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Loneliness at university
Going to university can be the start of a whole new social life, but it can also be a lonely time. Loneliness comes from the gap between the social life you want and the social life you have. Any unplanned or unwanted alone time can leave you feeling lonely [1], particularly when you’re in a new place, away from all your familiar people. When you’re young and already going through a lot of upheaval, loneliness can be a powerful sensation. You’re trying to map out your future and your social world is rapidly changing. Your friends – even if they’re not be the same ones you had a few years ago – are becoming more important than ever before [1]. How does loneliness happen? The changes you are going through are often linked to some of the significant factors that can cause loneliness in young people: Changes in your social network. Becoming more independent from your parents and family. Exploring your identity [1]. As we grow up and start to figure out who we are, our social circles tend to shift from away from family, towards friends, perhaps because it’s easier to discuss the big issues with people in similar situations. When you leave home and go to university, you’ll be figuring out more about who you want to be. You may make new friends and start to let go of old ones, choosing to spend time with people who reflect your new interests and ambitions, people who can help you feel like you’re working towards the future you’ve just had your first glimpse of. This doesn’t mean that your family stops being important or that they leave your social circle entirely, but you might notice that the centre of your circle drifts closer to your friends. Transitional periods Feelings of loneliness can be exacerbated by any big life transition, including moving out of your family home and going away to study. A strong support network of close friends and family can help ease this pressure [2] but you may not always have access to this. If you’re going to university and you don’t know anyone, take advantage of the social activities on offer. Make plans to spend more time with the people you meet and seek out others who share your interests. And don’t go thinking you’ve got to rush to find a romantic partner to stop you from feeling lonely! Friendships can be just as good for you, boosting your self-esteem and mental wellbeing, and giving you all the benefits of intimacy and companionship that you’d get from a romantic partner [2]. The power of sharing One interesting way that you can deepen your sense of feeling socially connected is to share your possessions [3], which can be easily done in shared accommodation. As well as simple loans of things like books and clothes (if that’s your thing), there are a few other ways to think about sharing possessions. Setting up a TV or games console in a shared area means you and your housemates can enjoy it together. If one of you has a car, giving lifts is a good way to be helpful (in exchange for a contribution towards fuel, of course). Laptops and printers can be a handy loan for last-minute assignments. You can all save money by clubbing together for kitchen staples like salt, oil, teabags and washing up liquid. You can also save space by sharing kitchen equipment. If, say, one of you has a big frying pan and one of you has a colander, sharing these items can help you feel more connected – but do make sure you wash up afterwards! If you do lend and borrow possessions, be clear about what the boundaries are around when things are expected to be returned and in what condition. If you’re worried, a good rule is to avoid lending or borrowing anything that you can’t afford to replace.   References [1] Laursen, & Hartl. (2013). Understanding loneliness during adolescence: Developmental changes that increase the risk of perceived social isolation. Journal of Adolescence, 36(6), 1261-1268. [2] Lee, C., & Goldstein, S. (2016). Loneliness, Stress, and Social Support in Young Adulthood: Does the Source of Support Matter? Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 45(3), 568-580. [3] Gentina, E., Shrum, L., & Lowrey, J. (2018). Coping with Loneliness Through Materialism: Strategies Matter for Adolescent Development of Unethical Behaviors. Journal of Business Ethics, 152(1), 103-122.
Article | university, loneliness
“Long distance relationship tips”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   Don’t sweat it. Most people think their long distance relationship will fail because they fear their partner will replace them with someone else. In an attempt to protect themselves from this fear, their brain highlights their partner’s most negative traits. This is a common defense mechanism which prepares for the emotional pain of a break-up. However, couples who establish that they have a trusting, committed relationship, and work on their own individual mental health report greater intimacy in their long distance relationships. Lower levels of psychological distress in each individual also has positive effects on commitment, communication, and satisfaction in the long-distance relationship. Healthy daily activities such as running, yoga and meditation can all contribute to a greater relationship with one’s self, which in turn results in more positivity and optimism in the relationship. Distance makes the heart grow fonder. The scarcity effect is a technique successful marketers use to increase the value perception of their products. If a product is less available, people view it as more desirable as a certain status applies to the exclusive few who have it. The latest iPhone must be amazing if there is a long queue of people waiting at the store opening to acquire one of the scarce few, right? In long-distance relationships, the demand almost always exceeds the supply. You love each other deeply but cannot see each other as much as you would like. Due to this, couples perceive each other – and their time together – as more valuable. Planning frequent visits ahead of schedule provides anticipation and excitement. It also shows a willingness to invest in the relationship, which promotes security within it. Those who continue to arrange special and thoughtful dates once committed to each other have reported much more relationship satisfaction than those who see each other when it’s convenient. Communication is key. Although physically seeing each other may be a scarcity, speaking with each other should not be. Communication really is key as it results in less loneliness, greater feelings of intimacy, and lower levels of jealousy. Try to make it a mixture of planned and spontaneous communication to keep the relationship both comforting and filled with excitement.
