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You Asked: I'm Feeling Alienated

You Asked: I'm Feeling Alienated

Dear Sugar,

I'm 24 years old, married, and kid-free. While this seems to be the ultimate lifestyle in my mind, I'm feeling more and more left out and alienated by my friends. Seven of my friends had babies in the last year. The few who haven't are single, and they spend their weekends barhopping and looking to hook up. I can't relate to either of these situations, and I'm feeling as though I no longer have any close female friends.

I haven't been able to get together with anyone in months, as my single friends don't make plans in case they get a date and are not interested in, say, a dinner party when they could be out clubbing. The new moms don't go out much, and when they do, all the talk is baby-related. I've known all these women for many years and I'd hate to write them off completely, but I'm starting to feel like I need a new batch of friends. Do you have any advice? — Neglected Nadine

To see DearSugar's answer,

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Dear Neglected Nadine,

I'm sorry to hear that you're feeling left out, but instead of thinking you'll have to find all new friends, I think you should try figuring out how to maintain the friendships you have now, just in a new way. Since you're all in such different places in your lives, and you're right in the middle of each group, it's important to be flexible with each other's schedules. You say that your single friends aren't interested in dinner parties, so why not meet them for a happy hour drink or a Saturday afternoon margarita? And for your friends who are married with children who you say only want to talk about babies, indulge them every once in a while — let them share their excitement with you! As annoying as it may be, sometimes you just have to put a smile on your face and remember that once the dust settles and the initial excitement dwindles, there'll be much more to talk about besides diapers and preschool.

As life goes on, priorities change, but that's not to say that your friends don't have room for you anymore. While you might feel like the neglected one, keep in mind that your friends could be having similar feelings towards you. Sometimes it's not all about you — you might have to compromise a little, at least for right now. Making new friends is fun, but while doing so, you don't need to write off your old ones. Be open and honest with them and hopefully you'll get back on track sooner than later. Good luck.

