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Lately I've been thinking a lot about my social life after college. Right now I have a large group of fun friends that I can hang out with almost daily, which is awesome but I'm starting to realise that probably won't last. After moving on from college and into a professional life, I know the contact with many of them will decrease and it'll become much harder to meet frequently... Not only that, I'm worried some will raise the bar even higher by prioritising their romantic partners over me. Since I don't fare well with few social interactions and feel lonely easily I'm afraid I'll be too reliant on those friends that I'll still be able to meet more often. Ideally, my social situation would stay as is with a network of friends physically close to me though I know that's not really realistic. I'm sure that instead of contuining to grow or staying the same, my social circle is only going to get smaller.

Although this isn't a direct problem at the moment, I think it's important to be aware of that fact looking forward. I know what kind of problem I might be facing and what my ideal situation for me is, I'm just lost thinking about how I can build a fullfilling social life after me and my friends from college start moving on into the next stage. Because I've chosen to not live my life according to the norm, I feel like there's no framework or examples to learn from. That's why I wanted ask for your thoughts. Knowing very few aro people it's difficult to discuss this with my friends. One of my fears is to become too emotionally reliant on only a few people especially if they're alloromantic. Now that I'm a comfortable situation I want to look ahead so I can anticipate and prevent such a scenario for their sake as well as my own.

Has anyone had a similar experience? How do you navigate your social life after college? Do you have any advice for building and retaining a strong social network as an adult? Let's talk about it.

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I am in your same boat, but slightly ahead. I graduated and now am entering into another step of my life. I want to pursue grad studies so it is not like I will leave college, but some of my close friends are entering into professional life so it is happening. 

It is very scary, because amatonormativity is very real even if allos do not see it or are not conscious of it. My words of encouragement are that, even though it's scary as hell, it is a natural process that would have happened even if you weren't aro. People move on with their life, but that doesn't mean its all over. It is up to you to determine if you want to continue to cultivate the bonds you have formed. 

Each week, try to make them do one activity together. Even if you aren't physically close, a call or playing an online game together helps a lot. My friends and I separate 2-3 hours per Friday or Sunday to see anime or series. You can do something like that, and customize it to your groups of friends.

Maybe it will be hard, and some may give up on it, but don't let it put you down. Continue to try, and it isn't like you will not meet new people in this new step of your life ^^ new people are scary but you may find great friends within them. 

Changes will happen, and it is good to be prepared for them, but don't let it stress you out too much. Talk with your friends, and together come with a plan. I believe is possible, even with allos. Make them see that friendship is just as fulfilling as relationships, because both are valid and there is no hierarchy.

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While I never had many friends (I think out of everyone I only talk to one person from back at university and thats someone I got to know from a society XD)

I guess the general idea is though to get involved in lots of things and broaden your circle. Even if they don't become ur immediate friends just getting out there is important I think.

I think though good friends do make quality time for each other even while in relationships tho it depends on how much they can take, how they organise things. And even if things quieten out have opportunities to reestablish contact. Having breaks is okay. Not everyone just locks themselves away with their romantic partner or only wants to talk to other couples, and I think its unhealthy if u give 100 per cent attention to one relationship especially to think what if it goes wrong?

I mean lots of older adults do have friends too which they meet up regularly. And there are always single ppl who are often much more involved in their community, people go up and down and cycle through relationships. 

I don't think however just spending time alone sometimes is bad, it's kinda nice to be alone with your thoughts or go in nature. 

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I think it's good you're thinking about this. I agree that we must reflect more on what we need since there are no frames for us to go by.

How do you feel about coliving with others? Is that an option where you live and something you'd be open to? That could be a good way for you to ensure you have friendships close by.

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Thank you all for the responses!

On 6/9/2021 at 6:39 AM, Blake said:

I am in your same boat, but slightly ahead. I graduated and now am entering into another step of my life. I want to pursue grad studies so it is not like I will leave college, but some of my close friends are entering into professional life so it is happening. 

It is very scary, because amatonormativity is very real even if allos do not see it or are not conscious of it. My words of encouragement are that, even though it's scary as hell, it is a natural process that would have happened even if you weren't aro. People move on with their life, but that doesn't mean its all over. It is up to you to determine if you want to continue to cultivate the bonds you have formed. 

Each week, try to make them do one activity together. Even if you aren't physically close, a call or playing an online game together helps a lot. My friends and I separate 2-3 hours per Friday or Sunday to see anime or series. You can do something like that, and customize it to your groups of friends.

