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Friends who don't make an effort to stay in touch

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I have a fair number of friends and in the past (I'm going back quite a few years here), and when I say a fair number, I probably mean around half a dozen really important friends.  We always kept in touch over the years, meeting up for drinks, BBQs in the summer and we'd do other things such go see bands, evenings at the cinema etc.  Even when we didn't live in the same town this wasn't a problem.  It wouldn't be every weekend, it wouldn't always be with the same friend and it might be as infrequent as once every month or two.  This was fine because at least there was a bit of a buzz, the odd email or phone call.  This is what keeping in touch is all about is it not?  These days, however, it's all gone awfully quiet.

Phone calls aren't returned very often if at all and it's extremely rare if they ever ring me in the first place.  Emails are occasionally exchanged, but more often than not there's radio silence there as well.  Instant messaging, although I don't use it much I'm always in my GMail and therefore on Google Talk.  I also have Pidgin running so I'm still contactable on Live messenger for those who use that, but it's always quiet these days.  Now before you ask, no I haven't done anything to upset them.  For the most part they all lead separate lives anyway.  I think the problem stems from the fact that we're all engrossed in our own little worlds with our own problems lifestyles.  I do feel that when I make the effort to keep in touch that it isn't reciprocated by them.

It could be tempting to blame Facebook here since I am not on there and nearly everyone on the planet seems to keep in touch through it these days.  However, half of these people aren't on Facebook either so it's probably not the problem.

We moved house a few years ago, only an hour away from the town where one friend still lives.  At lest a couple of times a year we go back to visit, but he hasn't been to our new house at all despite having passed quite close on several occasions.  I used to live next door to this guy and I just can't believe that we haven't had a single visit from him yet.  Well it's his loss, because he knows where we are and by the way when I say "we", I mean myself and my girlfriend as we were all once part of a group of friends.

Nokia phone Another one of my friends moved away to Kent quite a few years back.  He works in London and we'd meet up there now and then, sometimes he'd come back out our way and we'd all go out for the evening as a group.  This was several years ago and we've barely spoken since.  I've called and sent the odd email, considering myself lucky to get a response.  I heard through another female friend recently who has seen rather a lot of him, that the reason he's not been in contact is because he feels guilty about going off and getting married on the quiet.  We'd talked about me being the best man at his wedding one night and apparently he feels awkward because it didn't happen that way.  I really can't understand this at all.

I don't fret too much about not seeing friends who live some distance away.  It's understandable that people have a lot going on, the weekends are often crammed with stuff that needs doing.  What does irk me though is leaving messages and very rarely getting a response.  I have a friend up in London who's guilty of that; not too good at answering emails either as it happens.

Some friends do get in touch...  when they want something or need something, for example a broken computer that needs fixing or some advice about something that is my within my area of expertise.  Then there's another friend that seems to show up more frequently between relationships.  When the going is good things are a bit quiet, but when the brown stuff hits the fan we're always at the end of an email, phone call or a get together to help mend the pieces.  This isn't a problem, but it would be nice to hear from these fellows at a spontaneous moment when there aren't problems.  A "hello, how are you, just cooking my dinner and thought I'd say hi" would be really appreciated.

I used to share a house with a friend that I used to work with.  Anyway, to cut a long story short he got a house with his girlfriend and they had a child, the usual story.  I last saw him at his surprise 40th birthday party and that was about six years ago.  Have repeatedly tried to get in touch but to no avail.  Again, we have another mutual friend (one of the elusive crowd I'm afraid) who is in contact and sees him occasionally, but for some reason or other the gap hasn't been bridged and I have no way of contacting him directly.  It's such a shame, because we got on really well and had some good times.  C'est la vie...

I don't think I'm asking too much here.  Oh, and did I mention that I'd done the usual ring around at New Year to wish them all a good one (as I'm Scottish this is a big thing).  Lo and behold I spoke to one person (thank you Jason), but have yet to hear from any of the rest.  Still, it's only February so I might hear back sometime before the summer.  Thankfully I've got my girlfriend here and my family keep in touch a bit more often otherwise I'd be that man you read about in the papers, you know the one, found dead in his flat and the police were only contacted when the neighbours noticed the smell.  They say he'd been dead for around three months and nobody noticed.  Maybe I should just go under the radar myself and see what happens.  What would you do in my shoes?


