What do you think of Meetups?
July 2, 2014 at 9:36 pm #142150
I joined some Meetups in my area to find people with mutual interests. So far it’s OK, I guess. One group seems to be nice but I find it hard to click with anyone there. I have gone to about four of,their meetups and I don’t dislike anyone, I am just kinda meh about it. Another one is going OK but it seems different people show up each time, so I an meeting new people each time I go, which is a bit exhausting. How about you guys? Any luck with Meetup.com?
July 3, 2014 at 10:44 am #142161
I belong to a few Meetup groups in my area. I get the sense that the overall quality of the group depends on the involvement and personality of the leader. My answer to “Any luck?” depends on what you mean by luck. I’ve not made any one-on-one friends via the groups. On the other hand, I met a woman last year at a non-Meetup event who happened to tell me about a local musicians-related Meetup group. She and I eventually both joined the group. We now meet one-on-one as duet partners but attending Meetup group activities has been a big part of our relationship, too. The leader of the group is a professional music coach and he’s awesome. He has worked hard to foster a sense of community among a large group of local musicians who are ready to play with others but not at a professional musician level.
I’ve attended a Spanish conversation Meetup group a couple times, too. That group is more meh to me. There is a retired woman who attends that group (and seemingly every other Spanish conversation group in town that I’ve ever tried) and she seems to actively dislike me. (Maybe she just dislikes newcomers generally.) While everyone in the musicians Meetup group tries to be welcoming and inclusive, this one particular woman in the Spanish conversation group treats newcomers like they’ve trespassed on her own private social club. It is possible to ignore her attitude and go with the flow, but she makes that Meetup group a lot less appealing to me.
Even though I haven’t had any luck in terms of finding one-on-one friends, being able to get out and play music with others has been great. I’m pretty happy to attend group activities when I can and figure if I’m meant to find a friend there, I will. If not, at least I’ve built some music and language skills, lol.
July 3, 2014 at 11:21 am #142165
For me, Meetups have worked out better as a ‘finding out about cool stuff to do’ thing than as a finding new friends thing.
Maybe it’s just what I’m interested in (hiking/nature/gardening), but I have met some really strange people that I would not want to meet up with again, people who go past socially awkward and into a bit creepy. I am much more careful now about scanning the attendee list before signing up.
I also learned the hard way that if you pay for an event that is canceled or rescheduled, you don’t get a refund unless the group owner decides to give you one.
I’ve heard that Meetup in my area is not good compared to other areas. I stick to the lecture/classroom type stuff now.
July 6, 2014 at 10:42 am #142236
I know what you mean about creepy people… I met one woman at the last meetup (a wine tasting) I attended who was bizarrely rude and unpleasant. I noticed a few people giving her a wide berth. Another meetup event was much better…..we went kayaking and the people all seemed healthy and active. They also seemed normal!
July 6, 2014 at 3:22 pm #142238
I’ve actually met three nice women who I ended up becoming friends with around the same time at two meetups. One of them is my bff-:) Some meetups are full of cliquey, unfriendly, and stuck-up judgmental, and fake people. Some women will tell me that it was nice meeting me and they seem genuinely interested in talking to me again, but then I never hear back from them after one or two greetings, or not at all.
I’m a nice person, but I am shy, so I don’t know if that’s off putting to them or if they just had no interest in being friends with someone who doesn’t have a career or kids. Most of the women at the meetups that I’ve been to talk mostly about their careers and their kids which is very annoying and boring to me. I don’t have kids or a career, so I can’t really relate to them.
Sometimes you have to make an effort to talk to people first. Very few people have approached me first. Some meetups are better than others.
@hanna, what do you mean by socially awkward and creepy exactly?
I’ve only met one real creepy woman at one of the meetups who seemed really friendly at first, but then her mean side started showing soon after that. She yelled at me for being late to a meeting and she became very rude and condescending towards me for getting lost. Needless to say, I didn’t bother talking to her much after that.
July 6, 2014 at 8:51 pm #142249
Nancy, you have had better luck than I have! I just don’t choose them right. I can’t believe someone yelled at you for getting lost — she sounds like a … word I shouldn’t post here 🙂
I went to one Meetup that turned out to be a group of survivalists. I’m happy to share food preserving tips, but I’m just not interested in listening to theories about how civilization is going to collapse because the wrong politicians got elected. One person took many photographs of me (without my knowledge or permission) and posted them on some survivalist website.
I’ll probably sound like a horrible person, but I suspect there is a support group for severely mentally ill people which is encouraging their participants to join outdoor activity Meetups in my city. It’s well beyond socially awkward but I am not sure what else to call it. There was one guy who just asked one question after another, no interest in hearing an answer. Thankfully it was only a 2 mile hike!
July 6, 2014 at 10:52 pm #142250
Meetup is definitely a strange place. I live in a fairly large city and attended many different meetups over the course of a year . My intention was to meet ‘real friends’ , even just one. Never happened. No one seems interested. People only seem interested in going out as a group. I definitely find people to have been weird , creepy and down right scary. Like watch your back kinda scary.
I am socially well adjusted and friendly so maybe that is why I didn’t fit in. I really wanted to get to know a few personally and do our own thing without posting it online and all that hassle. I thought that was what meetup was about but it’s more of a club thing. And just like someone else said there were different people every time so difficult to make a connection.
Another thing I found weird was the range of people that would go out, it seemed unnatural to me. I once went to a comedy club and there were elderly men there , young college girls (I am mid) and everything else in between . It didn’t seem like a group that would naturally form at all. It felt awkward.
And people will try to take advantage of you . I am never going back.
July 7, 2014 at 7:37 am #142254
Hi Rita and Hanna…wow, your experiences sound wierd. I just went to another meetup over the weekend and it was ALL professional people around my age. Most of us were recent transplants to this area. I had a good time and there was no ‘weirdness’. I’m glad I had a good experience. I don’t care if I don’t make close friends through Meetup, I just like having some group things to do and learning what to do in the area. I think eventually I’ll make some closer friends, for now I just like getting to know people. Aside from that one bizarre woman I met at a previous meetup, everyone else has seemed OK. I guess I’ll keep checking it out for a hwile..
July 7, 2014 at 4:51 pm #142280
Yay! I am glad you found one that sounds like what Meetup is supposed to be!
This thread was a great reminder to clean up my Meetup subscription list 🙂
July 7, 2014 at 5:28 pm #142282
I am on Meetup for a mom’s group. It is very active and a lot of it is on Facebook which is pretty nice. Of course, with a mom’s group comes lots of different types of parenting and opposing views. Haven’t really found close friendships but it keeps me busy as a stay-at-home mom.
July 20, 2014 at 6:18 pm #142517
I have had mixed luck with meetups, but as an online dater for several years I take every experience with a grain of salt. If you are lucky to live in a large, populated area you can try new meetups if you don’t get a good vibe. Like dating, it helps to think of making friends as a numbers game. The more people you are exposed to the more likely you are to meet someone who you can become friends with. That said, friendships take time. If you are at a meetup and you think you have clicked with someone, but get clued in that they are not a regular attendee, sometimes it’s helpful to get their email and add them on facebook. You can even mention it to them. Then you will have more opportunity to build rapport. It takes time and it’s hard, and you will be let down just as you were when you were dating. But it increases the odds and at least you won’t be sitting at home alone all the time. There is always the option of starting your own meetup if you find that you aren’t clicking with the ones in your area.
July 20, 2014 at 7:57 pm #142518
Hello. I’m not sure this post will work. I tried one earlier, but it didn’t show up. Meetups always sounds so promising, but I am a little wary. I wanted to join one for a health problem or something very different from what I do at work. And both times I wanted to keep it private. Just because. But they had all these pictures posted on the Meetup site showing everyone who showed up, and I didn’t like that. Maybe I don’t want my boss and coworkers to know I’ve had a health scare, or that I secretly want to be an actor or whatever. But I ask myself if that’s a good enough reason to not try a Meetup. Who knows, I might meet some nice people and might learn something. The problem is, I’m just a private kind of gal. Can anyone understand this?
July 21, 2014 at 7:28 am #142526
Yes, I feel the same way. You can sign up with a pseudonym and don’t have to post a profile pic… but that doesn’t stop people from taking your photos and posting them on the group page.
If your name is not attached to the photos, the odds of someone finding them are lower. If a boss or coworker happens to be browsing through the photos for that Meetup group, they might recognize you, but that’s not that likely.
