Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I'm not sure if I'm looking for advice as such, but any advice or comments are very welcome. I guess I just like writing here to get things off my chest. 

So it's now been about a month since I ended my friendship with Rachael* and I've been spending a lot more time on my own. It's really weird but I am actually missing Rachael's friendship because the past 1-1.5 years we talked a lot and hung out reasonably often. But that was actually how long I was friends with her overall and just in that short time there were a lot of issues. I won't discuss that part of it anymore because I do have other posts about it that I made. 

I'm feeling sad and alone as of late and really starting to feel like I'm sort of drifting from some of my friends. I don't think it's for any particular reason but I guess it's just what can happen in life. Especially as you get older.

I'm feeling really sad because my friendships with my two best friends, Belinda* and Sally* have changed/are changing and it's just a bit hard to come to terms with I guess.

I'm 36 years old and Sally is 37. We've known each other since I was 19. We met at work and for probably about 5 years we were best friends and inseparable. Granted we were very young, but we went out together a lot. We would go out everywhere - to the movies, cafes, shopping, clubbing, parties. We stayed at each other's houses a lot. We just got along so well and could talk about anything.

When Sally was 24, she met her husband on online dating. Gradually as she got more serious with him, naturally she didn't spend as much time with me. In 2012 she got married and I was a bridesmaid at her wedding. Eventually she had two kids. We have still been best friends all that time and our connection is still the same. So what I mean is, when we see each other things don't feel any different. We talk regularly and see each other maybe once a month or less. But since Sally has been with her husband (13 years), we just haven't been as inseparable.

Back in 2011 I met my other best friend, Belinda. Same thing, we were completely inseparable and actually dubbed "The Siamese Twins". Because where one of us went, so did the other. Belinda and I had so many fun adventures together and I guess she wanted to go out a lot more because she was actually quite a bit younger than Sally. When we met I was 26 and Belinda was 20-21. Over the last 10+ years we've had so many adventures together! We also have A LOT in common, so we didn't just do the typical things like go to cafes and go clubbing. We are both bisexual and we went to a lot of GLBTIQ events. We also both really love dressing up in costumes and going to costume parties. Belinda and I basically talked every day and hung out once or twice a week on an ongoing basis for ten years. We had also been on a few fun interstate trips together. We'd usually talk on the phone for 2-3 hours, but sometimes it'd be more like 4-6 hours!

A year ago Belinda met her boyfriend on online dating. They're in love with each other and they're very serious and going to move in together soon. 

Now I want to say very honestly that I'm not actually jealous or bitter about my best female friends having a boyfriend or a husband. I just miss them, that's all. I still hear from Belinda and still see her, but it's just not the same. Now I just don't hear from her as much and I only see her maybe once a fortnight. She does contact me first, but it's more me contacting her and me initiating to catch up.

I have two close male friends also. One of them is gay and we have a bit of a big age gap. He's 29 and he still lives at home with his parents. I met him at community college and we were really close to the point where people wondered if we were actually dating. Unfortunately as the years went on I began to feel like I'm starting to drift from him a bit. I'm 7 years older but also I don't feel like he's very mature for his age. After our mental health course at community college, I got work in that field. I've been working for eight years in the field and I've been living out of home for 13 years. My friend has ADHD and he has really bad issues with time management. Every time we catch up, he's 1+ hours late and doesn't even let me know. Plus in other ways I feel like he's still exactly the same as in community college. Back then he was 18, living at home and no proper job. He's still in exactly the same place now and basically has been all that time.

My other close male friend Henry is a really nice, sweet and chill guy who has no bad bone in his body. He's 37. He adores me. We initially dated 6 years ago but I didn't have real feelings for him and also he's polyamorous and I'm not. I know he felt really strongly about me, he told me that. He reaches out to me all the time and he's very loyal. I feel bad because I do like him as a friend but I actually have always felt that conversation with him is lacking. He's a very quiet and introverted sort of guy. Some of our friends and other people wondered if he's mildly on the autism spectrum. He's a serious person who doesn't laugh much and he never understands any of my jokes. My jokes are largely sarcastic lol For these reasons I've found it hard all these years to truly connect with him. I care about him a lot but our conversations are quite generic, which is mostly on his part. 

Recently I tried to make a new female friend from a Meetup group. I went out for dinner and to see some stand-up comedy with a 29-year-old woman that I met at a Meetup group two years ago. She's only been in my city for four years (came from interstate). We have a little bit in common but mainly during our catch up I was feeling like I'm really not connecting with her. She's uneducated and kind of bogan (redneck). We hung out for five hours and she spent the whole time just talking about herself and actually didn't let me speak at all really. She was drinking alcohol the whole time though but I wasn't because I was driving. Afterwards she actually messaged me saying that she had a really nice time with me and she's lucky to have me as a friend. She actually acknowledged that she only talked about herself and sort of apologised.

I thought that maybe I could give her another chance, but now I'm really not sure. She did say to me during our catch up that she has issues with her Mum. She still lives with her parents and she said when she had a falling out with her Mum, she was staying at a hotel. She said she also lost her job but she wouldn't talk about why or what happened. 

Anyway, she messaged me today asking can she stay at my place on the couch because her and her Mum had another blow up. I know she has depression and she said her Mum has bipolar disorder. I said I was really sorry but I don't have a couch coz my ex took it. Also that my front door can only be locked with a key and I have only one set of keys. Both of these things are actually completely true, I didn't lie at all. But the main reason is that I have met this girl only twice in my life and the first time I didn't even talk to her much. She said she would pay me for staying with me but how could she pay if she doesn't have a job? Anyway, after I said no she just didn't reply. So once again I feel like this girl has a lot of issues and she was also just trying to use me for a free place to stay.

I guess I'm just feeling so lost... I'm 36 years old...Do I actually have a chance still to make genuine, real close friends? Or is it too late? If I don't find a partner anytime soon then will I just be that single "spinster" all on my own?

