to feel sad and lonely (friends)

(47 Posts)
Greenkit Sat 20-Apr-13 18:24:37

Probably not AIBU, but you get the most traffic and well, you know...

So I am 42, married, three kids 23, 16 and 15, I work full time (shift work) and I have no friends. There said it. Not one.

I have people I work with, I am an adult instructor with Army cadets and I have people there whom I know etc. But no one I would call a friend, someone who I could go out for a drink with, or invite round for a cup od tea or go to the cinema with.

^ They all do that, and I do go out with them, but I feel like i'm forcing myself on them as I don't actually get asked more tag along.

I'm not a shrinking violet, I can strike up a conversation with anyone. I am a good person, helpful, but not too in your face.

So what do you consider a 'friend' and how many do you have?

Why don't I have any? sad

lauriedriver Sat 20-Apr-13 18:31:45

I'm in the same boat. I work full time but with all men!! I am a nice person, have a partner & one child but I've just never had the opportunity through work to meet friends. I suppose working full time since my child was born hasn't helped much either since I've always had to use childcare to drop her off at school. Mind you going by some of the comments on here I'm kinda glad i don't do the whole school gates thing!!

I have people I say hello to in the street but no one I could pop round to for a coffee. I feel hacked off about it sometimes but I'm hopeful in time I will find a friend(I'm not even greedy, only want the one) :-)

itsnothingoriginal Sat 20-Apr-13 18:37:45

I have a lot of acquaintances but no one I'd really call a close friend. My sister is the closest person to me other than my DH but I'm lucky in the way that he's an amazing friend! Would just be nice to have a good female friend too.

I feel like you in not really understanding what goes wrong. I'm open, friendly and genuine towards people but never seem to develop a good friendship. Maybe it's the way of things these days confused

whitewineforme Sat 20-Apr-13 18:45:26

You sound lovely Greenkit. I think it is generally difficult to make new friends unless it's through work or stuff like baby groups which obviously your DC are a bit old for! Is there anything you're into e.g. running, books etc where you could join a club and get to know new people? A couple of my friends have done this and made new friendship groups. I sometimes think it's a bit like dating when you meet someone who you think could be a potential have to be a bit forward and ask them if they fancy coffee sometime then take it from there!

Are you sure they don't think of you as a friend? If you appear outgoing and able to chat to anyone, then they probably don't think you're "tagging along" but more that they don't need to invite you specifically as you're always welcome and come along when you're available (hence why they don't necessarily 'ask').

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sat 20-Apr-13 19:58:06

OP I am 40 and until recently only had one friend...others were living far away....I have accidentaly found some more which is very nice but also unexepected and not sought iykwim...they just came along somehow.

IN order to understand your current situation, you should look at the last time you DID have friends. What happened there? Why didn't they last?

marmite69 Sat 20-Apr-13 20:13:34

I'm the same, no friends, currently sitting on my own with dogs! My dd are grown up
and are moving awaysad I do have a dh but he has a lot of hobbies, which don't involve me!
I work alone so obviously don't meet anyone there! I get very envious when I read about girly holidays etc as I have the time and money but no one to go with.We moved away from the area we went to school in so have no old school friends. I am also quite chatty and sociable but I think if people have established friendship groups they don't feel the urge to include new people.
So OP you are definately not alonesmile

emsyj Sat 20-Apr-13 20:19:45

There are an enormous number of threads like this on Mumsnet, so you are obviously not alone. I've said all this stuff before, but I'll say it again: having friends takes work and you have to be a good friend to have friends. By 'friends' I mean someone you can call and ask to meet for lunch, coffee, drinks or whatever. These social friendships are there for the taking - you just have to be willing to make an effort and if you're invited to something, show up (even if it isn't your sort of thing, even if you have to go on your own, even if you would rather stay at home and watch telly), smile, thank the person for inviting you, say you've had a great time, say it would be nice to do it again - then set up a social event yourself to reciprocate. Having no friends now doesn't mean you will have no friends forever - it's within your control to change this.

