One particular study focused on relationships caught our eye in the papers recently that made us stop and think. Are we relying on others to fill us with love and confidence? And has this new digital world which, on one hand, is said to make us more connected than ever, actually serving only to make us feel lonelier than ever?
A recent study in the UK has revealed that 1 in 10 of us do not feel we have a single friend, or the support of our family, as per The Guardian. That’s an estimated 4.7 million people in the UK alone who are speaking up about their feelings of loneliness and we suspect there are countless more who are keeping this sadness to themselves.
Meanwhile, the same study from the folk at charity, Relate, concluded that 1 in 5 of us claim to feel unloved.
Do you think this is true of Irish people as well as British?
In their quest to better understand relationships, the study found that a shocking 42% of people feel they have no friends at work, while 35% of people feel their boss expects them to put work above all else. Unsurprisingly yet unrelated, 24% of people claim to be unsatisfied by their sex lives.
It’s not all doom and gloom, however. For those in relationships, 85% of people say they’ve got it good, but we can’t help but worry about the 15% of people (and, again, countless others not fessing up) who find themselves staying put in a relationship that has ceased to serve them well.
“Whilst there is much to celebrate, the results around how close we feel to others are very concerning. There is a significant minority of people who claim to have no close friends, or who never or rarely feel loved – something which is unimaginable to many of us,” said Sutherland… Relationships are the asset which can get us through good times and bad, and it is worrying to think that there are people who feel they have no one they can turn to during life’s challenges. We know that strong relationships are vital for both individuals and society as a whole, so investing in them is crucial.” – Ruth Sutherland, chief executive of Relate.
As mentioned at the outset, we can’t help but feel that as more and more relationships are conducted through a digital platform – i.e. we don’t really have to phone and ask a friend how they’re doing if we can keep up with them indirectly through Facebook – our relationships in real life may suffer or diminish, resulting in unsurprising levels of loneliness.
What’s your take?
Caroline Foran @carolineforan