Am I that unlikeable?(48 Posts)
I've been really struggling lately. I moved across the world to be with DH (who is lovely), but I have had an awful time making friends. I've met lots of people and I make a point of chatting to anyone I find interesting. I've got hobbies that I do and have joined groups. I invite various people out and to my house for dinner and drinks on a regular basis.
In the past 2 weeks though, I've had 3 people cancel on me (out of 3). These are not irregular occurrences. It's left me feeling awful, like I'll never make real friends here. It's been over 3 years of this and makes me want to go home.
Please tell me it's not just me.
Is there an expat community? Even though I've lived in England for longer than in my home country, my closest friends have always been fellow expats. :/
Just to clarify, 2 of the 3 people just failed to show up after confirming our plans. The other had the decency to cancel (an hour beforehand).
I've never met someone else from Canada in the city I live in. It's not exactly a nice place to live.
It's not easy. I'm also a trailing spouse and lucky for me I'm a grumpy unsociable bugger so I don't mind not seeing too many people, but even I notice that it is hard - you're trying to replace a lifetime's worth of friendships and acquaintances in a year or two. Add to that, as adults, people aren't as bothered about making new friends.
Are you in an area where there's any other British or other immigrants? Those people will naturally be a bit keener on making new friends.
I think you've been unlucky, it's normal for guests not to just turn up.
Are you in a city?
Something similar here! Not the circs surrounding but this week I’ve had 3 people cancel on me one way or another and actually it’s quite hurtful isn’t it. First Lady has dropped off the face of the earth, second cancelled today’s plans yesterday it appears she had a better offer, 3Ed was asked if she fancied a coffee as I haven’t seen her in ages, told her I was in the area, yes yes, I’ll be home By two, I’ll give you a call and come round... we’ll I’ve not heard from her, but Facebook updates seem to say she wasn’t doing as she told me her plans were, so I give up.
Wish people would consider how hurtful this kind of thing can be.
I am in a city, but not a London/Manchester/Birmingham-sized one.
It’s not you, it’s them. I’d never make plans and then just not turn up. It’s just rude!
It's not just you. I'm an American expat and it took me years to build a true and meaningful social circle and my husband is English so I had it easier! Adults are less keen to make friends than when we are young. I have English friends that have moved from London that have equally struggled so it Lana common problem. Big cities often have social meet ups where there are people that are more keen to meet up. A friend of mine gets really involved in Parkrun which is very social and she made lots of good friends through being part of the running of her local one. Hang in there! It's not you!
I should add after 12 years I have built a really great social circle one friend at a time so you will get there. The trick is finding other people new to your area who are in a similar position
My area hasn't got a lot of people at my stage in life, which may be contributing to the problem. There are lots of University students during term time, middle-aged people, and young families, but not much in between. I'm in my late 20s with no kids (DH isn't ready yet).
We are in the West Midlands.
It's not you. Sometimes, people are just caught up in their lives and it's not a reflection on you but life just takes over & they don't think they're being rude because everyone else seems to be chasing their tails too.
Don't feel deflated. I think lots of people find it difficult to make time to enjoy a friendship and to stop organising & being busy.
I've started to meet up with people from the gym -It doesn't come easy but when I do it, it's so enlightening to meet other people who are going through the same troubles with teens, work etc. And it's fun. It just takes me a while to realise that.
yeah, once people are married off and with kids, it's harder to find the time to meet up with people.
And so what if there is something unlikeable about you. It doesn't mean that you're a bad person.
Can you find a group that shares an interest with you? Then you could have friends but at a level where you don't need a one on one?
I had the same issue moving from the UK to Canada! Takes ages. Keep plugging away.
Are you in the UK, or another country? In some places, cancelling or not turning up last minute isn't considered to be particularly rude or offensive (and of course in other places it's unthinkably rude, and in most places it's a bit off, but, still...).
The hurtful thing is that, yes, the odds are that your friends are either a) assholes (who doesn't even call to cancel?), or b) they consider you a peripheral friend, and their arrangements with you to be fairly inconsequential. Not in a nasty way: just, meh, if I make it that'll be nice, but I won't put myself out. This is not your fault.
Feeling like you never move beyond acquaintance status is one of the hardest things about relocating as an adult. It seems like everyone around you has a core group of old friendships, and they probably assume you do, too, so you get lots of superficial contact but there's nobody you can 100% count on.
It does get better, but it's so slow. Before I lived overseas, I used to be quite snobby about people who socialised with lots of other expats: why would you move halfway across the world and only hang out with the kind of people you already knew at home? But now I get it. You get so tired of feeling like you'll never quite break through and nobody's got your back. So be kind to yourself and definitely don't get into self-criticism and self-doubt.
Although, yes, I'd probably give the no-show people one more strike and then they're out - even if they somehow assumed you'd have a million other people to hang out with, it's rude to stand you up. Actually, that's another difficulty about navigating international friendships: it sometimes takes you a while to understand that this isn't a cultural difference and someone's just being a twat.
x-post... you're in the UK: the no-showers are just rude fuckers, then. I was prepared to give them a pass if they were from somewhere everyone turns up two days late or not at all and it's all cool. But that's not how we roll!
Those people were rude, no doubt about that. Sorry you suffered that.
Do you work? When I was an expat my most reliable friends were made through work, in that you are spending time with people without there being pressure to form friendships, so they can form at their own pace. If you're not able to work for visa reasons could you volunteer.
This may be controversial but if you are sure you want to be with your DH then why not just get on with having kids? If you feel ready, maybe your DH just needs a nudge. Not only will you make Mum friends, you'll have so little time on your hands/energy that you won't notice not having much of a social life! Since our son was born the most socialising My DH and I can handle is meeting another couple for lunch every second weekend or so....
Thank you all so much for your kind words. It has been helpful to hear your thoughts and I am so willing to hear more of your stories and opinions. It may give me the boost I need to go meet more bloody people!
I've joined groups, but what I really want are more 1 on 1 friendships - people I can be friends with rather than acquaintances. I worry that it's me because I have loads of acquaintances and people I'm friendly with, but there's only 1 person in this country (other than DH) who I can actually consider to be a friend. And of course, she moved to London with her DH 2 years ago, so visits can't be frequent.
It's a very lonely existence at the moment.
"In some places, cancelling or not turning up last minute isn't considered to be particularly rude or offensive"
Where would that be. I would find it very rude and inconsiderate.
Oh and as for the kids thing, DH isn't ready as he's finishing his PhD and we have no money, an unstable future in terms of where he will be located, and no savings for a house deposit. He's not ready because he's the sensible one.
I think they are very rude to just not show up! However, even without moving around the world (I only moved around this country) I found the late twenties, no kids yet an impossible time to meet other people so you have my sympathy. A friend of mine in a different area met lots of lovely people through the WI at that stage - a new group aimed at younger people - I remember being really jealous!
Oh crikey. I've just posted something about not feeling happy where I live.
I am sorry to say this but I feel I should...
I have lived abroad in various countries for over a third of my life and I believe you never truly integrate.
You always will feel like an outsider ☹️
Think about it hard before kids come into the mix. There are a LOT of people on MN who are stuck...
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