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Friends...... not the tv show

(42 Posts)
Mattsmum2 Mon 07-Jun-21 12:47:54

I find myself in my mid 50’s without any real close friends. No one I would call a best friend. I have a few people that I see occasionally, known through neighbours, ex-colleagues and such like. I never went to university and have moved away from my childhood area. I’m not bothered by this to be honest, when I try to instigate catch ups with people generally they don’t happen and I shrug my shoulders. I’m soon to be moving to a different area and I hope to join leisure clubs and maybe other things. Wondered if there was anyone else that had travelled through life without picking up a raft of close friendships and how they feel about it?

tanith Mon 07-Jun-21 13:04:40

I’ve recently lost two old friends and it hurts a lot that I can’t pick the phone up for a chat. I have a couple of cousins who keep in touch but too far away for a meet-up. Coffee meetups with a few Grasnetters haven’t done that for over a year hope we can resume soon.
So no I really don’t have any close friends and as I’m not a ‘ joiner’i think I’ll have to live with it.

Smiley4 Mon 07-Jun-21 14:03:33

It cAn be harder as you get older. I had some very good close friends but they have all moved away or passed away. I know lots of people so I keep myself busy, meet for coffees and stuff they are friends, but not what I’d class as close friends.

maryrose54 Mon 07-Jun-21 15:07:18

Mattsmum, I am in a similar situation to you. At school I had one good friend but we lost touch after secondary school. She lives in New Zealand now and we recently found each other again which is lovely. Apart from that I have 3 friends that I used to work with, but not so close that we chat often or share confidences with. Maybe it's me not knowing how to reach out and make friends with people that I meet, possibly due lack of confidence.

greenlady102 Mon 07-Jun-21 15:17:08

Yes and I have to say it doesn't bother me. My husband died 10 years ago and, as happens, a lot of our friends were his friends and drifted off. I am still in contact with one friend from college 50 years ago but we don't see each other. I have got one really good friend who lives nearby. She isn't a dog person and I can't leave my old dog alone so we only get to meet up when my sis visits who can dogsit. I have never been a person who needs loads of friends, I get on well with my neighbours and the people I meet but I have been a loner all my life. Some of us just are happy like that. The upside is that the lockdowns have been a total breeze!

geekesse Mon 07-Jun-21 15:24:45

I’m a natural loner. I have one or two good friends and a circle of acquaintances through work, but I’ll no doubt lose touch with them when I move on, as I have in the past. I’m quite happy like this - I find other people’s baggage exhausting. I can be a good friend in a crisis, but that doesn’t mean I want a friendship to last. I can’t understand people’s wish to have BFFs.

Oopsadaisy1 Mon 07-Jun-21 15:27:51

I’m the same, I’ve recently been in touch ( she found me on FB) with an old school friend, but we don’t live in the same county so I doubt that we will ever meet up again, I have FB ‘friends’ mostly old school mates and we chat on line, but again I don’t live near to them either.
An old neighbour moved to the next village and wants me to visit, but she is in her late 80s and I suspect wants to keep in touch because her ACs live in different parts of the country and she wants me to run her around to hospital visits etc.
However, I have DH and DD2 lives close by, the GCs and DD1 have just returned to the West Country and I am happy with the way things have turned out, I can happily amuse myself and accept that I am happy with my family and I don’t need friends. Whether that will ever change I don’t know.
I always seem to back off if people try to get too close, so I think it’s me and not them!

Kate1949 Mon 07-Jun-21 15:35:23

I've never felt the need for friends, maybe because I have sisters and we're very close. I have a few ex colleagues who I meet up with occasionally but it's always at their instigation. I don't know why they bother with me! I have one friend who I have known for over 50 years but we rarely meet as she lives at the other end of the UK to me.

Kim19 Mon 07-Jun-21 15:38:06

Find my friend a considerable raison d'etre. I note you are only mid 50s and therefore have plenty of time to cultivate new relationships if you want to. However, it does seem that you're happy with your lot whereas close relationships are important to me. You may have noticed I singled out only one. The high price one pays for longevity is losing friends to death which I've experienced recently. Unbelievably painful but I wouldn't have given up one minute of our relationships. I'm glad to note you use the word instigate. That's important and lots of people consider it courageous to do so. Well done you. Have you thought of trying new relationships when opportune rather than already tried ones? I wish you well and hope you find some people who blossom into friends in due course. Good luck 🌷

3dognight Mon 07-Jun-21 15:58:04

Having my family is friends enough for me to be honest. The thought of having to make arrangements to see friends regularly leaves me feeling drained. I’m sure most people aren’t like this, so I think I am a loner who is quite content with my lot!

Mattsmum2 Mon 07-Jun-21 16:03:19


I’m a natural loner. I have one or two good friends and a circle of acquaintances through work, but I’ll no doubt lose touch with them when I move on, as I have in the past. I’m quite happy like this - I find other people’s baggage exhausting. I can be a good friend in a crisis, but that doesn’t mean I want a friendship to last. I can’t understand people’s wish to have BFFs.

