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AIBU to just accept I'll never fit in and will never have 'friends'

(26 Posts)
ohwellIguessthatsitthen Tue 26-Feb-19 21:55:31

Bit of an odd one, and not really an AIBU, but I just wondered if anyone else is a bit like this?

I'm mid-30s, married, 3 DCs. Left home to go to uni, had a nice career, met DH, worked until DCs came along. Moved just before kids were born to entirely new area with no family or people we know nearby.

I've always been one of those people that sort of sits on the edge of a group - no real close friends in my day-to-day life (I have two best friends from my younger years who moved abroad with their respective DPs and I speak to when we can work it but that is sporadic).

I'm the type of person who prefers a night in, not a night out, talks quite a lot but probably isn't saying anything very interesting I suppose. I do 'do' stuff - I'm part of a very large local sports group, I sit on the committee for that and my DCs school committee, but in the 5 years I've been here, I've not really made a single actual real-life 'friend'. I've made lots of acquaintances and on the surface it probably looks like I do lots with other people but I think I've finally realised I'm just always going to be a bit of an outsider.

I believe I'm a nice person, but I also believe I'm not high on anyone's list to ask to go for a coffee, or a drink...... DCs friend's parents do ask us for playdates etc, but it's all child-centric really. I see stuff on facebook etc of people all getting together/catching up and I don't think it's ever a case of being excluded - more a case of just not being remembered, if that makes sense.

It's not so much that this 'bothers' me in terms of being irritated, for example - if I'm completely honest I think I'm probably a bit of an introvert and so the no-pressure-to-go-out thing is fine - Weirdly, I even think I'm quite okay with things the way they are - but something about it makes me feel a bit sad inside I guess and I find that unsettling. I think, perhaps, I feel sad that I'm okay with being a bit of a loner?! Is that weird?? Does this even make sense to anyone reading?

nowifi Tue 26-Feb-19 22:13:04

Makes sense to me, like you feel that you should feel differently but you are actually quite content?

Mumtotwofurbabies Tue 26-Feb-19 22:15:46

Yes! Very strange as I could have written this! I do have a handful of close friends from school and uni that I keep in contact with, but I’m the same, moved to the area recently and socialise a lot in terms of baby groups, enjoy the company but haven’t made any close friends yet I.e that I would talk about deep stuff other than small talk, baby talk and, like you it doesn’t bother me...I’ve also thought does this make me odd? But I’m an introvert and quite happy and content being like this!

TinyTimsCrutch Tue 26-Feb-19 22:25:53

You are me! I was only thinking today that I’m my own worse enemy as I’m rubbish at contacting people. I think it’s fear of them feeling they have to say yes so I always wait to be invited which doesn’t happen. I’d love to have someone to pop in to each other for a coffee but am rubbish at making that initial small talk phasehmm

travailtotravel Tue 26-Feb-19 22:36:26

I feel like this too. Reasonably successful at work, do stuff. It's breadth rather than depth.

Valdy Tue 26-Feb-19 22:45:38

op I could've written this! I'm not shy or quiet, but content. Not around my family or best friends, though! Then I will fully open up. I just can't help it 🤷🏻‍♀️

Valdy Tue 26-Feb-19 22:52:31

So bad at contacting people, too. Forgot that bit... Typical. Having a 1 yr old, being pregnant and 2 jobs doesn't really help either.

Dreamzcancometrue Tue 26-Feb-19 22:55:37

Im 28 and dont have friends either. People who called themselves my friends in the past seem to have forgotten about my existence! Oh well... I guess Im partly to blame for being crap at staying in contact but I believe it takes two to tango.

Squeezle Tue 26-Feb-19 23:00:52

Could have written this post myself. Lots of acquaintances, friendly with lots of people, chat happily for ages at work, but no real friends. No one to go to the pub with or to invite around for dinner, no one to pop in and have coffee with. Just can't seem to take it to that next level. Always worried about rejection.
Silly really, but don't know how to change it.

Sunnydays365 Tue 26-Feb-19 23:06:47

I could have wrote this myself. I know loads of people, I chat away to mums at school, but never get to the next level of going out for drinks or socialising.I like my own company but yeah sometimes I think I'd like some friends and to be invited_remembered.