Edited by Tinydance
Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 minutes ago, Tinydance said:

I'm 36 years old...Do I actually have a chance still to make genuine, real close friends? Or is it too late? If I don't find a partner anytime soon then will I just be that single "spinster" all on my own?

Sorry for the swell of turbulent feelings, Tiny. Internet hugs.

Speaking for myself, what helps me is recognizing that feelings like this are never forever, no matter how permanent they feel in the moment. Take a moment to look back on your life—your teens, your twenties, your early 30s—and odds are there have been some devouring, isolating stretches that felt insurmountable, at least until they gave way to something else. Any way to remind yourself that this might just be one of those? Stir in the pandemic—an emotionally turbulent moment that is not forever but has affected the planet's emotional ecosystem—and maybe there's a way to see this as a hard moment in an impossibly hard time? More normal, in short, than not?

I highlighted the above quote because something I notice in your recent posts is a fear of you being "too late" to experience much of what you want from life—this sense that time is slipping through your fingers and you better catch it "or else." I understand there are very real biological realties at play, when it comes to having children, but 36 does not put you at the razor's edge. And as for making genuine, close friends? That's something you have literally decades of space to experience: abundance, not scarcity. You are—this is just reality—still in the earliest stages of being an adult human on planet Earth, not the latter ones. 

Guess what I'm trying to say, without minimizing the jagged reality of this tough time for you, is to see this sense of urgency in you as something to look in the eye, and stare down a bit. Wrangle with that, rather than trying to wrangle time. It might be the first step toward getting more of what you're seeking. In doing so, you might release some of the inner pressure, rather than thinking that a person (be it a dude you've gone on a few dates with, or a new maybe-friend from MeetUp) is going to do that. 

I'm not sure about the state of the world in your part of the world, but it does seem like things are shifting, after this very trying year. 

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Tinydance said:

I'm 36 years old...Do I actually have a chance still to make genuine, real close friends?

Definitely. 

You may just have to do things differently. For example, people's interests may have shifted away from going out to movies, cafes, shopping, clubbing, and/or parties. You may have to discover other common interests.

I know it's said to death sometimes, but venues like MeetUp or other hobby groups could help you out here. The pace of the friendship-building will probably be a lot slower, though. We all have more and more obligations as we get older.

Don't forget, you haven't lost your current friends (with the possible exception of Rachael). The dynamic has just changed a little bit. And you could become friends with the husbands, you know. I have a friend who is totally comfortable hanging out with my boyfriend and I. And it's nice to have her around. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tagging on to what Jibralta wrote --we're similar ages (I'm 54).  Yes definitely.  I have an observation to make.  Seems to me there's a common thread with a few of the people you described -what you basically have in common is sexual orientation and/or a sort of quirky/unusual lifestyle and then there's not much more in common.  I didn't marry or become a mom till 42 and I'm an oddity as far as my new friends are not because of some "mom tribe" or "mom friends" I made -some of them I originally met that way but the reason we are still in touch is because we have other things in common other than both being moms.

I agree with you in not letting that woman stay over.  Reminds me of a time I had two dates with a guy and he asked if his sister could stay over at my apartment because she had a date in my city and that way she wouldn't have to travel back to the suburbs alone.  Huh?? I'm going to let his sister stay in my place when I met her once briefly?  I don't relate to this kind of casual "oh for convenience sake can some random stranger crash on your couch?"

I would keep going to meetups and I highly recommend three venues - a book club, volunteering backstage at a community theater once that is going again, and volunteer work.  

I will share an anecdote to show how I relate.  A couple of weeks ago I signed up for a free zoom session that was supposed to be for moms parenting during the pandemic, to share their experiences.  I'd done something similar before with a different organization and enjoyed it.  I too am looking to meet new people.  It was supposed to be moderated by two psychologists.  A bit over an hour.  I have zoom fatigue but tried it.  Well 25 minutes in -almost half over -and it was basically psychologists talking about Maslow's hierarchy of needs and telling us we'd do breakout rooms in small groups "soon".   I logged off.  I was there to socially interact not listen to droning on about basic concepts.  I relate because I know what it's like to put in the effort, make the time, show up and ..... it's a dud.

One more thing - can your male friend, or Belinda or the other lady -introduce you to their friends? Have they? I'd do some more networking like that, too.  

 

I hope you feel better today and/or soon!!!

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If it makes you feel a tad comforted, many of us go through a lifetime of evolving friendships. I already started going through that in my late teens, if I wanted to go dancing with a friend but she was no longer interested because she had a bf, and then I got a bf and another friend wanted me to go, but it wasn't in my best interest to be dancing with other guys--stuff like that. And then I was a Navy wife. As soon as I made a friend or two, we were moving elsewhere. And I did retain lifelong friends from my teen years, but we go years without seeing each other. The closest local friend I have at the moment was a long 8 years in the making. We worked in the same building and would have to spend some work time together several times during the week. After years went by, I thought, "Oh, she's the same age as me, I enjoy her company. Maybe we could hang out besides work. But at the time I asked, she was in a long period of mourning for her cat and wasn't in the right mindset. It was only when she was about to retire that she asked me to get together, and pre-virus, we got together about once a month for lunch, etc. and have stayed in touch regularly during the lockdown.

I've learned not to put labels on people like best friend because I know things often change, and it helps me to put things in perspective. Just as I said "my closest local friend at the moment," because I know how a person's circumstances and priorities can and do change.

When I was single, I couldn't count on a friend always being available, so I took up Swing dancing and tango. At least I had fun when my social contacts weren't available. And I write for a hobby and belong to a critique group. Although I don't get together with those other members socially, I thoroughly enjoy their company when we have our meetings.

I'm also the type that doesn't like to juggle a lot of local friends, as my leisure time is limited, and I also like my solo time. 

Anyway, I hope your life works out for you the way you hope. Take care.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If it helps at all, I'll jump on board with the others experiences and tell you that what you are going through is perfectly normal.

