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She won't let our friendship die!

(131 Posts)
Jackfruitburger Fri 08-Jun-18 03:28:10

I know I might get flamed for this but I don't know what to do! A friend from college is turning 30 next week and she's asked me to meet her for drinks on the evening . We haven't seen each other since January and I hoped that she'd found some new friends who she might have a bit more in common with.
In college we were both on the same page, going out, coursework, arguing with parents etc. We started drifting when we went to different universities and afterwards, as our attitudes to work were very different. She has always wanted to be an actress and refuses to consider any other career. That said, she doesn't put in the work to get there so doesn't audition or do much amateur dramatics. She just goes to see plays and hopes to make connections hmm
I've always worked, and now I have two children and have just bought a house. It is hard when we meet to find things to talk about as our lives are so different. I'm chasing a three year old around a cafe whilst feeding my newborn whilst she talks for 40 minutes about whether to text a boy back or wait for him to text her.
Last year she had to move back home as her parents stopped paying for her to live in an expensive university town. I met up with her on her birthday last year (with the kids) and she cried off and on all day about her situation (no job, no boyfriend, living with parents etc) but I think I managed to cheer her up a bit. This year she has asked if we can go out for a meal and a few drinks (I feel I should offer to pay as it's her birthday) and I don't know if I should go.
She said it will just be us (as no one else has replied/is busy) and that if I don't come then she'll have no birthday plans. I honestly can't really afford to, as I've had to pay our solicitors bill this month, but part of me feels that I should go for her, and to stop being selfish. It's just going to be excruciating as we're not close anymore and I'm sure there will be lots more crying than last year.

PenelopeFlintstone Fri 08-Jun-18 03:35:37

I'd say I can't afford to go out but go around for the evening with a bottle of wine and a card.

Sparklesocks Fri 08-Jun-18 03:46:37

If you cheered her up on her bday last year and rarely see each other, is it possible she’s hoping for a bit of a cheering up session with you doing all the heavy lifting to stroke her ego?

I had a friend like this, only ever called me when she was down because i used to say all the right things to bring her back up. Too much emotional labour and I ended up phasing her out...

AjasLipstick Fri 08-Jun-18 03:55:15

She wouldn't do amateur dramatics if she wants to be professional OP hmm that's the accepted way. Only amateurs do amateur dramatics.

I think you sound a bit mean really.

Tell her you can't afford to go out but you would have a girls night in with her if she'd like that.

And maybe try to be more understanding? She's obviously having a very hard time if nobody is meeting her at all on her Birthday!

Whyarealltheusernamestaken Fri 08-Jun-18 03:56:15

It sounds like she thinks you are a close friend but you don’t see it that way. You can tell the truth or play along, someone will hurt either way

Jackfruitburger Fri 08-Jun-18 04:05:52

@AjasLipstick I do try to be understanding but it's hard to always be the one who is continually supporting and consoling. She has had every opportunity to make a great life for herself, not everyone has the chance to study for ten years and live rent free. The reason she finds it hard to keep friends is her inability to talk about anything but herself and her unrealistic views of work/life etc.

SnuggyBuggy Fri 08-Jun-18 04:10:12

It sounds like a friendship that hasn't transitioned well

Whyarealltheusernamestaken Fri 08-Jun-18 04:11:47

Then just say no in future

Whyarealltheusernamestaken Fri 08-Jun-18 04:14:32

You are not responsible for her, you can walk away, she will survive without you. Maybe what she needs is the truth

ThumbWitchesAbroad Fri 08-Jun-18 04:20:58

As it's her 30th birthday, I think I would go this time.

But if there's no improvement, then maybe call her a few days later for a straight-talking chat and say that you think the friendship has really run its course, and that you wish her all the best in life and hope she finds other friends to go out with in future.

CurlyWurlyTwirly Fri 08-Jun-18 04:23:19

Sorry bot to a pp, the OP has been anything but mean, and not understanding.

OP, if you can’t afford it, then say so. Unfortunately your friend has been allowed to not grow up & deal,with real life.
Perhaps she needs the reality check of nothing happening on her birthday, so that next year, when she’s 40; she has made some changes.
Your life has moved on. It’s up to her to sort out her own. She has had people propping her up all her life

BeautifulSlang Fri 08-Jun-18 04:29:50

I have a friend similar to this OP and have asked myself if our friendship has run it's course many times. It's not always so black and white.

Bluetowelly Fri 08-Jun-18 04:45:18

What pp’s said - please don’t feel guilted into spending time with her if you’re not going to enjoy it and have nothing in common with her.

Friendships where one party is guilt tripping the other rarely work, and if you have nothing in common, you should cut the cord sooner so she can work on making friends she has more in common with.

I had an ex friend who was “creative but not putting the work in” and tbh he turned into a bit of a user - having a real victim mentality and expecting me to “support” him in endless self inflicted dramas based around casual dating. I know creative types who are working and hustling for jobs - he wasn’t one of them.

I went NC last year and I feel SO much lighter - it’s nice knowing my (limited) resources are going towards my own future, not subbing someone who already gets massive handouts from their parents.

Incidentally. When I went no contact, I sent him a nice email saying I had lots of personal issues of my own to focus on etc (which he was kind of aware of) rather than making it about him.

He didn’t even send one back expressing concern or wishing me well - I was simply a “resource” for him. If I wasn’t in a position to offer support to him, he had no use in contacting me.

daisychain01 Fri 08-Jun-18 05:14:04

The undertone of your post is that you're doing great, with your house, DC, job, and this so-called friend is just being a nuisance and won't leave you in peace to get on with your seemingly "together" life. You've tried your best to help her dry her tears, but this year it's going to be worse than last, what a pain.

