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To only have one real friend

(33 Posts)
GoogleBroughtMeHere Sat 02-Mar-19 11:30:40

Does anyone else have only one or a few proper friends?

I feel like everyone around me has large groups of friends that see each other and speak all the time.

I have one real friend who's been there since school, and through a lot together and other than DH and my parents, she's the only person I really speak to!

I've gone through an awful time recently with fertility problems and recurrent miscarriages and I just found that all my other 'friends' just seemed to completely abandon ship when things got a bit hard. To be honest, I feel like never bothering with any of them again and just accepting that my friendship circle will always be quite small.

Is there anyone else who doesn't have many friends? I mean friends you know will be there through the shit parts rather than just people to have a bit of a night out with every now and then?

I was beginning to think maybe it was me but now I'm wondering if most large circles of friends aren't actually as close or as caring as they make out to be? Its definitely been my experience anyway!

Shockers Sat 02-Mar-19 11:36:13

I’ve recently had a wake up call re friendships.

I had two significant bereavements, followed by my DD developing a chronic illness.

The people who I have spent the most time with over the last 8 years have been largely absent, other than the odd text, even though they live the closest.

My two oldest friends have been in constant contact. A very new friend has been absolutely wonderful.

I know who I’ll be supporting through any difficult times in future.

I’m now firmly of the opinion that quality trumps quantity when it comes to friendships.

hidinginthenightgarden Sat 02-Mar-19 11:37:37

I have 2 real friends. I have other kind of friends but they are more, people I met through work and hobbies that I like as people. Not people I would go out of my way to see.
It is my 30th this year and I booked a room for a party. When thinking about who to invite I realise dthat only about 30 people would probably come blush

perci08 Sat 02-Mar-19 11:38:28

Quality not quantity! I'd rather have a small circle of friends or one or two who I know I can rely on and trust than having 'a lot' that don't really mean anything apart from 'making up numbers' type of thing.
You know who your friends are when you find them at your side, on the other end of a phone, be there for you when you need them. What you don't need is people who want you just to make them look good.
Friends are friends when they are there for you and vice versa through thick and thin. Not someone who heads for the hills at the first sign of trouble.

GoogleBroughtMeHere Sat 02-Mar-19 11:40:54

The people who I have spent the most time with over the last 8 years have been largely absent, other than the odd text, even though they live the closest

This is exactly like my group of 'friends'. They were there when I wanted to go out and have a good time but as soon as I opened up to them about my situation, I've barely seen or heard from them again. They now don't invite me anywhere or even try and hide the fact at all that they are doing things together and excluding me (we used to do pretty much everything together).

It feels like now I'm not so fun anymore, because I'm pretty down about my situation, they aren't interested.

SpringForEver Sat 02-Mar-19 11:43:06

One good friend you can trust is far better than a crowd of self centred, fair weather friends.

I became tired of being used for favours, helping out with things etc. and let those people go, leaving me with a few of friends I could trust. They gradually drifted off, died, or moved miles away, and my best friend was killed. I now have one person in my life that I trust and would call a friend and trust with my personal stuff.

A good friend is hard to find and should be treasured.

RedLipClassic Sat 02-Mar-19 11:44:48

I only have two true friends. I don't feel unfulfilled at all because they are such great friends to me that I get everything I need from them. I have a few people I'm friendly with that I would go for a coffee or have a drink with etc but wouldn't confide in them about anything deep or go to them in a time of need.

I've never been a big friendship group kinda gal and the two friends I have now I met young (one at 11 and one at 15).

alaric77 Sat 02-Mar-19 11:46:37

Well you have one more than me!

JacquesHammer Sat 02-Mar-19 11:56:13

I think there’s two distinct groups of friends. Those that are deep friendships that will give the support that you talk about OP, and more casual friendships which are less deep and not the group you’d turn to for support.

I have four of the former, and none of the latter.

goteam Sat 02-Mar-19 11:58:37

I was part of a group around 15 years ago but only stayed good friends with one of them. It was an amalgamation of work friends, hobby friends, friends of friends who kind of formed a 'group' in our mid-20's due to no one really having a group of friends from school / uni / college. A nice idea I thought but actually the dynamics were unhealthy. There was a mother hen bullying type who everyone else was scared of, and only liked certain group members in a group but not one to one, and others who really like the idea of 'the girls' because it made them feel normal but it's so superficial. Facebook updates tagging everyone 'can't wait to catch up with the girls this weekend' etc etc when you know in fact, amongst the group there are people who don't really like each other, would never meet one to one, and most are submissive towards the 'mother hen'. Sod it. I prefer having my small groups of 2 or 3 ex colleagues, the odd old school and college friend, ex housemates, hobby groups etc. I genuinely like them and bigger groups are superficial in my experience.

