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Empty friends/empty family = alone

Community Member

Hi. Well, it's prob been a yr since I posted - but hey, if any time of yr could make you feel bad, it's Xmas!

How many genuine friends do people have? Really? I'm 41 and my circle is incredibly small. My husband is FANTASTIC and my best friend I have some old friends that's very hard to see (I work I hospitality and the hrs are non-conducive to maintaining relationships).

my family life is a mess. My mother died 7 yrs ago, my father left me for another woman (he has cancer but we can't see him because she won't let us), I'm estranged from my sister and my brother only appears when he needs too. One so-called best friend (of almost 30 yrs), stopped talking to me because we had a falling out (I believe many mature people would see it for what it was and move on - although deep down I believe it's because she's so miserable that my happy marriage and successes is pushing to the forefront the misery she's trying to deny). My other so-called best friend, of 20 yrs or so, became so unsupportive and rude and belittling, I'm guessing over the same thing), that I called it quits last year.

so now it's me, my husband, a handful of old workmates that I struggle to see (I've lost some along the way - the girl I was bridesmaid for moved to tassie and forgot to tell me!) and my beloved cat.

i work a lot but I adore the commerardery of my workplace that I don't want to give it up because then I'm worried I would lose those friends too (I know I will . Staff range from 19-47 yo so I know a lot of it is friends due to location).

I just don't want to be alone . I love spending time by myself but I can't handle loneliness.

so how many friends do adults have? What's common? I'm proud I cleared false friends out of my life over the years but I don't want to be alone . I won't cope. That's why I work so much and have gone back to Uni. To fill a hole where my love and trust disappeared to.

10 Replies 10

Community Member

Hi Ambrosia,

I apologise for the very delayed response. The forum gets super busy at this time of year!

I'm sorry to hear you lost your Mum, and that your father is unwell with cancer and no longer in your life. As you've found, some people are unfortunately selfish and prone to jealousy. It's good that the friends you do see now are all genuine. I'm glad that you are in a supportive and friendly workplace, where you have great work friends. Like you, I do enjoy some time to myself but I really dislike feeling lonely.
If you don't mind me asking, what are you studying at uni? I just finished an undergraduate psychology degree, and I'm hoping to study postgraduate counselling at my uni next year (well, almost this year now)...

I am so glad that you have a wonderful loving husband. How long have you two been together? I have a very close and loving relationship with my boyfriend of 1.5 years. I'm almost 24 and he's 25. Like you, I have a best friend (she's a friend from primary school), but not that many other close friends. My best friend and my other close female friend moved interstate in January this year, and a close male friend is often travelling for sport.

My best friend introduced me to her then-boyfriend's group of friends in January 2015. I had very few friends, so she included me in group plans, which I really appreciated. About four months later, I started dating a guy in the group (my boyfriend now), which I am so glad happened. Before we got together, I certainly didn't expect to form a romantic relationship within the group! My best friend broke up with her boyfriend very early this year, and she's no longer in the group. She moved interstate shortly after. The group now consists of about 18 people. I am not super close to everyone, but I can be myself with everyone, and get on well with each person in the group.

Without including my boyfriend or people in the group (I don't catch up with anyone in the group one-on-one except for my boyfriend), I have three other close friends. I miss having a female friend in my city. Whenever they come back to visit, we always catch up though 🙂

It would be great to hear back from you.

Best wishes,


Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Ambrosia

I'm a decade or two older than you, come from a large family and have a very very small circle of friends. My family are spread out over the country.....we have grown apart and I am trying to reconnect with them but after many years and different attitudes, it is difficult.

So I do not think you are Robinson Crusoe. When people are genuinely honest, you will find many people have very few real friends. I had a couple of very close friends. My best friend died 2 years ago of brain cancer, and my other best friend betrayed me when I employed him as my Deputy Manager. I had to eventually leave the workplace and retire early to retain my sanity. However, I believe that life is not worth getting bitter about. It is better to have a close partner who you can share with (wish mine was as close as it sounds like you have) and one or two close friends, than a gaggle of hanger-onners, like many others.

Feel free to keep posting and share and hope you can get more encouraging words from others. Have a Happy New Year. Treat the little person within you with something special...you deserve it.

Community Member


Just joined today and saw your post Ambrosia................identify completely. A very lonely time, but comfortig to know I'm bot the only one

Community Member

Hey zeal.

Ive gone back to uni to do an Arts course and at this stage, my goal is to do my PhD. (I already have a BEcHons). But we'll see. I've gone back p/t so it could take me ages but I'll keep at it so long as it continues to interest me.

Its interesting to note that you feel you have only a small handful of friends. Are you comfortable with that? Does that fulfill you?

I work in hospitality & Coord a large number of events. Every now and then I arrange significant birthdays: 50ths, 60ths etc and when they are big events (30 + people), I start to wonder how some people can remain in contact with that many at that age and that they all 'appear' to be supportive and there to celebrate together. that gets me down because I know I won't have that.

last year, many people celebrated their 40th birthdays, me included. mine was on Mother's Day. This meant that I had to work 16 hours that day (B/L/D), making sure every other mother and family was having a great time. When I finished work that day, I got only one message (from someone else that is also childless). Other than that, not one person remembered my birthday.

So everyone else got to celebrate Mother's Day and their birthday and I got nothing...., and those people, who would have normally wished me a happy birthday, didn't even realise.

So I had to go through watching everyone else celebrate something special and I have had to sit quietly and not say anything.

needless to say, when I turned 41 this year, I got extremely drunk and sobbed like a baby because I was still hurting from what had happened to me.

And I was anticipating those people who forgot my birthday last year to automatically remember my birthday this year - which they did - it made me feel terrible even more than realise.

