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Only the Lonely. Inspired by Do People Enjoy Being Alone

(64 Posts)
Notinthemanual Wed 26-Aug-20 07:26:11

Thank you to grantothree for her post. This is a variation on that theme - inviting those who are lonely to join in.

Until a few years ago I enjoyed a broad social life and spending time with my Mum. Back then a site like this wouldn't have crossed my mind. I had all the company I needed. Now except for occasionally bumping into neighbours and brief exchanges with shop staff, this is the only interaction with people I have.

I am defensive about being lonely. I imagine people might be suspicious as to what is wrong with me that makes others steer clear: or that I might be clingy and encroach on the time they spend with existing friends and family. On the other hand, as ungrateful as it sounds, I would not want to be someone's good deed or project. If I am lucky enough to become part of a community again, I would want to be included because I was liked, not pitied.

The sequence of bereavements and breakdown of friendships that led to my loneliness also destroyed my confidence for a while. This year I intended to get out, join clubs: maybe, hopefully become friends with people over time. Well, we all know how that's worked out.

It took some courage to post this. I hope to hear from you.

Sparkling Wed 26-Aug-20 08:15:41

I am sorry you are alone, particularly at this difficult time with no access to the usual places we can mix. Gradually things are getting back to not allow, why don't you decide what sort if groups you want to belong. I have unfortunately seen the WI I belong to quite unwelcoming to visitors, it's been going so long people with friends either just don't notice newcomers or don't want things to alter, but if course Nobel of those are open At the moment anyway.I woukd follow an interest. You could read up on that now. If you are fairly fit why don't you try a walk each day and call in for a coffee at the same time, establish a routine. Could you volunteer a day a week or a fortnight in one of the charity shops that are open now. When we get older, even with families, situations and priorities change and most if us will be on our win up we live a long time. you are not alone in being lonely. I went out for a meal yesterday and two tables there had single diners, both had newspapers to read, but they were out and engaged with other diners and the staff and had dressed up to do spend a few hours out. Things will get better.

Sparkling Wed 26-Aug-20 08:18:13

Sorry for the typos I thought I had checked as I wrote, but some creep in, hope you got what I tried to say.

Notinthemanual Wed 26-Aug-20 08:44:26

Thank you Sparkling yes I got the gist

eazybee Wed 26-Aug-20 08:52:38

Have you considered doing online study?
A gentle way to re- enter society. Time-consuming but energising, it gives a focus to your day, occupies your mind and definitely leads to new horizons; you make contact with people online and in the future face to face contact will be restored. It also boosts your confidence.

FindingNemo15 Wed 26-Aug-20 08:55:21

Sparkling totally agree with your comment regarding WI.

Laughterlines Wed 26-Aug-20 08:58:02

I volunteer with Schoolreaders and in normal times I go into a school at my convenience and listen to children reading. It’s so lovely to spend time with children. Sometimes we don’t read and just talk as some children never get time on their own with adults and it’s good for their self esteem. I got to know another volunteer during our playtime breaks and now we have become friends sharing meals and trips out and exchanged text messages. Schoolreaders always needs volunteers. Enrol now online and when it’s possible you are up and ready.

Cabbie21 Wed 26-Aug-20 09:06:39

Notinthemanual, I sympathise. It is hard at the moment, but I am sure we all hope this is not forever. Although I do not live alone, all my outside contacts and activities have stopped, because of Covid, so the only means of contact is online and for the most part that is with people I have never met.

Judy54 Wed 26-Aug-20 14:46:12

Hello Notinthemanual it is great to hear that you are planning to get out and about and join some clubs. Think about what you would like to do and what you enjoy doing. Where do your interest lie? Perhaps a book club, an art class, keep fit, walking group, lunch club or church. Whatever you decide I wish you well for the future flowers

MissAdventure Wed 26-Aug-20 14:52:14

notingthemanual,

I think sometimes you need to "click" with someone as a friend.