July 21, 2014 at 12:21 pm #142536
If privacy is important for something, often you can find support groups – e.g., for young widows, cancer survivors, incest survivors, people with MS, etc. – through local hospitals or local chapters of national nonprofits that have pretty strict privacy rules. That may be a better route than Meetup for connecting with people in a private way.
But for hobbies like acting, improv, stand up comedy, performing music, etc., I find it funny to want to keep private a pursuit where the ultimate goal is to perform in public. You can’t control who shows up in the audience, for example. You can still be private about your private life, but if you’re pursuing some kind of performance art, just own it and be proud of it.
July 22, 2014 at 10:15 pm #142588
I don’t really think it’s funny/strange to want to keep a pursuit private, even if it is in “the performing arts.” Sometimes you just want to try something, privately, before concluding you want to go for it and “perform” in public. I’m frankly just sick and tired of NOTHING being private anymore. I don’t understand the compulsion to post pictures of yourself and talk about yourself online. I really don’t understand this,but it seems to be the way of life for so many.
But back to Meetups … the ones I’d go to would be the ones that specifically are indentifed as local–and I think someone in my city or area might likely see my picture posted in the group shots. Sounds like there is no way around this, though. I can’t imagine going to a Meetup and saying, “No, no … I don’t want my picture taken.” LOL
April 20, 2015 at 11:52 pm #151972
Yep in my experience, living in NYC, meet ups often have a promoter as the leader who has multiple groups of different topics yet “conveniently” does a mass event and invites everyone to the same venue. The guestlists for these groups often say 104 people coming but on closer inspection its +99 imaginary friends invited by the promoter and a handful of others.
Then a typical event tends to have a high level of oddballs, and yes I had a conversation with a psychiatrist who admitted he often recommends meet ups to his patients.
But even without this it is an easy way for people without social skills to become part of a social screen e and hence the high percentage off creepy or weird people.
May 14, 2015 at 11:19 pm #152855
Nancy, your post made me laugh out loud when you wrote, “Most of the women at the meetups that I’ve been to talk mostly about their careers and their kids which is very annoying and boring to me.”
I got a big kick out of your honesty! =)
I recently attended a meetup and found it awkward but somewhat fruitful. A large woman at the group dominated much of the conversation, but I did find a guy around my age to chat with, and we seemed to hit it off. We conversed about sports and hung out after the group.
Part of the problem is that most of the group came as couples, and since I’m single, I rarely find that a couple wants to befriend a single person.
May 18, 2015 at 2:36 pm #153072
I do have experience of meetups over a couple of years. I joined because I found that my “friends” did not seem as loyal as me, or put in the effort like I would them. I came to the conclusion that I was not going to have that best friend in my life, so instead of trying to get people to like me, I decided to just hang out with people for short spells of time with things I like to do, and enjoy their company as a more distant window. I always judge my enjoyment with people by how they make me feel when I am with them. If I come away from them and feel drained — not good, if I come away from them feeling light and up – then that is good. As to meetups that is
50% of the time – what is good, is to meet up with people who enjoy your interests, hiking, biking, etc. and it would be a plus if you end up with a close friend. I think overall they are good, but like everything, some are not. Join lots of them and keep your mind open, I am sure you will find one or two enjoyable.
June 26, 2015 at 8:48 pm #154988
I find that there are more women than men at the two social groups that I attend.
Some groups have so many rules I’m surprised anyone attends their meetups. One group has a ‘kick-u-out’ policy if u cancel 3 times.
I think a lot of people forget their manners when socializing with others(or strangers).
I have noticed that people will harp about the cost of items on a menu even though the organizer had purposely included that information on a meetup invitation for a social evening in a restaurant. Why did that person agree to come when they had prior knowledge about the cost? and trying to re-direct the conversation to a more positive note is practically impossible.
My solution has narrowed my involvement to once a month. I am a bit disappointed because I wanted to make new friends.
July 9, 2015 at 2:37 pm #155691
I’ve never thought much of meetup.com. The people I have encountered there seemed to fall into two categories.
1. People who were extremely shy and socially awkward.
2. People who were extremely obnoxious. I actually dislike these types the most as they like to interrupt other people’s conversations, or they’re loud, and rude.
Needless to say, because of encountering these types, I haven’t returned to many meet-up groups. It’s just been a total waste of time.
Also it’s not a great place for making friends as most people (me included) only show up to the meetings once and never return again.
July 10, 2015 at 12:56 pm #155755
My experience with Meet-up is that when the groups are more social activity based (dinners, pub nights) the people who already know each other can be a bit cliquey and not always welcoming. Of all the groups I’ve tried I’ve left all except one local “ladies night out” group where the organizer makes an effort to know everyone’s name and introduces newcomers.
On the other hand the groups I’ve joined to pursue a specific activity like hiking or golf have been pretty good as long as the leader was organized and friendly. Even if the other attendees are not going to become life long friends we enjoy a common activity, and even if its just for a short period the company and conversation has been enjoyable.
I think the key is to try a few groups and when deciding to join one see what kinds of past events they’ve had, what’s coming up and how the attendance has been. If you don’t do well in large crowds then going to an event with tons of people will make it hard to meet anyone, but if you are really outgoing then maybe larger groups are what you need.
July 25, 2015 at 2:35 am #156775
I am a female adult. I first tried meet up a couple of times a few years ago. The first group I tried was a ladies friendship group. I was shy but was excited of the possibility of making friendships with ladies, as all my friends had moved on in life. We all met at a breakfast place, but I did not click or get to follow up on any person there. I left thinking it is was an interesting concept, but went home with nothing else new.
The experience for me, was as some have described as “meh”…
The second group was a photo group. I did not attend as much meetings but the project and online stuff we did was fabulous. I felt it was neat getting to know people through their photos. We mostly all had good senses of humour, were respectful & encouraging. I grew out of the group due my life circumstances.
Then after a few years coming back to check out the site. I am interested now in getting in a group and trying activities. Maybe getting to know a few people. I get added to a group. Read the group description for the activity. It kept showing mostly all stuff that will get you kicked off the group. I realize yes, guidelines are needed, but it was almost drill sargent like in approach. I wanted to sign up for an activity but the organizer’s approach to who should attend & what will happen for people to get removed from the group…by mentioning, if they do this and that…it’s like a scolding process to read. So I end up letting the organizer know this, she tells me I can go and find another group. I was deeply appalled at this response. I was actually surprised at this as I had better experiences with the other groups. Also, found it not an appropriate response from an organizer from a social group. Needless to say, I will not be joining that group but felt it should be brought to attention.
I am sure there are good and bad groups. With good and bad people in it (even organizers). Just depends on what one finds. I would not say it’s a consistent experience. However, who knows what one will get from it without trying.
July 30, 2015 at 10:06 pm #157013
Unfortunately in meetup groups, no one knows what to do with the women who join who are consistently passive aggressive. They can end up ruining it for everyone there when they attend.
December 1, 2015 at 7:29 pm #162560
I have had quite a lot of experience going to Meetup events, both as a participant and as an organizer. Here is my quick summary (in case you don’t want to read my waffle below): I haven’t made any proper friends yet and have met some REALLY weird people! HOWEVER, I will say that it’s increased my confidence a lot and got me out the house to try different things, so I would recommend it, even if just for those reasons. It’s also made me realise why I attract narcissistic people who want me to be on hand to either admire them or help them and who don’t give a hoot about me, so it has been a really useful learning experience. I don’t have any friends (until recently I had a couple of long-term, supposedly close friends, but after realising that they enjoyed putting me down all the time, I have distanced myself from them and want to make new friends) and I work from home, so had lost all confidence in my ability to meet new people and I think that in itself was hindering my ability to make friends – people avoid you if you seem a bit unconfident. So, although I didn’t make any proper friends via Meetup, just being in an environment where you know that others are also feeling nervous helped me to “practise” being more social and means that I don’t get tongue-tied so much now, when I’m speaking to new people.
