Is It Normal for Someone to Have No Friends?
After her divorce, Jessica knew that things were going to change, but she had no idea how much. Sure, she and her ex-husband had plenty of friends. There were lots of people she might go for dinner with on a Saturday night when they could get someone to watch the kids. But, after she and her hubby split, Jessica started to see her so-called friends less and less until she suddenly realized that she hadn’t seen any of them in months. That got her wondering.
Was that normal? Was it weird that she had drifted away from people while she struggled to keep her eyes open at the cafe and not just be the mom friend? Single parenting, as you know, is exhausting! Well, before we dive into what Jessica could be doing to overcome that loneliness, let’s take this from the very top, shall we?
Do We Really Need Friends?
The answer is 100% yes! Single parenthood is one of the most difficult, but rewarding things you could take on in your entire life. Look, every woman says that her child is her life, but that’s not actually healthy. You love your family and that’s important, but you need to have a life outside of that beloved family too. People who won’t end up taking your ex-husband’s side in an argument or judge you for complaining about your extended family, (we all do it!).
However, we don’t just grow out of having friends. Friends are always there for you in a tough spot, but companionship is worth so much more than a shoulder to cry on. Being able to laugh with someone and share a good story with them is just as crucial.
As you’ll see below, there are some pretty serious drawbacks to having no support system for your mental wellbeing. And if you’re not feeling your best, you can’t give your kids your all, right? So, let me tell you how you can do it all!
What Are the Effects of Having No Friends?
Having no friends at all can be excruciating! Especially if you’re a single mom or single dad. Besides loneliness, there are lots of other challenges to parenting and when you have no one to talk to about them, and it can make you more stressed out. You’re not a bad person for wanting to complain to someone who isn’t your young child!
Again, humans need companionship; we’re social animals. If your brain gets too stressed out by the difficulties of parenting while being isolated, you might even start developing physical health problems. Whether you choose to hang out with married friends or another single mom friend, the important thing is that you’re spending time with a person your own age. Now, comes the best part!
Even the best mum in the world needs a break from single motherhood once in a while. We’re all human! And a single person can make all of the difference. Having a good friend who you can count on when you’re struggling, or just to enjoy the little things with is crucial. So, where you do go from here?
What to Do When You Have No Friends Left
Well, that’s why you’re here, right? You looked around recently and thought: man, I sure wish I could go out to the movies with some buddies, except, when you pick up the phone, you don’t know who to call.
So, if you’ve found yourself a single mom with no friends, it’s time to get out there and start meeting that new person! Woah, woah, hold on a second. It might not be as simple as it was when you were still in school, so let me break down some great ways for you to say goodbye to loneliness and say hello to your new social life.
How Can Single Moms Make Friends?
Get Your Mind Ready to Mingle
Expand your horizons! One of the best ways to bring new people into your life is to try new things. For single moms, that could mean enrolling in an exercise class. It’s double the benefits: you get to work out and improve your health while meeting other potentially fellow single parents for you to befriend. As an added bonus? You get a little peace and quiet from your child. And who doesn’t need that?
But the good news is that you don’t have to feel guilty about it either! When you start setting a good example for your kids by working out or getting in shape with spin or yoga, that will encourage them to do the same thing. And, with all of the stress that parenting can bring, your body will need to be in tip-top shape to stay on top of everything your life (and kids) will throw at you. But guess what? There’s more!
Lend A Helping Hand
Give a little, get a lot! If you’re a home mom and are looking for a way to find another single mum friend, getting involved in your local church, synagogue, or your child’s school is a fantastic way to meet that person. It can be intimidating as a single woman to get out there and meet a new person, but charitable organizations offer a safe space for you to live up that mom life without worry.
Plus, you can have the satisfaction of knowing that you are putting your time toward a good cause. When you spend time putting effort into something special like reading to your child’s class or working with other parents to decorate the classroom, you know that it is time well spent. Read on for more ways to reel in friends.
Grab that Lunch with Your Co-Workers
YOLO! You only live once, right? For the working mom, finding time to go to classes or volunteer might be out of your reach. But that doesn’t mean you have to embrace the loneliness, either. Friendship comes in all shapes and sizes and some of your co-workers might be the friend you have been looking for all along.
For instance, your co-worker might not be a mum themselves, or have any experience with parenting, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have other things in common. There’s always plenty to talk about besides your loved ones and having a single friend might even help out your dating life too. So, grab that lunch you think you don’t have time for and have some fun! You deserve it! And don’t stop there!
Your Kids Can Help You Choose
Sometimes we forget to stop and smell the roses? We’re all guilty of it! When you schedule that playdate for your child, don’t be so quick to drop them off at the park or a friend’s house and then leave. Obviously, you shouldn’t invite yourself into someone’s home, but there’s no harm in getting to know the parents of your child’s friends. In fact, lots of single mums end up meeting their close friends by spending time with other parents.
Moreover, single parent families have become increasingly common and the likelihood that your children might meet some single moms or dads who are also struggling with making friends outside of their immediate family while parenting is pretty high. They might have been waiting for you, the awesome mum, to walk into their life. So, stop and say hello! And it doesn’t end there.
Put Your Social Media to Good Use
You’ve probably got a Facebook profile somewhere, right? I know I haven’t been on in months, but it’s there if I need it. And Facebook offers some great ways for single parent families to connect. There are a ton of support groups and friend circles, even ones that are specific to your locale.
So, go check out the groups and search for terms like ‘single mom’ or ‘single parent’ and you’ll find a huge number of results. If you can find a group that meets up once a month at a cafe nearby, that’s even better. Most importantly, it’ll remind you that you’re not alone. Solo parenting is hard work and lots of people don’t make time for friends until they realize how lonely it is. This was the reality for me, but I didn’t stop there.
Why Are You Still Here?
Okay, okay, I’m going to level with you: it’s not as easy as reading a few articles and boom! Friends galore! Your kids might be able to play with someone a few times at recess and be ready to declare themselves best friends forever, but we all know that it’s way more complicated for grown-ups. A 2006 study showed that 1/4th of all Americans have zero close friends. Yikes, right?
In the end, the reality is that we have busy schedules and work events. You’re shuttling your kids hither and yon, and honestly? We’re tired. A big reason why single moms struggle to make friends is that society already expects us to suddenly become Superwoman. Having a social life on top of everything else? Are you kidding me?
That’s why it’s so important for you to start out slow. If you don’t have the energy to take care of yourself and kick that creeping loneliness to the curb by having a few good friends, then there might be some other things involved. Maybe you need to find another source of childcare, so you can have a night or two to yourself.
Remember, it might feel awkward at first, but the reward far outweighs those first few times spent together. Pretty soon, you’ll be laughing about it over chips and salsa together with your friends, wondering how you ever managed to “chip and dip” without them!