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(35 Posts)
billyjean Fri 12-Apr-02 15:02:01

Hi I have moved to a new area 2 years ago now. Trouble is I seem to have lost the knack of making friends. I have spent all half term just me and the kids, I haven't spent any time with any friends at all. The one friend I have here has been away the last two weeks. She is nice although we don't have a lot in common. She saught me out when i moved here as she is such a friendly person but she has so many friends and seems to pick up any stray dog if you know what i mean. I have 2 other mums that i regularly talk to but have only seen one of them once in her house,she seems to have a lot of friends too and not a lot of time for any new ones. I'm feeling rather sorry for myself as i feel a bit fed up and am starting to wonder what is wrong with me. Will I ever make any friends? If you can't advise me at least I may have given you a laugh at a sad no mates person.

ks Fri 12-Apr-02 15:10:04

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ks Fri 12-Apr-02 15:11:08

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WideWebWitch Fri 12-Apr-02 15:16:57

Hi billyjean, I sympathise. I moved to a new area about 2 years ago too and it can be hard. How old are your children, if you don't mind me asking?

The reason I ask is that I met all my new friends through the nursery my son attended by getting myself involved and on the committee. Could you do this? Pre-schools etc are usually very glad of offers of help.

I also regularly asked mums I liked the look of to tea/supper/the park with their kids and I sort of built up friendships from there. It is hard when you get turned down, but I kept at it and gave up if someone turned me down so many times that it was obvious they didn't want to know!

I still wouldn't say I have an exciting busy social life, but I do have 3 or 4 women that I consider good friends. Another suggestion, although I haven't tried it myself, is joining the local NCT, which is all about helping mums not to feel isolated. Could you do this?

I'm sure there's nothing wrong with you: presumably you had friends in your old area?

And I also find it helps to have "virtual" friends here. So now you can call me sad!!! Good luck.

billyjean Fri 12-Apr-02 15:41:57

Hi ks and wickedwaterwitch thanks for replying so quickly. I better come clean or I'll only feel guilty and tell you that I have changed my nickname for this one as I felt embarassed to be seen as such a social failure. I love mumsnet and I wish some of you could be my real friends,it's kept me sane sometimes when I feel a bit lonely. I realise I must join something,the nct sounds like quite a good idea. I have one child at school and one at nursery at the moment so they are still quite young. I did have 2 friends where I used to live and lots of mothers to just occasionally chat with and meet up with at baby groups so I know how to chat to people,just cannot seem to take any further steps. I feel so hopeless. It's really nice to hear your replies.It makes me feel less isolated. I think I just feel like getting it out on here as I feel I've been on my own for 2 weeks even though the kids have been lovely.At least the weather is nice

starmoon Fri 12-Apr-02 15:49:24

Hi Billyjean,

Where do you live as a matter of interest? I find
it hard as I work 3 days a week, Playgroup on a
Mon but everyone seems to be in little groups there now. I wish i had someone to go out with
to the park etc, round for coffee. My little girl is 2 and a half.

billyjean Fri 12-Apr-02 16:24:27

Hi starmoon it'd be nice wouldn't it? I don't want to say exactly but I'm in the west country,if it's near you we could exchange e mail addresses.

Marina Fri 12-Apr-02 19:40:40

Billyjean, just a quick word of encouragement to see if you can meet up with Starmoon or other West of England mums. I too moved when ds was 1 to a new, not very friendly area, and for a while I started to think I had lost the knack of making friends - especially as I was out at work all day during the week.
Meeting up for coffee and playdates occasionally - and lunch too - with some of the people on Mumsnet who turned out to be nearby has been really fun and led to some new friendships. Can you make Star's meet-up in Bath in July? Lots of people are going to that.

ChanelNo5 Fri 12-Apr-02 21:43:01

Hi Billyjean - Sorry to hear that you're feeling so down at the mo. I think you've been given some really good advice from the others but I can't resist adding my two-pennies worth. I moved to a totally new area about 16 mths ago. I was lucky that most of my neighbours have young kids too and although at first it seemed that we didn't have that much in common, the more I have got to know them the more alike we have become. Sometimes it would require me to make a bold move to either make or break our relationship (ie offer them a glass of wine instead of tea when they came round after school, yes honestly this is one of my little tests, now who is the sad one?) Othertimes IME the more you see people you more you grow in to them, does that make sense? Aswell as neighbours, I got talking to other mothers at ds's school, dd's pre-school and other ds's mother and toddler groups. It can be very tiring being the one who always has to be bubbly, funny and making the effort, but if it even finds you one good friend IMO it has to be worthwhile. The friends I now have up here (which I have made after 25 yrs of age) I consider to be some of my very best friends (ahh) All I can say is persevere, you'd be surprised how many other people feel exactly the same as you - and remember all of us on mumsnet are here for you too.