Also, it's worth remembering that people with lots of social friends don't necessarily have true friends - and by that I mean a person you could call at 3am and ask for help. If you have one or two people in your whole lifetime who fall into that category, then you are very lucky.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sat 20-Apr-13 20:20:48

What about craft groups? There are some lovely ones near me and if my DC were older I would join them for sure. They have coffee and cake and make things! Lots of the women there go alone...I mean it's perfect really as you're all there to DO stuff...but you just might make a friend too.

quesadilla Sat 20-Apr-13 20:36:41

I think this is incredibly common these days and very sad. I have also come to realise that having children can make it much harder to have friends. All of my life until having my dd who in now 2 I pretty much took it as read that I had lots of friends. Not just acquaintances but proper, call at 3am friends. I still count myself lucky in that I still have maybe three or four people in this category but I have been shocked by how many and how easily some have fallen by the wayside. In your case it surprises me a bit though as your children are older and I would imagine you had more time. Did you have real friends before having children?

Jestrin Sat 20-Apr-13 20:38:13

I have two friends in the world. I've known them since schooldays. One I did lose touch with but we got in touch again about two to three years ago. I know many people through work or school but they are acquaintances. Like you say, I'm a good person. I just don't seem to fit into their 'cliques' . Sometimes it bothers me and other times not.

exoticfruits Sat 20-Apr-13 20:53:31

Follow an interest- e.g join a book group. Volunteer for things - much easier to chat if you are doing something.

deleted203 Sat 20-Apr-13 21:11:43

I do think this is a growing problem. When I sat down and thought about it, I probably have 2 friends. One is from uni. One is my sister-in-law. I've known both for almost 30 years. And they are the only people I could phone up and say 'I'm pissed off - can I come for a coffee?' Like quesadilla I used to take it for granted that I had lots of friends - I had friends with children the same ages and we used to do lots together when the children were small. Now they are grown into late teens I don't really see the mums anymore. I suppose the main thing we had in common was the fact that we were tied to our children. Somehow finding the time for friendships is difficult - I'll still occasionally phone one for a chat and say, 'We must get together for a really good gossip' and then you realise another 6 months has gone by.

I have lots of colleagues I am friendly with - but we don't socialise together. DH and I don't really have any friends to go out for a meal with - in fact it worries me that he doesn't have any friends locally. His family and friends are 350 miles away and because of his work situation (he is the boss, aged 56, and employs 3 lads in their 20s/30s) he doesn't really get to meet anyone who could be a 'friend'. I'd love him to have someone to go out for a beer with, and he does occasionally bemoan the fact.

I've joined craft groups, etc, and enjoyed them and got on well with the people there. But my contact with them is still limited to meeting up at the actual group - rather than arranging extra outings. I don't know what the answer is, OP, but you are definitely not the only one.

MrsRajeshKoothrappali Sat 20-Apr-13 21:23:10

I don't really have any friends.

Have a close male mate who I chat to on the phone (he lives miles away) and my SiL.

I have anxiety issues/asperger's/OCD and I think I come across as weird - am not sure.

Did have some mates I used to meet for coffee but they ditched me after my recent breakdown. They were dull anyway though so I guess it's not a massive loss but I do get lonely.

Euphemia Sat 20-Apr-13 21:35:33

I don't have any either. sad

My best pal decreased contact after I had DD, and since we moved another 100 miles away from her has made no effort to come to visit, or to take me up on my suggestions that we meet up somewhere.

I work FT, so have no chance to get to know other parents through the school. I also have no time to volunteer.

I have an anti-social DH, so if I want to socialise it's all down to me. I'm never in a workplace long enough to really get friendly with people. sad

Pants, isn't it?

JadeBuddha Sat 20-Apr-13 21:41:12

Oh Greenkit, I was just about to post something similar. My situation is slightly different, but I completely relate to the loneliness.

I have a couple of friends, who I believe are 3am friends, but they both live in London. I have no friends where I live. It really upsets me to see that in black and white.

I try not to let it get to me too much, but it does - especially because of my age, I'm in my late 20s, and I don't even have the excuse of a busy family life because I'm still ttc.

I've always felt that I seemed to have fewer friends than other people, and have always valued '3am friends' over acquaintances. But I lost touch with my few school friends when I moved to uni (they stayed in my home town). I made a few close friends and coursemates at uni, and then I moved abroad for quite a few years, and they all moved to London. I made only one friend abroad, which just seems unbelievable to me. I then came back to my home town. I initially tried to get back in touch with old school friends, but of course they had moved on in. I visit my uni friends a couple times a year, but can't admit how lonely I am here. It's not as if I find it impossible to meet people and make friends, I've made friends before! I started a course and met my DP, and made another friend (who moved away and I lost touch with).

