April 13, 2017 at 7:23 am #144833
I have been with my current boyfriend 5 years, he is lovely, kind and supportive and I left my family and friends to be with him. We live in a rural location close to his family and whilst that’s really great from his point of view, I often feel isolated and alone, having no close friends or family nearby. Last year I met a person who made me laugh, who seemed to see me for me and not just in a particular role and whose positive attitude, courage, determination and patience I really admired and we were friends for a while. He wanted a relationship and I couldn’t offer that and he is now in a relationship with someone he loves and admires and wants children with and has cut me from his life completely. its been a good few months since we last spoke but the loss of him as a friend in my life has made me feel quite isolated and alone as he seemed to be the only person that understood or saw me for who I was- in some ways as people I felt like we clicked more than sometimes me and my boyfriend do. The thing is I never felt at home with my family either as they are just different to me, I like being outdoors, doing lots of things whilst they prefer to do the same thing ever weekend/weeknight and watch tv/go on the internet and even when I was living at home I always spent more time around my friends houses than actually at home as although I love them we don’t have much in common. So my home with my family doesn’t feel like home, and my home in the country with my boyfriend doesn’t always feel like home and I just feel so lonely and disconnected. I KNOW my boyfriend is a lovely person and the life/home we have here is lovely, I just don’t always FEEL it. Spending time with that guy as a friend last year felt like home as I was myself around him, it was fun and I didn’t feel like I had to hide anything I was just myself and it was lovely, a completely different way to view the world and I miss having someone in my life like that. Somedays I feel abandoned and rejected and lost and that’s when I miss the ‘home’ feeling most. I don’t know where to run as nowhere feels like home and the person that did feel like home, left my life. My question is: how do I get that home feeling back? Do you believe that I could have that sort of feeling with another person down the line? and does anyone else have the unsettled feeling that they are missing something/lacking something/homesick for something that they don’t even know what it is? Its been causing a few problems with me and my boyfriend as I have not been able to settle that well and have up days and down days and it makes me think well perhaps its something to do with mine and my boyfriends relationship that makes me feel unsettled, but I don’t know whether I am just feeling that because its the thing that’s right in front of me or that if I tried to make some more friends I would feel happier? I have tried to make friends in the past, I volunteer for two charities and I work with collegaues but I don’t have any close friends nearby, more like aquaintances really. I know I sound very lucky and I know I am lucky to have the life I do and have a wonderful boyfriend and live in the country and have a stable job etc its just sometimes it feels like everything in my life is sort of ‘off kilter’ and I don’t feel settled, whilst that friend I mentioned seemed to make life make sense more and I felt content and more free and myself than I had done in a long time before and a long time since but I don’t know how to create that feeling either in my relationship or by gaining new friends. Any advice would be really, really appreciated. Many thanksApril 13, 2017 at 7:32 am #144867
I am sorry you have had to lose touch with this friend whom you connected with at such a deep level.
What were some things you felt that this friend did that made you feel at home around them?
MApril 13, 2017 at 10:59 am #144917
Thanky out for writing back- I really appreciate you taking the time to do so. In terms of things i liked I guess he just seemed to notice little things about how I was feeling that other people didn’t and made an effort to know me as a person well not just in a shallow level and genuinely seemed to know how I was thinking/ feeling on the inside i.e. Not ok rather than the ok I was trying to be on the outside. His views on life were so different to mine and he was so positive and courageous about going for what you want in life and believing in fate and just seemed so sorted – I admired those things in him. He knew himself really well after making decisions that sometimes went against the opinion of his friends/ family but he did what was best for him each time and he came out of it really happy with a life exactly how he wanted it and I, at the time, felt like I was living my life for others and rarely thought what I wanted so I looked up to him I guess. I wished I could be like that. I’m happy that he’s happy it’s just sometimes I do miss having a good friend like that in my life. Im finding it hard to let go.April 13, 2017 at 11:01 am #144919
*thankyou – apologies for the spelling mistake.April 13, 2017 at 11:32 am #144925
About the friend you had, you wrote (he)
“made me laugh, who seemed to see me for me and not just in a particular role and …he just seemed to notice little things about how I was feeling that other people didn’t and made an effort to know me as a person well not just in a shallow level and genuinely seemed to know how I was thinking/ feeling on the inside i.e. Not ok rather than the ok I was trying to be on the outside.”
