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Nobody to do nothing with

(150 Posts)
MawBroonsback Sun 28-Apr-19 11:09:18

I thought of putting this in “Bereavement” but it applies equally to those who may be divorced, caring for partners with life limiting illnesses or dementia.
I have always reckoned myself good at going to things on my own, PawBroon (DH ) worked away from home Mon-Fri for several years but even before that he was often away on audit for the best part of a week.
But now that “on my own” has become my default position, it is more of an effort as I do not wish to appear needy to friends when I email round to see if anybody feels like going to a play or a film or even a coffee.
Can’t quite understand this. I now have the freedom to do more or less as I like, but there are still some occasions where I feel like the fifth wheel on a wagon. Or indeed sometimes find it hard to make the effort.
Anybody shared this feeling?
I am off to see “Red Joan” by myself this afternoon, on the basis that I need to push myself or I will vegetate in front of rubbish TV
It is proving harder than I thought though when I lost Paw 🤔

Grandma70s Sun 28-Apr-19 11:30:53

I found it a bit strange when I was first widowed, but I very quickly became used to it. I went to things because I wanted to see them, not as a social event, so it wasn’t much of a problem. I often went to theatre etc on my own before I was married, too. I know what you mean about making the effort, though. That can be difficult.

I can’t go to anything now, at least not without huge upheaval. I would say try to keep making the effort while you can, because one day you might not have the option.

Enjoy Red Joan!

sunseeker Sun 28-Apr-19 11:34:56

With you 100% Maw. I make arrangements to meet friends but there is no-one to, as you say, do nothing with. I also find now I am on my own the invitations from couples have dried up - my invitations are usually politely declined. It is hard not to give in to the temptation of sitting in front of the TV or reading a book alone - but I believe that way lies madness.

Enjoy the film and let us know what you think of it.

GrannyGravy13 Sun 28-Apr-19 11:53:45

Oh do let us know about the film as I want to see it.

crazyH Sun 28-Apr-19 11:58:34

I know a lot of ladies, who go out alone to the cinema, for a coffee etc. I still find it difficult, mainly because my ex and his new wife live in the same town and I'd hate to bump into them .......them, lovey dovey and me on my 'lonesome '...

annodomini Sun 28-Apr-19 12:15:33

I can remember only one instance of my going to the cinema alone - Goldfinger when I was 24! I am a member of a U3A cinema group but the others have all seen more films than I have. I should get used to the idea of going it alone. On Friday I went to see Green Book which was in a church hall, where a local book shop organises a showing on the last Friday of the month. I can always be sure of seeing people I know, but does this count as going on my own?

SynchroSwimmer Sun 28-Apr-19 12:18:09

With you too Maw.
Whilst I never feel I can contact my couples friends at weekends - I see it as “their family time”, and it would be too intrusive. I have though been more successful at doing mid-week things.

I feel happier since I unofficially reversed my weeks and weekends around: making the weekdays the fun going out time, then I’m quite happy to let the weekend be the time I catch up on jobs at home - and don’t feel I am missing out.

Midweek we set up a little unofficial book club, then a smaller handful of select friends seemed chuffed when we had a wine and chat evening, a chance for everyone to offload and chat/get advice, similarly a pudding night in the winter months, and cocktail night once as well.

Quite happy and actually prefer to always go to the cinema and shopping alone though!

MawBroonsback Sun 28-Apr-19 12:20:38

I think that is the ideal way Annodomini - independent but part of a community of friends.
I have more than once met people I know at the little Errol Flynn Filmhouse in Northampton where I am going this afternoon. It would be nice to do so again.

Anja Sun 28-Apr-19 12:34:14

Enjoy the film and good for you for making the decision to get up and out.

Nonnie Sun 28-Apr-19 12:37:24

I don't have the experience but would like to suggest that your friends won't think you needy if you have always done things on your own. I imagine they treat you differently because they want to show they understand but that doesn't mean they think you are needy.

What if you try something you have never tried before where no one knows you?

Sorry if I'm not much use, it hasn't happened to me.

Welshwife Sun 28-Apr-19 12:44:46

I have no idea where any of you live but google -meet up group- and the name of your town. Dd moved about four years ago to a town where she knew no one and there seemed nothing going on in the evenings. She set up a group which now has 500 members. All ages and some are singles and some couples. There are now some fairly regular places where people go on a particular day and know they are likely to meet people. She says she never goes out now without people speaking to her.