Our lives are constantly evolving and so are our friendships.  I am at a little bit of a crossroad myself with having outgrown a couple friendships and a couple of them having moved away.  The pandemic certainly doesn't help. It does get lonely but I've learned to navigate it.   Looking back, this has happened at different stages of my life so I just learn to expect it or at least no longer be surprised.

It just so happens that on a local neighborhood watch app, a woman posted wanting to know of any women in the area over 40 that would be interested in hiking.   Having done Meetups before and having had success and making new friends there, this wasn't much different.  I went on my first hike with about 10 women on Saturday and enjoyed getting to chat with new faces (masked faces at that)  They've had about 4 hikes previously, but this was the first one I could attend.

There was a lot of positive responses and we now have a FB page and there are about 8 ladies meeting tonight for an evening walk.  I was going to go, but feeling like I just want to stay in now after working all day. 

There was a lot a chatting about future movies, or going to dinners. So there is definitely some enthusiastic momentum in this little group.

All of this has taught me to be resilient and put myself out there.  I am a little bit of an introvert, but I can surprise myself sometimes.  It just goes to show that there are others just like ourselves looking for company as well.  So you aren't really alone if you look at it that way.   

Almost unanimously, the same words repeated over and over.  How lonely and disconnected everyone has felt during this past year and how good it was to get out and meet new people. 

I am sorry you are feeling out of sorts.   I am glad you came here to chat about it.  I hope it helps.

Edited by reinventmyself
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yup, there's always time to meet new people. I am in a local FB group- " My town' Singles".

But, I have also just gotten to talking with a few neighbours.. and we chat here & there.  One I mentioned to come with me when I walk my pup, which is a few times a week.  I gave this offer because he is similar to me, we hibernate and avoid a lot out there.

So, you never know.  Maybe just go out, on your own go thru parks.. or maybe say HI to someone in a line up- make jokes while shopping, etc.  I sometimes make a wise crack about something & someone will pipe back 🙂 .

Plus, there's so many coffee shops.. always ppl hanging around there!

There are many ways.. and this is how I have gotten some local friends.. not including my friends from school - most are just on my FB but a couple are local.. 

So, don't give up... maybe your way of finding some friends should be changed?  I don't know.

Don't give up, you'll connect with others again, as you proceed thru life . 🙂 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Andrina said:

If it makes you feel a tad comforted, many of us go through a lifetime of evolving friendships. I already started going through that in my late teens, if I wanted to go dancing with a friend but she was no longer interested because she had a bf, and then I got a bf and another friend wanted me to go, but it wasn't in my best interest to be dancing with other guys--stuff like that. .... And I did retain lifelong friends from my teen years, but we go years without seeing each other. The closest local friend I have at the moment was a long 8 years in the making. We worked in the same building and would have to spend some work time together several times during the week. After years went by, I thought, "Oh, she's the same age as me, I enjoy her company. Maybe we could hang out besides work. But at the time I asked, she was in a long period of mourning for her cat and wasn't in the right mindset. It was only when she was about to retire that she asked me to get together, and pre-virus, we got together about once a month for lunch, etc. and have stayed in touch regularly during the lockdown.

I relate to so much of this. One of the first things I thought of when I read your post, Tiny, is the way that my friendships changed over the course of my life.

The first obvious shift was in my teen years, as I watched my friendships change with the addition/removal of various love interests. Some people dropped off the face of the planet when they found that special someone, and came back only after the romance had ended. From that, I learned that some people can't balance both friendship and romance.

Then, in my early 20s, people were starting to get married and have kids, and I was like, What are you doing?!?! There's still a whole world out there for us to conquer!! That was a big, inconvenient adjustment. In many cases, I lost touch with people completely--but we did reconnect years later!! In a couple cases, we stayed in touch the whole time, or intermittently throughout. I have to say that these friendships didn't suffer in either case. They just paused for a while.

And then, in my mid- to late-20s, I experienced the tumult of collapsing friendships that had reached the end of their natural life. These were the placeholder friendships that I'd cultivated, the ones I'd developed so that I had someone to go out with. Friendships of convenience. We really had nothing in common other than our social calendars. 

We eventually diverged. I outgrew them, and they outgrew me. My career goals got bigger, and their social conquests became more demanding. It was an awkward, uncomfortable situation... I didn't understand what was happening until years later... I think that your new friend from MeetUp is a friendship of convenience--best to let that one go, in my opinion. Too much BS, too high a cost.

Another thing about my mid- to late-20s (and beyond) are the friendships that took time to develop, the ones where seeds had been planted years before, at work. They didn't even start to come to fruition until one or both of us had left the job. We kept in touch, saw each other here and there.... and then somehow we were real, true friends. This has been the pattern for new friendships through my 30s and into my 40s. They happen through my career, and through my hobbies, and they tend to grow slowly.

Edited by Jibralta
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awww, I understand. I think it's part of maturity for us to learn how to adopt different degrees and kinds of friendships to meet different needs.

Gone are the days when we could form besties that stick like glue. That's part of the innocence of youth, where we were blank slates that could homogenize well with others. As we grow, we solidify into our own personalities and our focus over the course of life needs to diverge from others as they form their own priorities, too.

So, sure friendships change over time depending on the focus of each of us at any given time. Lovers, having kids, building careers, forming bonds with others, meeting needs of family, travel, finding new passions--so many things can change the quality and timing of earlier bonds.

The people who matter will cycle in and out of our lives over t.i.m.e., and they'll cycle back in again over different periods. This doesn't make them less important in the grand scheme, but when we are healthy, we can allow for this and keep adding new acquaintances to our own lives.

Not every acquaintance will become a rock-solid friend. A tennis friend might be lousy at conversation, a shopping friend may not share our politics, a movie friend might teach us new points of view, while a confidant may hate crowds and never want to attend parties with us.

So find small points of commonality with lots of different people and learn what might evolve with each over time--even while we respect the limits of others.

Trust that feeling restless and bummed out is a shared experience with many people during this pandemic, and it doesn't make you a freak. It just feels that way.