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Jazzy

Jazzy

I often feel this way as well, but I am often the distant one too. Two friends called when they heard I was moving away. I never called them back. I was overwhelmed this last year with moving, anxiety and a concussion, severe allergic reaction and some painful extended family problems. I long for closeness do it doesn’t make sense that I haven’t called them back. However, I have texted, but they don’t text much. Maybe we have what we need in our families, but friends are fun! I hope you are appreciated. You sound like the type of friend my husband and I would like. We even made steak dinner twice one a couple snd the never reciprocated. Maybe it says more about them, than us. Sending happy friend vibes your way!
03/08 Jazzy
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Imsad

Imsad

Same situation... I can't understand the ratio of people that either ignore me or just say the very least possible and never contact me after. It's 100% of old friends I thought I'd be friends with forever. It really hurts. I'm no good at making new friends, I actually have zero friends around me but I've tried contacting 6 old "good" friends and not one of them wants to reconnect. Most have babies now, I dunno if that's the main reason. I do wish it wasn't so easy to message each other, it must have been better back in the day when old friends were just gone.
06/07 Imsad
2
None

None

Having friends and memories isn’t that important. Life is short. Everything happens and is gone in a blink of an eye. I say enjoy it as it comes. I’ve lost touch with all of my friends and that’s ok. We had our time and that’s that. Nothing lasts forever and it’s really not a big deal anymore. If I see them great, but I wouldn’t waist my energy to see them bc they never did for me. It’s ok they have families etc to deal with. We got older. Life goes on. Just let things go and enjoy the moment you have
24/06 None
2
Aajjuuuuu

Aajjuuuuu

I had this Room mate who later became quiet close. This person lived in the same house as paying guest like me. Almost a year later he announced in our home gathering he got an opportunity to move to another part of the country. I was sad. He did initially text and call me.But later it became less I was taking the initiative every week to call he did return the calls but now instead of less it declined. When I rewind I don't find him as being a concerned or sincere friend. I believe he was just social with me.Buddy seems to be in touch with others. But still may be we should not overanalyse. That's the time I reconnected with my old family friend and couple of others who infact returned my calls. So it is okay let it go and move ahead in life.
08/06 Aajjuuuuu
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Desillusioner

Desillusioner

That's what I do with my one-sided friendships- quit trying after a while, and go under the radar. It s usually depressing at first, but then liberating- I realize it was never my duty to make an effort, I was just conditioned somehow to worry about keeping the relationship going- even though there was no actual benefit to it (not to me, at least.) Get rid of the ballast, you'll sail smoother.
05/03 Desillusioner
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Angela

Angela

People go in different directions, and life quite simply gets in the way - work.... work, and MORE work, work dos in the evening, boy/girl-friend(s!).... stalkers perhaps - aagghh! Barbecues, shopping, hobbies, keep fit, you name it - the list is endless, and the older that we get - the more things there are to do, as we become more intelligent, quicker at doing things, and thus quicker at also ADDING things! Then... marriage and children. I haven't actually had children, but I have gotten married - it is not the same as dating - not in the slightest. There is a home to look after as well now (along with a full-time husband!). Maybe pets. New friends in new places if you move. In-laws on both sides. And then each child. If you have a baby - it doesn't just need attention for one hour a day - it needs attention 24-7! It is really therefore not personal at all that friends drift - BUT they always were your friends, and sometimes meeting up again even after 10 years - you will just carry on where you left off just about. However, you all have life experiences, and like branches on trees have grown. Grown in slightly different directions, but you all knew each other nearer to the trunk of the tree. You will always have that connection, but I personally wouldn't worry if someone has grown just too far away - you will always have a special memory as if it is yesterday if not today of a (hopefully!) kind and loving friendship. I have a HUGE list of friends that I want to get in contact with, but I do NOT want to just do a round-robin email-shot, so-to-speak - but maybe I should.

People aren't necessarily purposefully ignoring you - they possibly feel guilty that they literally haven't got the brain space and time to fit absolutely everyone and everything in!!!! There are so VERY few hours in the day.

Good luck - and maybe just go do a few new hobbies and make a few new friends yourself. Don't stay in a rut - branch out on that tree!

Good luck once again. :-)
03/12 Angela
0
Been there done that!

Been there done that!

