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Please help: Returning to Ireland after 7 years, and feeling overwhelming lonely

  • 25-02-2020 3:45pm
    Closed Accounts Posts: 4

    31yo guy here. So I qualified from Uni in Dublin 7 years ago, and ever since then have worked abroad. First lived in Canada for a year, then Australia for 2, and lately England for 4. I was happy in my last job in England but felt the need to be closer to parents after so long abroad. I’ve accepted a job in Dublin and just rented an apartment. Due to start work in a couple of weeks. The thing is... I feel overwhelmingly lonely.

    Although I spent 4 years in Dublin in uni, all my good friends now live abroad. I know no one here. I have some amazing friends living in England and elsewhere in the word who I miss terribly. Arriving back in Dublin feels odd- I have changed immensely in 7 years but now I just feel I’ve taken a step back in my life- back in Dublin, 7 years older with no friends here and single.

    I’ve honestly never felt so alone. Planning to try to fly to England once a month to visit friends to few better. Also contemplating moving back to England where I was happy but honestly when I think of doing this I just feel guilt towards not seeing my family enough.

    Anyone else been in a similar position? Did the loneliness pass? Any tips?


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,055 ✭✭✭Emme might help you find a group where you can meet people with common interests. As far as I know they have an ex-pat group and a group for returned emigrants. They also have groups for general socialising. Good luck.

  • Registered Users Posts: 593 ✭✭✭dmm82

    I second trying, i have the app in my phone and there really is something for everyone in there. You are not alone in feeling like this, the 30s can be a lonely time for anyone, even people who haven't lived abroad. People tend to start settling down and having kids etc. around this age and it's easy to get left behind if you're not following the same path.

    Give it time and hopefully you'll feel more positive about things soon :)

  • Registered Users Posts: 719 ✭✭✭Gwen Cooper

    Oh boy. I've been living in Ireland for almost 10 years now and I can't imagine going back to my home country. All my friends are here and I've built a life here. I do feel guilty for not being there for my family though, my grandmother is living her final weeks with cancer, and I won't make it there to see her. Most likely won't get to the funeral either. I try to go there once or twice a year and I see my parents getting old. It does make you think. But a wise person (aka my therapist) once told me that you need to do what you think is best for you and what makes you happy and not let the guilt guide you into doing something you don't want to do.

    Don't know what advice I can give you, but Emme mentioned MeetUp, that can bring some positive results. It will probably take you a little while but I'm sure you'll make friends at work or in the area where you live.

    Best of luck OP, I'm sure you'll be grand, it will just take time.

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,119 ✭✭✭✭ILoveYourVibes

    Loneliness will always pass as you make new friends.

    But you shouldn't live somewhere out of guilt. Where feels like home? that is all that matters.

    I hope things get sorted.

  • Registered Users Posts: 31,675 ✭✭✭✭listermint

    You haven't started he job yet !?

    Give it time start the job first . This is far too soon .

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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,397 ✭✭✭CBear1993

    How’s things!

    It will get better. See it as a trial. Jobs are such nowadays that you can move between them easily if you’re qualified and good at what you do, where it’s in demand. What’s the big deal if you call it a day in the summer after 6 months and move back to England where you’re happy?

    I did the same as you, went to uni up in Belfast, then America then Australia. In Dublin now 2 years. Didn’t know anyone. The best way is to definitely join a club - I don’t care if it’s rugby, soccer, GAA, rowing, running, drama, slam poetry, comedy, learn a new language, anything!

    I’m living with my girlfriend, only met her about 6 months into my move here, and it’s changed everything. Get on the old tinder as well, it’s good here for dates.

    <mod snip>Completely understand where you’re coming from.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,408 Mod ✭✭✭✭woodchuck

    Mod note:

    @CBear1993, although well intentioned, please note that PM offers are strictly forbidden in this forum for the reasons outlined in the charter.

  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser

    You're young - if you are able bodied too then find a club/group/team physical pursuit like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or a close knit powerlifting gym. Or an American football team. Many of these people only get into at our age. You get the double benefits of improving yourself physically AND getting closer to a group of people who may become a wonderful social circle for you.

  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,397 ✭✭✭CBear1993

    woodchuck wrote: »
    Mod note:

    @CBear1993, although well intentioned, please note that PM offers are strictly forbidden in this forum for the reasons outlined in the charter.

    Sorry about that I should have read it first! No problem, first time on the thread.

  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser

    The problem is when people move 'home' they expect some things to be how you left it. But everything has changed including you.

    So you need to think of the move in the same way as you did when you moved to the other countries. Its somewhere that is familiar to you but its actually new. You might discover you don't like it and want to move again but its best to give it a chance for the time you are here.

    I have a similar dilemma. I live on the opposite side of the country to where I grew up. My husband mentioned he would consider moving there with me. But it would be a move to a 'new' area for me since its over 15 years since I have lived there. What I enjoyed about living there is long gone.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 190 ✭✭Dog day

    listermint wrote: »
    You haven't started he job yet !?

    Give it time start the job first . This is far too soon .

    Just seconding this OP, give yourself time to start & settle into the new job, there will surely be potential to make new friends there. Also you mentioned you have lots of amazing friends elsewhere so you’re a person that can make new pals. Remember that :)

    At the moment I’m sure it feels daunting but give yourself time to settle back in. If you’re into sport join a local team or volunteering can be a great way to both give something back & to potentially meet some really nice new people. Don’t worry, you’ll be fine.

  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,431 ✭✭✭Stateofyou

    I would say maybe spend the next couple weeks before you start work visiting family and any old mates you can scratch up to go out for one or two and a bit of chat. Spend time thinking about your hobbies or what interests you and do some research into where you might join up with what's on. These two weeks will fly by before you know it and I'd bet then you'll meet some people at work you will click with. The big factor here is time. It just takes time to settle back (been there done it) and it will be strange because you're not the same person you were when you were here last, and the country is different too. It can take up to a year to feel fully settled. But know that you're not stuck here if your heart is calling you to somewhere else. Your family is only a short trip away. Best wishes!