User article | long distance, communication
“We argue constantly”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   My boyfriend and I have been together for a little under a year. At first it was amazing, he treasured me so much and made me feel like I was his complete world. He has made a few mistakes along the way but always fought to rectify them and made sure that I knew how sorry he was (none of the mistakes were massive). Lately, everything just seems to have changed and we just seem to be arguing constantly, no matter how hard we try not to. He struggles with communication and doesn’t talk about his problems due to his childhood where he had to learn to deal with things on his own and couldn’t rely on others to be there for him. Due to this, I rarely know what’s going on inside his head and I think that sometimes, he doesn’t even know what’s going on inside his head. It can often take a good hour or two of me talking to him before he starts to open up, until then he appears to just shut down. Lately when we argue, he says that he is fed up and doesn’t think we will work and that he doesn’t want to be with me anymore. But when we are fine again, he says that he doesn’t ever mean that, that he doesn’t want to lose me and that he’s only saying these things because he’s feeling low at the time (he struggles with low mood but hasn’t been diagnosed with depression). The way that he talks to me during arguments and generally how he treats me has changed. We’ve sat down and discussed the things that need changing (communication being the key thing, especially in arguments). We’ve been working on these things and although we do sometimes go into old habits again, generally our communication and how we handle arguments is a lot better (taking time away before the argument escalates, being constructive instead of just digging at each other). There are also things that he needs to change, such as lying which has been an issue. He now seems to be being far more truthful to me, even if he knows that I won’t like what I hear. Having said all of that, when we argue he always just says that nothing has changed and that nothing will ever change (when we aren’t arguing he acknowledges that things are slowly changing and that these things don’t just happen over night). The thing that I struggle with is that I don’t know which is the truth... is he telling the truth when in an argument or just saying it to get at me? Does he say the truth when things are good or just say what he thinks I want to hear? I’m worried about our future and whether things will ever get easier. Currently I am the one fighting for our relationship because he is in a low place anyway and struggles to talk, and then we have the constant arguments on top. He also told me that he has insecurities and he’s convinced that the inevitable is that I am going to leave him for someone else someday, which I think puts him in the mindset that there’s no point in fighting for something that is going to end anyway. Will things ever get easier or are they destined to be doomed?
Ask the community | arguments, depression
“He doesn’t trust me”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   My boyfriend's last relationship failed due to her cheating on him. My relationships have always failed because I've allowed them to abuse, humiliate, and control me. Our relationship was going pretty well until I moved in. We were both used to living alone and not having to answer to anyone. I had spent 4 years in therapy gaining the strength to love myself and create boundaries with people that made me comfortable. My boyfriend hasn't had much therapy and has extreme trust issues. We had been fighting and he told me to leave. He had been trying to tell me who I could be friends with, I wasn't allowed to talk to family or friends to vent about my struggles, I had to make sure it was okay for me to go places, he wanted me to go to bed when he did, I couldn't go in another room to have time to myself, etc. I felt controlled again. I'm 47 years old and didn't feel I needed permission. I did move out. We were texting and he was very angry. Was calling me names and threatened to hurt himself. I was concerned for him and sent his sisters our conversation. Since then we have been trying to work on this and he doesn't trust me at all because I sent our texts to his sisters. I apologized and offered to do more to show he could trust me. I had to leave his house early last weekend because my best friend was in a serious car crash and I was her emergency contact. He didn't believe me and said I needed to take a picture to prove I was at the hospital. I did and my friend was extremely upset. I was devastated that I did something against her will but he said I needed to do what he asked so he could trust me. I have double pneumonia and have been in bed. He said he didn't know if i was telling the truth, but he wouldn't ask for proof. I honestly have done absolutely nothing for him not to trust me except sending our texts to his sisters. Ever. He said I haven't done anything to earn his trust and that I need to. Am I wrong in not feeling like this is right? I really need advice.
Ask the community | trust, emotional abuse, control
“He wants to take the kids”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   I found out that my five years husband was cheating on me and leaving with another woman for three months and I kicked him out. He was making feel I was paranoid and obsessed but i saw his text message as he had his phone sharing things with the laptop so I saw everything... After that I accepted it and was living my life again, after five years I was very depressed and I was not happy at all. We were being cordial for the kids , he came to my house to see them and the last time he came crying he is regretting his decision, that she was controlling him...bla, bla, bla...the worst part I believe him and we kissed. He told me he has to make a big decision. The next day he was texting me about the birthday party of his girlfriend ‘s daughter if I allowed the kids to go. Still one month for the party and i said we will speak in person...so he started getting angry that I don’t allow the kids with him that he wants to marry her...so I said after what we did yesterday and you tell me and she listened it...so she went mental and they had a big argument and now he is blaming me for all that...why i said that...and treated me that he is going to make my life a hell and he will take the kids....I am very tired of always be the one to blame for his lies and for everything... any suggestions what to do??