So, here are my experiences. Firstly, a rant about how some of the Meetup attendees I came into contact with treat organizers – you certainly see some interesting behaviour, that’s for sure. This is not directed at anyone on this forum, BTW – rather, it is directed at the people I had to deal with when I was an organizer and it’s about my disillusionment with human nature. (Although, it may help people on this forum to get the most out of Meetup if they realise that the organizer is probably just as nervous as they are!). I live quite far from any major towns and, as we didn’t have a Meetup group, I decided to start one. I’d never done anything like this at all before, so it was a really big step for me. It was generally quite a positive experience as it got me out of my comfort zone and improved my self esteem, but one thing that became evident really quickly was that people who attended the Meetup events often seemed to expect the host/organizer to be responsible for everyone having a great time. I would always make an effort to learn everyone’s names beforehand, would greet each person individually and would then introduce everyone to everyone. But it is then up to each person to make an effort to chat to people – the organizer cannot do this for them! Some people would turn up and sit there with their arms folded, looking as though they didn’t want to be there and waiting for me to make it “worth their while”. The organizers are usually not trained “events people” and are not counsellors or whatever – this is not a public service that people are entitled to, like the NHS or whatever! I know some organizers charge money (over and above what it costs them to rent the website) and perhaps in those cases, maybe people can turn up to events with that sense of entitlement, but many of us don’t make a profit from being an organizer (indeed many of us end up out of pocket, as I did, because I felt so uncomfortable asking people for money to cover the cost of renting the website, so I used to just pay for it myself!). Many of us organizers are just like everyone else – nervous, perhaps new to the area (like I was) and just wanting to meet new people. We create a group and host events, then it’s up to the attendees to help make a success of each event – there is only so much facilitating that the organizer can do.
It used to really frustrate me when people would say to me “Oh, I really want to come to such and such an event, but it’s too far away for me. You need to organize some more things in MY area” – I’m not kidding, this was actually said to me, by someone who thought it was “useful feedback”! My response was “Well, feel free to host some events in your area then”. Also, when I stopped running my weekly pub night, someone said to me (they were serious, not joking) “Well, if you’re going to stop doing the pub nights, you’ll need to organize something else for us to do instead on Tues evenings…..”!! I found that some of the attendees didn’t seem to realise that the organizers are real people, living with the same stresses and strains (and jobs!) as everyone else – they are not superhuman beings whose entire existence revolves around Meetup. So, if an event is cancelled at the last minute, it’s not fair to berate the organizer for this. I used to be very explicit about telling people to check the website immediately BEFORE they set off for an event, in case I’d had to cancel it at the last minute. On one occasion I did have to cancel something with only a few hours’ notice, due to unexpected work commitments and one woman put some really nasty comments on the website – I was particularly upset by this, as she was someone who I’d hand-held (quite literally) on her first event, as she’d been so nervous (I’d gone outside and waited for her to arrive in her taxi, chatted to her outside the venue until she felt able to go in, then took her inside the pub, all the while with her clinging to me because she was so nervous). And now she was slating me because I’d DARED to pull out of an event that I was (as usual) voluntarily organizing, for free. I’d tried to get someone to host it for me, but no-one wanted to do it, so I’d had no choice but to cancel it. This lady was cross because she’d come straight from work and hadn’t been able to check the website before setting off, so had got to the pub to find no one there. But we, as organizers can only do our best and can’t possibly cover every eventuality or be responsible for checking that each individual person knows that an event is cancelled (especially because I usually had no way of contacting attendees, other than by leaving messages on the site or sending out a group email, both of which are of no use if people can’t access the internet). I used to also get people who treated me like some sort of private secretary and, even though I’d never met them, let alone made friends with them, would say “Oh, here’s my mobile number, can you just text me when new events are organized or if the details change, as I’m far too busy to look at the internet”. Blimey, what did your last slave die of?
On the subject of the “3 strikes and you’re out” policy, that one of the previous posters here mentioned: this is because it’s soul destroying to keep organizing events that people sign up for, but then never turn up to. I’m not sure of the exact policy mentioned above (and I’m sure that you treated the group you went to with respect), but in my view it’s fine if you cancel with lots of notice, or if you have to occasionally cancel at short notice (but email the organizer to explain and apologise). But I suspect that the policy mentioned above was more aimed at people who repeatedly sign up for events, then never turn up (and never let the organizer know). Meetup events should be treated as though you are meeting friends, ie. you make every effort to get there and if you can’t, you let them know as soon as possible. You wouldn’t arrange to meet a friend, then decide you couldn’t be bothered to go and just NOT turn up, without at least letting them know, as that would be rude. I think many people I came across make the mistake of thinking that Meetup events are like an evening class or something, where you can just see how you feel on the night and it doesn’t affect others too much if you decide not to go (well, I guess it would affect the evening class tutor, but at least they would already have been paid, whether you turn up or not!). I had a few events where there were lots of people signed up, then only I turned up. I would wait and wait, then just have to go home again and the evening was a write off (especially if I’d travelled an hour or so to get there – by the time I’d get home again, it would be too late to do anything else with my evening). And then the SAME people would then sign up for loads more stuff, then AGAIN not turn up for any of it. So I think the “3 strikes” policy is mainly for people like that, who abuse the Meetup principles. For some events you need a good few people to make it worthwhile – if you know in advance that there aren’t enough people coming, you can cancel the event. But if there are lots of people signed up, who then don’t turn up (and don’t even have the courtesy to email you to apologise), then it becomes pretty difficult to summon the will to keep going, as an Organizer. Meetup events should be recognized for what they are: someone who wants to meet people, who has voluntarily given up their time and put effort into organizing an event, so this should be treated with respect and consideration by the group members. Because some people don’t show any respect, this is why organizers sometimes have to post “rules”, so that all group members are aware of what’s expected of them. If people want to have the freedom to not follow these rules, then Meetup maybe isn’t for them.
I remember the very first Meetup event I organized. One of the attendees was extremely shy and I felt really sorry for her (because I know what it’s like to be shy), so I spent the night making sure she was OK and listening to her talk. I also bought all of her drinks. When it was time to go home, she announced that the last bus back to her house had already gone. So, what choice did I have but to drive her home. To put this into context, she lived 50 minutes in the opposite direction to where I live (and the venue we’d had our event at was 30 mins from my house. So, 50 mins to take her home, then another 1 hour 20 mins to drive back to my house from hers). But, hey ho, I know I’m lucky to have a car and be able to drive and as such should help people who aren’t as lucky, so off we went. I dropped her off at her house, then drove all the way home, getting home quite late. The next day, I looked on the Meetup website and saw that she’d given the event a rating (I don’t think you can do this anymore….. not sure) – she’d given it 3 out of 5 stars. I realised then that no matter how hard you try, some people are never going to be satisfied! I felt very resentful, because I’ve never had anyone “look after” me in the way I looked after her, yet she was taking it all for granted. She did the same thing re. getting home a few weeks later – announced really late into the evening that the last bus had already gone, and I ended up having to drive her home again. After that, I started emailing her before events and saying that I wouldn’t be able to drive her home that evening, because I had an early start in the morning (which was usually true).
After organizing quite a few events, I started to see some of the same people attending and we struck up a bit of a bond. Wouldn’t really call it friendships, but it was certainly the start of potential friendships. I decided to be brave and invite them to my house for drinks one evening (ie. a private thing, not a Meetup thing). Of the 8 people I invited, 4 didn’t bother responding to my texts or emails and I never saw or heard from them again. Two people said they’d come, but didn’t turn up, and I never saw or heard from them again. Two people DID respond and DID turn up and we had a really nice evening. But then I never saw or heard from them again. It’s enough to make you lose faith in human nature, it really is! I couldn’t help thinking “I wish someone would take the trouble to invite ME to THEIR house! And if they did, I sure as hell would let them know if I could go or not. And wouldn’t just take it for granted that they’d invited me”.
In the end, I had to close my group down, because I became ill with a long-term health problem. Not one person emailed me to thank me for running the group or to say sorry you’re ill, or whatever. Not one person. I felt really down about it for a while, but now that some time has passed, I’m able to focus more on the positives and on what I learned.
I’ve also attended Meetup events, as an “attendee”, both before I became an organizer and while I was an organizer (after a few years, a few other Meetup groups started in my area, so I went along to some of their events). It gave me the opportunity to try things I wouldn’t normally do, like roller blading and wine tasting and it was good to get out of the house and be somewhere different. But, like someone else on this forum mentioned, I would often only meet people once and our paths wouldn’t cross again at future events. So sometimes I felt as though I was just hanging out with a bunch of random people! I also found that, once people found out I was married, they wouldn’t bother to talk to me – I think there is a myth that married people automatically have loads of friends. The women felt like they couldn’t bond with me because how could I possibly understand how difficult being single is (and/or how difficult it is to go through divorce) and also didn’t want to waste time talking to me when they could be getting to know the blokes in the group! And the men didn’t bother talking to me, because they were generally single and wanting to meet available ladies! I did join a ladies group, which was quite good, as the whole thing about people only wanting to meet potential “dates” wasn’t an issue. But sometimes it was a bit cliquey…… Because I am not very outgoing and am quite overweight, the organizer (who was incredibly extrovert) seemed to immediately decide I am very boring and square and used to make me sit next to the other people she’d decided were boring, at each event! It became quite surreal, the lengths she would go to, to only talk to the “trendy”, noisy girls and to avoid us quieter “boring” girls! Once you’re made to sit in the corner with a group of other poor pigeon-holed people, it then becomes really difficult to raise up the confidence to do anything about it. I would try to get us all talking, but generally we were all made even shyer by the fact that we’d been identified as “boring”, and this made us lose confidence in ourselves. I did used to wonder why the organizer used to bother with organizing events and why she didn’t just meet her trendy Meetup friends privately! Then she wouldn’t have to bother with the “boring” girls in the corner! Needless to say, when I became an organizer, one of the things I was passionate about was making sure it wasn’t cliquey and that everyone felt included at all times.
