Smart, Successful and Lonely

With divorce rates averaging 50 percent, smaller families and more than half of women living alone – isolation is a growing issue.

According to a report by the Mental Health Foundation, 48 percent of people think we are getting lonelier in general – with women eight percent more likely to experience isolation than men.

Janis Kupferer, founder of girlfriend matchmaking community Social Jane, knows what it’s like to long for friends.

“I moved to Denver, Colorado a few years back to take a new job and didn’t know anyone in the city,” says Kupferer.

“I had no connections to the community,” she remembers. “I was single gal with no children.”

Kupferer joined a few dating sites and, in browsing for romantic matches, began researching her competition.

“I thought, ‘These women seem cool,'” she says. “And, I really missed my friends.”

So, she created a website around the same idea – except like a for friendships.

Women often lose connections with life’s major moments – moving for work, getting married or having a baby (or not doing so).

So, what can we do to minimize isolation?

“Loneliness is a stigma like hunger,” says Kupferer. “We have to nourish ourselves with connections.”

When she wasn’t sure where to land after leaving Denver, Kupferer contacted her own members in cities like San Diego and Chicago to grab drinks and learn more about the city.

She encourages women to seek out resources they can use to connect.

“Everyone says go to the gym, church, volunteer – and they’re great. But, don’t be afraid to use the Internet,” Kuperfer suggests.

“A virtual community is still a community.”

She also advises women feeling isolated to take control of their situations.

“Don’t sit back and wait for people to contact you. Complete your profile and start reaching out to others,” she says.

And, if you don’t get a response?

Don’t take it personally. Not everyone who “seems cool” is a friend fit.

Bonus PINK Link: Is your schedule out of control? Here are a few tips for the overscheduled woman.

Have you moved to a new city for work and felt isolated? What did you do?

By L. Nicole Williams

Nicole is the Editor at Little PINK Book. Follow her on Twitter @iamnicwill.

“True friendship is like a rose: we don’t realize its beauty until it fades.” Evelyn Loeb

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