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I really don’t understand how adults have friends most of the time. Just scraping by requires constant work. When do they have time to do anything? Especially if they have kids. I guess if you have a job that pays really well you can go out and do stuff, but the only people I’ve ever seen actually doing that are doctors. One of my old friends was talking about how he doesn’t have any friends in his actual vicinity. He just talks to people he knows who live far away sometimes.
My mother is getting pretty desperate for me to find some kind of mate & it’s like how? I don’t do anything but make this comic, draw things for money, play a very minimal amount of video games, make long rants on Discord, & sometimes obsess about collecting junk. Almost all the time I’m thinking about work I need to do, or doing that work, while finding new work to do. I don’t have time to dick around getting to know someone who doesn’t already have a laser focused understanding of who they are, & what they want. For my part I’m resigned to doing this until I drop dead. It doesn’t bother me all that much because I know there’s not a lot that can be done to stop it. I dont want to do anything else. If anyone wants to get on board they have to also get on board with the fact that I’m going to make comics to the exclusion of almost everything else. Other people are more worried about me than I am because I see the inevitability of the future.

My one friend just had a kid & he works all night, comes home, watches the baby all day while his wife works, then goes to work again. I don’t know how he lives like that. Even I have to stop to sleep sometime. He’s just squeezing it in whenever. It’s brutal. He just does it with barely a complaint. Then again he’s the second toughest person I know so maybe he’s not a good yardstick to judge other humans by.

I remember back in my retail days the time just dragging on, and on, and on. It felt like I was at work every day for a million years. Now I work twice as many hours & it’s always like no time has passed at all. I start doing stuff on Monday & suddenly it’s Friday. Time just rockets past at some kind of warp speed & I can never get enough done. Where do you stick another human in to that? I have no idea.


As someone who works as a package handler at FedEx, takes care of his dad and the house, all the while trying to hold mental stability in check, I can relate. I don’t even have the time to play video games as much as I used to as I’m busy collecting paychecks and keeping the house in good order.

But, sometimes, you can find a cavity in your schedule that you can exploit for “me” time as life schedules aren’t always that arbitrary. Sometimes, things happen that may get you that extra bit of time to relax such as getting things done ahead of schedule, change of plans by your clients/family/friends etc.

It happens, not as much when you’re a working man, but it happens.

When I was in high school, I was a nerd, and nerds weren’t remotely cool. I didn’t get even a single date as such.

In my third month of college I met someone and we went on not-a-date to an arcade to play video games. The more time I spent with her the better I liked her and the cuter I found her. I asked her out on an actual date. Long story short: we’ve been married for three decades now.

So I consider myself very, very lucky. But I also am missing a whole chunk of the typical experience: I don’t have any ex-girlfriends, I’ve never gone through a breakup, and I don’t feel qualified to give any advice about anything.

But they say that there’s someone out there for everyone, and I was lucky enough to find mine. I hope you will be similarly lucky as well.

You write your characters and I believe you when you say they represent parts of you. Based on what you are putting into your comic, I think you must be a person worth spending time with in real life, or at minimum someone with the potential to be worth spending time with.

The only advice I can think of to give you is to get out and meet people somehow. I recognize that this implies your health needs to improve. I’m not a doctor but I am competent to give some basic advice on simple ways to exercise, and if you ever want to get any advice from me just say the word. (Note: I’m a big believer in finding something healthy to do that you will actually enjoy, not in gritting your teeth and suffering because it’s Good For You.)

Best wishes from a fan.

“They say there’s someone out there for everyone.”

I assure you, they lie.

Yeah, I don’t buy that, either.

I’m hard to live with, and never did understand how people can manage to have a life and a nonslacker job at the same time.

I know the problem is me, but pretending to be somebody else breaks down eventually.

Unfortunately, I suspect mine is a yak herder in Nepal. I do not live in Nepal(or know if yaks are indigenous there.)

