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to tell her that I'd like to shake our friendship up a bit :)

(10 Posts)
Dieu Sun 25-Sep-16 19:28:33

Hello. A bit of background: a few years back, I did voluntary befriending for a women's charity. I was matched up with J, a woman a couple of years younger than me, who had a newborn baby, felt very isolated in the deprived area she lived in, had a great deal of social anxiety, history of depression, no friends, no family locally, very little confidence.
Deal was that we'd meet once a week, for 2 hours, at the Project … and chat … go out for coffee … or a walk.
Well, we hit it off from the very first moment of meeting smile. Chatted nonstop, and generally got on brilliantly.
We were in our befriending relationship for a total of 4 years, and she found it an absolute lifeline.
So when the charity ran out of funding for befriending, I suggested we become 'normal' friends. We exchanged mobile numbers (something we hadn't been allowed to do, as per the boundaries of the Project). She was thrilled … and I was happy too.
This was over a year ago, and we continue to see each other once a week. Thing is, I feel the friendship hasn't really progressed since our befriending days. We ALWAYS meet up at my place; she is a hoarder, so her place is out of bounds. I wouldn't mind, but she is embarrassed.
I'd like to suggest that we go out for a drink or the cinema sometimes, but I'm not sure if this would be insensitive.
This friendship has many financial and social constraints, but it would be nice if it could move on a bit. Or should I continue to treat it as the befriending relationship it originally was? This would feel a bit disingenuous, as she believes us to be the best of friends.
This sounds awful, but I find myself now getting a bit bored of it. Somehow the limitations were easier to accept when it was a befriending relationship.
Any thoughts? I am deeply fond of her, and am scared of letting her down.

WallisFrizz Sun 25-Sep-16 19:32:55

So she is a single mother with limited funds. What do you expect, genuine question? Could she afford cinema/drink at the pub? Does she have the childcare?

TheoriginalLEM Sun 25-Sep-16 19:32:56

Just invite her!! you are overthinking

Dieu Sun 25-Sep-16 19:34:29

Her partner would be able to babysit. I guess we have fallen into a bit of a rut, at least in my head. Can happen to us all I guess hmm

NotTheFordType Sun 25-Sep-16 20:00:03

Or should I continue to treat it as the befriending relationship it originally was?

Yes. If you're unable to continue on these grounds, then tell her.

salamandress Sun 25-Sep-16 20:48:28

I've done this work before.

I was so relieved to hear that you're not after a romantic Relationship with her!!!!

So, what is the nature of the topics of conversation with her? Is it still an unbalanced relationship?

You should just ask her to go out for a drink and see what she says. I don't understand why this would be difficult?

Does she still see you as "help" or are you equal and just chat about everything?

Also, have to considered helping her with the hoarding issue? (only if you want to!).

You should definitely be getting something out of this too.

If there is nothing but an equal friendship you are allowed to let thins fiZzle. You've given her a lot of time. You don't owe her a visit for the rest of your life! Is she more confident and have other friends now too?

Dieu Sun 25-Sep-16 21:19:10

I am still her only friend, and she isn't much further forward with sorting out her flat. Her daughter is 5 and continues to share a bedroom with mum and dad, because the room she should have is full of stuff. I have offered to help, but she feels self-conscious I think because I am the opposite; tidy and ruthless with getting rid of stuff!
Our chat these days is very equal; we both chat about anything and everything, and it can be personal to me too, whereas in the befriending days we obviously focused on J.
That's not the problem … I think it's just the lack of variety that is getting to me a bit.

salamandress Sun 25-Sep-16 21:29:33

If it's only about the lack of variety you should just ask to go out! You wouldn't be offending her, you'd just be saying "I need a night out, Do you fancy going to xyz bar" or whatever.

What exactly are you worried about? It's up to her to just say she can't afford it. You could suggest a 2 for 1 night at the cinema (do they still do these??). Or happy hour at the bar. Just see what she says. Or suggest a walk round park or something free?

Mellowautumn Sun 25-Sep-16 21:50:09

As above - just suggest a different activity - even maybe try to find a cheap evening class you would both enjoy or a hobby type activity that might expand her social group a little ?

cookiefiend Sun 25-Sep-16 21:57:44

Yeah just suggest an activity- doesn't have to be expensive. A walk, trip to a museum etc. or out her into the more confident position- "I have always wanted to try x, but am nervous to go alone- will you come too?". If she doesn't want to try new things them perhaps you could reduce contact a bit.

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