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Friendship problems

Millie1986
Community Member

Hi

I have a friend who I've known for 3 years now. I'd say we're best friends (never been anything more nor do either of us want to be - we've said to each other, we're like siblings) however its always been a strange relationship. He has his own issues which I think I have helped him through to some extent. He calls almost every night for a chat... or texts. We are really good at hanging out one on one however he refuses to hang out with my other friends and he won't introduce me to his. I wonder if he's ashamed of me. I've asked him and he's always said that's just how we are. He also makes it very clear that im his last option and I feel a lot that he will always choose to hang out with others rather than me. I get delegated to a walk here or there if he's got nothing else on. I will admit he has helped me out money wise and I'm extremely grateful. Recently he has found a girlfriend and also moved in with 2 flatmates who he spends all his time with. I mostly understand this but he has no time for me at all. I haven't seen him in over a month. I do still get random phone calls and I've told him that I'm feeling a little rejected. He said straight out to me that he doesn't feel bad as he's given me a lot and he is choosing himself for once. Frankly, although I haven't given him money, (though he knows I would if he needed it) I do believe I've given a lot of my attention and been there for him when nobody else has. I told him I'd just prefer his time more than things. The next day he messaged me and tried to give me more things. Its like he thinks that all a friendship requires is for him to throw things at me with very little effort otherwise. Am I being over-sensitive? Am I the problem? Or do I cut him loose? I know there will be a time when he'll call and we'll start seeing each other again but I'm at the point where I know its going to keep happening when he finds someone new and I don't want to keep putting myself through the rejection.

4 Replies 4

Sophie_M
Moderator
Moderator
Dear Millie1986

Thank you for posting in our forums. We know how much strength and courage you used to express your confusion. We are a helpful and supportive community.

We usually know what our own feelings, motivations, and the depths of our connections and commitments are with our friends. Unfortunately, we don't often actually know what the motivations, or the depths of connections or commitments of our friends are. When we interpret things differently from our friend(s), this can become confusing and emotionally painful when they start demonstrating a different level of connection or commitment than what we are expecting.

It is good practice to reassess our own perceptions around the friendship connection when this confusion occurs. Are we comfortable with where things are?

Remember, the only person we can change is ourself. Is the friendship worth the confusion and emotional pain we are experiencing?

Warm regards,

Sophie M.
 

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome,

The best quote I hear din recent years was from singer Missy Higgins- "I treat relationships in a fluid way, they come, they go, they might linger on without advancing...just like fluid." (paraphrasing).

So, with people you might like more than they like you, one is best served by meeting other people or increasing friendships with those you are distant friends already rather than expecting him to be more of a friend that he is prepared to be. The ramifications of your sadness, expectations or hopes is quite high and better you know this now at your age because if you adjust your approach you'll save yourself a lot of heartache.

You might think of some strategies that suit you. Eg, you might like a guy, sure its ok to make a advance that causes him to know you are interested in a friendship or more but how long and how often do you carry that on before you stop making them? That's the question that will save you the pain. Maybe twice? More intense and obvious the 2nd time? then that's it, move on, if he's interested he'll text!.

The technique in telling someone you like them is an art form. What I suggest is if a guy has a new girlfriend you could say "she's a lucky girl, hope I get that lucky one day". Or, "if even you split maybe we should hang out together".

Guys arent silly, they are then aware well and truly that you like him. That's enough work on him though.

I had a woman in my life as my best friend for 25 years. We were both married to other people. When we ended up separated from our spouses at the same time she told me she was going to join Tinder to date. I got off the phone and was disappointed, then I realised why. We've been married 10 years now.

Sometimes keeping friends can turn into something amazing but until you get good solid feedback, try not to focus on your hopes too much for one reason- feeling must be mutual...

TonyWK

geoff
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Millie, and thanks Tony, the comment 'never been anything more nor do either of us want to be' pretty well says it all, because you two are good friends and perhaps use each other as a back stop, which is always good to have, someone to rely on when most needed for advice as well as company, and as you aren't going to become a couple it is still hard to know that your daily texting/chatting only happens occasionally, but you can't forget that the two of you are 'best friends' and will still make contact whenever the time is needed.

Moving in with two flatmates changes the perspective as does forming a relationship with a female, but there are probably secrets they don't know about and he may only share them with you, but he might not be able to do this straight away and contact you when he is able to.

Millie, if you had someone and be in his position what would you do and how would you feel, because a true friendship like you have, will remain as long as you both want it, whether it's contact every day or only once a week, the time span doesn't necessarily matter, it has only changed because of the circumstances, but hasn't ended.

Best wishes.

Geoff.

Sophia16
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Millie,

Welcome to the Beyond Blue forums and thank you for being so open here.

Friends come and go. I know it is blunt but it is true. You have known him for such a long time but it looks like he has grown and wants to spend more time with other people and especially his partner.

I think it is still fine to speak to him every now and then but personally, i believe you should let him go. You will find other friends who will be there for you all time and support you through your hardship.

Stay safe and i am always here to chat.