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To be fed up with 'part time' friend

(40 Posts)
twinklingfairy Thu 08-Oct-09 11:54:36

It is hard to describehmm
I have known this RL friend since we were 4, but since I moved back into the area we rarely meet up.
I text and text to try to make arrangements and they fall through every time.
To the point that I thought, sod it, she can contact me, when she has time.

9 months later......
She text to say we should meet up. I didn't reply immediately cos I was just not sure I wanted to re-enter the whole thing.
Next day, she sends her DH to speak to my sis (they work in same office) to check she has the right number.
he says maybe I hadn't replied cos I didn't want to know (quite succinct I thought) but, come on, 24hrs is a bit quick to make that kind of assumption?He told sis it was cos she wants to invite me out to celebrate her 30th, a year late (pregnant last year).

So now I am thinking, I don't really want to meet up, only for it to be months and months of my putting myself out there before we meet again. It makes me feel like I appear needy and desperate, where I am not.
I am not sure I want to go out with her, reckon I am just making up the numbers so it is a bigger gang. She has been out plenty and has only once asked me out with her in 6 years!

I just feel it is a one sided friendship where I am dropped like a hot potato and picked up whenever she fancies.
I always go running cos we have known each other all our lives.
I just feel like a fool.

sigh, you will all think I am being pettysad
This is my oldest friend, but is it worth it when she unwittingly makes me feel this way?

claricebeansmum Thu 08-Oct-09 11:58:14

This sounds like my oldest friend who I had known since I was 4.

We grew apart during teen years but still saw each other at school but weren't BFs but still knew that we were oldest friends IYSWIM.

Anyway, from uni onwards she has flitted in and out of my life. Often wanting all my attention at the drop of a hat and then disappearing for months on end. I find it very wearing and difficult and feels as if I am being used. She has an incredibly selfish streak to her that I am not alone in noticing.

I have now pretty much cut all contact with her.

Boys2mam Thu 08-Oct-09 11:59:25

I don't think you're being petty.

Friendships are meant to make us feel good and worthwhile and just because you have known her since childhood doesn't mean she can bring anything of value to your life.

It depends on whether you can distance yourself so that you can meet up but you aren't doing any chasing.

twinklingfairy Thu 08-Oct-09 12:14:05

It just doesn't seem worth the hassle.
I am ok with the fact that she has her family and that she has made new friends through the birth of her children, same way I have.
And it is fine with me that we, the same as you clarice, lost touch when I went to uni and she stayed at home, making lots of new friends at that point.
I am really not fussed that she doesn't have time for me.

I know that it is me who is being paranoid about how important/not important I am to her.

But I am happy to say, wasn't it nice that we were friends for so long, I really treasure it, but lets not try to re-create what has passed.

She goes out now and again, into town and the likes. It hurts that she has only once invited me.
When we meet up we talk like crazy, but for one afternoons catch up and months of feeling of little importance enough to do it again??
The pay off is not really worth it anymore.

PersonalClown Thu 08-Oct-09 12:17:38

Have to agree with everyone else.
If you don't want to go as you feel you are making up the numbers, then don't.
My oldest friend is like this too. She only comes to us when she needs something or doesn't have anyone else to cling to.
I've learnt not to worry anymore. I've got better things to worry about.

Knickers0nmaChoppedOffhead Thu 08-Oct-09 12:18:12

yanbu. Time to cut ties by the sound of it.

mcfly79 Thu 08-Oct-09 12:27:56

If there are people in your life who dont enrich it in some way,then cut them out.

twinklingfairy Thu 08-Oct-09 16:55:27

But how do you do that without alienating them forever?
I don't feel I could ever explain this to her without her thinking I was getting a bit too 'deep' It is only a friendship. IYSWIM

lilyjen Thu 08-Oct-09 17:09:44

YNBU I'd tell her you have plans on that night but thank her for asking. You won't have to do anything else she won't bother calling you again.

ChilloHippi Thu 08-Oct-09 17:12:39

Life is too short for unreliable friends.
If you do want to stay friends, could you go and celebrate her 30th but then not contact her about meeting again afterwards? I know that's hard whn you care about someone and enjoy being with them, but it could be a solution.
It sounds like she is the needy one, not you grin
Your worries are not petty at all. It is emotionally draining to try and maintain a friendship when you get no response from the other side. There could well be a reason for the arrangements that you make falling through, but it's not fair on you and she is not acting like a friend.
If I were you, I wouldn't bother contacting her at all. She'll be the one left lonely.