I don't know. I just wasn't expecting it all to turn out this way. I guess nobody does. I didn't get the support I expected from people when my mother died (including from my husband- although that has been acknowledged but it still doesn't change what happened).

Like I said, I am very happy to spend time alone but when it turns into loneliness, it becomes debilitating. My hours don't make it easy for me but I love my job.

And I think that's why I ask about how many friends people have in general because I don't want to end up alone but I will clear trashy people out of my life without question, which may mean I will end up that way.

like I said: I just wasn't expecting things to turn out this way.

Hi Quietall,

im really sorry to hear about your friend that passed and another that betrayed you. That's soooo terrible. I really can't believe that stuff happens. I know it does but I can't wrap my head around it.

ive heard many sayings that 'genuine people don't have many friends- but have the right ones)..,which is sort of comforting but it does perplex me. Why?

Why is it that real people struggle with this? Conversely, do fake people have myriad friends??? Are they happy?

and do fake people or insecure people know they are fake/insecure or are they so misplaced emotionally that they don't realise this? Or if they know they are like this, can they sleep at night???

I don't get it. I really want to understand why. What makes friends be friends one day and betray you the next. Or smile to your face and destroy you behind your back???

Why?? Why?? Why?? Jealousy can't be the only answer. How can people want to be praised and celebrated for their achievements (which I will gladly do because I believe in supporting everyone where/how they need it) but then it comes to my achievements and it gets ignored or belittled. Why can they talk and I can't? Then even after they treat me with disrespect, still somehow claim that we're good friends...

why? Why? Why???? I struggle with this question and jealousy is just not sufficient enough an answer. There's got to be more. And, if jealousy is such strong a curse, is it recognised by the nasty person?? Do they not feel something?

Why would someone be so mean to a friend that genuinely cares and gives so much??

Hi Ambrosia's

I think its very easy to work out who is your true friend

Try this it saves alot of time. be kind ,like the old saying goes (people treat kindness for a weakness).

I have no family ,so my friend's in my mind are family i can be myself around them they except me for who i am , i do and enjoy being there for them 24/7 i dont expect the same from them so they cant let me down,

Ask yourself how many people could you have like that in your life, not many you need to be careful who you let into your im happy with counting them on one hand .

People value themselves on how many friends they have but its not possible to have more than a handful of real true friends im 47 and can count on one hand, there the same ones i have had for 20 /35 years

Ask yourself this who would you risk your life for to save there's, who would you give a organ to to save there life they are who i consider my true friends its probably cause i dont have kids or family but you would do that for your child or close family member wouldnt you? (if you didnt have kids off your own) ,can you see were im coming from,

Most people will take advantage off you so be careful dont let any one take advantage for to long just cause you want to build up the number off friends you have, give them the rope give them more and some ,if they have taking to much which most you find will, real it in fast and get them out off your life asap.

I enjoy showing kindness alone with weakness its a trap i set boy has it made life easy one hand like i said and im proud of them and my choises, could not care less about numbers or being popular.

Hope my analogy helps

Best wishes good luck

Happy new year


Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Ambrosia

I'm going to say something similar to all the rest, please bear with me and if you think I'm off course please say so, even when sidling up to 70 I've no pipeline to wisdom and all the answers (except 42 of course:)

First: You are well off - you do not really realize it.

You have had betrayals. You are sensitive, and slights hurt badly. You are in an industry where appearances are most misleading.

You have brains and ability and a job you enjoy. You have a partner and some friends.

Second: You have not mentioned if you have any anxiety, depression or other disorders. If you have, &/or are undergoing treatment please mention the fact. If you are unsure about these maladies read The Facts via our home page and if it strikes a bell you might then have a visit to your GP for referrals and psychological tests.

Assuming anxiety & depression are not involved:-

You are grasping for the 'why' of it all

Ok, I think I'm pretty average, I have had no lasting friends from my many schools. One in my now ex-career (police), two lovely wives and one other. They are the same people I trust. I consider I am rich beyond dreams

Imaging living with someone who you can relate to, love, trust, have fun with -I do - you do

Imagine having another couple of people, not quite as close as that, but staunch and caring and trustworthy. I do and if I read correctly - you do

I've found everybody else in life are acquaintances, very necessary for your well-being, maybe fun to be with, but flawed and subject to change over time.

Doesn't mean you can't misjudge and have friendship and trust broken - without a crystal ball it's going to happen - you can't see souls,, and can't see them in all the situations that might arise. It probably has nothing to do with your qualities as a person at all

Frankly I think you, and I am the same, are very sensitive and the knocks of life hurt you more than others. I don't really know how to address that, perhaps you or someone else here can.

White Rose has mentioned a cheap downloadable book to me that I found helpful, it is

Highly Sensitive People in an Insensitive World by Ilse Sand

People are flawed - they are human - navigating though life dealing with this fact is a pretty neat trick (let me know if you find it)

My best wishes


Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Ambrosia

Just a quick bit of good news. I have had repeated attempted calls from the friend that betrayed me. I have ignored those calls until now. Being New Year etc, I thought out of genuine concern, I would send him a text wishing him and his family a Happy New Year. I received a reply, which firstly apologised for the hurt he caused, secondly thanked me for the greeting, and thirdly, said he would love to reconnect between me and his family, as his daughters and wife have given him hell about the way he treated me. So I have agreed for him to contact me first week in February when he and his wife come to my home city. I will then decide whether to meet, preferably at a neutral place, for coffee or lunch and see what happens from there.

I am hopeful this might be a way forward, but who knows...you can only try.

Hi Quietall.

Thats great re: your friend. Such good news! I hope you're first catch-up goes well, although I suspect it will be a tough one . I believe that when you see each other again, you'll immediately know if you can work it out or if it's over. I hope it's the former. Take care. Xo