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Have had to end all my friendships

(48 Posts)
dimsum123 Tue 26-Feb-13 15:09:31

It's happened gradually over a number of years and only with my female friends.

I had some long standing friends who I realise now were never friends at all. Or at least not the sort of friends I would like. They weren't the sort I could really confide in or who I could call in the middle of the night in an emergency and they would be there.

I know there are different 'levels' of friends but I thought the longest standing friendships should have been the closest but they are not.

I have other aquaintance type friends but not a single close reliable friend.

I think I have huge issues with female friends due to my terrible relationship with my mother and 2 sisters growing up. I am not in contact with any of them now.

My only real friend in the world is DH and I'm wondering if I should be content with that and not want more friends. Even if I did want more friends I don't know how to go about making friends and how for it to be more than just a meeting for coffee type aquaintance. It feels like the time for making close and long standing friendships has passed and I wasted it by picking completely the wrong people to be friends with and now it's too late and very difficult to make new friends. I'm 42 btw and the friends I have let go of were from uni around 25 years ago.

CheeryCherry Tue 26-Feb-13 21:18:36

I understand, I had what I thought of as good friends, we met up a lot, went away together, popped in on each other. As the Dcs have grown up, we are busy with work,family etc. I have had a very hard few months with serious family illnesses and major problems. Only one friend has bothered to keep in touch, which has upset me. They know I am struggling too. I'm just sad because I like to think of myself as a thoughtful friend, little texts/emails/cards if a friend is in need.
I'm wondering too if I can do without.
I never thought I would be in this position. It's quite lonely. But I can't be arsed anymore.
dimsum do you work? Could you find anyone there who you can get to know a little more? Do you have any relatives you could meet up with?

nomadwantshome Tue 26-Feb-13 21:39:49

God I identify with various posters but for differnt reasons. I was bullied at school but by boys. I got in with girls ok but only had 1 friend. The other girls were in a clique but didnt bully me.

My friends, over the years, have been mainly from work. I've still got a few from years ago that I'm happy to just see every few years but I've always been bothered (in dreams as well as consciously) about not having friends that are just down the road and I can tell anything to. That's what I really yearn for most of the time. Luckily I've found someone (still early days 18 months) via work that I have just clicked with.

To put in context, I moved away 6 years ago to a completely new area and tried the toddler group/school etc. I think there's something to be said about joining groups/classes that you're interested in as you will find like minded people.

MillyMollyMandy78 Tue 26-Feb-13 21:45:31

Hi All,
I too can relate with the loneliness that you talk about and started a thread last week on a similar note. You might want to check it out because I received some lovely replies and useful tips on trying to make new friends etc. The post is called 'friends/ lack of...' (sorry, I don't know how to link it, cos I am new to mumsnet & rubbish with computers)!

dimsum123 Tue 26-Feb-13 22:21:12

I think I might be looking for the perfect friend that doesn't exist (like the perfect man).

The trouble is I have in the past had very close female friendships right from the age of 5 until the age of around 30. And they were totally mutual balanced friendships, we never argued or fell out, were almost like twins in how alike we were. And I think that's what I'm looking for now.

The friend I have recently had to let go of has not changed in the same way I have since I got married at 30 and then had dc's. She remained single and childfree and until recently our different lives did not seem to make much difference to our friendship. But it is becoming more and more apparent how different we have become whereas once we were like peas in a pod. She now seems to me to be very selfish, immature, irresponsible but i know it's just that i have changed and grown up a lot due to becoming a parent. Although I know many non parents who are nevertheless very responsible, unselfish etc so it's not just down to my friend not being a parent.

Having to let that friend go has hit me hard because we have so many memories and history together. I feel very sad about it but I had very little respect left for her because of her selfishness and immaturity.

I don't work at the moment due to health issues and can't volunteer due to the same reason. I really have tried to make friends with mums at dc's school but just haven't clicked with anyone other than on a very casual superficial level. I am hoping to be well enough to find a job next year.

I think I am all out of energy right now for new relationships. Maybe next year but I'm not too hopeful sadly.

I do believe that some of the finding it hard to make friends also stems from the area you live. We are in East Anglia and it is notorious for being hard to make friends. All the mums at the school seem to have been friends for a while and have never lived anywhere else.

Walkacrossthesand Wed 27-Feb-13 08:22:21

I often have the feeling that I'm in someone's 'friendship orbit' but not in their inner circle - so if I suggest a meet-up they're busy-busy for ages, doing things with - yep, other friends!! which presumably weren't all organised by the friends, but they never take the lead in arranging things with me. I hate that, and the sense of 'being the one who makes the running' has led me to let several 'friendships' drift away over the years. I've got used to (eg) going to cinema/for walks on my own...

dimsum123 Wed 27-Feb-13 09:17:46

Yes agree with area you live in making a difference. I don't think I fit in very well in my local area although I don't think that is really the main reason for me not making friends here.