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foo_mf_foo foo_mf_foo 8 years
wow!!! i thought i was the only one!!! i am 26, married and kidless. i have a huge time trusting people to have a lot of friends. everyone screws me over at one time or another!!! i like to just hang out with a few select few. i totally understand about feeling left out. everyone in my life makes me feel like that!!! even more so since i lost my job. i had a great group of work friends and i told them the day i got let go, we won't hang out anymore since i'm not working here, and it was true!!! it really is so hard to find great friends. like i said, pretty much everyone in my life has screwed me over. i don't trust anyone, nor do i care what others think. one day i'm sure i will feel different about it all, but as of now....good luck
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 8 years
I'm in a similar situation. I'm the one married (no kids) who wants to be able to hang out with my friends who are single. None of them are really into the bar hopping thing anyway. I decided that if my "friends" don't want to hang out with me than there is no reason I'd go out of my way for them. I'm going to find some new friends and in the meantime get to know myself a little better.
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
sunnyheart: I have had a hardtime meeting female friends in a new place; Platonic Personals on Craig's List worked for me!! I laughed when someone told me about it too, but it seriously works and I haven't met a single weird girl on it yet and in fact have a really close friendship resulting from it.
sunnyheart sunnyheart 8 years
I was pretty bummed by the advice on this, too. I'm in the same spot and was hoping for information on how to find new friends. At this point I really would like to get married and have my own children, and it's hard to meet quality men at a bar. Does anyone have any other advice on meeting new friends?
maggieNZ maggieNZ 8 years
I am in the exact same position. I've found that people who are a little older than me, who's children aren't quite so new, are really up for dinner parties and non-kid conversations. :)
missyd missyd 8 years
That answer was so generic, Dear.
saranightly saranightly 8 years
Berlin, yikes! That is a bit harsh I think on people who get married early. My parents got married at 19 & 22 and were extremely happy. They waited 10 years to have kids, and did lots of traveling and partying as a married couple. I also have friends who are my age (24) and happily married, with and without kids. I don't think a single one regrets the decision. That being said, I kind of feel the same way, alienated from my old friends. I can't relate to the ones with kids as well anymore. My boyfriend's friends are all single and partying all the time still. I guess we're kind of torn between the two worlds, because we're happily settled, but like to have fun. Anyway, I have a part time job (on top of my full time job) that has allowed me to meet a lot of people who are in the same boat I am. Some of our friends also hold a "couple's night" outing every other month or so, and we've met some young, fun married couples through that. If you can find one couple to hang out with, they probably know other couples, and can introduce you!
Berlin Berlin 8 years
Wow, I'm 23, and plan to be forever kid-less! And husband-less well into my 30s (even though I have already found and am with the one I plan to marry:)! I had a huge group of friends in high school that we all sort of still keep in contact, some more than others. Of this huge group and the other people that I remember well from the days, me and my very best friend are the only ones who are not married, have kids, or both. And damn we feel so sorry for our old friends! We talk all the time how people think we should be doing this, but you know what? I've yet to hear one woman in her 40s/50s who got married in her 20s that either is still happily married or happy that she got married so young. If you have a kid now, then that's it, you're stuck for the next 18 years! Talk to people who are just retiring and have kids going off to college, they are so happy b/c now it's "their" time and they get to just spend it with each other..but you're in your 50-60s! Learn to enjoy your life as it is and don't get so caught up in what you don't have. Be patient and you'll be the one who comes out on top and happily married (and with kids if you so choose) when you are ready. It's so sad when I think of my 20 something year old friends who dated for up to a year, then got engaged, and are married a year later. And most of them are pregnant, have a kid, or are with their second child now. I'm more like you poor thing, you have to wait so long to really get to BE with your husband. I think the alienation is just a phase that you'll get through, you just have to stop wishing for something that you think is great that those around you may have (I wonder how many of them are putting up a front to their 'happy' marriages and are secretly wishing they waited!).
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
Maybe you should take your email and post it on craigs list or something to see if you can find some people in the same boat. I'm sure you aren't alone.
mgratzl mgratzl 8 years
I'm 24 married and kidless too. But I have found that having well rounded group of friends really helps me. I have friends who are married with children - and I love hanging out with them and playing with their kids. I also have friends who are single - and we try and do a girls night once a month - with no guys to worry about. I also have friends that are married and without kids - and we do just fine. I think really trying to set aside time with the friends - by sending out an email - saying things like "dinner with the girls, or shopping with the girls" really helps to pin people down... with the way life works right now, everyone is so busy, and I'm sure they aren't trying to single you out and neglecting you!
petite42 petite42 8 years
I'm 20 years older than you, and at your age I was the one home with the babies while my single friends were still bar-hopping. Now my kids are teens, and I share custody with my ex, so they're only with me on alternating weeks. That means 50% of the time my DH and I are kid-free, and the other 50% of the time we have teens with us - not as demanding and consuming as babies, but they need to be driven all over the place! It can be challenging for us, too, because on our kid-free weeks, we'd like to enjoy kid-free adult company. And on our kid-occupied weeks, a lot of my friends are just finally getting around to having babies, which is a different stage entirely. I'm a scrooge but I already did all that, and I'd like to enjoy the next 10 years or so, before I become a grandma, and have little children running around my house toppling stuff over etc... But, essentially, DearSugar's advice was spot on!! I've learned that if I want to see my friends who are new mommies, then I need to graciously accept that it isn't going to happen unless I welcome their young children into my house at the same time. This means dinner parties that serve hot dogs and pizza for the kids and effort to put all the breakables away temporarily. (Our last such event, my gf's toddler fell asleep in the car on the way over, and slept the entire time... so TIP: plan get-togethers at nap time!). Or get together at their houses - the kids go to sleep early and the adults can stay up visiting. In return, my friends make an attempt to find a sitter every now and then too. (I've got two sitters in our house, so it's not difficult for them to find one!) We also enjoy our single friends who want to bar-hop, and go out with them on occasion too - acting as their "wing-men." Because that's what stage of life they are at right now. We'll hold parties where we drag all of our single friends together, and ask everyone to bring a new single person. And then play match-maker. ;-) We're also there for our friends who are struggling in their marriages or divorcing - because DH and I both already went through that stage too (and both felt abandoned by our married friends - like we would somehow drag them down with us). We let them come over and cry all over us, if that's what they feel like doing. Or even stay for a few days, if they feel too lonely. If you want good friends, you have to meet people whereever they are at, whatever stage in their lives. And age really has nothing to do with it. Of course, now we have friends of *all* ages - including a few your age. And some friends who are much older than us, i.e., retired.
linb linb 8 years
I agree with TidalWave - your "friends" don't sound very friendly if they refuse to schedule one night to hang out with you, just in case they get a date! Are they not able to go on a date on any other night?
injustica injustica 8 years
I've got a friend who is thirty-four, unmarried, childless, boyfriendless, and has never even had her first kiss. All of her friends and siblings are married with children, so she has resorted to hanging out with teenagers [she hangs out with my brother, who is fifteen] so that she doesn't feel left out with all the baby-blather going on. Remember: it can always be worse.
looseseal looseseal 8 years
If it's the company of childfree couples you're after, maybe see if there's a No Kidding chapter in your area. http://www.nokidding.net/ There are also some childfree forums on the internets, you could maybe meet some people that way, too.
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
Think you feel alienated?! Try being 28, husbandless (boyfriendless for that matter) and kidless! When all your friends are at the very least in serious relationships. Sounds like your single "friends" aren't very good friends if they would rather "go out clubbing" than go to a dinner party. Geez, if they had any brains they would know that they could spend the early evening with you eating delicious food, then go out to a bar with their libido after :)
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