And you wrote about him (his) “positive attitude, courage, determination and patience I really admired …so positive and courageous about going for what you want in life… He knew himself really well after making decisions that sometimes went against the opinion of his friends/ family but he did what was best for him each time and he came out of it really happy with a life exactly how he wanted it and I, at the time, felt like I was living my life for others and rarely thought what I wanted so I looked up to him I guess. I wished I could be like that.”
I believe these two items, the above two paragraphs, are what home is about, what you yearn for, what you need, and what you can find/ create for yourself:
What you had in your original “home” and currently in your relationship and in other friendships is shallowness. You are not SEEN for who you are and you are not expressing who you are. You have been behaving according to the role of a daughter, with your parents, and currently, in the role of a girlfriend. What you need is to behave in ways that are authentic to you, being yourself.
You admired about this guy the traits you wish to have, the courage to be your authentic self, the courage to reject roles and prescribed behaviors, the courage to show yourself and the privilege of being seen and accepted for who you truly are.
You can find this home elsewhere with another man OR you can create it with your current boyfriend. Couple therapy with your boyfriend may be the way to go so to do what you can do to create the home you need.
I hope you post again.
anitaApril 13, 2017 at 10:36 pm #145009
I really believe people can sometimes hold up a mirror showing us what we need in our own lives. Maybe this friend had to show you that could get to know yourself better, and act in a way where you acknowledge, express and try to meet your needs. Maybe you could list things that you really want to do or accomplish, think about what it is that attracts to you to those things, think about how you could practically do those things in day to day life. You could share it here if you want.
I agree with Anita that it is possible to create depth in relationships that are becoming shallow. Part of it is expressing who you are outside of the roles –daughter, girlfriend around your family and boyfriend. Another part is expressing negative emotion as well positive, so if you are angry, say that (kindly) and if you are grateful say that.
Also, are there people around you who have some of the qualities you liked in this friend? Is there someone around you who seems to genuinely listen to people that you could get to know better? Or who seems positive? Maybe you can meet these needs not through one person, but through several different people who bring the same sort of qualities to your life.
Good luck !
MApril 18, 2017 at 3:32 am #145639
Thank you very much Anita for writing back, you are exactly right, it is those things that I would like and I did admire my friend for being authentic to his truth and what he wants out of life. I wanted to be like that to. I think you are right M in that I don’t know myself that well and didn’t really even recognize my needs or acknowledge them before, so I think that must be the next step.
I appreciate your advice with saying how I feel, positive or negative. The problem is when I am honest with my boyfriend about how I feel he says that I am ‘not as nice a person than I was before’ and that I have changed as a person- I don’t say anything or mean it in a horrible way, I just feel like recently I have been trying to stand up for myself more and what I would like and because that wasn’t how it was between us at the start, he is surprised by this and doesn’t like it.
I think you are right in that perhaps several people could meet this. I haven’t got any close friends near by that have those qualities- I think that’s why I liked the friend so much, but I am hoping to make some and putting steps in place to do that. I think this has taught me that close friends in life are quite hard to find.
I think what I would like to know is- does this suggest that there is something inherently wrong with my relationship that I need to fix e.g is it common for peoples partners to fill the hole or make things feel like home or is this only something I can give myself and its nothing to do with my current situation. As tbh even as a child I often felt lonely or alone and then having this friend was like having a best friend and it was lovely. I would love to re-connect with my boyfriend in the same way but in a way we never have had the depth and honesty of conversations that me and my friend had (probably because he was removed from me and not in the situation so I felt like I could be more honest) but the fact is is that now its left me wanting more and expecting more from my relationship- e.g I want that closeness again now I know it is possible but don’t know how best to find it. Was it just a me and my friend thing or something that can be re-created with others?
Many thanks for your help and advice, I was having a tough day the other day and reading your responses really helped me- so thank you very much.
