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I have just messaged five friends....

(35 Posts)
stubbornstains Sun 23-Oct-16 12:58:21

Two with voicemail/ text. Two with text. One via FB. Asking what they're doing today/ tomorrow? Not a single one has got back to me. Additionally, I messaged two or three the other day, trying to set up half term arrangements. We're meeting up with one on Tuesday, the other two are doing stuff but "might" be up for going out for a drink later in the week. Maybe. We were supposed to meet up with someone today, but she has just cancelled at the last minute.

I find this exhausting. I feel so lonely, isolated and down. I have just pretty much stopped contact with my (abusive) ex- we would hang out with each other and the kids, and it was company, but not sustainable in the long run. I didn't neglect my friends during this period, but didn't actively "try" to grow the friendships, but it's clear that if I don't get in touch with people, they don't get in touch with me.

I'm fairly sure I have AS. Other people seem to create and maintain friendships with such ease, but it's always been a struggle for me- just hard work. I try so hard to behave in the "right" way, and mimic other peoples' friendship behaviour, but it's a huge effort, to be honest.

I've felt lonely all my life, I would love to say that I've made steps forward, but don't know that I have really. I don't want to be like this for ever, but genuinely don't know what more I can do to make friends and not feel so lonely.

Could anybody talk me through it? Step by step, how do you grow a friendship? I seem to be fine up to the "wow, the kids get on great, let's meet up sometime" stage, but after that seem always to be chasing after people who are always busy. Or, at least, too busy for me sad.

(sorry if I don't respond at once. I can hear DS2 screaming in the background, so will have to go and do lunch, then struggle through the afternoon, thinking of some kind of solitary "fun" activity to do with the kids while I'm screaming inside).

idontlikealdi Sun 23-Oct-16 13:00:56

(sorry if I don't respond at once. I can hear DS2 screaming in the background, so will have to go and do lunch, then struggle through the afternoon, thinking of some kind of solitary "fun" activity to do with the kids while I'm screaming inside).

But you are expecting replies straight away to your texts! Life gets in the way sometimes wait and see what the responses are.

stubbornstains Sun 23-Oct-16 13:05:28

Still here smile. He's found something to happily destroy.

You're right, up to a point. Generally, I don't expect instant replies to texts, and don't do the same myself. I just think that this last round of texts is the straw that broke the camel's back. It's all the effort I've been putting in this last week or so, trying and trying to line stuff up for the half term with the kids (first half) and on my own (second half) and just getting nowhere, really.

knaffedoff Sun 23-Oct-16 13:06:12

Sorry I tend to do my own thing during half terms, sometimes I will meet friends with kids but this normally takes a lot of effort and organisation starting week's beforehand. If I leave it to a couple of days before, it simply doesn't happen!

stubbornstains Sun 23-Oct-16 13:10:01

Well, at least I'm not on my own there knaffed.

Some of this, at least, is Modern Life 'n' all that.I know that in my saner moments, but how do you get away from Modern Life if it doesn't suit you???? This is a semi genuine question; I have genuinely considered finding some kind of community where people are more....there.

featherpillow Sun 23-Oct-16 13:10:16

Although you find it hard you must be yourself. This way you will attract like minded friends and not ones that you need to act around. People will see through you mimicking other peoples behaviour.
Also dont try too hard - easier said than done when you're lonely but if you seem to keen it could affect starting a friendship.
Do you go to the same places regularly? I have friends that I know just by being in the same place at the same time. Starting with a 'hello' then polite chat and week by week it naturally becomes a friendship.
Do you get any time to yourself where you could go to the gym or something else you enjoy? For me seeing people regularly is probably how I've met most of my friends.
Do you work?

