Ya know Doc, I too thought the same about people. In the town where we live things like what high school you went to are a huge deal, more than even what college you went to. People have their social circles set up. I was never in any groups or anything. It was just my wife, me, and often my parents hanging out on weekends before we DA'd. We really had nobody when we were "in". Love bombing happened when we would go to a new congregation, and I knew all kinds of people and was fairly well known throughout the area. But those "automatic friendships" were never anything more than acquaintances. My wife and I would go out to eat or do something alone and stumble upon large groups of Witnesses out doing things, things that we were never invited to. Maybe your situation is different and your friendships had more depth than merely seeing each other at meetings or out in service. Ours never were anything really. Any momentum was always short lived.
I really think there is something about leaving the dubs officially and altogether that make some difference. I don't know why but we were never able to make any kind of friends outside of the organization while still in. Maybe we had dub-funk on us and other people could smell it. Maybe it was us self-sabotaging because we knew as Witnesses we shouldn't really have friends outside. I don't know, but once we were vulnerable and let people know what we were going through, once we got out, we suddenly had things open up for us.
Again, our clients became our friends to start. After years of turning down offers to go to little social things here and there from people we worked with we started saying yes. We started going to football games and talking to people around us. We've made sure to friend people on Facebook as a way of keeping tabs and starting relationships.
You could also try getting involved in some volunteer activities. Do something nice with other people doing the same and you might find some connections.
Funny how some people in the organization did really find some meaningful friendships. I had some when I was younger but the never lasted. We tried so hard, so very hard, when we were in. We always ended up on the outside looking in anyway, so being outside isn't anything new to us. I really do think there's something that has changed in us since leaving officially. Even our clients have told us that we seem so much happier and free, less standoffish. It was like we were running a race with a heavy pack on our backs and we sat it down and are running free.