On that basis definitely decline, there's nothing worse than an imbalanced friendship.

MrsDilber Fri 08-Jun-18 05:33:07

I would meet up this time s it's a special birthday, maybe the movies so you don't have to talk so much and a pizza.

This relationship has run its course, people who only talk about themselves are exhausting and rarely change imo.

I'd start cutting ties, gently, after this one.

SD1978 Fri 08-Jun-18 05:51:32

Dis you not post a few months ago the exact same scenario? If you don’t want to go- don’t. You do r agree with her decisions, you don’t want to spend time with her, so be an adult and tell her that you’re busy.

TERFragetteCity Fri 08-Jun-18 05:56:07


I would like to meet up but i just cant afford a night out. And i always seem to upset you when we do go out. Perhaps it would be better to meet up with people who make you smile, not cry. I do hope you have a happy birthday.

Love Jack

Jackyjill6 Fri 08-Jun-18 06:08:20

I wouldn't go for a meal with someone if I couldn't afford it. Can you think of something else you'd both enjoy? Like a PP said, a movie could be a good option.

FourFriedChickensDryWhiteToast Fri 08-Jun-18 06:29:12

tbh it really sounds as though you don't like her, so just make an excuse and don't go,

buttfacedmiscreant Fri 08-Jun-18 06:44:04

I like the idea of treating her to a movie so you don't have to console her for three hours and there is a set start and finish time but she has a friendly face to spend her milestone birthday with. Agree to meet there.

"I'm kind of busy with work right now and get kind of tired in the evening, but I was thinking that I could treat us to a movie. What would you like to see? You choose, my gift!"

I'd skip the pizza afterwards though and yes, I'd encourage this friendship to die after this one time.

If she says no, then perhaps you could suggest meeting for lunch on that day, that way you have a short and defined length of time in a busy cafe that is less conducive to crying.

andthislittlepiggywent1 Fri 08-Jun-18 06:48:01

Oh dear, I had a friend like this. Actually, I have lots of friends who didn't make it in creative professions, but most of them worked their arses off and just never got the breaks so I'm dead proud of them. This particular friend refused to consider any career apart from being the next J K Rowling but she never bloody wrote anything except video game fanfic (which she never finished), she hadn't read a single book except Harry Potter since leaving school, and, when she managed to get some great commissions to do some business writing for big companies, she missed the deadlines for no reason and then threw a tantrum about how mean they were for sacking her. On paper, her life was much better than mine (great husband, her own house, at least six foreign holidays a year, childfree by choice so kids weren't an issue) but I was still cast as provider of non-stop sympathy over her failure to achieve her "dream" of being a rich and famous writer. Eventually, she got into some kind of MLM thing. By that time, I was pregnant but she couldn't mention my pregnancy without saying that she was having a baby too because her new "business" was a baby. Which would have been absolutely fine by me if it hadn't been for the fact that (i) it wasn't a business, it was MLM, and (ii) true to form, she got fed up with it after less than a year whereas you can't send a baby back. I honestly don't know how I put up with her for sixteen years.

Alanamackree Fri 08-Jun-18 06:50:19

I sympathize op, I have a similar situation with a friend who was enabled by her parents to live rent free and drift. She’s very lost and directionless, and envious of my life in principal though she disapproves of DH and being around my children depresses her. My perfect life involves a sn child, a DH who works long hours, and health issues but I’m never allowed to have a moan because I don’t know how lucky I am, and she’s deeply sensitive about never having the opportunity to be a mother, because she’s never met a partner worthy of her and unlike me isn’t prepared to settle (DH being the scrapings of the barrel apparently). It’s become a very unbalanced relationship and I don’t get any benefit from it anymore. If my life wasn’t so demanding, I’d have more to give because I don’t think friendships are just about the benefits you get from them. And I feel I should support her because she has mh issues, but honestly most of her difficulties could be improved if she wasn’t so completely self- focused.

I’d probably go for the birthday meal but be honest that you’re broke and pick somewhere affordable.

givemesteel Fri 08-Jun-18 06:55:02

Agree do something this year as it is the 30th but you really don't need to pay. Say you're skint but you can do x cheap thing.

After that I'd just be busy / away every time she gets in touch. Once she gets a boyfriend and a proper job she'll be much busier so won't be so reliant on you.

ShawshanksRedemption Fri 08-Jun-18 06:55:18

Hmmm this friend is someone who sounds afraid to actually give their dream of acting a go, because then they might fail and can't deal with failure. They haven't become resilient in life, they've instead relied on parents to support them. That's maybe not entirely their fault if that's how they have been raised, that parents will always bail you out (and looks like that is still happening if she's back home living with parents).

This friendship is probably done if you can't accept that whilst you've matured emotionally, she is still stuck being a teenager. If it's only once a year you could look at going and being someone to listen and then suggest if she wants things to change, she needs to start from within - and how does she think she could achieve that?

Or as your own energy is taken up with your own life at present, you just haven't got any energy left for your friend. Perhaps be honest and say you can't meet her right now, but would love to drop in a card/bottle of wine etc for her birthday. That way you're thinking of her, but not being used by her. Maybe even a self-help book for her birthday? wink

SpikyCoconut Fri 08-Jun-18 06:56:38

I'd go round (or invite her round) with a bottle of wine/order pizza/whatever and then you wouldn't spend much £. I'd also allow her to have a 'rant' but then talk to her about things to do with you, too.

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