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.

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It's great that you're making friends, even if they are theists. A theist friend is better than no friend at all. But, as you said, it's difficult to establish some kind of emotional connection when you can't share things that are a part of you for fear of offending. It seems ridiculous but this is what we have to deal with! I'm having the same problem with my friends. Our friendship is basically just on the surface. It could also be because I've distanced myself from them because I know I have nothing in common with them, so it's probably partly my own fault.

You're lucky to have met someone through a Think Atheist meet-up. There are too few atheists here in South Africa to do something like that. There would probably be 3 people who would show up.

Why did you want to delete your Facebook account?

My atheism hasn't been an obstacle to me making female friends. I just have a lot of friends who are religiously/spiritually unusual, like they're pagan or wiccan.

Do you generally avoid mocking religious people, or do you only mock Christians, so your pagan friends are safe? ;) 

You may see I'm a bit sensitive about that. However, I do understand Christians being the main target of atheists' jokes since they are the majority.

I am struggling, too, but I think it's nothing time and effort can't fix. I have a sister-in-law who left Christianity about four years ago, so I have her. I am a pretty honest person, and I will tell my family, but I'm hanging out in the closet because I am anticipating how I will set boundaries, etc. Also, losing someone in your religious community is kind of like a death, so I am sensitive to the real pain people will feel. 

Ironically, this is the first time in my life I have lived in such a small, conservative town. It's also the first time in my life I have only had Christian friends (locally, I mean). They all knew that I had been struggling with my faith, and they probably have noticed I haven't gone to church in forever - while my husband and kids still do! Still, I have only told one of them the result of my doubting. This is partly because I just haven't had time and partly because I know what's inevitable with such differing world views. I was already pretty weird in the first place. :P

I'm sure there are more potential friends around you than you think. It can be very difficult and find ways to make time to find them.


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