Lonely and friendless

A Relate study recently showed that 1 in 10 people in the UK said they had no friends and 1 in 5 reported feeling unloved.

I read this again in the Sunday Observer today, the journalist talking about this in the context of an age where Facebook has made Friend into a verb, an age where people like and friend and tag and yet 1 in 10 report having no friends.

It saddens me to think of people feeling unloved and wanting friends but having none and not feeling able to change that.

I reflect on my life and feel blessed. So many long term friends, one seen last night I have been close to for 37 years though not always in the same country – which has less significance in these tweeting, email, FaceTime days than it was back then – the days of letters and calls from public phones. And I am staying for a few days up in Edinbugh, an old home town, with a friend of 25 years and going to meet up later with others. The shared memories of good and bad times over the years, the friendships that endure when marriages and other relationships sometimes haven’t. People that will always be there for each other. Priceless.

I talked the other night with another long term friend who stayed with us in London on her way from Australia. We revisited the vague plan we all have as a group of about 15 of us to pool our resources when the time comes and buy a big place together and buy in care. No need for any of us to be lonely, isolated or abandoned. The thought gives comfort.

So I read these statistics and feel grateful for the life that is mine and the friendships full of love that we have all nurtured over the years.