Rozzy Sat 13-Apr-02 11:42:46

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tigermoth Sat 13-Apr-02 11:56:11

I moved to a new area about 2 years ago too. It's not easy turning acquaintances into friends. It does take time.

Just to add to the advice already given here. As someone else said, do join committees. Since I joined the PTA, I have got to know far more mothers far more quickly than if I had carried on single handed. Meetings are held in members houses, so that gets you over the hurdle of inviting people back, or visiting other people's homes. Not that you're obliged to hold a meeting at your home. I can't say that any of the PTA members are friends as such, but since I have only been a member for three months, it's early days. The meetings (surprisingly heated) have definitely helped me see who I might get on with and who's to be avoided!

Also, is there a playground near your school that parents take their children to after school? I go to our local one and ususally find at least one mother I know. It's a good way of meeting your child's friends and their parents on neutral territory. If all is going well, you can suggest a day when your child's friend could come round for tea after school. Make a firm arrangement and swap phone numbers there and then. Then it's over and done with. When the parent picks them up, you can invite them in etc etc. A parent or two at the new school my son joined in the autumn has invited my son to tea in just this way. Now I am reciprocating. Small beginnings that might lead to friendships.

Also, if your husband has made local men friends, makd a point of getting to know their partners. Give your dh a prod about making this happen, if he is slow on the uptake. I've made lots of local friends this way, riding on the coat tails of my gregarious husband.

And as Marina says, do meet other people from here if you can. It's great to see other mumsnetters face to face.

Loved the glass of wine test, chanelno5!

Must dash - toddler doing something worrying in the kitchen..... no spell check so excuse mistakes

billyjean Sat 13-Apr-02 13:19:34

Thankyou everyone for your messages it's so kind of you to reply. Rozzy thanks but unfortunately i'm quite a way from Glastonbury.
Ks I really agree with you ,I think I had good frienships before I was 25. I think it does get harder to make solid friendships when you are older. I'm still in touch with 2 old friends it's just a shame they live so far away.
Thanks for the encouragement Marina have just read your troubles on another thread and want to say good luck with things and hope your problems are shortlived.
Chanel i love the glass of wine test too will have to try that one when I take the bull by the horns and invite the couple of acuantances over to my house soon.
You 're all right with your good advice I just have to try harder. It's not that difficult perhaps i just felt pathetic due to spending 2 weeks with just the kids and no body calling or meeting up with me.Thanks.

Rhiannon Sat 13-Apr-02 14:17:14

billyjean, invite school friends to tea via their Mum and suggest she comes too as they've never been to your house b4 or if she's happy for them to come alone the first time, invite her the next time with an excuse of a cake needing eating or something.

Try the NCT call the local coordinator, tell her you would like to meet people and ask what they do, ask to join the committee, you'll meet people through that too. Offer to host something in your home to show your interest.

I'm thinking of joining the local Floral Art society and need to pluck up courage to go to a meeting and I'm also going to start sewing lessons soon (I sound about 60 don't I?). So what about a hobby/interest/college course? R

starmoon Mon 15-Apr-02 11:46:33

Hi Billyjean,

I am from the West Country funnily enough, Looe in Cornwall but now live in Kent. How have things been over the past week are you feeling any better? Weather should get better soon at least the sunshine makes us all happy.

monkey Mon 15-Apr-02 13:51:37

Billyjean - don't feel like a billy-no-mates - everything you said rings true for me and lots of others by the sound of it. I have lots of acquaintences but (possibly) only a couple of mates, one of whom very inconveniently lives 100's of miles away and is (much to her deep sadness) childless so that's tough.

Someone I know always goes to the same park (seemingly) day in day out with her kids and has gradually met friends there by persevering over a long time, someone else I know seems to pick mates up dead easily just be 2 minutes chat by the swings - just not something I can do. I even feel shy & terrified talking to toddlers never mind the mothers! Good luck, I know how draining it can be at times, but it'll be fine.

billyjean Mon 15-Apr-02 15:58:03

Hi, starmoon what a shame we don't live closer,oh well shall just have to go ahead with all your good suggestions and give you an update in a few weeks. No doubt you'll be checking up on me.
Rhiannon you made me smile,you don't sound young from those hobbies no but from someone who can't sew to save her life i can see the attraction. I tend to throw socks away when they are holey,not something my mother would have done.
Thanks monkey for empathising with me it makes me feel so much better. I realise you don;t need to have loads of friends,anyway with a job and little ones i wouldn't have the time for loads anyway. Just a couple would be nice though. I do feel a bit more positive now,the kids are back at school and nursery and things are back to normal,so I have some day to day contact with people now at least up at the school and such.Shall be in touch soon. Meantime I'll be chatting to you all with my usual name here,feel a bit silly for changing it really,hope you understand.

