Reply To: How you deal with loneliness
That sounds like a really tough situation – your ex taking custody of your joint friends. I’m sure most parents of teenagers can identify with them being busy with their own lives, which changes what they need from you.
I work for OPFS and didn’t want to leave your post unanswered, but I know from the single parents we support that you are not alone in feeling lonely so hopefully others will reply soon with their own experiences and tips. Until then you might find some of the info we have on ‘My Life, and Me’ useful as a starting point; https://opfs.org.uk/support-and-advice/health-and-wellbeing/feeling-less-lonely-and-more-in-touch-with-others/
Mental Health Foundation produced a really useful downloadable guide to Loneliness. Although it is aimed at young parents, I think some of the information can be useful to parents of all ages – https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/scotland/explore-mental-health/loneliness/young-parent-guide-loneliness
This could also be an opportunity for you to reconnect with your younger self, hobbies you used to have, things you wished you had more time to do when your kids were younger. Are there any groups such as sports, photography, languages, gardening, community groups, volunteering, learn a new skill, get fit, online groups that share a special interest you have that you could join to meet new people. I am aware this could feel daunting especially if your self-esteem and trust have taking a bashing after loss of previous friends. Take small steps that feel manageable to you. Maybe one of your teenagers would be willing to support you by going along to the first activity.
Wishing you the best of luck.