In many ways I'm lucky because I do have a few really great friends who I have kept in touch with (though I know that they've made lots of other friends since, and probably don't see me as as important in their lives as they are in mine). But what I really feel I'm missing is actually the acquaintances - not people to call at 3am, or the people who'd visit you in hospital - but people to go to the pub with, people to gossip with, people to chat to. I'm trying to put this down to my stage of life - I'm in my 20s, I and everyone else I know has moved around a fair bit for work or study, and that makes it hard to keep in touch. But I can't shake the feeling that I've missed the main window for making friends. Everyone's enduring friends seem to be people from school or uni. As far as I can see it gets harder to meet people the older you get. I am either hiding my loneliness well or it is very obvious, because my DP has actually come out and said that he thinks I spend too much time with him and that it would do me good to spend more time with other people. Then I had to come out and say - well who should I be spending time with, and point out that I had no friends in this city. I ended up crying and he was embarrassed/felt sorry for me, which made me feel even worse (sort of). It is affecting my future plans/esteem to the extend that I don't ever want to get married, or at least try to have a wedding, as I would be embarrassed by my lack of friends. My DP has a squad of friends and I'd just feel terrible to invite a handful of people compared to his 60+ Some of his friends have started having babies now and I see them getting loads of love and support and attention (and flowers and gifts!) from friends, and I feel that no one will do this for me beyond my family and DP.

I have tried to do things like take classes to make friends, but it hasn't really worked - though I have lots of hobbies now... It isn't helped by the fact that I work at home at the moment. I am hoping that when I am upduffed then I will meet lots of lovely new mummies looking for mutual support and may find some new friends there. I'm also hoping that I can make new friends when my work situation changes (and am even considering changing my field of work just so I have a chance to make new friends, I'm that desperate). But behind that is the worry that I'm still going to feel embarrassed about my lack of 'real' friends when I meet new people I get on with.

It's the lack of female friends I feel especially, I think. red if other ladies there felt the same as me - missing real female friends. I feel that there's a special type of friendship between ladies that have grown up together, had their teenage dramas together, negotiated their 20s, careers and relationships together. I know that I will never have that now, no matter how many new friends I might make. I was on the salihughes facebook group and when she moved to a new forum there was this big online celebration of (virtual) female friendship, and I wondered if they all felt the same.... are long female friendships like this more of a cultural ideal than a real thing? Am I pining for something that doesn't even typically exist?

I'm sorry I've splurged all this on your thread, Greenkit, but I was just about to get it off my chest! Even writing it down has made me realise that I miss the company of acquaintances/social opportunities more than a lack of '3am friends'.

What, if you don't mind me asking, is your history of friendships like? Did you have friends before you started a family? Are there people you've lost touch with?

DoTheBestThingsInLifeHaveFleas Sat 20-Apr-13 21:58:51

Hello guys, you all sound lovely. I have/had (??) a number of good friends from school and uni, but TBH in the last couple of years (in my mid thirties) we have all grown apart. I now have two 3am friends, and about 3 really good friends, who I rarely see, but it doesnt matter becasue when we do, it's like it was yesterday. The rest however, have just taken a different path to me and I don't want to follow their lifestyle. I think all this is a normal part of growing up/older. I am it the same situation that I don't want to get married (am engaged) as I dont want to have to invite all the old lot who cant behave themselves, but also dont want to deal with the fallout of not inviting them, as understandably they may be hurt. But anyway, I totally understand how you all feel, as I was in this situation all through school until the last year and then I ended up accepting friendship from anyone who would offer it, and then tried to be someone I wasn't just to retain it and not be lonely. So I think what I am saying is, one 3am friend is worth 5000 going down the pub friends...
Would mumsnet local help us all meet new people?????

CocoaBeanPlease Sat 20-Apr-13 22:01:09

When I moved to London a few years ago, I certainly felt the same. I moved to be with my DH, so I had him, but other than that I had no family or friends in the UK. I would go out for drinks with colleagues after work, but there was no one I really clicked with (and most were men). I did an evening class, but there again, didn't really find someone who's company I really enjoyed.

I think the person above who compared it to dating was right. In the end, I posted an ad online (I used Gumtree which had a Friends category for postings). I lurked there for a while, but got fed up with not seeing exactly what I was looking for, and then decided I might as well post myself as I knew what I wanted. I got lucky and ended up finding a small group of like-minded women whom I have now been friends with for the last 6 years.

