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Losing contact with friends

Has this ever happened to you? I ran into someone who I used to be good friends with. We stopped and chatted for a bit and the first thing he said was, I haven't heard from you in a long time. All I could think of was, my contact info hasn't changed - why didn't you reach out?

The reason why I moved on was because I was the person always initiating everything and I got tired of it. Isn't friendship a two-way street?

by Anonymousreply 246March 19, 2023 6:06 AM

It's a tough lesson to learn in life. We all have very few true friends on this earth. Many believe they have more friends than they really do, especially if they belong to churches, clubs, or organizations where they socialize with many different people. Just because you have enough to share with someone after two glasses of wine at some work function doesn't mean you're really friends with them. If you have just one or two that you can depend on for a nice chat or movie date with here and there, consider yourself lucky. If it's meant to be, you'll both make time for each other.

by Anonymousreply 1February 27, 2023 5:42 PM

Friendship is for chumps.

He who travels fastest, travels alone.

by Anonymousreply 2February 27, 2023 5:44 PM

OP your expectation is normal but in fact it's routine for the active management of the friendship between two people to be unequal.

by Anonymousreply 3February 27, 2023 5:47 PM

I had a really close childhood friend who moved from Brooklyn to Long Island the summer before his last year of high school. We remained in touch thanks to me. Outside of a super rare phone call from him I was always initiating the contact between us. By the time we reached age 30 I made a decision to leave leave the ball in his court an d waited to see how long before I hear from him. Twenty seven years later still nothing, which is fine. Sometimes friendships are supposed to be long-term or lifelong and sometimes they are not.

by Anonymousreply 4February 27, 2023 5:55 PM

People have many reasons for not being the one to reach out, rightly or wrongly. I wouldn’t judge or be offended in haste. If they are sincere, caring friends I wouldn’t drop them just because I had to reach out. A good friend is hard to find.

by Anonymousreply 5February 27, 2023 5:57 PM

I have a couple of friendships that have gradually diminished over time. People change, go in different directions. Sometimes no one is at fault.

On the other hand, there is a friend from college I did cut off. He’d gotten really into conspiracy theories and I just couldn’t deal with it.

by Anonymousreply 6February 27, 2023 5:58 PM

I usually cut off a friend if he gets between me and my Madame Alexander collection.

by Anonymousreply 7February 27, 2023 6:04 PM

OP, it's never good when a friendship starts being one sided as yours turned out to be. Interesting the person blamed you. That should tell you how true the friendship really was. You are better off now. People like that person are toxic.

by Anonymousreply 8February 27, 2023 6:05 PM

I had to cut off a friend recently. Sweet girl but her lifestyle of drinking and weed smoking was not fitting in my lane. I told her I had found religion and and was embarking on a drug free, alcohol free life- which is not exactly a lie.

Very nice girl but I have bigger plans for my life than hanging out in the park, drinking and smoking or driving around the neighborhood at night looking for a place to get high and reminisce about " the good old days"

by Anonymousreply 9February 27, 2023 6:11 PM

I cut a work "friend" 2 years ago next month. The pandemic took its toll on our friendship but it was doomed anyway. We were close friends for about 5 years. I did all the work in this friendship. Each bday, holiday, i sent e cards or text. On my birthdays or holiday I received nothing...

by Anonymousreply 10February 27, 2023 6:14 PM

I think the reality is that many people are afraid to find out some unpleasant truths about the people in their lives if they stop being the ones to initiate. Friendship is hard and it takes work, but if only one side is doing all the work - is it a friendship?

by Anonymousreply 11February 27, 2023 6:16 PM

It's not unusual for one side to have diminished enthusiasm over time or to have the demands of life and family eclipse your once vibrant friendship. I think it's worth at least trying to stay in touch even if it is just a few times a year. But if it becomes completely one-sided then it's not worth the effort anymore.

by Anonymousreply 12February 27, 2023 6:19 PM

Friendship dynamics can be quite varied. If you are usually the initiator, this likely reflects your personality or situation and maybe you have accumulated friends who accept or want that. If you change the rules on them, to 'test' the friendship, they might assume you are dropping them. Alternatively, maybe you drifted into being the one who sets things up because you are the one least likely to be free: then again the structure of the friendship has developed to suit you.

by Anonymousreply 13February 27, 2023 6:22 PM

I go for very long stretches without communication with people I consider close friends. I'm not keeping track of who last contacted who. When we do get together, we pick up where we left off, no awkwardness even if we haven't seen each other in a while. These are my closest friends and honestly, I see my dentist and hair stylist more often these days. But I know without a doubt they'd be there for me in an instant, and if they had horrible or amazing news, they'd let me know right away.

by Anonymousreply 14February 27, 2023 6:32 PM

I had two friendships in which the dynamic was that I was the one initiating contact every time. I stepped back and waited for them to reach out. Haven’t heard from either one in over a year. We live in the same city.

So I made a real effort to make new friends. Have about 4 new ones and the communication is much more balanced.

My feeling about the other 2 was that if I stepped back and they didn’t think to reach out after a month or two and say “hey everything ok?” or anything along those lines - what’s the point? If that’s “keeping track” then so be it.

by Anonymousreply 15February 27, 2023 6:35 PM

[Quote] I'm not keeping track of who last contacted who.

A typical tired statement by someone who most likely doesn't work on friendships. OP, these are THOSE people you stay away from. NEXT!

by Anonymousreply 16February 27, 2023 6:36 PM

I heard from a friend today

And she said you were in town

Suddenly the memories came back to me in my mind

by Anonymousreply 17February 27, 2023 6:40 PM

People who have to "work" at friendships are too needy for me.

by Anonymousreply 18February 27, 2023 6:47 PM

I've had a friend for 30 and distancing from him now. I had a horrible 2021, worst year of my life, and in looking back at my trouble and my conversations with him, it seems like he was gaslighting me. I don't know the reason why, maybe jealousy or sexual attraction but I can't have that in my life. We had a huge fight months ago and now slowly I've been calling less, not taking calls, etc.

For 30 years, I think he will continue to be part of my life but not as close...

by Anonymousreply 19February 27, 2023 6:47 PM

R9, it's sad that your decision came with so many condescending judgements about your friend. Your thinking "I have bigger plans for my life than..." is very different than simply thinking "I'm not interested in X, Y, and Z." She may be struggling with something. Did you try to help her?

by Anonymousreply 20February 27, 2023 6:50 PM

R15 that's great. How did you make new friends? Where did you find the prospects?

by Anonymousreply 21February 27, 2023 6:50 PM

[Quote] People who have to "work" at friendships are too needy for me.

^ Says the loser with no real friends.

by Anonymousreply 22February 27, 2023 6:51 PM

People drift in and out of each others' lives, and that's just the way things are. I had to notify some old friends when my father died since they had known him, and it was very interesting to see who said things like, "I miss you! Let's get together!" and who made it pretty clear they were sorry my father died but clearly had no intention of getting together as friends again.

"When people tell you know they are, believe them." --Maya Angelou

by Anonymousreply 23February 27, 2023 6:51 PM

Your former friend was rude and immature for putting the burden on you, OP. He should have just said, "It's been such a long time! I miss you!" No one has ever been guilted into keeping a friendship going with happy results.

by Anonymousreply 24February 27, 2023 6:52 PM

R23, it is very telling when there is a death and who say what. I had a friend who I considered closeish and got nothing. She is out of my life just with that. Granted, I know that the topic can be hard for some, but we are adults - I you need to do is say, "sorry for your lose, let me know if you need anything or want to talk..."

by Anonymousreply 25February 27, 2023 6:57 PM

I've moved around a lot and have usually lost touch with my friends a few years after I moved and made new friends where I was currently living. That was a bad pattern that I kept repeating, but I have great memories of those more sociable times and see old friends in my dreams...

by Anonymousreply 26February 27, 2023 6:58 PM

I had a childhood friend , we lived next door to each other from the age of 8 to 16. We were the best of friends. At 16 she moved away to the UK. I visited her a few years later, we hung put and its like we had never parted. Everything fell back in sync. Fast forward early 2000 she got married and invited me to be her bridesmaid. I was in college at the time and broke. I couldn't tell her that but just said I couldn't make it. Our contact fizzled a bit after but we were in communication via email. A couple more years passed by and little to no contact. In 2010 I saw her again when I visit the UK and we hang out a vit. By then I realized we had really drifted off. We kept in touch via email, for bday, Christmas etc . I initiated bday and she sent chrtismas. She didnt ever seem to remember my bday. In 2014 she visited me and we were able to rekindle our close bond. After she went back to the UK, we drifted apart sgaint, it was a hello for Christmas or bday. I s ent her hello for her bday and never heard back from her when my bday came around. It's been 2 years and we have not communicated at all in depth. The last time we said anything to each other was 3 years ago when her uncle passed away.

It is sad to have such close friendships end for no reason.

by Anonymousreply 27February 27, 2023 6:58 PM

R20. She has a boyfriend, a large family and other friends. I'm sure she doesn't need me to tell her if she is struggling with something.

by Anonymousreply 28February 27, 2023 7:01 PM

[quote] People have many reasons for not being the one to reach out, rightly or wrongly. I wouldn’t judge or be offended in haste. If they are sincere, caring friends I wouldn’t drop them just because I had to reach out. A good friend is hard to find.

Drop anyone who can go a year without a call or text. By "drop" I don't mean cut them out entirely. Just don't think of them as friends. They can be the acquaintances who will donate a kidney or blood marrow, or pick you up after a medical procedure.

by Anonymousreply 29February 27, 2023 7:03 PM

[quote] I had two friendships in which the dynamic was that I was the one initiating contact every time. I stepped back and waited for them to reach out. Haven’t heard from either one in over a year. We live in the same city.

Beware the "friend" who rarely initiates contact or invites you to do anything but on the rare occasions you do communicate won't shut up about all the fun he has hanging out with other friends. It's passive-aggressive lunacy from a dysfunctional, broken person -- don't feel bad and don't ask questions, just run.

by Anonymousreply 30February 27, 2023 7:12 PM

My mother had a friend she’d known for >70 years. My mother kept her home phone number when she moved to FL. Ported it to a cellphone, which her friend knew. Mother would visit me from FL every summer and call her friends, meet up with them, have lunch. Two years before she died my mother told me she couldn’t contact her friend Jo. She was very worried. “She’s not at the last number I had for her.” I said “Yeah but you’ve had the same phone number for over 50 years. She can contact you.”

A year before she died I went online for my mother and found a phone number for Jo’s daughter. My mother called her and she chatted for a while. The daughter said Jo was fine. My mother asked for her number but daughter didn’t have it for some reason. Anyway, my mother made sure the daughter took her number and said please have your mom call.

So a year goes by, Jo never called, my mother died.

A year after my mother died my husband said Jo called asking if my mother was here. Her daughter had forgotten to tell her about my mother’s phone call and just remembered the day before. My husband told her my mother was dead and that she’d tried for several years to contact her. Jo asked my husband to have me call her.

by Anonymousreply 31February 27, 2023 7:14 PM

I have a friend who rarely if ever initiates contact. She's always delighted to hear from me and agreeable to meeting up if I reach out though. She's someone who's terrified of rejection and able to be self sufficient, so over the years I've just accepted that it's going to be me who keeps it going. We always have a great time when we do get together so it's worth it.

by Anonymousreply 32February 27, 2023 7:15 PM

Fuck em!

by Anonymousreply 33February 27, 2023 7:16 PM

Someone in another thread, maybe a year back, said there are friends that are going to be the cheerleader/initiator and others who are not. Take no offence in those who are not. I took that advice and hadn't questions those who don't choose to make contact.

However, in reading this thread, I wonder if I might also be one of those what does not initiate - so I guess, I play both parts based on my relationship with the friend. For me and the ones I don't contact (but gladly accept when the reach out), I always think they are too busy to talk and I just don't want to call out of the blue - but, with that, I need to at least start texting and then they can get back to me on their own time. This thread has been insightful for me...

by Anonymousreply 34February 27, 2023 7:30 PM

r29, I would agree that a year without acknowledging someone's existence or asking about their well-being is a decent measurement of "closeness."

