One In Five Of Us Are Lonely, And One In Eight Have No Close Friends

No [hu]man is an island” the poet John Donne reminded us, because, quite simply, we are all “involved with [hu]mankind”.
Yes, we’re all individuals, but we can’t escape the inextricable truth that we’re social beings too. The relationships and connections we create and maintain with those around us are intimately bound to who we are, who we become and, importantly, how we see ourselves.

The link between social relationships and our physical and psychological health is well-documented, and continues to see a growing evidence base. Feelings of loneliness and experiencing social isolation can have detrimental effects on our health - for example, they have been linked to defective immune functioning, higher blood pressure and obesity.
While the presence of partners and family members can be a powerful part of our social lives, the (all too often ignored) impact of wider social relationships with friends and neighbours are vital, underserved contributors to our health and wellbeing.

So just how important are our social relationships today, and do they tell us anything new? Relate and Relationships Scotland‘s latest research report published today, You’re not alone: The quality of the UK’s social relationships, looks at our social relationships and presents findings from our landmark The Way We Are Now survey of over 5,000 people in the UK.

Top comments

a friend will help you move house, a good friend will help you move a body.

Hmm is social media creating a more lonely society or just one with unobtainable expectations. Facebook is full of holiday snaps and going out for drinks, two weeks or a few hours condensed into a few best of moments shown to the world, people increasingly wear masks to hide their true feelings, coming across as happy and having it all online when in reality they are struggling and trying to put a brave face on it. It all feeds into itself as people get more and more fake to ape what they are seeing around them which in itself is also fake.

Outside of social media the TV is increasingly projecting images of extremes, we see the perfect middle classes or the unscrupulous poor, like body image the media reflect the extreme ends (obese and clinically underwieght) thus never showing the middle ground.

The middle ground is the truth the normal, the mundane which isn't considered interesting so isnt shown, thus everyone feels inadequacy in some way, this is just an aspect of that imho.

If you look back to tv from the 1970s and 80s things were more normally depicted, so i don't think people are more lonely or genuinely do have less close friends they just think they do as their expectations of life have been influenced by the growing amount of falsehoods.

"I am my own best friend"
48 Comments

Banned

Edited by: "YouDontWantToKnow" 2nd Mar

Banned

Oh & as you seem to be on a downer...

I will remind you that the vast majority of people have no more than a handful of lifelong friends who are 100% there for you. The rest are just temporary or are just accessories.

Personally I have 4 mates that I can depend on 80 adhoc facebook mates & about another 160 blocked facebook "friends"
Edited by: "YouDontWantToKnow" 2nd Mar

Original Poster

YouDontWantToKnow

Oh & as you seem to be on a downer...I will remind you that the vast … Oh & as you seem to be on a downer...I will remind you that the vast majority of people have no more than a handful of lifelong friends who are 100% there for you. The rest are just temporary or are just accessories. Personally I have 4 mates that I can depend on 80 adhoc facebook mates & about another 160 blocked facebook "friends"



not on a downer

I find it interesting that with more ways to communicate and chat, meet up ..... more ppl feel less engaged,

I have lots of "friends" but none really, I would not confide any information in them, or seek them out to spend time with a particular person

I do not feel lonely, I have spent a lot of time on my own, lived alone for almost 20yrs but if I needed company I could

a friend will help you move house, a good friend will help you move a body.

I have no close or other friends except my wife,and that's the way I like it

Banned

Parrot

I have no close or other friends except my wife



I had one of those too.

Best of luck

Parrot

I have no close or other friends except my wife,and that's the way I like … I have no close or other friends except my wife,and that's the way I like it she told me so



Fixed

Parrot

I have no close or other friends except my wife,and that's the way I like … I have no close or other friends except my wife,and that's the way I like it


Sounds like you're under the the thumb old lad.

And one in 8 use hukd all hukdrs are lonely n have no close friends

iibdii

And one in 8 use hukd all hukdrs are lonely n have no close friends



That figure is not strictly true, most Hot UK Dealers have at least 1 alt....!

I keep in touch with a couple of old friends in the form of a text or two, and on a very rare occasion we might visit for a meal (I moved away from the town I grew up in). Frequency has reduced as we increase our own family commitments.

Other than that just the missus and work acquaintances. Happy with that as am quite introverted anyway.

I have the complete boxset (and comedy central) I have all the Friends I need thanks.

joanddan7

I have the complete boxset (and comedy central) I have all the Friends I … I have the complete boxset (and comedy central) I have all the Friends I need thanks.


I hate American comedy with a passion, with maybe the exception of Police Squad & The Naked Gun.
That said Mrs Browns Boys is equally as bad. X)

OldEnglish

I hate American comedy with a passion, with maybe the exception of Police … I hate American comedy with a passion, with maybe the exception of Police Squad & The Naked Gun. That said Mrs Browns Boys is equally as bad. X)



I didn't say I liked it... ha... I just have all I need of it!