For info: yaks are local to Nepal, met a guy from there and he misses his morning tea made with yaks’ milk. Apparently it is pink. Not making that up.
Like Edward, I was a runt in school. Worse I was a dweeb/dork. Even the kids who knew me because our parent were friends didn’t want to be friends. Junior year a Geek asked me (dweeb) if I wanted to come to a party. Very long/cut short, 26 of the geeks, dweebs, and nerds formed a clique and invited whom we damn well wanted to. ‘S far as I know, no one got ‘lucky’, but at least two couples married right after graduation. Couldn’t get a steady girl until I went on one of those “personal growth intensives” weekend. Figured out how NOT to be a dork, …was still a dweeb, and accepted that. Six months later, engaged, 18 months later married for life. (So far). So if you are not married by the time you are 35, there is plenty of hope, yet. Don’t give up the ship. Keep your nose to the grind-stone, your shoulder to the wheel, your ear to the track, your eyes open, your hand on the plow, and try to work like that…

It’s sort of strange; I don’t know whether I pity you or envy you. I work full time but that’s it; I’m full of free time. Time to sit around in self-pity, to feel lonely, to wish things were different. I don’t feel well enough to do more than what I do (I was going to the gym before covid, at least), so I just drift. I force myself to play videogames so I don’t sit and stew in my own thoughts.

I think, perhaps, that people used to have a sort of automatic understanding of life, picking it up from their culture; men worked, and were friends with their coworkers, and sought a future mother-of-their-children. Women looked for a husband to make into a father, stayed at home with the kids, and made friends with the neighbors. I’m not saying that was better, but I think it was easier; your friends were almost forced on you, but perhaps that wasn’t as strange back then because you didn’t have much exposure to other ideas or ways of living anyway, so everyone around you ate the same food, went to the same church, lived the same life. Now, I have neighbors that don’t even speak the same language as I do, and others who do but are so different from my normal that they may as well be Martians. It’s a hunt to even find someone like one’s self these days. If it wasn’t for the internet allowing us to at least talk to distant friends and those who at least share our hobbies, I think we’d all have gone mad by now.

Or maybe that’s why we all are…..did you see that caterpillar with the bong….

The caterpiller was smoking a hookah. I guess you could say it’s like a bong, functionally very similar, just different in construction, portability, and expression.

Wikipedia says,…and who knows if their info is accurate-
that some people use hookahs with- tobacco, flavored tobacco, + sometimes cannabis or hashish. Also, in [older times?], some put opium in their hookahs.

It’s unknown to me what the grasshopper was smoking, but- since he was in a kid’s book, I’m guessing [it?] was a tobacco-thing.

My life was really heavily impacted on my 20’s. I went to a uni, lived in a dorm, and than done the same through most of my PhD. Most of my friends come from that period of my life. If I went straight working after highschool, I am not sure where I would have met new people. I know religion can provide a community of like-minded people but I am not the religious type. Maybe communities based around your interests? Playing table-top games can be a very socialy rewarding thing.

As for keeping up with friends: I met my wife at my old dorm and working together with her helps a lot in keeping the flat in order and that also helps free up time to spend with friends. It gets more difficult with kids (we don’t have any yet, but a lot of our friends do and we don’t see them as often as we would like now), but that is also a temporary thing.

In my case, I have friends because I tend to involve them in the things I do (shared interests help with that). Time is only really an obstacle if you treat friends, work, and activities as mutually-exclusive entities instead of the venn diagrams they tend to be. Find overlap is my advice.

Keeping up with / making friends as an adult: It’s tough. (BTW, long time reader, first time commenting, my silence has been the silence of interest and approval.)

Now my offspring is a teen, the childcare part is easier, but honestly, I have had trouble keeping in close touch with friends who have moved away from my city. Often my spouse and I are just ships passing in the night (squabbling over who gets to use the bathroom). As others have mentioned, *making* friends has mainly been, for me, through organized religious activities (my synagogue) and interests (I used to organize tabletop gaming every month or so). Covid makes everything harder; Zoom just isn’t the same. Online interactions are better than nothing, but not the same for me. (I have ‘work friends’, but I doubt I’ll keep up with them when/if they or I change jobs.)

