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to think part of being a friend means setting aside time occasionally and committing to it (possibly long and long-winded but its really bugging me)

(18 Posts)
quesadilla Mon 01-Oct-12 14:02:54

Have a friend who I love to bits and have hung out with a lot over the past 10 or so years, we have loads in common etc, but who has always had a real issue about "commitment" (not romantic commitment, I mean commitment in terms of setting aside time for friends and sticking to arrangements.) She's always been really unwilling to make appointments and stick to them, preferring ad hoc arrangements and drop-ins and prone to last minute cancellations and goalpost-moving. I've more or less tolerated this because I've never thought it worth a fight as she clearly doesn't like being asked to stick to a timetable, so to speak.

I've just recently moved away from the area we both lived in for 10 years or more. Not that far, only 3 or so miles away but getting to see her requires a bit more planning because it involves public transport. But she's always incredibly unwilling to commit. If I try to arrange a time to meet she'll say "let me get back to you" etc and never actually agrees to a time. This has happened three or four times over the past two months and was starting to irritate me. Then last weekend, after several attempts to nail her down to a date we actually had something set up and I blew her out, through no fault of my own, because DH was delayed getting back from work and I didn't have babysitter. She wasn't left totally high and dry because there were two other mutaul friends there. But it was annoying and I think she may have been a little bit annoyed...

Anyway, I then apologized copiously by text and phone, said I'd take her out, my treat, etc. She basically said, not prepared to commit to another date now because too busy. Pretty much indefinitely. I can hear the snub, though its not explicit.

We both have one dc each, hers 2-ish, mine 18 months. Both work (more or less) full time. Her DP is a sahp, mine works full time. So we both genuinely have challenges finding time. I do understand this and I know sometimes things have to be cancelled, rescheduled etc and not worth getting pissy about this.

But I still think that to insist, point blank, that one cancelled date means she's now essentially free from making any more attempts to see me is a bit off. I sort of feel like maybe she's someone who prefers socializing -- for its own sake -- to actually seeing the person, and I feel quite upset about it. I think if you are a genuine friend, you at least should be prepared to plan to see someone, even if you accept that it may have to be moved.

Have I pissed her off more than I realized with my cancellation and do I need to eat more humble pie? Or is she a bit of a rubbish friend who needs a bit of a talking to?

ViviPru Mon 01-Oct-12 14:04:44

YANBU. She's flaky. It'd do my nut.

aldiwhore Mon 01-Oct-12 14:06:46

Sounds like she's brushed you off many times and doesn't like to be treated as she treats others.

I'm sure she's marvelous, but she's not making you feel marvelous is she? She's also been very inforgiving.

Stop doing the running. If she gets in touch with you with a date, by all means take her offer up, but don't be surprised if you hear nothing for a while... she doesn't sound like a great friend. It doesn't sound like she really cares how you have felt, she only cares about her feelings.

I think you need to sit back and see what happens. If nothing happens, then I'm afraid its one lost friend down to experience and move on. x

MooncupGoddess Mon 01-Oct-12 14:07:46

Some people are just like this. You're not going to change her, so you'll have to accept what she's like and stop putting so much effort into trying to see her. I wouldn't bother trying to engage with her on the subject, you're unlikely to get anywhere and will probably just annoy her, thus meaning she will make even less effort to see you.

plantsitter Mon 01-Oct-12 14:07:48

I am a bit flaky, but I would never dream of being off with somebody if THEY cancelled on ME for a good reason given that I'm generally a bit crap. Sounds like she thinks the world revolves around her!


aldiwhore Mon 01-Oct-12 14:08:49

Agree plantsitter I am too a little flaky but wouldn't react like the op's friend!!

MsVestibule Mon 01-Oct-12 14:16:30

TBH, I'd leave her alone now. You sound as though you do all the running and she sounds pretty high maintenance. I make time for my friends, and they for me. If a friend doesn't make any time (or contact me by phone, text etc) I just let the friendship become more casual and as long as we haven't gone from being BFF to nothing, I don't let it bother me.

Hopefully once you haven't contacted her for a while she'll phone you. If she doesn't, then you know how much you mean to her.

And FWIW, if a friend says they are too busy to see you indefinitely, I'd take that as an explicit, not implicit, snub!

Paiviaso Mon 01-Oct-12 14:19:53

She sounds like she is being quite selfish, messing you around all the time and then getting upset when you need to cancel!

BUT you can change your expectations of people so that they no longer cause you stress.

For example, make arrangements with a different friend to go for coffee. Invite flaky friend. If flaky friend comes, great. If she doesn't, you still have a nice chat with your other friend. Or if you know you are going to be in all day, invite her round. As before, if she comes great, if she doesn't, no skin off your nose. You could also talk on the phone instead of trying to meet up.

Numberlock Mon 01-Oct-12 14:23:20

I recently ended a friendship because of similar issues. I worked out that it was me putting all the effort in, doing all the travel and arranging etc - my friend lived in a different country.

I decided enough was enough when I needed some support from her for a change and it wasn't forthcoming.

susiedaisy Mon 01-Oct-12 14:28:19

YANBU but I don't think you will change her so I would put the friendship on the back burner for a bit, I have a friend who's flaky and loves to do everything last minute, she gets a buzz from it, which is ok but often I can go weeks without seeing her because she will never put a date in the diary and is forever texting at the last minute announcing she has 30 mins spare if I can meet up for a coffee, she is like this with everyone and in general doesn't manage her time well, I enjoy her company but have learnt not too worry about and I only meet up if its suits me as we'll now.

quesadilla Mon 01-Oct-12 15:03:54

MooncupGoddess this is true... I've long since given up trying to "change" her as such... have always been pretty nonchalent about it but the reality is now we're living a bit a way from each other if she's not prepared to put dates in the diary I'm not going to get to see her.

quesadilla Mon 01-Oct-12 15:08:20

MsVestibule I wouldn't say she's high maintenance, she's actually pretty chilled and generally is laid back about other people cancelling (so historically she's at least been consistent). Also I can understand being cancelled at short notice is irritating. Its just more that I'd like her to acknowledge that maintaining a friendship does require a degree of commitment.
I guess I lived like that for quite a long time as well, had lots of local friends etc and everything was always very fluid. Life stops being like that when you have kids and I've made my peace with this but I do feel sad that she's not prepared to just make a date and stick to it. We've gone from seeing each other on average once a week to not a single date in two months -- I have friends who live out of town I've seen more regularly -- and it just makes me sad.

LRDtheFeministDragon Mon 01-Oct-12 15:09:26

She may be just much less busy than you, so she doesn't realize this is an issue - she assumes you'll be free to see her whenever.

But I agree, it's selfish and rude if she knows this isn't working for you.

I have a friend like this, and I am very fond of her, but unfortunately we're just not compatible enough in how we want to socialize. Not the end of the world, and not your fault, if you're in this situation.

ClippedPhoenix Mon 01-Oct-12 15:10:48

I'd just back off OP and let her contact you in future/or not as the case may be. She sounds a total pain.

susiedaisy Mon 01-Oct-12 15:11:32

I think you're asking for something from her she's just not either prepared to or interested in doing! Which is understandably disappointing for you! IMO

quesadilla Mon 01-Oct-12 15:24:48

she's just texted me with a suggested time to meet... so maybe that's progress smile lets see if we can stick to it this time!

MsVestibule Mon 01-Oct-12 15:38:22

Do you think she's a MNer??!

quesadilla Mon 01-Oct-12 16:36:21

MsVestibule doubt it... can't really see it. But you never know smile

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