I did strike up a “friendship” (if you can call it that!) with a few women that I met (as an attendee, not as an organizer) at Meetup events, but they were a bit disastrous and I’m no longer in contact with them. One of them started off really well and there was some overlap in our jobs, so we had something in common. It was years and years since I’d had a really decent chat with someone (other than my husband) and it was so nice to feel a bit of a friend-type connection. But she used to frequently ask to meet me in town, then cancel at the last minute. It was pretty clear that she wasn’t that bothered about meeting up with me, but what I couldn’t understand was that she STILL kept rearranging to meet, then cancelling again – and this went on for years. All I can think is that she would want to fill up an empty Saturday afternoon, then when it got closer to the weekend, something better would come up with one of her other friends, so she’d dump me. Anyway, we did manage to meet up a handful of times in town on an afternoon and the same pattern would happen EVERY time: we’d go round the shops and have quite a laugh. But as soon as I looked at something I was interested in (eg. an item of clothing, if we were in a clothes shop), she would become really weird and distant, then suddenly make an excuse to go home – she would literally RUN out of the shop, mumbling some excuse about why she had to leave early and I’d just be left there wondering what had happened! I began to realise that she wanted me to be her audience while SHE shopped and if I burst her bubble by looking at something for myself, she couldn’t take it. I know this sounds really odd…… but I can’t think of any other way of describing it. But it definitely wasn’t my imagination and I’ve realised, with a blinding flash of clarity, that people I’ve been friends with in the past and people I’ve tried to make friends with recently ALL follow the same behaviour pattern: they want me to stand around (either literally or metaphorically) as an observer on their life and are not remotely interested in me or my life. This woman also used to treat me like some kind of country bumpkin – maybe other women on this forum who are quite quiet and introverted can relate to this too? It seems that unless you force your personality and achievements down people’s throats, they superimpose on to you the personality of someone who hasn’t got any life experience and has nothing to say! After lots of soul searching, I now realise that it’s my responsibility to be a bit more forceful in putting my personality across, but it’s taken me a long time to get there! Anyway, back to my story…… I’ve lived in London and New York and also spent time living in various third world countries doing academic research projects, whilst this woman has never left the town she was born and raised in. Nothing wrong with that whatsoever, but in the same way that I wouldn’t judge her for that, I needed her not to assume I was a nobody just because I’m quite a quiet person! I find it difficult to talk about myself and prefer to ask people questions about their life, but I think this is my downfall. This woman, who was a technician in a hospital, would frequently prattle on and on about her patients in a very self-important manner, with lots of pauses for me to be impressed. Because I wanted her to like me (sad, I know!) I would make lots of impressed noises and say things like “gosh, that must be very interesting” etc. But the thing is, I’m a doctor, which normally is neither here nor there, but I started to find it really weird that when she’s going on and on about some “amazing” thing she did in her job, she seemed to forget that what she’s talking about isn’t anything out of the ordinary for me. It doesn’t impress me that she works with patients, because I do too! I’d only mentioned my background once, when we first met and NEVER usually talk about work, so it’s not like she felt she had to compete or anything (also, I’ve heard her boasting about her work to other people, at times when she didn’t realise I was listening, so I know she doesn’t just do it to compete with me). I’ve spent my entire adult life being self deprecating and make extra sure not to be boastful, because I come from a working class family where it’s seen as really distasteful to have delusions of grandeur just because you do a certain job. But maybe I go too far the other way and don’t say enough about myself. So I became determined to try and assert myself a bit more with this woman and started saying things like “yes, yes, I remember coming across that situation myself WHEN I WORKED IN A HOSPITAL”!!!!! I’m not proud of that – she didn’t bring out the best in me. But the whole thing actually got really comical. She would drop in to the conversation that she once WENT TO LONDON and not only that, but she went FIRST CLASS on the train, because she was travelling with her boss, who’s A DOCTOR (she would churn out this story every time she met someone new at one of our events). One time when she wanted to meet up, I said I couldn’t because I’d be away that weekend. She asked me where I was going and when I said Paris, she immediately assumed that I’d never been there before and launched into a very long monologue about the one (and only) time she’d been and what there is to see there etc. I sat there seething for a while (in my usual, passive-aggressive way), then plucked up the courage and gently interrupted to tell her that I go to Paris several times a year, for business. But she just ignored me and carried on with her quest of teaching little ole me about the big wide world. There is just something about me that makes people think I need to be taught about the world and about life. ANYWAY, our “friendship” ended when my husband was taken into hospital unexpectedly. He ended up being there for a few months and I was visiting him twice a day. As the hospital is a couple of hours away from where we live, I was spending the time between visiting hours working on my laptop in the hospital canteen, as there wasn’t time to get home and then back again. It was the hospital she works in, so I texted her one day to tell her what had happened and to say that I’d be hanging around the hospital every afternoon for a while, if she ever got a spare 10 mins and fancied a coffee (but I made it clear that I appreciated she had to work, so not to worry if she didn’t have any spare time). I got a rather curt text back that said she was far too busy and didn’t have time for coffee because her job was too important etc etc etc….. she didn’t say sorry to hear your husband’s so ill, or anything like that. And I never heard from her again, after that (this was a few years ago). I know she wasn’t lying about working at the hospital, so it wasn’t that she was trying to pretend to work there or anything shady like that. But I found her text very odd…….. BUT, in the end I was quite glad that she didn’t ever contact me again after that, as I don’t think it was a friendship that was going to progress in a very healthy way. It taught me a lot about myself and about how certain, overbearing people just want to have someone to hang out with who they can show off to and to “decide” what you are like and what your life is like, even in the face of evidence to the contrary! To some people, I may as well be a cardboard cut-out of a person. But, I’m working on not being so passive when I meet new people.
The 2 other “friends” I made through Meetup were also not really interested in me. One of them, who I’d been meeting up with for a few years and helping her with her family problems, cut off all contact with me when I wasn’t able to go and see her during the months my husband was in hospital. I stayed in contact for a while with the other “friend”, but although she is the same age as me (late 30’s), she was very child-like and began to lean quite heavily on me for emotional support. She was having a hard time at work and wanted to talk about it all the time – I felt sorry for her and listened for hours on end and tried to suggest things that might help. But after a few years of this, I realised that she never asked me anything about myself and if I tried to initiate a conversation about something I was interested in, or something I had done, or a difficulty I was facing, she would kind of glaze over, look a bit confused, then begin talking about herself again, as if I hadn’t said anything!! The problems she was having at work were similar to things I’d experienced in the past and I began to get really frustrated because she seemed convinced that everyone else really loved their jobs and felt respected at work and she was the only person who was having difficulties. And everything (including the fact that she wasn’t given the specific office chair she’d wanted at work!) got turned into a huge drama involving 2-hour phone calls to me, during which she wouldn’t listen to anything I suggested that might help her. While she didn’t drop me when my husband was in hospital (like the other 2 women did), she also didn’t say sorry to hear he’s ill, or ask if there was anything she could do to help me. Not long after my husband came home from hospital, I became ill myself, but this did not register with this woman. It’s pretty annoying, getting calls about how worried she is about one of her dental fillings (yes, really!), when you’ve spent the day in hospital having tests to work out why you’re so ill ……….. In the end, I sent her an email saying that she needed to learn to have more confidence in herself and that while I was ill I couldn’t continue to be on hand for every little drama she had. I never heard from her again, after that!
So, I guess the message from all of this is that I need to enforce my personality early on in potential friendships and if people start to walk all over me, I need to nip it in the bud! I’m quite a strong believer in taking the positives from every life experience, so I am grateful, in a funny kind of way, to these “friendships”. I definitely feel much stronger now and more able to hopefully meet some friends who are just as interested in me as I am in them 🙂 . I am going to continue going to Meetups, so that I can not only get out of the house and try new things, but so that I can practise being a more confident, assertive person.
