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#1 Underthemoon

Posted 21 May 2019 - 10:11 PM

Hey guys,

Lately I've been feeling really depressed about friendships. I used to have quite a few friends but that number has dwindled significantly. Mainly due to me moving overseas when I was 21, moving to different areas during and after high school, getting married and having a baby.
Now I get that it's normal to go through 'culls' as we move on in life or in different directions, but it just makes me sad and embarrassed that I don't have old true friends like everyone else seems to have.

After I got married, my good friend (who I met through an old job and was single) started becoming distant and I tried my hardest to always make time for her and to organise catch ups etc. Anyway she ditched me during one of my hardest times and so our
friendship became strained until it ended.
I had another good friend (single) who didn't come and visit me after I had my son. She only met him for the first time when he was 10 months and only spent literally 2mins with him and wouldn't stay . I was devastated. We haven't spoken or seen each other since.

I always wonder why this happens to me... I try so hard. It's like they can't handle that I've entered a different chapter so they just don't want to bother with me.

My husband has a large group of friends from high school who live a few hours away and they are all married but the wives are very clicky with each other and I always feel like an outsider. I mean sometimes I'm on my own and no-one would bat an eyelid. I try so hard with them but just don't feel good enough. I always dread catch ups with them and feel bad to my husband that I feel this way.
He has made comments to me in a joking way like 'what friends do you have?' or 'youve only got one friend haha' and it makes me feel worse and not good enough. He doesn't realise the pressure I feel.

I'm lucky that I have an amazing mother's group, we catch up every week. One day I was talking to another mum and we talked about parties etc. She made a comment that she wouldn't come to my party or anyone elses if none of the other mums went because what's the point when you don't know anyone... I totally understand where she's coming from but it was like a kick in the guts that these amazing people I consider friends wouldn't show up. I guess because most of them have other friend's, mother's group is just that- a mother's group. A separate entity.

And to make it even more embarrassing, we have no other couple friends close by... I feel like everyone has a couple or group they can hang out with or BBQs they all go to but we don't have any of that unless we are with his friends :(

I feel like there is something wrong with me :(

Has anyone lost friendships due to moving on in life? How are we supposed to make friends now?

Sorry for the long essay, just really needed to put it in writing how I'm feeling :(

#2 knottygirl

Posted 21 May 2019 - 10:20 PM

Everyone else may seem like they have loads of friends and doing stuff but they prob aren’t. I feel like all my friends have other friends too. Like we are side friends. But to be honest the drama that I see from close friendships it doesn’t seem worth it.

I had a best friend in high school. And since then nope. I guarantee that the people I would call my closest friends now would not count me the same. But that’s ok because I don’t want people living in my pocket constantly, I’m happy to see people every couple of weeks and not every day.

#3 Kallie88

Posted 21 May 2019 - 10:20 PM

Big hugs op. Motherhood is hard, isolating and lonely at the best of times. I have friends from school, but expectations have changed a lot. One friend I'm often lucky to see more than once a year, we message on Facebook to keep in touch but it's hard to get real depth that way, it's usually just touching base. My other friends have kids so we're all busy and while at least they get it, it does make it hard yo feel connected.

Anyway, my kids are little, we don't see anyone regularly, no-one in my social circle has regular bbq type things lol, I honestly kinda thought that only happened on TV haha. So I kinda take what I can get and I'm hoping things will get better when the kids are bigger and me and my friends with kids have more freedom.

Maybe if you have people in your mums group that you want to be more than mums group friends ask them out for coffee or dinner without the kids or something, make it a connection outside the group. I'm sure there will be some that will appreciate another 'proper' friend.

Eta: I suck at making new friends lol. If you're in se melb feel free to PM me though :)

Edited by Kallie88, 21 May 2019 - 10:22 PM.

#4 ERipley

Posted 21 May 2019 - 10:50 PM

Have you thought about trying one of those female friendship apps? I’m going to be doing that in a few years. Then you’re guaranteed to meet people who actually want friends and are open to friendship.

Being a new mum is so complicated because so many of us are moving into a totally new lifestyle. I was the first of my friends to have a baby and actually only one of my old set have since had a baby. The rest either don’t want children or can’t have them. Those people are still going out, travelling, eating lovely places and shopping, sleeping in, all those things I can’t do and can only relate to as a memory. I’ve grown apart from all of them except two. One moved overseas and the other I don’t have much time to see.

Meanwhile so many mums at playgrounds, playgroups etc have big family units with brothers and sisters with kids the same age, then their whole set of school friends who had kids at the same time. I’m not from here so even if I were in contact with old school friends it wouldn’t help socially. So the mums I meet are just passing the time for their kids to be socialised because they have those huge networks in place already. Mostly family though I think. Either way, they don’t want new friends.