(((HUG))),
Cat

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/21/2021 at 12:55 AM, bluecastle said:

Sorry for the swell of turbulent feelings, Tiny. Internet hugs.

Speaking for myself, what helps me is recognizing that feelings like this are never forever, no matter how permanent they feel in the moment. Take a moment to look back on your life—your teens, your twenties, your early 30s—and odds are there have been some devouring, isolating stretches that felt insurmountable, at least until they gave way to something else. Any way to remind yourself that this might just be one of those? Stir in the pandemic—an emotionally turbulent moment that is not forever but has affected the planet's emotional ecosystem—and maybe there's a way to see this as a hard moment in an impossibly hard time? More normal, in short, than not?

I highlighted the above quote because something I notice in your recent posts is a fear of you being "too late" to experience much of what you want from life—this sense that time is slipping through your fingers and you better catch it "or else." I understand there are very real biological realties at play, when it comes to having children, but 36 does not put you at the razor's edge. And as for making genuine, close friends? That's something you have literally decades of space to experience: abundance, not scarcity. You are—this is just reality—still in the earliest stages of being an adult human on planet Earth, not the latter ones. 

Guess what I'm trying to say, without minimizing the jagged reality of this tough time for you, is to see this sense of urgency in you as something to look in the eye, and stare down a bit. Wrangle with that, rather than trying to wrangle time. It might be the first step toward getting more of what you're seeking. In doing so, you might release some of the inner pressure, rather than thinking that a person (be it a dude you've gone on a few dates with, or a new maybe-friend from MeetUp) is going to do that. 

I'm not sure about the state of the world in your part of the world, but it does seem like things are shifting, after this very trying year. 

 

 

Thank you so much for your advice Blue Castle. Sorry I didn't respond to everyone's comments straight away. I know that provided I don't die of unnatural causes, I still probably have at least 50 years to make new friends. Logically I know that while it's kind of hard to make friends when you're older, it's not impossible. 

I know I keep talking about it, but I'm feeling very turbulent feelings since I ended my friendship with Rachael*. I have two other posts about her if you wanted to read them just to get a bit more background on it. I'm not really sure why it's affected me so badly. I've been feeling very low the last month and also really anxious. I started to drink a bit more alcohol and have just been feeling depressed and sleeping a lot. 

For some reason I keep feeling very anxious and thinking about Rachael all the time and wondering if I'd made the right decision. It's really stressing me out. What I guess is hard is that our two mutual friends, Henry* and Belinda* , are still friends with her. Rachael lives with Belinda and I used to come over to their house and hang out with one or both of them. We did have some really fun times together us four. Now I don't come over to Belinda and Rachael's place because I'm not friends with Rachael anymore. Also me, Henry and Rachael chatted in a Facebook Messenger group chat every day.

We had an eight month strict COVID lockdown in my city and I was going completely insane because I live alone and my job was cancelled for six months. So literally I was alone 24/7. I don't have any pets at all either. I'm a very social and outgoing person and the only thing that got me through the quarantine was chatting and video calling with my friends, watching movies virtually and playing online games. I think I got very attached to that Facebook chat I had going with Henry and Rachael. 

In all fairness the restrictions more or less eases off in October/November last year and I went back to work then too. I've also been going out and seeing all my friends and family a lot too. 

I know that the friendship with Rachael probably wasn't going to work out in the long term because all those issues I wrote about in my posts about her happened in literally the space of one year. There were also some other more minor issues that I didn't even write about because I didn't want to make my posts too long. I have some friends I've known for 20+ years since high school, some for 17 years, some for 10+ years. These are my very close friends, but I've also known some not as close friends for 15+ years and things like that. I hardly had issues with any of my other friends in the twenty years of knowing them. And even if I did, they were not big and we resolved them easily. With Rachael, we did have a "click" or connection as you call it, but we also seemed to have a very big personality clash as well. Logically I know that a friendship or relationship shouldn't be nearly constantly tumultuous, but it's like emotionally I'm finding it very hard to move on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/21/2021 at 7:50 AM, Jibralta said:

Definitely. 

You may just have to do things differently. For example, people's interests may have shifted away from going out to movies, cafes, shopping, clubbing, and/or parties. You may have to discover other common interests.

I know it's said to death sometimes, but venues like MeetUp or other hobby groups could help you out here. The pace of the friendship-building will probably be a lot slower, though. We all have more and more obligations as we get older.

Don't forget, you haven't lost your current friends (with the possible exception of Rachael). The dynamic has just changed a little bit. And you could become friends with the husbands, you know. I have a friend who is totally comfortable hanging out with my boyfriend and I. And it's nice to have her around. 

 

Thank you Jibralta. I actually talked to my therapist about all this too. I told her about ending the friendship with Rachael and that I'd been feeling quite depressed. She suggested to start going to Meetup too and also to take up a new hobby where I could do something with my hands. Like some kind of arts and crafts for example. I am actually a member of a lot of Meetups but I don't end up going to that many. It's not that I feel too nervous to go or something, but I guess it's because of my work and catching up with my friends and my parents in my free time. Although now I guess I don't actually catch up with my friends as often as I did. It would be nice to make some new friends but I guess at the moment the main goal to go to Meetups is to try to get myself out of my depression and take my mind off wanting to drink alcohol. Tomorrow night I'm actually going to a board games Meetup. I've been to that one before and the people were quite nice.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/21/2021 at 9:01 AM, Batya33 said:

Tagging on to what Jibralta wrote --we're similar ages (I'm 54).  Yes definitely.  I have an observation to make.  Seems to me there's a common thread with a few of the people you described -what you basically have in common is sexual orientation and/or a sort of quirky/unusual lifestyle and then there's not much more in common.  I didn't marry or become a mom till 42 and I'm an oddity as far as my new friends are not because of some "mom tribe" or "mom friends" I made -some of them I originally met that way but the reason we are still in touch is because we have other things in common other than both being moms.