MintyCane Thu 08-Oct-09 17:22:27

I think YABU. I have lots of friends that I only see about once a year - sometimes less. It has nothing to do with not caring about each other. Some of them I have known all my life. If they lived in my road and we didn't have time to catch up for nine months I would not mind. I do not need to see them all the time to still be a friend. Maybe she is very very busy or having a hard time. I don't think friendship is somthing you have to maintain either they can see you or they can't you don't have to take it personally. I don't see why you have to "cut contact" with her. It all sounds a bit dramatic - you are not 14 I am guessing ?

twinklingfairy Thu 08-Oct-09 21:36:23

I don't know that I necessarily want to totally cut contact, I am just feeling a bit put out at this point.
I did say that we had been friends since age 4 and lost contact during my uni years. We always come together in the end, I am just not sure that she is such a good friend at the moment.
And, as I said, I can totally get with that, am happy to accept that. But I am just not sure how I can say, not right now please, without her asking why and all my insecurities coming out, making her think I am a bit of a loon.

I am put out because she never asks me out on an average night out, though I drop hints, only in the safety of numbers/ for an occasion.
My paranoia tells me that that is cos she doesn't like me that much, just thinks that she ought to try to keep up with her oldest friend cos that is what you do.
I am saying, you know you don't have to. She and I are both busy mums, our circles just don't cross.

Oh god, now I am saying 2 things! I want her to be more consistant friend or just leave it be and stop putting us both under pressure.
Can you see where I am coming from?

MintyCane Fri 09-Oct-09 07:24:28

I can see where you are coming from but things change as you become adults with kids. I have a friend who I have known since four. When you have kids of varying ages and are not forced to see each other every day with school or nursery or work things change. I meet up with my oldest friend about once a year we phone when travelling on the train and we have a second to breathe. We are simply too overwhelmed to do more. If she doesn't call I know she is busy with whatever is immediately in front of her. You may find that if you meet up once in a while for a meal and a chat you can talk about all the things you have done/new people you have to spend time with/old times.

It may be different now but it doesn't have to not be a friendship. How about suggesting you go out for a meal. If it is good and you have a laugh fine. If not also fine move on. Friendships like long term relationshops of all kinds need room to change. It sounds as is if she is seeking you out after all.

BudaBones Fri 09-Oct-09 07:40:05

I think you want more from the friendship than she does. It sounds like she still counts on you as a friend but a friend from the past. It doesn't necessarily mean that she doesn't value the friendship you had but she has moved on and she maybe assumes you have too. But she still wants to catch up with you occasionally and include you in bigger celebrations like her 30th. The sheer fact that she is celebrating her 30th a year late due to having a baby shows that she is busy.

Friendships change as you get older and the things you had in common as you were growing up together do not necessarily mean you have a lot in common now.

I think we have different friends for different stages of our lives. Some people stay friends with their childhood best friend but I would guess that more don't. I had a best friend as a child and we grew apart around our teens. I remember meeting her occasionally on the bus or whatever and we would natter away and still get on really well. I think we went out for a drink once or twice. But neither of us ever wanted more as our lives had moved on so much. I have friends from various jobs and I really enjoy catching up with them but they are not in my day to day life.

If you can step back and just appreciate the fact that you were close once and she still appreciates that past friendship and you do the same then I would go to the 30th. If not I think it is time for you to let it go completely if it is hurting you.

WingedVictory Fri 09-Oct-09 20:38:32

I agree with ChilloHippi: go out for the 30th and enjoy the company of others, even if your original friend doesn't make the time for you. Then don't initiate anything else.

In the meantime, you may meet some other interesting and nice people. I have met some really good friends through other friends.

Good luck!

twinklingfairy Sat 10-Oct-09 11:44:04

Thank you everyone.
I have been in contact with her, to try to make my excuses (on another issue, things are not so good with me and DH at the mo, so I am feeling low) I told her something along those lines and could we leave it until I am in a better place.
She replied that she would rather see me, moans and all, than not at all, that it had simlpy been too long.
So I feel much better now. I obviously needed a little reasurance, which she has given me. She prob won't realise how much it meant to me that she went that extra bit to tell me not to worry about moaning to her.

We will see how a coffee (and she promised cake) goes. I will make a decision about the night out after that.
I think I might get a bit lost in the group and I am not much of a drinker, she is.
That was why I would hint that a night out with her would be good, that way I had her support. In a group I feel more nervous, the pressure is on to keep up, be funny etc etc.
God I am needyblush

bleurgh I am coming accross as such a wimp.

minty you gave me the shake I needed BTW, thank you. I am not 14 and I was acting like a child.
It is a good and long term friendship, that it has seen us both through so much is pretty good. And that she text me at all should have been enough.