I would love another close friend but to be honest I don’t have time. If I met a nice mum I wouldn’t pursue the friendship simply because I would never get time to grow it. I hope she wouldn’t feel rejected. Are you planning more kids? If so you might find you’re too busy soon to even think about friendships. Otherwise maybe the friendship app will be a winner.

#5 Sancti-claws

Posted 21 May 2019 - 11:13 PM

Oh I hear where you are coming from - and when you are a bit down it is overwhelming.

No advice to give - keep offering the opportunities, make playdates - I have found tribes through my life at different times, but when my eldest was pre-school was really the loneliest time for me.

#6 Goldenash

Posted 22 May 2019 - 12:14 AM

Hi op

I agree it sometimes frels like everyonr ekse has large friendship groups - but the reality is tbhey dont. Some people do. A lot dont and it becomes.muvh harder as we get older to get strong connections.

You do nhave to make a real effort and try not to take things like the comment your friend said to heart. Often you need to think about why that person has that approachm perhaps it is because they have anxiety and dont cope not knowing people.

Sometimes other things like playgroups or swimming can help.make new connections can really help.

And i would def talk to your husband and tell him how it makes you feel if he makes those comments.


#7 Catzilla

Posted 22 May 2019 - 05:16 AM

I've never lost a friendship, because I've never had one.  Not a single one in my 40+ year existence.  I have quite a few acquaintances, but no-one in my life has ever wanted to take the next step and call me a "friend".  The fact I have an Autism Spectrum Disorder, and therefore struggle with communicating with and relating to other people might have something to do with it.  Maybe I'm just too weird for most people to handle.  :p

#8 BornToLove

Posted 22 May 2019 - 05:43 AM

I totally understand OP. We moved to Melbourne (from overseas) about 8 years ago and I still don’t have any local friends. Not for lack of trying - I’ve joined groups (mums groups, book clubs, gym etc) and made a lot of effort to at least try connecting with people but it’s clear no one is interested in making friends. It’s depressing and I’ve given up at this point as all it does it make me feel even more lonely ☹️

#9 Sancti-claws

Posted 22 May 2019 - 06:00 AM

BTL - I lived a year in Melbourne and found that, while everyone was friendly yes, it was an impenetrable fortress.

Often the friends that you make when you move to somewhere is other ex-pats - it always seems that the locals already have their crowd, doesn't it?

I lived 7 years in Sydney and the friends I eventually made - not 1 from Sydney.

Brisbane I made friends when I was at Uni - and when I returned years later, my main friends were those Uni friends and their friends.

#10 BornToLove

Posted 22 May 2019 - 11:02 AM

Yes, I do connect better with other expats, even other aussies from outside Melbourne. But it’s still a challenge.

After so long of failing to make acquaintances, let alone basic friendships, I no longer do things with the goal (directly or indirectly) of making friends.

To be honest it’s quite sad and takes a lot of joy out of doing things. I go, do the bare minimum, and go directly home. A miss out on those informal chats that would otherwise give me more insights and opportunities to explore these interests more.

#11 Natasha123

Posted 22 May 2019 - 11:17 AM

Sorry that you are going through this OP. I have lost a number of friendships over the years, and though I have friends now, I have gone through phases of not having any. It is hard and so isolating.

My DH’s friendships dissolved a few years ago, so my situation is a bit reversed to yours. It was actually heartbreaking for me to see how they treated him, though there were some earlier signs that they could sort of take it or leave it. But he says he feels liberated now, pursues his own interests and hobbies freely.

I remember hearing somewhere that the social groups like the mother’s group that you belong to are actually as valuable as friendships, in a different way. Sometimes when you are looking for support from a friend, they are going through something of their own, and can’t help you, and you aren’t in a position to help them. So a social group or contextual friendship can temporarily fill a gap.

As a single child, I have always tried hard to reach out to other people, sometimes they turn out to be kindred spirits, other times I have misunderstood that the friendship was not as important to them as it was to me. I think it helps me to remember that not every friendship is meant to last forever, some are just there to learn from.

Also I have found that some of my friendships with people much older to myself have been more long lasting. Their kids are grown up, they have the time to catch up, they don’t mind whether you are single, married or whatever, and if you have a baby they understand and want to help out. Also they don’t mind if there is a long gap between catch ups.

Hang in there, wish you all the best.

#12 Veritas Vinum Arte

Posted 22 May 2019 - 11:19 AM

I am an interloper in Melbourne too (from Sydney 19 years ago). I will say I have made most of my acquaintances via school drop off and pick up. Actually most often the parents I speak to don’t have kids in my kids grades and/or our kids are not friends. So there is no playdates to further friendships but we do do occasional coffees without kids.

