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When you need a RL friend

(131 Posts)
SlightlyJaded Mon 12-Mar-12 13:41:46

Not sure if this is the right place to post this.

Inspired by another thread where a very lovely sounding MN is going through a break up. One of the things that was really against her finding the strength she needed, was a lack of RL support.

If you have no local family and you and a partner have become 'self sufficient' - "we have each other and therefore don't need friends" it can be extra hard to follow through when you break up. You have lost your partner, your best friend but also your ONLY friend.

I can see that you would feel awkward getting in touch with old friends in your 'hour of need' if you haven't spoken to them for a while, and sometimes talking to a professional isn't enough - you need wine/coffee/tears and hugs.

I know that the Mumsnet Local boards can sometimes feel a bit quichey (mine does - I am sure they are all lovely but it does feel like an 'established group'). Also they feel like they are places for 'fun' and not tears. And if you are going through a breakup it can be hard to bring yourself to 'join a gym' 'start a course' and even then friendships take a while to establish.

The thread I referred to earlier has (again) shown the wonder of Mumsnet with a few people local to OP getting in touch to arrange coffees and stuff. I am sure this will be a great support to her. Time and time again, I have read posts where people just don't have anyone in RL to talk to and I was wondering whether something can be done?

I know if ANYONE local to me was having a hard time and wanted someone in RL to chat to, (whether going through relationship trauma or not) I'd be glad to meet for a coffee and I know I'm not alone.

I know that historically, people on the specific thread might be the ones to offer to meet the OP if they are local, but I think it unlikely that someone would start a thread just to say "everything has gone to shit and I just want someone in RL to talk to, any volunteers in Camrbidge?"

But often that is exactly what it comes down to.

Does anyone think it would be a good idea to try to establish some kind of place for people who are lacking RL support to reach out to other MNers for RL friendship/support or is this something that should naturally evolve and be offered if felt appropriate on a thread?

I'm honestly not sure, but I am heartbroken by hpw many people are feeling lonely and alone. sad

mamaintears Mon 12-Mar-12 14:01:11

I think its a great idea, it would appear there are numerous 'friendless' bodies out there which is really sad, surely everyone has room in their lives for 'one more' friend? I also think its a good idea from the prospective of when perehaps you just dont want to offload your problems 'yet again' to you old and trusted friends for fear they will tire of you IYSWIM.

OMGImStillHere Mon 12-Mar-12 16:43:19

Good point, sometimes you can't tell everything to people already in your life.

KatieScarlett2833 Mon 12-Mar-12 16:45:42

You are a love and that is a great idea.

I'd do it if someone needed support close by.

destinyorfate Mon 12-Mar-12 16:51:03

I think it is a brilliant idea.

I have talked to my family (who are not close by) but they get upset on my behalf and I feel so bad ringing up just to sob down the phone sad It is easier to talk to someone who isnt emotionally involved.

And I would also be more than happy to offer my support to anybody who needed a chat and a coffee because I know exactly how that feels.

strawberrypenguin Mon 12-Mar-12 16:56:42

Great idea, well put mamaintears everyone has room for another friend

lesterlassone Mon 12-Mar-12 17:15:46

That's a really nice posting SJ and I know that a couple of years back, whilst going through a very dark time, I would have welcomed just such a MN "friend".

SlightlyJaded Mon 12-Mar-12 17:48:31

I knew I wouldn't be the only person who felt this way.

It wouldn't have to be a commitment - just a coffee, laugh and cry can be a lifeline to a boat that feels its sinking.

Do you think that there are more like us?

<looks around hopefully>

Misssss Mon 12-Mar-12 17:49:19

Brilliant idea - a non judgy/connected/involved friend is what most people need in traumatic times. I too would be more than happy to support people in need of a friend.

SlightlyJaded Mon 12-Mar-12 17:51:58

And yes, they are very valid points about feeling you can't possibly go crying to your friend/mum/other (if you do have one) about the fact that he has 'cheated again'.

That's a really nice idea! I'd be happy to do it if someone near me needed a chat over coffee.

tallwivglasses Mon 12-Mar-12 18:07:39

What a lovely thread!

