Is the real reason Meghan Markle left the UK actually due to loneliness?
There were not too many reports of friends of Meghan's at her wedding to Prince Harry. Not school friends, childhood friends, or new UK friends - we explore this more below.
Instead, as is well known now, we saw A-list celebrities not previously linked to Meghan.
So why does Meghan not have more real friends in her life?
We speculate that some of these reasons are surprisingly common, things that our own members on FriendMatch - and maybe you or someone you know - have gone through too.
If you have ever experienced loneliness, you know that every challenge is harder without friends to build your confidence, listen to you vent, and openly share your troubles, thoughts, and ideas with.
Right from the start when Meghan moved to the UK, reports from sources cited that she appeared to be lonely.
According to the Daily Beast, sources were quoted shortly after Meghan moved to the UK saying, "Meghan is often spotted walking about the estate.. - and is usually spotted alone." The same source goes on to say that the only companion seen with Meghan is "usually a cop" and that Meghan seemed "very solitary." (View the article on Marie Claire here)
So why doesn't Meghan Markle have real, close friends? We explore how this issue may have led her into extreme stress - to the point of leaving everything she thought she wanted behind in the UK.
1. No Childhood friends because - No Longer Has Much in Common with them
When Meghan Markle moved to the UK to become a duchess, her new life became completely different, unrecognizable from her childhood experiences. Suddenly, the only thing she likely still has in common with her childhood friends is her past.
This is actually an extreme example of something that is very common for a lot of people.
You don't always lose touch with old friends because they have changed - it is because you have.
Some people want to distance themselves from their past because they are looking to change their self image, because you evolved, experienced personal growth, or even gave up old bad habits, such as drugs or a partying lifestyle that you want to leave behind.
If you want to distance yourself from your past, why stay connected to it?
If you have changed an no longer have much in common with your childhood friends, what is left to talk about except old times?
And if you are trying to distance yourself from these old times, why stay connected to it?
There are exceptions. If you had strong friendships, or friends that you had exceptional emotional connections to, friends you just "clicked" with, your friendship might last the test of time and changes, and then you might be more inclined to stay in touch.
In Markle's case, as she tries to fit in with her new, very different social circles, it's possible that she feels she needs to let go of parts of her past which she feels no longer fits with her new image.
2. Markle lost a lot of friends when she divorced her first husband
There is some speculation that Markle actually lost a lot of her friends when she divorced her former husband, Trevor Engleson.
Some friends have spoken out about taking sides after Markle left her husband.
This is very common too, and again something we see on FriendMatch a lot.
When couples are together long-term, or married, they start to share friends, as Meghan and her husband did. There were a lot more friends, family, and a more laid-back vibe from what we know of her wedding in Jamaica.
These mutual friends can sometimes take sides, causing one party from the divorce to lose friends after the separation.
There is a second reason for losing friends after a divorce - even when mutual friends don't take sides, sometimes, when we leave an ex, we want to distance ourselves from all ties to this person. This can mean leaving mutual friends behind too, as they can become tied up in our identity we had as a person in a relationship.
With the media focusing a lot on the fact that Meghan did have a divorce, something which many traditional royal wives do not bring to the table, Meghan may have had an even stronger motive to completely distance herself from the life she had as a married women with another man.
The effect of this led to increased feelings of loneliness and isolation in her new role as a duchess.
3. A New Love Interest = No time for friends
Under normal circumstances, who hasn't been swept up in a new relationship? New romantic relationships can be all-consuming for anyone. We have probably all experienced distance from a friend who is caught up in a new love interest and suddenly spends all their time with their new beau.
When your new love interest is a real-life prince and lives acrosss the sea, this can be a very extreme case of a new relationship taking up all time and energy. Perhaps Meghan did not have time or thoughts for much more than her new romance when she started seeing Prince Harry, especially considering the hyperspeed timeline of it - dating, marriage, and baby all in about two years - while also adjusting to an entire new royal lifestyle at the same time.
Our theory? Meghan did not even have time to connect with what was left of her old friendships, nevermind find and making new friends.
4. New Baby - Exciting! Fun! ... But also isolating.
Life events alert! A new baby can bring massive changes to any parent's life, and even when we do have friends, we might feel lonely if these friends don't also have babies or kids, as we may feel like the things we want to relate about are not so relatable anymore with our usual crew.
This doesn't mean it's time to drop our childless friends - but what it does mean is that this is an ideal time in life to add new friends to your circle. For mothers like Meghan, this is a good time to connect with other moms or new moms where you will find kindred spirits with lots in common who are open and eager to talk about diapers, breastfeeding and burping with, among other things.
Meghan in her new role, in the spotlight, could not so easily join the local mommy group. While her sister in law Duchess Kate Middleton, with her three young children and interest in the early years, would seem the perfect candidate as a new confidante, it's clear the sister in-laws simply don't connect -whether it's packed schedules on both ends or a difference in personalities - leaving Meghan with very few options beyond Harry for companionship after giving birth to Archie.
This is especially unfortunate, as many new moms can be especially vulnerable to loneliness.
5. Moving to a new Country - How Do We Make New Friends When We Move?
This is one of the largest-cited reasons why people use FriendMatch - moving to a new location.
As with every other example listed, Meghan brings this to the extreme, as she moved across the ocean to a culture that is in many ways very different from her American upbringing.
A lot of people don't know how to find and make new friends when they move. (Check out our other blog post - "5 Ways to Make New Friends When You Move").
Meghan Markle herself as said in a famous interview from her documentary, "Harry and Meghan, an African Journey" that she felt very lonely and isolated - while in the circumstances of the interview this statement might have seemed out of touch, at FriendMatch we feel it is easy to see why she felt that way.
Bonus Reason: No Family Friends
For some people, the social and health benefits of friendship can be in part fulfilled by family, including siblings or cousins.
In Meghan's case, it has been made clear that this is not an option for her. Her half-sister has publicly stated negative statements about Meghan's character, and there were not any cousins or other siblings at her wedding, or reported in her social circle since her move to the UK.
With no family friendships to fall back on, when Meghan felt her worst, saw a bad article in the media, or felt low self-esteem, having no real, close, genuine friendships to fall back on might very well be one of the driving reasons behind her unhappiness in the UK.
Meghan might be lonely, but she is not alone in feeling that way - the problem is, loneliness is linked to unhappiness and even a shorter lifespan! Loneliness is also becoming an alarming epidemic. Check out our other blog post, "Is Loneliness a Rising Epidemic in Young People?"
And if you are looking to make new friends yourself, check out our Search page to find new friends, or our FAQs page to learn more about how FriendMatch works.