Home » Madrid: Ex-pat Experiences & Thoughts » Not So Social, Social Groups

Not So Social, Social Groups


After the incident at the Skeptics Group, I found myself re-evaluating what the Hell these meet-up social groups are really about, and who are they for?

They cater for an idea of what constitutes a social gathering, that is true, but its not really my idea of what that should be.

I have, I think, been kidding myself by seeing these meet-up groups as the best way of locating new friends. These groups are sold as meetings to find friendship, so, it is this marketing that has deluded me.

I now see that this meet-up group set up, is akin to picking up a man/woman in a bar, and then expecting to get married and live happily ever after with them! These meet-up groups offer no real, connected or longevity relationship; nothing substantial can come from this setting. It is empty, self serving, shallow and based on no form of real identity or trust.

I am not looking for a sexual partner, don’t get my words twisted, I am looking for a friend or friends. These are what such meet-up groups are supposed to be about; friendship connections, fun and interesting people, yet, they aren’t. Why aren’t they?!

It is a BIG FAT CON!

So far there have been empty promises, cancelations, being used for english language practice, men and women trying their luck, bitchiness, arrogance, self importance and ‘intellectualism’ (but really it has been delusions of grandeur)!

Put people together in such phoney settings and see the worst surface in them.

Are there genuine, and decent people existing in cities such as Madrid? Or, are they all too wrapped up in themselves, and their lives to allow potential decent folk into their little bubbles? Are they afraid of change, of something new, of a challenge?

I never felt it was hard to make friends before, OK, not all of those I have been friends with remain my friends, but at least I had friends! Here, in Madrid, it seems an up-hill struggle.

I feel as though I am having to make all the effort to connect, and it peeves me! I think I have eventually met a potential friend, and then it begins, the same old; ‘I can’t do that’, ‘have to cancel that’, ‘sorry but,’, blah, blah, blah!

Perhaps it is me? Perhaps I come across as weird or something? Perhaps being talkative, listening, being friendly and polite is weird? Perhaps I should try being rude, aloof and obnoxious? Perhaps next time someone says, let’s arrange to go for coffee, I should reply, if you want a coffee with me then you get in touch with me first and then we shall see.

I wonder if they would get in touch, but I won’t wonder for long! The answer is going to be that 99.9% of people won’t bother to get in touch!

This makes me doubly peeved; if I was looking for no strings sex here in Madrid, I’d have no issue, sex is everywhere. Yet, finding decent friendships is like asking for the sun and the moon on a gold platter! I really don’t get it; empty and meaningless sexual encounters holds more place in people’s lives than decent, fulfilling, longevity and substantial friendships!

Friendships are important, they can encourage, improve and stabilise mental, and spiritual well-being.

It is really quite sad when you think about what this ‘sex culture’ has to say about people, and their priorities.

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12 thoughts on “Not So Social, Social Groups

  1. hiya honey i popped by to say i made a quick post for you and then i read your post and i have to say many years ago in my youth i lived in spain and well it was awful, i found the people not only not friendly but actively ignored me and anything i tried to do, after a while i gave up i went down to Gibraltar but there was no jobs so i just threw my hands up in the air and came back to England sorry to say i wish i had more positive comments but my friend i cannot lie it was just plain awful, i guess though as long as you have wordpress you have us lot ^_^ and to tell the truth my dearest friends in all the world i met here on wordpress so stay strong and keep writing ^_^ hope your time gets easier soon take care xx

    • Thanks, for that! Oh, I just emailed you too!

      Oh dear, sounds bad. Not a nice experience at all then. what do you think was the reason though? did you find certain people more difficult or certain places harder to befriend people in? i think it is hard.
      I think more so with ‘ex-pats’ actually, as they seem to be stuck further in their own little bubbles. I don’t know, it is like they have their groups, and don’t want to include or admit anyone else!
      I know as far as Spanish speakers go, I struggled with deciding their motives for wanting to be friendly. Usually it is for free language lessons, and that again peeves me (to be polite)!
      I have one good Spanish friend, but see her rarely because of work commitments. So, I try and try and won’t give up! Yet, in stating this I feel stupid, as I know I’ll have the ‘mick’ taken out of me again by people taking advantage of me being eager to make friends! I feel like such a ‘Billy no mate’, like the kid no wants to play with! Haha!
      Oh well, it was good to hear your experiences as it makes me feel more comfort knowing this thing I am going through isn’t just a me thing!
      Thanks again!! Have a fabulous day!