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Sun 23-Oct-16 13:14:28

Tbh I'm quite flakey at HT. A lot of my family live away so I have to prioritise them... but if something crops up and we don't go, then yeah sure I'll meet up. But it's very much an "on the day" thing iykwim. Plus the fact that there's always something that needs to be done on at least one of the days... and that depends on weather because I have to use public transport. Chances are DS needs to see a doctor or a dentist or get his hair cut and we haven't seen his cousins since summer even though they live a 15 minute drive away...

What I'm trying to say is that most people have busy lives and it's nothing personal!

I don't think you can make a friendship grow though. I think it either does or it doesn't.

stubbornstains Sun 23-Oct-16 13:17:25

I'm in a slightly unusual position right now feather. For a start, I have finally completely backed off from spending time with XP, and in return he is having them every other weekend and one day in the week. This is the most child free time I've had in 6 years! So, I've messaged and talked to various friends about going out for a drink (feeling like I'm being a bit desperate) firm dates have been arranged sad.

I've gone back to going swimming some evenings, which is great, but not the ideal place for meeting people (I tend to drift along in my own little world there).

We go to playgroup regularly, and do have some friends from there that we meet up with sometimes.....these are the ones that aren't getting back to me at the moment, as well as the school gate friends!

I do work, but it's self employed and a very solitary occupation (on my own in a studio all day). I have a bit of a work drought at the moment (which isn't a problem...yet), but this and all of the above is combining to give me a lot more free time than I normally have. Time that I thought I could fill with lovely socialising sad

LIttleTripToHeaven Sun 23-Oct-16 13:18:50

What you describe is my experience exactly. I do have AS.

I haven't cracked the secret to making friends yet.

I have a friendship group but, sometimes, I go out with them and they feel like strangers. One of them also has AS, but she seems to manage the social stuff much better than me and people genuinely seem to like her.

stubbornstains Sun 23-Oct-16 13:18:59

But don't you feel lonely milktwosugars? Or, when you do have time, do you find that people are just miraculously there? Because.....I don't sad.

ICuntSeeYourPoint Sun 23-Oct-16 13:21:18

You're doing better than I am, I haven't got 5 friends to text! That said, I'm an introvert and would rather not socialise as I find it stressful and exhausting. Not everyone likes company .

stubbornstains Sun 23-Oct-16 13:22:23

Big hugs littletrip. At least we can communicate effectively online, eh?! xxx

Any tips, anyone?

LIttleTripToHeaven Sun 23-Oct-16 13:24:19

Haha yes. I'm much better online!

InTheDessert Sun 23-Oct-16 13:27:27

I'm not great at friendships. It I've found I get a better response to "I'm planning on going to this playground on Tuesday morning, be lovely if you could join us" rather than " fancy meeting up somewhere, sometime". The first step definite response, the second gets a "sounds great", but your actually no further forward. Not sure if your looking for tuff just for you, or when you've got the kids tho. It's a method that work best if your going to do it anyway.

stubbornstains Sun 23-Oct-16 13:33:01

Oh God, this thread is trending (panics). It was bad enough when my thread about carpet did that!

(hides under table)

stubbornstains Sun 23-Oct-16 13:36:53

That IS kind of effective dessert, and sometimes it works, but it can backfire a bit if your chief aim is to get out there and connect! says the woman who put it out on FB "I'm going to >this< great gig on Friday, who's coming?" the other day, and got lots of likes and "maybes", but.....ended up going all.on.her.lonesome. That can be OK sometimes, but I wasn't truly in the right frame of mind for it, and ended up feeling pretty sad.

iseenodust Sun 23-Oct-16 13:37:46

As you work alone why not consider a professional networking group? Not something costing £'s per month but (as you mentioned a studio) a group of like-minded creatives? Or something like Women In Rural Enterprise? Gives you common ground to start those casual conversations.

toptoe Sun 23-Oct-16 13:40:30

Lots of us are like you. We all live in little bubbles of work and homelife and don't manage to socialise within or outside of those bubbles. Modern life has us all separated into spheres: work, house (not a communal living space), this club, that club and never the twains shall meet.