I haven't seen my best friend since pre-Covid. He moved out of state and he still has family near me but he hasn't visited since Christmas 2019. I got a "save the date" invitation to his son's wedding over Memorial Day weekend. I called him to let him know I'm on vacation that week (true) and won't be able to make it to the wedding (thank God). He kind of let me have it, saying I'm his oldest friend in the world and that I have never once visited him since he moved. I told him that he never specifically invited me, and that he's usually visiting here several times a year. He got kind of belligerent and said I have an open invitation and all I had to do was say when. So on that call we both looked at calendars and I'm going for a long weekend in April. And I kind of resent it. I have to take a day off work, pay $500 for a pet sitter, drive six hours each way. But I am doing it because we've been friends for nearly 50 years and he asked. We also talked about a possible golf trip to Scotland and Ireland in the fall, so maybe vacationing together is a better way to visit.

by Anonymousreply 35February 27, 2023 7:32 PM

I woke up recently and realized my "best friend" (her term, not mine) was someone I had very little in common with.

I am career-oriented, and she keeps talking about being a writer, but hasn't put a thing online. She is terrified she'll be alone in her old age, and I could care less -- I love my own company.

I care about her, and hope she does well, but am really not up for weekly phone chats.

by Anonymousreply 36February 27, 2023 7:36 PM

[quote]I had a really close childhood friend who moved from Brooklyn to Long Island the summer before his last year of high school. We remained in touch thanks to me. Outside of a super rare phone call from him I was always initiating the contact between us. By the time we reached age 30 I made a decision to leave leave the ball in his court an d waited to see how long before I hear from him. Twenty seven years later still nothing, which is fine.

Is it fine? In any case R4, I guess you taught him a lesson about abiding your rules of friendship.

R13 is right. There are different dynamics in friendship, including the friend who makes all the plans, the friend who doesn't but who shows up, and, as this thread shows, the "friend" who rather churlishly keeps score.

I think of all my friends as very generous -- each in his or her own way. No one among them is a doormat, a martyr, or an abuser of the generosity of the rest.

Twenty-seven years almost predates the wide popularity of email and the definitely the emergence of social media. I've rekindled acquaintances and friendships of more than 27 years of no contact if for no other reason than moving more times than that in my life; but also for reasons, articulated ir not, that seemed not done important more than a quarter century on.

by Anonymousreply 37February 27, 2023 7:40 PM

[quote] on the rare occasions you do communicate won't shut up about all the fun he has hanging out with other friends

Have a relative like that. Lives in another state. But in twice annual emails she would talk about how she’d just been up here in my area at Christmas and birthday visiting family and staying with a childhood acquaintance. Never contacted me when she was here. Turns out she returned here quite a lot. Like, 5x a year.

Every Christmas I’d have my mother, my sister, her BF and her two kids here for Christmas. My mother died, my sister moved across the country. My sister’s kids go visit her at Christmas. I’m not invited because she lives in a tiny house and can barely fit her kids.

So I mentioned in my Christmas email to my relative how lonely Christmas was for me. Got an email telling me she’d been up here visiting her brother and her niece and nephew, then went home for post Christmas with her adult kids.

Following year I mentioned that I wasn’t bothering with Christmas tree anymore because Christmas just wasn’t the same without family. Got another email talking about her Christmas whirlwind through 3 states, including being about 25 miles away from my house.

The following year I didn’t bother sending an email. When she sent hers I replied. “Happy holidays!” That’s it. When she sent birthday wishes I waited til her birthday and texted “Hope you had a happy birthday” at 3 am.

Didn’t get a Christmas email this past year.

by Anonymousreply 38February 27, 2023 7:41 PM

R35 I feel that so hard.

The girl I thought I was best friends with (and maybe more, emotionally) for years in highschool got married to her boyfriend of 10 years a couple of months ago. I wasn't even informed, let alone invited. I've only met the guy she married once.

She & I been out of close contact for several years, growing apart because of school and work and different values/class issues clashing, and that's fair enough and something I've accepted. Because of the social bracket she's in now and how 'busy' and important she is with her heteronormative high-faluting life, I don't expect a 'loser' lesbian such as myself to be a major part of her sphere anymore, and wasn't expecting a wedding invite (though I think I could have qualified, for nostalgia reasons if nothing else), but the fact she didn't even shoot off one quick text to let me know it was happening/had happened or email me one pic of the event just as a 'hey, so I got married :)' kind of stings. It's like she's written me out of her life, and I don't even know what I did wrong, except not break my back to keep up with her.

For more than five years, we sat next to each other on the school buses and in most classes daily, went to each other's milestone birthdays and events, went travelling together, performed in the same concerts & plays, knew each other's families well, traded mixtapes and had sleepovers, held each other while we cried over teen angst, wrote our college applications side by side....but none of that matters any more, I guess.

They say 'people don't change', but man, I think they really fucking do.

by Anonymousreply 39February 27, 2023 7:43 PM

^^and I should add that, when we went to different Colleges, I was the one who once or twice every term would call, text, offer to do things wherever/whenever she could make it. But there was never time, and it was always treated as an annoyance.

Well, message received, Heather.

by Anonymousreply 40February 27, 2023 7:45 PM

People come and go in your life.

by Anonymousreply 41February 27, 2023 7:47 PM

It's a revolving door of friends....

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 42February 27, 2023 7:51 PM

I like to send fake suicide style emails to friends to get attention

by Anonymousreply 43February 27, 2023 7:51 PM

[quote] Drop anyone who can go a year without a call or text. By "drop" I don't mean cut them out entirely. Just don't think of them as friends.

R29 I had this whipsmart, brilliant, glamourous and frankly literally-insane high school friend whom I dearly loved, and with whom spent years after graduation keeping contact. We had the most fascinating and honest and deep conversations.

The problem was, she was simply too unstable to have a consistent and healthy and fulfilling friendship with, as when she wasn't getting sectioned or arrested (usually for suicide attempts or public disturbance), she would only contact me sporadically, leaving months between messages with no explanation (causing me to fret over whether she was ok), and then returning out of nowhere with no explanation to spam me weeks on end about her latest thoughts or interests (which, while always engrossing, were never normal). She kept changing her name and the way she looked drastically year on year, and also became convinced she contained or had multiple personalities--a sign of schizophrenia or a similar cluster disorder.

She did on a few occasions counsel me or show interest in me and my life, but it was rare--most of the type she was just vomiting content and observations at me. She was also very averse to meeting up and hanging out in person beyond our graduation, though we'd done it plenty in school--I guess she didn't want me to see what state she was in, healthwise (I was depressed, it wasn't like I was doing much better). She'd call maybe twice or three times a year, and not even on special occasions or at good times for me to talk, just at random and often when she was in what seemed and sounded like a manic phase.

In the end, I felt I was wasting my emotion and care and time on her, and felt I had to cut off contact. It hurt, and I think she was at least offended if not hurt, but I couldn't keep throwing all my energy into the black hole of her amazing brain and get such apathetic and inconsistent response back. Not to mention, I don't think I was helping her get better, either. I sometimes miss knowing and interacting with someone so intelligent and creative; she really makes all the people I've known since seem so dull and basic and limited. But I don't miss the constant hum of anxiety and feelings of inadequacy she brought to my life. And her issues were just a powder keg that I myself was not equipped to deal with, having issues of my own (though of a very different type), so there's a case to say I potentially dodged a major bullet.

We've not been in contact in several years. I truly hope she's doing well, stabilizing and enjoying her life now, wherever she is. For all I know, she's successful and famous and operating under yet another new identity.

by Anonymousreply 44February 27, 2023 7:51 PM

Well it's only natural after one's Ivy League campus friends become extremely wealthy or inherit colossal fortunes that friends drift apart.

by Anonymousreply 45February 27, 2023 7:53 PM

R43 Come sit by me! 😁

by Anonymousreply 46February 27, 2023 7:58 PM

It happens. I just cherish the memories.

by Anonymousreply 47February 27, 2023 8:02 PM

People are often devastated when they take a moment to examine their friendships only to realize that the majority of their so-called friends are nothing more than parasites feeding off a host.

by Anonymousreply 48February 27, 2023 8:12 PM

Some people end friendships for no reason at all. Possibly due to their own mental health issues?

About 5 years ago, a longtime close friend, a straight married women who was close with a group of us since we were about 16-17, decided she no longer wanted to keep in touch with her old friends. All of us received bizarre emails, she claimed she had some sort of "rare illness" (which she never named) and claimed she didn't want to burden us with that, as she might suddenly die! Her illness story was a total lie.

This woman can easily be Googled, she is very much alive and quite well. There are photos of her and her husband at various events they attended. Her husband had nothing to do with this situation with her longtime friends, as we all got along with him. This was all on her.

I do know as an extremely naturally attractive woman, getting older was fucking with her head, again, this had nothing to do with her friends. But she did become obsessed with aging.

This woman had left the East coast about 15 years ago to live in California with her husband of 20+ years, it's not as if any of us would unexpectedly drop by her home or inconvenience her in any way. None of us owed her money etc.

It's not as if we saw her very often, we'd see her if she came into NYC to see her family. We'd all get together for dinner when she was in town.

The entire situation was extremely bizarre. I suppose none of us will ever know why she cut off all her old friends.

The lesson to be learned, don't ever assume you are the reason why friends cut you out of their lives. Bottom line: a lot of people are nuts!

by Anonymousreply 49February 27, 2023 8:14 PM

You have a certain amount of emotional energy everyday. Use it on yourself and people you care about. If they are not adding value to your life, it may be hard, but move on. Your mental health is more important.

And, although you may be hurt and upset with a decision, it doesn't mean that the decision was wrong. Don't be a jerk but always take care of you!

by Anonymousreply 50February 27, 2023 8:21 PM

Some people need a change to jump start their lives and it can be hard to do when you feel beholden to your past. That includes relationships as well. Gotta drop whatever isn't serving your life goals (even when turning into an awful person).

If you want to lose weight, drop the fatties and find the gym rats. If you want to dress better, find fashionistas. If you want a better job to burnish your resume, work at a top company. If you want to get rich, hang with people who have money. If you want Ivy League, go to better, feeder schools. If you want to keep liberal politics, but enjoy warmer weather, move to the West coast.

by Anonymousreply 51February 27, 2023 8:26 PM

R51, it's why I dropped my friend. I quit alcohol and smoking. These 2 things were what mostly kept us together. Despite having other litle things in common with her, it was just not worth it, I had to sacrifice the friendship to get away from these toxic substances. This girl lived for smoking and drinking.

by Anonymousreply 52February 27, 2023 8:30 PM

^ glad you had the strength to take care of you! That was a good move!!

by Anonymousreply 53February 27, 2023 8:39 PM

[quote] Drop anyone who can go a year without a call or text. By "drop" I don't mean cut them out entirely. Just don't think of them as friends. They can be the acquaintances who will donate a kidney or blood marrow, or pick you up after a medical procedure.

If someone can go a year without a call or text, I doubt they're going to donate a kidney or even pick you up after a medical procedure.

by Anonymousreply 54February 27, 2023 8:44 PM

I stopped chasing people a few years ago. Took me a long time to realize I was always the person keeping things going. That included my sister and a few very close friends. It wasn't like one day I woke up and said that is it I am not calling or texting anyone, it was just gradual. The funny thing once I stopped doing the chasing I was happier and some of those close friends realized how lazy they had been with the friendship and made the effort. Some didn't even notice and things completely ended. These all were friendship of at 20 to 30 years. The light bulb went on for me during Covid, I was stuck in another country for 6 months, completely alone...3 of those months were in complete lock down.

by Anonymousreply 55February 27, 2023 8:47 PM

People float into and out of your life and things just change. Especially when marriage and family comes into play. You don't want to be the third wheel or the only single person in a room full of coupled people.

My mother died two years ago and she wanted it low key. No funeral, no notices in the paper. Just a cremation and move on and I followed her wishes. So I wasn't expecting anyone to reach out to me after her death. But I talked to friend who is still friends with someone I was very close to once and I'm sure he told this guy that my Mom had died, but I didn't even get an are you okay text.

