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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

fluffyraggies Thu 15-Nov-12 08:38:38

I still can't do it sad

My friendship bench and group meet up page is just sitting there looking the same as always. It has let me make a 'local nickname'. But i cant add anything to the page. Is it me doing something wrong?

SpiralDancer Wed 14-Nov-12 22:41:24

This is one of the loveliest threads that I have read in a while, thank you op for starting it.

Only really wished to say that really

quietlysuggests Wed 14-Nov-12 22:29:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SlightlyJaded Wed 14-Nov-12 14:41:51


The Friendship Benches are now apparently working. I have managed to post on mine. Thank you again MNHQ

But mostly, thank you, thank you to all the lovely MNers who posted in this and site stuff thread and responded to my endless PM's about it. I know loads of you couldn't post when I first nagged asked you, but if you wouldn't mind trying again.... Pretty please.

Just one person getting RL help could change a life. It really could

Thanks muchly

SlightlySeethrough Tue 30-Oct-12 15:01:28

yep, that'll learn me. grin

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Tue 30-Oct-12 11:51:30

oh dear

you will try to help ! grin

SlightlySeethrough Tue 30-Oct-12 10:56:13

AF, apparently it's not working at the moment...


Glad I nagged everyone to do it, I've now got an inbox of about 40 messages telling me it's not working hmm

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Mon 29-Oct-12 10:06:57

bumping again. I can't navigate the local site feature. I have lost where you register and can't find it and the "friendship bench" appears to have no way to put yourself on it confused

SlightlySeethrough Mon 29-Oct-12 08:55:39

thanks all for responding.

It does seem to be a bit of a PITA actually posting (my listing has disappeared) and I can't seem to re-post (have alerted tech). Also, I was a bit confused about having to come up with another name but might plump for something really creative like... SlightlyJadedLocal grin

So really just to say, please don't give up at the first technical hurdle, it could really make a difference and you are the lovely people who supported it.

thanks for all of you. Friendliest.Vipers.Ever

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Mon 29-Oct-12 00:14:56

eh, I am going to the "friendship bench" but I can't work out how to add my name

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Mon 29-Oct-12 00:09:29

I am off to register

bringupthebabies Mon 29-Oct-12 00:08:18

My local board is so empty everything I type echoes round my laptop! Anyway i've registered a local nn <wonders if I'm the first and --only one-->

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Mon 29-Oct-12 00:05:16

bumping again (it's AF here)

the new local boards are here

I was a bit put off by needing a new name to register for them, but I suppose you could choose a similar name to your usual board name

SlightlySeethrough Sun 28-Oct-12 23:34:20


I am bumping this as we now have our shiny new Local boards including friendship benches

Thank you MNHQ thanks

I think I have PM'd everyone on this thread now, but just in case I missed anyone, I just wanted to ask that if you supported the idea, can you go and 'sit' on your bench so that we can begin to direct people to somewhere of real value. And please do tell other posters about it and hopefully we can start to build them into genuine offers of RL support/friendship/--wine--/coffee

Thank you all again for supporting the idea
Gin all round x

SlightlyJaded Mon 19-Mar-12 10:35:58

Doha I am hoping they will give us a permanent 'sticky' thread.

As soon as If they do, I will pointing people to it left, right and centre. Rest assured grin

jinsei Sun 18-Mar-12 22:21:21

I think it's a great idea - there have been many times when I could have used a RL friend, and I would be more than happy to chat to someone who was lonely.

Off to add my name on the other thread. smile

Doha Sun 18-Mar-12 22:08:43

Wonderful idea--count me in.

Emm where is the buddy bench tho??

blue2 Sun 18-Mar-12 22:05:47

Oh, I think its great idea. I'd be happy to chat to someone who needed to offload. I used to be a Homestart Volunteer, so have broad shoulders smile

SlightlyJaded Sun 18-Mar-12 21:53:04

Thank you to everyone who has shown support on the site stuff thread.

You lovely vipers, you smile.

Fingers crossed that MNHQ offer us a sticky.

thegreylady Fri 16-Mar-12 17:24:22

I would love to do it.I would also gladly babysit [am ret teacher and gran of 9] but its hard to know what is needed.The only time I made an offer on here the op turned out to be a troll sad
By the way can anyone tell me where the 'Buddy Bench' is on here I cant find it.

SlightlyJaded Fri 16-Mar-12 10:53:22

Wips have responded to you on the site stuff thread smile

bumpsnowjustplump Fri 16-Mar-12 10:03:51

I think this is a great idea and would willingly take part...

inatrance Fri 16-Mar-12 09:26:48

What a brilliant idea, count me in! smile

Sarahplane Fri 16-Mar-12 08:56:57

That's a brilliant idea. I would.

WipsGlitter Fri 16-Mar-12 08:53:55

Sorry. Small fingers helping me.

Anyway, I may have misunderstood how this works but is the idea that someone posts asking for support and a mumsnetter volunteers to help? The problem is there is no "quality control" over who is providing the support and advice or help they give could be more damaging or harmful, may be inaccurate or driven by a personal agenda. So a vulnerable person may be placed in a situation that gives them more stress. Or someone who fancies themselves as a counsellor might see this as a patient/counsellor type relationship.

I think if MN could oomphf up the local boards and encourage more group meet ups then this may happen more organically.

RL befriending services have extensive training, policies and guidelines for what they do for a reason.

Sorry to be a negative voice, but MNHQ should really consider the implications of this before promoting it further.

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