Best wishes,April 18, 2017 at 7:56 am #145665
Not much advice to offer other than to say I can really sympathize with you right now. I do think there are some people we just click with, and unfortunately that can make it hard to work to maintain relationships that aren’t so clickable. It’s possible that if you had pursued a relationship with this friend, you would find the day to day grind would start to require more effort from the relationship – maybe that’s what’s happening with your current partner? I know for me – I had a long term relationship that ended over 3 years ago (entirely because of my own stupid actions) and I am still struggling to let go of it and feel happy. I think of him every day, multiple times. I do think there is something to be said for creating this sense of home within yourself. I’ve bounced around different relationships and haven’t been on my own for probably 12 years so I’m beginning to see this is what I need…just time on my own to figure it out. Luckily I have this now. Doesn’t feel too great sometimes though! Would be much easier to turn my focus to the next guy to obsess over.
I think it’s a little concerning that while you’re trying to assert yourself your boyfriend expresses that you’re changing and not “nice” like you used to be. We are always changing! Hopefully in relationships we can change/grow together but some people really don’t want to grow and are scared of any change. After 5 years, do you think you have the foundations of a relationship that you’d want to work at? Regardless, all you can do is be honest and open with yourself and your partner. I know it’s hard….just be patient with yourself.April 18, 2017 at 8:26 am #145669
You wrote above: “The problem is when I am honest with my boyfriend about how I feel he says that I am ‘not as nice a person than I was before’ and that I have changed as a person…. recently I have been trying to stand up for myself more and what I would like and because that wasn’t how it was between us at the start, he is surprised by this and doesn’t like it.”-
Clearly, he likes the nice you, that “particular role”, “the ok I was trying to be on the outside”, as you wrote earlier. He is not interested, at this point, to know your authentic self. It is understandable, to me, that he met the particular role that you presented to him, fell in love with it and wants it to stay the same.
Thing is, your experience with the friend, gave you a different life experience, how life can be when you are authentic, how it makes you feel connected and Home. Now you have a choice: to stay Nice in this relationship and perhaps find a friend with whom you can be authentic so to make life more bearable, to gradually present your authentic self, a bit at a time, and give him the chance to adjust and like the authentic self (may not work if he resists), or to leave the relationship.
anitaApril 19, 2017 at 4:27 am #145791
Hello Katie and Anita,
Thank you very much for getting back to me. Katie- I think its exactly how you say ‘all I can do is be honest and open with myself and my partner, which is hard, especially when he says he ‘prefers the old me’ etc but I think after meeting my friend, I don’t want to go back and pretend everything is okay and put everyone elses needs above my own, it really showed me how much that it is actually respectful to yourself to honour your own needs and your partners, not just theirs and not yours at all which was what was happening before.
My boyfriend is very scared of change, and I am too and I think that’s partly why we got so complacent. Katie, I also agree that is is easier to have ‘the next person to obsess over’ rather than focus on myself, as its like my brain thinks of a million ways to keep stressing, be busy etc rather than sit with the feelings/thoughts I have.
Anita- yes I think you are very right. It’s a leave or stay situation and as much as I do like my boyfriend and he is lovely and kind and caring towards me, there are days that I feel restless and feel like moving on is the best option to find someone that made me feel like that. The issue is it would mean giving up a stable life, my home and all my ties in my local area and that is what I am scared of, NOT finding someone that I feel at home with.. and (over dramatistisation I think) dying alone, unloved. I know that’s not a rational thought it’s just how my mind thinks when I think about leaving. I have talked to my family about this and they are very much like’ you are so lucky, you have a stable life, someone who loves you and a nice house- many people would like to be where you are, but the problem is, although I am happy for times or moments, I am not happy deep down and I think that was shown through my attachment to my friend and the loss I feel now hes gone and the fact that I am sometimes grumpy and irritable, I just cant seem to settle and nothing feels right on some days, and then on others, it all seems bearable and I think to myself: yes you ARE lucky and you CAN do this… its just having the faith and courage in myself I think to make a decision and not look back with regret. I am just scared that if I do leave, I realise the issue was with myself all along, e.g its up to myself to feel at home, not trying to find it in another relationship and so I would of shot myself in the foot…. Do you have any advice/thoughts on this at all please?April 19, 2017 at 8:55 am #145823
Yes, I do have thoughts about your last post.
