When is a Friendship Not a Friendship

kitty friends

kitty friends

I’m going through a bit of an emotional upheaval at the moment with regards to some friends.

I’m at that place where I feel like I need to make a decision on whether I want to have certain people in my life anymore. It’s not that they are horrible people, it’s just I’m putting in so much more into the relationship than they are and it’s wearing me down.

I have one friend who lives in another country. We arrange to chat online but they don’t show. The next day I find out that they just forgot. Again. I’m pretty sure the tally is at 6 forgets.

I have another friend who, while we are together we have the best time, leaves all contact up to me. If I’m flat out at work and don’t contact this person, I get passive aggressive text messages asking whether they’ve done something wrong.

Then there are those that drop me every time they start a new relationship and expect to pick up where we left off last time.

The other day I was thinking, when did friendships become so difficult?

I believe you need to have friends in some form, whether they are physical friends or online friends (or imaginary friends, I still love you Joe Bear). There needs to be a place outside the home that becomes a community, whether it’s a mother and babies group, a gaming group, a book club, or a craft group.

Starting up friendships are fun and exciting. It’s like the beginning of a new relationship when you realise just how much someone means to you. But like relationships, I think friendships have cooling off periods, where the initial fun excitement wanes a little. It’s pretty natural. However, I didn’t expect friendships to sometimes be so one sided as an adult.

As much as I love the people mentioned above, I don’t think they realise how their forgetfulness or passive aggressiveness affects me. When someone tells me they forgot once, you can sort of understand. But repeatedly forgetting makes me feel unloved, unworthy and very sad. But the rest of the time, when we don’t make arrangements and just talk, it’s awesome.

I’m sure these people want to be my friend, otherwise they’d say no. But leaving everything to me just makes me feel like I’m not worth the effort, again making me feel worthless.

I don’t believe I have unreal expectations regarding friendships. I don’t agree with living in each other’s pockets, I’m definitely one of those people who needs time to themselves.

But just once, I would like for something to be arranged and actually happen, or have someone make the effort to arrange a day with me. I would like to feel special to my friends at least once.

The disappointment is becoming difficult to handle.

Have you ever felt like this? Do I throw away a friendship? Or do I change my mindset?

  • http://kikiandtea.com/ Tamsin Howse

    I would suggest saying something. I have a really good friend who is very proactive and she is often chasing me. She has said to me before “I feel like you don’t want to maintain this friendship” and I realised how slack I had been. So now I try to put in more effort into meeting up regularly and I’m conscious of the way my business (busyness?) affects her.

    But then I have had other friends where I’m the one always putting in effort. And I don’t like that. I think there’s often one putting in slightly more effort than the other, but if people don’t know that it’s bothering you then they can’t change it!

    • http://iamevilcupcake.com/ iamevilcupcake

      I’m not sure how it would go if I said something to these people. I know the passive aggressive one probably wouldn’t take it so well.

      • http://kikiandtea.com/ Tamsin Howse

        It’s one of the hardest things to do. Maybe deal with the passive aggressive one last 😉

  • 26 Years & Counting

    I’ve found I’m growing away from a few friends of mine. I just try to suggest things that I know we’ll all enjoy when we catch up.

    • http://iamevilcupcake.com/ iamevilcupcake

      Sometimes I think it would be easy if I had a “group” of friends. My friends are all over the joint, and don’t actually know each other!

  • http://www.jfgibson.com.au/ Jodi Gibson

    I have only a few close friends but it can be tricky to try and organise get togethers. I think we are all so busy and tired that at the end of the day (figuratively speaking), we would rather just curl up on the couch. We really need to make an effort to get out there and be proactive when it comes to friendships, like everything they take work.

    • http://iamevilcupcake.com/ iamevilcupcake

      I agree. I’m completely shattered at the end of the day. Problem I have is when someone makes plans, and I work those plans into my schedule and the other person forgets. Or if I’m too busy and don’t have time to contact, even though that person has no intention of contacting me first to arrange anything, they will contact me to have a go.

      See too hard!!

      • Pelican Pie

        Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. If you’re the “forgetter” you hear all about it, don’t you?

        There must be something in the air, in the stars, because all around people seem to be having friendship difficulties. Including me. I’ve now developed a fatalistic attitude and realise that people will do what people will do and that friends come and go for various reasons. Sometimes for no reason at all.

        To have a friend, you’ve got to be one. I try very hard to be one. But there are some out there who think I should do all the trying.

        It’s trying…

  • fender4eva

    Hi, Cuppy. I thing everyone is so busy these days with family and work etc, that actually making or even FINDING the time to get together, is hard. Especially when they’re online friends, and often live a long way away. Maybe a Twitter/Facebook get together in somewhere like Sydney, might attract a few people ?…

    • http://iamevilcupcake.com/ iamevilcupcake

      Hi Fenderman, I think you’ve missed the point. My issue is with established friendships, those I’ve been friends with for years. It’s not “online” friends that I’ve met on Twitter or other websites, or even casual friendships. These are close friends, where our relationship doesn’t reside purely online.

      • fender4eva

        Then if they’tre THAT close, you should be able to say what you feel, without anyone getting too angsty ?

  • Jen

    Hi Cuppy, I’m with you friendships are so hard. I had one friendship that I angstd over for quite awhile about a year ago – I felt like we needed to be doing more to maintain the friendship but I didn’t really feel like doing the work because this friend had hurt me in some of her recent actions but beause I hadn’t talked to her about it knew I couldn’t blame her but it didn’t seem worth making a big deal of it when I didn’t really know how she felt about our friendship so I’ve kinda just let it go (it took awhile in my mind to get to the point where I could just let it go – I needed to talk to other friends anonymously to make sense of it). We still each other around but in my mind I don’t really count her as a friend. (hope some of that ramble made sense!)
    I think it’s harder as adults cos we don’t really want to make enemies of anyone and we still value the people but we just don’t have the time to value the friendship and its hard to make that distinction and in many instances we may not actually have to make that distinction anywhere but in our heads?
    I think you’re right to feel disappointed and the best way to fix that is to talk to the friend but I understand if you don’t want to do that – perhaps just let it go…..