I think Ada's right. My brother has maintained some friendshipes with JWs, but these are people who are considered "spiritually weak." It depends more on the kind of friends you had among the JWs than the kind of person you are.
Do nice people who leave the truth have more friends?
As JW's we had our social structure created for us. There was nothing else, if we were good JW's.
Since I left, its gotten much smaller, but its my choosing and I like it that way.
We had many good JW friends, all over the world. Many have tried to contact us, sent emissaries from as far away as England to try and find out what happened to us.
Our new friends are our neighbors, family that have left the JW's, and special interest ones in our hobbies. No, we are not sulking hermits, just selective.
I would think, pursueing your interests will net you many like-minded friends, it has for us.
True, we miss sometimes our old JW friends and they do us. One, who is in the CO work still sends letters and comes by to visit on their vacation. We share the same date for our anniversary and each send cards. They don't seem to care about the WTS admonishments not to greet us. But that is rare for JW's.
You've chosen a new direction away from the JW's. You no longer share the same things. Change is in order.
But the bottom line for us is, we are happy. It took a little time, so be patient, it was well worth it for us, it will be the same for you.
I am 57 I have been out of the tower since 83. The friendship issue was hard to get over
and probably had a lot to do with my not leaving on January 1, 1976.
I have as many friends as I want, which is my wife. I could have more to have a friend you have
to be a friend. I am fine with aquaintances.
I have a AAA card and some money in the bank.
If you took that way, I would need friends.
I left the tower, i didnt get kicked out or thrown out so I still get to see familie members
who are still trapped inside. Non family I dont really care about.
My mother forced me to be a witness from birth.
I also had worldly friends from school and work over the years.
I still stay in touch with them.
Please check your pm's.
We were very nice. Very kind. Very spiritual [according to JW standards]. And we did all the above for a long time [since around 1960 the year my mom accepted the religion and the same year my wife was 2 years old born in].
My wife's status is different than mine. I DA'd while she did not. Her mom is still alive and she wanted to maintain contact. She agrees with me on the matter, and would have DA'd at the same time I did otherwise.
She has a few Jw's who will talk to her in public, but no Jw friends. None of them call or stop by since well before I DA'd.
The social structure of Jw's is scripted by Brooklyn. They have no idea how to depart from the script.
Being a JW, you never really had any friends. You might have had people to do certain things with not pertaining to WT issues, if female you might have gone shopping, if male, we would play basketball on Friday nights. I was always considered a trouble maker because I would question things and push as far as I could. While I was called "brother", I knew these people were not friends. While still in, I met non dubs and made friends with some of these. Most I met at work. We could go fishing, hunting, play sports and go to concerts. After I left, it was easy to see who your friends were, as you are now aware also. In my case, I don't want a long list of friends, just a few people to do things with, but be able to count on them when I need something. One of the guys I hunt with told his wife that if anything ever happened to him, to call me. I would know what to do, and for her to do what I said. I have known him for eight years, have been friends for about five. That is what friendship is, he trusts me to do what he would do if he was not able. To advise his wife on anything, because he knows me so well and trusts me. You do not need many friends like that, just a few are fine.
You have been given many good suggestions from other posters, try some of the ones you feel comfortable with. You will meet people, some as aquaintances, maybe some will become true friends. Make sure you know the difference, and as already been said, you have to be a friend back. It will be a learning experience, enjoy. I wish you success.
I wonder if some ex JW's in your area would make good friends,nothing is certain of course, but those who have left must empathise fully for a start, and common ground is a good basis,you also get to meet their friends and spouses etc.
Just put a general guide on here as to your locality and ask people to PM you.
I had a similar upbringing to Ada in that we werent considered spiritually strong enough to get invites from fellow witnesses, yet we werent allowed to have 'worldly' friends either. So, we had noone but each other and that can get pretty old very fast...lol. You feel like an outcast within your own religion which is meant to be loving and inclusive. Yet when you go to assemblies, meetings and field service, you dont have anyone to hang with. It was a VERY lonely existence. I believe it to be one of the reasons my brother left in fact. I too would have gone sooner if I wasnt so scared of dying at Armageddon and fear of my parents shunning me.
I agree with alot of the posters here. Try and make some networks around you. Through work/school or whatever it is that you do. Are there any social groups you can join locally? Maybe a walking group? Games nights? Hobby groups?
in my experinace of the JW's it was the nasty people who got most freinds. But in the real world it works the other way around.
I do belive that you get back from the universe what you give to it