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To be so worried I’m losing all my friends

(86 Posts)
openbluewater Tue 13-Feb-18 08:00:52

Hi, I don’t know if anyone can relate or understand.

I didn’t have many friends at school. I came from a troubled background and I got a bit of bullying: nothing that really affects me now but it meant I didn’t really have any solid sort of base of school friends.

Up until about eighteen months ago, I had some good friendships - two women I worked with in my first job which was in the early 2000s who I was close to and we’d seen each other through various life changes, remarriages and so on. A couple of friends from college. One friend I was still in touch with from school and one from university.

This is awful but while I haven’t fallen out with any of them I’m not close to any of them any more. The women I used to work with -one has retired and is in a different phase of life and is also a grandma. The other has remarried and her second husband is horrible. My friends from college -one has emigrated and although we keep in touch on social media it’s difficult to properly discuss anything somehow. The other I feel differently about since I went out for her birthday and some of her friends were really rude to me and she didn’t stick up for me.

My school friend has a baby and the baby goes wherever she goes and she only ever talks to the baby, interrupts me speaking to speak to the baby, if she does deign to talk to me at all talks to me about the baby. Even if it’s something quite sensitive. My university friend is lovely but lives at the other end of the country.

I feel a bit like Oscar Wilde where losing one might be a coincidence and yet all of them is crazy.

I don’t know. Has anyone else experienced this?

thedevilinablackdress Tue 13-Feb-18 08:05:46

It's sad but you've really explained why this has happened. Life. It's not you.

pinkdelight Tue 13-Feb-18 08:21:31

They're all from quite a while ago. What are you up to in your life more recently? Have you interests that you can build friendships from for who you are now? I say this because I do understand what's happening as I also have friends from school/uni/early career who I'm still in touch with and would instinctively call my closest friends as we've been through so much together but the reality is like yours - that in many ways we've moved on from each other, geographically and with our lives. I now meet some of them once a year or less and we've all built up other friendship groups around work, interests or where we live now. One friend has got involved in activism so immediately had a group through that. I've done various vocational schemes where I've found people passionate about the same things and friendships have built that are about who I am now. I still love my old friends and enjoy seeing them but we can't fulfil each other's friendship needs right now.

I guess what I'm saying is that what's happening to you isn't unusual and friendships (if we want them) have to be developed at all stages of life. There isn't a point where we have enough to last us, unless perhaps we live in one place and keep our childhood friends right through. But even then, my mum has done that and she still cultivates new friends through activities and interests in her 70s. Not loads, I'm not saying we have to be super social, and for instance my DH couldn't care less about having friends. But you clearly do so I'd look at whose around in your life now and how you can find potential new friends.

openbluewater Tue 13-Feb-18 08:34:10

Pink, I’ve mostly made friends with people I’ve worked with but found the friendships waned naturally as they or I moved on. I also had to leave one job under very distressing circumstances (I didn’t do anything wrong, I hasten to add, but there was an entirely false allegation against me which now thankfully has been disproved.) However, I just found it too upsetting to be in touch with anyone from there and I worked there for five years so that wiped out a lot of people I’d previously been close to.

I’ve tried to meet people but mostly have found people have their own friends!

pinkdelight Tue 13-Feb-18 08:47:26

What about your interests outside of work? Doesn't have to be a proper hobby but could be volunteering in something you care about. Ime that's more likely to yield friendships as you have more in common than just where you happen to work, so you're choosing each other from the start and can then give lifts, have coffees, do training or whatever that helps nurture the new friendships. Work friends are one thing but as you say, they tend to stay at work.

openbluewater Tue 13-Feb-18 08:57:26

I know, and I’ve really tried but I don’t get anywhere. sad

AmberTopaz Tue 13-Feb-18 09:05:11

I agree with previous posters. It’s natural for friendships to move on and to keep making new sets of friends. I don’t think it’s anything you’ve done wrong.

In my case, I had a nice group of friends at both school and uni, but I’m not really in touch with any of my school friends any more (except on FB) and my uni friends are geographically scattered. My closest friends these days are the local women I’ve met since becoming a mum, plus one good friend from 17 years ago (she lives 90 mins away but we make the effort to meet up a few times a year).

openbluewater Tue 13-Feb-18 09:06:05

I think that’s the problem, mums gravitate to other mums but if you’re not a mum, where’s your place? I’m not sure ...

AmberTopaz Tue 13-Feb-18 09:11:53

Yes, I do sympathise with you there. When I first became a Mum it took a lot of effort to keep in touch with my good friend (the 17 years one) who had her first baby 4 years after me. It was worth it but you both have to be prepared to compromise!

AmberTopaz Tue 13-Feb-18 09:12:34

Get a dog? Where I live there’s a big dog walking social scene!

Trampire Tue 13-Feb-18 09:15:18

I hope I don't offend you by starting by saying I didn't have your bullying problem at school. I had lots of friends, however coming from a rural area they all dispersed to college. I do keep in touch regularly but hardly ever face to face.

I'm 45. I work for myself, from home so I actively have to make friends elsewhere.

Early in my career I took a part time job in a bookshop. Made a dozen good friends but one really stuck. It's lasted over 20 years because we've both been very flexible and accommodating. We've also actively made time to see other even when life's been hard and stressful for both of us. When I had dcs, he took a huge interest. This helped. We've been through months of no contact but always come back together somehow. It's been like another relationship in my life I have to nurture.

Over the years I have formed my own Facebook group connected to my work where we all physically meet up for a drink every month or so. Some of these people have become closer to me than others.

