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That friends meet up without me?

209 replies

lovevlyt · 18/04/2021 20:46

I have friends that sometimes meet without including me.

The annoying thing is they all met through me and didn't know each other before. They also have kids, I don't - probably another factor in it.

Do they not understand it's upsetting?

Am I being too sensitive? It really annoys me and part of me feels like distancing myself from them.

OP posts:
Fairyliz · 19/04/2021 08:55


I'm quite stubborn so would never ask to go. I know makes me sound petty but it would make me feel like I'm begging for mates. There's a reason they don't want me involved and whatever that reason is I'm not 'persuading' them otherwise.

Sorry but I would assume if you are working and have a partner you certainly wouldn’t want to go out with some screaming kids.
My friends all had children several years before me and our relationship tailed off. By the time I had children my friends children were at school so different stages. Some of the friendships reignited when my children were teens and some faded away.
I would suggest new friends who are at the same life stage as you.
lovevlyt · 19/04/2021 08:57

I find it very difficult to make friends! Literally impossible. People nowadays are VERY flaky - for example you plan a meet and then it's 50/50 as to whether it happens and I've cancelled plans to be there and it posses me off so I guess I try and withdraw from making new relationships because there's too much BS involved

OP posts:
TheOnlyKoiInAPondOfGoldfish · 19/04/2021 08:58

I think you're being over sensitive - there were lots of other mothers I met up with when my kids were small - I haven't seen them since. We met in order to entertain our kids, who all got on, and we made small talk in between jumping up to rescue one stuck in a ball pit. Meeting another mother whose kids got on well with mine and whose company I could enjoy (even in small doses) was winning the jackpot when they were little.

Our kids are all adults now, three are still my friends, but only on Fb. My actual friends were found via other friends, hobbies and work, because I have something in common with those people other than kids.

What I'm saying is they probably don't consider it an adult social meet up at all, so of course wouldn't invite you!

jollygoodbargain · 19/04/2021 09:07

Some may see this as petty, but this is why I will go out of my way to avoid introducing friends from different parts of my life to each other. Sometimes it can't be helped at certain events etc. but on the whole, if it can be avoided I will avoid it.

Mmn654123 · 19/04/2021 09:10

Have you been “Wendied”?!!?

Dontcallmewifey · 19/04/2021 09:26

You are clearly very hurt. I suspect it is just that they have children they are meeting up for that reason. As a kids thing. You say you like walking and they go for walks but really, a walk with kids is not a walk. It is a lot of standing about whilst the kids play, dealing with crying, disputes, toileting etc. I would never dream of asking a child-free friend to these events. And all you really talk about on these walks is kid stuff. I suspect you would feel more left out if you actually went as it would be all about the kids and talking about kids.

I value my child-free friends and want to keep up with them as I don't like talking about my kids all the time. But some people do just want friendships with other parents. And time gets pressurised too.

I know it is hard to make new friends, its a lot of hope and rejection and hope and rejection again - a lot of false starts. Its takes years and years to even start to form new friendships. But if I am honest I suspect that is what you need to do. Your existing friends have something in common and they have formed a new bond out of that. You may maintain a friendship with some of them outside of the children, but it probably will be you working at it. If that hurts you, and it is understandable that it does, you need to put the work into finding new child-free friends. Start to form your own new interests and take it from there.

XiCi · 19/04/2021 09:27

@XiCilate thirties
OK, so still at an age where you wouldn't expect a childless friend to come out on a kids day trip. I didn't start having children till I was 39 and in the years before that I'd rather have stuck pins in my eyes than meet up with friends and their children. It also wouldn't occur to me to invite a friend that didn't have their own kids to be involved in a day out with other friends and their kids. Just talk to them and let them know you'd rather see them even if they are meeting up with their children. I'm sure it hasn't even occurred to them. It would be a shame to just lose the friendships without even having a chat about it and if you don't feel you can talk to them openly maybe they're not as good friends as you think

XiCi · 19/04/2021 09:29

Is there one of the friends that you are closest to OP? Maybe it would be easier to meet them for a coffee or walk and chat to them about it instead of confronting the whole group

AmyLou100 · 19/04/2021 09:35

Op its something probably child related. They probably also discuss the kids alot too - maybe they just think you will be bored.
Weekends for my friends and I are family time. Dh works during the week and we usually spend our weekends doing family stuff. Are all their kids very young?

Dontcallmewifey · 19/04/2021 09:40

Just talk to them and let them know you'd rather see them even if they are meeting up with their children

I actually wouldn't do that. I think if you go on these child-based meetups then, as I say, you will feel really left out and awkward as all they will be talking about is the kids, and dealing with kids stuff. Because that is why they are meeting.
Its like if you had friends who were all into railway modelling. You wouldn't want to go to one of their modelling meetups as they would all be making models and talking about making model railways.
And you would have nothing to say and sit there feeling awkward and it would all be a bit weird for everyone that you were there.