I agree with walk that I'm not in the inner circle with anyone but on the orbit of many which means I do most of the running which I am fed up of now. I do also do a lot of things on my own now.

But i do wish i had one local best friend where I was her best friend too. I am probably looking for the impossible though.

Adversecamber Wed 27-Feb-13 09:28:16

Friendships do change, someone who I thought was a really good friend decided I was no longer fun due to my illness. It is true I was no longer amusing or easy to be around.

True friends will stick with you whatever and a couple of my friends have been truly amazing, one sent me a text saying if it is 3 in the morning ring me if you need me.

I have also made a really nice friend through MN who has been lovely to me illness and all. She brings me cake, what more can I ask for. Having health issues is a real test of friendships.

Life can be very lonely at times, wishing you the best.

dimsum123 Wed 27-Feb-13 09:54:21

Yes i know friendships do change. It's sad when that happens though.

How did you make the MN friend? There are some people on here I feel I could get on with very well but don't know how to actually meet up with them in RL. Too scared to go to a mass MN meet up!

Adversecamber Wed 27-Feb-13 10:47:48

I agree it is very sad when they change, I really thought the friend that decided it was over was a friend for life. Illness really scares some people.

The person I met on MN was moving to the next suburb along from me and was just asking for information on the place. I provided quite a bit of info and it turned out we had sons of a similar age and disposition. We ended up mailing each other and just seemed to get on well. I actually feel very lucky to have met her. She is the only person I have ever met in RL that I met on the net.

There are people on here that I think Ooh bet I could get on well with them so I know exactly what you mean. There is real nervousness meeting up with strangers, quite understandably.

I was very tempted to go to the London meet up once but I'm not very good in big group situations.

I think there are some lovely people on MN, but everyone seems so far from me. I just want a friend, just one would do, who lives near me that I could have coffee/wine with.

I do agree with Adverse about real friends being there through thick and thin. I got 'dumped' by a friend I used to work with when I miscarried twice before having DS1. She didn't like the attention/sympathy I was getting from others. hmm

Chandon Wed 27-Feb-13 13:31:11

I was wondering, if those who find friendships difficult, to try to change their thinking from " what do I need from this person, what can they give me? Are they good enough?" to looking at people and thinking " what do THEY need? i wonder of they are o.k.?"

So for example, instead of expecting invitations from people, think about that mum on the playground who is too shy to talk, and go over to say hello. Have a chat with your old neighbour or if you are at a party, chat with someone who looks liek they feel awkward.

I find that waiting by the hone to be called, expecting invitations and judging people by some Ideal Standard to be a way to stay alone.

Imo, in friendships you need to cut people slack, and if they have not called you it may be that they are busy, it does not mean they do not think about you, and do not like you anymore.

Ladyfoxglove Wed 27-Feb-13 15:36:40

I know what you mean Dimsum123. I have very few true female friends(not just 'mates') and it has always been the case. I find women very competitive generally and that's not me at all. I now find that if I meet a like-minded woman, I make every effort to keep that friendship going. It seems to be the 'like mindedness' that's rare, not the opportunities to make friends. I am a bit of an oddball smile so I'm immediately drawn to other oddballs. I make sure I steer clear of 'the fashion set' or 'the winebar set' and head for 'the accademics' or 'musically minded' instead. As far as finding fault with people goes, again, I know what you mean, but unless it's not a non-negotiable such as e.g. honesty or trustworthyness, I let it go. I get on better with men too and agree that it's the competition element being missing from the dynamic, that makes it work.When I was younger, I used to watch the 'socially gifted' types to get tips on how they did it and you know it really does help having a model to work from so perhaps give that a try if your 'people' skills need honing.

dimsum123 Wed 27-Feb-13 15:38:33

But how often do you do that without ever being called by the other person to invite you for coffee?

I'm ok at the moment without any real friends. Rather that than ones who are unreliable, selfish and never think of you unless they want something from you.

Shrinkshy Wed 27-Feb-13 15:58:27

im sorry you are going through this - but it is really common and happens unfortunately.

check out the book "bff forever - breaking up with your bestfriend" (google it) it helped me through it a lot when it has happened to me

clickityclackity Wed 27-Feb-13 16:47:19

That sounds like a good book. The next time I go to the cinema alone I'll look out for others sitting there alone too, there's usually a few of us!

carlywurly Wed 27-Feb-13 19:33:01

I can't get my head around this business of ending friendships. Especially long standing ones. It seems a really extreme act to me. I let things drift sometimes but have never really had to actively end a friendship.
It's fine to have high standards, but everyone's human. I do my best to be a good friend but I'm not immune to being thoughtless, sending b day cards late or cancelling meet ups now and again. I'd hate someone to write me off because of that.