So that made me realize that it really is over. And I'm sure if we saw one another again, it would be like no time had passed. But, it's made me believe that some people are just meant to be in your life for a certain period of time and then you both just move on.

Someone on here once said, the way you know if your old friends are not really your friends any more is if when you get together all you do is talk about your past greatest hits.

by Anonymousreply 56February 27, 2023 8:48 PM

This is what facebook is for. Friends with no effort. Just hit like.

by Anonymousreply 57February 27, 2023 8:51 PM

I suspect most of these posts are by single women.

by Anonymousreply 58February 27, 2023 8:51 PM

^ I'm a gayelder and posted....so one is not a single women

by Anonymousreply 59February 27, 2023 9:11 PM

R21 I went to meetups and made a real effort to talk to people. I’m an introvert and it was quite uncomfortable but I forced myself to do it. I ended up connecting with 4 different people - I made plans with them and over the last year we’ve become closer and I would consider them friends. They’ve also introduced me to their friends and I’ve said yes to anything they’ve invited me to (again not easy, my default is to stay home). One of them likes museums, so we do that. Another likes music. I try to be as easygoing as possible and not expect too much.

There are always new people to meet. We get stuck in a mindset that no one wants new friends after a certain age and it’s too late etc, but I don’t think that’s true. There are others looking to connect.

The two friends who I haven’t heard from in a year - I’m sure they are still friendly with each other and that’s fine. I was disappointed for awhile but no hard feelings at this point. If they reached out in the future, I wouldn’t have an issue. Maybe we had just grown apart. That happens. I figured it was on me to go find new connections instead of chasing down people who didn’t care to see me.

And I’m not a single woman, but I am a single gay in my 40s lol.

by Anonymousreply 60February 27, 2023 9:25 PM

40s seems fine to meet new people. But congrats to you for doing it and it working. What are "meet ups"?

by Anonymousreply 61February 27, 2023 9:27 PM

R60, can you define "meetups" and how you found them?

by Anonymousreply 62February 27, 2023 9:27 PM

Search by your location and interests. And force yourself to go. Some of the meetups aren't going to be fun and you won’t find anyone, but you just keep trying.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 63February 27, 2023 9:29 PM

Most towns have handful of gatherings at local bars, coffee houses, parks, community centers, etc. You can find them on places like Reddit or Twitter. Find one that seems interesting for you. At the very least you make a couple of acquaintances that you will see again at subsequent gatherings. If you click with any of them after a few meetups perhaps you can invite them to your place for afternoon tea or coffee or some other social reason to congregate.

by Anonymousreply 64February 27, 2023 9:37 PM

Being always the initiator can get a little tiresome but it’s fine provided the friends wellcomes the contact, shows up, etc. there are different dynamics and reasons not to reach out (insecurity for instance). I am in both roles to different friends. What is telling is when you make suggestions to meet and your friend regularly postpones, etc. That is a warning.

Friendships do involve work, you have to be careful to your friends. Unlike family who will continue to be no matter what, friendships can stop easily. With some of them, it is natural, they have ran their course.

Testing friends is never a good idea unless you are prepared for the worse. If you like a friend, make contact, don’t wait a year for them to do it.

by Anonymousreply 65February 27, 2023 9:53 PM

Oops wrong thread

by Anonymousreply 66February 27, 2023 9:55 PM

What always makes me laugh are the people who are annoyed with you for not reaching out, but they have put no effort into reaching out either. I always reach out to people, but naturally, I stop trying if I don't hear back from them. I need reciprocity in relationships and friendships, otherwise I get bored, or I literally forget about them.

by Anonymousreply 67February 27, 2023 10:00 PM

R63 I went to two meetups for men (non sexual). The first was fun at a cool restaurant. I sat and talked to some nice dudes. Didn’t feel like doing more w/ that meetup because the facilitator was totally full of himself and wouldn’t leave me alone.

The 2nd group was a bunch of guys older than me (by at least 10-15 years) who treated me like I was fresh meat when I arrived. I was swarmed and knew I wouldn’t do another meet up with that group.

by Anonymousreply 68February 27, 2023 10:01 PM

I had to cut down my friendships because I collect all sorts of fabulous things, but there’s no place to sit down in my apartment anymore.

by Anonymousreply 69February 27, 2023 10:16 PM

R68, where is meet ups for men? Facebook??

by Anonymousreply 70February 27, 2023 10:30 PM

R70, I am not r68 but see the link r63 posted for MeetUps

by Anonymousreply 71February 27, 2023 10:37 PM

I've fallen out of contact with plenty of people. Not due to any slight or ill feelings, but we simply went in different directions. I've run into a few here and there over the years. Invariably they'll say "I haven't heard from you in ages". If their tone is the slightest bit forward I usually respond with "well how could I contact you, apparently you no longer own a working phone". I had one completely not get it and say "of course I have a phone, my number hasn't changed". I responded with "well apparently your current phone only works for incoming calls".

by Anonymousreply 72February 27, 2023 10:38 PM

R69, hopefully your remaining friends can stage an intervention for you.

by Anonymousreply 73February 28, 2023 4:17 AM

Over the years, I have "tested" my friendships and every single time I have lost....What I mean is with various "friends" over the years, I have on purpose not called them, not gone to see them and so on for days, weeks, months, just to see if they would reach out to me, be concerned about what's going on, if i'm okay, did something happen to me and so on...

AND EVERY single time, they never have. I know, I know, this is not very nice of me to "test" them this way. Perhaps it's a shitty thing to do, but it is what I do, and it IS telling, even more so, because usually in fact always, it was when I was struggling in life financially, emotionally, and so on and they KNEW it.

So what does that say if in a friendship one of you is hurting and struggling in life and you don't hear from them, the friend/friends, wouldn't you think they would be upset, concerned and cared enough to see by phone or in person if your okay and reach out to you as opposed to vice versa?

by Anonymousreply 74February 28, 2023 4:26 AM

Gays are seen as fully expendable in society. Fag hags keep you around for fun times until they get a man and become fraus. The boss keeps gays around for colorful commentary and non-threatening workplace energy. The straight guys keep you around for so they have someone they can be emotionally vulnerable with and in return maybe you can blow them when drunk. Other gays keep you around if you're rich and hot.

by Anonymousreply 75February 28, 2023 4:32 AM

Meetup sucks where I live.

by Anonymousreply 76February 28, 2023 4:39 AM

I've this habit where I only make genuine friendships with people I wanted to fuck. It's a bit transactional and admittedly toxic but at least it strengthens the connection and bond. I've less anxiety thinking of waning friendships when they're regularly DTF lol.

by Anonymousreply 77February 28, 2023 4:46 AM

r74, it's VERY smart of you. It hurts but it's smart. I hope you've moved on from those "friends" and found better people to be around.

by Anonymousreply 78February 28, 2023 4:57 AM

[quote] It was when I was struggling in life financially, emotionally, and so on and they KNEW it. So what does that say if in a friendship one of you is hurting and struggling in life and you don't hear from them, the friend/friends..

Having been in some state of depression for most of my adult life, I can tell you that most people on a primal level truly believe that being a ‘loser’ or being emotionally out of sorts is contagious. They literally believe that, no matter how erroneous. They look at you in this state as if you’re in quicksand waiting to drag *them* under. They can’t imagine that they’ll be the one to help drag *you* (or, give you a hand you drag yourself) up and out. Such is life.

I had have relatives and old friends literally ignore me and physically leave or look away when I’m speaking to them, just because it’s evident I’m struggling. You get used to it.

by Anonymousreply 79February 28, 2023 10:00 AM

Friendship is basically for now. It's not an investment where you can count on an eventual return. As to constantly testing friends - guess what, the friends know what you are doing and know they are being sized up for 'help', 'support' or whatever, which usually means money, time and accommodation.

by Anonymousreply 80February 28, 2023 11:33 AM

We were never friends in the first place. Try telling the world that, though.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 81February 28, 2023 11:44 AM

Out of curiosity have any of you managed to keep a long term friendship with another gay person, whom you have never had sex with, for a long period of time?

by Anonymousreply 82February 28, 2023 12:56 PM

R82. Those are the ONLY gay men I’ve had sustained friendships with (I have a husband I’ve been with for 25+ years). I’ve never wanted to keep ex-boyfriends as platonic friends—it’s just not how I’m wired, I guess. I know that’s not the case with most gay men. Probably my loss.

by Anonymousreply 83February 28, 2023 1:04 PM

R82: Yes, 30+ years for 5 good friends.

by Anonymousreply 84February 28, 2023 1:08 PM

Yes, r82, several. I kept some good relationships with exes as well, only not as close.

by Anonymousreply 85February 28, 2023 1:41 PM

I wish it was easier to lose friends but unfortunately technology has been needlessly prolonging tenuous connections that should have ended as soon as you no longer see the person on a regular basis.

I've moved states and jobs and houses again and again; at each location there are lovely people, but how is it possible to maintain contact with everyone?

People email, text, ping you on social media, even calling on the phone is free. Previously, if a friend was really special and you moved away you might mail occasional letters or call on special occasions (but only briefly because long distance minutes added up).

No longer. A co-worker from 8 years ago wants to text, a neighbor from 4 years ago is still emailing, someone from high school just reached out so we can spend hours on the phone . There are no barriers. In theory it all sounds very nice, but if everyone from the past is constantly reaching out, how can you give your attention to the people who are right in front of you?

I have my husband, close relatives, co-workers at my job, local friends, neighbors. It's a lot of effort to stay connected to people in my immediate life. Even if everyone in my current daily routine melted away, I still wouldn't reach out to old friends with the current intensity and fervor I often observe.

If you're the friend who is always initiating, your friend probably recognizes that your season together has passed but they continue responding out of politeness. It's nothing to get mad at but if you're in this scenario it's probably time to stop reaching out and look for new connections in your regular everyday life.

by Anonymousreply 86February 28, 2023 2:45 PM

[quote] If you're the friend who is always initiating, your friend probably recognizes that your season together has passed

Very rational way of looking at it, however still sad

by Anonymousreply 87February 28, 2023 7:31 PM

R82 in my 40+ years as an adult homo, I have observed most longterm friendship are made with friends, not one time hookups, one time boyfriends, one time friends with benefits. Just platonic friends.

by Anonymousreply 88February 28, 2023 7:56 PM

R88 I’m the opposite. Being fwbs with friends gives me a solid reason to pay them a visit or hang out with them.

by Anonymousreply 89March 1, 2023 10:15 AM

OP, you need to take into account personality differences. Not everyone is a leader, a dominant type, a hunter. Some people are followers, submissive types, the prey. They let the other person do all the work and decision-making. That’s just how they role. You’ll see that in the bars and clubs, where some gay men will literally sit or stand there all night waiting, waiting, waiting for the other guy to make the move; never, ever will they make the move themselves. You’ll see that in the workplace, where there is that one co-worker, usually a woman, who arranges all the social events, like, bringing in a cake for “Bob’s” birthday this year; however, if she were to leave the company, the following year “Bob” would get no cake.

by Anonymousreply 90March 1, 2023 10:44 AM

R90 right except that isn’t designating an ‘officiator’ friend that’s just making a woman do all the social/emotional labour for a group. so

by Anonymousreply 91March 1, 2023 11:43 AM

DLers seem to constantly be looking for reasons people are letting them down, probably a result of fucked up childhoods.

Some people are planners, OP, others are not, most people assume one role or the other, depending on the relationship.

If the other person (a) enthusiastically accepts your offer to get together, (b) shows up on time and does not cancel last minute and (c) you both have a good time, then I don't see what the issue is.

Seems silly to fall on your sword for that.

by Anonymousreply 92March 1, 2023 11:51 AM

I have a busy home life and career but would love to have a friend who would call me a couple of times a week. What the fuck happened to telephone calls? I don't even try anymore.

My "best friends" email me every few months. They are hardly friends, really.

Perhaps it is my fault for not texting.

by Anonymousreply 93March 1, 2023 11:52 AM

R93 daily or weekly exchange of memes and reaction videos and links to other media is how friendship is conducted these days

by Anonymousreply 94March 1, 2023 12:03 PM

R94, what a horrid truth.

