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Never been part of a friendship group.

(128 Posts)
Whisperywords Sun 05-Jul-20 09:51:23

This really.
It bothers me a lot.
I've seen women I used to go to school with continue their close-knit groups into their thirties. I've been on the side-lines of many groups, but never quite "made it." At school I used to eat my lunch with the same group of friends every day, I remember inviting them to my 16th birthday party and none of them ever inviting me to theirs. I'd been on the side-lines of their group since primary school.
I tried making friends with trouble-maker groups then, but just wasn't trouble enough.
I used to go clubbing with a different group of school friends then around the time of my 17th birthday, but never properly gelled with them either. There was no space for me in their limo to the prom, so I ended up going with the trouble makers, despite spending no time at all with them at the prom itself.
In my 20s, I made friends with a completely different friend from school and had by this point, friends I'd met at college and university, but still no group as such. I watched my previous friends become bridemaids for each other. Still, at 35, I've never been a bridesmaid.
I've had different circles of friends since but basically, always been a bit of a wanderer. DH has had one set of friends all his life. Hes 40. They've holidayed together, been each others ushers and god-fathers.
I'm still wandering and have a handful of friends from different times of my life. I still don't have a best friend and doubt I'd ever be a bridesmaid for any of them should they need one.
It makes me sad.
Where have I gone wrong?

OP’s posts: |
LemonFanta123 Sun 05-Jul-20 09:53:19

You’ve not gone wrong at all. This is a lot more common than you think! I’m 29 and I don’t have a group of friends either, nor do I have a friend that I can just call and go on a night out with. You’re not alone on this one I promise you!!

KetoWinnie Sun 05-Jul-20 10:00:02

Same situation here. I have friends but they all have better friends. Im not part of any group that meets up regularly.

Slightly different issue but very common , I have twice experienced somebody trying to squeeze me out of (sort of) group though. Just work, and a group of relatives more recently. Through manipulation of social dynamics, mostly, but not only, icing me like im a ghost while simultaneously love bombing everybody else 😯

People with no strong sense of themself who need validation will try and use the group to consolidate their identity.

OhioOhioOhio Sun 05-Jul-20 10:02:09

I'm like this too. Groups dont really suit me but it's been a difficult lesson.

Howdidthathappen1 Sun 05-Jul-20 10:04:43

Yeo same here. Haven't got any close friends and sometimes feel a bit lonely - although my other half is great. Every so often I think I should try and do something about it but never know what

Oxfordnono12 Sun 05-Jul-20 10:27:44

Same! I'm 32. Although I was invited to things, no body showed up to my invites. Which at the time was hurtful. But I've learned that I hate drama, I hate being made to do things I dont like such as going on weekends away, setting dates to meet up or do something. So, for me it's really because I'm not a fan of too many around me. I have one very close friend who I dont see alot and it suits us both which is great. I speak with my kids friends mums but that's it.

DCIHoops Sun 05-Jul-20 10:32:27

Same here OP

cyclingmad Sun 05-Jul-20 10:35:14

Oh i do not regret being a wanderer at all. Its complete freedom. Not having to listen to constant drama or moaning. More time to do things when I want to do them. I have a few people I can open up to but usually I just sort my problems out myself

It used to bother me but not anymore.

When I hung out in groups I'd be the same on the sidelines but then how hard it was to get a group to agree what to do, what time to meet up, someone always late etc... exhausting.

I much prefer knowing I have a few friends with occasional meeting up and yes I do mostly have to do the asking or star conversation first but at least I do it on my own time

Zeroenergy Sun 05-Jul-20 10:43:32

Same here! I am a deeply caring and empathetic person but I think because of that people can drain me a lot. I used to think I was doing something wrong/going wrong somewhere but I just think perhaps I’m more introverted and in my own head than many people and that’s ok. You sound similar. We are who we are and usually the quieter people with smaller circles/no ‘bestie’ are very interesting and self sufficient which is fantastic. Be open to new friendships but your wandering ways are a part of you and it’s just who you are! Society makes us feel weird or perhaps like we are doing something wrong but it’s just a differently personality type. It’s hard when you want closeness with people but can’t display that in the right ways but as long as you have a DP/family member or somewhere you know to call if you need real help in a situation, then you are good!

