Lonely and Losing It

Bob Goldman on

It's a wonderful idea, but be aware that your global BFFs may not share the same concerns that lead to casual friendships in the break room at your workplace. For example, your inability to obtain your favorite goat cheese gouda or a pound of organic turducken at the local boutique grocery may fall on empty ears -- and empty stomachs -- with your new friend in Moldova, whose entire shopping list consists of one loaf of bread.

The second powerful deterrent to loneliness, which is not assuaged by Zoom meetings, is access to "meaningful relationships."

At the other end of the social structure from weak ties are the super-duper-close ties that can develop in a work setting, since "for many adults, the office is a space where real friendships flourish."

It's true! Like raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, playing footsy under the conference room table or meeting for cocktails after, during and, eventually, before work are a few of the favorite things that can turn workmates into married mates.

Seeing your soon-to-be significant other once a week across a crowded Zoom screen can't generate the same closeness as staring deeply into each other's eyes over a couple of Negronis.


Even if the office relationship you left behind was not headed for the alter, at-home workers do miss the adult relationships an office environment can provide. You may think your co-workers act like children, but consider the situation of Meredith Schleifer, a remote worker in Rockville, Maryland, who "has been finding that the company of her children isn't quite like that of like-minded adults."

This is understandable, but I wonder if Schleifer has really made an effort to connect with her children. Asking them to join her for cocktails after work would be a very good start.


Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on at To find out more about Bob Goldman and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at




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