TickVG Tue 26-Feb-19 23:11:05

I'm like this. I have met a handful of people in my life that I really get on with and they're scattered about the country. So when I do make an effort to see them (rarely) it's lovely. I'm not good at ringing etc. For whatever reason I just haven't really clicked with anyone locally and I think if i were to try and force it I would just get stressed out because of how artificial/contrived it would be. My DH is really my bestie and we always used to be drinking/pub buddies but kids put a stop to that! However, I am pretty much content. I can tell DH and others think I should make more of an effort to make friends locally and are forever asking me if I meet anyone nice at x or y school event. Feel like I'm constantly disappointing them, but I just don't particularly feel the need for local bezzie mates!

user1496259972 Tue 26-Feb-19 23:14:18

I also could have written this. Try to make an effort and arrange nights outs/coffee with kids school friends mums but guess I come across needy or pushy as then once they have their own groups I’m forgotten again. My kids never get asked for play dates either. Quite happy plodding along tho.

ErictheGuineaPig Tue 26-Feb-19 23:18:22

Yep this is me. As someone posted above - I'm unable to take acquaintances to the next level and make actual friends. I'm always on the outskirts of every friendship group. I find it really hard when you become part of a new group and see everyone hitting it off in pairs or threes or whatever and making close friends or smaller splinter groups, I never ever make the grade. It's made me even more cautious and insecure about trying to make the effort. I've kind of given up now...

Atchiclees Tue 26-Feb-19 23:46:23

Op you sound like my kind of friend. I could’ve written your post a few years ago. I didn’t have any real friends.
Slowly things started to change. I started doing more of the asking. Gradually, it built up. I am in three friendship circles now and I am sometimes amazed at this as it wasn’t so long ago I had no one and I hated the school run.
I smile and say hello to everyone, particularly those standing on their own. One of my friendship groups is a group of 5 of us. We meet at one of the mums houses as she is a single mum and we order in pizza.
Another group we have film nights. We either go to the cinema together or we take turns hosting an put on a movie. We might also binge watch some Netflix series over a few weeks. We also watch series between us then have something to talk about when we meet. My personal rule is never talk about anyone else behind their back. I don’t gossip and I have found others that also don’t gossip (that I know of, but I have never heard them). We are out there, eventually you’ll stumble across people like us.

Squeezle Tue 26-Feb-19 23:49:04

I did have best friends at school and at university so once upon a time I was good at that sort of thing. Now my old friends are scattered around the uk and world. Nearest one is 10 hours away probably.

ATBhinchers Wed 27-Feb-19 13:14:49

Wow your post is me!! Will be so interested to read the replies on this one.

posaylaroche Wed 27-Feb-19 13:23:26

I'm not the sort that fits in really, it depends on where I am and have experianced being well liked in work places but it never seems to translate to friendships as such. For me I'm not fussed I am a loner and perfer to do things by myself mostly or with my DP. I do have some friends I see every few months and that seems to be enough for me. I think in my case so much of what I enjoy doing are things better done alone and some of my interests and tastes are not the norm. I also find that even if I did like one particular person they would try and make you a part of their friendship group, "one of the girls" and I was always resistant to that. Just because I like one person doesn't mean I want to hang out with a whole gang. Mostly I have stayed friendly with people who are happy to socialise one on one.

I guess I don't feel sad about my lack of "friends" as the op does at times but I don't think its uncommon not to be the fitting in sort.

MojoMoon Wed 27-Feb-19 13:32:48

If you are genuinely happy like that, then fine.
But remember the kids grow up and although it might feel like they take up your time and interaction now, one day they won't. If you think that will be hard - eg that bring alone without children needing you - then it might be an idea to try and consider how to find and build a small friendship circle gradually over time.

Do you ever invite people over? Not kids playdates (some people think playdates are for kids to build friendships, not parents and soon enough you won't be needed to attend them) but some people from the sports club for dinner one evening? If you aren't asking, you can't really expect to be invited.
Nothing fancy, just make a curry or stew or something.

BusySnipingOnCallOfDuty Wed 27-Feb-19 13:45:33

I was a totally social type who after school, met loads of amazing rockers, goths and folk punkers. But over the years I lost touch with people who genuinely cared and also realised how superficial several so called friendships actually were. I also felt I hadn't grown up and not that I had ever fitted in (lost all my 'mates' from school in the last year I was there) I realised I had absoluyely no idea how more grown up friendships worked. It used to upset me no end but after a few seriously bad years I cut myself off from almost everyone and last sept I met a load of cool people through a hobby I used to enjoy and decided to return to. I have three particular amazing friends through it now, which has made me feel I have all I need. I have a few very special friends a very very long way away but now I have a few closer. Its been worth being so lonely while I cut off the chaff to find the golden wheat. I'm like marmite, I have adhd and asd and am just odd to most people, so I decides Id rather have fewer but more sincere people in my life.