Maybe it will be hard, and some may give up on it, but don't let it put you down. Continue to try, and it isn't like you will not meet new people in this new step of your life ^^ new people are scary but you may find great friends within them. 

Changes will happen, and it is good to be prepared for them, but don't let it stress you out too much. Talk with your friends, and together come with a plan. I believe is possible, even with allos. Make them see that friendship is just as fulfilling as relationships, because both are valid and there is no hierarchy.

I'm actually just finishing up my master's so I know what you're talking about. It's not the same once you don't follow the same courses anymore right. Like you mentioned, I think many allo people aren't aware or don't care because they pursue romantic partners, which is why I try to talk about it more openly with my friends to make them realise. Even when someone is in a romantic relationship I still think friendships are important and I hope they (will start to) feel the same way. Having regular meetings sounds like a good idea! I hope you can meet lots of new people through your studies btw ^^

On 6/9/2021 at 12:47 PM, mewix said:

While I never had many friends (I think out of everyone I only talk to one person from back at university and thats someone I got to know from a society XD)

I guess the general idea is though to get involved in lots of things and broaden your circle. Even if they don't become ur immediate friends just getting out there is important I think.

I think though good friends do make quality time for each other even while in relationships tho it depends on how much they can take, how they organise things. And even if things quieten out have opportunities to reestablish contact. Having breaks is okay. Not everyone just locks themselves away with their romantic partner or only wants to talk to other couples, and I think its unhealthy if u give 100 per cent attention to one relationship especially to think what if it goes wrong?

I mean lots of older adults do have friends too which they meet up regularly. And there are always single ppl who are often much more involved in their community, people go up and down and cycle through relationships. 

I don't think however just spending time alone sometimes is bad, it's kinda nice to be alone with your thoughts or go in nature. 

I completely agree with your way of thinking. I'm definitely thinking about joining multiple sports or social clubs once I get into the workplace. Having friends with a similar mindset would be great, but unfortunately I feel not many of my friends have seriously considered the significance of platonic relationships before. As I said I'm gonna try to put in the work and share my viewpoint with them more. Still, I'd love to have a few people in my life who share the same orientation as me so we could see eye to eye more naturally like this.

2 hours ago, Holmbo said:

I think it's good you're thinking about this. I agree that we must reflect more on what we need since there are no frames for us to go by.

How do you feel about coliving with others? Is that an option where you live and something you'd be open to? That could be a good way for you to ensure you have friendships close by.

Thank you for hearing me. Many people I talk to irl tell me I'm worrying too much or being to dramatic when discussing this topic, when for me it's only natural to think more about how to manage the social relationships in the future like you say. As far as cohabitation goes, I'm probably forced to get a roommate either way because of the economic situation in my country, there's not really an option to completely live alone. Having said that, unless it's with a serious life partner or something like that, I wouldn't want to move in with any of my friends. This is because I'm worried our relationship might sour through increased interactions and daily annoyances. I'd rather someone who's a roommate from the start than one of my friends also becoming a roommate if that makes sense lol. It's like when you travel with someone you're more likely to get into fights and irrated with each other, I'd like to avoid that with my current friends. Do you live with others by any chance?

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Well, I can't give you advice because...i'm behind you.  I still live with family, but hopefully will be going off to school in the Spring.  However, I do question whether our current model of the nuclear family is really healthy.  Wouldn't co-housing situations be emotionally healthier for everyone, not just aromantics?

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@Hirune
 I live with a friend atm and it's also partly because of conviniense because I don't want to look for something more permanent until covid is over and I know more of what my needs will be a normal day. 

 

I think my ideal situation would be if I could buy a really large apartment and start my own communal living. But I can't afford it in this city. So the other option would be finding an existing community and move in there. I'm a bit torn of that's what I want to do or just buy my own place which is "the normal thing".

 

Sometimes I worry that my want of living communally is more of a reactionary thing than something that would genuinely increase my quality of life. I generally like to go against the grain, so maybe I don't want to live alone just cause that's what's expected.

 

Anyways maybe some kind of communal living could be for you? Since then there won't be the friction of just one or two people. I also totally get what you mean about the danger of living with friends. It might be too much time together. Better to get new people and form new relationships with them. For me, the friend I'm living with now wasn't someone I was close with before moving in. He was almost more an acquaintance.

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