Never had a close friend

<I saw the thread on “feeling lonely” but I thought this was not quite the same thing>

I was practicing Chinese vocabulary on “true friendship” and it occurred to me that I’ve never had anything approximating a true friend. No-one I can really open up to.

I know lots of people I can invite out for a drink and talk about cool stuff happening in our lives, or just general news. But I can’t really talk about very personal and/or negative stuff. e.g. I was in a very volatile relationship for 2 years and didn’t have the opportunity to talk to anyone about it.

I live in a huge city and if I were to say I don’t have close friends, I’m sure lots of people would say “Me too!”. But I’m also sure they probably have experienced a close friendship at some time in their life.

I think you may be setting the bar too high. It’s very rare to find the exact person that perfectly meets every need you have for an intimate platonic relationship. Just about everybody has a group of friends who each meet different social needs.

It sucks to feel you have nobody to talk to, but I think if you look back at the bad relationship you had, you may see that there were a couple of people who would have wished you would open up to them about it, if they only knew. Don’t be afraid to put some trust in people!

I used to feel that way, until I turned it around and started thinking about times other people had confided in me with heavy stuff, and I realized I did have close friends, I just wasn’t using them to disclose stuff about myself.
Try thinking of someone who has shared deep stuff with you and open up with them about a deep topic of your own. You may be surprised how quickly you bond.

I’m not sure about the whole idea of sharing stuff in order to be a close friend. I’ve got a lot of “confidantes” with whom I will share personal information. Some of them are actually quite distant from me. This sometimes makes it easier to talk about certain subjects.

A close friend will take you in when you leave your SO…no questions asked. A close friend will come pick you up when your motorcycle breaks down 50 miles from nowhere and he/she is in the middle of a family dinner. A close friend will take the time when there is no time.

Wow mature, useful responses all round. Doubly surprising since I started with an OP that didn’t really go anywhere or have a point…

I blame Hollywood for making us believe our friendships aren’t real unless we scream, cry, make up and share every single one of our innermost thoughts and feels with at least a dozen of our very, very closest pals. I’m married, so I do have that ‘close personal friendship,’ I think. Maybe you wouldn’t think so, since my wife and I don’t feel the need to know what the other is thinking all the time or who did what before we met.

Everyone who knows me knows that I need a lot of alone time, so I clearly spend more energy pushing people away than I do attracting them. Sometimes I do an inventory like Mijn and wonder who I would call if something happened to my wife and the question is unanswered so far. There’s isn’t a BFF out there waiting to spring into action at my call but when I think about it, there are a lot of people who would answer the phone (once I found their phone number) and help if they could with a smile on their face, because they are nice people too and they probably feel the same way as me. I think that kind of friendship is just fine.

Not counting my wife, I’ve never had that sort of friend.

I haven’t missed it. I don’t feel much need to share my personal problems and if I have them,
I can share them with Mrs. Chuck (admittedly, they are usually relatively minor).

I never really had close friends as a child. I’d hang out with people, but end up just drifting away. And it has never bothered me at all.

For a long time in my life, I felt much the same way you do, that for long stretches I didn’t really have any close friends. There were times where I had one person I would confide in about many of my most private thoughts and feelings, other times I felt completely isolated. One thing I’ve come to realize, much more recently than I wish I had, is that expecting to find one person to meet all or even most of my needs is rare. Part of this is due to the diversity and particular uncommon nature of my interests, but a lot of it has to just do with the nature of my personality in general.

As others had mentioned, I’m the type of person that a lot of people just feel comfortable opening up to. In the sense that I’ve even had strangers or people I’ve just met open up about intimate details of their lives and seek advice. For me, it’s common enough that I never really drew a distinction between when it happened randomly like that, with general acquaintances, or with actual loved ones in my life. It actually created an odd sort of inverse intimacy, such that I was often more willing to share some of my more private details with relatively less known people, largely because it seemed normal to do so, but also because, realizing that those closest to me were affected by these things, that I didn’t want to burden them with knowing the depths of the various troubles facing me.

What I’ve come to realize, though, is that those who actually trust me not only share with me, but seek my advice, not as confirmation of their pre-existing beliefs, but because they actually value my input. More so, as they’ve come to know me, they will actually seek out me sharing with them because they’ve come to notice that at one point I was open and it somehow changed and they felt that I’d distanced myself from them even as they’ve come to trust and love me more.

And so now, I sort of have a way of knowing pretty well when a relationship with someone has developed to that level. However, even knowing that, it doesn’t necessarily mean that everything is shareable with all of these people. Some of my friends, again just by nature of their interests or personality, even if they’re willing, just aren’t great at connecting with at certain levels on certain topics, and that’s not only okay, but I think it’s good. It helps to create that special intimacy there that makes that relationship special and also helps to relieve me of feeling like I’m burdening any one friend.

So, in short, I always had close friends, I was just to some extent blind to it and to another unwilling to extend the same degree of trust and intimacy they were to me, and when I did, it felt completely natural. And now I know anyone I would call a close friend is someone I can absolutely depend on.