June 22, 2016 at 9:48 am #173032
I found your post so powerful! I am glad that you are finding more friends now, and I hope you and your husband are in good health. I know this post was from over a year ago but I was doing research for my mobile app startup on our competitors (Meet Up is one of them) and I found your post. Your story was extremely informative and gave really educated insights. Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you, your story is going to help my startup do a better job at bringing people together. If you have any more insights youd like to share, please let me know! Thanks again.
July 31, 2016 at 4:18 pm #175068
Hi Gabby, I just wanted to say that I found your views were really good & I learned a lot from reading them. Also, I would love to make contact with you offline, but do not know how to go about this as I think we could get on with each other! Regards, June.
December 1, 2015 at 9:37 pm #162561
Sorry,this was way too long. I could not get through it.
December 1, 2015 at 10:12 pm #162563
Yes too long
December 2, 2015 at 9:58 am #162575
My apologies…. I was under the impression that this was a forum, where I could try to express myself without petty judgement from unpleasant, narrow-minded people. How silly of me. Obviously this forum is actually no different from the comments section of the Daily Mail online, where vultures sit in wait for someone to pounce on and pronounce their judgement.
For various reasons, I don’t have anyone AT ALL to talk to at the moment and am going through a very hard time, both emotionally and with poor health. Hence why I was googling for how to cope with no friends, and found this website. I’ve spent my entire life not talking about myself to other people and not expressing how I feel. I find it very difficult, particularly as there is always someone waiting to censure me if they think I’ve stepped out of line. Last night, on this website, I found some relief in being able to express myself and yes, the post was longer than other people’s posts and longer than I was anticipating. But this is the first time I’ve had chance to say all this and I guess I must have got carried away with the relief of being able to express myself.
Except, it was an illusion, wasn’t it? I should have known that there would be people like you, ready and quick as ever, to put people like me back in my box. Thanks so much. I won’t make the mistake of trying to express myself again and will go back to feeling desperate, lonely and friendless. But can you please, in future, if you see some other poor person who has written a post that you deem too long for your delicate sensibilities, just NOT READ THE DAMN POST???!! Can you maybe put yourself in their shoes and think that maybe, just maybe, the post is so long because that person has no-one else to express themselves to and is feeling a bit despairing? And that maybe by feeling the need to put them down, rather than just not read the post, you might have just stamped on their one brave attempt at reaching out to the world?
So, well done Jacqueline and T. Well done for telling me that I didn’t conform to what you want. Bravo. I hope you are really pleased with yourselves. And I hope that if you ever find something that gives you a tiny bit of relief from your misery, that no-one stamps it out for you, as you’ve done to me.
December 3, 2015 at 8:31 am #162637
I’ve been a meetup organizer and I’d like to echo a few key points from Gaby’s post. Meetup organizers are unpaid volunteers. When, for example, an organizer has told a restaurant that 10 people are coming and 5 people RSVP and then do not show up (without simply clicking the Change RSVP button to Not coming) they make for a difficult time at the restaurant. Additionally, meetup charges to use the website so the organizer is actually PAYING to run the group. On a couple occasions I did bounce someone from the group because they posted complaints about the venue or some other thing that the organizer could not control. In both cases I wrote to them that they clearly had high standards and could find better sources of free entertainment.
April 11, 2016 at 10:07 am #168759
Gabby – Just wanted to let you know I found your post to be very informative and well written… Thanks for taking the time to tell us of your experiences… I’ve gone through some of the same things so it is nice to know someone else has as well! Don’t stop expressing yourself because others find it to be ‘too long’… I enjoyed it! 🙂
December 2, 2015 at 10:07 am #162576
I read through the post, Gabby, and want to thank you for all the perspectives on Meetup you offered to the person who initially raised the question here (and to others). I can understand how you would feel hurt by the response you met.
Yes, it was long but articulate. If someone isn’t interested in reading it in its entirety, they don’t have to.
December 2, 2015 at 12:51 pm #162585
Thank you Irene…… your response REALLY means a lot to me and it’s nice to know that not everyone is so insensitive.
As you say, people are not obliged to read the whole thing if they don’t want to. I did put a summary paragraph at the beginning, so that people can get the gist without having to read it all.
I am quite touched that someone has bothered to read my post and respond. Thanks again, Irene. You are a superstar 🙂 .
December 2, 2015 at 6:39 pm #162605
Hi Gabby, I read through your post from beginning to end and found you gave a very interesting perspective on meetups. I’ve considered going along to Meetups myself but never quite made it there and your post confirmed my doubts about it, that friendships are too transitional and casual in that environment.
I can relate to your problem of your former friend not looking interested when you talk about yourself as I’m having the same problem with a friend doing that to me at the moment. I sometimes repeat myself to see if she actually heard me but she just changes the subject. And the one about being an audience for a friend out shopping. I used to have a friend do that. As soon as she’d bought what she wanted she’d just go home.
I’m sorry you’re feeling so down at the moment and hope things pick up. Please don’t be put off posting again. I found your post to be clear, despite being long, interesting, and as Irene said, articulate.
December 2, 2015 at 1:23 pm #162591
I have seen many times on here where posters have just a post is too long. It does put the reader off reading the whole post. If you have a public forum you will get different views,some you dont like,that just life. No one is trying to be rude or offensive in saying so about long posts. Its just better to keep to the point,it keeps the reader engaged longer.
December 3, 2015 at 2:29 am #162631
Meetups are often going to attract needy people with poor social skills which is difficult as they mostly wont be organised by professionals in this area.
The first time I went to meetup I was a really immature 21 year old, I joined this 18-30 social group which looked like bar night every week and some other socials. When I turned up it was more like 30-50, they were friendly but it was so obvious I didn’t fit in. There was even someone talking about how hard it is to keep an au pair as there isn’t much of a social life here, I just thought well yeah because groups for young people are being taken over by their middle age employers.
A year later or so when browsing the site I did notice they had changed the description to all ages. I wonder if they had another young adult but one who just blurted out something like aren’t you all a bit old for 18-30s.
I think meetups can be a good way to meet people and try things but they do have a lot of issues.
December 6, 2015 at 6:27 pm #162812
I move a lot for work and so I have tried meetup in 4 cities including Salt Lake City, San Jose, CA, Seattle, and Pittsburgh and I’ve definitely had the meh, where most of the people are nice, but no connection at all. I’ve met creepy people, super clingy people, obnoxious people, and some with very limited social skills. That’s part of life and part of the experience.
However, I’ve also been part of awesome groups. In San Jose CA, for example, I was part of a coffee and hiking group and met with them probably 4-5 times to hike and it was only about 5 regular people and then 1-2 new people, everybody was super social and I did make a connection outside. That was a fun group. In Seattle, I only went to one, but they were meeting at Google and so I just went to see what the inside of Google looked like.
The one thing that made the San Jose one so great was I had to pay an annual fee, like $10 and it worked, because it weeded out all the people that say they are coming and then don’t show. It was also great because we did hiking, but then we did coffee, and at the coffee ones lots of different people came.
My luck lately has been very bad and so not really actively using meetup.
December 7, 2015 at 1:13 am #162820
I have been to about 7 meetup groups. No long time friends from those groups though but it could happen. One thing I don’t like about meetup is many times the person leading the meetup group has an agenda to sell something.
I went to one who gave free exercise classes. Turns out he was selling health SHAKES in a ponzi like scheme. I hurt my back in his class but I was on my own since I had to sign the waiver. I will never do that again.
Then, there was one foodie group but turns out a chef wants this group to be part of his entrance into our town. There was no structure to the group and I still don’t get the purpose. Never went back.
Then, a real estate meetup talked about many things and presented many realtors, re-habbers, house flippers, attorneys and others to sell their services.
Now I can recognize when the meetup group is just a scam to sell something or to get clients or patients. I don’t go to those.
December 29, 2015 at 8:42 am #163782
I have tried meetups here in fl and there a total ffail..will never do them again..
January 21, 2016 at 9:57 pm #164805
Since reading everybody else’s posts and Gabby’s I can totally relate to all of you who have experienced Meetup. It is a strange way of meeting people, but on a positive note it is good for businesses and get togethers. But it does attract the type who have very little social skills.
I had been going to a meetup group which was local to me in my area. I had been a member for 2.5 years or maybe longer. I the group unfriendly to start off with, a girl who was a regular looked me up and down and gave me a dirty look! she was organizing a event! I thought how rude! she was obviously a jealous type! I pushed myself to still go to this meetup group even if people there didn’t like me considering none wanted to know much about me.