NameChanger1975 Wed 27-Feb-19 13:55:21

I have no friends. Some days I'm content with that as I like not having the pressure to make time for other people other than my DH & my parents.

However, occasionally I do get sad about it. If I hear others arranging girlie nights or going for coffee I get a pang of jealousy as it would be nice to have even just one very good friend that I could share a gossip over a glass of wine with.

Realistically I'm better suited to being a loner as I like my own company & some days struggle to even leave the house so the added pressure of having friends relying on me to socialise would cause me added stress.

Asta19 Wed 27-Feb-19 14:40:40

I was discussing this with my (adult) DD the other day. I have "friends" sort of. They are nice people and would help me out if I needed it but, truth be told, we don't have much in common. I met them mainly through work. Whereas my DD and I can chat for hours about random stuff, likewise with my DS. I think because I have common interests with my DC that my friends don't share. I'm into things like crafts and gaming, whereas none of my friends have any hobbies so they (understandably) are not particularly interested in mine. We don't like the same films/TV. Inevitably, the chat on a night out always seems to return to work stuff as it's all we have in common. So lately, in all honesty, I have found it really boring.

I've realised I would like a friend that I had stuff in common with. That would be fun. But I have enough "general" friends, for want of a better word. I'm happy enough on my own, as I say, I have a lot of hobbies! But I think finding a good friend who is really on your wavelength can be just as hard as finding a good partner!

Minttea2 Thu 28-Feb-19 08:39:03

I don't have many friends either, and always seemed to be on the edge of groups. I've recently decided that actually, life is simpler without friends and (for me at least) without the sense of rejection I always seem to feel.

I can see that I now actively try not to make friends or get too close to people. I have plenty of acquaintances at work but never have any expectations of them becoming friends.

My husband, family, and the couple of long term friends I do have are enough for me.

EvaHarknessRose Thu 28-Feb-19 08:54:14

I want friendships like i had in university and early adulthood (but maybe with less sex and dysfunctionality) but it's just not like that as an adult. I am very similar to you. People from work and other places do befriend me and we go for coffee etc, it's nice once in a while but i can't seem to find the next level which makes 'bothering' worth it. I have decided that older people are more interesting than middle aged though so I'm holding out hope.

Provincialbelle Thu 28-Feb-19 09:08:57

I could have written your post myself in my 30s. I’m late 40s and in the process of extracting myself from an oppressive relationship which didn’t help in making friends for many years, but to be honest I have no idea about how / if I will go about making friends when I have more time to myself. I joined a few clubs over the years but the same pattern always happened - initially I’d make a lot of effort and it seemed to go well but over time I’d find myself not getting invited to various things (eg I’d be the one left off birthday/wedding invites etc) and id gradually drift out of the club altogether. The last one happened more quickly because the club secretary took against me for no reason at all (I asked others and got no explanation).

I don’t really have any advice other than one day I decided I was happier being myself than endlessly trying to “fit in” and people could take me or leave me. That’s also what gave me the courage to finally move on from my relationship too. Believe me there are people out there who respect you for who you are, you don’t need to model yourself on anyone or lead anyone else’s life.

As the old saying goes, “be yourself - everyone else is already taken.”

OneStepSideways Thu 28-Feb-19 10:03:46

I'm a bit like this, I don't have much motivation to make friends. But I do enjoy friendships when they happen. I let people come to me, I'm friendly and smiley and apparently easy to talk to, so other mums start chatting. I made lots of friends at toddler groups just by seeing the same people every week and being open to a chat. If you show interest in them, people warm to you. That progressed to play dates and coffee out, and I'm good friends with two of them now. We're at the point we're comfortable enough to just be ourselves and there's no awkward small talk!

I befriended my neighbour because we kept meeting at the bus stop, and have kids the same age. She suggested a play date and 2 years later we're very good friends, babysit for each other, go on days out etc. We have spare keys for each other and I know I can depend on her in an emergency, it's nice to have that safety net.

I also have an old work friend, she's also introverted and admitted she's used to others initiating, but we both make the effort to meet up and really enjoy each other's company.

I feel much happier and more connected when I've met with friends. We laugh, chat, share advice, listen, help each other with problems, give emotional support and practical help. I'm happy on my own too but it's easy to become isolated and lonely, and too absorbed in your own world.

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