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How do you help?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by thewhiterabbit, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. How do you help a friend who is seriously lonely but living overseas? One of my best friends moved to Australia nearly three years ago. She loves a lot of things over there but is chronically lonely. She is in her mid-30s and single. She'd love to meet someone and has been trying to go on internet dates but not met anybody she clicks with yet. She has friends but a lot of them are in couples. Coming back to the UK is not really an option because of her job and most of the time, she has things to get on with but often she feels really isolated.
    I spoke to her over the weekend and she was in tears about the Easter weekend - they have a 5 day weekend over there and she has no plans. Everyone she knows is either going away or seeing family/partners.
    I know there's another thread on here about someone who feels lonely - but how do you help a friend who is lonely when they live so many miles away?
  2. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Lead commenter

    Surely they have singles clubs and volunteering opportunities in Australia?

    She's an adult and though it's nice of you to be so concerned there's little you can do from the other side of the world.
  3. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Maybe she's homesick.
  4. inq


    Skype so you can talk face to face?

  5. dominant_tonic

    dominant_tonic Established commenter

    I'm with ilovesooty - great to know you are concerned, but really there is little you can do.
    She seems very different to me, and is behaving in the exact opposite way to me since I have been over here. And I don't mean I expect everyone to be the same, and that I have it sussed, it just all struck me as odd when I was reading your post.
    Is she happy in her work? 3 years is a long time to be somewhere, whatever the country, and still be lonely. It makes me wonder if she is really happy in her work, or if she is so homesick, she just wants out. What line of work is she in? Is it a sociable job where you meet others, or an isolating sort of job. When I am homesick, and i have been incredibly so, I have ranted on here and had some great support, sobbed my heart out here, and not rung home, because I owuldn't have been able to do it without crying. Sometimes it has been a few days, but you get over it.
    Maybe this is just a holiday thing? Chusock and lunar new year were both difficult for me, because over here everything is family based and they all return to their families. I made it a few days of me time involving much chocolate, books, and good wine :) However cabin fever was only just kept at bay.
    I don't know what to suggest really. She sounds really unhappy, and is using work to keep herself occupied. Maybe she does want to come back. Why can't she leave her job? Can't she do the same over here?
    Maybe she's just homesick (and I don't mean just - it can be crippling. I really thought I understood the phrase my heart will break, but thankfully short periods only). I can't talk to people at home when I am, and receiving a parcel /card etc kills me every time. So on that score, the fact that she rung you is what makes us different and makes me run out of suggestions. Maybe thought she would love a parcel of home goodies, or some photos emailed to he, or a little book signed with messages from friends and family or something similar?
    is it coming up to someones birthday, anniversary, anniversary of someones death etc that could be making her a bit wobbly?
    CQ was really helpful when I was really really homesick, and know the score, maybe she will have some good advice. I will have a think, and if I have a flash of inspiration, will post back.
    Bless her though, difficult being so far away when down.
  6. Thanks for all your replies. I know there's nothing I can do and it's not my responsibility to make her happy - but it's hard to speak to someone and know they're not happy. We do chat over skype pretty regularly and I'm going to visit her later this year with another friend. She does enjoy her career (she works in publishing) but she is a bit bored in her current job. She was granted residency earlier this year so she's able to start looking for different jobs now - before that she was sponsored so had to remain with her current company. She could move back to the UK but the publishing industry in Australia seems more stable than over here.
    I think a lot of it is down to still being single in her mid-30s when most of her friends are in couples, and also this 5 day Easter holiday coming up when all her friends are busy with family/partners. I also think partly it's the realisation that moving country doesn't change you - she felt dissatisfied with her life over here and was always keen to travel but she said at the weekend that she felt like she could reinvent herself abroad and then realised that you're just the same person in a new country.

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