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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

SlightlyJaded Wed 14-Mar-12 17:04:30

I just saw, thank you smile

In the meantime, Crawling - where are you based?

AlmaMartyr Wed 14-Mar-12 17:05:24

Lovely idea, I've been very lonely the last few years (better now) and had times when I would have bitten someone's hand off for just a little bit of company. I would love to offer this to anyone in my area.

Crawling Wed 14-Mar-12 17:05:37

I am in South Wales.

Crawling Wed 14-Mar-12 17:17:24

But at the moment I dont drive (starting lessons again soon but I have had 30) so would probably be better off waiting till I can drive and get around before I do any meet ups smile.

I would definitely be happy to be someone's friend, if they needed me. Having moved from the South east of England, to Scotland, near Paisley, I know how it feels to be lonely - all three dses were too old to need me at the school gates, and so I found it really hard to make new friends. It has been a slow process, but I am getting there.

I'd like to think that if someone was in a similar position, or just if they needed a friendly ear/shoulder, that I'd be able to help.

SlightlyJaded Wed 14-Mar-12 17:30:44

Alma and SDY thanks for your support - would you mind seconding the idea at site stuff?

thank you smile

SlightlyJaded Wed 14-Mar-12 17:31:21

Crawling going to pick up DD now, will be back later. And maybe we can do our first 'south wales' shout smile

ViviPru Wed 14-Mar-12 20:01:53

Found this linked from AIBU.

Its a great idea OP. And it doesn't just have to be about times of dire need as such, it might be that you just fancy someone to talk to in person about about the grinding frustration of WTTC when all your friends are either up to their ears in PFB or allergic to babies and you could just SCREAM!!!!!! Sorry - went off on a tangent there....

I think the language used is key, so as not to be off putting or make people feel embarrassed. I like tallwivglasses idea of a MNconnect, coffee, cake and a friendly ear, all starting with a PM and the understanding that while you can take it whatever direction you like afterward, the premise is that in the first instance it is just that, a coffee and a chat.

AFs suggestion makes a lot of sense, I think it would be good to have a sticky that everyone is aware of that you can link to. I agree Off the Beaten Track might be a good place, but my concern is it will only be used by those asking for support, how often will the average MNtter stumble across it and think 'Oh, I'm in Suchandsuchshire, I'll PM that lonely sounding person.' Should it be somewhere with higher traffic? Chat? Or would that put people off posting a request? I don't know.

As for the associated risks, I think we all just have to be adult and sensible about it. Most people are au fait with the etiquette of meeting up with strangers from the internet and there can be some guidelines on the sticky. I think the potential for it to be abused is far outweighed by the benefits it could bring.

I'm off to lend my support on the site stuff thread smile

BigHairyLeggedSpider Wed 14-Mar-12 20:37:45

Great idea. I relocated a few years ago and it has taken years to make friends, even now I struggle. I could have done with a friendly ear, or someone to rant to, and still could sometimes. I'd be happy with a coffee and a chat, no judgement. Count me in for South Brumingham.

SlightlyJaded Wed 14-Mar-12 20:49:06

Crawling hopefully the birth of the sticky-thread will coincide with you passing your driving test smile

SlightlyJaded Wed 14-Mar-12 20:51:06

Thanks Vivi and agree with pretty much your whole post.

I don't know where it should 'live' either - I am going to trust the judgement of MNHQ or some other more knowledgeable MNer on that.

Nagoo Wed 14-Mar-12 20:57:45


Subject to usual internet precautions I think it is a nice idea smile

Mainly because it involves cake smile

HepHep Wed 14-Mar-12 21:06:35

I think this is a fab idea. At the moment I could really do with some support but am happy to offer support too when I'm less fucked grin.

MadameMessy Wed 14-Mar-12 21:13:57

I'm actually a bit teary reading this. its really resounding with me-apart from dp and the girls who I went to school with who I go out for drinks with 3 or 4 times a year, I have no one. no one to talk to or text or pop into. day to day its fine but when dp and I had a serious crisis I couldn't whine to my mum about it. I wish I could have met someone to just talk to,but not necessarily have to talk ever again, maybe out of embarrassment for not taking advice to leave the bastard?
bit rambling there, but great idea. real shame I'm in Ireland sad

Divorcedand2teenDDs Wed 14-Mar-12 21:17:06

Great idea. Lovely of you to think of it.

SlightlyJaded Wed 14-Mar-12 21:24:45


thank you smile

Please would you add your names to the request I've made in site stuff (if you haven't already)?

Madame sad I am sure there are loads on MNers in Ireland.

SEE MNHQ this is why we need this thread.

tallwivglasses Wed 14-Mar-12 21:26:16

MadameMessy, there's mnetters in Ireland I know cos they tend to mention it smile

I'm pretty sure that if an OP said 'I've got no-one to talk to in rl, someone's ears would prick up and suggest the sticky cake thread.

MadameMessy Wed 14-Mar-12 21:37:15

oh no I know there are some here we are a gobby lot just wouldn't be as easy to organise a spontaneous meet up.
all the Irish forums seem to be all quichey, I'm a bit more shouty!

amillionyears Thu 15-Mar-12 09:55:05

Lovely idea. Count me in.

SlightlyJaded Thu 15-Mar-12 10:40:43

thanks amillion smile

Would you mind adding your support at the site stuff thread? THis is the one MNHQ are watching to see if it's a popular idea...


JaneB1rkin Thu 15-Mar-12 10:46:27

It is a good idea in theory, just the crossover into RL as always has to be handled with caution.

MN coffee mornings might be a goer.

HoudiniHissy Thu 15-Mar-12 11:04:40

Bumping SJ's thread.... it's a FAB idea!

JaxTellerIsMyFriend Thu 15-Mar-12 11:09:15

you can count me in as a friendly face for coffee and chat.

Hullygully Thu 15-Mar-12 11:09:34

good idea

SlightlyJaded Thu 15-Mar-12 11:11:41

thank you, thank you thanks

Please will you add your names to support the idea at site stuff?

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