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  • Has anyone found that their friendships have gotten harder as a result of lockdown or any other life changes?

    Since leaving a job in a city where I had mainly socialised and then lockdown hitting, I am finding it harder to keep in contact with my friends. I now find it quite tiring having to make first contact a lot of the time. Not too sure if it’s worth pursuing or moving on. Has anyone had similar experiences?

    Posted by christine.twigg
    • Reply by hayhurstbolton

      It’s hard trying to think of what to say during lockdown so I seem to not say anything, asked my friends they think same, we just phone and say, still here, nothing to report. But it is up to one of us to do it. Can’t wait for face to face and coffee out

      • Reply by christine.twigg

        Yes, these are challenging times but because I don’t usually ring (just see them), I think it has made it a bit more difficult especially as some friends don’t use social media too much either. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • Reply by Lel

      I have realised during lockdown that I haven’t missed any of my friends… I have 2 closest friends Ive had for 50 years, and feel now we have nothing in common… One is Covid obsessed and has become a virtual recluse… She has also become a grandmother twice over.. And whilst Im happy for her, it just doesnt interest me….the other has never married and lives with her sister and dog…..I have a separate group whom we’ll call the party crowd, who are forever going out, drinking and socialising, and again, I’ve stopped drinking now the past year and have no interest in gadding around town….I just think we have moved on and I can’t think of anything worse than a meet up being shown endless pictures/stories of grandchildren/Covid anxiety/dogs, or conversely going out for a noisy lunch followed by drinks….. I embrace my introversion, and I hope this reply doesn’t sounds selfish… I prefer to call it honest realism……

      • Reply by min

        Wow, Lel, similar story here. Except that I have changed a lot, and don’t think that I fit the “clique” any more (if I ever really did!).I am embracing my reclusiveness – maybe somewhat introverted. And enjoying being un-needy.

      • Reply by christine.twigg

        I love your honest realism and couldn’t agree more! One of my biggest disappointments has been my oldest friend of 40+ years who I haven’t spoke to in Covid times despite me asking her outright if she wants to chat. I then feel awful as a lot of people are struggling but so am I sometimes. Also, I don’t drink and just found out that my ‘party crowd’ just had a lunch outside (albeit I was working) for the first time since Covid struck and I wasn’t invited. I try to not think about it but again, these are people I have known for decades! I don’t have kids either… Just not sure what to do so thanks for your thoughts.

        • Reply by Lel

          You’re welcome Christine… I do have kids, albeit grown up, but still at home…. I’ve never had the notion of being a Granny… I started having kids late (33),and now feel its time for me…. Everyone my age seems to be a Granny, and it just does nothing for me at this stage in my life…I truly feel I’ve changed since this Covid nonsense…and so have friends and some family members too…. But… I keep saying… “If you cant be your own best friend, there’s something wrong with you”…. I mean, if you constantly have to be surrounded by company/jolliness/parties/gatherings and dont want or need to find who YOU are as a person, and indulge in your own interests, I genuinely dont understand this….. Dont misunderstand me, I am a very chatty person, and have great times in work, have a sarcy, black sense of humour, I’m not all doom and gloom 😂…..I love being introverted now and don’t miss a soul!

        • Reply by christine.twigg

          Thanks again for your refreshing insights. Although I will never be a Granny, I can see your point of view and know friends who really don’t want to be! I really need to connect more with myself (self care as they call it) and stop thinking too much about others at the moment. I’m sure they’ll be fine…

        • Reply by Marica

          Lel, it was interesting, and comforting , to read that someone else woke up to some of the friendships and decided this is not for me. It is as if we have been woken up to how people are , or perhaps more how WE are . I dropped 2 so called friends under bad circumstances, (sadly the only way I could escape) at Xmas as they were so self absorbed and moaned constantly and then tried to be “toppers” And feel so much better & happier for their absence . I also realise that a lot of people I mixed with generally are just not on my level , that is not saying I am better then them by any means, but we just have so little in common. It’s as if I am an alien landed here (many would agree!! ;D ). So difficult as it is trying to meet new people, I am getting out on different things . I have a sense of humour which many do not seem to have in the people that I knew, so having a good laugh is important. But I agree, I like my own company too and it is preferable to being in company that feel wrong

        • Reply by Lel

          You are so right Marica…. Maybe our friends feel the same way about us, we have all inevitably changed as a result of the past years situation…. Ive hated every minute of this Covid nonsense, but, the only thing good to have come out of it, is that I enjoy my own company even more, and life is too short…. As long as I have my 3 kids, hubby and 2 cats, Im happy!!!

