Mumsnet Logo
Please
or
to access all these features

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Relationships

Bit upset. What does my flaky friend mean?

39 replies

DontdothisDothat · 24/01/2023 22:10

I’ve been in touch with an old school friend for about a year. He went AWOL with drug problem and in rehab. I didn’t contact him in that time & just got on with my stuff. He came out of rehab, all good, he video called me first and emphasised what a special bond, deep friendship we have & that he wanted to meet up soon.

I’ve checked in every so often to see how he is. Each time, he suggested: “let’s video call later” or “let’s chat later” but each time, “later” didn’t happen. Flaky. One time he fell asleep, another time he just didn’t follow. So I’ve taken it with a pinch of salt each time & created more distance.

He did it again this time.
“How are you?”
“Better now”
“Great”
”Fancy a chat later?”

I said I was out but yeah, that evening. That evening he asked how my outing had been, I gave brief detail and nothing else.

So the next day, i cheerfully said hi and how yet again, we never did have that chat. I said I’d let him decide from now on how and when he wants to be in touch.I wished him well. Balm in his court, I can’t be fucked any more.

He apologised for not calling, but says that “Are you ok?” would have been more kind from me. He said he struggles “with this” which then reduces his communication.

His reply has left me really confused. I feel like just saying “fuck you” and archiving him. Idk it all feels like a one-sided friendship where I check in with him all the tine. I struggle, too.

Maybe it’s overly dramatic. Idk, feel a bit crap.

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

DontdothisDothat · 24/01/2023 22:12

*ball in his court, not balm

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

demotedreally · 24/01/2023 22:12

What's your interest in reviving the friendship? Do you fancy him?

Please
or
to access all these features

EezyOozy · 24/01/2023 22:14

It all sounds a bit exhausting and pointless tbh, just let it fizzle out.

Please
or
to access all these features

DontdothisDothat · 24/01/2023 22:14

He revived it first & said he had feelings for me. I am very fond of him, but I don’t know that I fancy him. We haven’t seen each other for a very long time, and now I’ve learnt he l has a drug problem & I’m wary.

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

DontdothisDothat · 24/01/2023 22:15

Yes, exhausting. On verge of letting it fizzle out. I just feel very sad that the friendship is ending. We were very close at one stage.

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

TheYearOfSmallThings · 24/01/2023 22:17

It just sounds like a massive waste of time. Stop engaging and focus your energy on real life relationships.

Please
or
to access all these features

RoaRoaRasputin · 24/01/2023 22:17

Let it go.

Please
or
to access all these features

TangledWebOfDeception · 24/01/2023 22:18

I think it’s time to let this go. It happens sometimes with friendships.

Yes it’ll be sad, and difficult. Flowers

Please
or
to access all these features

EezyOozy · 24/01/2023 22:20

Yes, exhausting. On verge of letting it fizzle out. I just feel very sad that the friendship is ending. We were very close at one stage.

Yes but life moves on, people outgrow each other , friendships fizzle out.

Please
or
to access all these features

DontdothisDothat · 24/01/2023 22:23

TheYearOfSmallThings · 24/01/2023 22:17

It just sounds like a massive waste of time. Stop engaging and focus your energy on real life relationships.

It is a real life relationship (friendship). We’ve known each other for years and years, just not met up recently. But yeah, I hear ya. I should focus on my other friends.

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

DontdothisDothat · 24/01/2023 22:24

Thank you all. Yeah, I think time to archive him & just move on. So much for his deep bond & special friendship.

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

GreyCarpet · 24/01/2023 23:51

DontdothisDothat · 24/01/2023 22:15

Yes, exhausting. On verge of letting it fizzle out. I just feel very sad that the friendship is ending. We were very close at one stage.

It's not a friendship though. Is it?

It's a bloke you knew years ago, who has a drug problem. Who sometimes messages you because he thinks he might fancy you (eg he'd shag you). Only he isn't quite out of other options yet and he doesn't fancy you enough to prioritise you over the other possible shags he's in contact with.

Harsh but most likely to he true.

You're just communicating to him that he can treat you like this and you'll still be around when he decides its your turn. If he ever decides that.

Please
or
to access all these features

CheekyHobson · 25/01/2023 00:40

I have one of those. Flaky as fuck. Substance abuse issues. Old and once-dear friend though, an ex from a long long time ago and someone whose wellbeing I care about.

He shows up periodically with charming, interesting and low-key flirtatious messages, though eventually I worked out that this was a veiled sign that things were going south with whoever he was dating at the time, and he wanted a bit of attention from me, rather than that he wanted to pay me a bit of attention. Once he'd had his fill, he was done.