I tried to phone my brothers last Christmas and they put their phone on speaker phone, treating what might have been a conversation as Facetime without the visuals. It was so depressing I got off as quickly as a could.

by Anonymousreply 95March 1, 2023 1:22 PM

How else were they both supposed to talk to you at the same time R95?

by Anonymousreply 96March 1, 2023 1:43 PM

Well, we didn't talk, R96. That wasn't possible on speaker phone. But we might have talked if we had individual conversations, for five minutes each, as we once did.

by Anonymousreply 97March 1, 2023 1:45 PM

I think some of you are confusing planning events with just a simple reaching out. I understand that certain people are planners and that is more than fine. But if you stop calling someone and you never hear from that person again because you were the one who stopped reaching out, then it was a one-sided friendship.

by Anonymousreply 98March 1, 2023 1:45 PM

Adjusting your expectations and giving people the benefit of the doubt is always a good idea.

But reading some of these responses that say it’s fine if a close friend is ALWAYS the person initiating contact because they are “the planning type” and you still show up and you don’t cancel - so what’s the big deal? That’s bullshit. It is likely bothering your friend - unless you’ve openly discussed the dynamic and they’ve said they don’t mind.

Take the initiative and reach out every so often. A text takes 2 minutes to send.

by Anonymousreply 99March 1, 2023 1:48 PM

[quote]DLers seem to constantly be looking for reasons people are letting them down, probably a result of fucked up childhoods.

Agreed, R92. Again and again in these threads people announce with some pride that they have shed useless and one-way friendships based on test scores. The test scores on '1.) who doesn't call me (on the landline, having dialed with a pencil) or invite me places with sufficient frequency, and 2.) who will spend a whole morning sitting in the doctor's waiting room to escort me home still high as fuck from the general anaesthesia of a colonoscopy?'

Surely friendship is something more than a Last Man's Club of fellow die-hard misanthropes who won't complain (too much) as they shave that hairy part of your back that lies just out of your reach?. If not, then what do some of you think your 'friend' is getting out of this relationship? Instead of testing and striking a line through one name after another, why not just pay for people to do the unpleasant things you can't do yourself?

by Anonymousreply 100March 1, 2023 1:54 PM

It is baffling R100

Take this from R99

[quote] But reading some of these responses that say it’s fine if a close friend is ALWAYS the person initiating contact because they are “the planning type” and you still show up and you don’t cancel - so what’s the big deal? That’s bullshit. It is likely bothering your friend - unless you’ve openly discussed the dynamic and they’ve said they don’t mind.

What's crazy about this (to me) is that it is likely the that "silent" partner, if asked to describe what they like about the other one, would say "he's great about always checking in on me and he always comes up with such fun things to do whenever we hang out. I am so bad at keeping in touch--I just assume people don't want to hear from me--and bad at making plans too, that I am lucky to have a friend like that."

So many DLers seem like they are looking for reasons to be offended and I guarantee you that you will find them.

by Anonymousreply 101March 1, 2023 2:01 PM

R101 is a walking doormat and doesn't like how this thread is making him feel, so he's lashing out. Friendship is a two-way street. It costs nothing to send a text every now and again that simply says hi, hope you're well. Talk to you soon. If one person is doing all the work to maintain the friendship, then the other person is not your friend and you can make all the excuses that you want.

by Anonymousreply 102March 1, 2023 2:25 PM

Happens to everone. It's called life.

by Anonymousreply 103March 1, 2023 2:35 PM

Friendship--and the lack and loss thereof--is more heartbreaking than dating imo. Because of all these unwritten protocols and expectations and insecurities.

by Anonymousreply 104March 1, 2023 2:37 PM

100% fucking percent. If you can't be bothered to meet me half way, why am I friends with you. I had a friend who I did everything for. Took on trips and paid, helped him when his place got robbed, drove down and brough him a TV and things he needed would go and see him regularly (he lived in a near by city), I joked on face book once and he blocked me said I was mean and we cannot be friends. Then I thought back. How many times had he called me? zero. I was always calling him, coming to see him, doing things for him. Not a big loss in my book.

by Anonymousreply 105March 1, 2023 2:42 PM

Quite, R105.

It's a harsh lesson, though, since it leaves you without that friend, even if he or she was a bad one. Friendship requires effort, indeed art, and that is in short supply, especially as we age.

by Anonymousreply 106March 1, 2023 2:47 PM

I have about 8 friends whom I decided I'd had enough of back in 2016, people I had known for quite a few decades. Not one of them has called me on the phone in the past 7 years. Whenever I encounter any of them at some social function, the first thing that invariably pops out of their mouths is "Where have you been!? We NEVER hear from you !" I reply, "You should have called," and then I sidle on away from them.

by Anonymousreply 107March 1, 2023 2:53 PM

Many of these friendships, like R105, seem peculiar, indeed more like unrequited love. Buying a friend a fucking tv - who does that? You invest way too much and do a Krakatoa number and flounce off when you don't get it back to what you think is the correct level. How on earth does it get to that stage? I imagine a train of bewildered 'former friends' who never quite knew what was going on.

by Anonymousreply 108March 1, 2023 4:08 PM

It's not just losing friends due to attrition or drifting apart. It's that, as mentioned above, friendships now seem to be much shallower. And people don't seem to like it if you don't keep the conversation light and surface-level. I'm fine with cheerful banter, but it doesn't do a thing for me and if that's gonna be the extent of a friendship, I'd just as soon hang out with my dog.

Obviously no one likes a constant complainer, or a downer who harps on the negative. I just enjoy far-ranging conversations that go on wild tangents. I like to discuss ideas (not politics) and ask questions. I just don't give a fuck about the Kardashians or whatever's on TV. I can listen to someone talk about it but I can't really join that conversation.

I have a crackpot theory about the inability/unwillingness to discuss anything deeper than the latest streaming shows. I think it might be due to the drugs almost everyone is on. The SSRIs and benzos and assorted antidepression and anti-anxiety drugs, plus the weed, and maybe add alcohol to that. I like a couple beers but it doesn't mean I suddenly lose my ability or desire to follow a thread of conversation.

Yes, I know, I know, it's just because I'm so boring. Sure, maybe, but decades ago these conversations happened naturally all the time. I'm pretty sure I've gotten less boring as I've aged, because I'm less self-centered than my younger self and I have much broader interests. So I don't think the only problem is me.

Have others experienced this? Is my crackpot theory maybe slightly true?

by Anonymousreply 109March 1, 2023 5:52 PM

R109, you are quite correct. Conversation or "talk" was an art form, and there were many professors, some who didn't publish much, who were respected because they were excellent talkers, wide ranging, clever, connective. Talk has disappeared, perhaps because people are incapable of following a "long conversational path" because of the distractions of social media. And an idea of friendship as something that two people worked to form, to bring out their respective best, is long gone -- I think it died sometime in the 19th C in fact.

by Anonymousreply 110March 1, 2023 6:40 PM

R109 it's also that the nature of ideas & thinking has changed. As R110 points out: like it or not and admit it or not, but we all think in more shortform, wintbrained, Tweet/one-sentence post length nowadays. No-one raised after the 1980s really thinks in long paragraphs now. We all have these little notional flashes, throw them out into the world, then move on to the next one.

Also, responses have turned to reactions. Perhaps emojis, reaction GIFs, comment sections etc. are to blame for that. Again, now we think in collapsible, sequential comment chains where everyone says or adds some very short pithy silly remark, and it either goes round in circles with turn-taking or everyone abruptly just wanders away and changes the topic.

That's one of the reasons I cling to DL, though technically I'm a bit young for the platform. Here, we're encouraged to be witty and brief at times and where possible, but also sometimes to expand and post a longer paragraph or page about related thoughts so that all posters are on the same page. Here, we've choices about how much and how best to communicate digitally.

We could also go into how atomisation via digitalisation serves cap!tal!st overlords, and keeps the popu from meaningful assembly and connection with one another though it seems to promote it, but maybe DL isn't ready for that...

by Anonymousreply 111March 1, 2023 6:41 PM

By too young, do you mean 60, R111?

I agree with your analysis, by the way.

by Anonymousreply 112March 1, 2023 6:47 PM

R11 no hahaha 30. But am an old soul...

by Anonymousreply 113March 1, 2023 7:08 PM

IMO, most people have always preferred to "talk about the weather." I don't think it's the SSRIs and other medications that are making people want to stick with more surface topics.

I like to have "deep" conversations, which doesn't usually happen in a group. Seems like people have always preferred groups, vs. one-on-one, as well.

That's why, I think, social media took off. It's groups, clicks, photos, likes, subscribers, etc.

by Anonymousreply 114March 1, 2023 7:21 PM

When I had 2 heart attacks in a 3 month period,I found out very quickly who my real friends were. I had about 12 people I considered real friends,and only ONE called me in the hospital or reached out to me at all. These were people Id known for decades. The straight women especially hurt as I had been involved with their lives,went to their kids parties and events ,shared bad times and good ,etc. I ghosted all but 1 ,and 10 years later have only heard from one other one ,who had breast cancer and wanted sympathy. I replied "Hate to hear it,take care now" and that was that. I was hurt for a while,but then I realized thats just how life is. The one who did reach out is still a great friend going on 40 years now.

by Anonymousreply 115March 1, 2023 7:21 PM

[quote] That's why, I think, social media took off. It's groups, clicks, photos, likes, subscribers, etc.

The normies ruined the internet. It was a space only for weirdos, outcasts, geeks, gays and the like up until the mid 2000s. Then all the Braus and Fraus and popular plastic kids jumped on, and we were pushed to the side and into the virtual lockers once again.

by Anonymousreply 116March 1, 2023 7:24 PM

R115, that's why you've got to initiate contact, sometimes. If you always leave it to the other person and then you don't hear from them for a while, don't you worry if they're okay? Is the person with cancer or who just had a heart attack supposed to continue being the initiator: Hey, I have cancer - let's get together for lunch soon!

by Anonymousreply 117March 1, 2023 7:26 PM

[quote]I told her I had found religion and and was embarking on a drug free, alcohol free life- which is not exactly a lie.

Yet you continue to hang out with this den of vipers?

by Anonymousreply 118March 1, 2023 7:35 PM

R117 perhaps I wasnt clear enough . Im no Hemmingway . I was ALWAYS there for them. I baby sat,drove them to the airport,house sat,etc. Spent a fortune on presents for their kids who called me Uncle,I mean I was all in their lives pretty much on a daily basis. Then next thing you know Im in a hospital being rushed into surgery , and it was like I never meant a thing to them at all. No calls,no visits,no flowers,no help in recovery,nothing. They absolutely knew because I notified the one in our group who told everything to everybody ,so I knew she'd let them know. 1st couple of days I made excuses,but then I started thinking about it and got even more upset when I realized I was nothing to most of them. A Pet Fag,a curiosity,a sign to all of their other friends how "cool" they were by having a gay friend. I will never trust a straight person again.

by Anonymousreply 119March 1, 2023 7:35 PM

"Friends" who don't work on friendships are the worst friends to have.

And those who say "friendship shouldn't be work" are THOSE friends people should NEVER HAVE.

by Anonymousreply 120March 1, 2023 7:38 PM

Jesus, R119. I believe you. For what it's worth, people in general are like this. Straight, gay, trans, and probably extraterrestrials if they ever come to visit. 99% of people are totally self-centered and faithless. I'm really sorry about your experience and I'm doubly sorry that it feels so familiar.

by Anonymousreply 121March 1, 2023 7:40 PM

R119, you were clear. I was just saying that friends should mutually check in with each other, from time to time. If you don't hear from someone for a while, a friend would wonder if the other person is OK.

by Anonymousreply 122March 1, 2023 7:41 PM

[quote] I see my dentist and hair stylist more often these days.

Man, I feel that, as someone who is both reclusive & friendless, and who has a hopeless crush on her straight dentist.

by Anonymousreply 123March 1, 2023 7:43 PM

Tempora mutantur

Times change and we change with them.

