The best friend gene






My whole life, Christmas has been about children (the easy part) I excel at "doing" Christmas.
 New year on the other hand is about adults and friendship. These days (screeches to a halt) not so much.
Every New Year for the past ten years I usually end up in bed, alone and crying for opportunities missed and wishing I had good friends to celebrate with.  Maybe its the choices I have made, maybe its me.  I don't know.

 When I was younger (and childfree) Life seemed to be one big party. I lived it to the full, had loads of "friends" around me but I've never had a "best" friend. It wasn't something I thought a lot about  as I moved  a lot in the army, always travelling from one part of the Country and World to the next always making friends easily but never really having that one special friend.

These days I am settled in Devon, have a young family and a husband.  What I don't have are any "best friends"  I say friends that way because yes of course I know lots of people, chat all the time on social media. at the school gate, through blogging, to neighbours etc etc but I don't have that special "someone" who has my back, who really understands me and would drop everything to help me out, support me even if they think I am being a prat (and tell me so) who won't get offended if I make a stupid remark.  I try really hard to help others out, be supportive but it always seems to be unreciprocated (not that I expect people to do that of course)  I just try hard to help people if they need it.  It seems everybody has the friendship thing sorted out except me.

 I often wish I could be a fly on the wall watching other women talk to each other.  I see all the comments on Facebook about the amazing time people have had with their friends and I wonder what is it that these people talk about, have in common that make them so special to each other.  I think I am missing the "best friend gene"  Maybe I am a bore, too old, out of touch with people.  Maybe I am too opinionated although I know plenty of people who seem to be likewise and still have "best friends".  So many of them get away with being selfish and opinionated and yet seem to be surrounded by supportive and loving friends.

Maybe they have known each other all their lives, grown up together are like extended family. Maybe people just don't have room in their lives to make new "best friends" .

I'm older than most I know and still haven't learned the secrets.  Maybe its one of those clubs I just will never join.

14 comments

  1. Happy New Year Karen, you are not alone in those thoughts and sentiments. They echo my life exactly. Sometimes I feel excluded, sometimes I feel liberated. But I don't cry on New Years Eve any more, Jane x

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment Jane. Your words make me feel much better. I will be fine tomorrow. Its that new year, time passing thing. Always makes me feel like I am not making enough of my life somehow xx

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  2. Here's the thing: there's no great secret to making friends. And very few people are unable to make friends, because they lack the 'gene' or they're too unlikeable. Honest! And definitely not you!

    In reality, lots of people who have that sort of soulmate best friend person have lived in one place for a long time. For people like you (and me) who move around and take on a whole new life every few years, things aren't quite so simple.

    I made great friends at uni - but I did my post-grad in London, so once I graduated I found myself at the opposite end of the country to my uni friends. After I graduated, I lived and worked in Brighton and London and made some brilliant, close friends - but I got divorced and lost some of those friends. Then I moved to Lancashire and I only catch up with a lot of my friends via social media and the phone.

    When I first moved here, I was pretty lonely for quite a few years, and it was tempting to rely on social media buddies on Twitter for conversation, and like you, I probably spent too many nights feeling sorry for myself and wondering what I'd done wrong...

    These days, I am a lot more pragmatic - making friends when you don't have a natural new thing in common with someone is like a project - you have to go places and do things where you'll meet people. You have to stalk people you like, just a bit. You have to put yourself out there, invite people to coffee, "happen" to have a spare theatre ticket, ask if you can go along on nights out etc. And over time it does work - you meet more people, and some of them you'll have a great connection with. And maybe you won't ever make a "best" friend but maybe you don't need one - if you have a partner who's your best friend, you probably don't need someone in your life to fill that role anyway - but it's about finding people whose company you enjoy, and who give you something maybe you don't get from being a wife and Mum - and allow you to give something of yourself, too, of course!

    Happy New Year anyway and sorry for the ramble, I hope you take it in the spirit it's intended.

