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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

UhOhJo Tue 13-Mar-12 23:33:11

This is a brilliant idea.

Though I'm afraid I'm saying that because I'm exactly the sort of thing I need. Am I the first here to confess that?

We moved to a new area where I work at home, have a partner who works away, and I rely on him far too much and we're going through major difficulties and row endlessly. I'm sat here right now waiting for dp to call like a needy berk (he probably won't) and I haven't spoken to anyone in RL since he left on Sunday (aside from childminder at handover) and won't until Friday.

When you're feeling low it's really hard to get motivated to go join a group full of happy mum strangers. I've been to toddler groups and made small talk but yeah, it's just hard. I would also be willing to meet other MNers going through tough times for a coffee and chat.

tallwivglasses Wed 14-Mar-12 00:09:46

Bibi, welcome to British up-your-arse-ishness - although some I know would limit that to English and they'd probably be right (I'm English!)

I've not met many Germans but really liked the ones I have (found them nicely brilliant and weird...but not making generalisations, it'll be a coincidence thing I'm sure)

UjOhJo (love your nn) - This is exactly what SlightlyJaded was talking about I think - shit, I wish I was close to where you are...but a cool mnetter will be, there's loads of us so it's more or less guarunteed (or however you spell that bloody word)

SJ [flowers] xxx

tallwivglasses Wed 14-Mar-12 00:11:10





AnyFucker Wed 14-Mar-12 00:22:21

What about a long standing "sticky" In OffTheBeatenTrack ?

Anybody looking for a bit of RL coffee-supping, cake-scoffing and handholding could post on there with their approx location.

Then the ones that are up for it, could take the initiative by sending a pm

That way, nobody is put under pressure to respond. The only downside would be if very upset posters didn't get any replies, but I guess they would have to understand there might not be local people actually around at the time

Can anybody see something to work with here ?

tallwivglasses Wed 14-Mar-12 00:39:54

Yeah. Of course. That place is so obscure we all forget about it smile

AnyFucker Wed 14-Mar-12 00:44:34

SJ why don't you start a thread in SiteStuff tomorrow and see what HQ say

they are the experts, after all

SlightlyJaded Wed 14-Mar-12 10:18:02

Yep, I think a running thread is the way to go - I would hate it to feel like an obligation or anything. What would make me really happy is if we could have a running, sticky, thread that people could point others to:

"why you don't you post on the "Friends Offered/Wanted" thread? You can find it at OTBT" or whatever

AF, is the best thing to link to this thread in 'site stuff' and see what HQ come back with?

Thanks all you lovely MNers. It's reassuring to no that there are so many nice vipers grin

Any suggestions for thread title? I can't get beyond 'Friends Offered/Wanted' - pithy but to the point, but I am sure that there are other, better ideas.

UhOh Maybe you could be our first poster? smile

AnyFucker Wed 14-Mar-12 10:20:29

yes, I think that's a good idea, SJ, HQ may be able to suggest a better idea or modification

will have a think about a title, or ask HQ to suggest one

Fishandjam Wed 14-Mar-12 10:27:11

I'd do it. Feeling alone, when you need someone, is awful.

AnyFucker Wed 14-Mar-12 10:31:12

I definitely think it needs to come from people asking, rather than people offering indiscriminately IYSWIM

what I mean is, there may be situations you may not feel able or even want to help with, or stuff that triggers problems of your own

so the ability to choose, without pressure, who you offer that coffee'ncake too has to be freely given

hope that makes sense

SlightlyJaded Wed 14-Mar-12 10:37:52

Yes, the onus should be on the 'asker' - but I would like to think that people on a thread would point them towards asking. I think people are embarrassed to admit they have nobody and I would hate their to be any 'shame' in asking for an 'instant friend' in your hour of need.

Have posted a link to this thread on site stuff

We'll see what they come back with.

AnyFucker Wed 14-Mar-12 10:45:27

thanks, SJ

oh yes, people should be pointed in the right direction, absolutely

flossiebella Wed 14-Mar-12 10:55:28

I would also do it. I've just moved back to the south west after 5 years oop north & so am rather desperate for adult company! Mumsnet local doesn't seem to cover my area....

SlightlyJaded Wed 14-Mar-12 11:03:57

Flossie - good to have more support.

The thing about MN Local is that it tends to be big jolly meetups at dates agreed en masse

When actually a lot of people want 'low key coffee' with someone they feel that they can really confide in despite never having met before.

That's what I want to try to achieve.

MistyMountainHop Wed 14-Mar-12 11:07:06

i think its a brilliant idea OP

tallwivglasses Wed 14-Mar-12 11:11:08

Looks like this could be the start of something amazing SJ smile

BrianTheBrainSurgeon Wed 14-Mar-12 11:26:21

Well done SJ - I'm in too (although I work full time and can offer relatively limited support but will do my best)

SlightlyJaded Wed 14-Mar-12 11:58:03

Brian that's lovely - thank you.

The thing is, I'm not suggesting any kind of commitment or 'dedication to the cause'.

I just wondered how many people would be prepared to give up half an hour to have a coffee with someone local, who had literally nobody else to talk to. If a friendship then evolved, great. If it didn't, you have still listened to someone for half an hour.

The chances of someone 'in need' being local to you on a regular basis, are fairly slim, so I don't think it would need to worry about how much time you could offer.

You wouldn't be expected to be a 'long term volunteer'. The thread would be there for all to browse and if you spotted someone in your area, and felt you had the time, you could make contact - that's all.

And the ideal scenario, is two friendless people in the same area finding each other.

I just keep coming back to the same thing. Nobody should feel alone.

Thank you thank you for all the support. I really hope we can get something up and running.

garlicbutter Wed 14-Mar-12 12:14:07

What a beautiful idea smile

Has anyone requested a sticky OTBT thread? When it's up, I can add myself and bookmark it for reference to other posters.

AnyFucker Wed 14-Mar-12 12:16:20

garlic, there is a request in site stuff for just such a thing

Kennyp Wed 14-Mar-12 12:18:08

This sounds like a brilliant idea. I am keen!! And in the south east.

SlightlyJaded Wed 14-Mar-12 12:33:23

The link to the request in site stuff is here:

Please feel free to add your support to the idea there (even if you've already added your support here)

Thanks thanks

Crawling Wed 14-Mar-12 16:56:52

I think it is good I personally suffer ill mental health and I am isolated as a result my family are not supportive so dont actually know I have alot of ill health and if they see it they kind of ignore and pretend it doesnt exist and most friends dont stick around when I become unwell as they didnt sign up for that. I have no friends and I am scared to talk to anyone new about it because of the stigma so I think its a great idea.

SlightlyJaded Wed 14-Mar-12 17:00:46

Crawling. sad That's exactly the reason I'd like to try and get a running thread - so that people who feel as you do, can post.

Would you mind taking a minute to show your support of the idea over at site stuff? I'd like to think that if it gets up and running, you would post on the board and benefit from it smile

Crawling Wed 14-Mar-12 17:03:26

I have already done it smile.

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