I'm now in my late-thirties. I've lived on my own and have been primarily responsible for myself since I was 15. And I have been coping with loneliness and isolation even before then. AMA
JanieAllen · 05/08/2022 18:55
how could you graduate university at 19? and how come you didn't make any friends at university or at work? Its just odd -my longest friendships come from University and work.
You have to work at making friends. Joining groups but putting the effort in not just for a month but a long time. I've made more friends from crafting groups, interests, politics.
goldfinchonthelawn · 05/08/2022 19:59
Have you thought about fostering different types of friendship with different levels of intensity to see what suits you?
I used to only be capable of intense one to one relationships but learned to enjoy different levels of friendship as I got older and it's made me really happy.
Casual friendships with fitness groups, choirs etc where you just do something together and then meet once or twice a year socially outside that for drinks
Closer friendships with special interest groups where there's a mental/creative/emotional connection as well as just a share dinterest - something like drama group, creative writing workshop or theatre club where you love chatting about the interest beyond just doing it.
Work friendships and mentoring where you get close to people through respect for each other's professional capability.
Casual friendship with neighbours - seasonal drinks and catch ups, getting together to do communal things.
If you foster all of these without any expectation they will all become super close and intense, you end up with a really rich set of friendships.
If you add dating to this, I think you would find within a year or two (it does take time) your loneliness might have lessened significantly.
FarFarFarAndAway · 05/08/2022 22:11
OP, you sound great and self-reflective. I think moving to a city is a good idea, I found that whilst people were friendly and nice in smaller towns in my twenties, there just weren't enough other single people of a similar age to connect with, somewhere like London or some of the other bigger cities just opens that up, I started dating having had a complete blank for a few years and found someone quite quickly. There are lots of people in their late-thirties not settled down in the bigger cities and there's just a more dynamic outlook about meeting new people I think (although you could find a good friend anywhere).
The other thing works for me is that I practice being sociable before it really counts, if you see what I mean. So, just being friendly in shops, chatting to someone at the bus stop, walking the dog, whatever. I don't do it all the time, but I find if you are generally sociable when it doesn't count, then it's a lot easier to be friendly and sociable when it does count if that makes sense.
If you have moved away from your home country, and your family continue to be toxic, I think seeking new connections, friends and a social life is the best thing to do, you can always keep low contact if you want to, but it sounds like your family are not your supporters in this situation.
Sometimes people, through a combination of circumstance, and also personal tendencies, just end up not having many friends at a certain time of their lives, I have a fabulous friend I met online who was honest about having more or less no friends at all due to moving about, not knowing neighbours and so on. Over time, they have been in touch with some old friends, chatted with neighbours and made internet friends that have turned into real ones. I do believe this is something you can change over time- does that sound at all familiar to your story?
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