Reaching out, Couple questions
First time poster. First of all I would like to thank the community for being here and also being supportive. Had a read through a few posts and I'm very thankful that I can reach out in a place like this. I would like to ask for some advice to help deal with a friendship problem and to see if anyone has ideas on how to dull down the pain.
The backstory is I spend most of my time online. It's where I'm most comfortable and have developed a lot of friendships with people all over the world. Over the past year or so I have been conversing with a person who I'd like to call L for now. Things were going great (as they usually do), we even both told each other we were interested in each other more than friends. I generally don't do internet relationships but I felt she was worth it.
Over the past couple of months or so, our friendship has deteriorated. There haven't been any arguments or anything of that nature - I guess we just simply ran out of things to talk about? However recently (for a few weeks) she's started ignoring my posts and spending time on an online massive multiplayer game. We both played this game and she only recently came back. When I logged in she logged off within 30 seconds to 1 minute twice. My paranoia started to act up a bit so I began to ask her if things are okay. She said things were fine but the ignoring kept up. I decided to let her know that I was worried that our friendship was deteriorating and I didn't want us to end up like her past relationship where they simply just stopped talking. Her reply was "If something's wrong I will let you know. Don't interpret things that aren't there".
Since then she has been offline on our messenger program for 3 days now, although I know she's still logging into the game for a majority of the day (Generally between 5-10 hours). I understand that this is a relatively small problem in the grand scheme of things but I am really struggling to cope with this life change. I am blaming myself for this and I don't think I should be (And to be clear I don't think there's any blame to be placed here). I'm also giving her space as I think that's the best course of action right now but I'm finding it hard to get away from the computer as this is where my socialising is.
However my questions would be what have people done to take your mind off a GF/BF/friend that you've spent a lot of time with? Have you gone to a GP/Psych and did it help?
Thank you for reading.
If it were me I would remove her from my communication channels, not blocking, but going into some sort of passive mode so you're not seeing her name on the list every time you log in. I don't play online games so I don't know how that might work in that arena.
I'm also a big believer in changing what you do as an antidote to changing how you think. Perhaps this might be an opportunity to find some alternative activities to do. You mention that you spend most of your time online because it's where you feel most "comfortable". Sometimes the most beneficial things you can do for yourself will not feel "comfortable"; exercise being a great example, or starting a new career or area of study.
I have suffered from social anxiety in the past and have been a big avoider. Online relationships can be a great confidence booster but they are a boon for when we want to avoid dealing with people face to face, and shouldn't substitute for real friednships in the offline world. If meeting different kinds of people is an attraction, then in a country like ours, you can make friends in the offline world with people from all over the world too if you live in a larger city.
Perhaps this might be a time to reflect on why you are struggling with this friendship drifting (what thoughts and feelings are coming up?) think about what this tells you about what is missing in your life right now, and how you might go about setting yourself some goals to fill those gaps?
Thank you for your quick reply.
Exercise seems to be the way to go as I was considering that as well. Just to get me out of the house. I steer clear of the online game now as I don't want to make things worse, but you're right, fixated on that green dot, good way to put it.
I guess as a quick reflection I feel abandoned. I think I'd be okay if I knew what I did wrong or if anything was wrong but I think I'm struggling the most with just not knowing. Thought of her as a best friend (like I said, no arguments) and then suddenly stop talking for a few days? I'd be fairing better knowing she wanted a break.
I'm not very social but fortunately don't stuff from social anxiety (Hope you're doing better though). I've got some great mates who I see every week. My roomie is very social as well so he keeps me talking. I generally lock myself in my room so I guess maybe I can try spending a few hours a day away from the computer exercising and sitting in the main room playing some games with him.
Great solutions! I was just using exercise as an example of something that is good for us but can feel uncomfortable soemtimes, but yes by all means set some goals for yourself around that. I've found for me it's better if I do exercise related things that are with other people, whether it's a class or something like that that encourages me to keep going, and helps keep me social too. And good that you have a roomie who is friendly as well.
As for the feeling of abandoment... this is very understandable given that you had a great friendship (possibly more?) going and it feels like the rug has been pulled out. It's harder in a scenario like this as you can't meet face to face and get a real idea of what is going on. The possibiltiies of what's happening here are endless. Maybe there are family issues going on that are taking up all her time. Maybe she has started a relationship offline with someone else and doesn't want to hurt you by saying. Or maybe it's just as you said, and you've run out of things to talk about. Sometimes friednships can run their course. There's no real protocol for saying, "I don't think this is working anymore" when it comes to friendships.
I think the best you can hope for here is to try and accept the sadness that comes with a friendship not turning out the way you'd hoped and understanding that it has nothing to do with you. The uncertainty is hard, but of course there's no guarantee that you're getting the truth even if an excuse is given; from my experience, that sense of abandonment is still there even when getting the classic cliche "it's not you, it's me".