You expect your friends will rally around you. A thoughtful text. A sympathetic ear. A drinking buddy. A surprise care package of wine and chocolate.

But instead, at a time when you need support the most, some of your friends are noticeably absent.

Before you start questioning what you have done, realise your newly single status might simply make some friends awkward. Others may feel forced to pick a “side”. Or you may simply drift from your coupled up friends.

Whatever the reason, it’s totally normal for your friends to change over time. The quote “People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime” is so true.

Granted, it’s not great timing for more change. And while the idea of smiling and making chit chat to build new friendships might be the last thing you feel like doing – it is also what you might need most.

Here’s a few ideas of where to make some new friends:

1. Get involved in a sport or activity club. Was there something you loved doing as a child, that you gave away somewhere in the busyness of work and family? Did you love to draw? Paint? Make craft? What about a hobby you’ve always had on your one day/ someday list like learning a language? Meditation? Cake decorating? Signing up for a class, joining a gym or taking up a sport are all great ways to make new connections in an easy and natural way.

2. Volunteer. Doing good not only make you feel good, but is a great way to meet other likeminded people. Your local opportunity/thrift shop might need help a few hours a week. Or put up your hand for a role at your children’s school. Help out at your local community run organisations like the local toy library.

3. Reach out on social media. Groups on Facebook are a great place to connect.  Many groups have regular meet ups (many in local kid friendly venues) so you can connect in real life. Likewise Instagram is a platform where online connections can sometimes lead to face to face meet ups and friendships.

4. Download the Mush App (UK and Australia) or Bumble (US).  .   I’ve heard Mush described as “Tinder for mums”.  You create a profile and connect with local mums who share similar interests. Bumble BFF is a similar concept, in the way to helps you make new friends.

5.  Search A resource where you can search for other people who share a common interest – there are groups for single parents, but likewise there are groups for every interest from Sci-Fi and fantasy writing to bird photography. The groups have regular events and you just need to turn up.

As disappointing as it can feel for friendships to end, the silver lining is that it might create space for some beautiful new friendships to grow. Reach out. Connect. Have some fun.