Making friends

Hello all!

I wanted to know if anyone had any tips on how to make friends when you are living (temporarily) in the French countryside until your financial situation improves to get an apartment in or near the city with your French husband (of 3 months ;) )

Any tips are welcome, I've been having a hard time emotionally feeling isolated and lonely without anything nearby and without friends to visit or even people who are more open minded and/or have traveled abroad and have a more accepting view of foreigners.

Thanks in advance!

Hey Cristina, totally clear. iVE been in my town for years, and i know everybody so feel comfortable going into cafe's with little old men and having a chat, that can be fun. not sure the danger is with the little old men.but i totally understand that its maybe not what your looking for, without be too fussy.

where do you live? really out in the sticks? maybe you should go to a gym in a town nearby, or a fitness class, they do have these in small towns too. in the mean time. good luck

In France there's a huge difference, unfortunately for anglosaxons, between polite chat, even friendly chat in a club etc and going out for a drink, being invited round for coffee etc. that's the same for French people too, it can take years rather than a few meetings in the UK/USA and seems to be one of the biggest social problems encountered here. Glad you've found a club though, that's often the first step otherwise family comes before everything else here, certainly in the south, my sister-in-law said it took her years to feel at home and accepted in her village after moving 10km, yes just 10km from where she was born...!

Where in Texas did you live?

Yeah, I used to live in Saint Etienne (Loire valley) and even going downtown at noon on a Saturday with tons of families and such around, 9 out of 10 times, I'd get extremely non PC comments and advances... It's definitely different from going out alone in the US or even Mexico, and it's by learning the hard way that I've discovered this. Sadly, it now inhibits me a lot more than before, at least as far as going out anywhere :(

I joined a fitness club for women, and actually feel very welcomed there, it's a small place and the two trainers and the receptionists know your name and story and all, so that helps to see different people of different ages and such, though I have yet to make a connection with someone enough to see them out of the club. I'll admit I had not particularly thought about maybe looking into other local associations, it is seriously quite a small small suburb. Ironically, from what my husband's family say, it seems that everyone knows I am the only "etrangere" in town, but nobody tries to come up to talk to me yet. Sigh. I appreciate the support, and will try to keep an eye out for posters or ads or things about upcoming events or groups, that would definitely be cool!

very wise to be wary Cristina, loan women in bars in France is not the same thing as a loan woman going into a pub in the UK (US perhaps) and many people wrongly think it is, especially in some parts of rural france so I'm not at all surprised by non PC approaches, see my earlier comment for ideas ;-)

lol, depends on what your definition of "Mexican American" is, I was born in Mexico to a Mexican father and an American Mother, I have dual nationality and have lived extensively in both countries (including Texas).

I promise I do try, and with the language barrier little by little being less of a problem, I hope to make some progress soon! :D

I'm sorry if I wasn't clear, what I meant is that if you are a young woman, particularly with different physical features, it is extremely sensitive and sometimes dangerous in certain places and times to venture out alone. I hope you have never experienced this kind of insecurity or treatment, all I meant by my comment is that in a very very wide spectrum of cities and places in France, I have been approached in very non PC ways, and personally would like to try to avoid getting in any more difficult or scary situations :(

the best way is to join a club or an association, especially in rural areas. When talking about settling in and being accepted, my mother in law says it takes at least 2 years (and she's french and was talking about my OH, obviously French too, as we're moving areas and have moved around a lot and she's about right) now if we're talking about non-natives that could take a whole lot longer...! BUT get into a local association and it speeds the whole thing up: I'm English but have far more friends in the area through my cycling club than my French OH who doesn't do any sport, or when she did it was with the wife of one of my cycling mates...! Beware of some rural bar/tabac that are just for the local men, it can be extremely difficult to fit in there and you'll be seen as an allumeuse if you're not careful and lose any support from the local women. Bonne chance ;-)

You didn't say that you only wanted to meet certain people. Older men are people too, and they have families who are younger.

If you ask what if then perhaps you are looking for excuses not to meet people.

What if there isn't really a little cafe, but more like a tabac place where you only find a lot of older men all of the time? :-/

You will find that if you are open, friendly and honest with people then they will accept you into their community. This applies very much to country people.

Try going to your local village bar and drinking coffee. Say hello and smile at others and there will be no problems.