It's natural not to be friends with someone we were once friends with years ago. Those two people, probably, have changed considerably.

by Anonymousreply 124March 1, 2023 8:43 PM

Having to “work” at friendship seems like therapy speak. Friendship is a balance, sometimes you put more into it, other times you need to rely on friends more but it should more or less balance out. Friendship is about companionship, enjoyment and support. If you don’t get this from your friends it’s time to back burner their status to close acquaintances and look to develop new friendships.

by Anonymousreply 125March 1, 2023 10:54 PM

As I’ve said to my husband recently I’ve retired from the taking care of people business and when you do that it’s amazing how many people fall away. People who you assume were good friends when you stop making the effort really don’t give a shit. Friendships are a two way street. I learned the hard way but it’s also incredibly freeing.

by Anonymousreply 126March 1, 2023 11:01 PM

And also, if they are your friends, you should be able to tell them you are starting to feel like you’re not important to them or as close as you once were. And ask if something has happened that you’re not aware of.

by Anonymousreply 127March 1, 2023 11:02 PM

Forever Friend is an oxymoron.

by Anonymousreply 128March 1, 2023 11:09 PM

I'm archaic enough to remember wonderful dinner parties and brunches when long time friends bantered back and forth on a plethora of topics. The wine flowed and we finished each others sentences and roared with laughter . It was a lingua franca of what was once "gay culture". Years later I can still summon up the ghosts of these magical soirées. I was lucky to have know Atlantis before it sunk beneath the internet waves.

by Anonymousreply 129March 1, 2023 11:19 PM

Do you have BO?

by Anonymousreply 130March 2, 2023 12:59 AM

r108 well I didn't buy him a TV, we had an old projection tv and some other house hold things he could use until he could get an insurance claim. For the trips, my partner and I were going anyways so hotel and car were paid, we just bought a ticket for him.

by Anonymousreply 131March 2, 2023 1:27 AM

R115/R119 I’m sorry to hear about that. Fucking terrible.

by Anonymousreply 132March 2, 2023 1:33 AM

Friends come in, and out of your life.

by Anonymousreply 133March 2, 2023 1:46 AM

R131, was the TV for David? If so, he was dying and broke you dumb fuck. He never texted anyone back because he was blind toward the end. He didn’t want to be a burden so I called him every day.

by Anonymousreply 134March 2, 2023 1:50 AM

r134 who the fuck is david?

by Anonymousreply 135March 2, 2023 1:53 AM

I am asking r131

by Anonymousreply 136March 2, 2023 1:56 AM

A friend a few states away stopped returning calls and messages. We talked a little after his brother died. When I found out his father died recently, I reached out and send some food and a card to his mother’s house. She sent a lovely thank you card - classy lady - but this guy’s shut off all his friends, not just me.

by Anonymousreply 137March 2, 2023 2:05 AM

Think of it not as 'losing' when a friend drifts or walks away, but of gaining free time and peace and emotional/mental energy.

by Anonymousreply 138March 2, 2023 4:01 PM

In that case, R138, there are some very rich DLers, with more free time, peace, and emotional/mental energy than they could use in hundreds of lifetimes.

Just don't ask them to tell you anything about their friends. Oh, such evil looks you will get!

by Anonymousreply 139March 2, 2023 5:20 PM

I think the issue is that people are now talking about friendship "breakups" or however you want to phrase it. As many are saying, this is a natural part of adulthood, friends come and go. But it's not widely discussed in the way of romantic breakups. Maybe rightfully so, maybe not.

(That being said, if you google friendship breakup or something equivalent - there are a million responses).

The reality is that losing a close friend can be very painful. I'm not sure how common this phenomenon is for straight men, but for gays and gals, it seems to be a thing. And there is shame around it. Everyone tends to sympathize more with breaking up with a boyfriend. So even though it's relatively common to lose contact with some friends as you age, there is this feeling like you're the only one it's happening to, something must be wrong with you, etc.

Regardless, the best thing you can do is move on and attempt to make new connections. And not hold grudges (unless it's something egregious). Friends can always reappear down the line for various reasons.

And if you're satisfied with solitude, then go with that. But continually chasing down friends who don't seem interested and never reciprocate doesn't seem productive.

by Anonymousreply 140March 2, 2023 5:33 PM

Thanks to this thread I've reached out to two of my friends. One replied immediately and a good catch up has taken place and the other is ringing me tomorrow.

I realised that, to some extent, I was the one that wasn't making an effort.

by Anonymousreply 141March 2, 2023 5:42 PM

I realized during COVID that I am not as close to my friends as I thought. Even pre-pandemic I always felt anxious when I met my group of friends not excited or fully comfortable. I realized a few of them didn’t truly like or respect me and I realized that was why I was anxious; I could sense that dislike. I didn’t miss the socializing during lockdown.

I also realized that I am in a different place than they are. They make way more money than I do. I know it’s not supposed to matter but it does. Our experiences are different.

by Anonymousreply 142March 2, 2023 5:50 PM

R141 that’s really nice ❤️

by Anonymousreply 143March 2, 2023 6:15 PM

Did any of *your* lost best friends have the exact same name as you? And the same favorite number? And the same molesters?

That's what I thought.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 144March 2, 2023 7:04 PM

My idea of working on friendships is making an effort: saying Happy Birthday, making contact, going for that dinner party or meet-up when you sometimes don’t really feel like it. Showing up, listening. Naturally there has to be reciprocation, though not an exact tally. Sometimes you slip up yourself because you are not perfect as well. Be tolerant, not every argument has to be the dramatic end.

Reading this interesting thread i also think some people have unrealistic expectations of friends, where each one has to be everything all at once. I have a handful of close friends, then another circle of lighter ones. They are different, there are some i can discuss books, art, Shakespeare, and yes, politics. With others we discuss tv shows and lighter talk. It varies.

Friends do fall apart and people changed and go knows i have also lost friends (in my experience this happens most with people you know from work). One thing I learned to value as you age is to keep friends who knew you when you were young.

But don’t be a doormat of course. Last year i broke with a friend of decades because she was being toxic as hell in our circle of friends, but though i knew i was right it also hurt like hell.

by Anonymousreply 145March 2, 2023 10:33 PM

How lovely r141. Now back to our normally scheduled pointless bitchery.

by Anonymousreply 146March 2, 2023 10:47 PM

[quote] AND EVERY single time, they never have. I know, I know, this is not very nice of me to "test" them this way. Perhaps it's a shitty thing to do, but it is what I do, and it IS telling, even more so, because usually in fact always, it was when I was struggling in life financially, emotionally, and so on and they KNEW it.

[quote] So what does that say if in a friendship one of you is hurting and struggling in life and you don't hear from them, the friend/friends, wouldn't you think they would be upset, concerned and cared enough to see by phone or in person if your okay and reach out to you as opposed to vice versa?

It says that they fully realize you're the sort of person who "tests" friendships and they want nothing to do with someone that selfish and manipulative.

Seriously. That's about the worst kind of BPD behavior.

by Anonymousreply 147March 2, 2023 10:55 PM

[quote] One thing I learned to value as you age is to keep friends who knew you when you were young.

True. And sort of depressing, if you're like me and have gone radio silent on people for years as a way to cope (badly) with the shame of depression & failure. I have only one friend left from my entire childhood and adolescence--the rest of the handful I had (I was never popular) either walked way in irritation and disgust and hurt or just drifted away into a different kind of life and become unreachable.

There's no do-overs, is the worst part. We can never go back and remake old friends, or be sociable as a kid, or date young. If you never do any of that, then you never will.

by Anonymousreply 148March 2, 2023 10:58 PM

Two of my closest friends struggle with depression and withdraw from social interaction on occasion. I let them know I'm available if they need me for anything and tell them they can put me on 'snooze' in Gmail if they want but that I'll continue updating them on the latest goings-on there. My life is boring, so I have nothing to report, and just write silly things on a regular basis for their entertainment.

Once they've rejoined they living, they express gratitude that I didn't give up on them. They did me the same kindness once, for years, when I had a controlling partner who complicated my friendships. We would've missed out on a lot if we let our egos get in the way of all that.

by Anonymousreply 149March 2, 2023 11:03 PM

You're a real one and a rare gem, then, R149. Most people can't and won't offer that kind of sympathetic consideration and respect and loving presence (not that it should be expected, of course).

by Anonymousreply 150March 2, 2023 11:12 PM

R86, try this alternative POV. Not for argument’s sake but because it seems to me to fit the facts, too.

When a person no longer initiates, it isn’t because they’ve “recognized” that their “season” with the initiator is over. It’s because they’ve unilaterally *decided* it’s over and not even done their luckless former friend the courtesy of notifying them of the fact, while having the gall to continue thinking of themselves as “polite” for passively going through an empty pretense, agreeing to what the initiator suggests, as all the while the initiator — their sincere and slowly awakening, increasingly saddened and embarrassed friend — takes as much time as they have to, to realize all on their own that their friendship has been betrayed and was dead before they ever guessed it.

People don’t stop initiating because they’re more insightful or are better able to appreciate fate, karma, and life. They do it to avoid feeling uncomfortable and because they don’t care how the confused and wounded the initiator feels.

by Anonymousreply 151March 2, 2023 11:20 PM

R151 I agree that cutting-off can be cruel and confusing and hurtful. Saying that as someone who's been on both sides.

Perhaps if there were a clear and universally-accepted social protocol for ending friendship contracts, this wouldn't happen so often. No-one really knows how to make fair and gentle breaks with people, we aren't ever taught growing up how to end friendships.

by Anonymousreply 152March 2, 2023 11:25 PM

I’ve had two friends separately end their relationships with me. With one of them, it took me years to see the truth of what she had seen in me and to begin to correct it. I’m still working on it, because she was right, but the new, learned behavior feels more natural all the time and I’m glad of it.

With the other friend, I never really knew what it was about because he found it easier to say that, Oh, it was just him and his needs taking him a different way. With him, I just felt baffled. You give me no clue there’s anything wrong until you notify me it’s completely over? No court of appeals? No attempts to keep what we used to call a friendship? But there was nothing to be done about it and for all I know he’s on this board, reading this right now.

by Anonymousreply 153March 2, 2023 11:50 PM

R151, it's R86 here. I like you and salute your commitment to bitterness.

My post above is about my annoyance with how people misuse technology Growing up, my father's job transferred us every couple of years so we always had to start over in a new place. My mother had 1 best friend she made during all those moves. Just 1. To keep in touch they exchanged holiday cards every Christmas, with a long letter enclosed, and they spoke on the phone maybe once every 2-3 years. Everyone else just melted away when we moved and she could immerse herself in the next place.

I have kept up the family tradition of moving a lot, but the difference is the tech: I'm juggling texts, emails, phone calls, and social media pings from people who aren't my #1 favorites, just pleasant acquaintances or casual friends who were part of my daily life then but not now. When we lost the daily interactions in our neighborhood/workplace/sports group or whatever it was, we should have disconnected. I know this, they do not, but I remain amiable. I'd just like a little peace sometimes.

by Anonymousreply 154March 3, 2023 12:21 AM

I followed, R154, except when you say you should have disconnected from the casual friends when you lost daily interactions with them at work/sports/whatever.

Why should you?

by Anonymousreply 155March 3, 2023 3:08 AM

Because I have already forged similar connections with equally great people in my new city. There are only so many hours in the day and ultimately I want to be here now with the people around me.

by Anonymousreply 156March 3, 2023 4:17 AM

I recently moved from my big city apartment to a remote location. Trying to to catch up with people before I left was a real eye opener. So many people couldn't be fucked putting themselves out one little bit. And no, I don't want to walk your dogs with you as a farewell event.

Luckily, two friends did make an effort. One took me out to dinner, the other cooked dinner for me. Oddly enough, they were the first two people I met when I came to New York over 30 years ago.

by Anonymousreply 157March 3, 2023 4:49 AM

"When people tell you who they really are, Belieber them."

--Justin Bieber

by Anonymousreply 158March 3, 2023 5:04 AM

I lost my dad to dementia last year, after caring for him for 12 years. Whilst he was dying in hospital, which took a while and was horrible to witness, my sister was evicted from her home, so I had her and all her stuff from her 3 bedroom house descend upon me. She had essentially given up responsibility for herself. Her son looked after her banking. He would show up periodically with cash for food etc, but it was spasmodic. She was in poor health so I cooked and try to take care of her, getting her to the docs and dentist etc.

