Surely, I'm not the only one!
We already know that atheist men [allegedly] outnumber women, although I do sometimes suspect there are merely more "in the closet" atheist women who don't come out because they don't want to lose friends.
While I was on my search for truth, which ultimately led to my atheism, I didn't anticipate losing friends... but I have. In my case, it's not that they've exactly abandoned me because of my lack of faith, but we simply don't have anything in common anymore. I simply cannot just call one of my lifelong buddies up and ask for advise or get support from them... because all I'll get from them is woo-advice! "Oh, did you pray about it?!" or "All things work out for the good of those who love Him... " or "The Bible says this about your problem..." For this very reason, I also cannot call my mom when I'm upset. I can just feel that she wants to make some religious reference every time I talk about my life.
Four years after finally deciding I don't believe there's a god, this lack of emotional connection has gotten to me. I had a really good friend in 2008, but I moved away. We're still close, but our lives get in the way so we don't talk often, and we've only seen each other once, briefly, since. I'd LOVE if she lived closer, but yeah... this being an adult nonsense really prohibits one from uprooting for any reason other than money.
Basically, I feel like I'm admitting weakness by simply stating that I need a friend. I've always, always had close friends. I've never had trouble finding friends! It could be my age (everyone is getting married or having babies, thus making them unavailable). It could also be that I can't be friends with just anyone at this point because the likelihood is high that a random, nice person will also believe there's a god.
Are any of you other ladies having difficulty with this? Am I the only one who need yet lacks close girlfriends because of being atheist? What do you do to cope? Are you near family? What should we do to reconnect with our sister? Because I, for one, thrive best when I have females in my life.
Oregon really is a great place to live and overall people here are very progressive. Progressive doesn't mean that they aren't tainted by some kind of woo though. I know many people who are atheists, however beyond that many aren't very rational. They are the people who think that homeopathy works, that licensed physicians just want to sell you drugs that keep you sick, raising your voice to a child is abuse, 9/11 was an inside job, we never landed on the moon, aliens are among us, they believe in a life force, the universe is like mind blowing man.... Ok so I might be exaggerating a little but sometimes this sort of person is more annoying and frustrating and harder to be around than my christian tea party relatives who surprisingly enough don't mind having me around or discussing politics and religion. And really Portland isn't the only progressive place in Oregon, most cities with a population over 5,000 have decent number of so called hippy-liberal-progressives in them.
I too wish all the girls on here lived near each other.
just last weekend, I got caught in a discussion of balancing chakras and reorienting all molecules in our children to their true nature. Like wrestling with jell-o, that.
- You just described many people I meet in Eugene perfectly! This is exactly the reason I have such a hard time finding friends. Everything's going fine then suddenly Bam! Woo all over in my face... makes me want to carry around one of those 'bang head here' posters.
I don't have a single female friend. Some because I am an atheist, and others because I find it hard to relate to vacuous empty headed bimbos, which most unfortunately seems to be the norm where I work, travel and live.
Be nice to discuss female issues without all the boring gossip, bitching and small talk that seems to be the centre (Aussie sic) line of their existence.
Yep, I read, I make, I do. I certainly am hearing the other women that have responded here.
I've actually been pining for some good girlfriends lately too. Although we moved to a more rural area from Seattle last year, and since moving here, my husband and I have been meeting a lot of people. I was a little scared because neither of us have jobs (so no finding friends at work), and we're both in school online (so no finding friends in class). I honestly had no idea how to make friends except for going to church, because all of my friends are either leftovers from high school, or friends from church or other Christian circles, most of whom I have little in common with now. Anyway, I was fiddling around online one day when I remembered meetup.com, so I gave it a look. I actually found a skeptics group and an atheist/agnostic group in my area. I also found a ladies social group and a ladies book club. We've been here for nearly a year now, and John and I have both made some really good friends. I am so glad the groups exist, because now I still go to the groups, but I have friends from the groups that I just hang out with. Luckily, since I live in the PNW, most people out here are pretty open minded, and while not everyone is atheist/agnostic (in my book club, for instance), we all just accept each other and get along really well. It's very cool. Especially since I live in a military town, too. I thought for sure the fundies would be rampant here, but I haven't run into too many of them, thank goodness.
