To ask about your friends

(25 Posts)
Grannysmithy Sun 13-Nov-16 20:07:44

It's recently dawned on me that I don't actually have any true friends. Don't get me wrong, I lead a happy & full life & have my own family whom I love dearly, I have an OK job & a hobby that I enjoy. My days are full & I feel satisfied with my lot, with just this exception.

I have a couple of people who I consider to be friends, but over the last couple of years I have noticed that they don't actually seem that interested in my life. When we meet it is mostly discussing their lives / problems & there seems to be little interest on any aspect of my life.

I have a friend who has recently moved area & although I've known her for many years I am questioning how much of a friend she really is / was & wondering if our friendship will now fizzle out. I have always felt inferior to her in many ways, she's always been very financially stable (whereas I have not) and I've always had this feeling that she felt superior towards me. I've had some tough times in the past (miscarriage, depression, difficult housing situation) and even though I tried to be open & honest throughout these times I've been left feeling a bit bitter if I'm honest as I feel that she never really offered any support or understanding & just minimised any problems I was having.

She is very materialistic & does have snobby tendencies, which are not traits I like. Underneath all that though there are times when we seem to be on a level & do have good open conversations, although over the years these have got less.

Sorry if this all sounds a bit garbled, I'm kind of thinking out loud.

I suppose my question is, do you have many true friends or just mainly acquaintances?

Also, do you think it is just natural to drift apart as you grow older? Are you happier with time to yourself or are friends really important to you?

Also have any of you met any dear friends in later life & how do these relationships compare to earlier friendships?

Really interested to hear opinions.

MumOfTwoMasterOfNone Sun 13-Nov-16 20:36:56

I have 2 maybe 3 very close friends. We don't live in each other's pockets, but if the shit hit the fan, they are who I'd ring.

2 I've known from school (but have only been close since college/later) and one from uni (away from home but happens to live nearby now).

We have our own lives and families and we try to see each other fortnightly ish but life gets in the way sometimes.

I'm also very close to my sister and would consider her my best friend. She knows me better than anyone, truly truly warts and all. I feel sorry my DD will never have that.

Friends are definitely important to me, but I'm not a 'needy' friend. I've had some very close and long standing friendships that have come to an end. One, due to a breakdown in my previous relationship and one bc we grew apart once she married someone who clearly hated me and my other friends. Just wasn't meant to be.

I'm making more acquaintances from mummy meet ups etc. but it takes a long time for me to be really someone's friend.

I'm not sure how you would go about it in later life, maybe take up a new sociable hobby?

whatsthebigdeal Sun 13-Nov-16 20:38:32

I don't have any friends, I know loads of people but no one I would class as a friend.
Maybe one close acquaintance, but I do all the chasing, I always text first, I haven't heard from her for 7 weeks now despite me telling her I was going into hospital 6 weeks ago, she hasn't even asked if I was ok, so I might have to relegate her from close acquaintance to just acquaintance!!

It does bother me, I have no one to ask out for a coffee or a drink, or do lunch and shopping with

ThinkOfTheMice Sun 13-Nov-16 20:38:34

No I don't really have any. Looking back I've never really had a best friend, or a group of close friends. I imagine something about me is the issue.

I now live abroad and literally have no one except dh and ds. It's sad I suppose. But I don't see it changing

Sweets101 Sun 13-Nov-16 20:41:24

No I don't. I have friends but if the shit hit the fan I have 8 family members I'd call before I'd ring a friend.

Rainydayspending Sun 13-Nov-16 20:43:05

No, there are a couple of people who I consider friends. None of them exceptionally close.
I have children, neither of my two friends do, they live far away. The differences in our lives are immense and whilst I could probably give a good run down of their stresses, relationship situations i doubt very much they'd know the first thing about my day/ current situation etc.
I imagine it is entirely me. I am hust not the sort of person people feel close to.

NancyJoan Sun 13-Nov-16 20:47:24

I have lots of friends, but no family, really. I am the only child of two only children, so it's just me and my mum (and DH and 2kids, but you know what I mean). I think that's why I make a point of having a large group of 'coffee and chat' friends, and also 6 or 7 v close, call at midnight types.

LiveLifeWithPassion Sun 13-Nov-16 20:55:19

I am really close to my sister and I have several friends. I have a few friends who I've known from school and university and a few I've met later on in life.
I've made some good friends through having kids and through netmums meet a mum.
Friends are really important to me. I love going out and get very bored with the humdrum of routine and daily life. I need to have plans and things to look forward to.
At the same time, I'm not a needy friend either, like a pp mentioned.
Im often the organiser of evenings and days out but I don't mind as people always seem willing.
If I don't have anyone to go somewhere with, I'm more than happy to go by myself or drag the kids there.
I've joined some meetup groups too and have gone to some events. Everyone was friendly and it seems like a good way to meet people.

sterlingcooper Sun 13-Nov-16 20:59:30

Interesting to see this thread pop up, as I had just been thinking about how much I love and am grateful for my friends.

