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Feeling like I have no friends!

(28 Posts)
Smith101 Sat 21-Apr-18 23:34:20

Hi everyone
This is my first post and I’m hoping this helps!
So I have a wonderful 7 year old and I’m a single parent. I work hard and love my job but I just have no social life. I KNOW people but I have NO friends. I go weeks without getting a text or a call from anyone and the most adult conversation I get is at work which is limited because we’re working, not there for a chin wag lol. So I made a real effort with my friend circle lately and tried to arrange a simple get together at my place to then make some plans together for the summer. There were 4 members in the chat and 1 replied asking for some dates, I said I was free on such and such time but could work around others’ with enough notice. Since then, nothing - no reply from the others about it either. Now I wouldn’t mind if I could find good reason for feeling so neglected, ie if they’re all at work and usually reply late evening or something but this happens over and over, weeks go by and no reply and I’m not gonna be a nag... This is a group that together, we used to hang out, mini breaks and days out together but for some reason it’s all stopped.
Anyway that’s just one situation, I find my life so blue, lonely and boring, I have a great time with my son on the weekends when we can afford to go somewhere nice or even just chilling at home having a lazy day, or heading to the park etc, but I never seem to be invited to anything, or round to see anyone and when I invite people I know to see us, or meet somewhere, I either get no reply, they’re too busy for the next 58 years or repeatedly stood up. On the rare occasion I do manage to meet a friend or even bump into one, I don’t know what to do, I’m scared to say or do the wrong thing and just make easy small talk, I haven’t had much positive things to talk about as I’ve been really poorly with auto immune diseases and a dodgy thyroid for the last 18 months +, but I try not to talk about all that for v long so I don’t sound like a depressed, negative moaner that can’t find the good in anything! (I’m naturally quite the opposite most of the time!)
I just don’t know where to start when it comes to making new friends and getting back into socialising! I have always had social anxiety but when I’m comfortable around someone, even a friendly stranger I’ve just met, I can chat for Britain and would happily listen for hours just as equally but I no longer trust anyone or feel I’m worthy/have anything to offer anyone and that little social spark is so delicate. I’m not here to feel sorry for myself or moan about life as I know there’s at least 64836 other things more important to worry about but I think having friends is probably really important for your well being... right? Just feeling extra blue and hoping someone has been trough this or can share some experiences of firstly embracing the loneliness but then finding it so overwhelming and finding solutions to get a good balance of social and personal time?! Also being single for 3 or so years probably doesn’t help?! Ahhhhhh sending out an SOS 😂🙄

Pythoness Sat 21-Apr-18 23:40:38

You sound a bit desperate which can be off-putting. Chill out and let opportunities reveal themselves to you. Don't force it

bluebell34567 Sat 21-Apr-18 23:45:02

the other people who dont respond are probably just chilling out at home. do the same.

buckleten Sat 21-Apr-18 23:45:52

I could have written this post, I know exactly how you feel! I don't have any real friends and can go weeks without phone or text messages from anyone. I am grateful to have a close family. X

Smith101 Sun 22-Apr-18 00:04:20

The thing is I am desperate, and I’ve been chilling out at home in recovery for the last few months 🤗 I’m not afraid to admit that but I’m also not a beg, nor have I hounded anyone. I’m very aware that I’ve kept a good balance of ‘making the effort’ and ‘making next to no effort because I’m too depressed or ill to give flying...’
Yes family is the other place I find some solace - I’m cery close to my sister and she sees my situation from the outside and wishes upon the stars to help out so from time to time we go for a walk lol xx my family work a lot so we see each other when we can x

toffee1000 Sun 22-Apr-18 00:17:49

You’re definitely not the only one, I’m constantly seeing threads on Mumsnet from people who have no friends!
Illness can be really tough I agree.
Being a single mum is definitely difficult, it’s not so easy to just go out and join a club or whatever, your life will naturally revolve around your DS.
Flaky people are definitely irritating, particularly when you feel like you’re always the one to arrange things!!

I would say to relax. Just keep chatting to people when you can. It sounds like you’re mostly “coping” with not having many friends but that every so often it gets to you, which is totally normal. I don’t know if you’re coming across as “desperate” as such, your OP may seem that way as you’re letting all your feelings out in a way you don’t normally get to do.