Try to keep them separately without kids, or as an adult night out/ kid free time or something. Or make friends without kids.

booksandnooks · 19/04/2021 09:42

Don't take it personally.
I have children and I find I can relax better with friends with children over friends without. It's a different dynamic.
They still see you, that means they both still like you, but they need eachothers friendship in a different way to how they need yours.
Your friendship is relaxing, theirs is the friendship of convenience and shared goals- getting the kids running around and burning off effort.
Depending on the ages, the kids may be forcing the friendship more than you know.

I wouldn't say anything. Their children will soon grow up and they won't need play dates anymore.

bunglebee · 19/04/2021 09:46

We once tried to combine friends with kids and friends without for socialising and it was an unmitigated disaster. The friends without were impatient and frustrated at all the interruptions/tears/squabbles/cutting up food that went along with having DC there and we and the friends with kids were embarrassed and annoyed at their obvious inpatience. Never again.

To be honest, the only practical way for me to socialise these days is either 1) with DC in tow, in which case it tends to be with other people with DC, as otherwise the other person gets too frustrated with all the interruptions etc or 2) by myself, which is nice but of course has to be juggled and agreed with DH. Socialising together as a couple we have to do with DC, and it's all but impossible to do it unless the other couple also has DC to distract and play with ours.

I suspect this has a lot less to do with them not liking you and more to do with practicalities.

XiCi · 19/04/2021 09:47

I understand what you mean Dontcallmewifey but I suggested that because the OP has expressed upset that she is not being invited on these particular meet ups. But yes if it were me I'd be organising just to meet with the adults. It's a tough time at the moment though isn't it, just coming out of lockdown and lot of people preoccupied with getting out with and seeing their own families for the first time in god knows how long. I have close friends that I probably won't see for a while yet, probs not till indoors opens up again next month

MatildaTheCat · 19/04/2021 09:49

This sounds more like them wanting to fill time when they know you aren’t available.

I’m in your situation right now but I’m one of the other women. I’m friends with A and B and we meet once or twice a week to walk our dogs. This has been for over a decade. B and A are quite different and probably wouldn’t be friends in another situation.

B and I are closer. We both have adult children and shared interests. We sometimes do other days out together. A has been invited to join us for days out and never accepts. She has quite a rigid schedule. She can be amazingly kind in the sense of helping with a professional thing but wouldn’t walk on another day if, for example I was feeling down.

A couple of weeks ago B texted me and asked if I’d walk with her the following morning because she’d had a major disappointment. I said ok even though I wasn’t intending to walk. As we pulled up who should also appear but A. Who was meeting another friend. She looked close to tears and it was very awkward.

She later messaged us both to say how hurt she was and she was stepping back and wouldn’t be walking with us for the foreseeable future. I was mortified but also cross. We’d done nothing wrong. Went on a walk she wasn’t available for.

I’m still sad but want to remedy the situation because I’m fond of her. I should add that she had a very abusive childhood and has a very toxic relationship with her mother. Which is sad but doesn’t make it my fault that she’s so ultra sensitive.

OP be very honest with yourself, do you really want to go along to these child meet ups? Or do you feel a bit left out on a wider scale because you don’t have children? Because if so that’s not fair to them.

HikeForward · 19/04/2021 09:53

Normal to feel hurt, but it’s not fair to blame them for it. Maybe they have more in common? Or they go to kids activities together so the friendships have developed faster?

Maybe they think their kids irritate you or you won’t want to do kid-focused things?

bunglebee · 19/04/2021 09:56

PurpleDaisies, I can understand your point re: it being hurtful to be the only person left out of e.g. a soft play meetup, but the thing about that kind of meetup is that it really isn't adult socialisation at all. It's following DC around, dispensing snacks, mediating squabbles. Arranging to do it with another parent is basically just a) giving the kids a chance to play together b) ensuring that if you're really lucky you might get about 5 minutes total of conversation with the other adult, split into 30 second increments over the course of 2 hours. I don't think I could have the face to invite an adult who didn't have DC to do that - their only conceivable reason for coming would be to talk to me, and I know I'm not going to be able to do that. It's going to be them sitting there awkwardly while I get dragged up ladders and say "DON'T HIT YOUR BROTHER!" (Maybe it'll be different when my DC are older...)

If I did have a friend who was part of an established group but did not have DC, I would certainly try to ensure that there were not circumstances where everyone but them was getting together to do a kidcentric thing, as I totally understand that would feel exclusionary.

Brieminewine · 19/04/2021 09:57

Wow your being very dramatic and over sensitive!

