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.
I rarely to never had close female friends. I got along better with men who seemed simpler and easier to anticipate, less prone to planting a knife in my back while smiling to my face. It wasn't until I was in my thirties that I could make, and keep female friends. Other than when I was a tiny kid, I mean. Now I have them, quite a few but rarely see them because we are all so busy.
My older friends became too busy upon getting married and having babies. Now all of our kids are mostly out of the house but they are still very busy. I'm hoping we'll be spending more and more time together now and in the future though.
So I made a new generation of friends. That went well until they too, hooked up and had babies. I see them maybe, a few times a year though we might stay in touch better through facebook and e-mail.
So I hung out and rant teens groups.
But even though I sometimes wonder if I'm the sort of person people just don't feel compelled to hang with or something, it has nothing to do with being an atheist or not. That's developed for me over the years. I went from very religious in a restrictive religion to not to agnostic to atheist. I don't think any of that cost me friends but I rarely talk about sex, religion or politics to anyone.
You aren't the only one. It was always difficult for me to have many female friends as I was bookwormish, socially awkward, and was never into fashion, pop culture, and the like. But I still managed to be gleaned by some females here and there. But my atheism did change that. The only close female friend I have is my sister (only 2 years younger than me). Our interests are very different, but we love each other and can talk bad about our old men together. :P
It does suck. I would love to have other friends. Even if it was just *2 or 3. I've tried, but I think women don't like me, generally speaking. Which is okay as well, I guess.
I'm learning to embrace my solitude. I run. I read. I work. I post online. I watch HGTV. I go shopping. And I hang out with my husband and my son, and occasionally my sister and her **6 children. If I can't talk about the latest in politics, health, or science, or ponder with you over history, psychology, or philosophy, you probably wouldn't find me interesting enough for a real friendship. ***I don't care about clothes, makeup, or Jersey Shore. Or the way you got your bread to rise just right in the middle, or how you finally got that stain out of the carpet. And I especially don't care how you rededicated your life to Jesus and feel called to witness to me to save me from the hell I deserve.
*Picture the whole Sex In the City setup.........wouldn't be terrible.
**Some are stepchildren.
***Not that I never discuss these things. I just can't see these topics as being the primary discussions between me and someone I would find interesting or who would find me interesting.
I was pretty socially awkward myself, but somehow always managed to find similarly challenged girls. There was a brief stint just out of high school that me and my friends went through a bit of drama and back-stabbing, but that was the exception in my experience... not the rule. It's too bad that females can have such bad impressions of each other.
I think women are pretty guarded against each other. I doubt that other women don't like you, but maybe they don't know how to respond to how self-sufficient you are. I briefly met a girl my boyfriend works with the other day (he's been saying we should hang with her and her bf) and I was slightly put-off because she didn't seem remotely interested in me. I think women like to feel like the other woman is somewhat interested before they'll put their self out there. Maybe she felt I was being stand-offish as well. It is a complicated song and dance, unfortunately.
I mean, Kim, it's frustrating because the way you describe yourself is just what I'm looking for in a friend! I want an intellectual, deeper connection... because I just don't respect the women who are only into the latest trends and reality TV shows. It almost makes me mad that our gender has been so thoroughly conditioned to fit into a stereotype that we can't even find friends like ourselves.
Why do all the "good ones" live so far away from each other?!
This may seem terrible of me to say/suggest this. (It probably deserves another discussion, but I'll try to make my point here briefly....please forgive me if I seem misogynistic or what-have-you. I most certainly am not.)
I find most women to be combative, overtly competitive, and manipulative. There isn't many women that I know under the age of 50 who are not ready for a good ole cat fight. Most of them hate each other for no real reason: "There's something about *her* that I just can't stand." Several of them maneuver their spouses/partners around to their way of thinking. As teenagers, when this behavior begins, young girls aren't emotionally, mentally equipped to practice self-control, or to overcome, the drive to be this way toward each other. Thus, you see girl-bullying. All of us here have probably been to high school and know the emotional trauma of what girls do to other girls. With boy-bullying, it's physical. With girls, it's psychological and physical.
I think it stems from our evolutionary development. Each female wanted her offspring to have the best food, the best shelter, the best resources. If that meant playing dirty, outcasting other females, what-have-you, then you did it or had it done to you. Look what we have today....who molds girls into forced prostitution? Sure, men may do the initial work of getting them to the brothels, but it is the madams who oversee the girls, beat the girls, drug them, etc. Who primarily encourages and performs female circumcisions? Women. They teach their daughters that it is a good thing, a rite of passage. The girls grow up, looking forward to the day that they become a "real woman", and are so proud (despite the pain) when they have it done, BY A WOMAN. It's just so weird, looking at it like that. Did misogyny and female subjugation start with a woman's hand?