      • hi again well at the time i started in malaga and travelled down the coast towards algethiraz bet i spelled that wrong ^_^ i wanted to become more involved with spanish people and the country i did meet others but when i used to travel i did it because i loved to meet and get to know the natives so to speak-,i travelled to more countries than just spain but spain was the only bad expereince the rest i loved,- i liked the different culture and lifestyle and i just wanted to experience real spanish life;- however i was vegetarian which at the time late 80’s was not popular and in fact i either was told i was insane stupid or annoying and that spain just didn’t have vegetarians i found it difficult to eat anything because they didn’t like me asking the ingredients and mostly they favoured roast/ grilled chicken. god chicken on spit roasts was everywhere ^_^ also i have a very strong stance against animal cruelty and i am afraid they found this laughable to say the least:( i lost count of the arguments i had with the locals as i ran after boys throwing stones at cats or stray dogs they had no idea of my concepts and wouldn’t even listen, i kept trying though as i moved on to each town i thought ok here i ,meet friends and finally begin my spanish adventure it never happened, even in gidralter i found it very difficult and that was all english! i guess some things are just not meant to be, maybe if i went now it may be different it was all thirty years ago, i don’t know, it cost me a heck of a lot of money and it was everything i had saved for years i just felt i had a very expensive bad experience ahh well you live and learn i hope you have a much better experience than i did, have a lovely evening xx

        • Yep, I think that is it – living and learning. Things have changed, and Madrid is supposed to be the capital city, although, some of their ways a d preferences (even here in the city), are what some might seem as behind the times. I think having Franco in power until ’75 has made progress slower, and in a way what other countries have experienced, Spain has missed out on. I agree on the food, still not 100% on veggie. Really you have to go to veggie restaurants to eat only veggie food. Also here it is pig, little Peppa Pigs everywhere! They love suckling pigs! Gross! Also their attitudes to animals improving, but I wouldn’t class them as the animal loving nation of the world quite yet!
          Yeah, it hasn’t been all bad. I had some really good months here, and still enjoy aspects of it, bar the anti-friendship brigade I seem to be coming up against!! I suppose in a city everyone wonders at everyone’s motives! Yeah, native people are friendly enough in the right situations, but also hard to get to know. I will have to explain this in another post!! I was amazed at some of the stuff I learnt as to why native people don’t rush to befriend you!
          Thanks again, have a brill night! Xx

  2. I feel your pain! It’s not really easy to make friends in Madrid, but don’t give up hope as its not impossible. The ex-pat scene can be a bit flighty because people are coming and going all the time and there are so many different (and not necessarily very compatible) expectations and motives in the mix that it can be hard to find something that “clicks”. I also value real friendship and agree that at times it feels like we’re a dying breed but I’m sure we aren’t the only ones. When I’m back from my holidays in South America I’d really like to meet up with you!

    • Hi you! Wow, you still out there, you LUCKY thing, I am so jealous! Is it fabulous??
      I am so glad you get where I am coming from, I didn’t want to seem like a paranoid moaner! Great, well I’d like that too. It is good to meet someone who does value real deal friendships!! So, we definitely need to arrange something outside of those group settings!
      Speak soon, oh, and have fun!

  3. Try a little closer to home. Do you have elderly neighbors? Befriend them. They are bound to have several grandchildren + their friends in their circle of family & friends. Eventually, you’ll be invited to a family gathering where the elderly neighbor will extol your many virtues. No elderly neighbors? Volunteer one evening a week at an elderly nursing home. Older people make the best friends. They share a wealth of knowledge born of life experiences. Young people don’t seem to have the time to invest in friendships any more, but it is a vital part of life. Drop your expectations just a little, get outside your own comfort zone and see where life takes you. I hope to learn of all the new friends you make.

    • Hi Barbara,
      Yes I have elderly neighbours, who are lovely people. However, I don’t speak enough Spanish and they speak no English at all! They have offered for me to go and talk to them in Spanish, but I am frightened as I don’t understand them when they talk! They talk so fast! I feel a little stupid and out of place! I would love to be able to get to know them better, but won’t over estimate my language capacity!
      I understand what you mean, as I agree that elderly people are great, and have experience and stories. I find them interesting and genuine! Younger people are quite shallow and too self involved!
      Hoping I can make some head way though!
      Thanks, and I will update the friend situation as I go along!

  4. Wow… friends are important. I know what you mean about having to be the one to reach out, friendship like that sucks. Hope it gets sorted out and you can find some cool friends there!

    • It seems complex to be honest! I have one good friend, who I hardly see due to not enough time in the week! Yet, expanding the circle of friendship has proven to be more effort than I bargained for! I agree reaching out all the time sucks, yet, I know without effort a miracle won’t just happen to solve the oroblem! I just don’t figure why people seem to not value friendship, well, not as much as other relationships! It seems sexual relationships take priority.

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