I have a great marriage and family but no friends

I have a great marriage and family but no friends

I have a great family but no friends post

I I’m a 31 year old in a de facto relationship with 2 children. My partner and I have a great relationship and we adore our children. On the surface, it looks like I have it made. But I have a horrible secret I’ve been hiding for ages. I have no friends. Zip. Nada. I have no girlfriends that I can call and meet up for a coffee and gossip.

I work full time and am the only mum among my female co-workers. I’m quite friendly with some of them but we don’t live near each other and have different interests. My life is basically work, kids, partner, sleep, and my weekends consist of cleaning and preparing for the week ahead. I have virtually no down time. I drop my kids off at before school care so I never come into contact with any other school parents.

I completed a part-time course in 2012 and I’ve not kept in contact with anyone from the course. I’ve lost contact with former colleagues, uni and high school friends, former neighbours and pretty much anyone else I’ve ever known. At work, I pretend like I have some semblance of a social life so I don’t come across as a complete weirdo. I’ve never really had a ‘best’ friend or even a really good friend, only acquaintances and it’s really getting me down. I feel so lonely and inadequate. As much as I love my partner and children, I really really need a girlfriend. Really bad. Where do I start?? Friendless

Hmmm. I’m not quite sure why you’ve let the gal pal thing slide quite so drastically – maybe you’ve been busy becoming a mum, maybe you’re shy or find small talk a drag or maybe you just find it easier to stay in your comfort zone with your family – but that all stops here, Friendless. Sure, it takes time to make and maintain friendships but you can’t NOT do it. I personally would be lost without my posse to call on. They soothe my soul, listen to me vent, pour vino down my neck, give me sane advice when I’m acting mental and, yes, make me laugh so hard I have wet my pants on occasion. I want that for you too. The pants-wetting included. And while you may be out of the habit of meeting people, you just have to rejig your priorities and put yourself out there. Here’s how:

Get onto social media. It’s downright brilliant for connecting with old pals, particularly Facebook. If you’re not on there, that’s a no-brainer, no pressure first step. Join and start hunting down those peeps from high school, uni, past jobs, other courses. It’s easier than starting from scratch as you’ve already got a history with these people. Reconnect, chat, tell them you fell off the face of the Earth for a while but now you’re back and believe-you-me, you’ll quickly start building those bonds back up.

Follow some blogs. What’s your passion? Cooking, gardening, parenting, home renovating, fashion, travel? There are literally millions of blogs out there and heaps of time-poor women dipping in for online chats and laughs. I’ve met some amazing people through blogs – and sometimes it carries over into a real life connection, too. Check out Blog Chicks for a comprehensive list of women bloggers to follow.

Join a friendship site. While dating sites do have the option to find ‘friends’ I reckon you’re better off checking out friendship connection sites like MeetUp where you can search for group activities in your area. Invite For A Bite is also great, designed for women who want to make female friends.

Organise stuff. Invite a neighbour you don’t know that well in for a coffee. Host a gathering or street party shindig (and you’ll start to be invited back). Attend some school events and chat to other parents. Suggest playdates for your kids and get to know some other mums that way. Contact your local council and ask about parenting groups or community groups to check out.

When you do meet someone you think might be a good friend, be a good friend yourself – that’s one of the best ways to build a strong foundation. That might mean phoning them regularly for a chat. Being a good listener. Making time to do stuff with them, even if you’re stressed or busy. But also giving the friendship room to breathe and going with the flow.

I hope that helps and good luck.

Love, reality chick


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Freelance journo, blogger, self-appointed advice-giver and co-author of Get Lucky. If you've got a dating or relationship issue, feel free to ask a question. (PS. You can also find me at The Mama Files and Letter To My Ex).

7 Comments

  1. Karen 8 months ago

    I just found this website but I would like to comment even though I’m late to the conversation. I too have no friends. Well, I have one friend. We rarely see each other and if we did I’m not sure we’d remain friends. We don’t have much in common except that we’ve known each other a long time. I have worked in a male dominated field for almost 20 years, I rarely meet other women through work. My children are all grown. When they did live at home I never met other parents because my life was just children, spouse, work. In addition, as a couple, my spouse and I don’t have any “couple” friends. He likes very few people and has never liked anyone that I like. I gave up a long time ago trying to change that. Social situations make him very nervous, his anxiety makes me nervous. I know that I am the only one who can change this, I just don’t know where to start.

  2. Kristin 10 months ago

    Oh wow, I could totally have written that letter except I have 3 kids and work from home. I have a couple girlfriends, but none who live within an hour’s drive of me, so though we talk occasionally through social media we only see eachother once every couple years. I have my sisters and sisters-in-law, and though we all get along … it’s just not ….
    It’s not enough. I’m so lonely some days I could cry. I haven’t had a real friend since freaking high school. I sometimes don’t leave my house in a week except for church and carpool. We’re new in the neighborhood and while manyof the women are friendly, they’re not really interested. I seven months I have only met one person on my entire street.
    My husband is wonderful, but imperfect, and I really just wish I had a woman who I could trust to keep confidences and who didn’t interact withmy husband (I once made the mistake of talking to my sister before I understood that doing so would forever cause animosity) – I don’t want neighborhood rumours, we’re having a hard enough time here as it is.

    Anyhow, I so often find myself at a loss withnothing to do withmy emotions and desire to just talk to someone level headed about whatever is on my mind & who won’t make my husband miserable for it should it regard him. Someone who I can laugh with and go get crepes or sushi at 1am with, or go see a chick flick in the theatre with, or chat endlessly with while our kids play at thepark. it is probably themost lonely thing I’ve ever dealt with, and it’s lasted myentire adultlife.

    I’ll have to try themeetup suggestion, or maybe a writer’s group. Wish me luck. 🙂

  3. Marie 1 year ago

    Don’t worry your not alone. It must just be a natural order of life where we all go into our own little worlds because I’m in the same boat! lol But yeah reading other blogs helps and you can build friendships like that! Check out my blog

  4. Lynne 4 years ago

    My suggestion is to make friends with some of the other parents at school. I know you say you never meet them, but there are many ways that you can. Try to juggle things so you can occasionally pick up the kids – like once a month – or simply email another mother who has a child in the same class as yours to organise a playdate on the weekend. Invite mother & child around for coffee and a short play. It’s good also for your kids to see you make friends – you need to be a good role model for them.

    Most schools have coffee mornings for the parents too, so try and go to them. I work full-time, but occasionally take half a day’s leave to make it to some of those, or the evening pizza dinners. There is usually a class parent who organises the social things. When my stepdaughter moved to a new school I emailed the class parent and introduced myself and said I didn’t know anyone and she was lovely and introduced me to everyone at the next coffee morning.

    I found it hard to go to the first couple of things, but it gets easier and easier every time I do as I get to know more people. Good luck!

    • Author

      Thanks for that Lynne – some great suggestions for the letter-writer and I definitely think getting in with the other parents and being open about the fact that you’re the new kid on the block is the way to go!

  5. Lisa Jene 4 years ago

    The woman has no down time. Is that because she wants none – so she doesn’t have to face perceived loneliness? If she’s fulfilled in other areas of her life, does she really need the female friend or does she just feel pressure from TV etc (like ‘Sex and the City’)? If she does want friends, in addition to your suggestions, I recommend volunteering at local community events. Parks, halls, schools, charities, op shops all need people, and have great people to socialise with.

    • Author

      Great advice Lisa, I didn’t think about volunteering. And you could be right re the downtime thing – all too easy to allow yourself ‘no time’ so you don’t have to face stuff that bothers you.

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