I think the main thing about the ad is it allowed me to drastically widen my search space. Just like finding a partner, the chances of finding someone on the same wave length (and open to a new relationship themselves) is really small when you only have your work colleagues or a few classmates to pick from.

itsnothingoriginal Sat 20-Apr-13 22:11:25

What do you do if you've tried setting things up like book groups, drinks and coffees and still you can't make it happen with 'friends'? Do you just give up and accept defeat?

MrsRajesh - can't believe your friends did that - how hurtful sad

wonderingagain Sat 20-Apr-13 22:22:58

OP what makes you think you are just being asked to tag along?

Sometimes you think you haven't got any friends but you are just not seeing it. Could that be the case?

I sometimes feel alone even though I have friends and people to call on, I sometimes deep down don't want to call them because I don't like people to think I'm needy.

MrsRajeshKoothrappali Sat 20-Apr-13 22:53:22

Nah, is the kind of people they are.

Very shallow, only give if they can get something back, etc.

I wrote about one of them in relationships because she's pretty toxic - only wants to be around people she can feel superior to.

I'm better off without them really.

But sometimes it would nice to have peeps to chat to. Is why I spend a lot of time on here.

b4bunnies Sun 21-Apr-13 02:00:11

i have no friends. not one.

adults don't. most children don't. its a fallacy. post, and move on grin

Greenkit Sun 21-Apr-13 07:06:20

Thank you so much for all your responses, without sounding a bit mean, its good to know im not the only one.

TBH since I have left school, im not sure I have ever had any 'friends' I try and be a good friend but tend to be used and dumped.

I dunno, maybe I should make more effort with the people who are around me?

LookingForwardToMarch Sun 21-Apr-13 07:33:46

Also billy no mates here sad

I had a few friends that I spent all my time with a few years ago. But eventually realised I didn't want to carry on with that lifestyle (ashamed to say it but drugs)

A few clean years later and just having had dd1 ( she's 9 weeks smile I realised I had no proper mates anymore.

Greenkit Sun 21-Apr-13 07:54:19

I am at work at the moment so can only put a few snatched words down. I will read and have a think.

KittensoftPuppydog Sun 21-Apr-13 09:18:15

Is there a type of person you attract, maybe because you are repeating patterns set in childhood? Or maybe you attract the type of people who can sense that you are a bit needy or shy and therefore think you will be easy to manipulate?
Perhaps, also, you don't really enjoy close friendships, but just feel that you should have them. I found that I got really irritated by 'demanding' friends when actually they wanted me to do stuff, like meet them, or chat for hours on the phone and I found it all a bit stressful.
Everyone is different. I enjoy working with people and taking classes where there is a common interest, but I don't really enjoy small talk or chatting. Took me years to work this out. I'm still lonely sometimes, but realise it's partly my own fault.
Please don't be sad. You're not alone, as you can see.

MiniEggsJumpedInMyBasket Sun 21-Apr-13 09:30:19

I know this is going to sound mad but for me, things improved when I stopped giving a shit and taking things personally. I've been treated badly by a fair few friends in the past but a while ago I decided enough was enough and that I was going to draw a line under it and not dwell on it any longer, accept that they were probably bitches and did it to as many people that they could get away with, and that I was going to be a lot more choosy with who I was friends with in future. I also decided to get close to fewer people, and to try to identify who was a casual acquaintance, and then if the casual acquaintance didn't act like a 'friend' I wouldn't be disappointed. And I've had a real think about what my boundaries are and what I'm prepared to tolerate. And the other thing is I've decided to keep people at arm's length more, and be very very choosy about who I will and won't confide in.

What I have also done is cut out anyone in my life, in a very subtle way, that I think has been a toxic influence. I had a couple of 'friends' from my DCs school that I felt were up and down with me, and often did/said quite toxic things so the first thing I did was pull back from them. I found having a think about my boundaries really made me make my boundaries firmer and made it clearer to me the kind of friends that I want.