I agree with you in not letting that woman stay over.  Reminds me of a time I had two dates with a guy and he asked if his sister could stay over at my apartment because she had a date in my city and that way she wouldn't have to travel back to the suburbs alone.  Huh?? I'm going to let his sister stay in my place when I met her once briefly?  I don't relate to this kind of casual "oh for convenience sake can some random stranger crash on your couch?"

I would keep going to meetups and I highly recommend three venues - a book club, volunteering backstage at a community theater once that is going again, and volunteer work.  

I will share an anecdote to show how I relate.  A couple of weeks ago I signed up for a free zoom session that was supposed to be for moms parenting during the pandemic, to share their experiences.  I'd done something similar before with a different organization and enjoyed it.  I too am looking to meet new people.  It was supposed to be moderated by two psychologists.  A bit over an hour.  I have zoom fatigue but tried it.  Well 25 minutes in -almost half over -and it was basically psychologists talking about Maslow's hierarchy of needs and telling us we'd do breakout rooms in small groups "soon".   I logged off.  I was there to socially interact not listen to droning on about basic concepts.  I relate because I know what it's like to put in the effort, make the time, show up and ..... it's a dud.

One more thing - can your male friend, or Belinda or the other lady -introduce you to their friends? Have they? I'd do some more networking like that, too.  

 

I hope you feel better today and/or soon!!!

Actually I feel sort of relieved to hear that you didn't marry or have kids until you were 42. I do want marriage and kids but finding someone for that has been a struggle. To be really fair though, I've only been single for 1.5 years. And about 6-8 months of me being single was strict COVID lockdown. I did go on many dates in person and virtually and did singles events in person and also virtually. There weren't really any disastrous situations but it was just that me or them (or both) weren't into each other.

I do actually have a lot of common hobbies, interests and values with my two best female friends. Sally* I've known for 17 years. Belinda for 10-11 years. We are still friends but the dynamic really changed because Sally has been with her husband 13 years and she has two small children. I was never married and no kids, so our life became very different. Belinda has been with a serious partner for a year and she's really busy with him and her full-time job.

I think you're right though that it's important to find friends with similar interests, but also similar values and beliefs. I'm a very friendly and social person, so meeting people in and of itself has never really been an issue. I guess the problem is more so finding people that you have actual real connection with. I know I do have to put myself out there though and to be patient.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/21/2021 at 9:07 AM, Andrina said:

If it makes you feel a tad comforted, many of us go through a lifetime of evolving friendships. I already started going through that in my late teens, if I wanted to go dancing with a friend but she was no longer interested because she had a bf, and then I got a bf and another friend wanted me to go, but it wasn't in my best interest to be dancing with other guys--stuff like that. And then I was a Navy wife. As soon as I made a friend or two, we were moving elsewhere. And I did retain lifelong friends from my teen years, but we go years without seeing each other. The closest local friend I have at the moment was a long 8 years in the making. We worked in the same building and would have to spend some work time together several times during the week. After years went by, I thought, "Oh, she's the same age as me, I enjoy her company. Maybe we could hang out besides work. But at the time I asked, she was in a long period of mourning for her cat and wasn't in the right mindset. It was only when she was about to retire that she asked me to get together, and pre-virus, we got together about once a month for lunch, etc. and have stayed in touch regularly during the lockdown.

I've learned not to put labels on people like best friend because I know things often change, and it helps me to put things in perspective. Just as I said "my closest local friend at the moment," because I know how a person's circumstances and priorities can and do change.

When I was single, I couldn't count on a friend always being available, so I took up Swing dancing and tango. At least I had fun when my social contacts weren't available. And I write for a hobby and belong to a critique group. Although I don't get together with those other members socially, I thoroughly enjoy their company when we have our meetings.

I'm also the type that doesn't like to juggle a lot of local friends, as my leisure time is limited, and I also like my solo time. 

Anyway, I hope your life works out for you the way you hope. Take care.

 

Thank you Andrina. Yes you are actually right about not putting the label of "best friend" on people too hastily. In my early twenties I had a "best friend" but that only lasted for a few years and then we actually had a falling out. That was 15 years ago and since then she's only been a distant acquaintance.

I totally agree with you and the other posters that it's good to pursue your hobbies and interests. I know it's possible to meet friends that way, but in the absence of that it's still nice to do things you enjoy and get out of the house. I actually did swing dancing too about seven years ago. But then unfortunately I got a hip injury and gave it up. I go to the chiropractor though so maybe I should give it another go! I did really enjoy it and I love swing music and the 1920's style clothes. 

I guess the thing is that in my friendships I haven't been the one who got married and had kids and things like that. Well, not yet anyway. I did live with my last ex for a year and was with him for two years and was engaged. I imagine if I was married and had kids, I also wouldn't be very available to catch up with friends. Or even if I would be available, only in a limited capacity. Like asking to only meet during the day and people more so visiting me, rather than me going to them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/21/2021 at 9:34 AM, reinventmyself said:

If it helps at all, I'll jump on board with the others experiences and tell you that what you are going through is perfectly normal.

Our lives are constantly evolving and so are our friendships.  I am at a little bit of a crossroad myself with having outgrown a couple friendships and a couple of them having moved away.  The pandemic certainly doesn't help. It does get lonely but I've learned to navigate it.   Looking back, this has happened at different stages of my life so I just learn to expect it or at least no longer be surprised.

It just so happens that on a local neighborhood watch app, a woman posted wanting to know of any women in the area over 40 that would be interested in hiking.   Having done Meetups before and having had success and making new friends there, this wasn't much different.  I went on my first hike with about 10 women on Saturday and enjoyed getting to chat with new faces (masked faces at that)  They've had about 4 hikes previously, but this was the first one I could attend.

There was a lot of positive responses and we now have a FB page and there are about 8 ladies meeting tonight for an evening walk.  I was going to go, but feeling like I just want to stay in now after working all day. 

There was a lot a chatting about future movies, or going to dinners. So there is definitely some enthusiastic momentum in this little group.