I don't have or want children and I think it's partly because I am so happy in my friendships.

I have a best friend who I am in constant contact with over what's ap, and we visit each other (live pretty far apart) every couple of months and have the best times. Another very good friend who also lives far away and I don't see/talk to quite as much as she has young children, but I still feel very close to, is very important to me and I think we mean a lot to each other. A good friend who lives even further away (other continent) but I just saw and had some great times with earlier this month. And some other friends who live locally and I'm not as close to emotionally but feel like a very important part of my life and who I have a lot of fun with.

I have great friendships, but I don't have some of the things you have OP. And part of the reason I can nourish my friendships is because I don't have children. It's hard to have it all.

ViewBasket Sun 13-Nov-16 20:59:51

I have 3 good friends from years ago, unfortunately a long way away now.

No-one locally has become a good friend of that kind, acquaintances but not confiding type friendships.

Badhairday1001 Sun 13-Nov-16 21:18:24

I have 2 very good friends, I love them and they love me. I trust them both totally and couldn't ask for more from a friend. I have quite a lot of good friends, mainly met through work at various stages of my life. They mostly don't live near me but we see each other a few times a year, go away for weekends etc. I have lots of acquaintances who I enjoy chatting to and meeting up occasionally with kids etc.
Friendship means a lot to me. I love my closest friends like I love my family.

PumpkinsOnTheMantlepiece Sun 13-Nov-16 22:23:21

Think of the mice - I am the same, abroad, just me dh and the Dc. I do get lonely sometimes. Bu to I have recently realized I am probably aspergers and that is why I struggle so much.

Awwlookatmybabyspider Sun 13-Nov-16 22:33:37

I don't have any. I fucked them all off when I finally woke up and smelt the coffee.
If they were going on a day out with the children or a night out, how ever. They could never get intouch. Miraculously, however. They could always get in touch when they needed/wanted something.
Ive never looked back. Ive got my dd and dp.

PandoraMole Sun 13-Nov-16 22:38:20

At the risk of sounding twee, locally I have my best friend (known each other 36 years since first day at primary school) and 4 other close friends.

My other oldest friend and I have lived in different areas since we were 13. She is more like family in many ways but distance and lifestyle have had an impact although she's Godmother to DD and we're in touch much more regularly, albeit by text, since I split up from STBXH earlier this year.

I also have a group of half a dozen friends that I met on MN 7 years ago. We're spread across the UK but have met as a group about half a dozen times and one I'm more close to both geographically and wrt interests so we meet up slightly more often, sometimes with our DCs. We have a secret group on FB and are all in touch on there on pretty much a weekly basis. It's a good laugh, but actually they have been amazingly supportive over what has been a pretty crappy year or so and I value their frtiendship just as much as that of my 'real life' friends.

I guess I'm pretty lucky smile.

littlesallyracket Sun 13-Nov-16 22:40:45

I don't really have many/any close friends. There are former colleagues I go for drinks with every couple of months, and old school mates who I rarely see but when I do we get on brilliantly. I also have a few people I talk to quite a bit on social media but rarely or never see in real life. But I don't have a 'best friend'.

In all honesty, it doesn't bother me much. When I see my ex-colleagues I have a lovely time and a great laugh, ditto my old mates from years back, but I'm not a very sociable person at all and am very comfortable with my own company. My partner, who I've been with for 13 years, is also a pretty solitary character and I would say - sorry if this is a naff cliche - that we are best friends as well as a couple. If anything, he has fewer friends than I do - like me, he might occasionally meet up with ex-colleagues and he has a hobby which entails meeting the same people fairly regularly, but I don't think he'd call those people 'friends' as such.

sortthetacheoutbernard Sun 13-Nov-16 22:46:50

I have a best friend who lives away from me. And six or seven good friends from school/university scattered around the country.

Then about 5 close local friends. I'm lucky and friends are very important to me.

However apart from dmum and sil I have verylittle family support apart from dh.