        • Reply by Marica

          That is a good attitude , Lel, and you sound very positive

    • Reply by andrea

      Yes I have found it difficult but not quite for the same reasons you mention. I am a full time carer for my husband. I have been shielding him since the start of the pandemic. I find friends and family have keot in touch by phone but I still feel very isolated. They all seem reluctant to meet up outside face to face. Maybe the problem is theirs and not mine! As soon as possible, I know I need to get out there and develop new interests and contacts . My husband is in hospital at the moment and I am trying to get support when he comes home so I have some time snd space to do this. I think that many people will need to face this and learn how to socialise again.

      • Reply by christine.twigg

        Hi Andrea, it must be difficult with your husband in hospital so glad you have some support. My husband has been diagnosed with a life threatening condition and I have had to deal with a lot of that on my own but luckily I have great colleagues in my new job who do listen when possible. No one has asked to meet outside either but think everyone is wary which I understand so I don’t want to meet either. I hope it all works out for you.

      • Reply by Marica

        Andrea, you have my sympathy as I had your situation for 10 years with my husband but no family to help. He died 20 mths ago. And I agree it is imperative to do something just for you as it got me through after his death as I had established contacts in a ladies group. Do try to do something for you socially even just once a week

    • Reply by .Issy.

      Hi Christine, yes its really hard when you are the one to make first contact everytime. Problem is with covid everyone is acting differently. Did you have to make first contact before lockdown etc? Maybe wait till things are more normal and see if anyone suggests a get together.
      In the long term I would let people go if they are not adding to your life but its difficult to figure that out atm when things are not back to normal. You need friendships that are two way streets.
      Hope you get from friendships what you deserve.

      • Reply by christine.twigg

        Hi Issy I think I didn’t have to make first contact as much as I do now and it does get quite tiring as I don’t have much family left either and most of them are the same! Yes, I am quite open-minded so am waiting to see how things go and if anyone suggest anything post lockdown. Like you say though it is a bit difficult to judge things at the minute and Covid impacted upon a life change I was going through anyway. I agree about two-way friendships though and would rather have two good ones than 20 bad ones! Hopefully, things will sort themselves out whichever way it goes as I am adamant to get the best out of life whilst I am here. Maybe I need a ‘Covid Clearout’!

        • Reply by .Issy.

          I think we all need clearouts occasionally, just like the clutter in our homes have to go, so too the clutter in our lives. Take care x

    • Reply by Dh

      I think it has almost become comfortable not making the effort snd then it feels like hard work meeting up. But then other times you realise how uplifting it is just to say hello to strangers and have some light hearted exchanges. It’s made me realise with some that I was making all the effort – so unless it’s a two way street with mutual value and respect – then it’s maybe time to move on. Take the time to develop individual pursuits – I’ve been painting by numbers, learning Piano, on-line yoga and I love it. I’ve rediscovered my quiet, calm, introverted side. But I still like the odd meet up at the pub – looking forward to better weather x

      • Reply by christine.twigg

        Thank you for your insight and yes, it was easier not to have to bother making an effort so much but now it’s like a waiting game to see who socialises first! I did enjoy the quiet though so think I am going to get more of that in my life going forward – thanks for the tips. I have been doing a proofreading course too to prepare for post lockdown life. I find it quite easy to chat with strangers/make friends so am even considering moving house too in the next couple of years as nothing much to stay for. Hope the weather gets better too x

    • Reply by jakb

      I see one bunch of grandchildren on a regular basis and have done all through the lockdowns etc.
      I have a son though a hundred miles away and my grandson there.
      I have always hated phone conversations.
      I’m very outgoing and can talk about a wide range of subjects face to face but not on the phone.
      I hate even more video chats on the phone I really struggle.
      Like I say face to face even with strangers I’m relaxed and will talk for hours I don’t know what my phone phobia is all about but it’s affecting my relationships big time now.
      Is England out of lockdown now?
      I’m in Wales.

      • Reply by christine.twigg

        Yes, phone conversations are a struggle for some especially if hard of hearing. I think most people prefer face to face too so hopefully it will improve as England is still in partial lockdown. Hopefully, things will improve soon for us all.