Mrs Browns boys is a joke I just don't get... I guess its the UKIP of comedy... I don't get the appeal yet many of my fellow country people seem too... incidentally popularity of both is why I decided I don't like people... ha.

joanddan7

I didn't say I liked it... ha... I just have all I need of it!Mrs Browns … I didn't say I liked it... ha... I just have all I need of it!Mrs Browns boys is a joke I just don't get... I guess its the UKIP of comedy... I don't get the appeal yet many of my fellow country people seem too... incidentally popularity of both is why I decided I don't like people... ha.



I would like my like back

"I am my own best friend"

1 in 1 of me has no friends

Hmm is social media creating a more lonely society or just one with unobtainable expectations. Facebook is full of holiday snaps and going out for drinks, two weeks or a few hours condensed into a few best of moments shown to the world, people increasingly wear masks to hide their true feelings, coming across as happy and having it all online when in reality they are struggling and trying to put a brave face on it. It all feeds into itself as people get more and more fake to ape what they are seeing around them which in itself is also fake.

Outside of social media the TV is increasingly projecting images of extremes, we see the perfect middle classes or the unscrupulous poor, like body image the media reflect the extreme ends (obese and clinically underwieght) thus never showing the middle ground.

The middle ground is the truth the normal, the mundane which isn't considered interesting so isnt shown, thus everyone feels inadequacy in some way, this is just an aspect of that imho.

If you look back to tv from the 1970s and 80s things were more normally depicted, so i don't think people are more lonely or genuinely do have less close friends they just think they do as their expectations of life have been influenced by the growing amount of falsehoods.

Parrot

I have no close or other friends except my wife,and that's the way I like … I have no close or other friends except my wife,and that's the way I like it



I was like that once my fiancee was my soul mate who else would i need? Now he's gone in more ways then one and I'm a single mum, I'm finding myself talking to more people now and getting to know them when i otherwise wouldn't have bothered.

if it wasn't for misc the world would be even lonlier

But they have 7000 Facebook friends

Error440

I was like that once my fiancee was my soul mate who else would i need? … I was like that once my fiancee was my soul mate who else would i need? Now he's gone in more ways then one and I'm a single mum, I'm finding myself talking to more people now and getting to know them when i otherwise wouldn't have bothered.


A lot of my friends over the years have met their partner & settled down & i haven't really seen them socially for years. Maybe the odd hello in Asda on a weekend & they always look as miserable as sin.
I love spending quality time with my wife & kids, but i also enjoy weekends away with the lads & the odd saturday night out up the town. As much as i love the Wife, i think if we both never had any kind of life outside of our family, we would end up falling out anyway. which in my experience happens to a good many. My Wife's away all this weekend with the girls from work, i trust her & she trusts me & i think that's what a lot of it boils down to tbh. You should always keep in touch with your friends & do things you enjoy doing (no two people enjoy the same things).But i guess it's each to their own, or it can can depend on the kind of partner your with in the first place i suppose.

OldEnglish

A lot of my friends over the years have met their partner & settled down … A lot of my friends over the years have met their partner & settled down & i haven't really seen them socially for years. Maybe the odd hello in Asda on a weekend & they always look as miserable as sin.I love spending quality time with my wife & kids, but i also enjoy weekends away with the lads & the odd saturday night out up the town. As much as i love the Wife, i think if we both never had any kind of life outside of our family, we would end up falling out anyway. which in my experience happens to a good many. My Wife's away all this weekend with the girls from work, i trust her & she trusts me & i think that's what a lot of it boils down to tbh. You should always keep in touch with your friends & do things you enjoy doing (no two people enjoy the same things).But i guess it's each to their own, or it can can depend on the kind of partner your with in the first place i suppose.



Well mine wanted kids and promised the world, he was lovely but life proved too much for him i think, When I met him he'd never really done anything in his life, he was driven around everywhere by his father, lived with his parents and had no friends, its like they were treating him like a kid when he was in his 20s, having a kid seemed to stress him out no end and when his own father died he had a meltdown. Not a doubt in my mind he's suffering from clinical depression or something similar unfortunately, the love of my life became a heartless stranger and it happened so fast. I don't trust people anymore they can have all the good intentions in the world but that can all get turned upside down in a moment, nothing is certain in this life except death and taxes.

Original Poster

Gollywood

But they have 7000 Facebook friends



I remember some one telling me they had 1500 friends on Facebook

I keep eating all my close friends http://pre13.deviantart.net/f352/th/pre/i/2014/337/f/e/the_saddest_dinosaur_by_frostyshadows-d88ljjx.jpg

Ive discussed this before, I have no friends really, as Elton John would say, its a sad, sad situation..

But I have a loving Wife & Kids.
Edited by: "haritori" 2nd Mar

If you want real friends, you know expression, "give and take", well , if you "give" and not fussed about "take", then gradually move yourself towards other "give" ones who are also not fussed about "take" too. Then gradually you form a circle of the ones who "give" all the time but because it is a closed loop, then each one also "takes" is the inference.
.
This takes a while to build up and takes a while to develop sharing experiences.

Original Poster

haritori

Ive discussed this before, I have no friends really, as Elton John would … Ive discussed this before, I have no friends really, as Elton John would say, its a sad, sad situation..But I have a loving Wife & Kids.