Thank you all for your messages. I think like you I am a natural loner and quite like my own company, it means I can be as lazy and spontaneous as I like. I will try to look for new avenues as I’m newly retired too. I also have first grandchild to look forward to later this year who I will be looking after once my daughter goes back to work, I’m sure there will be plenty of grannies to get to know then. Take care one and all.

Liz46 Mon 07-Jun-21 16:46:18

If anyone does want new friends, join a bowling club. My husband did. I have no wish to play bowls but have made friends with some of the other members.

welbeck Mon 07-Jun-21 18:46:33

there is a difference between friends and acquaintances.

3dognight Mon 07-Jun-21 19:03:51

Indeed there is welbeck.
I have a lot of acquaintances, people I can chat to for a few minutes, then move on. It’s not fair for me to be a close friend because I would struggle to commit the time to the friendship- plus I , and others say I am a good listener- and I can find people very draining I think because of this.
I am not really a chatty person, and struggle to share confidences.

aggie Mon 07-Jun-21 21:59:08

No friend here either, one from my student days rings once or twice a year and we have a lovely chat .
Another I went to art classes with and gave me a lift once a week hasn’t been in touch

Party4 Tue 08-Jun-21 05:02:46

Same here, tended to be busy over the years with family ties then commitments with care DGC .Never really interested in girlie nights out.Pre covid met up with ex work colleagues for coffee but little contact now, which was to be expected as being retired and they being some 20yrs younger nothing really in common.Moved house 10yrs ago and surrounding neighbours keep themselves to themselves the young ones have all on to acknowledge or pass time of day.Do feel I have missed opportunity to make good friends and DH now retired,has social issues and refuses to join clubs or mix.I try and keep busy but covid shielding made me realise how lonely I have become.

Framilode Tue 08-Jun-21 06:27:16

We have moved around all our lives, the last move three years ago in our early seventies. I make friends easilybut, like others on here, tend to let the relationship go when we move. I know I am not a good friend in that sense but I too find too much friendship draining. A quick chat, maybe a glass of wine is enough for me. I am at heart a loner.

grandMattie Tue 08-Jun-21 06:36:10

I’m much the same. I have never had close friends as a child due to the family feeling they were terribly grand and no one, or very few,people, were our social equal.
Find making friends difficult and I don’t have the emotional energy to keep up friendships, though I have tried very hard. Now, I really don’t care though worry about my dotage should I need lifts to appointments, etc.

NanKate Tue 08-Jun-21 07:14:27

When I retired I decided I needed to increase my circle of friends so I joined my local WI and slowly but surely I have built up some lovely friendships. If the WI isn’t for you the U3A is very popular. Voluntary work can increase the people you know and friendships can build from there.

Liz46 Tue 08-Jun-21 07:18:40

Seven of us, who used to work together many years ago, meet up for lunch every month or two and have a very good friendship.

We must get back into the habit which obviously stopped because of covid. Some of us did meet up in a garden last summer when it was allowed.

Zoom isn't quite the same.

Polarbear2 Tue 08-Jun-21 08:09:44

Here Miss 🙋‍♀️ That’s me. No siblings either which is a bleugh. Spend time with DD but don’t impose. I used to worry but lately I’m much happier in my skin. I have a couple of friends I see occasionally and a couple of acquaintances but that’s it. Joined WI over lockdown so maybe that’ll help once it gets going. Also joined a walking club but due to family commitments haven’t been yet! I always find family issues come up just as I start something.

FindingNemo15 Tue 08-Jun-21 08:22:00

Recently I had a friend locate me via Facebook. We exchanged a few emails and then she went on holiday. After a couple of months I emailed her to check she was OK as she had not replied to my last email. Eventually she replied and now it is about six weeks since I sent my last email to her.

What I cannot understand is why bother contacting me in the first place, suggesting meeting up after the pandemic and then not bothering.

On the other hand I have a friend who replies to my emails immediately and I have to wait a fair time as I have nothing new to say!

timetogo2016 Tue 08-Jun-21 08:50:00

I have two very close friends and weve been friends for over 35 years.
I have loads of acquaintances who i get on great with,but i don`t class them as friends.
My dil`s i class as friends but in a different manner.
I have only fallen out with 5 people in my lifetime which isn`t bad going really.
I think it`s good to have friends as sometimes you can discuss personal things with them knowing it would not go any further.

Mebster Mon 12-Jul-21 01:44:06

I was in your spot and started inviting other women to a weekly lunch gathering at a local cafe, sometimes after only meeting them once or twice. We now have nine or 10 per week and have started gathering occasionally for an evening at someone's home or a picnic. I feared rejection at first but have found many new friends.

nanna8 Mon 12-Jul-21 01:48:06

Join a Probus club. They have things going on several times a week, some with a lot of people, some with just a few.