RebelandaStunner Sun 13-Nov-16 22:55:10

I have one very good close friend who I have known forever, then 2 friends who I meet weekly to walk the dogs, 3 others I meet up with about monthly usually go shopping/drink/coffee/event. 2 who go out with their OH and me and DH at least once a month. And a couple of workmates I am very friendly with plus a big family I see often.
I have always found it easy to make friends and love socialising but spend most of my time with DH and DC.

zizza Sun 13-Nov-16 22:59:50

I'm so relieved to read about people similar to me - although sad to read if your not happy like it off course. I know loads and loads of people because I've lived in the same area for years (although only since I got married - I grow up round here and that makes a difference I think) and have had jobs where I met lots of people plus had 3 children and got involved in lots of local stuff. I've got one local friend who I would consider my best friend I suppose but she probably wouldn't describe me as that as she had other closer friends. Then a couple of other local friends I met up with occasionally and have a lovely time with but we don't see much of eachother. Then some friends who live too far away for face to face contact but FB had been great for keeping in touch with. I have a dh who's not sociable, and now virtually grown up dc. I feel really sad sometimes that everyone else seems to have people who they can just pop in on, or call in a crisis, or just go shopping with. I'm quite happy in my own company but sometimes feel quite emotional when I'm shopping and I see other people with friends. (Did have all this when dc were smaller but we've just drifted apart, although still never really had a really close friend ). I get on well with colleagues now and in the past but when socialising with them it's a kind of transient thing as they've all got their own "real life" friends rather than just friendly colleagues.

Feel a bit depressed now... Lol

Most of the time it doesn't bother me but it does hit me from time to time (dh works away quite a bit at the mo so more time to ponder the meaning of life etc!)

Not sure how much of that made sense

IAmNotACat Sun 13-Nov-16 23:10:20

I have loads of acquaintances, and 4 close friends. I see 3 of my close friends once a week, and the other one more like 3 times a week as I'm closest to her.

Grannysmithy Sun 13-Nov-16 23:19:21

Thank-you all for taking the time to respond, it's really good to hear so many different views.

I guess I am fairly solitary really, I do enjoy spending time on my own & am actually quite introverted so this probably has an impact on the friends situation.

Sterling - very good point you made too.

Thank-you all.

likeaZombie Sun 13-Nov-16 23:24:03

I have 4 best friends as in they would be there for me no matter what and me for them also, 2 from school and 2 since having my dc. I've had a really horrible year this year and couldn't have got through it without my dear good friends. Them being there for me has made me a better friend as I appreciate them all so much more now that I actually actively needed them.
Not really sure what an acquaintance is?, I have people I used to work with I sometimes go for coffee with, people in speak to on the school run but probably wouldn't notice for a while if they dropped off the earth.
That sounds really bad but my family dc and friends taken up most of my time and provide me with everything I need

DonaldStott Sun 13-Nov-16 23:34:18

I have 2 friends. One is the oh of dh's best friend, who I have known for abt 15 years, but only got close to after we had kids. My other is my friend I met through work when I was abt 20. She is 10 yrs older than me and I am nearly 40 now. Before I met these, I literally had no friends, but I have 3 sisters and 1 brother and we are all very close. I don't know if I would have made more effort to keep in touch with friends if I didn't have the back up of my siblings, but I am not really sociable and couldn't deal with a (and I detest these 2 words) friendship group. I have great acquaintances wrt school mums. I am aware of old friends in a 'gang' of friends and they are always falling out, which at my age, seems so petty and I couldn't be arsed with it.

chatnanny Sun 13-Nov-16 23:37:11

I have a handful of really good friends, one since childhood. Three of them I could say virtually anything to. We've been through lots together, birth, death, divorce etc. I have other friends and then acquaintances. I don't have siblings and I think that's made me make an effort with friendship.

SukiPutTheEarlGreyOn Mon 14-Nov-16 00:55:07

The intensity of friendship seems to lessen over the years. I have old friends who I may only get to see every few months - between DC, work, life, etc. But when we do get together there's a sense of continuity, like picking up an ongoing conversation and it feels great to hang out with someone who has a different perspective because they also knew the pre kids 'you'. At the same time I like my own company and have come to realise that I need space to recharge. So probably wouldn't be able to give the focus and attention that high maintenance friendships might require. I'm grateful that we have somehow managed to keep a low key closeness that has been able to adapt to the demands of different stages of life. Like a lot of other posters here there is also a strong relationship with sibs which means that they are the ones who are often the first port of call if life does go pear shaped (mixing metaphors there!)

dovesong Mon 14-Nov-16 01:06:54

I don't have a friendship group but I do have about fifteen good friends, about three of whom are "best" friends. They are all very supportive and wonderful and I love them dearly. I am very introverted but feel that they love me despite my odd foibles and that I can be entirely honest with all of them. I think it might be because I don't have siblings so have had to make up for that with friends instead. None of my friendships are particularly intense - they all feel very healthy and equal, although I've had "best friends" in the past that were almost like relationships without the sex that didn't work out because they were too intense blush has anyone else experienced that?

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