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How do you stop being lonely?

(104 Posts)
lemonade Thu 13-Sep-18 11:26:22

Hello, I'm fairly new to this site so please go gentle. I've been divorced for over 15 years and although I see my daughter and my grandson once or twice a week, and meet up regularly with a few friends, I still am sometimes overwhelmed with loneliness. There are times I'm very content on my own but there are also days where I struggle not being able to share the minutiae of my day with someone. You try and be upbeat with friends and my family are just too busy for everyday stuff. What would you suggest?

Pythagorus Thu 29-Nov-18 07:58:31

Reading through the posts, Made me question how I deal with the things others who live alone have mentioned.
Firstly, having someone to talk to at the end of the day. I have a neighbour who lives alone and two or three times a week we join each other at 6pm at his house or mine for. G and t. We chat for an hour and he goes home. Occasionally we have dinner together. He is a diy expert which is always useful. On other nights I téléphone one of my good friends or they call me and chat on the phone for an hour. I also play Words with Friends online in the evening with another friend. These tactics are almost as good as having someone in the house with you. I also invite someone to my house for a simple lunch at least once a week. I think in order to have a friend, you first have to be a friend. It’s about making the first move. Then it goes from there. Of course we don’t click with every person .... but if you throw enough mud at the wall, some will stick! So my advice is be proactive if you want comapny and friends. Go for what you want.

Tansy Thu 29-Nov-18 00:31:02

Smiley4 - would it be worth asking, say, the leader at one of your groups if they had any insight? Pretty hard to do, I grant you.

Menopaws Mon 26-Nov-18 17:44:03

Welcome Lemonade, I hope you have seen the company of gransnet, it really helps.

Smiley4 Mon 26-Nov-18 16:45:02

I know a number of people. But converting them into friends seems so hard for me. I’ve joined groups, got a dog, volunteered. But made not one friend in five years. I’m not sure why. I’m chatty and friendly, got a sense of humour.
I sometimes wish I could be someone else and see me how others see me. Then I might understand. ☹️

sodapop Mon 26-Nov-18 12:44:17

Hi Lemonade welcome to GN. Lots of good ideas already on here. Pythagorus seems to have it about right. Don't rush into doing too much voluntary work at once,start small and work up. Choose a job in which you have an interest already. The same applies to pets, don't rush into things, try pet sitting first or dog walking for a disabled or older person.
Good luck.

Pythagorus Mon 26-Nov-18 08:43:19

Having come from a large family where I was never alone, and then the mother of a family, it hit me hard when the children left followed swiftly by my husband! Lol! It took me a long time to learn to love my own company, but now I do. It takes practice. I have a number of good friends. I keep in touch regularly by phone and ring someone every night to share the days events. Most of them are alone too.
I have a dog, and walk him twice a day and have met many people through that. I play scrabble online with a few friends every evening in the winter. Living alone I have plenty to do in the house and garden. I attend classes at my local gym. I am a member of a few clubs that meet in the evening ...... and so on and so on. You need a lot of pans on the boil! But having your own space and time can be a real luxury. Lots of busy people would kill to have it! Lol!

Anniebach Sat 10-Nov-18 08:24:15

Being alone is a choice

Lonliness is is not a choice

BlueBelle Sat 10-Nov-18 08:13:04

I think loneliness and alone ness are two different things Most of the time my alone ness is perfectly acceptable and managed with friends, hobbies, family My loneliness comes from the inability to share things, or an arm around you, a cuddle, tears on a shoulder, someone on tap to laugh with or cry with to chew over things with ( I have always been the glue the shoulder that others cry on the mender) I envy (not at all in a jealous way but I can’t think of another word) someone who has that rock to lean on occasionally or the means to mop up their tears I have a wonderful daughter nearby who would do anything for me but I don’t want to put any more pressure on her than life has already chucked at her
So all you folks with good or nearly good partners just know how lucky you are and all those with awful partners get out of the relationship , being alone is definitely manageable and preferable to a bad partner

MawBroon Sat 10-Nov-18 07:51:06

Lonelinesscan be a mindset, can’t it?

You sound very “together” in fact Lemonade most of the time,but I wonder if you are suffering from some form of depression.
I don’t normally hold with rushing to ones GP at the slightest thing but I think you would find a sympathetic ear and a plan to help defeat this.
There are also strategies when you feel the “black dog” creeping up on you.
Bottom line is you are not alone in this, GN is great for online company and the “Black Dog” gang will understand .

MissAdventure Sat 10-Nov-18 00:07:08

I think loneliness is things like not having anyone to have a laugh with.
Its lovely to have someone just in the same room, sometimes, to enjoy something funny together on tv, or to be able to make someone laugh.
Not having someone to sit and talk about everything under the sun with.
Only sometimes, I suppose, but I'm more aware of missing out on these little things at this stage in my life.
It never used to bother me at all.