Sparklesocks Sat 02-Mar-19 11:58:51

I would say most people only have a handful of true and close friends, large groups tend to be more like acquantices - people you have a laugh with but not much more. As long as you have a person or a few people you can turn to that’s all that matters. Very much quality not quantity.

goteam Sat 02-Mar-19 12:04:01

And mum friends who have become actual friends! OP if you have one good friend that's great. That can be your close confidante and then it's nice to have a few social friends too. I have theatre, foodie, gig, pub friends and not all are really close but we are just friends based on shared interests. That's fine for me though as I'm an introvert.

noblegiraffe Sat 02-Mar-19 12:14:46

Different people are good at different things. Some people are shit at giving emotional support, others are good at it. You don’t invite your friend who hates films to the cinema, you invite your friend who has the same taste as you. You don’t turn to the shit at emotional stuff ones for support, you turn to the ones who are good at it. It doesn’t mean they are bad friends, it means they have different strengths. Otherwise, presumably you wouldn’t be friends with them.

GoogleBroughtMeHere Sat 02-Mar-19 12:28:11

noblegiraffe I don't think I completely agree with that though.

Obviously some people are better than others at offering emotional support, but I would still expect them to be there and not completely abandon someone i.e. not speak to them again or invite them anywhere anymore etc...

You can be shit at offering advice but still ask your struggling friend if they want to come round for a brew or speak to them like you normally would rather than just not bothering at all.

noblegiraffe Sat 02-Mar-19 12:45:09

It’s not always just about being shit about offering advice, it’s about literally not knowing what to do in that situation.

Like if someone’s dad had just died, inviting them out with friends would seem wrong. But then you’ve abandoned them. So you can’t treat them like you normally would.

There are enough threads on MN asking what to do if a friend is depressed or struggling or bereaved to show that lots of people don’t know what to do.

GoogleBroughtMeHere Sat 02-Mar-19 13:01:40

Well maybe it's just me then but there's no way if I was an actual friend to someone I would not make any attempt at all to contact them or whatever if they'd opened up to me about something they were struggling with. Even if it were to say 'I know you might not feel like it but we're doing x y or z tonight if you wanted to come?'

I think saying you're just bad at offering advice or 'emotional stuff' is a really poor excuse.

noblegiraffe Sat 02-Mar-19 13:10:13

You want them to be more like you, but they’re not you.

Different friends are appropriate for different occasions. Go to the ones who are good at supporting you emotionally for emotional support.

LadyPeach Sat 02-Mar-19 13:18:30

I've decided I actually don't have any real friends. I have my best friend but even her I wouldn't share certain things with. She's quite judgey and very "keeping up with the Joan's". Never really happy for me, just try's to top trump me. So actually, probably not a very good friend. I have a very close family though and my partner is probably my best friend.

goteam Sat 02-Mar-19 13:25:07

I agree with noblegiraffe. I have removed friends from my life who are actually bad apples, eg narcissistic, controlling etc but have friends who I like and are good people but aren't my confidantes. I probably only have one or two like that. But I wouldn't necessarily let everyone I know know if I was going through difficulties and would be disappointed if somebody I did consider a close friend let me down so I get that. I have had friends who were close and have been shit in crises despite me being a good friend during their (much less important) 'crises' so have just cut them off.

Siriismyonlyfriend Sat 02-Mar-19 13:28:58

Yes me! Hence my username!

MereDintofPandiculation Sat 02-Mar-19 13:30:35

When thinking about who to invite I realise dthat only about 30 people would probably come I feel I have a lot of friends, but I'd struggle to find 30 to invite to a party!

I think not only are there friends for different things, eg going out with/emotional support, there are also differences in what kind of emotional support - I have friends that I'd go to if my marriage was going belly up, and they're not necessarily the same friends that I'd go to for practical support during illness, for example.

goteam Sat 02-Mar-19 13:32:18

Sounds judgey, by less important crises I mean family bereavement versus 'friend' needing constant relationship reassurances, having affairs, regretting them, etc etc. Tiring. Lots of self made problems. I only ever seek support with events outside of my control.

GoogleBroughtMeHere Sat 02-Mar-19 13:32:28

It's not about confiding in everyone I know, I thought these friends were people I could confide in which is why I did as they have all done with me in the past. We'd been friends for a long time. It was then that they have completely removed themselves from my life and literally never speak to me anymore despite the fact it's the time I could have used them the most. Clearly it's made them uncomfortable enough to not bother anymore which is sad as I thought we were close enough to share these things.

I have friends at work for example, that I'd never dream of discussing this with because as you say, they are a different type of friend.

cleanasawhistle Sat 02-Mar-19 13:33:25

I used to have what I thought were close friends......then I saw a different side to a couple when I was diagnosed with cancer.

So I know the few friends I have now are worth thier weight in gold.

GoogleBroughtMeHere Sat 02-Mar-19 13:37:31

I'm not talking about a group of 12 people either. I'm talking about 3 women who I considered my closest friends over many many years.

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