All of this has taught me to be resilient and put myself out there.  I am a little bit of an introvert, but I can surprise myself sometimes.  It just goes to show that there are others just like ourselves looking for company as well.  So you aren't really alone if you look at it that way.   

Almost unanimously, the same words repeated over and over.  How lonely and disconnected everyone has felt during this past year and how good it was to get out and meet new people. 

I am sorry you are feeling out of sorts.   I am glad you came here to chat about it.  I hope it helps.

Thank you 🙂 I'm very glad to hear you enjoyed the hike and that you might be seeing some of those women again soon! It's definitely a huge relief to actually be able to get out of the house now and meet people. Even doing things wearing a face mask is definitely better than nothing. In my city we actually only have to wear a mask on public transport and at the doctors, but that might change because the weather is getting very cold now (winter in Australia). Plus a number of people got blood clots and a couple died from the Astra Zeneca vaccine that people started getting here. So I'm not sure if that many people will get the vaccine yet. So I guess we just never know what might happen. I've been going out as much as possible because I'm just so paranoid we might lock down again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/21/2021 at 1:32 PM, SooSad33 said:

Yup, there's always time to meet new people. I am in a local FB group- " My town' Singles".

But, I have also just gotten to talking with a few neighbours.. and we chat here & there.  One I mentioned to come with me when I walk my pup, which is a few times a week.  I gave this offer because he is similar to me, we hibernate and avoid a lot out there.

So, you never know.  Maybe just go out, on your own go thru parks.. or maybe say HI to someone in a line up- make jokes while shopping, etc.  I sometimes make a wise crack about something & someone will pipe back 🙂 .

Plus, there's so many coffee shops.. always ppl hanging around there!

There are many ways.. and this is how I have gotten some local friends.. not including my friends from school - most are just on my FB but a couple are local.. 

So, don't give up... maybe your way of finding some friends should be changed?  I don't know.

Don't give up, you'll connect with others again, as you proceed thru life . 🙂 

I am actually a very bubbly and friendly person, so making conversations with people is not usually a problem. I guess it's just not as common to make a true and genuine connection that's deep. But to be honest I hadn't really been going to any Meetup groups or any other hobby or social groups until this year really. I came out of a serious relationship (engaged) 1.5 years ago and half of that time was COVID lockdown. I also used to spend a lot of time with my best friend Belinda but the past year she's been with a serious partner.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/24/2021 at 5:24 PM, catfeeder said:

Awww, I understand. I think it's part of maturity for us to learn how to adopt different degrees and kinds of friendships to meet different needs.

Gone are the days when we could form besties that stick like glue. That's part of the innocence of youth, where we were blank slates that could homogenize well with others. As we grow, we solidify into our own personalities and our focus over the course of life needs to diverge from others as they form their own priorities, too.

So, sure friendships change over time depending on the focus of each of us at any given time. Lovers, having kids, building careers, forming bonds with others, meeting needs of family, travel, finding new passions--so many things can change the quality and timing of earlier bonds.

The people who matter will cycle in and out of our lives over t.i.m.e., and they'll cycle back in again over different periods. This doesn't make them less important in the grand scheme, but when we are healthy, we can allow for this and keep adding new acquaintances to our own lives.

Not every acquaintance will become a rock-solid friend. A tennis friend might be lousy at conversation, a shopping friend may not share our politics, a movie friend might teach us new points of view, while a confidant may hate crowds and never want to attend parties with us.

So find small points of commonality with lots of different people and learn what might evolve with each over time--even while we respect the limits of others.

Trust that feeling restless and bummed out is a shared experience with many people during this pandemic, and it doesn't make you a freak. It just feels that way.

(((HUG))),
Cat

Yes I think you're completely right about the pandemic. There has just been so much change in the last year and it has felt so overwhelming and overall just crazy. Coupled with that was that I'd just recently come out of a serious relationship 4 month's before COVID started and that I spent like 8 months in lockdown completely alone because I live alone. Then shortly after getting out of lockdown I ended my friendship with Rachael and my best friend has gone a bit AWOL coz she's getting really serious with her partner. I also feel like I put too much pressure on myself to date and I went on all these dates which were unsuccessful and got really burnt out. Now I'm feeling very emotional about all of it I guess. Like residual emotional struggle.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, Tinydance said:

Yes I think you're completely right about the pandemic. There has just been so much change in the last year and it has felt so overwhelming and overall just crazy. Coupled with that was that I'd just recently come out of a serious relationship 4 month's before COVID started and that I spent like 8 months in lockdown completely alone because I live alone. Then shortly after getting out of lockdown I ended my friendship with Rachael and my best friend has gone a bit AWOL coz she's getting really serious with her partner. I also feel like I put too much pressure on myself to date and I went on all these dates which were unsuccessful and got really burnt out. Now I'm feeling very emotional about all of it I guess. Like residual emotional struggle.

Yes! Everything feels harder and takes on too much significance or triggers too much worry these days!  Also as you notice people have different comfort levels so I had to say no to a friend who wanted to meet up with our kids in the park, and I also said no to a friends zoom catch up - why? It's safe but I'm done, and the thought of coordinating with my husband/son's schedule to do something I typically feel awkward about didn't make sense -and I was honest with my friends about why.  We did have a short catch up phone call so that was nice.  I have another friend who still won't shop in person fully vaccinated but is renting a condo at a resort where they can't eat in the communal dining room (not safe) - so if I were to judge -wow I don't get it but if you think about it when you throw that into the mix you're going to run into situations where on top of trying to schedule a get together it has to often accommodate different comfort levels.

Yes, residual emotional struggle.  Google "languishing" -the New York Times just published an article labeling how many of us are feeling.  Good luck!!

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Tinydance said:

I'm feeling very turbulent feelings since I ended my friendship with Rachael*.

How did you end up ending this friendship? I think the majority of the advice you got was to enforce your boundaries and to recede from her life somewhat. But last I read, you felt this wasn't possible. Did you just tell her you didn't want to be her friend anymore?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Tiny

I'm sorry you're feeling it these days. I read and kept up with your other posts.  you might remember I posted on my own ending of friendship

It is hard breaking up with a friend.  It's like a romantic break up. 