Hi, I'm afraid to say that this is quite common, I'm 50 now, married for 18 years 2 kids, nice job, done ok! Friends? Forget it..so many similarities to you TBH and yep I've wasted a lot of time and emotion mulling it all over..
Well I've learned so much now and my best advice is accepting things for how they are, people are just self absorbed and busy..you wont ever change that..finding a friend who sticks around is hard..however nice you are or how hard you try..count your blessings and the 1 or 2 good ones you may have and dont beat yourself up about it! It really isn't you! I know that's zero consolation but if you dont except it you will go crazy..
I've tried going to ground too BTW but nobody even noticed! 😆...and I'm apparently really nice kind and fun to be around!
Mate, move on, your a decent bloke, be friendly and upbeat with everyone but be careful being such an open book..
30/10 Been there done that!
6
Happily Single and Friendless

Happily Single and Friendless

I'd find some new friends, if having friends in contact with you is important. I wouldn't waste time on people who don't reciprocate. People do grow apart, even in close relationships. If you have one or two good friends who remain friends the rest of your lives, that's remarkable. Otherwise, friends come and go.
15/11/19 Happily Single and Friendless
6
Lou Lou

Lou Lou

I just confronted a school friend for never initiating contact to catch up with me. She wants to be in charge whenever I initiate contact to catch up because she prefers the car instead of the bus by depending on her friends to give her a lift to and from her house regularly. I prefer her to make her own way to see me so she complaints about the buses not showing up and catching 2 buses to get home. She was self conscious about what other people think of her head, facial movements and neck from the side affects of her taking medicine. The bus has become a barrier for her and she will never compromise with me.
15/07/19 Lou Lou
-4
Kim

Kim

I am still going through the same issues about my friends not keeping in touch with me. I am the only one keeping in touch with them all the time. I heard from no one when I was working in retail. My Italian friend tells me we will go out for coffee in 2016 and I have not heard from her because she never calls me in 2016 since I always have to call her. I have friends who were married but they have no intention of keeping in touch once married because my Asian friend can only see me during her lunch break and not on the weekend because she is devoted to her kids on weekends. My Aussie school friend was married after 10 years of living with her boyfriend never calls me either and she always have to stick with her husband. She has become a copy cat friend. I don't feel valued for my effort to keep in touch. I have confronted some friends for not keeping in touch with me and I just let them slip away. Sometimes I will do a spring clean to get rid of those friends who are not true friends.
16/07/18 Kim
2
Joe

Joe

The biggest problem in our contemporary society is that we are each in our own little electronic concentration camp, thanks to all the technology, AND Fbook. The art of personal, one on one communication is severely lacking, therefore friendships suffer. It's sad really.
27/01/18 Joe
7
Kath

Kath

Hi Kel, agree with you 100%, Facebook has changed people and friends who you thought were friends...... Facebook these days is for showing off which isn't a good trait. I have come of it now for 5 months and feel more at peace with myself now. Friends on Facebook I found, don't really care, or never there when you want a chat etc. Time is precious, so enjoy what you want to do in real life.
16/05/16 Kath
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Kel

Kel

It's a shame, but Facebook and other social media crap has changed people. Do some research and find out what makes you happy without your friends from the past. It's no easy but ya gotta do it. The time with your girlfriend and family are precious.
06/04/16 Kel
4
Rissa

Rissa

My husband and I are ages 55 & 67 and we've been through some of what you're going through. In recent years I've had medical/physical problems and I can't keep up with others. I'm not working, so that makes a big difference also....no money to keep up with others. We moved 3 hours away to a small town in the woods for a few years. We decided it was too desolate and moved back. Our friends didn't visit us in the small town or keep in contact, and now that we're back, our friends STILL don't keep in contact. I would say, enjoy life with your girlfriend and family and maybe focus more on your favorite hobbies, even if the hobbies are simple or light. At this point in my life, I'm not going out of my way any more to contact my "use-to-be-close-friends." I'm planning on listening to music more often and shoot pool on our new used pool table. I look forward to packing a lunch and taking day trips with my husband. All of these little things mean a lot.
06/04/16 Rissa
5
Ursula

Ursula

I know I'm late to this party, but this is the state of many of my relationships as well. It would be different if it wasn't so easy to text or email. It's as if people are trying to tell me they DON'T want to be in touch by going silent in this age of easy communication. It makes me feel quite unwanted.
14/02/16 Ursula
4

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