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Some information upfront: I'm 21, our group of friends is between 18-21, we're all from Germany.

Problem is, all of my friends and I meet up frequently to smoke a hookah (pretty common here in Germany), which I try to quit at the moment. Works to an extent so far, sometimes I just give in and smoke. I feel like they won't invite me to go out anymore, if I tell them I quit it for good, because literally every weekend got something to do with hookah lounges or something similar. Not that I think they wouldn't want me around them anymore. But I feel like they would figure I don't want to come because I quit smoking and thus not invite me in the first place.

All of my friends are getting minimum to under minimum wages. I myself am getting paid way better than them, because I'm working in a big company whilst writing my bachelor thesis.

Every time I try to suggest something they always decline by saying they don't have any money to go there, don't have enough money to drive there by bus or just don't have any interest do go there. Sport activities also just get dumped as soon as I suggest it.

How do I communicate to my friends that I, although I stopped smoking, still want to join them when they go out, because I value them and enjoy their company?
I also would like to communicate that we should do other stuff too, without being annoying, since I am not 100% sure these excuses of not having enough money are always true.

  • I would figure true friends wouldn't judge you for stopping your smoking but then again it could be considered an activity that bought you together in the first place. What else do they do that you could chip in on maybe? – L_Church Jul 24 '18 at 13:24
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    Have you tried inviting them to something where smoking wouldn't be a thing? Movies, playing sports, etc...? It seems from your post, albeit it's not much information, that you wait for them to invite you to hang out rather than being proactive. Also, when you invite, you get to pick who comes. – Yousend Jul 24 '18 at 13:24
  • @L_Church As I said, literally every weekend revolves around smoking – Suimon Jul 24 '18 at 13:44
  • @Yousend I asked them for other things often in the past, but stopped since they never seemed to be interested. If I suggest something which is a little more expensive than smoking at the hookah lounge they always decline. I don't know why, but all my friends are doing a training (I really don't find any better translation) with minimum to under minimum wages while I am studying in 6th semester, writing my bachelor thesis and getting payed pretty good. So they always complain about not having the money I have to do such activities. Sports is thrown out the window in milliseconds every time – Suimon Jul 24 '18 at 13:49
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It is very challenging to keep your old friends when making a major lifestyle change. Though you may not consider your decision to stop smoking hookah as recovering from an addiction, "making new friends" is a key, often-repeated advice for those that are quitting an addiction.

There are two things that you can do: do different activities with your current group of friends, and make some new friends.

Even if you're making a lot more money than your friends, there are so many free and low-cost activities that you can do with them: going to someone's house to order pizza and hang out/play video games, outdoor activities (riding bikes, hiking, etc), finding free activities in your city. If you live in a student town, maybe your friends can go with you to a Burschenschaft that hosts parties where you can drink but choose not to smoke. If there are any people in the group that you are closer to, maybe you can hang out with them one-on-one, and you can go to the gym together. Since smoking hookah is the norm in your friend group, you will have to initiate these activities, and it might be hard to get your friends to agree to them. Be upfront that you are trying to quit smoking hookah. The key is to tell your friends that you miss hanging out with them.

Since you're writing your Bachelor's thesis, you should try to build relationships with your colleagues, especially if they are close to your age (that's a good idea regardless of whether you are trying to make new friends or not). Some other outlets to meet new people in Germany: meetup.com, Reddit, cultural organizations in your town, sports Verein. You can see whether you can get a tandem partner, or take a class to learn a new skill. It's always painful to be at a transition point in your friend group, but ultimately you'll learn who the most valuable and supportive people in your life are. Best of luck to you.

  • Thanks, sounds great and might actually work out for me, although I'd describe myself as pretty shy. The "make friends through university" pretty much flies out the window, I'm doing distance studies (can't really think of a better translation sorry). The rest I'll definitly try out some of the things! Asides that, I need to state my primary goal is not making new friends - I really want to keep the current ones. I also have no problem with going to the hookah lounge with them, the atmosphere there is always great. I mean, I can also go there, have a great time and not smoke :D – Suimon Jul 25 '18 at 13:57

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