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to be starting to regret leaving city for countryside / feeling lonely?

(51 Posts)
Kissingk1979 Wed 14-Nov-12 19:34:32

After many years in the city DP and I took the plunge this year and bought a house in the countryside. We had been wanting to do this for ages, partly because we love the countryside but mainly because it meant we could buy a family sized house, whereas if we stayed in London we could afford a 2 bed flat at best. We both work in London and have a 1.5 hour commute each way but decided it was worth it.

For the first few months after we moved things were great, however then DP's work cut down staff numbers and since then DP has been working all hours. He has always worked fairly long hours, finishing about 7pm or sometimes 8pm or 9pm on a bad day, however for the last few months he has literally been working 8am - 9pm on a good day and on a bad day he can be working until the early hours. Sometimes he sleeps at the office as he reckons its not worth coming home. The are no signs that the situation will improve. He works in finance.

The issue is when we moved to the middle of nowhere we did it on the basis we would be doing it as a couple. However now I have a 1.5 hour commute home, just to sit in a big dark house in the middle of nowhere all alone. I don't know anyone in the area and it's hard to make friends as I work full time myself. I also don't really like being home alone in our big rural house at night, but I know I need to stop being such a wimp!

I just don't know what to do. New jobs in DPs field are hard to come by, and I am so fed up of being alone. If I knew things would pan out this way I would have stayed in London where I had lots of friends nearby and knew the neighbours etc.

DP knows how I feel and doesn't like seeing me sad and he isn't happy with having to work such long hours himself.
Anyone else been in a similar situation?
We don't have kids yet.

honeytea Wed 14-Nov-12 19:38:32

It sounds like a nightmare, why did you want a big house if you have no kids? If I were you I would move back to the city, if you do have a baby then you would be on maternity leave so you could meet other mums, I can't really see how you are going to meet other people with such a long commute sad

andallthatjargon Wed 14-Nov-12 19:39:08

You have a few options:

Move somewhere nearer to London / back to London

Change your job so you are closer to home (in doing so hopefully making some more local friends)

Take up a hobby / evening class to meet people locally

If you are planning on having kids at some point you will make friends locally through them but you don't want to be unhappy that long?

Kissingk1979 Wed 14-Nov-12 20:20:35

Thanks for the replies. It's not that easy to move as we have bought the house so would lose money selling it again so soon.Also we do love the house and area it's just not right for me when I am effectively living here alone. I guess we could rent it for a while and maybe return in the future when DP works better hours (I live in hope).

I would live to do evening classes but I finish work around 6/6.30 then I am not home until 8 earliest and most of the stuff around here seems to be at 7/7.30 ish.

The reason we got the house is that one day we might have kids so we thought we might as well buy a family sized house nos rather than a smaller one then have the stress of moving again if / when we have kids.

Kissingk1979 Wed 14-Nov-12 20:22:29

Also thought about getting a lodger just so there is someone else around the house. We have the space and the money would be handy. Any thoughts on that?

whois Wed 14-Nov-12 20:25:17


Rent your house out.
Rent a one bed flat as close to DPs work as possible.
Result = see each other more, be less tired, stop wasting your time commuting, be able to go out with friends, be happier.

When you want kids you can move back to the big house in the middle of nowhere and you can be a 'home counties single mother' who looks after the kids all alone, being resentul and lonley, while DP is at work.

With your DPs hours you need to be as close to work as possible. No discussion!

Megatron Wed 14-Nov-12 20:26:58

We did the same as you 7 years ago and I thought we'd made the biggest mistake of our lives. We did have DS at the time and DD came along shortly after. I think it is easier when you have children but it was still quite hard moving to a village in the middle of nowhere when we didn't know anyone (and I have a broad Scottish accent!) I found the only thing to do was to bite the bullet and get involved in the local community, it's not easy because you have to just go for it and I'm not a very confident person.