Oddly since I've stopped giving a monkeys, I have more people inviting me out and wanting to be my 'friend' than I ever have done. I'm not quite sure what the turning point was for me not caring, it just sort of happened really. I'm never going to be one of those people that is in constant photos of nights out on FB, nor am I ever going to be a 'friend collector'. But that's because I choose not to be. I've realised I do actually really like my own company. I like seeing friends and acquaintances too, but not all the time, I like my own space too and time to spend with DH and the DCs. During the school holidays at Easter I met up with friends and their children once, but they were two lovely friends whose company I really enjoyed and the kids all got on well together. I'd sooner that than meeting up with different people every day and having to keep in touch with so many 'friends'. One FB friend of mine is always out with different people, tagging them on FB and posting photos, and it makes me feel exhausted the thought of having to keep up with, and socialise with, so many people!

I'd say these days I probably have round 4 or 5 people I'd say are true friends, in that they would be there for me if I needed any support or help. Three of these are online friends, and two are local. I don't see them all that often or keep in extremely frequent contact but I know they would be there for me if I needed them. I am close to my sister too.

I treat most other people as acquaintances really. I have nights out with them, or a coffee or whatever, but I don't expect anything from them. If I go out on a few nights out with them and then they arrange another night out without me it doesn't bother me, as I didn't rank them as a friend in the first place, so I have no expectations and just enjoy it when I do see them, if that makes sense. I make small talk at the school gates, and will go on mums nights out or chat at kids parties, but again everyone is very much at arm's length. I do still get people that treat me badly from time to time but I shrug it off and on reflection they are usually like it with loads of people anyway.

dimsum123 Sun 21-Apr-13 09:39:09

Kittens, I think you're right. I don't really enjoy close friendships but at the same time I wish I had a close friend who lived locally to me.

I have one friend I've grown up with really, since age 16, we are 43 now, but she lives an hour away so we don't see each other that often. We are always trying to persuade the other to move closer.

I agree with the pp who said that the friendship that builds up over time when you go through major milestones together are hard to find later in life.

I think I am looking for another local friend like the one I mentioned above but it's impossible as I'm 43 now not 16. That friendship is so easy, we can call up anytime, talk about anything, but also neither gets offended if we can't call for a while if busy etc.

I suppose I know a few local mums who I could call at 3am but am not sure they are 'friends', just decent people who I know would help out if they could.

Christelle2207 Sun 21-Apr-13 09:49:57

I sympathise op. I have school/uni friends but they all live 150 plus miles away so see very rarely. Have no local friends, though there are some people I am friendly with and occasionally socialise with. Also friendly with work people but would never see them outside work. Dh's situation is very similar so we get ourselves through it and visit faraway friends when we can.
I'm expecting dc1 at the moment and plan to make a concerted effort to meet new people through that, if it doesn't work then I really am screwed.
What doesn't help is the area we live in, which neither of us is from, seems to be full of people who have been here for ever all with their own established friends etc. We both found it easier when we lived in London which is full of "outsiders".

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 21-Apr-13 10:15:45

MiniEggs I agree.....I have just made new friends and weirdly it coincided with me not caring so much what people thought of me....I think 've stopped being so guarded.

I was very guarded...wouldn't let anyone in for fear of being judged. Then Ihad a life changing experience and had to pull my DD out of private school....all my previous persona...being succesful etc was taken away...and I had to change.

As a result I made a lot of new friends rather suddenly...they just was when we went to a new (state) school. People were just so friendly and so helpful....I was open about where we'd come from and how we didn't even have a car anymore....and people were great. I also try not to judge others....some people aren't so friendly and I think "Well they're fighting their own battles and who know what?" so I just try to be smiling and nice to people and it seems to work.

Before that, DH and I both had no friends apart from Uni mates who all lived in another part of the country. Suddenly DH has someone to go running with....I have people to have coffee with...people pop's different because We're different.

emsyj Sun 21-Apr-13 12:17:10

MiniEggs talks a lot of sense I think - you have to remember that the friends who are true friends will be very much in the minority. Nobody has 20 or 30 amazing friends who would support them through a breakdown, or a divorce, or offer them a roof if they were in trouble. If you have one or two, then that is very very lucky and you should treasure those people.

Folk who are 'popular' (for want of a better word) have low expectations of others and don't invest too much in social acquaintances. I have several groups of friends and with most of those people I would generally keep conversation light and not expect them to listen to me talking about problems etc. By way of example, if I had had a massive row with the ILs or whatever, I might mention it in a lighthearted way and say, 'ooooh they're a nightmare' but I wouldn't sit and cry and have an in-depth discussion about it. There are probably two people I would do that with - and one of them is my mother!