I know for myself, it's been about a month since I stopped taking to my former friend. I still have a lot of feelings of resentment towards how she acted and the things she said to me over the last several months.  The things that caused me to want to get away from her.

I think of her a ton but it's not a missing feeling.  It's more resolution. 

I am like you... no boyfriend, no pets, living through covid, not as many local friends. I have a few long distance friends that I wish lived closer. They once lived here, but moved away. I think they are more supportive friends and they help me remember what friendship really is.  

I think you might be in that "warm body" mode that is more likely associated with being single. But just like romance, spending time with a friend that doesn't consider your feelings & cancels all the time will only frustrate you more. 

The solution to be treated poorly or be alone, isn't to be treated poorly and hope for better. 

You gotta ride out the bad times. Keep pushing towards the goal, enjoy your own company, raise your vibe through self knowledge.  eventually something has to give. 

I was watching a story on Audrey Hepburn. When the Nazis occupied Holland. They thought it would not last.  But it lasted 5 years! She was hiding and hungry, like millions of other people. All victims of a war.  Trapped in their circumstances. 

In a way, that's how we all are.  Dealing with this covid. Things are going to get better.  You will make new friends. I met one of my closest friends in my 40's. Total fluke but a real meeting of the minds.

So just like meeting romantic partners, keep living for you. Make good choices that support the life you want. Don't settle because you're bored.  Sometimes I think you gotta show the universe, you ain't playing.  you want better and you're not going to settle. 

Hang in there.  ❤

Edited by Lambert
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Jibralta said:

How did you end up ending this friendship? I think the majority of the advice you got was to enforce your boundaries and to recede from her life somewhat. But last I read, you felt this wasn't possible. Did you just tell her you didn't want to be her friend anymore?

Well what happened was...Back in January after she'd done a number of upsetting things, I started doing a slow fade sort of thing. I wasn't chatting in our group chat as much, wasn't contacting her directly or asking to hang out. Like, I did reply in the group chat or if she contacted me but I just wasn't initiating. She noticed straight away and she began to contact me and ask to meet and sort it out. So we talked face to face and it wasn't so much that she apologised. But she said our friendship meant a lot to her and she would try not to be as blunt. 

I'm not sure if you saw me say this in another post, but previously Rachael said she doesn't like one of my close friends because she's a sex worker. But the thing was Rachael says she's a feminist and also she didn't actually know this friend. 

Another thing that happened was that back in 2018 (!) my fiance at the time had a Christmas dinner at our place. This sex worker friend was there coz she's a close friend. Afterwards Rachael said that friend kept looking and staring at my fiance. I was confused coz I hadn't noticed anything that night or any other time and they'd never hung out alone or anything. Anyway, when Rachael and I were trying to sort out our friendship, she said: "I know that I don't like your friend (sex worker) and maybe it's a petty reason. But it's because she was looking at your fiance and he's your guy." I was thinking, what?! For one thing, I'm 99% sure there was nothing going on because I never noticed nothing at all. Secondly, what she was referring to was 2+ years ago, and I'd also been broken up from my fiance for over a year. I felt annoyed because it's not her place to get involved in this and especially as what she was saying sounded like bs.

Then Rachael began to follow this super strict diet, except she wasn't really following it all the time. Then at least twice she cancelled on our plans with very short notice and no apology. She said the reason was she hadn't been following her diet and she doesn't want to feel tempted if she goes out to eat or drink something unhealthy. One time that she cancelled there was no plan to actually eat or drink at all, but just to see a comedy show.

I said to her on Facebook Messenger can we please talk about you cancelling because it's rude and you keep doing it. Rachael said she won't reply to me until she speaks to her therapist. I know she sees him only once a week or once a fortnight, so I was thinking how long am I meant to wait for a reply? I said I was getting really annoyed and she said: "You sent me an abusive message so I won't reply". So I said, OK, in that case the friendship is over and I wish you all the best. Then I just deleted her from Facebook.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I see. Ugly blowout type thing. 

I can't tell when the actual "end" occurred between you and Racheal. But you know, that in itself could be a big part of why you feel the way that you do. It's jarring and disconcerting when the end is messy. 

You mentioned that Rachael had a presence in your other friendships. With that in mind, it's no surprise that you feel a sense of alienation and anxiety there. Even if things had ended cleanly between you and Racheal, you probably would have felt a little off-balance for a while. But it's worse when the end is disruptive, because it could potentially damage your dynamic with your other friends.

On top of all of this, you're still going to go through a period of mourning, even though the end is probably for the best. 

Edited by Jibralta
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Jibralta said:

I see. Ugly blowout type thing. 

I can't tell when the actual "end" occurred between you and Racheal. But you know, that in itself could be a big part of why you feel the way that you do. It's jarring and disconcerting when the end is messy. 

You mentioned that Rachael had a presence in your other friendships. With that in mind, it's no surprise that you feel a sense of alienation and anxiety there. Even if things had ended cleanly between you and Racheal, you probably would have felt a little off-balance for a while. But it's worse when the end is disruptive, because it could potentially damage your dynamic with your other friends.

On top of all of this, you're still going to go through a period of mourning, even though the end is probably for the best. 

Well you're exactly spot on. She is very close friends with my really close friend Henry that she met through me. He said he really likes her and he will continue being friends. The thing is that I think in their case they do genuinely get along really well because Henry is a very quiet, super chill and passive guy. Rachael is dominant and very opinionated and blunt. She actually has cancelled on Henry a lot too (much more than me) and she has said some judgemental things about him too. He doesn't mind which is fine and that is absolutely his choice not to mind. She also lives with my best friend Belinda and they are friends but probably more so because they're housemates I guess. They're not super close friends. 

I think one big reason why I'm feeling really anxious is because we all uses to hang out as a group but now I'm not part of that group. I think I am actually catastrophising though because Belinda and Henry are not really friends, just acquaintances. Most of the outings and events we went to as a group were organised by me. Henry contacts me every single day and keeps asking to hang out, so nothing has changed there.

