Suggestions for meeting new friends.

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  • #6575 Report



    I am a single dad who has sole custody of my 7 year old daughter, I have a very limited support group family wise (very limited support from my dad) and that’s it.  I have few friends, those I do have I am not able to see very regularly as they have their own lives/ generally busy.

    I am wanting to enlarge my circle of friends, but am somewhat constrained as I work full-time and when not at work I have my daughter… Though I cherish the time I have with her, I occasionally want adult conversation and to mix with grown-ups.   Any suggestions? – Online seems to be mostly dating sites rather than friends groups, just joined gingerbread today but see there are no groups in my area… Any advice for other in a similar situation would be great!

    Thank you, Jason  🙂

    #6578 Report


    I’m in a similar position. I have contacted the local Scouts group for my son and am going  to get involved as a volunteer which I hope will expand my circle of friends.

    #6583 Report


    Similar situation but I had to give up my job so haven’t even got the good interaction of my work colleagues now.

    It is somewhat harder being a single Dad in this regard as us males do not form similar social groups as women do. They chat, arrange play dates etc at the school gates. Not many males are in similar circumstances and you cannot simply pop round to say a mothers house for coffee and a natter if she is not single. Male’s social gatherings tend to be at the pub or sporting events and that is difficult if limited or no childcare.

    I haven’t any suggestions, think I have just accepted the fact that social interaction that I once had is over for sometime.

    Think Cassandra is on the right approach though.


    #6586 Report



    Have you thought about checking out your local ‘park run’? There’s a good mix of folks at these weekly events, weight and stamina are no issue, and it won’t cost the earth. I think meeting through sports clubs or other shared interests is the way forward, just find something you can do together that you’ve enjoyed before, or try something new. Personally I think 6/7 is a great Age as they’re more independent. Its been fun for me to pick up on things I did as a child. It’s difficult without knowing you to suggest something, but local to us we have martial arts for parent and child, Skate uk, snow boarding/skiing. Theres something for most budgets but you have to be open to trying new stuff and putting yourself out there

    #6590 Report


    Thanks DMP, not thought about running… (I am not much of a runner)  🙂 …I do think I need something I can do with my daughter and hopefully meet others that way, I have sole custody and her mum doesn’t see her too often, also my support network is not the best.  I am trying to get my daughter into skiing, I am a snowboarder so it will be nice to have something we can do together during the winter, I started her cycling during the summer months, but not currently something we do as a group activity.  Will be great while we are away in the mountains but not something we can do on a regular basis (nearest Snowdome is ~3hrs away).

    I think yours and Cassandra’s suggestions are along the right lines, I need to find some local clubs in the Swindon area which cater for kids and adults.

    If anyone reading this has anything further which has worked for them let me know, I refuse to just give up, gets pretty lonely working and living on my own with no one to talk to except my daughter.  Thanks all!  🙂

    #6605 Report


    I am based in Swindon, I did put that as a suggestion for thier site… Hard to judge demand for groups, don’t see a systemised way to do this via my profile.

    #6616 Report


    Believe me I’m no runner 😂 the whole idea for park run is to get folks having fun, meeting people and doing activities as a family, most of the people there aren’t runners. I actually did gung ho! last May with the kids too (google it), it was fab. This could be a goal you and your daughter work towards? I’ve also cycled with the kids through skyride and let’s ride HSBC Breeze networks, they do rides specifically for parents with kids throughout the UK

    #6663 Report


    Hello just joined tonight and thought I’d offer my advice to your post. Park runs are a great start as not only can you run in them you can also volunteer to time keep and so forth (you can at my local one). My social life revolves around my kids activities. I have 3 and my 2 youngest play hockey, I now coach and what with training nights and tournaments we all have new friends all over the country. I personally for myself found a community choir, maybe not for everyone, but I was desperate for a little of my own identity and my own time. It fit in nicely, once a week a couple of hours. Hope this helps.

    #8321 Report


    Interesting ideas. I’ve joined today and can relate. I’ve a 11yr old boy and we have been without his dad who we lost when he was 2. I’ve struggled to make ends meet working full time, juggling childcare etc and never really seemed to ‘fit into’ any social circle as work colleagues have changed as I’ve done fixed  contracts and they all seem attached. Friends all attached. Its a hard balance but it is important in my view to be there for your child and then to see what as you say, you can both do together. I started yoga with my son, but its not somewhere we meet people. I too am pondering what we may do. Perhaps ramblers or something.

    #8370 Report



    Sorry if I’m repeating what has been says already but have you tried the Meetup app? You put in your area and interests and it shows you local interest groups. I was a bit skeptical when I first looked on it but there seems to be quite a lot on there including family Meetups and things that you and your daughter could do together with other families. Maybe worth a look?

    #8419 Report


    Hi, I’m Sarah, coordinator of the Derbyshire Gingerbread Group.  If there isn’t a Gingerbread group near you (and you don’t fancy setting one up), I find Netmums a great place to find other local parents.  There are chat boards so you can get to know other local parents online and also the meet-a-mum system where people organise regular meets in their area which has just been relaunched.  Making new friends as parent can be hard and the only friends that I’ve made since making school/nursery parent friends have been through my Gingerbread group and from Netmums meets when my son was a baby – both of which I’ve organised myself.

    We have some wonderful single dads in our Gingerbread group and it’s great for children who don’t have a positive male role model in their lives to spend time with them, and likewise for their children to spend time with us – as well as having them to balance out the female dominance of the group.  Some dads are put off that the Gingerbread group will be a men-hating group, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.  Parents often remember the awful days of toddler group clicks and the alpha mum with her top of the range everything – but in my Gingerbread group, I’m the alpha and I make us all drink coffee and support each other.  If you are interested in setting up a group, please send me a PM, I’m always happy to talk to people about it.

    Sarah x

    #8640 Report


    Hi Jason

    My little girl is 6 and she does rainbows and I help out occasionally, your little one would be brownie age as they start at 7. She seems to like it as she mixes with kids she outside of school and I actually get to meet the parents (I work full time so don’t get to meet the ones at school). Near us they do family martial art classes check your local leisure centres and clubs to see if they do any. We also do junior park run. She runs I Marshall and cheer with my son (he is 14). I’ve found it difficult to make friends as I don’t do the school run so we do different volunteering things together.

    You’re right about most of the online groups – they do seem to be dating not friendship although this one seems good.

    Good luck and if you get any ideas let me know.

    Sarah 🙂

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