Ask the community | cheating, someone else
“Struggling to get over being cheated on”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   I have been with my boyfriend just over 2 years, its been the best and happiest relationship i have ever had and we moved in together early May this year. It was the best our relationship had ever been ( or so i thought) and he was talking about marriage, having a family etc. This all came crashing down when i received a message whilst we were on a couples holiday from a girl telling me that she had slept with my boyfriend a week prior. Ever since this has happened i think i have felt every emotion in the book and it is so exhausting. I have tried having a ‘break’ from the relationship but just couldn’t do it. I feel so weak for not being able to leave and i don’t think i have fully come to terms with the fact that this person probably isn’t who i thought he was. It hasn’t been helped due to him lying about it for weeks until i confronted him with evidence when he finally admitted it, and i don’t know whether the lies or the cheating hurt more? The woman he cheated with is gorgeous, a stripper and older than me and since this i feel completely inadequate. I can’t stop thinking what is it about me that led him to do that? why did he lie so much? how could he jeopardise a relationship like ours? I feel so low in myself and its affecting my daily life. I can’t sleep properly and constantly have flashbacks and we are now 3 months on. I feel like i should be over this by now but i just can’t move on. I love him so much and feel like i don’t know my own identity without him and i just don’t know what to do. Any advice whatsoever would be so appreciated x
Ask the community | cheating, someone else
“Relationship issues and trust”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   I particularly am writing about one of my friend who is desperately looking for help or some therapy to help her through the rough journey. Therapist visits are expensive and a lower middle class family cannot afford it. If you can somehow help her with information or an in depth article on relationship issues and how to deal with it, I'm sure it would help her and millions of maybe other women who can relate to their own story. One day she caught her husband of 26 years cheating on her. He had been seeing the other woman for past 2 years and exchanging sexual messages and spending time together alone with the other woman. He was having sexual relationship with the other woman and also constantly sexting with her for past 2 years. My friends whole world crashed. She could not accept it. Her husband was her ideal, someone she cherished and looked upon always. He was her strength. She could not bear the pain and hurt and would cry for hours locking herself in the toilet. She wanted to leave her husband but could not do so thinking of her kids. Now every time she looks at his face she cannot find the man she once loved. It was as if he was a stranger. 26 years of her life with him felt a waste. She felt let down. The day she caught him cheating was a tragic day. She was running a very high fever, so he lovingly took her to the doctor, gave her medicine and put her to bed and then went to meet the other woman saying he was going for a prayer meet. All along he was planning and plotting while being so nice to her on the face. She could not bear this hypocrisy. Everyday she goes through anguish and pain. She tells me how could he do this to her and then come back home and sleep and share their bed as if nothing happened? She says her whole faith and trust is broken and now she does not know how she can believe in him? She cannot afford a therapist. Please help her with your article or suggestions on how she can move forward. Your feedback would help her greatly. Also, I would like to mention one more thing which I missed mentioning. She had confronted her husband on this and he said that it was nothing and a mistake and would not repeat it. He said she asked him if he wanted sex and so he had said yes and it was only a sexual relation. My friend feels because he got caught and forgot their love and togetherness when he cheated on her. She feels he keeps contact with her and in his mobile her number is still kept saved. N----- talks of death and wanting to die and although she is still with him, she cannot come to terms with her pain and is unable to trust him anymore. This worries me as she was a very jovial and loving person and now she is withdrawn and in her own shell, not wanting to meet people. Please do help. Very worried for her. She is not in a position to hire a therapist. I do hope you would be able to somehow help.
Ask the community | cheating, trust, emotional affair
“Texting behind my back”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   My wife is texting a co-worker who just got divorced after 24 years of marriage. They have been texting behind my back, talking long hours on the phone. He gave her a new phone after her phone broke, I kept my mouth shut after I found out that they are getting to close to each other, but one day after I refused having sex with her, that I feel insecure and she better explains to me what is going on. She said that she will stop talking to him and texting him , but it was not my point , my point was whether i should trust you or not anymore. I know it sounds stupid but I'm the kind of persons who never trust after they have been fooled once ! I asked her what have you been guys talking about , and her answer was " we talk about stupid stuff " , I said " if me and you talk about stupid stuff for more than 20 minutes , you will be bored and want to do something fun instead ". I decided to leave her which i did for a couple months now , and never come back until she or he shows me what was the content of the text messages , otherwise there is no way that i go back with her ! Trust is not a game , she arranged a phone conference with me and the guy , he said that he does not keep his text messages and only the president of the United states can restore them and there was nothing going on between him and my wife anyway !!! now we are on a divorce process and she seems not worried at all , she just put the blame on me !!
Ask the community | cheating, trust, emotional affair