I did go to a event which was held in a bar and I was a bit late going in! the people who I started to form regular outings with in the group were chatting to other people already but totally ignored me like the plague! none of them bothered to stop and say “Hi, how are you? why don’t you come and join us!” like a normal person would of done. I was really put off going again that sort of upset me because I would never do that to anyone else!
These people who go to meetups have no manners what so ever! I have however kept 2 people on my facebook but I don’t see them on a regular basis! I think its because they lack communication skills and another thing is I am fed up to death of chasing people to go out with! I recently got in touch with another girl else where from a friendship website! she is very hard work, she says she is looking for friends but doesn’t seem bothered, more interested in finding a boyfriend. I am giving her one more chance and if she doesn’t meet me I am dropping her! Meeting people should be a two way thing.
Why is it so hard just to meet someone “normal” to go for a coffee and a chat! even when you welcome them in to your life and they pull away for some reason or they are the type to drop you when something better comes along!
I will set up my own meetup for women to meet each other and will see how that goes….
January 22, 2016 at 1:15 am #164807
Ari I wish you luck. I’m moving to a new area soon and and really am in 2 minds as to whether I want to”put myself out there” or just do my own thing and be open to new people, neither have worked before but attempting to make friends at things like meetup just made me more anxious and miserable.
January 22, 2016 at 8:11 am #164810
I’ve experienced both good and bad with Meetup activities. I’ve come to realize its no different than anywhere else groups of people come together, school, work etc. There will always be those people who are in cliques that will not willingly include you, those that are shy and awkward and the outgoing people, some who may come off a little too strong.
If your overall goal is to make friends then that requires some level of conversation and some shared interests to bond over. Maybe an event in a bar is not the best choice, these are often loud and if the group is not welcoming to newcomers hard to join in. Try finding an activity you enjoy where the opportunity to talk to different people is available. One of my favorite groups is a hiking meetup. The hikes are scheduled for about two hours, you can talk to different people on the trail, and if you want to continue conversations the event leader usually invites everyone for a post hike drink/snack if you care to join in. No pressure and you get a little exercise too.
January 22, 2016 at 7:45 pm #164822
I am so happy that I found this post on this forum. For the longest time I felt like I was the only who had a really bad experience with Meetup.
I can really relate to Gabby’s post. I have been an organizer and a attendee of Meetup….
My experience as an organizer was an utter nightmare. I ran two meet-up groups (the first was a nightmare and the second was m’eh). The first was a group for women ages 25-35. We did everything from museum outings to dinners downtown. I had all sorts of ladies with all walks of life join the group. I did my best to ensure everyone was happy and was getting something out of the group.
Everything went well at the beginning and I ended making a few friends of it. However, some friendships ended.. and thank goodn ess they did.
1. First chick – She kept telling me I was fat and how I could stand to lose a few pounds. I put up with that for a few months, when finally I said enough … the group fell apart. I will never forget when she gave me a scale and said “Use it!”. I was 5’2 and 140 lbs at the time. Ouch.
2. Second chick – I hosted a girls night at my home with 5 other girls… she came into my home and said that it smelt really bad. That really killed the morale of the evening. I later called her on her rude comment and she wrote me a nasty email how I was such a terrible person.
3. Third chick – we had an outing where she basically put me on the spot and wanted to know all my deep dark secrets. It was my first time ever meeting her. One girl that had attended this outing was cousins to a friend who was friends with an ex friend whom I had a falling out with. This 3rd chick wanted to get to the bottom of why I no longer talked to this girl. I thought I was getting interrogated by the police. The next morning I told this member that grilling me like that wasn’t called for. I asked that she leave the group but I wish her the very best. I remember telling her this very diplomatically. She then sent me a message saying I had a mental disorder and need to seek help from a professional. Her 3 year BA in Psych… as she claimed was enough for her diagnosis me with a disorder.
4. Forth chick – same thing as chick number 3 almost. This girl had recently lost her job and was not in a good place in her life. She was broke and living off her family. I listened to her and I believe I was a good friend to her. I did my utmost best host/ plan events that were not too pricey but it was challenging. Out of the blue one day she sent me a long winded email… again I had to sit through a read why I am not a good person, that I am immature, I should have planned outings that costed no money, and that I don’t know how to treat people with respect and that I lied to her …. blah blah.
I found the experience encountering these women rather scaring, scary, and was blown away there people like this in our world.
I have recently looked back on all this … and I shake my head that one “friend” is still in contact with these women and I really don’t like that. I am stepping away from her …. as its almost like she condemns their behaviour. I am not very close to her …
I do want to say that I did meet 2 good friends through meetup. One girl even asked me to be in her wedding this coming Fall. I had to decline as I am pregnant. The other friend, is a super great person too!
You meet all sorts of people at meetups. I have just started to go back to meetup groups. I have noticed a trend in the people that do go…. as mentioned earlier in this forum that they are….
1. People who were extremely shy and socially awkward.
2. People who were extremely obnoxious. I actually dislike these types the most as they like to interrupt other people’s conversations
….but lets add a number 3 to this list. People like me and Gabby who want to meet like minded people. There are people that go these meetups who do want friendships. However, they out number the ones that are just there to hang out and want nothing more then just that.
Sorry for the long winded post. It did feel good to get this off my chest!
December 13, 2016 at 9:35 pm #180195
March 14, 2016 at 4:34 am #167294
I’m the Organizer of a Meetup group in Derbyshire I started 7 months ago. My husband and I moved there a little over a year ago and joined an existing group. Unfortunately the organizer wasnt welcoming or friendly and talked behind members backs, she didn’t like people socializing outside the group and proceeded to kick some of us out. She finally closed hers down and I started my own group.
I feel my group is very successful. I charge £10 joining fee, which is no money, it helps with site costs and phone calls, I have 50 paying members out of 79. I will remove people who join and never revisit the site because I want ours to be an active group. There are too many groups with thousands of members, many inactive, what’s the point if joining? Meetup.com do advise not to pay for everything yourself, anyone who objects doesn’t join our group, and everyone who attends events are friendly and welcoming.
I read Gabby’s entire blog and feel sorry she’s had such a hard time. I wonder where she lives, must be a big city because so far I’ve not had any unpleasant members or complete weirdos….yet.
There are a few odd balls and some I wonder why they joined and some you realise WHY they don’t have any friends. But I started this group for everyone and I’m aware I won’t like everyone but unpleasantness towards others don’t be tollerated. The good thing about these groups, as an Organizer you have the power of Vito.
So in a nutshell not everyone has had a bad experience and many of my members think Meetup is a great idea. Its been excellent for us moving to a new area.
I hope this helps.
April 1, 2016 at 10:26 pm #167964
I haven’t had luck with Meetups. It seemed that very few people attend Meetup groups on a regular basis. I also noticed that the majority of members aren’t diverse enough in my area. The ethnicity of the organizers can also influence who joins the group; for instance, I saw a group that only has Black women in them and the organizer was also Black. I’m interested in a diverse group, since I’m neither Black nor Caucasian. Groups with Caucasian organizers seem to have members that are a bit more diverse. So far, I haven’t had any success with Meetups in my area. Plus, I’ve seen other cities that seem to have more interesting Meetup groups that don’t exist in the city I live in.
April 2, 2016 at 2:39 am #167967
I think where you live definitely makes a difference. With my experience I had just left university and was really unimpressed with the small town I was living in and was hoping to find groups that would put me in touch with people my age and similar circumstances and of course it didn’t,it just put me with the same kind of people I was living alongside.
I can relate to looking at other cities that seem to have better meetups.
April 6, 2016 at 3:44 am #168572
I just wanted to say I find it appalling that I have read so many horrible responses about “other women” at meetups when this is supposed to be a friendship blog. Here is the exact quote that made me write in:
Jim: But even without this it is an easy way for people without social skills to become part of a social screen e and hence the high percentage off creepy or weird people.
I mean really, I understand the average woman would find so many others nearby in which she could rely on and relate to, that she wouldn’t have to bother with such a dismissive thing as MeetUp, but the viciousness of the reviews is what hurts me.
I joined Meetup in an attempt to ,yes, make true friendships because I have always been socially awkward and shy. Female friends were off putting to me when I was skinny because they would always comment on my bust size which has always been rather large. It made me feel very awkward around everyone, male and female. Then I started gaining weight in an attempt to reduce the bust/waist difference and all that seemed to do was make people hate me for being fat and ugly.