Doodleydoo Sat 10-Oct-09 15:33:10

I think we all have a friend like this, mine also does this and quite often communicates via email which I often misconstrue and then send one back which of doesn't go down well.

Fine you say, pick up the phone, I do often to have it go to voicemail and not get any response. often feel used but then she does something really lovely and I forget about it until the next time.

This friend does it to everyone else to as "new friends" seem to get all her time, but that is fine as long as I know where I stand and am still nice when we speak. I just try not to jump whenever she wants something from me, used to do that all the time thinking would make us better friends. So now its all in moderation and it works for us.

Agree makes you feel like crap and needy and often like you have done something wrong when really they are just involved in their own lives. Treasure the twice yearly one on ones and appreciate the friends who go to the same lengths as you do more and please don't let it worry you. Had many sleepless nights thinking had done something wrong, when it hadn't affected my friend at all - all the grey hairs and worry lines aren't worth it.

witcheseve Sat 10-Oct-09 15:42:33

A 30th is a milestone and an occassion where you are likely to look back and think about your past, that's why she wanted to invite you to this. I can understand that. She is acknowledging that you are still a friend even if you only see each other once in a blue moon nowadays.

I have friends that I only go out with once or twice a year. I still have people who I class as friends who I haven't seen for 2 years but if there is a special party on and they invite me I would go.

witcheseve Sat 10-Oct-09 15:54:42

'occasion' blush

NanaNina Sun 11-Oct-09 08:43:08

Twinklingfairy - you are NOT coming across as a wimp - you are coming across as a really nice, sensitive woman who is being honest about your feelings. You'vehad some some really nice replies so haven't much to add but .........picking up on the fact that you are low because of you and your DH at the moment, I think as you are suggesting that maybe this is making you a little hyper sensitive and needing more reassurance that you are an OK person than usual.

I think that a friendship should add something to you life but I also think that friendships with our women friends ebb and flow over the years. I am much older than you and have observed this happening and now accept it as part of life. I have some very good women friends without whom I'm not sure I could have survived but as others have said on here, some of them I don't see for ages and ages but when we do meet, the old closeness is still there and we can acknowledge this. I sometimes feel with one friend that I "do all the running" and she is someone who I really love to spend time with, but then I know her wellenough to know that she wouldn't agree to meeting up if she didn't want to and then she will say something lovely about our friendship on a card or e mail and that's fine.

I do however think that some friendships have a "life" and that very occasionally it has to be accepted that the friendship has "run it's course" as both have changed so much since first being friends. I have one friend with whom I was really close (we worked together) and phoned each other twice per week but I rarely see her now as our lives have changed so much since then. she recently sent me a card saying nice things including "our friendship may now have reached the letter writing phase only but you are still in and out of my thoughts so often" - I thought this was a really nice way of just acknowledging that things had changed but good times had not been forgotten. SO I agree with others, you have known your friend a long time and as I read your post I was thinking "why doesn't TFairy talk to her friend, tell her how she's feeling" but maybe that's a bit awkward to do. However you have talked and she now knows things are not good for you and wants to support you, so really glad that things are turning out OK.

Wishing you luck and happy friendships!

MintyCane Sun 11-Oct-09 09:00:10

I don't think you are being needy either. Sorry about my very rude "are you 14" comment that was not nice. Can you tell i have an almost teen that is driving me crazy [blsuh] You sound lovely and much more grown up than your so called friend. I am also much older than you and have seen friends come and go and change. It will be OK, maybe you have grown up more than than she did since kids. Good luck with it all. You always have friends here as well smile Looking forward to chatting with you again some time.

MintyCane Sun 11-Oct-09 09:01:09

that was a blush obviously blushblush

twinklingfairy Wed 14-Oct-09 23:11:48

Don't worry at all mintycane. It was just the kick up the bum I needed to make me think less like a 14 year old.

But thank you all for your kind comments and helpsmile

ellokitty Thu 15-Oct-09 18:59:31

Just a thought, but are you sure there's not an element of post natal depression on her part there? Some women can find it difficult socialising outside of her comfort zone (those who know). Just sounds like a few people I know who have had pnd, and she has just had a baby!

Of course, I may be barking completely up the wrong tree!!!

FABIsInTraining Thu 15-Oct-09 19:04:03

If true friends it doesn't matter how often you see each other.

My friend and I have known each since we were 12 so 25 years. I haven't seen her for 18 years. I can probably count of 2 hands how many times we have spoken in the last few years but mostly we pick up where we left off and we are seeing each other in a couple of weeks.

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