Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

I’m lonely. I love living with my boyfriend, but that is not enough for me.

Home Forums Get Advice, Give Advice I’m lonely. I love living with my boyfriend, but that is not enough for me.

  • This topic has 14 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 1 week ago by avatarTalis.
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  • #961975 Reply

    Hey everyone!
    At the beginning of the year, me and my boyfriend moved to a city about 2 hours away from my home town, where I’ve lived my entire life and where all of my family and friends are. I started university in the spring, but it has been completely online ever since Covid and I have no idea when it’s going to be in person classes again (definitely not until february). I also work twice a week in a little bakery. Apart from that I don’t really have anything here. I haven’t made many friends because of the virus and because I’m about 5 years older than most of the other students (I’m 24). Also, most of the people I have met through school have moved home to their parents again.
    I really love my boyfriend and I love living with him, but – and I feel so bad for saying that – that is not enough for me. He’s lived here before so he has a couple good friends that he sees regularly and he has a full-time job that is not remote, so he’s gone for most of the day. I don’t have anything keeping me here atm besides him and my job that I’m at for just 9 hours a week.
    We go home and stay with my family every third weekend and I’m a lot happier there. I have my friends, my family, I know the place like the back of my hand and I know that I eventually want to move back here. Whenever I get back after a weekend at home I’m usually really sad and just feel really off for a couple days. But I also love my boyfriend so so much. I want to live with him and I want to start a family with him someday.
    He’s from my home town as well and wants to move back there too, someday, but at the moment he can’t find a job there.
    I don’t know what to do. Do you have any advice for me?

    #961976 Reply

    It sounds like you need to move back home with your parents, find a part-time job there, and either MOA from bf or try the LDR route. Since he has a full-time job, he probably can’t just pick up and move to your home town. So you are left choosing in-person relationship or moving back where your family and friends are. From what you’ve written you’ve already made that decision but are nervous about implementing it.

    #961977 Reply

    That’s funny, because my advice would be the opposite. Stop going home every single month. Accept that this is where you live and put your focus and energy THERE. Life has brought you this adventure, and all you want to do is go home? Really?

    Stop using age difference as a reason why you can’t have friends. (Five years is not a big difference.) Volunteer to be a tutor — at your school or somewhere else. Volunteer at your school’s library. Volunteer to help with the election. Everyone is missing out socially right now — it’s a pandemic — but that doesn’t mean you can’t find interesting things in your new city, even if you do them alone. Take photos. Go bird-watching. Are there any gardens? Trails? Write a piece for the local paper.

    Expand. Show yourself that you can create a great life for yourself, that you don’t need to be overly reliant on friends and family to provide that FOR you. This is a great opportunity to explore and expand.

    #961978 Reply

    Here my two cents – your 24 yrs old, so no you shouldn’t be moving back in with your parents. You should be making a life for yourself and learning independence. You are only 2hrs away from your friends and family which isn’t far away. You could easily go home more than once a month. At 24yrs old why aren’t you working a job with more hours? Is schooling taking that much of your time that you cant work? Can you ask for more hours at your job or get a second job? If you go home wont you have to transfer schools or quit? Cant friends and family come visit you?

    Cant you find social activities to keep you busy and meeting new friends? You can make friends in study groups with classmates even through zoom or something. You guys could meet up for hikes, etc

    What happens if you end of marrying him one day and ya’lls jobs take you away?

    I live somewhat far from my family too and I know it can be hard. My husbands job had us relocated 4 1/2hrs from our families.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by avatarKarebear1813.
    #961981 Reply

    I’ve been there, I left my whole life behind when I got married and moved away with my husband. It was REALLY hard at first and I imagine it’s doubly so when you have a pandemic to deal with. Is there any way your boyfriend can commit to taking you out for some safe activity once a week or so? Just to get you out and about. You can also try to see if there are any virtual or in person events happening through Meetup or local FB groups or similar. Maybe your college is still doing some, i don’t know. Either way it sucks but you have to make it happen for yourself one way or another and at least it’s not forever.

    When you’re not at work definitely try to get out and about, even if it’s just for a socially distanced walk while the weather is still a bit warm. Sitting at home feeling sorry for yourself is hell on your mental health, ask me how I know lol.

    #961985 Reply

    If your bf wants to move back home eventually can you finish school and then move back? It would just be a few years. If you really want to move now, I would wonder if you’re dissatisfied with your relationship. Moving without him will definitely strain & possibly end the relationship. Is that something you’re prepared for? You’re very young so I wouldn’t blame you for being freaked out about committing to a person & life. Especially when you’re looking around and thinking “is this it?” Life is short so don’t waste half of it living where you hate it, but we’re talking about a few years.

    #961994 Reply

    I dunno… I mean, we’re in the middle of a pandemic, so how much would you really be seeing your friends if you moved back home? And if you moved in with your family, how long would it take before you start itching for a bit more space? Or would you live alone? Cause right now that presents its own challenges of isolation and loneliness. Two hours isn’t far from home at all and the pandemic isn’t going to last forever.

    I’m not sure it’s fair to say you’re dissatisfied with your relationship because you feel lonely right now — a LOT of people are lonely right now! — though I do agree moving out will put a strain on or possibly contribute to the end of your relationship. I also disagree that five years isn’t a big age gap when you’re 24 and your classmates are 19.

