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Do I need new friends, or are my expectations of my existing friends unrealistic?

(14 Posts)
Detailsoverleaf Sun 17-Apr-16 16:35:42

I'm mid 30s, married, no kids yet. I'd say I have about 6 friends (as opposed to acquaintances) - 3 from school and 3 from somewhere I used to live.

Over the last couple of years a few things have happened that have left me feeling a bit hurt and made me question my friendships, eg.

- friends not checking how I was after an accident (it was serious enough that I was taken to hospital, although thankfully no lasting damage)
- friends not sending cards when I got married (we had a tiny immediate family-only wedding - no friends came to actual wedding) but some of my closest friends didn't even send a card
- friends who know I have been unwell since the start of the year not calling / texting to see how I am at all
- texting a friend to say a family member who has been ill for some time has passed away and not receiving a reply
- finding out someone I thought was a close friend is 4/5 months pregnant after seeing a conversation between her and someone else on Facebook (it wasn't a Facebook 'pregnancy announcement' just messages between her and someone else which were public so I saw them). She hasn't bothered to tell me she is pregnant and I've text her a couple of times recently to see how she is and ask her if she fancies meeting up for a coffee and had no reply.

I'm not sure whether I am being demanding and expecting too much from my friendships? I'm feeling low at the moment from being unwell and losing a family member so not sure whether this has blurred my sense of perspective or not.

I just can't imagine knowing a friend is ill / going through a hard time and not checking on them from time to time? I totally appreciate my friends are all busy people, have their own lives etc and I am not expecting them to chase around after me, but I don't think I am being unreasonable to be hurt by the examples above, or am I?

Has anyone else successfully made new friends?

VestalVirgin Sun 17-Apr-16 16:44:00

Apparently, your friends are not as close as you think they are.

The issue with the pregnancy seems to imply that your friends do not give you much attention, but also don't demand much, which is probably good - they're not the kind of friend who drains all your energy and gives nothing back. So you can keep them, but consider them acquaintances, for your own peace of mind.

You should probaly find new friends, who have similiar ideas of how a friendship ought to look as you do.
Can't help you with that, though, I am really bad at making friends myself.

Do you think they know that you consider them close friends? I am very shy and would rather not visit someone in hospital if it is possible they consider me a mere acquaintance.
I am also a bit depressed sometimes, and don't feel up to socializing ... which could be the explanation with one of your friends, but probably not all of them.

Detailsoverleaf Sun 17-Apr-16 17:32:30

Thanks for your reply.

The ironic thing is one of these friends does demand a lot and drain my energy from time to time - she often has dilemmas relating to work or relationships and I have spent hours on the phone to her at various times in her life counselling her through her problems.

I agree I need to 'downgrade' them from 'friends' to 'acquaintance' though.

Just to clarify as my OP is perhaps unclear, but I did not expect anyone to come to the hospital (other than DH of course!) I merely thought it would have been nice if my friends had called or texted. I did not expect them to visit in person.

Detailsoverleaf Sun 17-Apr-16 17:47:11

Also, if someone text me to tell me a member of their family had died, I cannot imagine not replying, regardless of whether they were a friend or an acquaintance or whoever!

crazyhead Sun 17-Apr-16 18:08:50

Do you friends have very young kids? If they do, I would say that people can sometimes go into dazed mode for a while - it can be overwhelming. I do think they are being lax, but just to check

Itinerary Sun 17-Apr-16 18:21:53

Yes, your friends should check how you are following an accident, and if they know you've been unwell. And reply or send a card when you tell them someone has passed away.

The friend who's pregnant and isn't responding to your suggestions of a coffee is either not a good friend, or she's changed her mobile number and not told you.

However, I'd only think of sending a wedding card if I was a guest at the wedding.

Perhaps there has been something going on in one or more of your friends' lives that they're not talking about, which has made it harder for them to keep in touch, or perhaps you're just not such good friends any more.

springydaffs Sun 17-Apr-16 18:49:35

Do you think they've taken offence you didn't invite them to the wedding?

Because it's pants they didn't contact you at crucial times in your life. How long does it take to send a text? yy I get it about being busy with small kids but, even then, a text is so easy and shows they car.

The conclusion you have to draw is they don't care - out of sight out of mind. Ouch. I'm in the same club following a very serious life event. I found out who my friends are - it was a shock.

nicenewdusters Mon 18-Apr-16 19:48:36

They certainly look to be, or have fallen more into, the category of acquaintances.

I think lots of friendships are very fluid. They often only really succeed in a particular context, ie work friends, old school friends, neighbours, nursery/school mum friends. Some of course transcend this and they're the keepers.

I'm constantly surprised at how flaky some "friends" can be. As Springydaffs says, how long does it take to send a text ? As I get older I find I'm much more careful to only invest in my friendships to a certain extent. I've tended to be very much the giver, and even if it wasn't reciprocated to the same extent I just carried on the same.

Now I'm a lot more measured, and find that if one goes off radar it doesn't have nearly the same effect on me.

IrenetheQuaint Mon 18-Apr-16 19:54:35

Yes, they are a bit crap, though I wouldn't send a card to someone when I hadn't been invited to their wedding, and I don't particularly expect friends to remember my minor accidents and illnesses.

Are they fun when you actually do see them?

springydaffs Mon 18-Apr-16 22:35:17

ok then Irene. So where do we get 'the good stuff' from? ARe friendships only back burner things that backlight the real stuff - Eg family, partner, kids?

I'm not having a go. Your approach seems to be the way things are generally these days . Kind of 'don't be needy around friends'. Forget intimacy and love - not cool.

Alright then: my name is Springy and I expect my friends to love me.

BackInTheRealWorld Mon 18-Apr-16 22:39:27

They don't sound as invested in the friendship as you unfortunately. Soz.

WhoaCadburys Mon 18-Apr-16 23:04:52

You sound too nice and thoughtful for them. Stop making an effort and find some new hobbies to meet new people.

lorelei9here Mon 18-Apr-16 23:16:18

I'm really sleepy but didn't want to read and run
I'm introverted so don't care much re acquaintances
My definition of a friend is definitely someone who checks on you or helps out when you are very ill or bereaved

That said, I think I'm very lucky to have about six such people. Many peoples definition of friendship is my definition of casual socialiser.

You may need to downgrade or even drop some people. If you feel none of your friends are up to much,,it may be time to seek new ones.

IrenetheQuaint Mon 18-Apr-16 23:23:23

Actually springy I've been single for years and have lots of lovely friends! But my closest friends are mostly single too; my married friends are great but I wouldn't generally expect them to text to see if I was OK etc. (Though I would expect them to reply to a text about the loss of a relative.)

If the OP was single I'd have replied a bit differently, I think.

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