Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Lonely woman wonders how to make friends

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

My main suggestion is that you should stay in one place long enough to establish yourself. This would be not only to meet people and make friends, but to also benefit personally from the activity.

Dipping in and out of groups, volunteering or going to church sporadically -- this really makes you a moving target. And while it's wise to try different things if something isn't working, being consistent will put you on the radar of others who are also consistent. For instance, if you volunteer, take the same shifts for a period of time to see if you click with any other volunteers.

Checking meetup.com in New York City, I see a huge variety of groups, including many advertised for the "young at heart" age group. You can join a book club, go bowling, play board games, go for hikes in the city or meet at a comedy club. You could also start a club devoted to a particular interest of yours -- even if your interest is to meet for coffee and discuss the challenges of friendship.

Dear Amy: My in-laws are travel nuts. They always expect my husband and me to accompany them. They are wealthy and can do what they want with their time. We work full time, live paycheck to paycheck and have a mound of student debt.

We try to politely decline, but they push, beg and plead until we agree. So, even though it's a financial burden, we have gone on most of their trips with them.

We took a trip last month, and my MIL has already told us where we are going this summer. She also said that they've decided to go to Europe next year, so we should think about getting our plane tickets!

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My husband and I cannot handle this. His attempts at standing up to them end up with him being bulldozed. They will keep fighting until you break down from exhaustion.

Generally, my in-laws are good people. How can we make them understand that we can't keep doing this, and how do we handle their bulldozing?

-- Wondering

Dear Wondering: How can you two possibly skip work for all of these holidays? If you can't, then don't!

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