It's enjoyable to have lots of friends, but don't make the mistake of thinking that a friend who you have a night out with, or go to soft play with, or have lunch with at work is the same as a true friend who you can ring and say, 'god I'm bloody miserable today, can I come over?' If you treat a social friend the way you would treat a true friend it just doesn't work very well IME.

I spent years having high expectations of all friends and therefore spent years feeling disappointed. Now, I have zero expectations of 99% of people and it makes life a lot easier. I don't take things personally - as a previous poster said, people who treat you shoddily tend to be like that with everyone. If you are likely to feel resentful of doing someone a favour that you know they wouldn't return if you asked, feel free to smile cheerily and say, 'Oh gosh, sorry, I can't!' They won't be offended - they're not like you, they don't have the same high expectations (of themselves or of others) - they'll just ask someone else!

marmite69 Sun 21-Apr-13 13:52:31

God you lot are so wise! I think I have had too high expectations of friends and when they let me down I just cut them out of my life, with the result that now I have no friends! But should you let yourself be used just to keep a friend?
I'm an only child and am mostly quite happy in my own company, but as someone said you have to give out to get back,which if I am honest with myself I haven't done.
I think it easier to be a man,dh has fishing friends,golf friends ,he doesn't see them at any other time but they don't seem to mind.
Sorry waffling now but some posts just really made me think!

exoticfruits Sun 21-Apr-13 14:07:12

I think it best to aim to have lots if acquaintances and don't expect a lot from them - some will become friends in time - some won't.

MiniEggsJumpedInMyBasket Sun 21-Apr-13 14:14:05

Marmite, I used to be used quite a lot and used to end up then cutting people off. What I find more nowadays is that I am getting better at sussing people out when I first start to get to know them. For example I got to know one mum at the school and after a while it became clear that she was out for what she could get (babysitting, someone to listen to her endless woes, and she also kept making nasty/personal comments). What I did was put some boundaries down; I now only see her in a group situation, both with and without kids, so I am able to talk to others apart from her. I started declining any requests for favours and she soon stopped asking. I'm quite vague with her, happy to make general chit chat but I decline any invites round to hers where there will be just the two of us. In other words, I make sure to treat her as an acquaintance rather than a friend, but hopefully to her I am still friendly and chatty, I just don't let her 'in'

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 21-Apr-13 16:06:18

Marmite that'a very self aware of you to think of. I have had experience of a good friend cutting me out all of a sudden. It was because I couldn't make a pre arranged date...she called me up and told me I'd done it too often (I'd done it about 3 times in 3 years) and to her this wasn't good enough.

I was very hurt as I love her as a mate. I didn't be forgiveness though as I was shocked really.

Can I ask what people mean by "Used"?

MiniEggsJumpedInMyBasket Sun 21-Apr-13 16:39:48

In my experience, Neo, friends that 'use' are generally toxic people across the board anyway. For example the woman that I referred to earlier that I felt was a bit of a user expected me to do her favours at the drop of a hat but would never do anything for me, expected me to listen to her woes constantly but never even as much as asked how I was. She literally wanted me to sit there and listen to her on the phone every evening for hours. About all different kinds of problems. Plus she had a habit of making nasty little comments dressed up as compliments or disguised as her just being 'honest'. I think, if I was the type to let her use me then I can safely say she is a user/taker. In that she was willing to use me as a babysitter, an agony aunt and also as a verbal punchbag. Obviously I sussed this out not long after getting to know her, and decided that she wasn't friend material, at least not for me, and was able to slowly back away from her.

Dominodonkey Sun 21-Apr-13 17:15:27

YANBU - You do have to make an effort to keep friends. I have about 3 or 4 people that fall into the call at 3am category but sometimes I have felt I am losing people and make the effort to organise things to do with them. I think sometimes you have to be brave and contact someone who you get on with to go out for a coffee or to the cinema - then they might turn into friends rather than aquaintances. People I know who have lots of good friends are all very supportive and have loads of time for their friends.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 21-Apr-13 17:37:21

MiniEggs I have a very dear friend who has done a lot for me over the years but she always talks about her own troubles for hours and never gives pause to hear mine.

It annoys me but I sort of put up with it because she is good company and would help me if she could.

I have another friend who I rely on a lot for lifts and things but I always offer to help her out with her DC...I regularly reiterate that she's to call me to babysit where needed.