Well, she died last month of a pulmonary embolism and heart attack. So I know have my father's home to clear out of both his effects, her effects and my own. I need to get a job too.

For the first time in my life, I feel completely overwhelmed, but the one thing I didn't want to do was burden my friends with my feelings.

But now I've reached out and they've all been receptive and supportive thanks to this thread.

by Anonymousreply 159March 3, 2023 7:06 AM

Wait, you guys have other friends? What are we even doing here, then?

by Anonymousreply 160March 3, 2023 12:28 PM

157, why were you moving to a remote location and thus leaving your friends behind? I don’t think a lot of people realize this, but when you move away, you leave your friends behind. It’s like you’re saying to them: “I’m moving away, so whatever enjoyment you got from spending time with me is over. If you liked meeting me for coffee or dinner or having drinks at the bar or going to the movies or running into me at some community event, well, you’ll just have to find someone else to do that with from now on because I’m outta here.” I don’t think we realize how devastating that can potentially be for some people to have their friend move away. This is especially true if you’re quite introverted and older, where making friends is not easy to do. I guess what I’m saying is maybe some of your friends felt you were abandoning them and were, therefore, not really enthusiastic about your moving away.

by Anonymousreply 161March 3, 2023 12:30 PM

And the award for the most whiny, me-victim thread of the year so far goes to:

[quote]Isn't friendship a two-way street?

by Anonymousreply 162March 3, 2023 12:33 PM

R162 even weird fatty anoraks can have friends & lovers, if they have an interesting enough quirk and live in a small enough pond.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 163March 3, 2023 4:01 PM

[quote] So I know have my father's home to clear out of both his effects, her effects and my own. I need to get a job too.

R159, glad you reached out to friends and they were responsive.

I had to clean out my mom's house, by myself, after she died. She was a packrat. So, I condole you. But it can be done. One day at a time. (I was unemployed at the time, too, worried about what my next job would be.)

by Anonymousreply 164March 3, 2023 4:32 PM

R156, hopefully you never have to move back to the previous town. Those old friendships will fade, naturally. For now, people are trying to keep in touch. Maybe that's a small price you pay for having had the benefit of their friendship while you lived in the old town.

Or - maybe it's just the type of friends that you had in the old town. Some people just love to text.

by Anonymousreply 165March 3, 2023 4:36 PM

r136 I am r131 - who the fuck is david?

by Anonymousreply 166March 3, 2023 5:57 PM

One thing I realized when I was much younger is that you cannot realistically demand people be better friends to you. Unlike marriage, or even in a longstanding romantic relationship, no promises are exchanged in a friendship.

by Anonymousreply 167March 3, 2023 6:24 PM

[quote] Who the fuck is david?

My boyfriend. He held me when I was scared.

by Anonymousreply 168March 3, 2023 6:25 PM


Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 169March 3, 2023 6:48 PM

R167 100%

by Anonymousreply 170March 3, 2023 6:54 PM

R164 I'm essentially in the same situation. So I totally understand where you're coming from.

Yes, you're right. Today her books were collected. Yesterday I took more of her clothes to the charity shop. Tomorrow my nephew will come over to take stuff to the tip.

Each day is a little win.

by Anonymousreply 171March 3, 2023 7:56 PM

R167, in my view that is the wonderful thing about friendships, it is so fragile and almost magical thinking

by Anonymousreply 172March 3, 2023 10:32 PM

This is why I always draw up a friend contract

by Anonymousreply 173March 3, 2023 10:39 PM

[quote] And those who say "friendship shouldn't be work" are THOSE friends people should NEVER HAVE.

I don't think I could ever consider a person with this attitude a friend.

Strivers can be tiresome.

by Anonymousreply 174March 4, 2023 1:53 AM

One of the hardest things to grieve is a friendship that you one day realise was one of either convenience or habit, that you wasted years believing blindly that someone deeply liked you or you them.

by Anonymousreply 175March 4, 2023 9:23 AM

The other complication is when friends remarry. My best friend for 35 years remarried a woman (who had never married before) and who was made both insecure and angry at the thought of his life before her. I knew our friendship was in trouble the moment I met her and she was overly nice to me. End result: I never see my friend. And way to dangerous to bring her up as a "problem."

by Anonymousreply 176March 4, 2023 11:26 AM

Too dangerous. Sorry grammar trolls.

by Anonymousreply 177March 4, 2023 11:27 AM

SNL writers were reading this thread this week. Straight Male Friend skit nailed it. Some of you should try that.

by Anonymousreply 178March 5, 2023 4:04 AM

I never initiate contact with friends because of crippling depression, anxiety and low self-esteem. My few friends understand this about me. I would not last 2 minutes in a friendship with some of you wacky “testers”.

by Anonymousreply 179March 5, 2023 5:10 AM

R179 You sound like one of those deadbeat "friends" that the rest of us got tired of constantly giving life updates to because you couldn't be bothered with taking 5 minutes out of every precious year to stay in touch with those you profess to "care about".

by Anonymousreply 180March 5, 2023 5:14 AM

R180 no, I wouldn’t have ever counted someone like you as a friend as you sound insufferable. I’m depressed, not a masochist.

by Anonymousreply 181March 5, 2023 5:19 AM

R181 You sound lazy, selfish &.put people in a place expecting them to be there for you whenever the" reconnection bug" hits you. You're like a prima donna friend.

by Anonymousreply 182March 5, 2023 5:23 AM

I have a story.

I’ve had a friend for over 10 years who does has some health issues but is also a horrible alcoholic. He likes to get drunk and video chat with me. I stopped putting up with his antics when he told me that I was selfish and entitled because I was frustrated at always having to carry a lot of my friendships.

But I didn’t lose much when I lost contact with him.

by Anonymousreply 183March 5, 2023 9:24 PM

[quote] But I didn’t lose much when I lost contact with him.

There’s definitely a distinction to be made between losing contact and losing a friend. If or when it feels like the former, you know it’s the right decision for your life.

by Anonymousreply 184March 6, 2023 12:18 PM

I think one thing you learn as you get older. It's about having the friends around you want as opposed to the ones you think you need.

I spent years being lead around the nose by this drama queen and I finally got to the point where I said enough. Of course she made me the villain as narcissistic personalities do. It's been almost 6 years and my life is so much more peaceful.

by Anonymousreply 185March 6, 2023 6:14 PM

I hate to bring politics into this, but two very close friends became MAGA assholes and Evangelicals after they voted for Drumpf.

We really never talked much about politics, but they always were quite liberal in their views about many things, but once they voted for that orange maniac, they both went off the deep end. They are not couple, one is a straight woman and the other, a gay man. They do know each other.

Both live in the NY suburbs, perhaps where they live had something to do with their politics. Neither seemed like the types to be swayed by conspiracy theories and other Reich Wing bullshit. Let alone, vote for Drumpf. Their communication became odd, always talking about Drumpf and sending me links to Evangelical radio shows.

This past Christmas I sent them cards, my cards were ignored. I also sent emails, also ignored.

by Anonymousreply 186March 7, 2023 4:06 AM

R186 send them dog poop.

by Anonymousreply 187March 7, 2023 4:13 AM

I noticed that one friend was only interested in me when I was really, really sick, or my pets had died. Stuff like that. Three times in the last 8 months I got to the point of thinking something was really wrong, she'd been so quiet. It was only the third time that it dawned on me that she only liked me when things went wrong in my life. That really hurt. It was such a mindfuck that they'd be there when the chips were down, but be unreachable between dramas.

Other friends had long commented that this person was a narcissist with "rescuer" delusions. And when I finally had enough and tried to withdraw after so many stand-ups and months of not hearing from her, her response was to frantically ring/text my other friends suggesting I had mental health issues. As they already had her pegged, they weren't interested in what she had to say. And in one evening when we assume she'd been heavily drinking, she rang and texted several of them with this theory, stopping only in the middle to leave nasty voicemail messages and sending abusive texts to me. Yes, that's how you deal with someone you're alleging is mentally unwell.

What hurts is a mutual friend seems to have tired of both of us due to this melodrama. I guess we'd all grown apart and this was the final straw for them. Didn't see it coming, though.

I don't miss the narcissist, but I miss the person I had thought she was. I don't think she's ever really forgiven me for being part of a group that confronted her about her drinking years ago. So she loved to be the hero in my life. Another friend says that when we confronted her about her drinking, we should have asked WHY she needed to get drunk (and nasty) all the time. Now all my friends contacted by her are thinking she's really fucked up. Even with the alcohol issue that we'd thought was less of a problem, it is weird to see the mess she has obviously become. And she will never seek help and/or stop drinking. And I'm not up for another round of besmirchments and humiliation.

by Anonymousreply 188March 8, 2023 9:25 AM

It seems like all of us in some measure attract morbid creeps or losers or users. What is it that gays project to attract such bottom-feeders?

by Anonymousreply 189March 8, 2023 2:20 PM

Gays are not the only ones who get dinged when a woman friend finds a man and drops out of their life.

Women friends also get dropped. This whole "you must be there for your best friend" is exploitive. The humorous thing is when they come crawling back after their boyfriend drops them.

I had one friend actually attend a my wedding in town with her "boyfriend," let me know about it, but never even suggested a 30 minute get-together in the lobby bar for me to meet Mr. Wonderful. This should have clued me in that she only ever called me when she needed advice.

Mr Wonderful dropped her after three years of dating. I did feel sorry for her -- for about three months. Then I exploded at her one day. Told her I was sick of her whining about it.

Haven't spoken to her since. Sometimes our friends are not really friends, and we know it deep down.

by Anonymousreply 190March 8, 2023 3:36 PM

^^ a wedding in my town.

by Anonymousreply 191March 8, 2023 3:37 PM

R190/R191 so sorry about the way she treated you--like a therapist or a matchmaker or a proxy Mom instead of an equal friend. You put in months of your endless sympathy and she had nothing to give back or offer. Good for you telling her what time it is!

You're right, women aren't exempt from being treated like lackeys or pawns or useful idiots by so-called friends. And it's why I can't stand the rhetoric from !ncels and bros that "women always have it on Easy Mode socially". Actually, no, female friendship & sisterhood is fucking work emotionally and otherwise, and to keep a woman in your life as a friend you're expected to put in a lot of hours listening and supporting and showing up and getting cried on and fixing makeup, rather than just going out for a beer or ordering takeout and booting up FIFA and saying "that sucks bro, wanna hit up some DMs?"

And the wedding shit is the WORST. We have been so brainwashed and pressured from the cradle with princess programming, and while some of us resist and despise it, so many others succumb and just become narcissists when it comes to locking down a man and getting a 'special day' with all the trappings. It's not as bad or ubiquitous as it used to be, but still there's too much of it to go around.

The school 'friend' I described upthread who became a snob and ditched all her poor country shopbottom friends to marry a doctor is in for a ruuuuuuude lesbian awakening one day, I feel, and if/when it happens and she inevitably calls me in tears or at least in confusion because all her high-society friends can't associate with her anymore, I am determined to be busy and "new phone who dis?". I know that's petty and not very feministic, but sometimes solidarity means being tougher on our more spineless sistren.

by Anonymousreply 192March 8, 2023 3:57 PM

Some "friends" end up using you for their own selfish needs without realizing it. Friendships are rarely evenly 50/50 but they should not be overly lopsided either.

by Anonymousreply 193March 8, 2023 10:57 PM

Have not had an actual friend that isn't a relative in a decade so...idk. Ask my past persons I guess.

by Anonymousreply 194March 10, 2023 1:03 AM

[quote]It seems like all of us in some measure attract morbid creeps or losers or users. What is it that gays project to attract such bottom-feeders?

As one of the gays, it hasn't been my experience either with gay or straight friends.

I've certainly certainly encountered such people, and even been in a position of having to deal with them on a recurring basis. However they are easily spotted, even at a distance, and easily held in check when situations put you in repeated proximity.

I'm wary of people too quick to assume a friendship without basis. It's not that all friendships take a long time to spark; it's that there has to be something there beyond proximity or situation or a sense of need.

by Anonymousreply 195March 10, 2023 6:06 AM

"Now that we're friends--how come you never call? Some friend you are!"