    • Reply by adeliza0165

      This lockdown has made me realise the friends that mean a lot to me and the ones that don’t.
      It’s also made me realise that all the little things we take for granted are all part of the big things in life that keep us going.
      I’ve always appreciated holidays and will do so even more now, realising that one day I may not or won’t be able to anymore.

      • Reply by christine.twigg

        Yes, I totally agree and I think the lesson a lot of people have been able to take out of this reflective period is a sense of gratitude and what matters most of their lives. That is certainly what I am trying to work through now although I haven’t got the answer yet but am determined to get it one day!

      • Reply by Marica

        With you on the friends thing , Adeliza, better to have far fewer real people than those who wind you up . I walked away from someone who I would have regarded as almost a best friend plus someone else I see regularly , as Lockdown opinions and the way they acted really showed their true colours and felt better for leaving them behind as it was draining.

    • Reply by SelsdonLion

      I think if you were in touch with workmates outside of work, it would certainly be worth the effort of following up on those contacts after you’ve left. It’s a lot easier if your workmates are local of course.

      • Reply by christine.twigg

        Thanks. I am still in touch with my old colleagues and still live near the city where I worked for decades. I was going to still meet up there on the odd days but then Covid came along. I now work in another city but don’t live near it and we’ve all been working from home but will see if we have to go back. If we do, I may have to move home but we’ll see. I will then not live near many of my friends although I used to meet many of them in the city anyway. I feel like I am stuck in the middle at the moment but will see how it goes.

        • Reply by SelsdonLion

          Hope things work out for you

    • Reply by andrea

      The actor Anthony Hopkins has written a brilliant piece about relationships. I found it on Facebook. It helped me. Perhaps you can find it, Christine. Well worth a read.

      • Reply by christine.twigg

        That sounds interesting Andrea. I am always fascinated by relationships so what would I look for as I only usually have contact with friends on Facebook. Would I just put his name in and see what pops up although I suspect a lot of people have that name?!

    • Reply by andrea

      I can post it on my Facebook page if you would like to have look andrea miles

      • Reply by christine.twigg

        Hi Andrea I found Anthony Hopkins’ post and have saved it. Thanks.

    • Reply by Shirlann

      No only got one friend but we’ve been meeting up most weekends for long doggie walks 😁

    • Reply by ChuChuRkt

      My closest mates of 30+ years have mostly stayed in touch. And we’re currently planning out first day together on the 22nd, taking advantage of the rule of 6 for a day of gaming.

      Manage to see my best mate outdoors, either picking up stuff from the bakery and having breakfast or a barbeque if the weather allows.

      The hardest thing has been the travel and partners being extra cautious for varying reasons.

      • Reply by Marica

        You have some good mates, so glad you have been able to see them

      • Reply by christine.twigg

        At least you’ve managed to stay in touch. Enjoy yourselves.

    • Reply by Catwoman0711

      Yes things are difficult and all we ever talk about is COVID it has taken iver our lives and minds.

      • Reply by christine.twigg

        It certainly has but hopefully things will improve soon.

    • Reply by devman825

      I guess for me it is more “What friendships” pretty much sums it up, people cross the street now if your the only person walking. Seems to be a consensus to avoid any type of contact these days. Me I enjoy meeting people; but people don’t enjoy meeting me since Covid. I wake up each day wondering when we will ever get back to a normal life where you could say hello and people responded. If it isn’t Covid it is all men are evil seems to replace one issue with another to ensure the population never manages to come together again. Can’t wait to see what is next.

      Cheers
      David
      I changed my password to “incorrect”, so anytime I forget and enter the wrong thing, the computer tells me what it is.

      • Reply by christine.twigg

        Hi David yes, these are strange and challenging times which many people are affected by. I have noticed too that some people regardless of sex aren’t making eye contact as much but maybe they just don’t want to/ know how to so you just have to look after yourself and control what you can. Perceptions and culture have also changed regarding many things but we have a choice to walk away or turn off the TV as sometimes it is very alarmist. One thing you still have though David is your sense of humour so don’t lose that as it made me chuckle. Take care.

    • Reply by christine.twigg

      Hi may I ask why you moved and is there any way you could possibly meet new friends maybe via Meetup? I sometimes think of moving for a change of scenery and because I have never lived in a different area but I would probably have to make new friends although I don’t really have any near where I live at the moment either!

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