As I said, that was 7 years ago and I absolutely love being here now. I feel I have made friend that I will have for life, have the benefits of being in a beautiful country village and you'd not get me to move out for love nor money. Good luck!

helpyourself Wed 14-Nov-12 20:37:42

Why on earth did you want a big house if there are only 2 of you? confused you do know that lots of people being up families in London!
It happens so often- it's bad for communities, bad for the housing stock, transportation and relationships. Rent the house out and rent a flat near work.

Kissingk1979 Wed 14-Nov-12 20:44:05

We got the house as one day we hope to have a family. It's not really that big, just big compared to the shoe box we lived in in London!

We don't want to raise a family in London as we don't really like London and are country types at heart (both grew up in country). We are just in London for work. Our country house is perfect for a family or couple if you are both there - it's just not great for a lone person, which is what I am most of the time now.

NinaHeart Wed 14-Nov-12 20:45:01

I do a similar commute to you into London (I wonder if you live near me!?) and for the first couple of years my social life was in London.

After 7 years in the country I find I have a better social life in the village now - plenty of friends, live music in the pub, social events provided by the parish council and church...

I recommend you give it a bit of time - and it DOES take time to settle and adjust.

PS I don't have children either.

GrendelsMum Wed 14-Nov-12 20:48:53

I think that you really need to put the effort into socialising in your new surroundings, hard as it will be in the short term.

Meeting people and building up a social life of your own is your new evening and weekend job.

For a start, with Christmas coming up, why not invite your neighbours round to an Advent wine and mince pies party?

Is there a choir? A book group? An art class? Ask if they mind you arriving at 8pm rather than 7.30pm due to work commitments. Or see if you can leave work at 6pm on those days to be back for 7.30pm .

Rebecca75 Wed 14-Nov-12 20:55:36

I moved to the middle of nowhere about 6 years ago. It was really tough for both me and my hubby to start - we were both self-employed so didn't have local work colleagues or anything like that. We started going to local events at the weekends and got to know a few people but life was still pretty quiet until we had children - now I know loads of people and my social life is great. My advice - get pregnant, after all you have the house that you always wanted so now you just need to fine tune your lifestyle!

midseasonsale Wed 14-Nov-12 22:10:12

Its much easier to fit into a community when you are at toddler groups and sharing picnics in the park with new mummy friends. It also takes lots of time. In your shoes, I'd rent big house out and rent a one bedroom flat in london until the kids arrive.

missingmumxox Wed 14-Nov-12 23:39:45

I will buck the trend and say children are not the be all and end all of socialising in a rural setting because I lived 7 years before children in a village I knew no one in and didn't have children, despite your work hours you can be flexible and no babysitting problems.
I made friends on a Friday in the Pub when Dh got home and after a few weeks was confident to know I could go in and meet up with people without him, I have never been a friend snob, as in needing people like me and my age, best friends I made and helped me most when I did have children, where the single people and older people, sadly my oldest friends died 4 years ago aged 97 and 96, and another friend has got dementia, I am still friends with his wife, and visit him in hospital when he is in, his care home is a place to far away to visit when I have granddad in care in the other direction.
I always made myself available to help..but when I couldn't I would be up front and honest about it, people respect you more, for a "I would love to help with the village panto, but as you know I am a nurse and I can't commit to every Thursday although I can request it, but if they need me I have to work, but I don't mind scene painting when I am off" works a treat and people know you are not willing to let them down.

