I am a reader in my early 30s living in rural Ireland. Like many people during COVID-19, I did not see much of my friends through the various lockdowns.
The Zoom quizzes etc faded out once the novelty passed and after a while, there was not much to say over texts etc.
I think everybody was a bit weary and a lot of relationships were put on pause.
Now that we are starting to get back to some kind of normality, I have been trying to be more social again.
A lot of my friends are in relationships, and they seem pretty content to be at home, or just doing things with their partners. I am single though and finding it pretty lonely
However, I’m finding that a lot of people don’t seem to be that interested in meeting up and doing things together. I’m not even talking about mad nights out or anything like that; it’s hard to even get somebody to go for a walk or for a coffee.
A lot of my friends are in relationships, and they seem pretty content to be at home, or just doing things with their partners. I am single though and finding it pretty lonely. Isolation during COVID-19 was bad enough, but now I feel like any social life that I did have is long gone.
I feel like I’m the only one actually making an effort to revive the friendships; and it’s hurtful that people are not really responding. Am I being over-sensitive? What would you advise?
Thanks for your email. I don’t think that you are the only person who feels this way.
COVID has changed a lot about how we relate to one another and I do agree that friendships and relationships in general have suffered.
People are also simply out of the habit of meeting up and being social and it will take time for everyone to re-adjust to the new norm.
They have probably become very settled in their own bubbles and don’t realise how isolated you feel
Of course, it must be frustrating when you feel like you are making all the effort to keep your friendships alive. I don’t think that you are being over-sensitive, but I don’t believe your friends are deliberately trying to hurt you either. They have probably become very settled in their own bubbles and don’t realise how isolated you feel. That’s not to excuse their inconsideration; but it might just explain it a little bit.
So what to do? Sometimes, I think it can help to be a bit more direct when we want something. For example, instead of texting, “Do you want to meet for a walk or a coffee someday?” why not say, “How about meeting for a walk or a coffee next Saturday?” or whatever suits you. I just find that people will respond better to a specific invite rather than a general suggestion. Hopefully, one meet-up will lead to another and you’ll slowly ease back into your social life.
I’m sure you have a lot to offer and many would be delighted to get to know you
But I would also encourage you to look at other social opportunities. Is there an activity you have always wanted to try, for example running? Local initiatives like park runs are a great way to meet new friends. I’m sure you have a lot to offer and many would be delighted to get to know you.
As we grow, our interests and outlets change and it’s always good to remain open to new possibilities and relationships. The world is your oyster now; I wish you the best of luck.
Having read Jennifer’s letter to you (I don’t want a life devoid of romance), dated 12 February 22, my advice to her is to get out now while she can from that relationship. From what she is saying, her boyfriend doesn’t show her any romantic gestures as it stands. If they get married, he is not going to change.
I am happily married 23 years to a wonderful man. Like all farmers, he works hard, but at Valentine’s, anniversaries, birthdays, mother’s day etc there is always a card with flowers and chocolates. He never forgets.
All these gestures make me feel loved and wanted. That’s all any girl or woman wants in life. So I tell that girl, go and meet someone who will give her the love and respect that she deserves.
Thank you Miriam for reading my letter.