Im married and have a child and she always comments on why I don’t have any friends. It makes me depressed that I can’t trust people to just be decent, or who expect me to be a certain way in which I’m not. Men and women both have been awful with me and it makes me wish I could go to sleep and never wake up.
April 6, 2016 at 5:30 am #168576
Erica K it sounds like you have had some really toxic friendships in your life and taken quite a bruising from it. Normal healthy friends don’t make personal comments about your appearance.
You don’t sound weird or creepy to me and I really hope you have some good luck meeting decent people who will not treat you so badly.
April 6, 2016 at 10:28 am #168586
I commented on this thread sometime ago. Since then, I have closed my Meetup account and I am planning on exploring other ways of making friends. I am planning taking art classes at a community centre and meeting friends through other friends.
I keep looking back on my experience with meetup — I think the members and leader can make or break a group. Everyone goes to these things with different intentions. I say trust your instinct – if you get a bad vibe when you attend… try another until you find one you feel comfortable with. And once you’re comfortable, get a few contacts from there and make contact with these people outside of the meetup group.
@Erica – I went through somewhat a similar experience then you. Don’t let these nasty people wear you down. They’re NOT worth it… trust me.
April 6, 2016 at 12:09 pm #168605
I tried Meetups and joined a whole bunch, now I am just down to one and go once in a while. I did not experience the socially awkward people some talk about. I met some nice normal people but we didn’t necessarily become immediate friends. Over time I would say 1-2 ladies are people I enjoy spending some extra time with, friendly acquainteances if not close friends. That’s fine wtih me and I can meet people other ways too.
April 6, 2016 at 12:43 pm #168607
I haven’t been to any meet up groups for a while now. I am only sticking to ones where I have a interest in like for example music. And I went to one Meetup last month and the Organizers were nice and polite. Nobody else lifted a eye bat to me, they simply ignored me like I did not exist. Well that is how it felt. But I think there were people who attended who were not confident to say Hello. Some were much older than me but I felt nobody really wanted to get to know me. I am based in Surrey, there was a mid twenties/ thirties american women there she was so full of herself she blanked me! But I guess that is what some people are like from Meetups.
I do believe English people do keep themselves reserved. And it is our culture in England. Im not chasing friendships anymore I’m letting them come to me if I come in contact with people I mix with.
I have made a friend from Meetup which has taken me 2.5 years to get to know this person. She has been through a trauma so she’s had a few mental health problems. We share quite a lot in common. Being a only child, into music etc.. I have invited her to my house but have never got a invite back.. So I’m working on that one!
April 10, 2016 at 4:45 pm #168745
When I was single I made friends with another single gal and we would go bar hopping. She was one of the more “normal” people I met from meetup. Like the posts have mentioned, there are often some strange people at meet ups. meetup seems like a logical way to meet people but just like online dating, it was rather forced. Now that I have a child, I make mom friends mostly.
April 11, 2016 at 10:34 pm #168785
Probably not the answer you are looking for,
but head into meetups without an expectation of seeking friends.
I’ve never had success in the social department at meetups for a few reasons:
1. I find some of the people there are also looking for friends however, this also means there’s a load of socially awkward people (I love my socially awks friends, but just my two cents).
2. People are flaky. Meetups aren’t obligatiions. YOu probably will just become really good acquantinces that never leave the meetup.
3. On the other hand, people already have friends and are just kiling time, this will either make them flaky or just not interested in taking it to the next level.
4. Some meetups aren’t necesssarily that easy for social bonding.
5. The age group is more scattered (could be a benefit), which means that some are working, have other plans and are possibly married. This could be useful if you find your age group is stuck in some kind of phase.
SO since Yolandi $$$ has became so negative towards meetup groups, my altenrative solution is to find groups either from the local university. I have no ideas how old you are, but this can be quite helpful.
If you do go to meetups make sure you REALLY like the activity.
Some alternative ones i can think of are events that are not affiliated with meetup.
I use to go to spoken word poetry events. The people are extremely crazy and non-judgmental (there was a guy who took off his pants and started reciting to give context).
I’d say classes would be nice too, but like I said, I wouldn’t bet on the friendships turning into anything more than contained within the classroom.
I did however like an actor’s meetup. THat was fun. and an improv one. I haves of them on fb, and though I dont’see them in real life, i know they see each other quite a bit and go to film events etc after I left the group.
hmmm… sounds like an answer you aren’t looking for, but imo consider being comfortable alone. Sounds cliche, but in order to do this, get a sense of who you are by trying out hobbies.
going into an event and expecting to meet friends that click is kind of too much “setting oneself up for disappointment” especially if the activity isnt’ that interesting to you.
You’d be surprised at what a relief it is, to just do an activity without really expecting to make friends with anyone. It becomes more natural and organic, and you aren’t feeling like you wasted time.
consider online forums as well. those can be a great way to meet people, online of course and be safe. I am part of a few philosophy groups in reddit forums. I find in real life, nobody cares about that stuff lol
just a few thoughts
May 12, 2016 at 4:41 pm #170372
I feel that meetup is not serving it’s most basic purpose. I believe that the original intention of the meetup was to bring young urban professionals together who aren’t married. I think meetup was invented for singles because most of the older couple I meet have really no intention of meeting new people. I think it’s sad that older married people dominate something that is not for them.
[Last name deleted by moderator – For your own protection, please do not use last names on this blog. Thanks!]
May 16, 2016 at 7:08 pm #170514
Reading a lot of these comments, it’s sad how many people like to point out the “socially awkward” I think walking into a room full of strangers and trying to mingle could make anyone socially awkward. I have gone to several dinner meet-ups. They were just dinner specific, so it could turn awkward since conversation was a big deal in these situations. I had a couple of bad ones. I went to one where no one wanted to give me the time of day, but thankfully, these two ladies invited me to their table and I ended seeing them at a couple other dinner groups as regulars. We became friendly and acquaintances, but not real friends.
I think the key is to not go into a meet up with the intention of finding a real friend/friendship. I am very lonely and am looking for someone my age to do things with. My friends abandoned me after my sister died, so I have no one to go out with. I think chances of finding a friend at a meet up are slim to none.
I think most people go to meet ups for something to do, or do something they never did before and it would nice to do with some people rather than solo. I would guess many don’t come back a second time. Regulars do form cliques that are hard to bust into, and yet again, even regulars probably still ONLY meet at the meet up. If you met someone the first day a meet up you had fun with and had a lot in common with, you still can’t exchange information right away. You just have to hope they show up again. Very hard to make a connection that way.
I am trying to find meet ups that specifically say an age range, because a general meet up can be to diverse. I would not feel comfortable with a bunch of 20 year olds. I’m 40, and they don’t want to talk to me.
I think you might have better chances with making a friend if you do try to narrow it down to a very specific meet up. Like if you like graphic novels, you can’t just join the ‘Comic fans’ or “Geeks unite” meet up group. You need to try to find the “Graphic Novel Guru’s” group.
Sometimes that can backfire because then you might meet someone with only that one thing in common, but there is a chance that you find someone else that has your same interests.
I just recently realized that a good friend I’ve had for almost 10 years, we had very little in common other than dining out and shopping online. We saw some movies together, but dining out was essentially the only thing we did together, a little shopping. I did everything else with my sister. And I will never find someone else that compatible again.
May 19, 2016 at 5:31 pm #170661
I attend 2 or 3 Meet Up events a week. This has become my social life.
Usually one hike out in Nature or a park in the city, …usually one dance. ( rock, salsa, etc) and ‘something else’…perhaps play Slowpitch, go to a restaurant, a talk, play a board game, etc). Tried a hundred different activities at least once…archery, kayaking, finger painting,…
I belong to a dozen or so groups. For the most part nice people. Yes, a few oddballs but not creepy. I’ve been to perhaps 600 events over the last 5 years.
Meet Ups are just a group of adults coming together . For the most part rather casual, no pressure. It’s all about ones personality. It’s not the job of volunteer organizers to babysit, watch over, etc.other adults. Those with decent social skills will get something positive out of many events. Those with a negative attitude will most likely not…and the group won’t miss them.
May 24, 2016 at 2:59 am #170825
Sorry I am not familiar with Meets up.
[Last name removed by moderator. Please do not use last names on this blog. Thanks! Irene]
May 26, 2016 at 10:33 pm #170975
I really enjoyed all your insights into MeetUp. I think you really do encounter some quite singular people in MeetUp groups. It seems to me that you are best off pursuing your interests like reading, walking, gardening, cooking, music, film, theatre, art and you will click with people really sharing that interest.