I too feel a bit intimidated by the thought of 'meet-ups' with lots of younger mums with younger children who probably would see me as a bit of an old caah.

When I first joined mn, on the feminist board someone was trying to start up a group in my area. I responded twice - nothing. I pm'd - nothing. I got a bit paranoid after that!

Anyway. I'm up for it smile

Misssss Mon 12-Mar-12 18:13:27

It is lovely. I don't actually have children but I like mumsnet a lot, so I don't feel I can go to a meetup. My local board is really quiet too which is bizzare because I live in a big city.

fuzzpig Mon 12-Mar-12 18:14:25

I would love that. Either way I struggle to make friends and would love to make more. It's a great idea.

However when it came to the shoulder to cry on thing, I just couldn't do it - So hard to open up to anyone sad

DottyandSpottyWot Mon 12-Mar-12 18:19:44

What a great idea! I really feel I have room for another friend, I have lots of people to have nights out with but have no-one to chat to. The local group threads for my area do not generate much traffic at all sad

Mama1980 Mon 12-Mar-12 18:23:48

This is a great idea smile I would definitely be up for a meeting if someone needed it. I know I would love a lifeline sometimes, I lived abroad for many years so most of my good friends are abroad a hug would be great somedays

tallwivglasses Mon 12-Mar-12 18:26:20

It would help if more people had profiles where they can give a rough idea of where they're based...just a thought.

tallwivglasses Mon 12-Mar-12 18:29:27

For example, it looks like Theresa might even be as old as me and live fairly close...

<stalker emoticon> grin

BeerTricksPott3r Mon 12-Mar-12 18:30:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SlightlyJaded Mon 12-Mar-12 19:53:32

BeerTricks - yes that crossed my mind. I do think it's a concern but I suppose like internet dating, you would arrange to meet in a public place and see how things went. If 'Lovelypersonfromyourarea' then turned out to be a hairy trucker, you could finish your latte and leave!

I'm not trying to start a revolution or anything (wishful thinking emoticon) but I am saddened by how many people (particularly in the relationship boards) just don't have 'a person' other than their partner. And the minute that goes tits up, they are left with nobody and no confidence.

MN is so very massive that maths dictates that there is bound to be someone vaguely lovely in your area who would be up for a more low key meet up if you find yourself feeling lost/alone/in need.

I don't know how the actual practicalities would work - it's not the same as MN Local, more a 'Need a non-judgy instant friend now?' board where you could literally post "Yes please - Penzance" or whatever.

As I said in my OP, I don't know if this is the right place to start but I thought I would try posting here first as relationships tends to be somewhere I lurk and I've come across the feelings of loneliness alot here. I'm interested to see if MN are really as lovely as they sound and would be prepared to take a chance on a a new 'friend in need'.

I think and hope they are.

If enough people say they would, I might link it to MNHQ to see what they think.

But I may be barking up the wrong tree. People are busy, cautious, I don't know....

SaltResistantSlug Mon 12-Mar-12 21:16:32

I'm up for it. And OP, did you pick Cambridge at random? I'm near there.

tallwivglasses I'm definitely not a young mum with small children - in fact I usually feel an old caah too smile I'm old enough to have gone on student demos during the miners strike, so that probably gives you an idea of my vintage.

MitchieInge Mon 12-Mar-12 21:48:44

Am old too and also up for it. Hate the thought of anyone feeling isolated, love meeting people.

Derpy Mon 12-Mar-12 21:50:53

When MNHQ started a sticky about improving MN Local, various people made suggestions about having a separate "local" username, so your anonymity across the rest of the board would be preserved. You would not want to make public where you lived. I think that would be essential.

Apart from that, it's a lovely thought and a nice thread to see.

I agree about security concerns, there are some very 'odd' people out there angry But, I've met online people in RL before and there are measures you can take to protect yourself like: meeting in a very public place, letting someone know you're going, arranging for someone to meet or ring you after a set time. SlightlyJaded mentioned internet dating, and really the practicalities would be similar.

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