Happychops Fri 09-Nov-18 20:39:00

I looked at the meets in your area and your right.They are aimed at a different age group. I wouldn’t feel comfortable with that myself. I think volunteering
is the way forward.I would look for one where you meet lots of different people, and that opens up more opportunities to meet like minded people. Is there a community choir where you live? This also worked for me, you don’t have to be able to read music, just be open to enjoying singing, friends can be made this way,as we all helped each other and it was fun. Good luck

Delibes Fri 09-Nov-18 10:51:59

Lemonade hits the loneliness nail of the head when she describes not being able to share the minutiae of her day with someone. The advice to this question is almost always to go out and do things, to join in but that can compound the loneliness when you still come home to an empty house and have no one to talk to about what you have been doing.

Others suggest pets and no doubt it's a friendly welcome when you walk in the door but you can't have a meaningful conversation with a pet.

I find writing a journal helps. Advice given to me when I was widowed and something which I still do to a lesser degree many years later. Initially, I'd write down silly, simple things like "Went to the shop to buy milk." anything really just to prove I was still alive and connecting to the outside world. Then, after the sympathy and daily phone calls from friends faded away, when everyone else had gone back to their normal lives while mine had changed forever, my DH was no longer there to say good morning and goodnight, I stuck with the journal and continue to record my daily activities as my life took on its new shape.

I remember the first time I went to a concert alone, something he and I did a lot together, always discussing what we had seen and heard on the journey home. Now, I would write about it in my journal. Writing became my last activity of the day but also sometimes my first. Sometimes, it's good to freewrite just to get the day started. Thoughts about a dream, thoughts about how one feels, plans for the day. All the things one might say to someone if only they were there.

Some of the best diarists are or were lonely people using their quiet time to compose their thoughts and activities into beautiful prose. I suspect the popularity of blogging has a lot to do with loneliness and the desire to share.

Izabella Fri 09-Nov-18 09:51:53

I wondered if there was an element of clinical or reactive depression going on here Lemonade? Have you thought about this or sought advice?

I have had many traumas in my life but loneliness has never been one of them so I feel unable to offer much help really. I am often alone but that lends the opportunity to explore interests, books etc. Not everyone is interested or feels able to join groups, but I am sure the diversity of replies on this thread may provide you with food for thought. If nothing else, you have made the move of contacting others, some of whom feel the same as you.

I wish you well and hope your feelings of loneliness are lessened.

GrandmaMoira Fri 09-Nov-18 09:09:48

I see Meetup groups mentioned on here but the London ones seem to be very young. I would feel uncomfortable in a group where everyone else is 20s/30s.

Happychops Fri 09-Nov-18 01:17:55

Lemonade you don’t say if you are able to get out and about,but I used a site called meet You join the group in your local area.It is a good way of making friends. People from all walks of life meet up and go walking ,meet for coffee theatre, dancing etc. I tried it when moving to a new area and have met many lovely people and this generated new friendships ,once a member you get notifications on events in your area and you can attend as many or as few as you wish. You don’t need to commit to anything.The first time for me was a bit daunting, but the group were very welcoming,and I found that they are people like myself, who were lonely wanting to make new friends and do things with others. It worked for me . I would take a look at this site and give it a go. Good luck with whatever you decide to do .

bigcol1 Thu 08-Nov-18 11:15:03

I do a lot of volunteering. I find it v helpful and it gives me something to do and it helps others. Sometimes I am more out then in as I am always doing something. I belong to a couple of drama groups now and I volunteer as a box office assistant cum front of house and I am a meeter and greeter at Conway Hall in the city. I just love volunteering and I would recommend it to anyone xxxxx

Sheis1948 Wed 03-Oct-18 19:25:03

Welcome to Granset! smile You may want to get a new pet that can keep you busy. smile Listen to music and check out different social medias.

Jaye53 Wed 19-Sep-18 15:17:14

Women's friendship groups.

Jaye53 Wed 19-Sep-18 15:15:52

Volunteering and animal charities want volunteers too. Walking groups.women's groups in your area.also try the MEETUP.sites.Google it.lots of activities.I'm out 3 times a week with ladies on trips walks museums.cof fee join with a big smile and your life will begin.

annep Tue 18-Sep-18 22:39:04

Goodnight Lemonade. Hope you've had a pleasant evening. We watched two episodes of Upstart Crow. laugh out loud funny. ( a little vulgar sometimes but funny)

annep Tue 18-Sep-18 22:36:03

Anywhere but! Anniebach😊

Lorelei Tue 18-Sep-18 22:13:51

Hi lemonade and welcome to Gransnet - good to see so many warm, welcoming and constructive responses to your post already. I was going to suggest a pet as a good idea - if, for example, there is any reason it would be difficult to regularly walk a dog, then it might be worth considering a cat as they are more independent as well as loving. We'd both had dogs in the past, but then 2 cats adopted us and now we wouldn't consider a cat-free house! I hope that the feelings of loneliness will lessen and good luck if you do decide to do some voluntary work, or take up a new hobby. There's nearly always someone about on Gransnet to chat to, or that will have had similar feelings or experiences, can relate to your circumstances etc. flowers

Anniebach Tue 18-Sep-18 09:10:21

A village in Midsommer be nice 😀

loopyloo Tue 18-Sep-18 09:02:01

Of course. And you will be able to go along the road to the shops and the church. I think a large house in a village would be better than something more rural.

Anniebach Tue 18-Sep-18 08:55:53

Ooops, and Lottie and Rosie please .