Sadandslovenly Wed 27-Feb-13 20:33:24

There's a lot of people on here who sound like me!
I'm disabled, don't work due to it,have had A FRIEND decide I'm not worthy of her anymore due to my disability getting worse & me not being hip, young trendy and fun!
She's recently got divorced, screwed her ex financially, so is out on the lash all the time.
I'm a VERY loyal friend, but I've learnt that expecting the same from others is lethal. It doesn't happen.
I fell out with my ( at the time) best friend because she had upset my other friend, I stuck up for her, and now THEY are friends again and I'm chucked. That was my choice tho, I told her that she had treated me dreadfully and killed our friendship.

I'm early 40's, ten years ago I had loads more friends than I do now, but I refuse to be treated badly, and I've grown up.
I have 2 friends I can rely on & my hubby.
And I'm very happy!

sadandslovenly I agree that it is quality over quantity that is important. sad at your friend treating you like that. A three years ago we had to move for DH's job and we lived in the same village as my best friend. It was lovely, we saw each other every week, popping to each others for lunch/dinner, or a cup of tea or glass of wine and our DH's would look after DS1 sometimes so we could go and watch a film, that kind of thing. I don't have any friends where I live now and I really miss her.

I have always been a bit of a tomboy, on the outside I try and make an effort with hair and make-up, but if you asked me what my fav film was I would say LA Confidential, The Bourne Identity, Cinema Paradiso, Raiders of the Lost Ark.....I think it confuses women who's favourite film is say, Dirty Dancing. They don't know what to make of me!

Like the OP, I have ended friendships, three. Two I have mentioned above, the third friend, we were really close, but when I got engaged she changed. She was meant to be my bridesmaid, but let me down on the dress-hunting, fittings and hen night, then there was Bridesmaids-gate, whole other story. Looking back they were three friendships that got formed pretty quickly and too intensely. DH said beware of people who want to be your BF so quickly because they can let you down just as quickly and dramatically.

HollyBerryBush Thu 28-Feb-13 07:31:06

She remained single and childfree and until recently our different lives did not seem to make much difference to our friendship. But it is becoming more and more apparent how different we have become whereas once we were like peas in a pod. She now seems to me to be very selfish, immature, irresponsible but i know it's just that i have changed and grown up a lot due to becoming a parent.

Picking that out, you seem to want your friendships to evolve how you want them to evolve. Thats quite rigid really, and dare I suggest a little controlling..

Friendships do evolve at different paces and at different times. We are all at different points in our lives.

You'll find this becomes a lot more apparent through school. You won't deal with the competative mothers, or the laid back mothers, or the mother earths because you seem to have tunnel vision of how people should be.

A good solid friendship is one that stands the test of time and you should be able to pick up and put down where you left off.. The fact that your friend, the one you have let go, is at a different point in her life, and has chosen a different path shouldnt mean that you cannot be friends. So what that she has a career and holidays etc, her interests are not the same as yours.

I think you need to step back and look at why you can't maintain friendshhips rather than assuming everyone isn't meeting your needs.

dimsum123 Thu 28-Feb-13 13:48:18

Sadandlovely me too. I've grown up and refuse to be treated badly. If anyone doesn't respect and value me (and my time) I'd rather not have a relationship with them. I cannot be friends with someone I no longer respect.

Like Little I also had a friend who was supposed to be my bridesmaid but let me down at the last minute because she had just broken up with her boyfriend and couldn't bear to come to my wedding and see me get married. Back then I was far more forgiving and remained friends with her. We are still in touch now but she is as selfish as ever. Calls me if she needs a shoulder to cry on but is never there for me when I need her.

Holly why on earth would I want to remain friends with such selfish and unreliable people such as the 'friend' above and the other friend I have mentioned who is also selfish and unreliable and has no conscience about her actions sometimes which I won't go into here.

I have learnt to value and respect myself and expect others to do the same. If it turns out that only DH meets my standards then so be it.

Charbon Thu 28-Feb-13 14:12:11

I don't think it's a bad thing to value yourself highly and not to put up with bad treatment, but there's a balance to be struck between that and having impossible-to-attain standards and an unwillingness to give new women a chance. It's also too much of a burden on a marriage if your husband is your only friend. What if it turns out that he has feet of clay too or some human faults that don't meet your standards? Will you dump him?

In a playground full of parents, there will be women who are worthy of befriending who might be lonely and just as in need of company. Especially women whose kids have just started at the school and are finding their feet. I do think your attitude towards women and friendship might need reviewing if you're going to make and keep friends.

dimsum123 Thu 28-Feb-13 15:48:03

My DH has his faults as do I but we treat each other with respect. Some faults I can tolerate others I won't.

I have quite a few mum friends but I don't consider them lifelong friendships at the moment. They may stand the test of time perhaps.

I'm ok about my lack of true friends. I am quite self sufficient and strong these days, not weak and needy like I used to be, willing to be treated badly rather than be alone.

It's no different to boyfriends. If he treats you badly and is disrespectful and thoughtless why stay with him?

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