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Re-evaluating friendships. Feeling quite sad and alone.

(15 Posts)
Soyoureallythinkso Tue 11-Mar-14 21:24:18

Two years ago I moved out of London and now live about an hour or so away from most of my friends. A couple of my closest friends have only been to see me twice since I moved and make a fuss about how far away I live/how expensive the train fare to see me is etc. They don't seem to realise that it costs me the same amount of money and time to travel to see them (which I do fairly regularly and without complaining) as it does them to see me confused

We had planned to meet up on Sunday for lunch (in London) which had been in the diary for a long time and I was really looking forward to it as I haven't made any friends in my new area (mainly as I work irregular hours and have a long commute) so I only get social interaction every few weeks and am pretty lonely.

One friend emailed me on Saturday saying "not going to be able to make Sunday lunch anymore, got a few other things to do this weekend". I forwarded this on to the other friend saying X can't make it but I'm still looking forward to lunch and she replied saying "yep hectic weekend for me too, had a crazy week, will have to pass on lunch too".

Neither of them bothered to say sorry to letting you down / sorry for cancelling at the last minute / let's try and rearrange or anything along those lines. Also their reasons for cancelling were a bit vague so makes me realise I am just not a priority.

This is not the first time things like this have happened, just the most recent example, so I am starting to think maybe it is time to move on and try and make some new friends, who live closer to me and value me more Sad as I have been friends with these people for years and have been through some difficult times with them by my side but I am just not getting the right vibes from them anymore and don't feel like I am a priority for them. Even when I call and leave voicemails I never get a call back, just a text a few days later.

Has anyone else re-evaluated old friendships and moved on?

Should I speak to these friends or just let the friendships run their course?

And how do I go about making new friends? I am finding it so hard to meet local people as I work ridiculous hours and don't have DC to meet people through. I do have some hobbies I have met a few people I chat to, but I find it hard to make the transition with people between being people who say hello and have a chat and friendship.

Feeling quite lonely so any advice much appreciated thanks

Fathertedfan Tue 11-Mar-14 21:47:27

How rotten for you. I moved away from my home town for a year with my family some years ago, and found it really difficult to make any friends. People were friendly, but didn't really seem t want to be 'friends'. Very few of my old friends were able to make the journey, so I felt totally isolated. I moved back to my home town after the year was up, so it kind of resolved itself. But I really identify with how you feel right now. It's certainly time to put some work in and make some new friends. What specifically are your hobbies? Are there any new hobbies you think you'd like to try? Any evening classes? Is there a WI near you that you could join? The one local to us is very young.

cheapskatemum Tue 11-Mar-14 22:21:02

Hi! I feel for you, I guess your friends don't realise how hurtful they are being and it might be worth you pointing out to them how their recent behaviour has made you feel. Our family moved away from London 7 years ago and I was surprised how long it took to make new friends locally. Like you, I worked, so even though I had DCs, I wasn't always at the school gate. I made most of my friends through church, volunteering and one or 2 are DCs friends' parents. But it was 4 or 5 years before I could really consider anyone round here a true friend. Until then I socialised with colleagues, or invited friends from my past to stay (one reason for moving out was to have more living space). Hope this helps.

pancakedayiscoming Tue 11-Mar-14 22:27:27

That's sad, I wondered if they were angry with you, for moving or if they'd just taken something the wrong way? If they're good friends then it'll be worth having tried to find out. Of they aren't then that's your revaluation sorted out. It's tough cutting loses and waiting for new friendships. I second the hobbies idea, keep up with your interests so you don't feel out of it when you meet new people.

hanginginthere12345 Tue 11-Mar-14 22:39:56

I was in the position - then found a really good book which helped me understand it a bit more. Friendships don't just happen by Shasta Nelson.
Perhaps they have moved from inner circle to outer circle friends (the book goes through these concepts and makes it easier to understand - and therefore a bit less hurtful)

plutarch14 Tue 11-Mar-14 22:44:42

God, that's just so rude.

As for letting the friendships run their course, I'm not sure. Some people just aren't good at sustaining friendships. As soon as it becomes a bit of effort to meet up they stop bothering. I've had a couple like that.

Are they very old/close friends?

Coelacanth Tue 11-Mar-14 22:50:30

Yes am currently doing just that about one particular friend who keeps making arrangements and cancelling or just not responding when I phone or text to firm up (among other things). So I've had enough.