After he flaked on a few coffee catch-ups, I substantially dialled back my level of engagement. Recently I see he's resparked things with another ex-girlfriend, so I clearly wasn't the only one on the receiving end of his outreaches.

Resolve to stop being mildly flattered by these crumbs of attention, remind yourself that self-absorption is a common and core feature of most people with long-term addiction issues and reassure yourself that it's better for everyone if you just wish him the best and disengage with love (you can just do this in your mind, you don't have to say it to him) rather than keep indulging a relationship that's mostly a validation device for him and not a real friendship. Maintaining the farce that it is will likely feel increasingly humiliating and pointless for you and deplete any genuine goodwill you have left towards him.

Please
or
to access all these features

GoodChat · 25/01/2023 00:45

He's making about as much effort as you to be honest. Those same pointless conversations so regularly are exhausting.

Please
or
to access all these features

DontdothisDothat · 25/01/2023 01:34

GoodChat · 25/01/2023 00:45

He's making about as much effort as you to be honest. Those same pointless conversations so regularly are exhausting.

Really? How much effort should I be making? I don’t think any more than I am making sound be appropriate.

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

DontdothisDothat · 25/01/2023 01:39

CheekyHobson · 25/01/2023 00:40

I have one of those. Flaky as fuck. Substance abuse issues. Old and once-dear friend though, an ex from a long long time ago and someone whose wellbeing I care about.

He shows up periodically with charming, interesting and low-key flirtatious messages, though eventually I worked out that this was a veiled sign that things were going south with whoever he was dating at the time, and he wanted a bit of attention from me, rather than that he wanted to pay me a bit of attention. Once he'd had his fill, he was done.

After he flaked on a few coffee catch-ups, I substantially dialled back my level of engagement. Recently I see he's resparked things with another ex-girlfriend, so I clearly wasn't the only one on the receiving end of his outreaches.

Resolve to stop being mildly flattered by these crumbs of attention, remind yourself that self-absorption is a common and core feature of most people with long-term addiction issues and reassure yourself that it's better for everyone if you just wish him the best and disengage with love (you can just do this in your mind, you don't have to say it to him) rather than keep indulging a relationship that's mostly a validation device for him and not a real friendship. Maintaining the farce that it is will likely feel increasingly humiliating and pointless for you and deplete any genuine goodwill you have left towards him.

Thank you, I think you are spot on. Self-absorption is part of the addiction and I need to disengage. I love your idea of “disengaging with love”. You’ve really articulated why it is painful; it indulges him & serves to validate him. This is 100% accurate. I had higher expectations, so naturally, feel disappointed, but yes, he’s making me feel resentful. Thank you, you are very wise.

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

DontdothisDothat · 25/01/2023 01:43

GreyCarpet · 24/01/2023 23:51

It's not a friendship though. Is it?

It's a bloke you knew years ago, who has a drug problem. Who sometimes messages you because he thinks he might fancy you (eg he'd shag you). Only he isn't quite out of other options yet and he doesn't fancy you enough to prioritise you over the other possible shags he's in contact with.

Harsh but most likely to he true.

You're just communicating to him that he can treat you like this and you'll still be around when he decides its your turn. If he ever decides that.

Umm… I think it is a friendship, actually, and I don’t think your description is accurate. We’ve had some very meaningful discussions. It’s not about “possible shags” at all. We’ve shared details & I’m certain there isn’t any romantic person in the scene. It’s possible he blowing me out for other friends, but I don’t think so. This is someone I’ve been close to on/off for decades - we know each others’ families - it’s not someone I’ve just met online.

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

CheekyHobson · 25/01/2023 02:20

I love your idea of “disengaging with love”.

For me, that has meant I haven't declared having hurt feelings or blocked him or anything dramatic like that. I just formulated a clear understanding in my mind that although he's someone I was once close to and whose personality I like, I also know him well enough to know he is quite a bit less emotionally mature than me, so can't contribute to a friendship in a balanced way and if I let him, he will lean on me for emotional support when he needs it but will almost certainly be nowhere to be found if I need it.

Plus, his life is pretty chaotic, which means he's always going to need more emotional support than I do. That's actually quite sad for him, and I feel sorry for him that he's not capable of a more balanced friendship, but I've realised it's not my job to make up for his deficits when it drains me to do so just because he would like me to.

So I've drawn a boundary in my own head that while I hope things go well/better for him in life, we are not close friends anymore and I'm not going to become close friends with him again because it will likely always involve me giving more than he does and feeling resentful or hurt over time.

