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I don’t know what to do with this friendship?

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  • I don’t know what to do with this friendship?

    I have known this friend for 8 years. We met at a dining group and we used to hang out dining with other girls.. Over the years my life has changed a great deal. I have come out of the dining group where we met and she didnt keep in touch with any of the girls form that group. But I invited her numerous times to various things since. I met a man and got married and I invited her to my wedding and even honoured her with a reading. I became a mum and shes been invited to birthday parties, christenings, etc.

    Now the problem, she seems to like me more than I like her. Since having my baby its been difficult to make time to hang out with friends with whom I do not get along greatly. In the past 8 years her life has been the same. The same job, no relationship and I am not sure whether she does anything for interests. She never talks about an exhibition she visited, or a good restaurant shes been to. She never invites to a house party or a birthday celebration. When we talk I am sorry to be hursh but I find her a bit dull. She is a nice girl, quite quiet but I do not feel that we have anything in common anymore. I tried to reduce contacts with her, replied her texts late, but she seems to not get the message. She keeps sending birthday cards and presents by post to me and my daughter and I find it hard to ignore her nice gesture. But I am too tired to be the one feeding her with one sided stories about my life. She never texts me sayin hey Will you be interested to do this? its like lets meet up? And I have to plan something. I have started to feel a bit burden with this friendship and as I said she keeps sending me stuff by post. My husband says shes very nice and a loyal friend. Just meet up twice a year, no big deal...but I feel like I am not really into her anymore...what do I do?

  • #2
    There are different ways to go about this. The question is, how do you want to end this friendship and do you care whether you leave her feeling angry or hurt?

    You could let things die out naturally. Continue as you've been doing. Reply late to messages. Don't initiate contact. If she asks to meet up, only take her up on that offer once in a while and otherwise tell her you're too busy and can't find the time.
    It will take a while. You'll still see her and hear from her for a while. It sounds like she doesn't have much going on in her life, so she may not have many friends to turn to. It will take her a while to build new friendships to replace yours.

    If you can't find the energy to do this, be clear and upfront, but be aware that you'll be hurting her feelings. She will be angry at you and she has the right to be. I'd tell her that you feel that you have new priorities now that you're a wife and mother and that you'd prefer to spend the limited time you have with your family and people you can relate to more because they are in more similar life situations (also married or mothers).

    The second one is harder, because it's more confrontational and it's never fun to know you've hurt someone. However, it's also more honest and fair towards her. In scenario 1 she might try to rekindle your friendhip or put in extra effort, not knowing that her effort is in vain. Plus, in option 2 she won't continue to put energy in a friendship that isn't going anywhere and maybe she'll be motivated to get out more and build a bigger social circle.

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    • #3
      If you don't want to hurt her feelings, just keep replying late to her messages, and make them later and later until they just disappear. If you do meet with her (cut it down to once a year) then don't suggest a place to go. Make her do it. Don't supply all the conversation, even if it means sitting there in silence staring at the coffee cups. Perhaps she'll get the idea that you don't have anything to talk about anymore. Thank her for the presents, but tell her explicitly that there is no need to send gifts...she's being too generous. If she keeps sending them, start forgetting to thank her for them.

      Disappear from her life. If she asks for an answer, just tell her that you're extremely busy with your life and family.

      By the way, how far does she live from you?
      "What lips my lips have kissed and where and why I have forgotten." ~Edna St. Vincent Millay

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      • #4
        Thanks for your replies ladies. She lives quite far like sort of out of London. Before having my baby when I used to
        invite her over for house parties, she used to stay over as after the party it was too late for her to get back. I never initiated contacts in the last one year. She keeps sending me text messages on Easter, mother days etc. She once helped me a few years ago when I was in crisis and so I honoured her at my wedding. Shes a nice person but being a wife and baby makes me a different person now. I hang out with my new friends who have babies where we can do things with out babies which is much easier than on a weekend leaving my husband and baby and trying to meet her up who doesnt interest me anymore . I feel sort of guilt to break up though

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        • #5
          You grew apart. These things happen. Don't feel guilty. You can't change how you feel about her.
          Maybe she preferred to hang out with you before you got married and had a kid. That's not your fault either.

          Now, if she messages you on Easter, mothers day etc, it's not like you're hearing from her every week.
          Shouldn't be that hard to fade out of her life. Just don't initiate and keep your replies brief.
          If you do see her in person, do as Sarah suggested. Don't initiate conversation or bring up topics yourself. The more awkward silences the better.

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          • #6
            I'm not sure if you're joking, OP, or if this is a legitimate question. I would have ignored her a long time ago by now but that's just me. Continuing to respond to her just gives a different message. Why are you wasting your time going on in a friendship that makes no sense? Do you have a lot of time on your hands to deliberate this or ?

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            • #7
              Well, The way I look at it: What? You can't take an hour out of your time to have a drink or a nice dinner with someone YOU encouraged by inviting her to your wedding and allowing her to read at that wedding then you went on to invite her to birthday parties and accept her gifts she sends you?