Anyway, I digress. My point is that if what I suggested above is even somewhat true, is it any wonder that freethinking women are reluctant, if not totally opposed, to interacting strongly with other not-so-freethinking women? And when we try, is it any wonder that those same women are wary of us, trying to see what angle we are working from. Why do we care about the things we care about? They seem so odd to others... Why do we refuse to back down on issues such as religion, science, human rights? What do we hope to personally gain from being different? Why do men like actually talking with us when they won't do it at home? Are we an adversary to be sized up and taken down?
Am I suggesting that women are *bad* for these behaviors? No more than I am suggesting that men are *bad* for being easily manipulated, preoccupied with sex (moreso than women), and apathetic to their partners' social struggles that make them act so "crazy" sometimes. We're human.
But if you're anything like me, you like to keep the mind games in the bedroom where everybody can win. The song and dance trying to befriend others seems petty....why can't we assume that a polite, smiling person speaking to us just wants to be pals?
Wow! Well said Kim!
I always refer to women as "bitches" pretty much because we are. It is entirely possible that from an evolutionary standpoint we were conditioned this way. She's prettier than me, she has a better job, her boyfriend is cuter, blah blah blah. Please change the channel. We get it.....it's a competition. I was very tiny in jr high (picture an 80lb, 4 foot 10 girl with big glasses, long hair, and brains). I was mercilessly picked on, I'm talking books stolen, projects taken, thrown in a shower stall with my clothes on and then stuffed in a trash can, picked on.
Girls are bitches, I have always got along with men just fine, no problem, and when I grew up and was termed (an ugly duckling) I thought that may all be behind me. Nope! I wasnt getting thrown in trashcans and shower stalls anymore but words and actions hurt just as much. Not invited to parties, told I'm a slut because so and so's boyfriend liked me. Stupid! Now I'm 30 and finding a girlfriend who doesnt talk about Jesus, how children are such a blessing and a gift from god, and why don't I want any?? and give praise to God for the freaking sunset and trees,blah blah blah again. I want someone I can talk to about quantum theory, astrophysics, evolution, gay marriage, pro-life, SCIENCE in general. Sucks. LOL.
We'll have to start a club for women our age that don't have kids. There are lots of mom-clubs already. And, wow... I was never bullied like you were. I don't know how I avoided it. I was totally awkward... and super skinny as well. I did get asked quite often if I was anorexic though. Anyway. I'd invite you to MY party :)
How old are you Cara? If you dont mind me asking? Thanks :-) I would love to come to your party! LOl.
I'm 29... and 6 months shy of 30. We'd be like best buds ;)
I JUST turned 30 July 1st. We would be, sounds like we have a lot in common! What do you do for work?
@Lindsay - I'm living in the most conservative town I've ever lived in ... and have more non-religious friends than ever. It's weird - didn't deliberately set out to find a like-minded group, just fell into it. So maybe Florida will surprise you!
@Cara, hang in there. I think you may be ahead of the curve to some extent. Many women I know (myself included) didn't fully appreciate the importance of deep female friendships until they were older than you. So you may consider gearing your activities to a wider age group if you haven't already - sign up for an interesting class, join a book club, volunteer ...
While I've always had at least a couple of female friends, I find their friendship more important now than ever before (something about approaching 50 years old, dealing with teenagers, ...). I still would rather hang out with the guys shooting pool at a party than talking about manicures with the gals.
I do have to say I have rarely experienced the kind of cattiness that seems common to many women's experience. I think it was probably there when I was in school, I think I was just kind of oblivious to the social status stuff.
You certainly aren't alone. It's been a long time since I've had real friends around to hang out with and talk with on a regular basis. The friends I do have live far away and I only get to see them once or twice a year or interact over facebook.
I do have my partner, he and I go out once a week on the weekends and have a wonderful time together talking about nerdy things.
I've tried to make frineds but as is the pattern of my life those friends rarely stick around for very long. Typically it seems that I'm not interesting enough for them. I don't drink until I am shitfaced, I don't care about the latest Hollywood drama, I don't want to be "saved", I don't care about the latest fashion trends. I want a group of frineds (I don't care if they are guys or girls or couples or whatever) who enjoy going out roughly once a week and having a few drinks and talking about science, history, health care, education, psychology, or whatever.
I've pretty much given up on that for the time being. Hopefully someday in the future I'll have that but right now everyone is too busy, too far away or not interested in the same things.