I think quite a few people have an interesting idea of what is normal. At my first meetup with a walking group I was bombarded with questions (some quite personal) by a local woman who subsequently treated me like stale bread. I have been relegated to the “children’s table” as someone mentioned above, I guess I was considered as being not interesting enough to sit with the main people. Then there have been the ghastly experiences where some dreadful man has decided you owe him something because he is interested. This has meant me avoiding this meetup. I have come to believe that the ethos of this particular group is that it is a happy hunting ground for men (who couldn’t cut it in a bigger pond). Also, the organiser has an interesting attitude to other people’s information, she is a much too prepared to read out texts and emails verbatim for my liking. I feel it is quite rude to assume that such information can be broadcast in a public forum.
I would say hang in there, all of you, at least you are out there doing stuff with other people (even though they may have vexing issues) and you could whilst with the group meet someone from outside the group in a public place. Stay positive. I wish I could welcome all of you into my own meetup group.
June 22, 2016 at 10:09 am #173034
Ok, I have signed up since last year and haven’t come around to actively being involved in any Meetup groups. I have recently been interested to try one of the groups I have joined out but after reading all these posts I am nervous lol. Fingers crossed I have a decent and fun experience! I always had my doubts.
August 1, 2016 at 2:12 am #175080
I’ve been to meetup groups and organized meet-up groups. I guess it should come as no surprise that I’ve been happier by far with the ones I’ve organized!
When it’s your group, you say who can come (and more importantly, who can’t come!), what you do, when and where. That cuts out a ton of unwanteds for you.
Of course you still can’t control everything but if anyone has been disappointed with meetups, I suggest starting your own and having more control that way. For example, you can make people apply to join and answer a set of questions. You can then at least run a quick internet search on them. And you can specify things like age range, gender, etc., and decide when and where the activities take place. If anyone causes too much trouble, one click bans them.
There is a small monthly fee and a bit of extra work but hey, the way to get more of what you want is to be in charge of it. Now I’ll go back and read all the other meetup posts.
August 13, 2016 at 10:45 pm #175721
I joined a few meetups recently in an attempt to make more friends. I joined a vegan one where I already knew at least a few people. I also joined a rock climbing one at the suggestion of a closer vegan friend (closed one I feel like I made in the city I moved to). I actually will be going to the rock climbing one tomorrow. I’ll see how it goes. I guess meetups can work out if given a chance.
August 14, 2016 at 7:14 am #175731
Well, some of the comments about socially awkward people are really uncalled for. People who are shy or not the best at skilled conversation need friends to! It doesn’t make us bad people. I personally was very quiet at first but when you get to know me I am a warm and loyal friend. I joined some meet ups that cater towards a more introspective, sensitive type person. I domeditation, I actually do two groups for that, I do a support meet up for women who are recently divorced or widowed, I do one for social anxiety. They have been a lifesaver! Yeah, some of us are socially awkward but we have a lot to bring to the table. We just need a little help forming social connections. If you go in expecting everybody to be the life of the party, well sorry.
November 4, 2016 at 7:10 pm #179167
I am mid 50s female and I joined a few local meet ups to widen my social life and mainly to make ‘real’ friends – just like you. I found the same problem as many of you have: the same Meet Up Group atendees kept churning too frequently that I never really got to know anyone really well – just a sea of new faces for each event. I also found that when I did go out with a group, even ones that were planned outside of meetup, they were so mixed it was obvious that this was an ‘arranged’ situation and not a natural one. What put me off most though was attending a Meet Up and one attendee, someone I felt I could be friends with – eventually – telling me that she liked coming to this group because it made a change from asking ‘real friends’ to go out with to events that don’t interest them. This made me feel relegated to 2nd class citizen status owing to being stigmatized as a social misfit for needing MeetUp in the first place. I have revised my expectations now. I don’t expect to meet genuine friends at these events who I can bond with and develop mutual support with when times are tough (my idea of friendship), just people to hang out with for a good time and have a laugh with. If friendship does develop it will happen, if it doesn’t it won’t. I also overlooked something important when I joined these groups (about 6 of them), the people who join tend to be extroverts and prefer to go out larger groups and people like that tend to be far more superficial, I find – good at group dynamics, which I am not. I am an introvert and for me going out with a selected few or even just one person was far more appealing and not something I was ever likely to achieve with this sort of arrangement. That’s why if I do go to MU groups now I tend to only attend events that are meant to have large numbers at them even without the MU association: bonfire nights, parties, discos etc. Not meals out, cinemas visits, pub visits where fewer is better. I don’t want to be met with 100 Ken’s Event attendees all of us fighting to get a drink at the bar. No thanks. Denny
November 27, 2016 at 3:16 am #179763
Ive had good and bad experiences. One lady is awesome, she is really proactive and welcomes everyone. The group has taken off brilliantly, and she always replies quickly and nicely. She deserves a medal for the effort she puts in.
But then Im also in a Social Anxiety meetup; where the organiser is pretty lazy; he usually only pops in, and is often late. There are often a group of newbies, with social anxiety, all sat nervously on their own for the first time with no organiser and struggling. Many of course never come back… no prizes for guessing why.
My first pub meetup with this group was unpleasant. The organiser actually stayed, but he did nothing but rant obsessively about politics for hours; he is very intense and angry, and it was really quite off-putting. He sat ranting with the pretty girl next to him (who was flirting with him) and ignored the rest of us all evening. Nice
The venue is NOISY… not ideal for this type of group. He is too lazy to find another venue and ignored my suggestions.
Then there was another meetup in another very noisy pub, Manchester Megamix..I was very nervous when I walked in. The pub was packed and you couldnt hear yourself think; he said hi then pointed to a table across the way… Then a few more joined. Five newbies sat on a table… all nervous, he didnt even come over and say hello. It was very awkward. The organisers are there to welcome you and make you feel comfortable, maybe introducing you to others…? This is really not good at all
I was so disappointed as there isnt much I can get to on public transport, these were the only ones at a time I could actually attend.
I cant start my own as I have social anxiety and very nervous. I also cant cope with taking it on. I dont want to be one of those half assed organisers like those.
- This reply was modified 4 months ago by greyowl. Reason: wanted to add more
- This reply was modified 4 months ago by greyowl. Reason: wanted to add more
December 13, 2016 at 9:25 pm #180194
Everytime I told someone that I wanted true friends in my life, they told me to join meetup or start your own. I started my own meetups years ago and people would come at first and then stop coming. In recent years, I have gone to meetups and this is why they IRK me so badly:
1. The people refuse to have a conversation with you before the actual meetup. Basically, I am commiting myself to meet a group of women who I don’t even know.
2. When I get to the meetup, the group who know each other talk to each other and refuse to talk to the new people.
3. The people promise to come and then minutes before the meetup time they make up excuses, one lady actually said “I was stuck behind a file cabinet all day at work so I am sore and can’t come.” The thing is that it was a ticketed event and she never bought her tickets so she wasn’t coming anyway.
4. The women are snobs; one lady told me that she does meetups only because she is tired of her many friends who want to do the same thing every time they go out. One group of snobs dressed like it was cocktail party to go to cooking show.
The last meetup I went to was of 9 women. We didn’t talk to each other during the meetup and after an hour we all said goodbye. I came home and immediate left that group.
I have one last group to go and this group is trying to get people to go to dinner on 12/23, so far it is a disorganized mess.
In my view, the meetup site probably should hire someone to actually operate some of the meetups. Shy people and socially alone people just don’t have it in them to make a meetup work on their own.
January 24, 2017 at 1:52 am #181219
I joined a couple of groups. One was really good, mainly dinners and lunches, singles and couples. Then they got a new organiser, and it’s camping weekends away, car rallies and drinking nights.
The second group is for professional over 50’s, professional being a fairly loose description. Mostly women in their late fifties who want to talk about their jobs and how they are worried they won’t have enough money to retire on. I joined with a friend, but I am over 60 and retired, not on much money but quite content and travelling regularly. So they do view me as strange because I am happily managing on a small income. Although I have quite a good time with them, I do feel as though I don’t fit in.
February 23, 2017 at 7:16 pm #181798
I love meetups; been doing them for years. Most of the events are hits or miss but sometimes you get a really good friend/acquaintance out of it. After meeting a couple of ladies (of all ages), I stopped going to the meetups because in Toronto it was getting so repetitive; bars, drinking and food.
But I am really thankful for it. Throughout my entire adult life, I’ve been constantly dumped by friends (best friends even) and I tried not to let it bother me, I literally jumped into these meetups without any exceptions and I learned a lot about myself and my city that way.
Looking forward to new friendships, Anita.
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