    That said, moving somewhere new is hard. It takes time to adjust. When I moved to my city, I didn’t know anyone and it was a pretty lonely experience. But it also felt like a true opportunity for growth to see what else was out there when taken out of my comfort zone. (Life only hands you a few opportunities to see what else is out there, and that’s only if you’re lucky!) I’d say it took me about a year to feel somewhat settled and create a few meaningful friendships. And this is when life was normal! So I think you should give it a bit more time and really make an effort. Can you FaceTime your friends and family back home more to feel less lonely? Or can you meet them halfway once/week? Do your boyfriend’s friends have girlfriends or friends you can meet? (One of my first true friends in my city was a friend of a friend!) Are you and your boyfriend planning date nights and are you included in his socializing? Maybe you can ask a coworker you feel a rapport with to do something outside of work. You can look on MeetUp to see what kind of socially distant activities you can find to help you meet new people. My gym offers socially distant outdoor classes right now and I’ve been popping in when I can, and it feels great to be near people. If you feel it’s warranted, make an appointment to talk to a mental health professional.

    #961996 Reply

    All good suggestions, and not so out of the blue that she shouldn’t have thought of them. I may be totally wrong here, but my reaction in reading her post was that if her relationship were truly working for her, she would have tried all or some of these things. She is very unhappy, but seems to blame it all on not being in her home town. I’m not at all sure that is the whole reason, maybe not even the major part of the reason.

    It may be a while, or never, until her bf can find a suitable job in their home town. By then, her college may be holding in-person classes again (we all hope that will be true by Spring semester, although a ton of doubt) and her friends may well be off at their colleges and away from the hometown. Not many college grads return to their home towns. It is a national job market for them. Very few of those I went to H.S. with stayed within 25 miles of our little city of 100,000 after graduating. A couple of my friends dis, but were gone in four years. My best job offer and only shot at a draft deferral was local, so I stayed. The city is barely recognizable from what it was during H.S. days. You really can’t go back.

    #962003 Reply

    Eh, it’s not uncommon for people to be around LW’s age and realize they have no clue how to make friends outside of work or school, especially if they find themselves somewhere new. It happened to me when I was moving around in my mid- and late-20s. This sounds like her first time away from her hometown, family, and friends. Jumping onto MeetUp or asking acquaintances out on “friend dates” actually might not be so obvious to someone who has presumably never had to make that kind of effort before to have a social and support network. And all of this during a pandemic? I’m not surprised she’s lonely. If someone wrote in saying their every social need was covered by their live-in boyfriend I’d think that was odd.

    #962006 Reply

    I agree with @Copa. I was swimming in my community pool on Labor Day and eavesdropped for an hour on two people who were obviously friends from college, who I estimate were between 25-30 years old. ALL they talked about was their friend group and what they did in college vs where people are now, and those dynamics.

    I’m in my late 30s and have friends across the board, from college, work, and my hobbies, but it took years and years (and no pandemic) to get there. That being said, my best friend is still my best friend from college who I met when we were 18.

    Unfortunately it is very difficult to make friends as an adult, and especially as a very recently displaced one and in the middle of a pandemic. I haven’t seen 95% of my friends in months. It sucks.

    LW, I encourage you to think of something you really enjoy doing and try to find people in your area who enjoy the same. That, or make friends at school – 19 vs 24 is a big difference, yes, but as your classmates get a little older the difference will shrink. I was in graduate school at 23 and my closest friend was another woman in my program who was in her 30s.

    Also, a lot of people with solid social lives are very lonely right now, so please know it’s not just you.

    #962013 Reply

    Hello everyone,

    thank you for all your advice! It‘s good to hear that some of you have had similar experiences.

    I should‘ve said: I don‘t live in the US, so my situation is probably a bit different. The virus isn‘t a big thing where I live anymore, you can see your friends and do almost everything legally and safely again. Also, @ron, most people in my country do stay or come back to their home town or close to it, so most of my friends do plan on staying long term.

    I‘m definitely not thinking about living with my parents again. I‘ve lived alone and then with my boyfriend for the past four years, and I think I would go crazy living full-time with them.

    Seeing this as an opportunity for growth is also quite helpful. I‘m definitely trying to make friends here in different ways, but it‘s of course very difficult, especially because I‘m also a very shy and private person. To be honest, it also feels weird to me making good friends in a place I know I don‘t want to live in long term, because we will probably lose touch in a few years because of it anyway. I know that‘s a weird way to think about it.

    I just feel like a failure because I can‘t manage to be happy in another place but then again I‘m also thinking: Why force it? Maybe that is just part of my personality and some people like living in the same place all their lives and some people want to move around.

    #962015 Reply

    It’s not “forcing it” to embrace where you are and try to enjoy it. What’s the alternative — endure until you can move back? Which might not be for two or three years? That sounds miserable, and really unnecessary.

    As someone else said, no one feels instantly comfortable in a new place. It takes some time. By putting some attention and focus on all that this new place has to offer, you are expanding your world. And I mean your inner world. Trust me, there will come another occasion in life when you are going to have to be flexible and expansive — when things aren’t going to be exactly how you want them — and now is the chance to show yourself that you can be open to new things.

    If you’re LUCKY, new things will come into your life all the time, but they won’t always have a ribbon wrapped around them. This can open you up to receiving unexpected pleasures in life.
    :: shrug :: Maybe I just like adventure.

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