              I'm with your husband. Surely you're not that busy that you can't go out with her to do something, tell her "hey it's your time to make meet up arrangements or invite me to something at your home next time" when your evening with her ends. If she doesn't come through with something then you remind her next time she says "lets meet up."

              If you want to be a friend, then you have to be a friend. Her way of being your friend and hearing about your life is to send you gifts to let you know she's still thinking about you even if she doesn't invite you places.

              I still meet up with six girls I worked with 25 years ago. We don't have much to do with one another other then we get together for each one of our birthdays going on for 20 years now. Its nice to catch up and hear about what is going on in one another's lives.
              "First off, welcome to the Relationship Forums, You'll come to understand that I don't pull any punches when giving my opinion/advice and I hope you're not so sensitive to what I see as the truth of the matter." Me!

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              • #8
                Phasesoftthemoon, thanks for taking time to reply, much appreciated. I do not know if you understand how life is when you are a mum of a toddler. Yes its very busy and emotionally very tiring. If I get an hour to go out I would rather catch up with a friend I enjoy hanging out with rather meeting a friend with whom I feel obligated to continue a friendship with. You know Id rather take a book and sit in a cafe and enjoy a me time without my baby. As for accepting her presents, am I suppose to send them back? And this is why I have written here as I appreciate her thinking of me and sending me cards and presents but I do not feel interested in her friendship. And you mentioned that you meet up with old friends and like talking about your lives with each other. I mentioned on my post that in the last 8 years her life has remained the same. She never entered into a relationship, she never changed her job, she never developed a new hobby or interests. When we meet up, she never tells me anything funny, interesting, informative - no new ideas, no new people, no new plans, nothing exciting. I invited her to my wedding 4 years ago. In the last 4 years, I had a baby, I started my piano lessons and made friends to go to classical concerts, I started learning German and have new German friends I hang out with, I made lots of mum friends with whom I go for play dates with our babies. I cant help but to feel that I no longer find anything common with her anymore but at the same time I am finding it difficult to cut ties

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                • #9
                  How about next time she calls, invite her to go out with you and your German friends. Or ask her to a classical concert. She probably won't want to go out with you again.
                  "What lips my lips have kissed and where and why I have forgotten." ~Edna St. Vincent Millay

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by pinkberry78 View Post
                    Phasesoftthemoon, thanks for taking time to reply, much appreciated. I do not know if you understand how life is when you are a mum of a toddler. Yes its very busy and emotionally very tiring. If I get an hour to go out I would rather catch up with a friend I enjoy hanging out with rather meeting a friend with whom I feel obligated to continue a friendship with. You know Id rather take a book and sit in a cafe and enjoy a me time without my baby. As for accepting her presents, am I suppose to send them back? And this is why I have written here as I appreciate her thinking of me and sending me cards and presents but I do not feel interested in her friendship. And you mentioned that you meet up with old friends and like talking about your lives with each other. I mentioned on my post that in the last 8 years her life has remained the same. She never entered into a relationship, she never changed her job, she never developed a new hobby or interests. When we meet up, she never tells me anything funny, interesting, informative - no new ideas, no new people, no new plans, nothing exciting. I invited her to my wedding 4 years ago. In the last 4 years, I had a baby, I started my piano lessons and made friends to go to classical concerts, I started learning German and have new German friends I hang out with, I made lots of mum friends with whom I go for play dates with our babies. I cant help but to feel that I no longer find anything common with her anymore but at the same time I am finding it difficult to cut ties
                    Well I'm 64 years old my dear and I baby sit my two year old grandson every week day but I still make time to go to those lunches and my daughter finds another babysitter for that day.

                    Its your choice to hang out with who you want to and discontinue a friendship as you please. I'm just stating my opinion.


                    "First off, welcome to the Relationship Forums, You'll come to understand that I don't pull any punches when giving my opinion/advice and I hope you're not so sensitive to what I see as the truth of the matter." Me!

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                    • #11
                      pinkberry78

                      As harsh and cruel as this may sound, if you really want to rid of your friend immediately from you life, then you need to be direct so both of you won't waste each others time anymore not to mention she's wasting her money with greeting cards and birthday presents plus postage. Tell her that your friendship with her had run its course, you're a mother now, very busy, your time and energy are limited. I'm a mother of two sons and I've experienced the same regarding life's transitions into different stages, new people wafting in and out and retaining some old, dear, loyal friends. The rest of them left as did I. That's life and normal!

                      I don't believe in not communicating directly even if it is not what your friend wishes to hear or read. Be clear so there are no misunderstandings whatsoever and no guessing games. It's better to be hurt than to receive mixed signals or be ignored which is very mean and beyond cruel and harsh IMHO.

                      Personally, I would prefer if someone were direct towards me and inform me of what the friendship status is rather than ignore or not acknowledge my efforts of goodwill regarding postal greeting cards and gifts. This way, I know where I stand in someone's life and I'll be ready to go my separate way. Be honest and forthright. Get it over and done with.
                      "If you bungle raising your children, whatever else you do well in life doesn't matter very much."

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