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Meeting new people if i make the move.

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Hi everyone,

I have a question for anyone that may be able to help. My parents live in Montmorillon and i want to come and stay for the year. Im a designer and i work for myself so earning a living is no problem. I love the area and how relaxing it is and would love to try to make a life there. The problem is im 40 and single and worried that i wont be able to find younger people to mix with. I have freinds from all age groups but i would love to find people a bit nearer to my age.

So does anyone have any advice?

Im in Montmorillon next month for a few weeks visiting, and i will be deciding then if i will make the stay more permanent.



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I had a similar problem for a couple of years Anna, because of my age (44 when i arrived) I didnt want to go nightclubbing and I found that peoples social lives did not exist beyond when they married until they were retired.

I joined walking clubs and tried all sorts of other clubs but the members were universally retired people, nothing wrong with that and like you I have friends of all ages but could not find a way to meet those of my age and under.

Then I discovered AVF (Acqueil des villes Francaises) http://www.avf.asso.fr/ which at my locale is split into groups of "inactif" the retired as above or those free during the day and "Jeunes Actifs" who dont have to be young just only available for social activities outside of working hours.

The association was set up to help those (including foreigners) who have moved to new and unfamiliar areas.

Dependant on how active your local group is you will be able to meet up, go out on activities, trips, restaurants etc several time a week although usually little or nothing happens during les vacances and les vacances scholares which is when the singles have the greatest need.

link edited by a moderator as per the post below

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Thanks for both of you for that. unfortunately it doesnt cover the area i want to live in. Im sure if i wasnt single im sure it would be a different matter!

I have been searching for a while now for different organisations and groups and the Vienne seems to be a bit of a quiet area.

Oh well, any other help is very welcome!

I would also like to add that in no way would i want to offend those older than me. Some of the people i have met though my parents are absolutely wonderful. Its just that you do feel like piggy in the middle at gatherings when youre the youngest and single. A sort of generational gooseberry if you like :)


Anna :)

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[quote user="Will"]JR, I tried that link and got something different - what I think the original questioner needs is Accueil des Villes Françaises, www.avf.asso.fr. It does look useful, though not all regions seem to be covered. I hope you don't mind me pointing this out.[/quote]

Does Mrs Will know you're visiting these sorts of sites? [6]

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Mooby, just rejoice in being "young and single" for as long as you can. Having grown up from being a serious precocious child, I turned into a rather solitary and earnest teenager and then into an anxious, overcareful mother and so on.  Because of my personality, I always seemed to be the youngest of any social group as I always gravitated towards older people.  It was shock-horror when the day came and I was the oldest in a group!

Ugh...............  Then, Blair became Prime Minister and Rowan Williams the Archbishop and I thought, "Heaven forbid, I am older than both the PM and the Archbish"!  That was a horrifying thought, especially when you look at the photos of the Archbish and he looks older than the Welsh hills from which he originated!

So........Mooby, enjoy, relax, grow old gracefully or disgracefully in your own way.  It will be soon enough when you get to travel free on the buses!

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Dear sweet 17,

You misunderstand my question. Thanks for the advice but it doesnt really apply to me.

Im a professional designer and i run my own business (you will see my work on tv everyday). I am a well adjusted person who is incredibly sociable and at ease. The problem with spending too much time with older people is that they feel this overwhelming compulsion to give you advice when you dont ask for it or need it. It feels a bit condescending to be honest.

Especially when i am a self made success, and have been through a huge amount of life experience for my age. People keep saying i should write a book about my life (at 40!).

All i wish to do is to know that if i move to france i will not be continually humored by the older generations and have some kind of connection whith thoseof my age group ( that dont think they should act like my parents). If i was 17 this would all be rather petulant, but at 40 its just tiring.

Thanks anway though s i know you are well meaning. and on these words 'So........Mooby, enjoy, relax, grow old gracefully or disgracefully in your own way.'....

Too late as i fear my place in heaven is slipping to a million in one chance!

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Mooby, my apologies if I sounded like I was giving you advice or appearing to be exactly like one of those old people humouring you.

Of course, I wish you all the best.  Rural France doesn't sound like the "in" place to be at any time and you will have to think long and hard before you commit to being here full time.

Why not keep your options open, do say, 6 months here and 6 months back in your usual place.  With time, I am sure you'll find your niche.