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    1. Sally thank you for taking the time to comment on here (you won't believe how many people have private messaged me on facebook) which proves it hits a nerve with many but they don't feel able to comment publicly. I really do appreciate it.
      And of course I take it in the spirit it is intended. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said about having a partner and not needing a best friend. Most of the time my husband does fulfill that role except for when it comes to high days and holidays. It always seems to be a let down, he never seems to "get it" and I am always left feeling so alone and unwanted.
      I definitely think I need to make the effort to get out and do more stuff just for me.
      Thank you Sally Xxx

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  3. Anonymous2.1.15

    This is a great post but I think you are far too hard on yourself. Like many things we perceive , life is rarely as we imagine it for other people and in reality most don't have that one special friend. You are a lovely person and I agree totally with what Sally said above.
    Happy New Year to one of the Kindest people I know.
    Love Sarah xx
    p.s. sorry had to publish under anon as I tried several times and it wouldn't publish my comment xx

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    1. Bless, thank you so much Sarah ! I know a lot of Sarahs so will have to find out which one you are ! Xxxx

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  4. I think finding that "special" friend is pot luck.

    I am fortunate enough that I have a best friend who I would do anything for and I know she has got my back at all times. We cheer each other up, we rant and rage together and spend an inordinate amount of time doing stupid things.

    BUT

    It wasn't always like this, I only met her several years ago, at work. Before that it had been a long time since I had a friend like that and I felt much the same as you. Always on the outside looking in.

    I've learned it's not something you can force. A bit like finding a partner really, something just clicks and in fact as much as my husband does, she does feel like the other half of me!

    I don't think it's anything personal whatsoever. x

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    1. Thank you Mrs M Of course I know you are right and maybe I am guilty of just not investing enough time into people that could potentially be my "best friend" feels stupid writing that down "best friend" makes me sound like some immature schoolgirl.
      I am so glad you have found your friend and thank you so much for taking the time to comment x

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  5. Hi Karen. I'm so glad to have found your blog on the #WeekendBlogHop! I am also really happy to have found that I am not alone. I also am friendless. I joke with my very social and outgoing kids that I am really a recluse and that I'm okay with that. Which I am. Really! I am now 52 years old and can honestly say I have no friends. Not real friends. I have given some thought as to why. My husband's job has been one where we moved every few years. So, maybe that is part of it. I have realized I am not motivated to make friends. I quite enjoy being alone and my own company. Or rather, the company of my critters. I love my family and love to spend time with them. I have 5 kids! But, I am also just fine being on my own. I once spent the time between Christmas and New Years alone while my husband took one of our daughter's back to where she was living, along with our still at home kids. I didn't speak to another soul (aside from my pets) for a whole week. I loved it! I was able to do as pleased, when I pleased! So, I think the main reason I don't have any real friendships is I don't really care if I do. I am not lonely. I don't need to 'have coffee' or do things with friends. I often wondered if there was something off-putting about me that scared people away. And I guess, in a way there is. I just don't need people. And that's okay with me too.

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    1. Hi Sue ! Thank you for popping over and taking the time to comment. Funny, you are the same age as me !
      I do admit I like my own company too and have happily spent time alone. I too feel that maybe I put people off, I am a bit outspoken but I also feel that we all have the right to say it as we see it. Doesn't mean we have to fall out over our opinions or views. Sadly in my experience many people can't get past that. They want you to agree with them all the time.
      Maybe I don't know what I want. Maybe it was that NYE thing !
      Anyway, thank you so much for your kind and reassuring words. x
      I'm coming over to check out your blog now .

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  6. I know how you feel; I don't have a "best" friend either and although I have people I chat to, there's nobody I would call in the middle of the night if there was a problem. I think I'm quite unsociable though so it's probably my own fault! Thanks for linking up with #WeekendBlogHop!

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    1. HA! You made me laugh Vicky ! I am sure you are not unsociable at all. Really pleased to have found your WeekendblogHop. Already discovered some great new people to follow x I'll be back x

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  7. I also relate to how you feel, but to be honest I am ok with not having a lot of friends around. There's less drama and I don't feel like I have to impress everyone all the time! I have met some wonderful friends online and would rather speak to them over people who are supposed to be my 'friend' As long as you are happy within yourself, you are doing ok!

    Thank you for linking up with the #WeekendBlogHop

    Laura x x x

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment Laura. You are absolutely right. I think I was suffering from a bit of feeling sorry for myself, NYE blues when I wrote the post HA! xx

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