Try the local WI, ask at the county office if there is a " younger" group near you, I nearly joined one in the 90's as loads of my married workmates of the same age had started one, and the age range was 21 to 40 but as a single 25 year old Young Farmers was my preferred diversion.

oddly I am thinking of now at 42 volunteering to be on a YF committee now, have you thought of being a adult helper at say sea cadets? I did that for a few years, as a young adult and they because I stayed a civilian instructor sad no Pay! boo hoo!, meant I could dictate when I could attend and I had to learn random stuff like knots, bleep tests...

good luck, I find it impossible living in a town and with travel, work, children to get ready for school, feeding them, getting ready for the next day, to meet anybody. they do breakfast club, after school so a 10 hour day for them, so children are not the promised land depending on your circumstances

plim Wed 14-Nov-12 23:52:23

We did the same, moved from London to countryside, dh still works 3 hr commute away, stays down there 3 nights a week, we have 3 children aged 1-7 yrs. It's tough. I am going throu something very similar, new friends new neighbours. But if I were you I would try and make some friends, the Xmas party idea is a good one, Xmas is the perfect excuse to get people round for a mulled wine and minced pie. What about joining a gym? If I had my evenings spare that's where I would be. I can understand the sentiment of renting your place out but it seems more sensible to at least give it a go where you are......or dare I suggest that you start that family that you bought the house for shock

Valdeeves Thu 15-Nov-12 00:10:34

I did exactly what you did moved from the city to the country. Life is getting there after year but I know how you feel. I think you might live near me - pm me if you need a friend xxxxx

Solo Thu 15-Nov-12 00:17:41

My friend moved to the country some 17 years ago. She hated the isolation and the fact that her Dh was out of the house for very long hours each day, but it got easier and she now loves it. Give it some time. Get a lodger maybe. Have kids. Definitely give it time...

maddening Thu 15-Nov-12 08:25:59

I would rent the house out and rent a flat in London.

valiumredhead Thu 15-Nov-12 09:00:06

We did the same and m dh leaves the house at 7 and is not home until 7 - 9pm.

Give it time or move to a busier town but still outside of London. I live in a small market town but it's only 30 mins on a fast train into London, so the best of both worlds.

lljkk Thu 15-Nov-12 09:02:44

3 hours of commuting a day? Madness.
How could you possibly have time for a local social life, too?

valiumredhead Thu 15-Nov-12 09:07:22

Tbf lots of people don't have a social life during the week and just have weekends off.

Jins Thu 15-Nov-12 09:09:03

Making a move like yours is a massive change and you are bound to feel the way you do. I moved from a city/town environment (not London) to a rural village and it's not been my finest decision.

I can't offer any solutions I'm afraid. I've been in this position for 18 years and I'm counting the days until we can sell up and move.

valiumredhead Thu 15-Nov-12 09:13:06

It will become a lot easier if you do have kids OP, you get to meet lots of people then - is that in your plans anytime soon?

lljkk Thu 15-Nov-12 09:20:36

I am racking my brains to think how OP could develop a local social life.
Basically she'd have to give up lie-ins and find a club(s) that meet primarily on weekends. Squeeze in shopping, flopping, errands, house-upkeep, family visits around that.

In my experience such clubs are relatively rare.
But good luck, think of something you might like to do & research locally what's on offer.

Conservation is a good one, or a bit of voluntary work. Conservation is almost entirely weekends-only locally.

MustBeDueSomeBetterFeet Thu 15-Nov-12 09:20:51

OP, we made a similar move last year from Zone 1, to 50 miles outside London and have a similar commute. I'm lucky that mostly we commute together but there are times when my husband has to work late so I can imagine your pain.

I think the idea of a lodger is a very good one as that can be a very short term thing.

I certainly wouldn't sell up as the cost of moving is too great.

When I looked at local classes I had a similar issue as my train doesn't get in until 7pm! However what about doing classes in London? You've never far away from a gym or yoga centre or college, which would allow you to have something to entertain yourself at least without spending the entire evening alone at home.

I know in our village there are lots of things going on - supporting the local church, village hall, quizes, bellringing!! And the Parish Council always need helpers so you would have the option to get out and about.

BUT I appreciate that the reason the two of you moved was to have a new life together in a lovely house, in a lovely setting.

I know you say your DH's job is difficult to come by, but is he actively looking? It sounds like a nightmare for both of your sanity that as a couple you have no time together and no end in sight!!

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