I had a fair few, but our lives went in different directions, and I fell through the net, as it were.

The advice for "putting yourself out there" is true, of course, but it's also down to circumstances.

Naesodaft Wed 26-Aug-20 17:22:15

You have my sympathy Notinthemanual. I feel as though I could have written your post. A few years ago I would have never have believed that I would be in this position, now I am and like you 2020 was going to be the year when I going to get out there, join clubs and do things. That’s still the plan, it’s just been delayed and while COVID has meant not being able to meet people in person I have met people through online groups and now hoping to meet up with them in the real world.

sodapop Wed 26-Aug-20 17:50:25

Things happen and our lives change Notinthemanual we don't expect it and its hard to see things differently. You are taking charge if your life now, I hope you find some groups or activities you enjoy when we can get out and about. Several good ideas here, helping others as well is a good way of getting involved with the community.
It's hard taking those first steps but worth it, good luck.

Notinthemanual Thu 27-Aug-20 06:22:56

Thank you all for your suggestions and good wishes. I didn't make it clear that I haven't given up on the plans I had to go to clubs etc. once they reopen. In the meantime, I'm grateful I found this site.

Thank you especially to MissAdventure and Naesodaft. I had hoped to hear from Grans that are lonely too.

For me, loneliness isn't so much not having enough to do; it is about not having conversations. I miss listening to how people are getting along and someone else being interested in how I'm getting along. A dialogue. Most of all, I miss laughing with people.

It takes time for even casual friendships to develop and this is my first step. Would any other lonely soul like to be pen pals and see if we click? If you would, but don't want to post here, feel free to private message me.

Notinthemanual Thu 27-Aug-20 07:01:04

Um... Just re-read my last post. Does it sound a bit lofty, asking to be contacted and not sending a PM to the people who have said they are lonely? I'm happy to, I'm just not sure if that would be over-stepping.

GrannyMosh Thu 27-Aug-20 10:02:51

Notinthemanual, I am far from lonely, living as I do with my son, daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren. However, I firmly believe that one can never have too many friends, and tend to treat everyone I meet as friends until they prove themselves to be otherwise. I'm 66, love music of all types, but mainly rock and blues, reading (when I get the time) handicrafts and people! I can be a good listener, but can also talk the hind leg off a donkey when I'm in the mood. Can be a bit Marmite..love me or hate me! If the foregoing doesn't scare you half to death, please do feel free to give me a shout in pm. Might be a bit slow to answer over the next couple of days, as my eldest granddaughter is 5 tomorrow and I have a birthday party to organise and party bags to make. If you don't like the sound of me, I won't be a bit put out if you choose not to make contact. Either way, I wish you all that is good and fulfilling in life flowers

polnan Thu 27-Aug-20 10:23:23

Do people really enjoy being on their own? Or is that a defence?

Can you find this thread Notinthemanual? only the other day... several lovely ladies have contacted me via pm.

Jillybird Thu 27-Aug-20 10:24:31

None of what you have said sounds either lofty or pathetic, so let's get that out of the way! 😀 I've had a period of great loneliness so understand how you feel. Maybe just now is a 'get ready' time? Plan and book things. I can thoroughly recommend Just You holidays as soon as we come out of lockdown (they also do a few UK trips). I'm still in touch with people I went with in 2010.
I run a group of retirees (from my ex profession) so it's me who does the paperwork, but that means I get plenty of contact with others - is that a possibility? In normal times we have lunches and outings.
I go to a gym (toning tables!) and chat with people there. I had just been invited to join some for coffee (after almost a year - but people had finally decided I was all right!) when lockdown happened. I joined a journalling group and made friends there. I went to Adult Education upholstery classes - so a great opportunity to chat as you are not 100% concentrating - sometimes waiting for the tutor to show you the next move... just some ideas of situations I found helpful. Hope that's useful - we won't be locked in for ever!