Smith101 Sun 22-Apr-18 00:30:07

You couldn’t have put it better and thank you for acknowledging it as a blurrrrrrrrb of everything in one hit haha feels good to let it out regardless of a solution. Yes I’m defining coping but yes you’re right about it catching up on me from time to time. Just found the meet-up section on here and a thousand posts similar to mine, definitely makes me feel less alone. Thank you for your reply x

Spudina Sun 22-Apr-18 00:40:43

OP, you are not alone. I had toyed with the idea of writing a similar post. Truth is, despite an amazing husband and kids, and a handful of friends, I realised this week that I am actually lonely. I do see friends but get really disappointed when they cancel or are just never free. Someone I had considered to be my best friend especially dropped me after a long friendship. I don't want to beg people to be my friend, so I walk a tightrope of getting in touch, but not repeatedly getting in touch without getting anything back. All of my work colleagues have tight friendship groups that I'm not in. And some of the school Mums have really bonded and socialise a lot. I just feel lost. With the children, the opportunity for new friendships feels a bit limited too. I know that there are things in my city I could do, to get out more, and I'm going to try because this is a horrible way to feel. I hope you meet some people too. What are your interests? Could you use them as a way in to meeting people?

Namechanger1404 Sun 22-Apr-18 08:19:48

pythoness and bluebell totally unhelpful and quite mean postshmm

OP you sound lovely. Working and being a single parent doesn’t help social situations. I’m much older than you with adult DC, but even back in the day 27 years ago, I worked FT and found it difficult to have a social life.

People are even busier now, but also far more self absorbed than ever, they dont make an effort with others.

On a practical level, have you tried Gingerbread? It’s for lone parents who are actively seeking friendship, so you’re all in the same boat. How about joining a church? They tend to be quite welcoming and community minded. That’s the key here really, people who are actively seeking friendship, the school gate is full of superficiality.

Don’t give up, you sound like a nice, sincere and genuine personsmileflowers

Smith101 Sun 22-Apr-18 10:53:37

Spudina and namechanger thank you for your kind words of advice and yes I felt a little hurt by being called desperate and didnt agree my post sounded so, but at the same time I’m kind of desperate to make a change so I feel better in myself! We all deserve it after all ❤️
Hit the nail on the head with the school gates situation - it’s a minefeild out there!! And I sure take cover!! Other than that I re-joined a gym in February and have slowly began that awkward journey between politely smiling and actually talking to people you’d ee that attend the same time as you or go to classes when you do.. I’m working on that part!i grew up going to church every Sunday and others were all so welcoming and kind, I don’t go anymore but it’s not a bad idea, and being catholic I could do with making more effort in that area too (DS has recently found his calling during school RE when he discovered more and more about Christianity, Buddhism etc and now effortlessly displays the cutest religious traits ever!!).
Ladies (and any reading gents) I think the key thing here is to remind yourself you are capable of getting by even when you feel lonely (surrounded by people or not). Although I’m not enjoying the lonliness, I’ve been thru months and months of it, if not years if I get really deep about it - but I sure know theres a fine line between “I don’t need anyone anyway, screw you all” and actually pushing people away during your independent power moment 😂 I found that out the hard way previously during a particularly down and dark time that there were people making small gestures but I wasn’t prepared to meet half way cos I felt so sure I would be fine without anyone: I was wrong! So hense the huge push in effort the last 5/6 months and I’ve told people why I was off the radar (unwell, tired, depressed, hurt etc) and most accepted it!!

Smeddum Sun 22-Apr-18 10:58:28

I thought desperate was harsh too when I read it. In fact I wondered if the posters who used it are the kind of people who make people feel that way in RL. Very OTT and uncalled for.

OP I get it, it’s hard, especially when you are craving company and want to get out. I don’t have any advice because I don’t really have many friends either. One nursery mum I’ve become close to, old friends from 15 + years ago who live 100s of miles ago and then online friends. Nobody to meet up in a group with or anything like that.

Are there clubs or groups in your area you fancy? That could be a way to make new friends.

bluebell34567 Sun 22-Apr-18 11:26:13

Namechanger1404 I didn't mean to be mean. I just wrote in summary to be relaxed about it. I am lp myself and I used to get that dreadful feeling and found the best solution to be to think as I mentioned above.

Smith101 Sun 22-Apr-18 12:10:43

If that’s what works for you then I’m happy for you x I am in no way un-relaxed about the situation, just looking for some guidance from like-minded people. I’d like to feel included again!
I haven’t got child free time to join clubs as such as I already work FT and get to th gym when Mum/sister can babysit, aside from that I only have time for keeping the house in one peice (if that’s even possible!). I would love to take up a sport and join a specified club for that one day!
Where is everyone from?