MawBroonsback Sun 28-Apr-19 16:58:20

Kind suggestion welshwife and thank you.
It’s not that I don’t know enough people, having lived here for 30 years and I belong to various things like The Arts Society (formerly NADFAS) and a Book Group and I go to two classes a week at an Educational Centre- akin to U3A .
Of course not all the people I know necessarily share my tastes in the way Paw did, it’s just the matter of getting used to a different way of life and accepting it without too many backward (nostalgic) glances.
PS Red Joan was very good, Judi Dench excellent, but Tom Hughes as her Russian/German /Communist lover at Cambridge just seemed to be reprising his Prince Albert(ITV’s Victoria) minus the side whiskers Same floppy hair, same accent etc etc etc. Great story and based on truth, Melita Norwood also known as “the spy who came in from the Co-op” grin

bikergran Sun 28-Apr-19 17:34:06

I'm off to Llandudno shortly on a day coach trip on my own.
First time I have ventured on a day trip.

I do have friends that I could have asked but your never sure if they say "yes ok" because they don't want to say "no thank you"

Beechnut Sun 28-Apr-19 19:27:01

I have been on a few coach day trips on my own. I’m really not ready to ask someone if they would like to come with me. The funny thing I find is that I can go into town on my own during the week but on a Saturday I feel like Billy no mates!

Day6 Sun 28-Apr-19 19:43:54

It's an interesting point Maw

I am perhaps not qualified to answer, because I have a lovely partner. Right now, he is in the garden. I have been reading, or on my laptop for most of the day, with a short burst of cooking. We ate together today, but that was about it as far as interaction goes. he watched the cricket on TV this afternoon, then was in his study. I like my own company and a bit of solitude. I tell myself I am OK alone. The difference is, I know he is there. We have made each other tea throughout the day.

If I had been in the house with only the radio, cat or TV for company then I'd have been aware of my aloneness more, I imagine. I wonder if venturing out would become urgent. Right now it's ok being alone.

I imagine a life without a cherished partner would be very difficult to come to terms with. I ought to make myself do more now, maybe, because feeling I am OK without companionship now won't be the same if I lose a much loved partner.

My sister and brother have both lost their partners and live alone. I know my sister is always out and has joined many groups, but my brother has taken to his shed and his woodworking. He likes his books, papers and TV and a pint or two if he ventures to the village pub. I believe them to be ok, and adjusting, and I hope they are, but I am not sure now. Interesting thoughts Maw. Made me think. I am glad you enjoyed the film.

Urmstongran Sun 28-Apr-19 20:01:24

A thought provoking post Maw

A friend of mine aged 70y is on her own and she like you said (a) weekends especially Sundays are the hardest and (b) she misses the spontaneity of doing anything as without her husband she has to pre-arrange all social events and really misses that spur of the moment ‘shall we ....’

Good on you for all your activities and gung ho attitude. It really can’t be easy at times, even with a loving family in the background. I’m sure you must have a Paw shaped hole in your life and for that I do commiserate. x

MawBroonsback Sun 28-Apr-19 21:20:56

Thank you both Urmstongran and Day 6 for so absolutely “getting” what I have been feeling. It’s not easy to put into words, and loneliness or missing someone are a very inadequate way of expressing how I feel.
I have to accept that life cannot go back to how it was, I must learn not only to survive the changes in my life, but to embrace them positively and make the best of them.
It could be much worse smile

Menopaws Sun 28-Apr-19 21:34:06

You are doing brilliantly Maw flowers

BlueSapphire Sun 28-Apr-19 23:13:21

I have just been on my first holiday on my own since DH died last year and had a great time. Met loads of people, everyone was really friendly and am so glad I made the effort. Not saying it was easy at first, because I kept trying to turn to DH to share the experience and he wasn't there. I never wanted for company in the evening. But in the end I went back to my cabin on my own. But I am not letting that stop me, and am off on my next adventure in June.

And Maw you know where I am if you fancy an afternoon at the Errol Flynn.

But I have spent yesterday and today on my own, it has been a long weekend. DH and I would have gone out for a drink at lunchtime and spent an afternoon together watching the rugby on tv. It is difficult but I am trying not to let it get me down.