sml Mon 15-Apr-02 17:38:19

I'm yet another sad no-mates person, reasons being that we have moved so much in the last 5 years, plus none of my friends have children of my age, and my closest friend is in Italy anyway. I just hope things will improve one day when we're a bit better off and I don't have to spend all my time either at the office, or cleaning/washing up/cooking, or doing OU study.
BTW, We are just in the process of selling our house in the west country!

billyjean Mon 15-Apr-02 19:42:13

Hi sml,gosh all my favourite mumsnetters are replying. You do sound really busy with studying as well,are you studying something to change career? So you're on the move are you,are you moving far? Good luck with the move.Why is it that our best friends live far away? I have my best friend in Surrey and another in Chesterfield all miles away.Still all I have to do most days is sit here at the computer and I can chat you friendly lot.What more could I want and I don't even have to go anywhere

jodee Tue 16-Apr-02 00:18:11

Billyjean, sml, I'm another one for the club, most of my friends being through work who are single or married but with no kids, so I really miss having someone with kids to meet up with on my weeks off for coffee etc. Yes, I go to Tumbletots/Mums and Toddlers 3 days a week and the park whenever the weather permits, and there are nice people to chat to at the meetings I go to, but we all go our separate ways at the end. Plus I have a boy and the Mums I am getting to know have girls, so that's that.

Maybe I need to be more pushy, but I'm not that type. But I am going to make a real effort to go to the London meet up as everyone here feels like a 'friend' now !

SueDonim Tue 16-Apr-02 10:39:30

We've often moved house so I've been through the making friends scenario a number of times. It isn't easy and you have to plug away at it. It took me ages to realise that mostly I had to make the first move. Other people can have preconceived ideas about you, that you don't need friends or that you already have an active social life or that you don't want to know them, even! Asking people round for coffee (or wine - brill idea!!) is a good way to go, and if you don't hit it off 100%, all you've lost is a spoonful of Kenco and a couple of biscuits.

I'm now about to relocate overseas, and I have to admit, I've had to make new friends so many times that I can hardly be bothered to go through the whole thing again. But I know I will have to make the effort, both for my daughters' sakes and to build up a support system while we're so far from friends and family.

Anyway, good luck, Billyjean!

Enid Tue 16-Apr-02 11:00:57

jodee, sorry, don't want to start a heated discussion here, but why does girls/boys make a difference at toddler age?? Dd (28 months) has 3 'best' friends - two of them are boys.

billyjean Tue 16-Apr-02 16:20:27

Hi me again,Suedonim you're so right about being the one to have to make the first move. Good luck with your move by the way we''ll be dying to hear from you once you are there to see how you are getting on. It must be quite exciting. I couldn't imagine doing anything like that I'm such a homebody who has the occasional trip to France,wish I was more adventurous. Talking of making new friends I do think you have to be careful or you can come across as seeming too desperate sometimes.
Jodee if we started a club we wouldn't need any more friends there's a thought. I have been talking to a nice woman up at the school everyday for a while now and we seem to be on the same wavelength. We've said why don;t we go to the leisure centre with the kids before but something seems to crop up a couple of times and we haven't got round to it yet. I'm going to invite her over for a drink next week and see how we go. Has to be next week as I'm feeling really rough and am off work at the moment.

billyjean Tue 16-Apr-02 16:22:34

I kind of prefer this new name I wonder if I should keep it?

Azzie Tue 16-Apr-02 16:29:45

Enid, my ds is 4.5 now. He has girl and boy friends, but is starting to clearly show a sex preference, largely because the sort of games he most likes playing seem to be 'boy' games. It's the classic thing - the boys seem to want to run around and wrestle with each other, while the girls are more interested in playing more cooperative games. Watching dd growing up now, who is very similar to her brother in many ways, but still clearly showing 'girl' behaviour, I'm sure that there is a genetic thing here, not just upbringing. So I think it is good if they can make friends with their own sex, and from observations of friends older children it seems to become more and more important when they get to 7-8 - I've heard the theory that they go through a phase of learning to be male or female, where they actually get very fussy about who they mix with, something about not getting mixed messages until they've got what being male or female is all about. I don't know if that's true, I just know what I'm seeing with my own boy.

SueDonim Tue 16-Apr-02 16:33:18

I'm a homebody, too, Billyjean, so this move is rather daunting! Silly as it is, I'm attached to things like my own loo and bath, strange ones don't feel right and I don't feel clean, lol!

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