sadie9 Sun 05-Jul-20 11:27:52

It sounds like you are in a lowish mood and are reflecting on your life a bit critically maybe. Wearing the 'nobody likes me that much' glasses?
It's really about day to day stuff. What do you enjoy doing? If you like interacting in groups then join some new activities to get that buzz.
If you don't like meeting people then that is OK too.
If you are feeling down about this, then maybe that's a mood thing where you ruminate. Rumination and looking inward leads to a lot of sitting, isolating oneself and not much behaviour in the real world in the direction of the life that is wanted. We can't all be a bridesmaid.
There's a lot of comparing yourself too.
Your DH hasn't had to try that hard then. He made friends as a young kid, then happened to stay and live near them. He didn't really have go out and meet new people then. Which can sometimes mask the fact that he's not really that outgoing or great at making friends.
Circumstance (like where you lived, if you had siblings, if you moved schools, college etc), has a lot to do with friendship groups.
Also, some people do nothing and hope to be noticed and asked. Others actively do the inviting arranging events etc.
Someone had to ring up and arrange that Limo. That wasn't you.
You did get to that prom though and in a limo. But you are still finding fault with yourself...not good enough. Instead of this inward beating yourself up, join something new of your own.

AlwaysLonely Sun 05-Jul-20 11:44:12

You're not alone. I've never had a best friend, or been part of a group of friends. No one to go out for a drink or coffee with. No one to turn to when I've needed support. I have recently lost online 'friends' after calling out a racist (I am not white). I spend all of my time with my kids or on my own. It's a a sad existence.

Yamashita40 Sun 05-Jul-20 11:51:11

I know what you mean. Ive got loads of individual friends. I did live abroad as a teenager so leaving my school friends at age 12 didn't help. I moved back a few years later and they all had their groups then. I had my school friends from abroad but of course they were scattered all over the world.
I have a group of friends that I made when my youngest was born but three of out seven of them have been friends since school so they spend a lot of time going out with that group. Not that I would want to join it, I don't mind at all.

I've never been a best friend kind of person though, although I'm very very sociable. I get a lot out of spending time with massively varying types of people. It does sometimes occur to me that it would be easier to be part of a group like when I had my 40th birthday and had to invite a range of people who didn't know each other.

Mostly I don't care though.

TheTigerQueen Sun 05-Jul-20 12:07:08

Same here, it seems to be getting me down a lot more lately, even where we live the neighbours all have friendship groups and sit outside drinking and chatting during lockdown, we just smile at them and wave as we walk back inside. Its shit. I'm friendly and outgoing but people never seem to want to be friends.
Sadly for me my husband is in the Same boat.

I wish it was different.

Whatshername20 Sun 05-Jul-20 12:50:47

Completely feel your post. You're not wrong at all.

I had a best friend from late primary school into maybe year 9ish but it was a toxic and isolating friendship so that when we stopped being friends, it felt a bit too late to be close with anyone. I would be on the peripheries of a group but always seemed to phase out over time. I had one best friend from school who was maintained until a couple of years ago when my gran and mum decided to fall out with his who he was very close to so he phased me out and I realised deleted me off social media.

My job is a very sociable one but I've been off on different duties due to being pregnant and then maternity as well as no baby groups etc due to the situation so I feel like I'm missing out there too. I just hope it will be different when I go back.
Other half has a small friendship group that all went to the same school and uni and they all lived in the same area until now really (late 20's) when some are dispersing a little.

It makes me sad that I don't really have great memories of being younger or that I'm getting married in 2 years and don't know who'd be my bridesmaid, hen party etc.

FridaKFangirl Sun 05-Jul-20 13:02:47

Hi @Whisperywords, a lot of this rings really true for me too.

I’m lucky in that I do have a few small groups of friends, so can hang out with people. But I’ve never really had a classic ‘best friend’ or really close friend.

I’ve always felt like a ‘tier 2’ friend if you know what I mean... I am 38, I have been a bridesmaid once to a local friend, but I was aware that she’d known the other three since childhood, I was definitely a newer friend. But she’s lovely, it was lovely!

I do feel lucky to have the friends I do, but I also definitely wish that I had that ‘classic’ Best Friend’.