I met some school mums. Most them are just acquaintances but one really stuck.

More recently I've met fellow dog walkers and over the space of 2 years, we've gradually moved into swapping mobile numbers to meet up.

I find people come in and out of my life all the time. For me, a good friendship will take a long time to develop. It also takes effort.

Do you approach people cautiously OP? Are you worried about rejection before you've even started?
I sometimes say - "we should meet up for a coffee/dog walk"
If they seem positive then I'll leave it a bit to 'bed in' then ask again but thus time take a contact number and make an arrangement. Sometimes it takes a while to even settle if a coffee!

It's baby steps honestly. Hope things look up for you soon xxx

openbluewater Tue 13-Feb-18 09:18:07

No, not even remotely smile but I don’t actually get all that many opportunities to approach people. I’m not really completely sure what you’re getting at, Trampire,sorry.

I love dogs but one really wouldn’t fit into my lifestyle at all, I’m afraid.

Ikabod Tue 13-Feb-18 09:23:11

Open I can identify with what you're saying and the other posters are right about friendships moving on. I thought I was shit at having friends for YEARS until I realised it was totally normal for friendships to peter out if you no longer have the thing that held them together (school, work, whatever).

Thanks to FB I'm still in touch with a bunch of people from school, uni and previous jobs but if it weren't for that, we would all have lost contact years ago. My "group" right now is friends I've met through kids. Hopefully we'll be friends for a long time because they're a great bunch of people, but I don't take it for granted that we will.

The reason mums tend to clump together is because we know how boring "baby talk" is for those who don't have kids! We're sparing you the poo & puke storiessmile

Trampire Tue 13-Feb-18 09:23:33

I'm not really getting at anything. Just trying to understand how you would talk to people or approach a new conversation/possible friendship.

If you're relaxed and happy to speak to new people then it must just be opportunity. You say you've tried hobby-type situations with no joy. Have you looked at things like Match.com? I know you're not asking about relationships, but lots of dating places have physical meet ups now for just people wanting to meet new friends etc.

openbluewater Tue 13-Feb-18 09:24:23

Yes, I know why mums clump together, thank you - but the point I was making is that if you’re not in that particular category, it can be quite tricky.

openbluewater Tue 13-Feb-18 09:26:25

Trampire, I do suspect that had I not been sent to school in ridiculous clothes, isolated from most popular culture and so on, I would probably still have a group of close friends from that time smile As it is, I don’t.

I suspect it is just one of those things: women in their thirties are often mothers and they want to be friends with other mothers. It’s just a bit shit if that’s not you!

Lizzie48 Tue 13-Feb-18 09:30:50

One way to make friends is to make time for hobbies. For example, there are rambling clubs, they're good socially as you chat while you walk and normally go out for a drink together after a walk. As a bonus you also get more fit. smile

I know you say you don't have much time, but it does depend on how you use your annual leave. I have a friend who goes on singles' holidays and has made friends that way. She has a very busy job, but she makes time to meet up with me. We'd have probably lost touch if she didn't make the effort to stay in touch, she's a former work colleague.

openbluewater Tue 13-Feb-18 09:34:21

I really don’t want to go on a singles holiday - it’s just filling me with horror even typing that!

Rambling makes me feel similar. The thought of getting up at 7on a Sunday morning to go for a ramble just feels so miserable.

Have tried voluntary work and a couple of meet ups but haven’t found either conducive for meeting anyone.

Trampire Tue 13-Feb-18 09:34:52

OP, you seem to think I'm somehow having a go at you. I'm really not.

I do have friends in their early 40's who don't have dcs or even a partner. One friend I know meets up with us (work related) but also is heavily involved in a swing dance group, life drawing group and others I'm sure I don't know about.

It IS hard. Don't be fooled into thinking everyone has dozens of very close friends because I'm certain it isn't the case. Don't forget, Facebook is called FakeBook for a reason.

Trampire Tue 13-Feb-18 09:35:27

Sorry I meant early 40's not 49's

Trampire Tue 13-Feb-18 09:35:45

Argh!! Fingers!

30's not 40's

openbluewater Tue 13-Feb-18 09:39:31

I don’t think you’re having a go at me at all smile

However, you did seem to be implying something - nothing offensive, but something - I was unable to work out what it was.

Believe me, I know full well Facebook is full of shit. But this isn’t about other people. It is about me.

sallyarmy1 Tue 13-Feb-18 09:48:16

Openbluewater

Blimey.

You sound like really hard work - how about a bit more POSITIVITY in your replies?

You need to be helping yourself a bit more.

JustDanceAddict Tue 13-Feb-18 09:49:23

I’ve krpt friendships from my teen years and they are my strongest friendships - 30+ years. However I have gained friends along the way to through being a mum, work (these tend to be more transient when you move on, but I have kept in touch with some for a good few years). My bf is neither a mum nor married, but she’s made some recent friends through networking groups and suchlike. Shes done ‘meet up’ too. You have to get out there in some way & persevere if you want to make new ones.

Trampire Tue 13-Feb-18 10:02:15

OP, once again I'll say I wasn't implying anything, just merely treating to gain more insight.

You mentioned bullying at school. My sister was bullied as sometimes approaches group situations with caution. However she has overcome this by volunteering with young adults by putting a confident face on and pretending which seems to work really well. I'm not implying oh do this, just trying to explain my questions.

We're you really coming in for a bit of a moan? If so, that's fine. I was trying to offer a bit of advice whether it works or not.

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