I do maintain a low-level friendship with him, giving an amount of time and energy I am happy with (occasional, impersonal and short but fun chats online) but I politely ignore, deflect or excuse myself when anything crosses the boundary that I have identified as being comfortable for me (no calls, no meet-ups, no negativity about others, no pity parties, no flattery or suggestions of deepening our relationship, no 'banter' that I feel might have a mean or pass-agg edge, no pretending to believe promises that we both know will come to nothing).

I get to enjoy the part of the friendship that actually works for me (he is clever and funny and we share some interests) but I don't expect or accept anything further than that. If he one day decides that friendly chat isn't worth the effort if I'm not also offering free no-returns emotional support, so be it. I won't feel resentful as I haven't allowed myself to be used, disrespected or let down any longer.

Please
or
to access all these features

Zanatdy · 25/01/2023 06:40

The fact he has a drug issue and clearly doesn’t follow through with promises would massively put me off. Seriously do you want to get involved? If you do you’ll be posting on here in a year or two with a whole list of issues. Find yourself someone with far less issues and actually wants to chat with you

Please
or
to access all these features

GoodChat · 25/01/2023 06:41

You're literally messaging him and basically asking him if he's relapsed again yet and he's told you that.

Please
or
to access all these features

Captainfairylights · 25/01/2023 07:24

CheekyHobson · 25/01/2023 02:20

I love your idea of “disengaging with love”.

For me, that has meant I haven't declared having hurt feelings or blocked him or anything dramatic like that. I just formulated a clear understanding in my mind that although he's someone I was once close to and whose personality I like, I also know him well enough to know he is quite a bit less emotionally mature than me, so can't contribute to a friendship in a balanced way and if I let him, he will lean on me for emotional support when he needs it but will almost certainly be nowhere to be found if I need it.

Plus, his life is pretty chaotic, which means he's always going to need more emotional support than I do. That's actually quite sad for him, and I feel sorry for him that he's not capable of a more balanced friendship, but I've realised it's not my job to make up for his deficits when it drains me to do so just because he would like me to.

So I've drawn a boundary in my own head that while I hope things go well/better for him in life, we are not close friends anymore and I'm not going to become close friends with him again because it will likely always involve me giving more than he does and feeling resentful or hurt over time.

I do maintain a low-level friendship with him, giving an amount of time and energy I am happy with (occasional, impersonal and short but fun chats online) but I politely ignore, deflect or excuse myself when anything crosses the boundary that I have identified as being comfortable for me (no calls, no meet-ups, no negativity about others, no pity parties, no flattery or suggestions of deepening our relationship, no 'banter' that I feel might have a mean or pass-agg edge, no pretending to believe promises that we both know will come to nothing).

I get to enjoy the part of the friendship that actually works for me (he is clever and funny and we share some interests) but I don't expect or accept anything further than that. If he one day decides that friendly chat isn't worth the effort if I'm not also offering free no-returns emotional support, so be it. I won't feel resentful as I haven't allowed myself to be used, disrespected or let down any longer.

This is very helpful for anyone with this kind of man in their orbit!

Please
or
to access all these features

DontdothisDothat · 25/01/2023 07:26

GoodChat · 25/01/2023 06:41

You're literally messaging him and basically asking him if he's relapsed again yet and he's told you that.

Huh? Where did you get that from? That’s a pretty big leap.

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

WhatNoRaisins · 25/01/2023 07:28

OP it's ok to ask yourself what does this relationship bring to my life. You only have so much time on this earth but there are billions of people. It's not selfish or unreasonable to focus your time on those who contribute positively rather than those who don't.

Please
or
to access all these features

DontdothisDothat · 25/01/2023 07:29

Zanatdy · 25/01/2023 06:40

The fact he has a drug issue and clearly doesn’t follow through with promises would massively put me off. Seriously do you want to get involved? If you do you’ll be posting on here in a year or two with a whole list of issues. Find yourself someone with far less issues and actually wants to chat with you

Thanks. He’s an old and close friend - or he was - so I’m already involved, to an extent. This isn’t a guy I’ve just met on the internet, he is a very old friend. We know each others’ families. It’s not romantic. I’m not looking for a romantic partner, I don’t need to “find someone”.

OP posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

MagnoliaMix · 25/01/2023 07:31

OP , sounds like you're feeling crap because you care about this person. But you're also exhausted by the communication. So don't slam anything shut. Step back a bit, don't message if you don't want to, but keep the door open if you or he wants to be in touch in the future.

Please
or
to access all these features
Similar threads
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?