Just because you introduced them doesn’t mean they have to include you in every plan they make, they are friends in their own right now. Having a childless person on a day out with the kids could change the dynamic, or maybe they thought you wouldn’t want to go out with the kids. Regardless, they are perfectly entitled to spend time together without you. I think if you raise the subject with them you’re at risk of further alienating yourself from the group.

HikeForward · 19/04/2021 10:14

I think it's rude of them to assume that. They could say 'this is happening - we understand if you don't want to come because it will be a kid outing but the offer is there'

Why is it rude? What if they’d prefer just to go together? Nobody is obliged to invite anyone.

When you go out with kids the focus is on the kids. Parents might feel awkward trying to chat to you at soft play or on a kids walk/nature trail (or think you’d expect the kids to be in the background, when in reality every conversation gets interrupted).

Maybe they only want to talk about kid related stuff at the moment?

And they can’t invite you to other people’s kids parties or events solely for parents (like play events at churches, or events designed for one parent per kid(s). Some places won’t let you in without a kid especially with covid restrictions on numbers. Even couples can get turned away from playgrounds if there’s a one adult per child rule.

As for your DH meeting his friends for drinks and child free chat, you can’t blame your friends for not wanting to do the same. Motherhood can be very different to fatherhood. When my DC was small I was in bed by 9pm every night and too tired to even think about going out for evening drinks. Add to that being woken a few times in the night and a 5am start, can you see why they might not be up for childfree evening catch ups just now?

IbrahimaRedTwo · 19/04/2021 10:25

I think it's rude of them to assume that. They could say 'this is happening - we understand if you don't want to come because it will be a kid outing but the offer is there

The offer doesn't have to be there though! They don't have to invite OP along if they don't want to.

In a similar situation, I had a friend who introduced me to 2 of her friends, we all got along well and would do an activity together. Later, one of them asked me to go to another activity with her, something that my original friend would have zero interest in (and only suitable to attend if you did have the interest). We went, it was great...until original friend went absolutely mental at us for not inviting her!
She seemed to think that because she had introduced us initially we should have asked her to go to anything and everything with doesn't work like that.
I'm no longer friends with her but I am with the other 2.

Scrunchy95 · 19/04/2021 10:28

They clearly have a spark with each other irrelevant of how they met, they are friends now. You aren't the friend's boss. Leave them to it.

AnotherCupOfTeaVicar · 19/04/2021 10:31

Unless you've been left out or not invited its hard to understand the hurt it causes, whatever the reason

IbrahimaRedTwo · 19/04/2021 10:35

Unless you've been left out or not invited its hard to understand the hurt it causes, whatever the reason

No. If you choose to see it as being left out, if you choose to be hurt, you are. Other people can be in the exact same situation but are able to see that they don't always need to be invited to everything. It's about perspective, not experience.

Makingnumber2 · 19/04/2021 10:43

I can see why you would find it hurtful OP. Can I give you perspective from the other side? I have a toddler and there is one other couple with a toddler in our friend group. We organise to meet in the school hols in day time and do not always invite our childless friends to these play dates even though they would be available/not at work. Reasons for this are:

  1. I want to talk to my other mum friend about inane parenting stuff which before I had a kid I found infuriating and dull AF to listen to.
  2. my child tantrums, cries, whinges and interrupts frequently cos they’re 2. I don’t feel so conscious or worried about how this perceived when I’m with my other mum friend because I know she understands and her kids do it too.
  3. we can make the meet up fully about the kids- meet at a time and location that works best for them around nap and mealtimes. When we have invited non parent friends it has ended up feeling awkward when they suggest times or locations not suited to our DC and makes us conscious of the fact we are now boring parents.

    None of the reasons for us doing this are because we don’t love our child free friends or don’t enjoy their company. We just sometimes want and need a space that can be fully about our kids needs and allow us to vent to someone in same situation.

    I think you should mention how you feel to the friend in the group you are closest too- and see if they will raise it with the others. I would hope my childfree friends would feel they could do that with me or my mum friend and we would absolutely include them in all kid meet ups going forward so long as they knew times and locations would be totally kid centred.
Sonders · 19/04/2021 10:45

OP I'm sorry you're going through this. One thing you said stuck out, and that was that you haven't said anything.

You're in a lot of pain, and the wall you've built is only causing you to resent your friends, and they might be feeling it.

There could have been one really quick conversation that goes something like "Hey I'm just feeling a bit left out, and it's really getting to me. It's definitely been exasperated by the last year, but I just want you to know that I always love to hear when there's a chance to grab a coffee in the park with you."

Instead, you're feeling like shit, and they might feel like shit because their friend is getting snappy with them for a reason they can't see.

AnotherCupOfTeaVicar · 19/04/2021 10:47

Nope, @IbrahimaRedTwo, I disagree, people do leave people out. The OP is hurt by their actions whether intended or not

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