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to not want to stay in touch with some people?

(19 Posts)
cakedup Wed 24-Feb-16 19:24:03

I have a handful of friends who I've known for 15 years plus.

I'm not particularly extrovert and don't feel the need to make new friends. It's hard enough finding time for the friends I do have. I'm not averse to making new friends and will happily speak to anyone, but rarely do I meet anyone nowadays that I want to pursue an actual friendship with.

I met someone through work a couple of years ago. She is much younger than me and during this time, they found out they were pregnant (and were not in a long term relationship). I took her under my wing a bit and gave her some support, having been through similar. I visited her and her newborn baby, went to the christening etc. It was a big effort for me tbh as doing social events with people I don't know very well is not really my cup of tea. I could see she had some good friends around her that were also supportive.

We have since both left this workplace. She has got in touch recently to say she'd love to meet. I feel really selfish for feeling like this but...I don't feel particularly inclined to meet her. Nothing against her, but I don't feel we particularly click or anything to strike up a proper friendship. I'm quite precious of my spare time and would rather use it to meet one of my other friends. It would be different if she was having a tough time and really needed my help - but I don't think this is the case. So I don't see the point really. Am I a being a cold hearted bitch?!!

pippistrelle Wed 24-Feb-16 19:35:39

No, you're not.

Has she asked you to meet at a specific time and place, or just a more vague 'we must get together' sort of thing? If the latter, then it's perfectly okay to reply 'yes, we must sort something out sometime' and then let it slide. Even if she has been specific, you can still say that you're busy and leave it at that.

bibbitybobbityyhat Wed 24-Feb-16 19:39:46

No. Awkward though.

TestingTestingWonTooFree Wed 24-Feb-16 20:15:27

Really snowed under at the moment, but so pleased to hear that you and baby are doing well.

Would that cover it?

PirateSmile Wed 24-Feb-16 20:17:48

I would keep up the friendship. You have to make an effort to have friends.

TitClash Wed 24-Feb-16 20:19:19

I dont have many acquaintances either, I just find it heavy going. I know exactly how that sounds, but I always end up feeling like I'm the one making an effort.
Friend are a treasure. But they're different.

I dont think yabu.

LifeofI Wed 24-Feb-16 21:02:38

No not really but maybe she does just need someone to talk to? Either way you dont have to.

cakedup Wed 24-Feb-16 22:46:07

pippistrelle it was more of a "when are you free? Let's arrange to meet".

TestingTestingWonTooFree yes that sounds like the best option although she knows I'm not snowed under as I'm looking for work!

PirateSmile I don't think you read my OP properly.

Yes TitClash, big difference between acquaintances and friends and I'd rather be spending time with friends!

Yes LifeofI that's the only thing bugging me. Maybe I'll text her and ask how things are.

TowerRavenSeven Wed 24-Feb-16 22:55:44

YANBU. Friendship is a two way street, if it's not working for you any more, it's not working. I've found, "I can't this time, but maybe next time?" and when they call again, say the same thing. Eventually they will get it.

I had a friend that I've known for almost 15 years and though we moved cross country I wanted to stay in touch with. She was never particularly a phone person anyway, so after about 4 years us phoning back and forth it fizzled (on her side) and I just let it go.

chocomochi Wed 24-Feb-16 23:01:24

YANBU. There's no point forcing the friendship on yourself if you're not going to be happy.

There was a group of us at uni, we knew each other for many years even after marriages and children. But we all changed as we grew older and the whole friendship started to fizzle out. Better that way than to think "oh no, I've got to keep that weekend free to meet up when I don't really want to because of old times sake".

cornishglos Wed 24-Feb-16 23:55:46

Yes. She sees you as a friend. Does it hurt to be kind? Give her a few hours of your life. One day you'll need a friend too. It may not be her, but you'll be glad of kind people. I don't understand why some people are so selfish with their time.

OzzieFem Thu 25-Feb-16 08:59:08

Perhaps she just wants some advice as you were kind to her when she needed it most? Having said that, if you do decide to meet with her I would be careful that she does not have expectations that you cannot/do not want to meet.

She may think of you as a substitute mother.

justmyview Thu 25-Feb-16 09:10:03

I think YABitU. If you're not working at the moment, you can probably spare an hour for a coffee in a local cafe (so that you can leave when you're ready and make sure it doesn't end up taking all day)

ScoutandAtticus Thu 25-Feb-16 09:58:33

I have a similar situation. Old colleague who wants to stay in touch, I have been out with her twice and decided we didn't have enough in common to persue it. That sounds so harsh but a friendship should happen naturally, you can't force it. I would reply by saying you are really busy and will get back to her and then don't. Yes I know it's bad but I can't see what else you can do.

cakedup Thu 25-Feb-16 14:29:45

justmyview We're not exactly local to each other. I always offer to go and see her (because she has a small baby) and it's a 45 min journey.

The last couple of times I thought that OzzieFem but then when I met her, it didn't seem as though she was needing me for support. But then she has a very tough facade so maybe it's not obvious.

RhodaBull Thu 25-Feb-16 14:36:10

There's another thread running at the moment where people are saying how hard it is to make friends. People are suggesting all sort of things, and then I read OP saying she doesn't feel the need to make new friends and rarely meets anyone she wants to pursue a friendship with. Ouch! So that's probably what most people think and that's why there's this bunch of us floating round the edges trying to bust through already-formed friendship bubbles.

YANBU, OP, if you don't really feel you have that much in common, but have a tiny bit of feeling for this person who clearly thought you were a friend and likes you enough to get back in touch and wants to meet up.

cakedup Fri 26-Feb-16 21:55:09

Oh I know Rhoda, I have seen those threads around before and I do really feel bad for those people. I am just very very lucky that some of my close friends are cousins - so have always been around in my life, another group is a small group of us who met at college (25 years ago) and have always stayed in touch and been close, and another group of friends is through a community type group that I was involved in (we all lived/worked together) for a period of 7 years. It was just pure luck that I met the right people in the right circumstances I think.

So, actually I'm not great at making new friends, and just feel the most comfortable with old friends. Many times I feel socially awkward myself but know my old friends understand me. I don't have that many friends, not compared to many of my friends, but I just don't feel the need to have many.

I know many people on those threads think "what's wrong with me?" If we use this case as an example, I'd confirm there is absolutely nothing wrong with this girl. She is incredibly smart, streetwise, tough as old nails, amongst other qualities I actually do admire about her.

The other thing is she does have a lot of friends, so I don't feel that is her issue at all. But yes, after having aired it out on this thread, I do feel inclined to meet her now.

pippistrelle Sat 27-Feb-16 11:12:08

Fundamentally, I think different people have different friendship styles. I have a friend who never lets any friendship drift so she's still in touch with people we were both friends with years ago. Clearly, I haven't been as keen to keep in touch (and neither have they!).

There's nothing wrong with either approach. It's hardly an insight, but people are all different. Perhaps, even, she feels obligated to stay in touch because you were particularly kind to her at a difficult time.

I don't think you're at all cold-hearted to not pursue friendship: people are often workplace friends but it doesn't necessarily end up crossing over to being long term real life friends.

cakedup Sun 28-Feb-16 23:03:51

That's a really well balanced perspective! Oh yes, I didn't think of that, she may feel obligated actually, I know she's very appreciative of how supportive I was, particularly as many of her younger friends ditched her at the time.

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