But yeah, I think that having girlfriends is a really important thing. Women need other like minded women to talk to and have fun with.
I can relate to all of it. I'm 30, just "came out of he closet" so to speak and when I finally said I dont believe in God most women I know took a step back, even family. I also feel like I would love a female friend. Preferably one that can challenge me intellectually, someone like minded, and someone without kids. Is that too much to ask? LOL. I'm also in an interesting situation where I am focused more on my career. I'm taking classes to get professional certification and hope to attain a Masters and ultimately a doctorates in Curriculum and Instruction. So I'm 30 and I have no desire to have kids. Really I'm not sure if I ever want kids, thankfully my hubby is on the same page.
I also have a very close friend who lives pretty far away (Tampa). We dont see each other but talk occasionally. I have another who lives in NY and we see each other every summer and chat throughout the year. She's a doctor of Psychology and I love talking with her because she can actually hold an intelligent conversation. Unfortunately there arent many open-minded women around here so I can relate you when you say it's lonely.
I do not think it is a sign of weakness to admit you need a friend, on the contrary I think it is a sign of strength to admit when something is your life isnt going the way you would like it to and you take steps to make it better. Once you say it, it's out there in the universe, and the universe has a strange yet wonderful way of responding.
I spend a lot of time with my hubby. I love my mom and dad, very much, but they tend to throw around the religious rhetoric. When I got my contract re-newed and a raise my mom said "God answered my prayers!" I wanted to be like....ummmm no Mom you are robbing me, I DID THAT! by working my ass off! I was the reason I got a good contact and raise, not God. So yeah, things like that really annoy me. However they are my parents and above everything else I dont want any regrets so I spend a lot of time with them and keep conversations to cooking, the Bakery, gardening, and the weather.
Wow I'm rambling....anyways yes it's super important to have a girl friend to do stuff with, yes I feel the same way, I'm lonely and need a friend too, and to cope I have had to "learn" to be by myself and I found this place of like minded individuals.
My mom is in Texas, which is halfway across the country from me. I try to just keep our convos about my niece (her granddaughter), the weather, and whatever other random thing we can think of to steer clear of politics and religion. I think that, because the elections are coming up and our country is so divided over it, that our relationship has been especially strained. It's gotten harder and harder for me to go to her when I need emotional support. It's almost impossible to avoid some key issue from sneaking into our conversations... but when she keeps hoping aloud I'll one day move back to Texas, I can only hold my tongue so many times before I blurt out something about Gov Rick Perry defunding women's healthcare in the state just to spite Planned Parenthood. And when she sends me links to Faux News, even after I've asked her not to send me stuff like that, I am not always able to resist launching into my opinion about that "news" network, and the Republicans, and the liar Mitt Romney. She's baiting me. We're at an impasse right now, and that's painful. I'm glad you're mostly able to keep it civil with your parents.
I did just get off the phone with my amazing friend from Florida. It is good to talk with her. I feel like I'd be able to let off so much steam with her if she were around. We just get each other. Life gets so much in the way. At least we've picked a date and are planning a weekend trip to NYC. Hopefully that'll pan out.
I guess I'm in the process of learning to be by myself. I mean, I'm pretty cool ;) , but I feel I get a little lost in my head and need someone to pull me out of my thoughts sometimes. I am way too analytical, and I think things to death. I can't turn my brain off. Expressing all my, sometimes crazy, thoughts to my partner isn't always good for us... but talking is how I sort things out. Oh well! I'll talk to my cat (this must be the makings of a crazy cat lady).
Anyway... thanks for all your thoughtful responses. We'll all have to plan on hanging out if any of us ever happen to be in the area. :)
I have female friends, but I don't get to see them much because of busy lives. I have one friend whose company I enjoy but with whom I can't hang out much because she ends up trying to convert me. I know she genuinely cares about me and likes me, but I don't like that aspect of our friendship. She is a very caring and funny person anyway. She says I'm the smartest person she's ever met. Even among friends sometimes I feel different because of that.
I think a lot of religious folks naturally meet and grow close to others at church, and we lack that social environment. The closest thing I've found is the Unitarian Universalist church, which tends to attract the more cerebral crowd but still, it's a church. I would rather be out hiking on Sunday mornings.
