by Iben

Christmas was coming near. For me it is the hardest part of the year. Early in December 2011 I sought refuge in pen pals on retirement- online.

Let me tell you what happened.
I answered ads.  I answered many ads. 
The next morning I found mail in my inbox. That was the fun part.

Then came the hard work. How do I tune in and establish contact emotionally? English is my second language and my culture is different from the American.   But I tried. 

One year later I can look back on countless pen pals that deposed of my  friendship  without saying goodby.  The culture online seems to be silent withdrawal, heartless and cruel.

But I also found some faithful pen pals and even had an exciting cyber romance.

Now I understand more.

The best pen pals I met master writing as their art form. But not only that. They also wanted to come close and share their deepest thoughts and feelings with me. I love that.

Others tell about their journeys, their vacations. They tell me the name of the places they visit. They gave of their time. We just did not click.

Now I am the one that want to fade out and end the whole thing. How do I say goodbye to a pen pal ? 

This was my first year. I am still learning.
If you are not willing to learn how write well all this can be a waste of time. It is more difficult than  I imagined one year ago. I was naive.

 The next six months  I will  improve my   writing skills instead  of looking for new pen pals.

 Then I will try again, better prepared and a little wiser....maybe.

Wendy: Pen pals, whether email or postal, are like real friendships -- some work and some just don't. Plain and simple...

BUT there is a world of folks out there waiting for communication from others. You simply have to work at friendships, just like in real life.

Pen Pal Friendships are really wonderful when you find those special people who fit your need!!


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Never too old
by: shirley slater

I thought I would just add my two penny worth here.
I used to be on Face Book and I was approached on there by a lady in Australia who was doing her family tree and thought may be I was a long last relative.

I explained that I was only a Slater by marriage and that my husbands family all came from Liverpool.

Anyway we carried on writing and it turned our she was in a gay relationship that was going badly wrong after 22 years together.

I helped her all I could during that time and they sold the home and split the money and both went their own ways, both ending up in the same mobile home park!!

Very quickly my friend met another lady and went headlong into a very passionate love affair.

During this time she could not be bothered to stay in touch with me so she passed me over to an old boyfriend of hers who she no longer wanted to write too either as this new partner was very jealous.

As a very happily married lady I didn't really want to do this...... so when the first email arrived from PHIL I didn't really know what to say to him, but he was chatting away about where he used to work and he had just rebuilt a bungalow etc etc.

He was so funny and so easy to chat to that 3 years down the line we email each other 3 times a day..........just GOOD MORNING and what's your weather like?

Then how did you day go?

Then it would be what your cooking for tea and what's on tele tonight?

Just to have that ONE PERSON in your life that is there everyday is really priceless believe me.

He even met my husband as he was flying into an airport that Phil worked at, and he was aware that we emailed each other every day.

They had a good chat and Phil took him to his greasy spoon café for a Full English Breakfast.

So don't be put off because maybe a man comes up as wanting a pen pal, they can be as much fun as a loyal lady can be.

Life's ups and downs
by: Iben

Hi Brenda
Let's hope your difficult time is over now.
I dream of visiting Irelamd myself,and France as well.

In my country Christmas is a family event, and many feel left out. But friends can celebrate Christmas together as well.

You ask where you did go wrong.
As human being we are all different Brenda. And many of life's events are outside our control.

If you read about research on friendship they say most people have only four friends or less.

Christmas is like a magnifying glass for all our losses.

We simply have to go on don't we? Walking in the sun in France and sitting in front of an open fireplace sounds nice!

I have learned one thing. If you seek out what you love the most and fill yourself up with that,you feel better. And when you feel better and content you attract others,

I would love to share an evening with you in front of an open fireplace.

Sincerely Iben

where do I go wrong?
by: Brenda.

I am a very happy person, and love to sing and smile, i love animals, I am not a great cook. I am jolly and love holidays to Ireland and love the winter if there is a big LOG FIRE. I love walking in the sun, and I like France and Cyprus and Italy. I am caring kind and not selfish, I have had a very bad 5 years and hoping my life will turn round, and I do say a prayer it will. I don't want to be alone at Christmas anymore, least of all at Christmas. I love people and so i do like to have friends Thank you all, and Good luck. Brenda.

Good advice
by: Iben

Thank you Terry.

I will remember this advice.
Do you have more experience to share with us all about this?

How about writing a longer entry or a little blog post about the art of letter writing and how to build friendship online?

We are many that need a little help.
Sincerely Iben.

Closeness. Cyber Romance or Disposable friends
by: Terry

I Can sympathize with Iben , Its far too easy to think that having pen friends is the answer to lonliness and lack of friend!

In reality Iben is correct being a penfriend takes literary skills and a willingness to share nnermost thoughts and dreams.

Far too many think that just writing a few terse lines constitutes being a good pen topics...not even simple life observations! those pen friendships are almost immediately doomed to failure.

What anyone who is considering being a penfriend should consider is....what sort of an email do I like to receive? chatty.newsy.funny. with pictures maybe?

From that basis you should then attempt to write an email that you would be eager to recieve. Like anything else in life its a skill that has to be learned..if you master it then the rewards can be great!

I have played host to penfriends from across the world and soon I will be a guest of two more in the far east.

I cannot tell you all how satisfying it can be to have close friends on here, but...its all about how much effort you are prepared to make.

Terry B

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