I think it is about feeling valued and treated with respect and I get how you feel OP. I guess when it's a bunch of folk as opposed to one it can easily make you question if you've done something but my guess is that perhaps it's just time to move on for all of you if you're going through the motions of friendship. Maybe it's time you threw yourself into something locally? Learned something new?

BadgersOnStilts Wed 12-Mar-14 08:09:05

Your friends sound terrible! I can't believe that you've chosen to move away and put this great distance between you and them and they aren't doing more to show you how valuable you are. I can't believe you aren't their priority. So selfish of them.

It's not on to make a fuss about the money and time involved in coming to see you after you moved to be away from them. Some people.

Poor you, you're isolated now and it's all their fault.

FolkGirl Wed 12-Mar-14 08:13:49

They don't seem to realise that it costs me the same amount of money and time to travel to see them (which I do fairly regularly and without complaining) as it does them to see me

But you had a choice in the matter, they didn't.

piratecat Wed 12-Mar-14 08:35:01

who knows why op moved am guessing it was for work?

anyway friendships need balance and you need to talk to them.
are you still phoning and chatting?

Soyoureallythinkso Wed 12-Mar-14 08:38:08

Folkgirl I didn't really have a choice, as DH and I couldn't afford to buy a house in London so were kind of forced out.

Thank you to those of you who have responded with helpful views.

Soyoureallythinkso Wed 12-Mar-14 08:40:01

Pirate I do phone but tend to go through to voicemail and then get a text a couple of days layer saying sorry I missed your call. Do chat sometimes but not very often

stowsettler Wed 12-Mar-14 08:58:04

My sympathies OP. I moved back home from where I'd been living for 6 years a while back - 7 years ago to be exact. I still have friends who I value there, and whose company I enjoy. However since moving home I've been back to see them countless times. How often have they come to see me? Hardly at all. A few friends have come once; another friend twice; another friend maybe once a year. I am certain that if I didn't put the effort in I'd have lost contact with most of them.

WRT making new friends - most of my friends who I spend time with now are people I met in the pub or are neighbours. We're none of us raging alcoholics but we all enjoy an evening in the pub and friendships have grown from that. It also helped that I was pg at the same time as one of them, so the two of us have developed a closer friendship. I go to the gym regularly but rarely seem to make friends there, only acquaintances.

FolkGirl Wed 12-Mar-14 09:08:34

Even so, you resent their unwillingness to pay the travel costs and say it is no different for you, but they you and your husband still made a decision and they had no say in it.

I'm sure they do realise it, you are just more willing to do it than they are.

To be honest, when contact isn't as easy anymore I find the days and weeks can pass by without really realising it.

Everyone's busy. You've moved away, other than you not being there, their lives won't really look any different so I do think that (rightly or wrongly) the responsibility lies with you to make the effort. Simply because if you don't do it, no one else will.

Wigsy Wed 12-Mar-14 09:23:24

A lot of friendships are based on shared experiences or circumstances. When you go looking for new friends, the first things people will suggest to you will include joining a group of people with the same hobbies or interests as you.

But the flip side of this is that once you leave those circumstances, you leave behind a lot of what you had in common. When I worked in the City I was friendly with the entire office. That was years ago, and only a few friendships have persisted this long: many of them were just circumstantial. I've made friends through my children with people with whom I have nothing in common apart from children the same age. I know a couple of these friendships will go on for years but I know some will fall by the wayside too.

London is a bubble. It is 24/7, draining, absorbing, and demanding. It is all or nothing. You're all in it together and even when you are, it's hard to make time for one another. Once you leave the bubble, you leave it. You say they've 'only' been to visit you twice but I'm afraid that's pretty good going. If you make them feel bad for how seldom they come to see you, you risk putting them off visiting altogether.

You can't be part of their 24/7 London bubble any more, so to keep things up with your London friends, be part of their lives in a new and different way. Use the post, the old-fashioned kind, with stamps. Make postcards of Not London and send them to your mates. Send them things from where you are to make them laugh. They don't always have the time or energy to pick up the phone but if they have a tangible thing in the post, they will take it out and read it on the Tube or the bus and then put it on the kitchen shelf and smile at it.

You can't be the friend who meets them during lunchbreak or for after-work drinks any more, so be the friend who lives a little way away and brings something else to their life. I have friends all over the UK and the States who I see once a year and it doesn't matter. We say that we can put up with a year passing as long as we see each other again afterwards. I'm always here for them. You'll always be there for yours and as time goes on I hope it works out well that way.

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