Yes there is a grieving process for sure and I guess I was hoping it would end by now lol It's been a month so far since ending the friendship.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

41 minutes ago, Lambert said:

Hi Tiny

I'm sorry you're feeling it these days. I read and kept up with your other posts.  you might remember I posted on my own ending of friendship

It is hard breaking up with a friend.  It's like a romantic break up. 

I know for myself, it's been about a month since I stopped taking to my former friend. I still have a lot of feelings of resentment towards how she acted and the things she said to me over the last several months.  The things that caused me to want to get away from her.

I think of her a ton but it's not a missing feeling.  It's more resolution. 

I am like you... no boyfriend, no pets, living through covid, not as many local friends. I have a few long distance friends that I wish lived closer. They once lived here, but moved away. I think they are more supportive friends and they help me remember what friendship really is.  

I think you might be in that "warm body" mode that is more likely associated with being single. But just like romance, spending time with a friend that doesn't consider your feelings & cancels all the time will only frustrate you more. 

The solution to be treated poorly or be alone, isn't to be treated poorly and hope for better. 

You gotta ride out the bad times. Keep pushing towards the goal, enjoy your own company, raise your vibe through self knowledge.  eventually something has to give. 

I was watching a story on Audrey Hepburn. When the Nazis occupied Holland. They thought it would not last.  But it lasted 5 years! She was hiding and hungry, like millions of other people. All victims of a war.  Trapped in their circumstances. 

In a way, that's how we all are.  Dealing with this covid. Things are going to get better.  You will make new friends. I met one of my closest friends in my 40's. Total fluke but a real meeting of the minds.

So just like meeting romantic partners, keep living for you. Make good choices that support the life you want. Don't settle because you're bored.  Sometimes I think you gotta show the universe, you ain't playing.  you want better and you're not going to settle. 

Hang in there.  ❤

Thank you so much for saying all that Lambert. It means a lot to know that someone is in the same situation as I am and going through the same things. I really appreciate you taking the time to say all that. Yes I do need to keep powering on and try to start a fresh chapter for myself. My therapist was of exactly the same opinion as everyone here that I need to start pursuing my hobbies and interests and meeting people through that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Tinydance said:

She is very close friends with my really close friend Henry that she met through me. He said he really likes her and he will continue being friends. The thing is that I think in their case they do genuinely get along really well because Henry is a very quiet, super chill and passive guy. Rachael is dominant and very opinionated and blunt. She actually has cancelled on Henry a lot too (much more than me) and she has said some judgemental things about him too. He doesn't mind which is fine and that is absolutely his choice not to mind. She also lives with my best friend Belinda and they are friends but probably more so because they're housemates I guess. They're not super close friends. 

I can see how that would be really stressful. Even though this was the right decision for you, it clearly wasn't an easy decision. And when other people don't make the same decision, it makes your decision feel even more questionable.

Even though you are catastrophizing to a degree, you are managing it appropriately by reminding yourself that Henry is a very passive person who tolerates insults, and Belinda is stuck living with her. 

These simple truths don't seem like enough right now, probably because you are very stressed out about the whole thing. I've definitely been in that situation, where I can't quite be certain that I'm not the *sshole, even though I've tried to do my best at every single step. If only I could have that certainty, I would feel better.... 

It would be great if these things could just button themselves up, but unfortunately, they take time to smooth out. But they will smooth out, so just hold tight.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

41 minutes ago, Tinydance said:

Thank you so much for saying all that Lambert. It means a lot to know that someone is in the same situation as I am and going through the same things. I really appreciate you taking the time to say all that. Yes I do need to keep powering on and try to start a fresh chapter for myself. My therapist was of exactly the same opinion as everyone here that I need to start pursuing my hobbies and interests and meeting people through that.

You're welcome.  

Speaking of warm bodies... an ex of mine liked me on a dating app. Before I gave it another thought I clicked block! 😅 

These times, I'm telling you aren't for the weak! Be good to you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Top Discussions this Week

  • Our picks

    • If Only A Narcissist Could Say THIS
      The more you are exposed to a narcissist, the more you struggle with the question: "Why can't this person appreciate the legitimacy of me succeeding?" Dr. Les Carter muses about a statement that you won't hear from a narcissist, but offers strong words of affirmation about how to thrive despite the narcissist's gaslighting.

       
      • 0 replies
    • Surviving & Maintaining The No Contact Rule
      Surviving and maintaining the no contact rule to take your power back so you can attract better and reach your full potential. In this video coaching newsletter I discuss an email success story from a viewer who went through a bad breakup about a year ago. He says that his ex broke his heart into pieces and my work helped him get through a very dark time. He says she is stalking his social media and calls from different numbers, but he has not given into weakness or the urges to let her back into his life. It’s an interesting account of a man’s journey to self-love, self-respect, healing and overcoming a toxic relationship that no longer serves him.

       
      • 0 replies
    • 5 spiritual habits that changed my life
      5 spiritual habits that changed my life
      • 0 replies
    • When a Man Ignores You - One Text Makes Him Regret It Immediately!
      In this video, I'm going to explain what to do when a man ignores you. I will also explain the reasons why men ignore the women they date and you will learn 2 powerful text messages that will turn things around and make him regret it and change his behavior. Are you Being ignored by someone you care about? IF so, you know it’s one of the most frustrating and difficult situations to deal with especially when you don’t know the reason. That’s why In this video, I’m going to share the reasons why the person you’re dating or interested in might be ignoring you. And I’m going to tell you exactly what to do about each of them.

       
      • 0 replies
    • Johnny Berba's best tips for mental health improvement: taking action reduces anxiety & depression
      In this video, Johnny Berba shares his best tips for conquering anxiety and depression. Maintaining good mental health is not as hard as some people think, it's really about taking small action steps.

       
      • 0 replies
×
×
  • Create New...