SilverOtter Sun 05-Jul-20 13:19:45

I'm the same OP. I've been upset in the past and had the odd cry here and there.

Now I've just got to the point in life where I'm happy on my own. I've got masses of acquaintances and on the surface of things I probably come across as extremely sociable and outgoing. On the inside I'm not though, and I find it extremely difficult to let down my barriers. I've had so many friendships fail because ultimately I don't trust peoplesad

BoomShacks Sun 05-Jul-20 13:19:58

Up until recently, I always used to have groups of girl friends but now I'm in my mid-30's, I've realised that it always comes with a side of bitchiness. Can't be bothered with all the drama now and feel much happier just having individual friends. Different strokes for different folks!

Mwnci123 Sun 05-Jul-20 13:27:42

Like BoomShacks I have been part of female friendship groups but now in my late 30s I'm not and I wouldn't wish to be. The bonds between individuals in the group are often less true and strong than you might imagine them to be, and the dynamics can be pretty toxic. This isn't to invalidate your sadness about it, just a perspective from the other side. I feel like the couple of close friends I have came to me largely by luck, and I hope you have similar luck in future. Some of my mum's dearest friends are people she met much later in life.

Popsmummy1 Sun 05-Jul-20 13:42:24

I can totally relate to you. I would love a close friend to share things with and support each other. I relocated 5 years ago with my family and knew nobody. The mums from school are lovely but they grew up here so already have established friendships. I did make a lovely friend when I first moved here but she split up from her partner, then met a new guy, and moved a few miles away and her children go to a different school and now I dont see her. I’ve tried making contact as she’s a nurse and I wanted to see if she was ok with Covid etc but it took her 2 weeks to reply. It’s always me chasing and I know you have try but I’m obviously not on her mind and a bit of an after thought. I’ve never been one of those popular types! I try to be fun, caring and supportive but it’s never made any difference. So I sympathise as I understand.

wifflewafflebiscuit Sun 05-Jul-20 13:50:54

It's something I feel too and sometimes it gets me down, when other women go on girls holidays, girls nights out etc etc. I don't have that. I have good friends but it's all that one on one type, and I've realised it's always very serious. I'm the person people come to when they have problems or want a chat. I don't know anyone to just have fun with. I have my lovely dh and our 2 DC and have family nearby so I am not lonely but I am always jealous of others having a group. I used to have a very close BF but when we had our children mid 30's after 15 years of being so close, we drifted, we don't live near to each other and I know she has several groups she spends time with. We're still friends but now see each other once a year and aren't each others BF anymore. Perhaps I should have had a group of friends rather than a BFF when I was in my 20s. Maybe this is why 50 year olds join book clubs!

FridaKFangirl Sun 05-Jul-20 14:00:11

@wifflewafflebiscuit, I started my local book club and most members are 30s, overall we’ve 20s to 70s... 😀

It’s exactly why I started it though... to try and meet more local people, and I have made more ‘buddies’ from that, no one close...

wifflewafflebiscuit Sun 05-Jul-20 14:16:46

thing is I have LOTS of buddies, I am very friendly and chat to everyone. But it is that group thing of close friends, now in my 50s I guess the only way I will get that is in the nursing home sad

Neverwrestlewithapig Sun 05-Jul-20 14:20:50

So much of what pp have written resonates with me! I feel like a ‘tier 2’ friend too - there are many people I’m friendly with but I’m not the person they immediately msg to organise seeing the latest film etc with. I’ve tried suggesting (rather than waiting to be asked) but found people had already seen it/arranged to go with others. It sounds pathetic but it would be lovely to be that person someone thinks of sad

wifflewafflebiscuit Sun 05-Jul-20 14:23:53

maybe we should have a tier 2 club. Tier 2 is a perfect description of how I feel. Part of it is my fault, when the kids were little I was completely and only a mum so didnt take up the offers to do things, now I have the time I have lost that connection with the friends that used to ask. My fault I know, but I don't think I would have done it differently if I had my time again.

BobbinThreadbare123 Sun 05-Jul-20 14:25:20

Same here. No group. My own sibling didn't even ask me to be a bridesmaid. XH ruined a lot of my university friendships for me so those people drifted. They obviously weren't good enough mates to not even talk to me about it.

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