I'm hella friendly and polite. Its a southern thing.

I am not religious at all so I can say its a bad idea. The whole condition of only being friends because your in this religion but if you leave they shun you kinda throws me off. Its mainly old people that I have met. Which i dont mind because it makes me think of my grandma and i figure they have loads of wisdom to offer.

Broooo!!! I got a letterman in theater in highschool. It was my shiiiii. I love acting and building sets.
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Old Feb 6th 2020, 3:03 pm
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Default Re: Hows your 'Friends' count?

Originally Posted by LARAHTX View Post
I notice that if i get them talking about something they like or have in their hands they tend to open up. then you have those that just stand around and listen to your conversation and dont join in. its ok. I will persevere. hehe. I'm hella friendly and polite. Its a southern thing.
Even after 15 years here, and living in the north to boot (though the Midwest is the 'south' of the 'north' eh), it can still be jarring when people I have just met are overly friendly or open with me . It is just a cultural thing but they will warm up to you over time. It certainly isn't because they don't like you, though.

Originally Posted by LARAHTX View Post
I am not religious at all so I can say its a bad idea. The whole condition of only being friends because your in this religion but if you leave they shun you kinda throws me off. Its mainly old people that I have met. Which i dont mind because it makes me think of my grandma and i figure they have loads of wisdom to offer.
I get it. My churchy days were in my teens anyway, I made a lot of good friends at the youth groups but we were all only there to try to pull anyway, so the religious connection was incidental. I haven't lost any friends since becoming an atheist either, and nonreligious people are a lot more common in the UK than the US anyway, so it shouldn't be a big deal.

Originally Posted by LARAHTX View Post
Broooo!!! I got a letterman in theater in highschool. It was my shiiiii. I love acting and building sets.
Perfect. Go look for drama groups in your area, audition for a few plays if you feel like it, or get involved behind the scenes, but you absolutely will make friends there.
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Old Feb 6th 2020, 3:13 pm
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Default Re: Hows your 'Friends' count?

Originally Posted by LARAHTX View Post
Ive noticed the brits arent as friendly and approachable but I'm not giving up.
As someone who moved from Australia to the UK (and back again), I can honestly tell you that British people make wonderful, loyal friends. Sure, they may come across as being a little reserved initially if you're used to something different, but I don't see that as a bad thing, quite the reverse. A friendship formed in five minutes isn't a true friendship, it's an acquaintance. It takes time and shared experiences to form a lasting friendship, ones that will go the distance and that you know you can count on to be there for you no matter what.
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Old Feb 6th 2020, 3:14 pm
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Default Re: Hows your 'Friends' count?

Originally Posted by SultanOfSwing View Post
I'm still in touch with a handful of friends I went to school with. Some I've known as long as 36 years, most of them 21 years from secondary school. Of course, it's mostly digitally in touch ....

I have a few friends here, mostly people who were already friends with my wife, most of whom I see infrequently, a few more often. I don't do well in enormous groups anyway, so that suits me fine, .....

There are a lot of people at work who I like but I don't know if I'd necessarily call us 'friends', even though I see them every day.
It's just about the same for me.
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Old Feb 6th 2020, 3:15 pm
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Default Re: Hows your 'Friends' count?

Originally Posted by spouse of scouse View Post
As someone who moved from Australia to the UK (and back again), I can honestly tell you that British people make wonderful, loyal friends. .....
Whereas Australians are crabby and judgemental.
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Old Feb 6th 2020, 3:16 pm
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Default Re: Hows your 'Friends' count?

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
It's just about the same for me.
It's nice. I have just the right amount of friends that I don't feel overwhelmed, but enough that I know I have someone to hang out with if I so desire.

Oh I forgot about my soccer team (and the parents/coaches in my daughter's soccer club) too. I'd count a lot of them as friends.
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Old Feb 6th 2020, 3:23 pm
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Default Re: Hows your 'Friends' count?

Originally Posted by spouse of scouse View Post
As someone who moved from Australia to the UK (and back again), I can honestly tell you that British people make wonderful, loyal friends. Sure, they may come across as being a little reserved initially if you're used to something different, but I don't see that as a bad thing, quite the reverse. A friendship formed in five minutes isn't a true friendship, it's an acquaintance. It takes time and shared experiences to form a lasting friendship, ones that will go the distance and that you know you can count on to be there for you no matter what.

This. The British are not bubbly, as a rule, and relationships are formed over time and the things not said (because you don't have to) are more important than the things that are said.

We aren't unfriendly, it's just different and US/UK culture shock is much bigger than people think it's going to be because we more or less share a language. You have to allow for the fact that the words may be the same but the meanings are not, necessarily.
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