So no I don’t have anyone (other than DH) to go and see and movie or play with. Last year when there were movies I wanted to see that DH would not attend, I just took myself to a 10am weekday session while kids were at school.

Mother’s group was an absolute disaster. Local people who were cliques and already knew eachother and ended up worse than highschool.

To make matters worse I am a supreme introvert and do not like large groups. One on one I am chatty, but big groups or functions kill me.

Most of the people I have reached out to are non locals.

My SIL who koved to Sydney from Europe reported the same thing.... all her connections are non local. It is like locals with friends and family support don’t need anyone new.

So OP my advice is to take the time to notice the quiet ones on the sidelines... they are probably more likely to want a connection.

#13 ERipley

Posted 22 May 2019 - 01:21 PM

I have to say, I moved to Melbourne from Brisbane and found people here really warm and welcoming. His was never the case in Brisbane for me (I lived elsewhere before that). I think a lot of it is stage of life.

#14 4kids mostlysane

Posted 22 May 2019 - 01:54 PM

I moved to Canberra from Sydney via uni in Armidale so when I moved to Canberra (many years ago now) to become a public servant, I knew exactly 2 people plus my landlady.  This was back in the day before the internet and facebook so I was quite lonely.

When we first got the internet hooked up at home ("get off the phone, I'm going on the net) I found a bunch of women from all across the country who liked the same book and we used to chat to each other on mIRC (anyone remember that?) every Monday.

Apart from my flatmates and my boyfriend/fiancé/husband I had no actual female friends in town.

When I had my first baby and joined a mother's group, it was a friendly bunch but I never felt like a really clicked with any of them and then I moved north of the lake, had no car and it was all too hard.  I went to a local playgroup and god it was awful - I only lasted a few weeks - I was clearly the interloper.

I didn't really find any "real" friends until my oldest started preschool, and one of my book club friends (from above, who had moved to Canberra, and had a son the same age as mine) dragged me along to the P&C.  I joined the committee and the five of us still go out to dinner every few months some 15 years later.  The book club mum - she's still my bestie to this day and I am blessed to have her.

I think making those friends gave me the confidence to try it again with other preschool mums, when I was there with DD1.  I have a few "core friends" from each of my kid's school year.

And actually I feel the most comfortable with my fellow Joey scout leaders these days - we're mostly the same age, we all have kids and we all parent roughly the same way.

#15 Underthemoon

Posted 22 May 2019 - 10:11 PM

Thanks for all your replies, sad to think there are quite a few of us that feel this way but I appreciate all the advice :)

For the ladies from overseas: I totally get how you feel, that was me when I lived overseas, extremely hard to befriend the locals and very isolating. Sorry that you have experienced that here.

#16 Hands Up

Posted 23 May 2019 - 01:31 PM

In terms of the response about not coming to your party as they won’t know anyone.... that would be me. It’s a nightmare for me going to a party not knowing other people going and I make my excuses and don’t go. Sounds like they could have worded it differently.

#17 opethmum

Posted 23 May 2019 - 02:22 PM

Sorry but your husband telling you that you have no friends is not fair or kind, he has home court advantage and treating you that way is not kind or nice, so I would be calling out his insensitive behaviour, not on in my books. Even if its a joke, it is not needed either.

I am sorry you are getting no joy in your mother's group in finding people to connect with at a deeper level. Perhaps find the closest mum in the group and share how you're feeling and see what the response is, perhaps she maybe sympathetic and be more empathic and maybe something can be done.

How about hosting your mother's group for an morning/afternoon tea at your place or organise an outing to a play centre and just do as many outside things with them?

Also reach out more in your community, find more groups to go to and see if there are any interest groups that are on, perhaps see if there is a group that is a crafting/sporting etc and if you gel with someone invite them out to coffee and if they have children a play date outside the group.

It takes a lot of effort I know. If you're religious and have not been to a religious service in quite sometime then go and join them and they are bound to have a lot of events on for their communities that you and your children can get involved in.

Join local fb groups if you're on fb and see what is on in your local women's centre.

Good luck it is going to take some efforts and I know how hard it is and I will be doing it again soon as my family is moving soon to a new area.

#18 Jane Jetson

Posted 23 May 2019 - 02:49 PM

View PostHands Up, on 23 May 2019 - 01:31 PM, said:

In terms of the response about not coming to your party as they won’t know anyone.... that would be me. It’s a nightmare for me going to a party not knowing other people going and I make my excuses and don’t go. Sounds like they could have worded it differently.

Yeah, I just wanted to say that if your mothers' group people and other/former friends are really introverted, there's a large possibility that it's not you at all, it's them.