One more thought: My spouse and I have a friend. Spouse met them first, and was friends for years; I met them while spouse and I were dating, and became friends, too. Now it’s arguable that I’m closer to this friend than my spouse; partly because for about 5 years, I worked close to where the friend worked, and we’d meet for lunch once a week, nearly every week. When I changed jobs about 5 years ago, my new job was close to where the friend lived, and we’d meet for lunch about once a month. That really helps keep the connection.

If you have no desire to be partnered, then by all means don’t let your mom pressure you into anything. If it’s more of a fatalistic thing where your brain is not allowing you to imagine anything different because of the constraints you list, then that’s a little different. We all have scripts we tell ourselves about ourselves, and they’re often not true, they’re just stories that feel comfortable. Maybe think about whether “I can’t ever date because 100% of my time is taken by work” is one of those for you. From here it seems like it would definitely be _possible_, as evidenced by many people with demanding careers finding time to be partnered. Whether it’s something you’re just not interested in is the question, and if you’re not, great! Rock on! If you are though, bear in mind that life might be longer than you think.

Unesca: Any advice or guidance on how to *change* the script?

As someone who definitely has those fatalistic scripts (you can only have so many relationships implode horribly, some with legal action before you just feel *done*), thank you for giving voice to how I live day-to-day. I’m currently subscribed to a script that is miserable. Part of me wants a relationship, and most of me is so gun-shy I avoid situations around members of the other cis-gender. I feel like I just want this to be over with[*]. That parent gave me the boot, that sibling ostracized me, and I have kids (of two ex’s) who rarely get to see their sibling because their other parents don’t care if the kids schedules work out. So between the ex’s, parent and sibling that’s four major relationships with that gender that were toxic and imploded spectacularly. Add my only other sibling of the same gender, with whom I have an ok relationship now, but whom assaulted me as a child and well, suffice to say I don’t really trust that gender. Which is frustrating as I am still biologically attracted.

I’m genuinely sick of hearing myself talk about my life(though I still do it), but aside from forums, don’t have the volition any longer to do anything. (I used to work three jobs, or two and uni + parenting and yes, still had time for my partner). Now my big successes for a day might include getting out of bed before noon and having a shower.

To Jackie I would say if you are actually, genuinely, happy don’t change anything. But I am very aware of the hypocrisy of me offering advice. (I usually just encourage people to decide for themselves what to do).

[*] Not actually suicidal, just wish I didn’t have to live the remainder of my life. I know I can’t do that to my kids, I am getting therapy, but also struggle with not believing that the kids would be better off without me.

I can’t claim to have all the answers, but I know what it’s like to get stuck in your head and feel like there’s no way out. To be both afraid of a potential new relationship and crave one. The only advice I can give is to discover ways to be okay with you. You don’t have to like yourself, necessarily, but you shouldn’t hate yourself either.

Easier said than done, I know. It’s great that you’re getting therapy, that can really help. But otherwise it’s just… not constantly being on your own ass for things. You get up before noon? Awesome. That’s something good. If you don’t, it’s not good, but it’s not something you should be berated for. And that’s what we do to ourselves.

I sometimes have to pretend I’m a different person, that when I talk to myself I’m talking to someone else. It makes the awful things you say to yourself sound a lot more needlessly mean. Because you wouldn’t say those things to someone else. If you knew someone else going through the exact same struggles, would you say to them the things you say to yourself? I doubt it.

That’s what I mean when I say learn to be okay with you. Keep trying to see yourself from outside your own perspective, try to see the parts of yourself that a different person might like or commend. And you’ll fail, sometimes, and there’s nothing wrong with that. You’ll mess up and you’ll hate yourself all over again, but the important thing isn’t success, it isn’t an end goal you’re trying to reach, it’s that you keep trying.