And me

miles136

And me



​when I first read that, I thought miles was saying he had a wife and kids as well.
I had to read it slowly the second time.

Error440

Well mine wanted kids and promised the world, he was lovely but life … Well mine wanted kids and promised the world, he was lovely but life proved too much for him i think, When I met him he'd never really done anything in his life, he was driven around everywhere by his father, lived with his parents and had no friends, its like they were treating him like a kid when he was in his 20s, having a kid seemed to stress him out no end and when his own father died he had a meltdown. Not a doubt in my mind he's suffering from clinical depression or something similar unfortunately, the love of my life became a heartless stranger and it happened so fast. I don't trust people anymore they can have all the good intentions in the world but that can all get turned upside down in a moment, nothing is certain in this life except death and taxes.



You've been very strong to get through all that and not let it embitter you.
Although it's made you very wary which isn't at all a bad thing. (((Hug))).

miles136

And me



Miles your name alone is almost Smiles, and you make plenty of us on here smile, you are a lovely guy, people are fools as I know someone like you I would love to be a freind.

I truly hope you have some people in your life though as you are the type of person who deserves it.

pickledtink

You've been very strong to get through all that and not let it embitter … You've been very strong to get through all that and not let it embitter you. Although it's made you very wary which isn't at all a bad thing. (((Hug))).



How can it embitter me when he's clearly messed up in the head, as someone with OCD i understand being messed up in the head what I don't understand is why he let himself get the way he is and how he is still in denial.

miles136

not on a downerI find it interesting that with more ways to communicate … not on a downerI find it interesting that with more ways to communicate and chat, meet up ..... more ppl feel less engaged,I have lots of "friends" but none really, I would not confide any information in them, or seek them out to spend time with a particular personI do not feel lonely, I have spent a lot of time on my own, lived alone for almost 20yrs but if I needed company I could



I'm very much like you,. But I do have occasions when I'm lonely.
Edited by: "Chiptivo" 2nd Mar

miles136

And me


I would love to have you to tea, i promise i won't eat you

Original Poster

Error440

How can it embitter me when he's clearly messed up in the head, as … How can it embitter me when he's clearly messed up in the head, as someone with OCD i understand being messed up in the head what I don't understand is why he let himself get the way he is and how he is still in denial.



he has not let it happen he is in denial as it is part of the illness like when you get chicken pox, you do not let it happen and the spots are part of the illness

nothing more you could have done

Error440

Well mine wanted kids and promised the world, he was lovely but life … Well mine wanted kids and promised the world, he was lovely but life proved too much for him i think, When I met him he'd never really done anything in his life, he was driven around everywhere by his father, lived with his parents and had no friends, its like they were treating him like a kid when he was in his 20s, having a kid seemed to stress him out no end and when his own father died he had a meltdown. Not a doubt in my mind he's suffering from clinical depression or something similar unfortunately, the love of my life became a heartless stranger and it happened so fast. I don't trust people anymore they can have all the good intentions in the world but that can all get turned upside down in a moment, nothing is certain in this life except death and taxes.



Sorry to hear that Error. People do last and live a happy life, ups and downs come bundled in that package as standard though, especially if you're married. But i think you should learn to trust people again. Sitting with fear that the same could happen again will only mean you're potentially losing out in life and later on you'll feel like a incomplete jigsaw.

My dog is my best friend these days (sad I know, but least I know hes trust worthy)

Original Poster

Moonwolf1976

My dog is my best friend these days (sad I know, but least I know hes … My dog is my best friend these days (sad I know, but least I know hes trust worthy)



you sure???

I look after a neighbours dog who comes to my house any chance she gets, they say she loves me more than she loves them, I thought I could trust her, but last year was just about to have my tea when the phone rang, by the time I returned to the kitchen my shepherds pie had gone as well as the cauliflower cheese, the plate was as clean as new! and the dog? hiding under the table where she stayed for over an hour

miles136

you sure???I look after a neighbours dog who comes to my house any chance … you sure???I look after a neighbours dog who comes to my house any chance she gets, they say she loves me more than she loves them, I thought I could trust her, but last year was just about to have my tea when the phone rang, by the time I returned to the kitchen my shepherds pie had gone as well as the cauliflower cheese, the plate was as clean as new! and the dog? hiding under the table where she stayed for over an hour


Oh I know they are little **** for food, mine tries to pinch my food off my plate if he gets a chance I can't leave it on the coffee table while I go back if Iv forgot ketchup, I have to take it with me, or I would come back to find my bread pinched, or a sausage gone. And Any chance he gets he tries to stick his head in my tea cup and drink it so I must guard it all the time, he is not even one year old yet so I am very forgiving. Hoping he will grow out of this annoying behaviour!
Edited by: "Moonwolf1976" 3rd Mar

miles136

he has not let it happen he is in denial as it is part of the illness … he has not let it happen he is in denial as it is part of the illness like when you get chicken pox, you do not let it happen and the spots are part of the illnessnothing more you could have done



Not giving up hope tho
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