Don't mind me, no offence meant.  Just reflecting as us oldies are inclined and perhaps are entitled to do. 

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Im sorry too as i dont mean any offence. I have always respected my elders and im the kind of woman that has only ever learned anything from asking someone with more experience than me.

Also im a teetotal drinker (im allergic to alcohol), so my idea of fun is not partying  the night away. Its a sit down and have a bloody good discussion with people who can hold a conversation. So i dont head for the 'in' places.

I like to be around decent people with a sense of humour (and maybe a touch of wistful malaise!). The reality is though, as im sure you may remember (seeing as its not that long ago) that at 40 especially if you are single, your decisions at this age can determine the next 10-20 years. So i am doing my homework so i can avoid having to extract myself from a situation that may be unpalatable 10 years down the line. I.E not really finding the life i envisage and moving back to the uk at 50 and still being single.

Having been on my own for 7 years its now time to settle a bit. So you can see the need for all the questions. My maxim for many years has been "If you dont decide your own destiny or future, someone or something else will do it for you." Along with the old chesnut "Failing to plan, is planning to fail". Although my all time favourite is from a 12th century japanese monk who said. "The longer you stay in the toilet, the less you notice the smell" !! Not relevent but funny!!

Thanks again Sweet17, I really didnt mean any offence, you sound like a lovely person.

Anna :)

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Hello Anna  - I don't know where Montmorillon is, but if it's a country place I think you would be very bored and frustrated trying to find a social life. If you go to live in the nearest big town or city you're more likely to meet other single people of your age. Rural France is much quieter  than rural Britain. ps just looked it up on Google and you're near Poitiers and Limoges, both good sized towns.

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J.R's gone native

 I found that peoples social lives did not exist beyond when they married until they were retired.

Another 40sth’s opinion.

As someone only a few years older than you, I’d say DON’T do it if intelligent social life is important to you. The French are dreadful conformists at the best of times and, in the provinces, you’d be bored out of your mind looking for ‘’intelligent and varied’’ social life. I’m also a teetotaller, very aware that drinking is an important part of their social life and that high alcoholism is a major problem.

Also, away from the major French towns, their crushing conformism can leave independent Brits of our generation stunned.  Possibly, that’s why these areas attract the retired.  Don’t believe their so-called romantic ‘rebel’ labelling of themselves.  They’re as rebellious as my boring little toe (hence dull) and that also applies to those in the major towns too (not that I've met them all, but why let scruples get in the way of  excellent advice?[6]). Eating lunch at 11.30 am or 14.30 would be rebellious for them. Worst still, in the provinces, once they hit 40……    

By the way, to socialise, good French is obviously considerably more important in the sticks than in a large town. So, what is your French like?

My suggestion: If you want a slower and quieter pace AND social life, move to a town of around 50-70K people, as you’ll have a lot more choice and guaranteed ADSL/Broadband.  J.R's comment above is accurate.  Perhaps do the year at your parents’ place and use that time to find a suitable town. 

By the way, as a singleton in your 40s (especially without children), it’s extremely easy to find a partner in a town of  50-100K inhabitants, assuming you like backward mucho macho intellectually challenged men and accept that 90% will come with children. Around here, I’m amazed at the amount of men in their 40s, 50s etc that go to discos week after week. They also think it’s exciting. EEEEEEEEK!!![:-))]

However, if you’re the timid traditional type, a tiny town of under 10,000 may be just up your street, so feel free to ignore the above.

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LDG has it bang on, imo!  I'd be inclined to head for Poitiers - small towns are rarely the hub of social activity.  Round here, for instance, I'd advise anybody who wants to do more than just visit the market once a week and go for the odd walk, to head for Le Mans which, because it is the adminstrative centre of the department and has  a big universtity, has more professional people living there, more cultural activities, and thus a more varied amount of things to do,and people to meet.

Btw, if you think people in their 50's do nothing but give advice you don't want, then I'd suggest that asking for advice on this forum was possibly not the way for you to go![:D]  There are, because of the nature of this place (sorry guys!) quite a number of old f*rts on here![Www][6]

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LOL You made me laugh so much with that!

Thanks, its what i suspected all along. I did spend 2 months there last year and didnt see many younger people around. I wanted to check that it wasnt just me!