And if you’re trying and you keep trying, eventually you’ll reach a point where it won’t be as difficult, where the failures won’t be as common, and at that point you might feel like you have more to offer, that you have enough strength to stand alone (which isn’t to say without help, some of us need it and that’s fine). Once you’re confident in your ability to emotionally function without a romantic partner, the idea of it maybe not working out isn’t quite so scary. Rejection isn’t nice, and breakups suck, but if you know you can and will make it through it okay, you can face it with a lot less fear.

Sorry for preaching at you, I hope something in this wall of text is helpful. TL;DR – Just keep trying. Trying is enough, even if Yoda says otherwise.

LexofGotham had great advice. All I could add is, seeing as you’re already in therapy, is that I hear the CBT model is especially useful for getting rid of some of these thought patterns that have worn grooves in our brains. And unless you are abusing your kids, which I’m sure you are not, there is no way they’d be better off without you!! Tell that particular brain weasel I said to fuck off.

My siblings married and had kids – I did not. I got a crap set of genes,and decided I did not want to pass diabetic tendencies and other health issues on. For me, that was a reasonable choice.

My Mom was quietly eager for grandkids. Thankfully, when my sibs gave her some, that took the pressure off me. So it is possible for thier desperation to finally pass.

It sounds to me like a legit organizational issue and a questionable social expectations issue and a matching challenge.
Where do you make time?
Artists are in their zone, as they should be.
– Occasionally you take breaks and organize the stuff in-between. That’s a time potential. Cutting work to spend less on junk is another one. Hiring someone is another one. But it’s not easy and also takes energy, so it’s a choice.
Putting time into a date is also a bit of a time commitment.
– What do Mums know about dating? I’ve experienced expectations, as if my life were a pretold story and I’m just to tick genre plot-points. Truth is, family can just get bored by one’s intense thinking and creative life – which is socially beneficial, too. They would want you to be happy, even if they sometimes may confuse what makes them happy with what makes you happy.
For grandkids, you could always adopt one, which is also the safer choice given the state of the planet today. You probably have the experience so can tell
– Finding a match: There are the weirdest people out there. Point is not to find anybody and spending time remodeling each other, but finding a good support and complement, which you can tolerate each other. Do you know your own personality traits and what fits with them? What would you want to do with a partner, if they were really into you? Have you healed past trauma to not subconsciously recreate it? Where would this person show up? I can’t predict this one, but it helps to try locations that only you would come up with. When there’s somebody else there, too, they might be sharing a bit of your weirdness. It might be people spending time in places where you are anyway – the comic, discord, comic cons… Another way is to get and refine your search, e.g., a friend used tinder and extended the search radious to worldwide then stuck with the best match. They married. There are way more specialized social sites.

Thinking negatively about it (to refresh your brain for a change), you can’t date everybody on the planet (due to time) and you may not want such a Herculean task anyway. So if you scale down from there, what is the time you want to spend and experiences you want to try at a scale you are still comfortable with or that’s worth husteling a bit for – and when do you want to spend the time in your life?
If your answer is 0, then you can be fine with it.
Financial dependance used to be a criterion, but not anymore.

To Jackie:
There are authors who have a relationship and a house, so it’s doable. Maybe ask a couple of authors, people with houses, and someone with your energy level and see the overlaps.
I personally have neither, so I can’t comment on that. But I’m happy creating stuff at my desk, mostly alone, that may live on. That’s just my personality. That said, thank you for keeping us hooked ’till the end’.

Where can you find time to develop a relationship? Obviously…Between Failures. Good luck Jackie. If someone of your talent and imagination can’t find someone…Imma just lay in some snacks and crawl back under my rock…..

“Imma” … I wonder what its grammar is. A first-person auxiliary verb, obviously. But is it an auxiliary for the future tense or for the imperative mood?

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