I still have friends, but there's a very good chance that they think of me as a legacy/former friend/acquaintance/the other half of their DH's friend, because I am very happy to see friends every couple of years and like stuff they post on Facebook (even FB gets too much for me) and that's it. It all adds up. Full-time work exhausts me, having my kids around exhausts me, being nice and making small talk with the school mums exhausts me, handling playdates with the kids' friends exhausts me, having to see the MIL every couple of weeks and talk to my dad once a week on the phone exhausts me.

All that just adds up to so very much human contact which wears me out - even if I like/love the people involved - and the thought of seeing friends as well every couple of weeks is just... I can't. I need to hole up and be introverted alone.

So there's every chance some of your former friends, and possibly that friend from mothers' group, thinks of you very fondly and values you as a friend, but they just don't have the emotional energy.

I know that doesn't help in practical terms if you're one of those people who really need human contact, but it would definitely mean there's nothing wrong with you.

(Your DH though. What a thing to say!)

#19 Wahwah

Posted 23 May 2019 - 05:55 PM

You're not alone in feeling the way you do OP. It's particularly challenging when your kids are small and all of the spontaneous social interactions go out the window. I really missed going out on Friday nights after work and kind of resented the fact that DH had a bigger world than me when mine were babies.

I found it really changed once the kids went to school because I was fortunate enough to meet some fabulous people, and their kids really hit it off with mine. I'd count them as good friends now, irrespective of where our kids' friendships end up.

They've become our bbq / hanging out friends now, and while I still miss my old friends from school and work, things have changed in our lives and we're all more embedded in our local communities.

It might be tough right now, but I hope things evolve for you too. Just be open to opportunities because sometimes they're really unexpected. Keeping reaching out, even if tentatively and someone will reach back.

#20 annodam

Posted 23 May 2019 - 06:53 PM

I found some of my closest friends were when my kids started playing sports.
I was never in a Mothers Group nor did I click with the mothers at school (eldest is in Yr 12 now).  However, sports is another matter.  I joined the Committee & became a volunteer there, so get to speak to lots of parents with kids the same interests as mine.
Especially when the kids are off on Tournaments.
Over the years, you spend a lot of time on the sidelines trialling, training, watching games & just chatting to parents, so you get to know them quite well.
My other close friend is my neighbour & another is married to my cousin.
4-5 close friends is enough for me.

#21 Underthemoon

Posted 23 May 2019 - 10:19 PM

Thanks guys you make me feel so much better :)

We all take turns in hosting a mother's group catch up plus we change it up and go for coffees and the play centre. My hubby has also suggested meeting up with just one or two rather than the group but it's sort of an awkward situation since we only catch up as one big group. I feel like there might be jealousy or someone taking offence if they weren't included. Silly I know :( people have told me that you eventually pair off with mums you are close to but no signs of that happening anytime soon. Not that I'm complaining because they are all really wonderful and supportive. But it would be nice to form that connection with the ones I really get on with rather than a group setting all the time.

But thanks for the suggestions, I will look up some playgroups.

#22 Jenflea

Posted 23 May 2019 - 10:41 PM

I only made real friends once DD started school and I bonded with a few other mums.

I also have social anxiety and avoid some get togethers with them!

Try to stop overthinking things, invite one or 2 mums out and see how it goes. There's no law that says you MUST only gather in one big group.

#23 Ellie bean

Posted 23 May 2019 - 10:56 PM

I also think your husband is being unfair, I once asked my husband when he said something similar how many new friends he had made since I moved to his home town, the answer was none! He didn’t ever say something similar again
I’m very lucky to speak to my best friend interstate for an hour or so everyday, I’m a bit of an introvert so between that, work colleagues, husband, kids, husbands friends wives sone of whom I’ve become friendly with, and a chat with school mums every now and then, I really don’t need anything else, but I just wanted to say I also found it hard when I was home with babies, my babies were too sick for me to make it to mother’s group at all, honestly I didn’t make a single mum friend despite trying to. I can see now it really was nothing to do with me, everyone else had their mother’s groups, sisters, old school friends, etc. Hang in there, you aren’t alone and it’s not you.

#24 Underthemoon

Posted 23 May 2019 - 10:57 PM

Yeah you're right, I do overthink a lot and probably a bit sensitive too. Something I definitely need to overcome, just don't want to go through the rejection I guess.

#25 raechel82

Posted 24 May 2019 - 07:30 AM

I wouldn’t go to a party where I knew no one. So much anxiety and dread in that scenario especially for an introvert.
I would try meetup groups. I have met some really great people through this. There is often a book club or female group, mother’s group on offer.  Everyone is there to meet people.

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