I don't think we can make those sort of deep friendships with such intermittant contact with others. I think we crave company because humans are naturally meant to live in communities. Look at hunter gatherer tribes - the women spend day and night together sharing work, as do the men. On some instinctive level we miss this.

Your friends are all in a similar position as you. They have different spheres of life and probably have very little opportunity to meet with each particular set. So organising a night out can take months until everyone is free on that one date.

KittyLacey Sun 23-Oct-16 13:52:43

Why don't you join a Meetup group? That way you can have regular pre-arranged trips to pubs, restaurants, cinema, whatever with people who actively want to socialise.

stubbornstains Sun 23-Oct-16 13:54:00

What's a Meetup group kitty?

furryminkymoo Sun 23-Oct-16 14:03:28

When I was single Sunday was the worst day, I got around it by forcing myself out of the house. It's bright and sunny here today, could you take DC to the park? Kick keaves and run around? Get breathless, it will create some endorphins. Put dinner in oven and leave radio on then you will return to nice smells and background chatter. Tonight when the DC are in bed why not pamper? Bath with bubbles? Book? Glass of wine?

I don't plan on meeting anyone today, rarely do on a Sunday. Me and DC are going cycling in park soon, DH going to pub to watch football with mates.

Don't message anyone again if they don't reply.

Enkopkaffetak Sun 23-Oct-16 14:03:41

I don't know how to do it easily op and no AS here for me.

I have long standing friends of years and years but none of them live close enough for us to meet up regularly. I saw my best friend in January (she lives 800 miles away) and another close friend in March for lunch (she is 200 miles away)

The person I thought of as a close and dear friend has not been wanting to do much since my youngest left primary school. She still has 1 left in primary. I suspect there is a issue between the school my dd went to and the one hers went to. (Mine went to a church school only outstanding in the area - hers didn't as they are not church goers - she feels this is unfair. Her dd is thriving in her school and school is rated good by ofsted so not like she got the short straw) She meets up regular with another friend however if I am invited I am clearly a after thought. Like she will sent a text that morning going oh we are meeting at 11 if you can join us. So they have had the arrangement in place for a while and I might be added. As I work full time it is close to never I can come along.

When I have organised meeting up with 1 of them they come as a pair. Again a bit annoying as sometimes I would like to just see one of them. When I suggest meeting up outside of school hours I get very non committal responses. Nothing gets sorted. So I have more or less given up.

I have 1 friend who I do see fairly regular and I very much enjoy her company. I would just like to have a wider circle. No idea how to go about it.

TeapotDictator Sun 23-Oct-16 14:04:17

Some good answers on here. I have good friendship networks with other mums from school etc but find that during half term people tend to do their own thing - either going away for a break, or seeing family, etc. In fact I won't see any of my close 'mum' friends during HT and that's pretty normal.

The trouble is, once you've become aware that you find these things harder than you'd like, you can tend to take it all personally when it just isn't. I don't know how old your kids are but I found the sense of feeling lonely/a bit of a saddo if it was just us passed once they got to 5/6. Now when we hang out I quite enjoy/appreciate it (but this is probably because I now work almost f/t and only have them EOW) and we can have a good laugh.

Justaboy Sun 23-Oct-16 14:17:44

FWIW I'm newly divorced and now the friends we once know as couples have all but evaporated and work wise most of the time by myself so yes very difficult and furthermore I'm not the only one so. I find people in their Sixties seem to be the same way, all change at the time of life your thinking of spending more time with the one you were with but it ain't happening.

Least I hung onto the home we had unlike a young friends mum who now has to sell up and there isnt enough left over to live in the area so shes moving a long way away from people shes known all her married life.

Now shes on anti depressants as a result of the disruption.

Poor soul:-(

TheNaze73 Sun 23-Oct-16 14:20:42

Some people are booked up weeks in advance. Expecting immediate replies is a bit unreasonable.

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