You wrote: “The issue is it would mean giving up a stable life… I am scared of, NOT finding someone that I feel at home with.. I know that’s not a rational thought it’s just how my mind thinks when I think about leaving”- if you leave you might not find Home. It is a real possibility and therefore your thought is rational, not irrational.
You wrote: “I have talked to my family about this and they are very much like’ you are so lucky, you have a stable life…” Your family did not provide you with the Home you need, therefore, they are the wrong people to talk to about your aim of finding a place/ person you can call Home.
More thoughts/ advice: if you do leave him and the life you currently have, sometime in the future you may (or not) find the relationship and place that you can call Home. If you are successful, there will be struggle before you are successful. There will probably be moments of regret, self doubt, anxiety. Competent psychotherapy may be required. A successful relationship will be needed. It will not be easy.
It will be a journey with no guarantee of success. This is why your choice of staying or leaving is highly personal. No one should pressure you one way or another.
Basically, there what you have is struggle if you stay and struggle if you leave. If you stay and he is very resistant to accepting your growing authenticity, the struggle in you staying may be more difficult to endure than the struggle of you leaving.
From personal experience, there is nothing more worthwhile than the freedom to be authentically oneself. You know that experience, you know now how that feels.
Post again anytime.
anitaApril 21, 2017 at 5:28 am #146141
<span style=”color: #000000; font-family: Calibri;”>Dear Anita, </span>
<span style=”color: #000000; font-family: Calibri;”> </span>
<span style=”color: #000000; font-family: Calibri;”>Thank you very much for your advice and thoughts – its been really useful to have your insight and I have read and re-read your response many times. I agree, there is a lot to be said for the freedom to be yourself. It wasn’t until I met my friend I realised how much I actually was running around in my life NOT being myself. </span>
<span style=”color: #000000; font-family: Calibri;”> </span>
<span style=”color: #000000; font-family: Calibri;”>Best wishes and thank you again.</span>April 21, 2017 at 7:03 am #146151
Again – I just want to say how much I can relate. I have that same terror (feels like panic!!) of being alone forever and that’s what’s kept me in relationships when they weren’t right. I was engaged to a really, really good man who I would’ve had a secure and loving life with. But I just couldn’t convince myself to get happy or excited about it…in fact, I felt like I was signing away my life and any possibility of ever feeling like myself again. It didn’t make sense and still doesn’t really, except to put it down to us just not being right for each other, and me not feeling the feelings for him that I wanted to. Like you, I had moved far away from home and any family or friends to be with this guy, so the thought of ending it all was super scary and overwhelming. But I did end it….and my life went on. That was 4 years ago, and truthfully while I am still struggling to find “home” now, I KNOW I made the right decision. I had to look at it a couple ways…firstly, it felt easier for me to figure out my conflict and confusion on my own rather than holding him back while I figured it out. Yes I was really scared that in that time he would move on and meet someone else and I would realize I’d made a mistake and it’d be too late…but if he was able to meet someone else he was happy with then was it really a mistake even if I thought it was? Surely he deserved happiness and all he wanted out of life too (and he did find it!). Also, I feel like fear is a horrible motivator but usually the easiest thing we let drive us. So when I’m feeling fearful it’s sometimes a sign to me that I need to do exactly what it is that I am most afraid of. Fear was keeping me in that relationship, so it made sense to me that I needed to explore life outside of it.
That fear of being alone forever sucks. I love being intimate with a partner…emotionally and physically, and to think of never having that again – like I said, it makes me panic. BUT I truly don’t think that’s rational. There has been nothing in my past to indicate I will be alone forever, in fact quite the opposite…I’m sure this is true for you. And while our lives really are short, when you count them in days and all the people you will meet…there is just so much possibility and so much more reason to think “I know I WILL meet someone sometime, when the time is right” then to think “I will NEVER meet anyone ever”…you know?
Like Anita, said, it has to be your decision as you are the only one who really knows how you feel…but I just wanted to share some of my experience and thoughts because of all the parallels I see with you.April 21, 2017 at 7:42 am #146157
You are welcome. You wrote in your last post: “It wasn’t until I met my friend I realised how much I actually was running around in my life NOT being myself.”- that means you did not experience Home living in your childhood home. We don’t know how it is to experience something until we experience it.
I hope you find Home, or make a Home for yourself. Post anytime.