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 196March 10, 2023 8:04 PM

Threads like this always make me sad

So many damaged older gay men looking for confirmation that they are not worthy of love or friendship.

Setting up "tests" that their friends are bound to fail, only to prove to themselves that other people are horrible and that even then, they are not worthy of any happiness or kindness.

by Anonymousreply 197March 10, 2023 8:19 PM

R197 Friends that can't pass a simple test are failures in the subject matter (a.k.a. acquaintances, frenemies or enemies).

Get a clue Scooby-Doo.

by Anonymousreply 198March 10, 2023 8:23 PM

^ Not everyone is a fan of a hokey pokey friendship where they have one foot in 1 decade & then take it out for another decade.

Some folks take peace & comfort in STABLE relationships.

It's sad that so many gays can't do monogamy in sexual relationships or even stabilize their non-sexual relationships.

Lots of users & abusers out there & a simple friend test or two can weed out the undesirables who will crash & burn you somewhere down the line. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure".

by Anonymousreply 199March 10, 2023 8:29 PM

People only do friend tests when they really feel like they’re being mistreated or neglected.

by Anonymousreply 200March 10, 2023 8:33 PM

R200 I do friendship tests at the start of every new relationship. Why spend months or years on a deadbeat "friend" (a.k.a. a fair- weather friend when that's is something I NEVER want?).

I heard someone moved to a new place & told some minor made up embarrassing tales to the new folks in their life there to see which stories would make it back to them so they could "punch & delete" the backstabbers/gossipers as fast as possible. Sounds like something I could try if I ever move to a new town.

by Anonymousreply 201March 10, 2023 8:39 PM

My best friend is my sibling, so I'm lucky that she can't really lose contact or leave me (not unless one of us does something really fucked up). That can make it hard to make other friends, though, because you get lazy and complacent, and other friendships seem shallow and unsatisfying by comparison because they never go as deep or long.

Sometimes I wish I had a twin I was close to, as well, maybe I'd feel less lonely. But that comes with its own challenges and drawbacks and heartbreaks, I know. It's one of those 'careful what you wish for' notions.

by Anonymousreply 202March 11, 2023 1:53 AM

r202 my sister is also my best friend. We both acknowledge we probably have an unhealthy dependence. We are Irish twins, boy-girl and born 10 months apart. We have mutual friends but she and I are best friends

by Anonymousreply 203March 11, 2023 5:00 AM

I really miss my best friend from college. Honestly, I thought he might be gay because we met through a friend of a friend, and he looked me up on the campus directory to suggest we “do lunch.” He also owned the soundtracks to several broadway musicals and considered Sarah Jessica Parker…pretty.

I was devastated when he met a girl our senior year. And while she was quiet and uninterested in getting to know his friends, I became to be happy he was happy. Still, once she entered the picture we began to drift apart. When he became a dad, we managed to really drift apart though. The last time I saw him, he could only meet for dinner (family in tow) while I was driving cross country. I’m not sure the dinner even lasted 2 hours…it just seemed so rushed, and with his wife there, we weren’t as natural in our conversations.

Last time I was in town, I suggested we meet, and he said he’d let me know a day and time. Unfortunately, when that day and time rolled around, he suddenly remembered a birthday party and soccer game his kids had to attend.

That was it. I understood, but that made it clear we just weren’t the same people anymore. Meanwhile, his friend who we met through, who was hurt when we broke off into our own friendship, has actually made the effort to remain close nearly 20 years later.

by Anonymousreply 204March 11, 2023 5:15 AM

Lately I've been having dreams that feature my childhood/preteen best friend, with whom I haven't spoken in fifteen years (half our life to date) and I fell out of contact naturally and mostly voluntarily.

Last year I found out that she was not only a Furry (ew) but also going FTM, and even after living with and thinking about it and trying to see it her way, I'm really not sure I'm comfortable with it. Hey, it's her life and I'm not in it any more, so I don't get a say, but it still sits badly. She's got a congenital hormone disorder (Turner Syndrome) for which she took daily hormones all her young life anyway, so I guess in her mind it makes sense and she may be a more valid case than most, but all I can think is that she's still got natural female DNA and genitalia and skeleton and all the rest (bigger tits than me, at least for now).

Imo knowing her in formative years, she's just a very nerdy weird lesbian or asexual and a domme who couldn't cope with being that way on top of being physically so different and small and underdeveloped. It seems like a tough set of traits for a woman, so the outlook must have looked bleak enough from her POV that tripling her hormones and getting surgery seemed more viable and less painful. I don't think it's going to fix much for her, but that's just my armchair diagnosis. I can't talk, I'm not even fully loudly Out myself even after all these years.

Basically, I'm more or less Terven on the subject, so there's no way we could reconnect as adults or pick up as friends again even if either of us wanted or we crossed paths again in good circumstances: the sociopolitics now prevent. And it's sad, because she was basically the only close friend I had from age 4-12, so no-one else on this Earth can ever say they knew me well as a peer at that age. There's a lot of memories between just us two that have now fallen into a void in Time, forever. It feels a bit like grieving a death in slow-motion. It's probably for the best that we lost contact in that respect, but...eh, it's a shame.

by Anonymousreply 205March 11, 2023 1:22 PM


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by Anonymousreply 206March 11, 2023 2:59 PM

worst relationship status to have w someone is “objectively they’re a fine person who is nice enough and a Good Person(tm) but for some weird reason they're annoying and give me the ick and i don’t enjoy their company as much as they enjoy mine”

it’s literally impossible to break up with a friend or friendly acquaintance like this without coming off as an absolute dick

by Anonymousreply 207March 11, 2023 3:34 PM

I think this hits gay men or anyone with difficult familial relationships hard because many of us invest heavily in the family of choice notion. Family of choice can be a wonderful thing, but as we get older and members of this family begin starting their own nuclear families, it's easy to feel loss when this chosen family starts to break apart. It's especially hard when you have female friends who then have children. I used to do the tests, etc and some friends are worth letting go. The friends I really make an effort with are the ones that are friends from childhood/early adulthood. Though none of us are perfect, keeping this small circle of complicated friends is a link to the past. When friends have children and I'm single, I have to make the effort, but it's usually worth it. Acquaintances or random people that are on the peripheral are easy to let go of. At the end of the day, I do feel like I have to watch out for myself, first and foremost. I come first and I'm OK with my friends doing the same.

by Anonymousreply 208March 11, 2023 6:15 PM

One regret I do have is not investing more in gay friendships. It seems to work really well for some gays with huge gaggles of friends to call upon, but it never worked for me. Gay friends were not the warm embrace I was fantasizing about when I was a child. Early on, I found my gay friendships were filled with competition, sexual interest from one side or the other, duplicitous actions from certain members. Maybe I was bringing that energy into the friend group as well. Now in my early 40's, I prefer male friendships and relationships much more than I did when I was younger. I loved and do love my girlfriends, but now I prefer men in almost every context (work, socializing, etc). I am definitely jealous of the brunching, happy hour, WeHo/Castro gays, but it's just not me, but I wish it were. Also, being devastatingly handsome can intimidate others, which I am certain many DLers can relate to.

by Anonymousreply 209March 11, 2023 6:23 PM

You can call this a test and heap scorn, but I had a friend who talked a lot and I was always a good listener. Never mind how repetitive the talk was, never mind how mundane the topics usually were. She also texted and emailed me long, stream-of-consciousness-type messages.

I texted her something important (to me). I had just found out something shocking that had gone on in my family. Crickets.

by Anonymousreply 210March 11, 2023 6:25 PM

R210 there's such a thing as fairweather friends. There's such a thing as flakes.

There's also such a thing as bad timing. Maybe something heavy is going on with her right now, too, and she can't handle more external stuff coming in at her.

by Anonymousreply 211March 11, 2023 6:34 PM

[quote] There's also such a thing as bad timing.

This is so true and something that I have learned as I get older. Some people, myself included, like to to retreat when going through tough times and hate sympathy or platitudes even if my friends are being sincere. I'm open that I like to isolate during hard times and it's nothing personal. I resurface when the crisis has past. Friends have done the same.

by Anonymousreply 212March 11, 2023 6:39 PM

Maybe R211 and R212 are right - and it's always so important to keep an open mind on these things - but I do have experience dealing with someone like R210's (erstwhile?) friend. My sister will drone on and on - often on trivial topics and with lots of repetition - but as soon as you mention yourself, it's, "Gotta go!" It's been like this for years.

by Anonymousreply 213March 11, 2023 6:41 PM

[quote] I used to do the tests, etc and some friends are worth letting go. The friends I really make an effort with are the ones that are friends from childhood/early adulthood. Though none of us are perfect, keeping this small circle of complicated friends is a link to the past.

This is where I fear I've fucked myself over. My depression recluse years basically ran off every single childhood/adolescent friend I had, and I didn't have that many anyway. There is no one left around me who knew me as a young person and who is not a relative. I feel strange and unsettled and nihilistic by that, especially as there's nothing to be done--those old friends are never coming back.

by Anonymousreply 214March 11, 2023 6:45 PM

R214 is there any way to reach out to them? If you explain it was depression and they really know you from way back - maybe they won’t hold it against you.

People get over things as the years pass. What do you have to lose?

by Anonymousreply 215March 11, 2023 6:51 PM

My former best friend slept with my ex and now avoids me out of guilt.

I was really pissed at the time since my friend knew that guy had been a dick to me (one of the hot but sleazy types). I got a long apologetic text about how ashamed he was that he did it. I forgave him eventually, but we went from talking every day to maybe checking in once a month.

I don't care about the ex anymore-- I think of him as a good lay and a fling. I still miss that friend, though.

by Anonymousreply 216March 11, 2023 6:55 PM

It hurts to be the person r207 talks about. Especially with social media and being able to see that someone who isn't returning calls or reaching out is finding plenty of time to interact with others, just not you. It sends a pretty clear message.

What has happened twice now is that certain people have been there when things have been awful (not working due to severe illness, gaining a lot of weight, suffering social consequencesas a result of a relative's nasty divorce) but dropped off as soon as things got better for me by getting better, returning to work, losing weight, making/reconnecting with other friends. Thank God for the people who are there in bad times AND good.

When my mother had cancer, certain mere acquaintances would turn up unannounced for visits. "Oh, you poor thing", they'd say as she was fatigued, suffering from treatment, and was too polite to do anything but endure their visit. Then when she started getting better, we never heard of ANY of them again.

Some people only like you when you're down. And when you're on the up, excited about how things are getting better, back to normal, they just disappear. You don't get to share the good times with them. You just get a kick in the guts as you realise they never actually liked YOU and just want people they can pity, organise and control. In hindsight, the two people I've been through this with have been very controlling. Everything had to be on their terms. I have conflicting feelings about them: they were right in there when things were bad - and would be again no doubt if I got sick again and couldn't work - but obviously I'm not good enough for their daily lives. And now having to schedule plans around work and other friends is too hard for them. I can't drop everything with little notice to catch up with them.

It really hurts. There's something vulture-like about people who can only make time for you when your life sucks. They do it to make themselves feel better about their own lives and avoid addressing their own issues. Massive obesity in one case, alcohol issues with the other.

by Anonymousreply 217March 11, 2023 11:56 PM

You only have the illusion of friends. Try becoming chronically ill and see how many of those "friends" are actually friends. The number would shock and sadden you. It's all a mirage.

by Anonymousreply 218March 12, 2023 1:25 PM

R218 right? I think that's why straight & gay people in their 30s/40s and above all get suddenly so desperate to enter committed LTRs and start families, even when it's clear that doesn't make them happy as a social living setup or they can't really make a good go of it (financially, emotionally, etc.). It's too precarious to rely on friends, though it would be lovely and preferable in an ideal world.

E.g. I don't even really want a partner or kids and probably am not a good candidate for wife/mother, but I'm still considering trying to make it happen, because I can't take any more friendship heartbreak and disappointment and separation, and also because no-one in my age bracket (younger Millennial) is available or open to that kind of enduring deep friendship. It's either that, or be the Wooderson, the ever-ageing creep hanging out with the kids...