Does that sound ok to you? both friendships I mean?

MiniEggsJumpedInMyBasket Sun 21-Apr-13 17:44:01

I think as long as you feel happy with the friendships Neo, and feel that you are benefitting in some way from them and you like those friends, then they're fine.

It sounds like your talkative friend is perhaps just being a little thoughtless rather than malicious or rude, as it sounds as though she does nice things for you and is a good friend. Your friend that does you favours probably values you as you repay her friendship in other ways; perhaps you offer excellent advice or are always there with a listening ear.

I think, for me, it's when a number of factors combine that I can't put down to a friend being thoughtless or down or whatever, added with the factor that I'm not getting anything from the friendship at all, that I decide to call time on a friendship. It rarely gets as far as being a friendship as such before I tend to notice these things and make a decision though iykwim

SoleSource Sun 21-Apr-13 20:07:55

Recently made a new friend but I think she is lovely but a bit of a user. It is very difficult to find good friends.

ReluctantlyBeingYoniMassaged Sun 21-Apr-13 20:09:53

Loner here too! Just work colleagues for me.

Me too! I have mates through dd1s activities and from my old work but not close mates. Where's everyone from and maybe we can all see if any of us loners live near each other!
I'm in Devon

DionFortune Mon 22-Apr-13 00:02:09

I feel exactly like this at the moment, this thread couldn't have been better timed tbh!

I'm really struggling with loneliness too, I have always had friends who end up taking the piss, with the result that I keep people at arms length nowadays. Some wise words on this thread, I am furiously taking notes...

<I'm not really>

ComposHat Mon 22-Apr-13 01:50:53

I moved to another city to do a PhD. I have never had a problem making friends, but in the new city, I've not really 'clicked' with anyone, like you I do social stuff, but none of these have developed into friendships As a result I'm desperately lonely, except for when my partner comes to visit.

It is weird because I really don't recognise this person I've become and I've become very withdrawn as a result. It seems really strange to say 'I'm lonely' as an adult, because it seems so pathetic in a way - but it really is a terrible, terrible emotion to experience and you have my sympathy. I have found that MN in a way has filled the vacuum I need for chit chat and silliness.

Greenkit Mon 22-Apr-13 09:57:48

When I say used, I mean im happy to do stuff for people, drive places, help out. But if need help no one is interested or they are all (Hark at me 'all') busy.

I'm not needy or in your face wanting to meet every five mins, but it would be good to catch up once a month for tea and a chat.

I do have a hobby its Army Cadets and I get a great deal of enjoyment out of it, I run a unit and we go away on weekends and 10 days annual camp, and when we are away I am the life and soul of the party and people look me out for chats and advice. But when we come home, im forgotten...

I know my working shifts doesn't really help as I work earlys, lates and nights, a lot of the time it falls on a weekend when people get together.

MichaelaS Mon 22-Apr-13 11:07:34

I agree that lots of adults are lonely now and it's a growing problem. I found the church fantastically helpful here. I am a member of a local small church and over 10 years all my best friends are now through it. They are local, they are mostly friendly, giving instead of needy, and have an ethos of mutual support and openness which is uncommon in many groups in society. Not all churches are like this, but many are.

We have a women's social group which is fab for deepening relationships from acquaintances into friendships. There are also lots of things you can "volunteer" at such as doing teas and coffees on a Sunday morning which forces you to meet people whilst letting you hide behind an activity.

Even if you're not interested in the faith, perhaps you could look at local church related activities like mum and baby groups or women's groups or older people's groups (whichever you fit into or feel comfortable with). I know my church would be happy to welcome anyone who said look I'm not interested in Christianity but I wanted to make some local friends and wondered if I could come along to x y or z?

Try it, you might be surprised!

MiniEggsJumpedInMyBasket Mon 22-Apr-13 11:27:11

Greenkit, my advice would be to stop doing things for people. From experience, people like yourself that are lovely and helpful and want to do favours for others, do get walked over. Users/Takers have a radar for people that are eager and willing to do things for them and take advantage of this, and of course never offer things in return.

I wouldn't say that I never do favours. However I only do favours for those that I consider to be very close friends. Not because I want something back, but because I know they will appreciate it, and also because my time is valuable and I don't want to spend it doing things for others all the time. I'm quite choosy about what I'll do and who I will do it for.

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