I find that the females with whom I'm connected online do actually provide some of that connection. It's not like we can go have a cup of coffee and hang out though.
This is an interesting topic. I do feel alone sometimes but it's not because I don't have friends, even female friends. I've got two kids with serious health issues and sometimes I feel like that takes up most of my time and energy. I truly am grateful for somehow having changed from being a rather screwed-up and socially misguided teenager and young adult, to knowing there are a lot of people who care about me and want to spend time with me.
Thanks for the encouragement, Sarah. I do actually have friends who are still Christian, and even some who are "spiritual". In some difficult moments, I do wish I had someone, who lived nearby, to talk to that could offer practical advice rather than "pray about it" or "put it out to the universe." Ya know? You're totally right that, as long as people are genuine, that can be really therapeutic.
I just feel like I'm going through, and have gone though, changes that few can relate to. I get tired of the assumptions made about where I've ended up. I'm not sure at what stage in your journey to enlightenment you are, but my Christian friends and family have insisted I ended up atheist because of rebellion or some bad experience with the church. It's invalidating. I don't feel like they know me, or my character, at all. I just don't feel like they can help me work through some of the things I've been thinking about.
Think Atheist has definitely helped; I've met lots of great people on this site. It just gets a little lonely in RL when I have to kinda assume everyone believes there's a god or some higher power, and that they'd be appalled to find out I don't. People recoil. So, I can guard myself by not being honest and open, and thereby not find any true friends... or I can be honest and open anyway, and have them simply reject or look down on me anyway. It's a Catch 22. I guess I'll get through it... I'm sure there's someone around here I can connect with. :P
Only recently do I understand where you are coming from with this post. I also have never had any trouble with finding friends. I still do have 'friends' but no real emotional connection with any of them. We have absolutely nothing in common, and I fear that if I try to discuss what it is that interests ME instead of all the nonsense that they always discuss that I would be rejected from the group and be left alone. So I tend to stay away from those topics.
Luckily I have a family that is also atheist/deistic who enjoy talking about religion and these kinds of things so I have an outlet in them, as well as my boyfriend who has been at my side through all of my troubled times regarding my friends.
Lately I have been feeling so different and so tired of it, not because I want to change who I am to fit in, but because I want to find people that I can relate to and who can relate to me.
Luckily, since I wrote this, a few things have changed. I quit the job I had, and that's allowed me the opportunity to have a life again. I was on-call and couldn't make plans, so that really cut me off from people. It's only been a little over a month since I left that position so I haven't quite made up for lost time, but I'm getting there... sort of.
It's still a struggle to meet people who aren't religious, even if they're not "active". I have a couple girl friends here, but one is a Christian, the other is "spiritual". The Christian is really cool and very liberal considering that she's Christian, but I obviously can't speak freely. We can hang out and have fun, and I can express my opinion on politics, and she agrees... but, to be close with someone, you have to be able go deep.
Religion was a huge part of my past and, no matter what I do, it'll always be a part of my life. You should be able to cry on a friend's shoulder sometimes... and tell them *why* you're crying. I'm sad my relationship with my mother is damaged... and religion is the wedge. I'm angry I didn't go to college earlier... and religion was the reason (I thought the "Tribulation" would start while I was away from home). LOTS of things in my past and present are affected by religion, and I simply can't open up to anyone about it unless they share my view of religion. It's so strange to think that I have to worry about offending someone by telling them what hurt me!
Anyway... baby steps. I now have a friend that I met at our Think Atheist meet-up. She lives pretty far away (an hour), but we see each other once or twice a month. It takes a while to really get to know someone when you've gotta do it in the space of two hours, one or two times a month. Still, I'm happy to have the freedom to do it now.
And, like you, I have a fantastic boyfriend. He is my best friend, but he's also a dude and I can't always talk to him. I mean, he just wants to solve all my problems, and gets frustrated when he can't. Girls know it's okay to just listen and be supportive. There aren't always answers.
So... things are getting better, and that's good. I like where I live more and more. I'll eventually have a network of people, and their different personalities/beliefs will balance me out. Although... I was just tempted to delete my Facebook account. O_o