Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Struggle to Make Lasting Relationships(4 Posts)
I struggle to make lasting relationships with people I meet. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, does anyone have any tips on how I can make better relationships with people.
To give you a bit of background, I originally moved to the UK from Ireland 8 years ago for university. The first few years were amazing, I met some great people and really enjoyed my time. But unfortunately that time comes when it has to end, and people move away and start carving out their own lives. As of today I'm no longer in regular contact with any of my university friends. Having spoken to family and friends, they say what I experienced is very common and that it's actually quite rare for university friends to stay in touch.
I decided to stay in the UK and try my luck at finding a job. I have a job and a man, it felt like I hit the jackpot. Little did I know in the coming months that this would be the darkest time of my life. This man treated me so badly - accuse me of cheating on him if I was a few minutes late home from work, checking the mileage on the car so he knew I was going where I said I was going, wouldn't allow me to pursue any hobbies, threaten to kill himself if I left him and using the money I gave him for rent on 'other things' and almost getting us evicted. One day I had enough and just walked out leaving all my stuff behind me. I knocked on a university friend's door and they gladly took me in.
The next few months were hard and I even had suicidal thoughts at one point. Eventually I decided to make a clean break, look for a new job and move to a different suburb of the same city. Even though I was still living in the same city I felt more alone than ever. Apart from that one university friend - I had no one. All the friends I had met over the past 2 years I knew because of my ex and did not want to contact them in case he found out where I was.
I started my new job and was doing pretty well. I thought I was making some good friends, but none of them ever wanted to hang out after work so it made it difficult to get to know people. Towards the end of my employment at this company I was moved to a different office and the people I used to be in an office with literally wouldn't make an effort to speak to me after that. This is when I first realised maybe there's a problem with me. But why would someone just stop conversation with just because I was in a different location? Was it because I was just a convenience for them at the time? Needless to say I left this job soon after and haven't heard a word from anyone since.
Due to my past experience I find it difficult to trust people. I always have my guard up, thinking I'm going to get hurt. I've tried to be more open but this just doesn't seem to work. In work or other group settings I'm normally always left out of 'out of work socials' or people forget to invite me.
Even when I go to evening classes or the gym I never seem to make any friends. Some people find it so easy to make friends in those situations, I find it impossible. No one ever makes conversation with me, so I'm often left standing on my own. I still can't work out what gives off the impression that people shouldn't approach me.
Even when it comes to dating, I never seem to attract anyone. I've tried dating websites, but never seem to get any luck. I'm starting to think that maybe it's because I come across as boring. But I'm being honest about myself and I'm not the type for one night stands.
Recently I've been doing some amateur dramatics work. I'm sharing a dressing room with 4 others. As a whole we get on well. But there's one girl who I get the impression doesn't like me very much and I don't know what I've done to upset her. If I say something she'll just look at me and then ignore me. Even last week we both arrived at the same time, and instead of making conversation on the way in she just power walked past me and when in by herself. I found this very rude. I'm starting to think that perhaps she's jealous or threatened by me. But I don't know why. She'll never initiate a conversation with me, and it's so awkward because of the 2 others in the dressing room. I've seen on occasion when the 3 of them have gone out together and I haven't been invited. I don't know what I've done. There's also another girl at the same theatre company who gets the same bus as me. The first time we realised we got the same bus, we sat together for the journey. Now she makes excuses not to sit with me, or pretends not to see me. Again, I don't know what I've done, or if it's all in my head.
For this same theatre production I have told friends that I'm in it and to come see me. Only 1 friend has come to see and that's cos she was genuinely interested in it. Others in the company have friends and family in every night, while I've had just 1. I feel like the people who I think are my friends, are not actually my friends.
The reason I'm posting this is because recently someone I knew had an accident and needed to be taken to hospital. And it got me thinking, if that happened to me, who would I call? My family live in a different country, and I don't think any of the people I call 'friends' would rush to be at my side.
Does anyone else have trouble making lasting relationships with people? Or do you think I'm doing something wrong. Please be honest - if you think I'm boring, just say it, I'd probably agree with you. What can I do differently?
Also I forgot to add in when I try to make plans with said 'friends' I often get 'oh I'm too busy', 'can't make it' or sometimes they don't even reply to my messages. So I am trying to make an effort. Is it perhaps a cultural difference? With no offence intended to anyone reading this, I have found in my years of living in the UK that in general Brits can be quite cold as people, especially in the beginning and are very cautious of enthusiastic people. Although I said I can be boring when I meet new people I try not to give that impression so I become quite enthusiastic. But I don't know whether that scares people off, or if just making general chit chat and not giving anything away will bore people? I don't know what the happy medium is.
Well done if you've read this far
I'm sorry Mooneus, I don't have any advice because I am very similar to yourself. I also find it difficult to maintain lasting relationships with anyone.
Are you in contact with your family in Ireland? Do they support you or come to visit?
I admire you getting involved with evening classes and amateur dramatics, that's not something I would be brave enough to do!
Anyway, I didn't want to read and run. Sending you .
You sound lovely op so I'm sure it's not you. When you move away it takes quite a lot of effort to organise to meet up as everyone is busy so I wouldn't take it to heart.
I'm very sociable and make friends really easily but there have been times when despite me making an effort they haven't warmed to me.
You've made friends at uni and friends with your exes friends so you're fine and you'll make friends eventually so don't worry.
Thanks for the support. I'm glad it's not me who's the problem.
I am still in contact with my family and I visit them a few times a year. However if I'm being honest they're not the most supportive family. I know my mother loves me but she gets embarrassed incredibly easy. Her first thought is always 'what will people think'. I don't know if I have subconsciously inherited some of that. I'm actually jealous of people who have assertive parents because they raise more confident children.
I should have added with amateur dramatics when it's showtime you become incredibly close for that period. Then when it's over you would be lucky to hear from the same people again. I guess thats just the nature of it, but it would be nice to maintain contact with some of them
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.