Spudina Sun 22-Apr-18 19:36:58

I'm in Nottingham. I'm glad your at the gym, I know people who have made really good friends there. (I am at one too, but hardly ever go.) I know what you mean by being. I know what you mean by feeling lonely, even when in a room full of people. Thanks for your posts. X

Smith101 Sun 22-Apr-18 20:18:59

It’s also been nice talking to you all, Ive felt better since sharing it even though were all strangers, it’s nice to know you’re not the only one on the planet with this problem. I knew I wasn’t alone but it’s good for clarification and as a friendly reminder. Maybe we could use this thread to stay in touch and in general when we’re havingg a lonely moment or the opposite- a breakthrough - share tips and things to support each other or something (without making this sound like a lovey dovey cheese-fest hahaha)?
I’m in Essex, everyone knows everyone which seems ironic in hindsight lol xxx

buckleten Sun 22-Apr-18 20:30:31

That's a lovely idea to keep the thread going! It does help to know that there are others out there with the same feelings. I am in Berkshire by the way.

CheeseyToast Sun 22-Apr-18 20:31:36

I defy any single parent who is a, working b. without family support or funds for quality childcare and c. who has sole residency of the children to maintain a good social life.

It is a long, lonely road.

People who get it are few and far between. Even well intentioned friends can be very patronising, and god knows why but you never get invited to anything attended by couples. Presumably because singling is catching? lol!!

bluebell34567 Sun 22-Apr-18 20:51:08

i think some people think that lp's can be needy and they want to stay away.

Namechanger1404 Sun 22-Apr-18 20:55:58

bluebell that’s a problem with text, it can be misinterpretedconfused

OP I’m from Essex, and I’ve experienced how lonely it can be as a single parent. Unless you’ve done it, you can’t comment I’m afraid.

What cheesey said about couples not inviting you is spot on. I remember at my sons school, the mums n dads would be mates with the other mums n dads, not lone mums (scared they’d be tempted to straywink) I really don’t think people do things intentionally, they are just so wrapped up in their own lives. I have a friend who lives 5 minutes walk from me, rarely visits, she’s married to an unsociable git, I’ve been invited for dinner only once in 8 years, she said “would you like to come for dinner, the unsociable git says it’s ok’”hmm so yes, it does happen with ‘friends’ too!

I think the church idea would be a good place to start, lots of stuff going on there, a great place to ‘network’.

Smith101 Sun 22-Apr-18 21:22:15

I once had a married friend openly say to me that she envied me for being single and it was after that I noticed the invites dwindling away.... speaks volumes about their marriage :/
I don’t know any needy lp’s, I’m sure not a needy person as all in all I meet my own needs other than adult conversation cos I think talking to yourself is frowned upon and telling your 7 year old your problems or worries is also frowned upon!
Cheese you’ve described my life hahah no child support, working, and I value my nights or days of freedom as my family are hard workers and I am grateful for the time they give up to take care of my son, but not cos they have to, they spend quality time hanging out or going places and I couldn’t ask for any better - I know a lot of parents that have little to no support from family and go years without a break, even if they’re married etc... crazy right!
And a fellow Essex person! What a small world - were not all as bad as the ‘essex Folk’ on the tv right!

Smith101 Sun 22-Apr-18 21:24:41

(Having said I meet my own needs......I suppose I also don’t meet the needs of the right sort of knight-in-shining-armour, hung like a horse, with the charm of a softly spoken tulip garden... but you get the jist....)

Namechanger1404 Sun 22-Apr-18 21:42:27

I used to hear lots of people saying how they envied my single status, even now I have a DP, but we don’t live together, theyvremark how lucky I am not living together. Few, I’ve observed, are happy to give up coupledom thoughhmm

We are sociable creatures, that’s why we crave company, but the RIGHT company.

The ‘Essex’ thing wears me down, and no I’m nothing like that at all!

Spudina Sun 22-Apr-18 22:13:16

I hope you find your Knight, Smith 101. Would love to stay in touch. X

Smith101 Sun 22-Apr-18 22:38:57

Fantastic - new friends - happy Smith! I’m glad you’re not fresh off the set of TOWIE - thankfully nor am I and struggle to understand the hype! Each to their own lol. Glad you’re local!
Spudina I’m intrigued what’s Nottingham like? I’ve never been but heard it’s a great place to visit x

Spudina Mon 23-Apr-18 20:13:21

It's pretty good Smith101. We have a Castle (that's not actually a Castle cos it burnt down!), caves and of course Robin Hood. There are some really lovely pubs, good night life, ok shopping, and theatres etc. I like it. Wish it was nearer the sea though. Nearest beach is 2hours away. X

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