therustyfairy Thu 27-Aug-20 10:34:05

I get what you say, especially about laughter,
it's difficult to achieve spontaneous humour.
Up for your suggestion, ham-strung at moment as unsure how to private message on the device I am using, would welcome throwing the coins of chance in the air with you, do contact and I will get back to you when I link up with my computer

Sheilasue Thu 27-Aug-20 10:52:05

Sorry to hear that you have been lonely, if friends have not been around or they have broken down then it’s must be difficult to come to terms with.
I joined a Monday get together club at our local community
Club which helped me to meet other ladies sadly that’s all closed down at the moment.
Glad to know you are going to get out and join clubs. Good luck 🌈💕

Seajaye Thu 27-Aug-20 10:52:32

I went through a very lonely time when I left my husband after a long marriage and an empty nest, which resulted in depression. Fortunately I was still working so the routine during the week kept me sane. The weekends on my own were difficult at first, I found it very difficult to even get out of bed, and when I did, I suffered anxiety and panic attacks intially, but am ok now. I then joined a weekly evening class and a weekend walking group, which gave me something to look forward to. Lockdown was difficult as I saw no one for months. However while in lockdown I started and completed the Couch to 5km course via the BBC phone app. Physical exercise is definitely beneficial and I shall resume the local parkrun when it restarts, although now I shall be able to run the whole distance instead of part walking!. Parkrun encourages both running and walking the course and they always need volunteers. Over 300 people used to attend my local run and it was nice to see some 'regulars' for a post run chat.
It is hard making new friends as you get older but not impossible, join up to some groups and I'm sure you will find people in similar situations as I did. Good luck.

Alioop Thu 27-Aug-20 11:06:42

I really know where you are coming from. I would love to go on city breaks, see the Northern Lights etc, but have no one to go with and I really don't fancy going on my own. My friends are married, have grandchildren now and I'm lucky to see them once a month and my sis is a home bird and isn't interested in travelling. I've looked online for local groups and there's nothing really, especially now, just loads of dating sites which I'm definitely not interested in lol

Moggycuddler Thu 27-Aug-20 11:13:54

Hi there. I would like very much to be "pen pals". I'm not really lonely as in living alone. I live with my husband and daughter, and we are a very close little family, but I don't actually have any friends outside of that. My best friend passed away and other ones I had years ago just sort of drifted away over time - possibly because I have had carer responsibilities for my husband, who has health issues, and so have not had much social life. I do love chatting online though! I'm 64, love movies, books, tv series, video games and music. And animals, specially cats (got 4!) Love to hear from you if you fancy a chat. smile

LuckyFour Thu 27-Aug-20 11:44:49

You can't do it at the moment but when things get back to normal I suggest you go to your nearest National Trust house/garden and volunteer. I've been doing it since I retired 10 years ago and it's a wonderful way to meet people and make friends if you do a regular one or more days a week. There are also regular social events. I recommend it highly.

Toffeesmum Thu 27-Aug-20 12:07:50

I totally identify with what you say. I was asked by Age Uk if I would like to be be-friended! A lady makes a call to me every week now but it’s a totally boring conversation - just telling me about her aches and pains for 20 minutes. Good of her to give up her time, but we just don’t click!

Clazi Thu 27-Aug-20 12:43:13

It's very hard to admit you are lonely.We moved to the 'Country' & I live half way up a mountain with DH.He has just retired but l long for some Femail type chats.He is getting Grumpier as he gets older & is constantly on his laptop & Earpods, not even watching TV with me now.I have travelled the world & held some high profile jobs but now feel worthless.My friends live a long way away & my Daughter & grandsons are in SAfrica.Not seen them for 2 years.We hv been here 12 years but due to illness 5 yrs ago, hvn't been able to join Groups & my neighbours are much Older & we are still outsiders.I hv tried to reach out to some likely ladies but we just dont click.I would love some Penpals.