None of us really know how to build communities and tolerate each other well (myself included and foremost). We aren't socialised properly to do that. And it's such a shame and a waste of humanity's potential.

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by Anonymousreply 219March 12, 2023 4:48 PM

People frequently try to live outside capitalism even in this modern world, people frequently try to live in the most environmentally-friendly way, people frequently try to envision an alternative to a hostile state, even in this world where it is difficult or impossible to do so. For every utopia you might picture, people (being people) will have already made a decent attempt at building and living it, in the hope of showing it or even giving it to you. And those utopias aren’t here at the moment for you to have, because it’s terrifically difficult to make communities out of nothing. And that’s largely because it’s very hard to have communication skills about anything at all, let alone something that gets you mad.

So it’s worth having communication skills. As a matter of self-sufficiency.

If you have ever worked with the public, remember: the public will be part of your politically utopic community. All the mommy bloggers, all the brosephs, all the every single customer or client or other person you have dealt with who you wanted to fucking strangle, or at least wanted to be allowed one of those amazing moments of Put Down that viral reddit posts are made of, every single frustrating as fuck human: they will be part of your post-capitalist utopia.

They will not wake up, the morning of the revolution, and suddenly become different people. Your choices will be to line them all up against a wall and shoot them … .or figure out how to live with them in your community. (And multiple revolutions in the past hundred years have tried that whole “line them up and shoot them” thing, tried it REAL HARD, and it didn’t work out great for them either.)

The more de-industrial, de-urbanized, de-impersonal, whatever, your ideal society is? The more it will involve having to work, and work well, and work effectively and without interpersonal violence (physical or social) against people who irritate the fuck out of you. And no, we never really had any Neat Trick to make that easier in the past. What we most often had was survival pressure so intense that the threat of being ostracized (or having the group turn on you) was enough to force resolutions that nobody was really happy with, or that left an unspoken wound to fester for generations, or to offer up a scapegoat to vent the community’s violence on and then pretend to move on, or....

If you want a cooperative, non-violent, non-coercive community, and especially if you want that to be the norm, you end up having to learn to work collaboratively and productively with the person who irritates and frustrates and upsets you most in the ENTIRE world. And if you can’t picture doing that, then maybe it’s time for some self-reflection about how you really want the world to work, and what you’re capable of contributing to that.

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by Anonymousreply 220March 12, 2023 4:50 PM


WTF? This thread is about flakey friends.

by Anonymousreply 221March 12, 2023 5:08 PM

R221 it's all interconnected, though. The way we relate in general as a society has a massive bearing on friendships.

by Anonymousreply 222March 12, 2023 5:11 PM

My best friend -- a fabulous person, a genius, just lovely -- was single and not very good at keeping a group of friends (very introverted). As she developed neuropathy in her seventies, she was forced to live with her only brother (I invited her to live with me but was outside of the US and she needed access to health care). He slowly fleeced her of all of her money and really there was nothing I (or she) could do about it. Terrible situation that haunts me to this day.

by Anonymousreply 223March 12, 2023 5:21 PM

R223 she sounds lovely, and her fate is sad.

Can confirm that neuropathy is very limiting, socially and in other ways. If I don't get my B12 a few times a week, I'm basically bedbound and non-functional.

by Anonymousreply 224March 12, 2023 9:14 PM

Did those who "ran off" or tested off or drifted away from childhood and early adult friendships and who regret them now, years, even many years later it seems, not make any adult friends past college age?

Thinking of people 8n their twenties see and friendships, I always think of the exaggerated importance people place on their friends (Charles rushing to see Sebastian after his terrible accident in 'Brideshead Revisited" because he is "needed") and the mistaken idea that their many deep relationships at 22 will only expand by multiplication over the decades that follow.

Through social media I'm reacquainted decades later with two friends from about age 12. We are friendly, supportive, swap a long note once a year or so, and much more interested in the present and near future than in recounting old times. And while we might meet again at some point, none of us expects some rekindling of the closer friendships from our childhoods.

Aside from some easiness, I don't know how people look back to childhood friends from whom there been separated or estranged and think that those relationships are any more easily rekindled than turning back time itself. How much does an adult have in common with his 12-year-old self, with the 14-year-ols he was once friends with decades earlier? People change where you wish they had not and stay the same in ways that you wish they had not. They feel the same way about you.

The same is true of young gay men who think they will grow old with their women "hags." How likely is that given the way the gay bar that fostered these relationships has changed, and many other things with it? Do they really feel "betrayed" when their fun girlfriend.getanmarried and has a kid or two? Did they ever have.much in common except being an ear for the other?

In life you acquire friends and some relationships blossom and some fall away, some carry on against the odds of distance and families and relationships and interests. It's important to keep making friends to have some variety, to know people who have known you at different points and different places.

I suppose this is less important if you stay in the city where you grew up, and keep the same circles of friends from childhood and work (in a career that never changes). For the rest of us, it doesn't work.

by Anonymousreply 225March 12, 2023 9:28 PM

I don't regret having not friends that knew me as a child or adolescent.

by Anonymousreply 226March 13, 2023 1:07 AM

Fake friends never deserved us anyway!

by Anonymousreply 227March 14, 2023 1:08 PM

Here's a bunch of articles about adult friendship that may interest some of you.

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by Anonymousreply 228March 16, 2023 5:28 PM

We all had friends like r220, those who simply won’t listen.

R225, you raise a good point which is geography. I think in the USA you move around much more than in other, smaller countries. I live and work in the city where i grew hope, went to college, etc. , so it is indeed easier to maintain older friendships. There was a period when some of them had small kids there was a growing apart with some, but the good ones have come back. You still let some people go when you realize where interest and personalities are different and you have nothing in common anymore, of course, but it is much easier.

by Anonymousreply 229March 16, 2023 10:16 PM

^grew up

by Anonymousreply 230March 16, 2023 10:17 PM

[quote] The same is true of young gay men who think they will grow old with their women "hags."

Yes! I liked my friend's husband and it was fun pre children. Post children, it took me a little time to get it and I was probably feeling very left out at first. Now I get it. We have fun when we hang out and we make the effort to do so. I realize she has more in common in day to day life with her mom friends. Being a mom sucks and you need people who get it and can commiserate with, I would guess.

I think to keep long childhood/young adult friendships, you have to really be flexible and value the friendship enough to except people exactly as they are.

by Anonymousreply 231March 17, 2023 2:15 AM

I had a straight female friend who was always complaining about something in her life. I then realized, pretty much, all her 'drama' was self-created. She thrived on attention, from both her friends and strangers.

This woman thrived on all the attention she got when something "devastating" happened to her. She had an excellent job with great salary, she worked in fashion advertising, she had three-four accounts with major fashion firms. Basically, she made a lot of money, yet never saved a dime. She paid her assistant $90,000. year! She was always buying very expensive designer crap, she was Carrie Bradshaw on steroids! A non-stop raging shopaholic. She had so much designer stuff, she had to store her collection in a storage space.

When she became ill with a rare heart condition, she had to stop working for about a year and half. This woman was a freelancer for the fashion firms, which meant, the money stopped and there wouldn't be any disability, as she was self-employed.

I had to cut this person off, because after she lost her accounts, she became even more insufferable. I'd get calls at 2AM with her crying about her "money situation". Lucky for her, she was already dating a millionaire. The BF was helping her when she was unable to work, however, this woman made everyone assume she was about to become homeless.

The lesson learned, try not to attract these types of delusional self-absorbed people. I blame myself, the signs were there but I ignored them. I didn't mind listening to her 'woe is me' stories, she was a fun and interesting person otherwise. It took awhile, but I finally realized she was a mentally unstable narcissist. I later found out whatever friends she had left also cut her off. She's still with the millionaire BF. They got engaged!

Most of us have our own problems to deal with, we shouldn't be an always available sounding board for crazy narcissistic people and their self-created problems.

by Anonymousreply 232March 17, 2023 10:37 AM

There's something wrong when a gay man can't make friends among men (gay and straight.)

I understand some of the forces and historical context behind gay men and "fag hags," but the dynamic always seemed a situation that was undesirable to sustain. And the hysteric about a gay man's one beat friend ditching him for marriage and motherhood and family life just make.me shake.my head and think "how could you not have understood that this was always a very real possibility?"

by Anonymousreply 233March 17, 2023 1:48 PM

One of my best friends is a young mom and her child (almost 3 now) actually made us closer. Mainly because she opened up to me about how hard and miserable it was. I have no interest in kids, but I listen because she's done the same for me and because I value the friendship.

Would I do it for someone who's selfish, boring, or an asshole? No fucking way. Like all things in life, you find out who you want to keep close when the rough patches come.

by Anonymousreply 234March 17, 2023 5:30 PM

Yup. Moved on from people who always paid lip service to our so-called friendship and suggested meet-ups and lunches and stuff, but NEVER made a solid move to suggest a date or time or activity. And then when we'd cross paths, they'd fake-moan about how we never get together. FUCKIN' SUGGEST SOME PLANS, ASSHOLE. (On the other hand, don't. Just fuck off! I'm tired of always having to initiate things. And you're always so 'crazy busy'. I swear to fucking Sweet Baby Jesus if I hear one more person use that expression I will punch them in the DINK and finish them off by punching them in the throat.) Whew. Thanks for the rant!!!!

by Anonymousreply 235March 17, 2023 5:43 PM

As I aged my circle of friends became smaller and smaller to which at one point was perfect. As time went by most of them started their own families or moved out which was fine as I had a best friend of decades. She moved to another country but we were connected all the the time for many years.

One day she decided she wanted to cut ties with most ppl she knew (she had a ton of friends around the world), and to my surprise that included me. There was no argument or drama and it was a very straight “break up”. I didn’t know how to react and kept waiting for her to reconnect.

We never spoke again. I miss her single everyday and hope she is well.

by Anonymousreply 236March 17, 2023 5:53 PM

It's ok when you're younger, but I don't need someone as a friend who's a permanent victim and makes no effort in her career once she's got a man. And then falls apart completely when she loses said man.

I'm just done with women who want to live that way. There's more to life than relationships, ladies! Learn to love yourself,

by Anonymousreply 237March 17, 2023 8:28 PM

I miss when this site was only gay men, hate reading stories and discovering it's some lesbian or single woman...

by Anonymousreply 238March 17, 2023 8:45 PM

My mom and her sister (my aunt) became widows relatively young. Both fared pretty well under the circumstances. I think it was because they both knew how to be friends with people outside of just being moms.

by Anonymousreply 239March 17, 2023 8:53 PM


The fact that you read a story, get into it, and then start whining when you discover the gender isn't what you supposed, is everything that's wrong with gay men and men in general.

You men just think you're better than every one else, but heaven help us when you get prejudiced against for being a gay man.

Karma sucks.

by Anonymousreply 240March 18, 2023 1:56 AM

R240, perfect example of why woman should not be on this site

by Anonymousreply 241March 18, 2023 2:16 AM

R240 I don't think it's about being better than anyone else but the DL was made for gay/bi males & many who aren't the outgoing social types cling to it for a gay/bi bonding experience that gets interrupted by females & straight males on here.

I don't care who is posting on here but it does feel that some are hurt/disappointed that the person posting a reply isn't giving them a shared "gay/bi male' experience. The DL is a helpline to many in the "sexual minorities community" so you might want to tread lightly in some cases.

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by Anonymousreply 242March 18, 2023 7:58 AM

r242 Word. We feel the same way about White people in our spaces.

by Anonymousreply 243March 18, 2023 5:07 PM

Glad I don't know the asshole at R86.

by Anonymousreply 244March 18, 2023 9:04 PM

I skipped over the majority of these responses that seem like they are from fraus. Call your friends out on their shit. Call them to schedule actual plans. If they cancel find out why. Put yourself out there to meet new people if you need to make new friends. It’s really not hard.

by Anonymousreply 245March 19, 2023 4:18 AM

R244, I'm similarly glad that I don't have to deal with you but please, rest assured, someone out there is doing their best to shake free of you. You're a miserable cunt, darling.

by Anonymousreply 246March 19, 2023 6:06 AM
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