Tomorrow is another day, and it is yoga, followed by coffee and chat. And then a couple of walking groups this week. And perhaps a trip to Milton Keynes.

I owe it to Mike to keep going and make the best of things.

BradfordLass72 Mon 29-Apr-19 04:18:30

Because I can't drive nor use public transport (eyesight sad) I can't go out to anything other than my elders groups, when/if they come get me.

Much as I enjoy that and the people and am very grateful indeed for the lift there, it would be so nice to go to the beach (12km away) to a park with a picnic, to the museum, art gallery, to classes to learn something, for a nice meal or just coffee, or to any of the many wonderful festivals and plays held here.

But I can't. I am housebound for days at a time and, during the holidays when the groups have a break, for weeks.

So Maw dear, do it now, whilst you can.

tanith Mon 29-Apr-19 06:46:47

I’ve already posted about this somewhere else, I feel the same about having no one to do nothing with or have a spontaneous trip out somewhere since DH died last year. I can’t see me holidaying alone I have some booked with family which is lovely but I’m not sure I’d be happy spending time with strangers as I’m not good at mixing.
I miss trips to the coast which I could do on my own but don’t maybe it will get easier in time.

downtoearth Mon 29-Apr-19 07:09:04

I understand Maw flowers.
My partner had an affair and moved out 5 months ago,I dont have a close family,having lost both my daughters,my son is bonded to his partners family,E my 20year old GD lives with me,but at 20 does her own thing ...as it should be.
I have joined clubs and groups through necessity,as people dont come a knocking,but it is tiring to keep asking do you want/ fancy and wonder if I am pushing people to do things they dont want to,as it seems to be me iniating things all the time.
Weekends are not easy,and circumstances over the years have meant that my finances are dire which is prohibitive to doing many things,and the area I live in has little to offer without transport in terms of entertainment.

BlueSapphire Mon 29-Apr-19 07:28:25

tanith I was the worst mixer in the world. I was always the introverted one who sat in the corner quiet as a mouse waiting to be noticed and for someone to talk to me. And when DH was alive we felt we had no need of any other company and sort of kept ourselves to ourselves.

Since DH died last year I have made myself go out on my own, join different activities and actually - shock horror! - talk to people. And if I don't book a holiday on my own then I wouldn't get one as it is highly unlikely that family would ask me, and anyway I wouldn't really want to go and be the spare part. They need time to spend with their own families without worrying about poor old mum.

I had barely a minute on my own on my holiday (apart from in my room); there was always someone who invited me to join them in the bar or lounge, and on the excursions if someone was on their own on the coach I would ask to join them and vice versa. It was a good mixture of married couples and singles and in fact it was a group of three couples that I spent most evenings with.

Yes I do miss someone to do nothing with and the spontaneous days out, especially as I no longer drive. I do miss the Sunday lunchtime visit to the country pub and a nice lunch out with DH, but I have to live with that. I make myself get out whenever I can, to the cinema, the shops, treat myself to lunch.

I am going on a cruise in June - on my own - but I know there will be company should I want it. I don't worry about having nobody to go with; in fact I would not want to. I don't want to share a room, if I want to upgrade on a flight or to a better cabin I can, and don't have to worry about whether my companion can afford it. If I want to treat myself I can. Sounds a bit selfish I know, but I know I can please myself without worrying about anyone else.

While I still have my health I aim to do as much as I can; there will be time enough in the (distant, I hope) future to vegetate in front of the tv. The world is out there.

Beechnut Mon 29-Apr-19 07:46:02

Thank you for your last post on this subject BlueSapphire. A few of the things you have said could almost be me and DH or now just me. I find I am unable to express how I feel sometimes and greatly appreciate the posts that tell it how it is. It makes me feel that I am not mad! Maw thank you to you also.

Grammaretto Mon 29-Apr-19 07:48:26

You are doing so well Maw
I would be hopeless on my own.

About 15 yrs ago we helped to start a community group in our town which now has a community garden, a shop, a small museum, a weekly cinema all run by volunteers.

It is hard work and often seems to lack the fun element. So many well meaning people. It's probably similar to a church group without the religion and we're all older now. It doesn't attract younger folk though it's nice for people moving to the area.