Thankyou so much!

Anna :)

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Good advice too!

I see what you mean about asking on this forum. The thing is, i was only asking about the demographic of people and what my chances were. I wasnt in need of life advice as i have been a guidance councilor in my spare time for over 10 years now, so im a fairly together person. I welcome pearls of wisdom from anyone. Goodness knows we all need it. I just find it funny.

My best friend here in the uk is 55 years old, so im certainly not ageist. On the contrary, im quite mature in my attitude so i like speaking to older people. Like most however, i like a good mix of people in my life. As we all know, different issues affect different age groups.

Anyway, thanks to everyone for filling me in. I think i have enough information to mull over for a while.


Anna :)

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Mooby, if for you the difference between 40 and 55 is not being ageist because you 'have got an older friend', then you are in for a shock. Those years will flash by.

In reality, I am actually a 40-year-old who has suddenly and unexpectedly found himself at 59. Now what did I do wrong? How did I get here?

 Old Man

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Mel,  Thanks for that.

Yes i am aware of that principle..... i was 30 only 5 mins ago. You have to bear in mind that like alot of people in your age group i do have a lot of gratitude for my life.

Im really not going to go into details here but believe when when i say that im actualy lucky to have made it this far. The last 20 years have been a long and slow struggle. The fact that i have built a business at the same time is no mean feat. I shouldnt really be here, and that my wise friend is what focuses my mind.

The curious thing is you see, that in my experience, age does not ensure wisdom. Life experience does. Even at the tender age of 40, i have lived through enough struggle and pain for 2 lifetimes. I kid you not.

Thats why my freinds are usually older than me, because they can understand where im coming from. People my age usually only have a slight inkling of what real struggle is. Whilst they were busy having lots of fun, i was busy surviving.

I wrote something a few years ago when i finally started to break through things and turn my life around. I would like to share it with you. Its a bit long but please read it. It really contains my outlook on life. I will post it below.


Anna :)

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Taken from my diary 2006

Perception is reality.

I am constantly reminded that the feeling of comonality that most of us

humans share, is in fact a joint and agreed illusion. Of course being

similar in genetics and motive of survival, (and the basic fact that

our brains are all built the same familiar way), its understandable

that we share similar points of view.


one thing that stands us all apart from each other is or perception of

our own world. Who we are right now and how we got here, where were

going and how much time do we have left. When we are quiet and in our

own space, these are questions that we ask ourselves.

If we admit this to ourselves or not, we still go through the same process of reviews and checks, just to see how we are doing.


this process, something subtle occurs. its almost as if we are not

aware of the rules under which we operate on a daily basis. Many times

often than not, we never realise that  those rules are self imposed.


we continue.......and ask the same questions of ourselves again and

again.  But every once in a while, we change a question or two. The

emphasis from familiar cycles in our self governing shifts.....and

almost magically, we understand something more about our lives. Answers

appear, and deadlocks weaken.

Deeper is our sleep that night

and brighter is our day when we wake. ...........In my eyes, this is

the change in our perception, and with it a change in our reality.


have so much more power than we give ourselves credit for, and we are

indeed masters and mistresses or our own ongoing  story.

As movie taglines, and lowbrow novels extoll, with that power, comes responsibility.

For perception is reality and we must use it wisely

Anna :)

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Its also interesting to add that one of my websites has just been viewed by someone from Moulineaux after looking me up. Interesting!

I have a site meter stat counter that gives me the details of who has visited one of my sites.

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That is really interesting, Mooby...

I particularly agree with, "We have so much more power than we give ourselves credit for, and we are indeed masters and mistresses or our own ongoing  story."

Like you, my adult and family life has been so traumatic that if it were a television programme, people would say it was too far-fetched. And it is thoughts similar to your line above that has seen us through and continues to do so.

Good luck to you whatever you decide and enjoy your decision!

Dove 2

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Thanks Anna,

As I get older, I find that now, more than ever, I consider life from other people's perspectives. Sometimes the excitement and speed of life during youth can accidentally, or otherwise, cause selfishness on everybody's part. When I make decisions these days, I consider how they might affect others. I try not to get it wrong, but if I do, I will backtrack and try to put it right.

Life is great, but it is short - and who knows what it might be a precursor for?

Control your destiny with care and have a great life!


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