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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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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.
Kim
16th Jul 18 07:28

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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.
Joe
27th Jan 18 03:48

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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.
Kath
16th May 16 15:14

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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.
Kel
6th Apr 16 01:52

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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.
Rissa
6th Apr 16 01:40

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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.
Ursula
14th Feb 16 22:24

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Grumpy xx

Grumpy xx

I read this article with interest. Mainly because when I reflect on my life I find that the people that did send Xmas cards and messages more frequently, and saw most of at any one time in my life, were the same very people who were not there for me when I needed support or their friendship because it might cost them time, money or both and they were often first off the scene - permanently too - when either I or they moved on geographically or in life generally. Friends who did not send cards or I hardly ever spoke to with anylike like regularity were the very people I knew I could contact - after such a long break -to support me during a crisis and they would be there for me to see it through or provide substantial support in other critical ways. Catch ups with them, infrequent though they were, comprised deeper shared experiences as if we'd only spoken recently, and more meaningful discussions took place too, rather than a lot of showy banter and trivial small talk and mwaah, mwaah kissy superficial nonsense that comes with the territory on facebook and with extroverted people who can't enjoy their own company. This brings me onto my next point...

I think the point I am making here, if it is of any help, is that quality not quantity is the essential component of defining friendship and that friends should be categorised as accurately as possible to understand them and know how to deal with them. True it is nice to be contacted and reciprocated to by everyone you associate with who aren't your family, but I would be more inclined to carve up my non-family relationships into

(a) real friends for which you are lucky to have less than a handful, maybe two or three people that are most like good family and stay with you and for you for life no matter where they are, where you are, what they are, what you've become etc. - and who accept you for what you are as a person

(b) those you keep in touch with out of duty or sense of history together - for formal or informal anniversary style get togethers to talk over old times and get pissed etc

(c) the rest you just hang out with to have a laugh with and probably see most often because they live nearer to you, like the same hobbies as you and you are only as useful as company for you for as long as you share a particular passion, geography, interest etc. but would disappear if any of that changed never to be seen again because either you or they or both have 'moved on.' These probably make up most of the fb luvvies with 1000 friends they've never met.

Once you get that into perspective, and learn to categorise people, the amount of calls you get or emails returns becomes less important and you're well on the path to managing your own expectations.

Most of all, most critically, the best friend you actually need for yourself is YOU. So learn to like your own company so that those lonely moments we all have, no matter how many friends we think we have, or feelings we have of being let down, particularly at some times of the year (anniversaries, holidays etc. when painful memories can often hurt the most) don't turn into desperate acts of despair and self destruction.
Grumpy xx
5th Dec 15 16:48

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Kelvin

Kelvin

P.S -OP, my email is reydsan@outlook.com

Kelvin
Kelvin
3rd Nov 14 00:17

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Kelvin

Kelvin

Hey

I can totally relate to you man. You probably won't read this as it been a while since your post was written.

I think this is a sad epidemic in society now. Most people don't really think it's important to make an effort or be reciprocal. It's too much effort and they would rather have immediate gratification of people near them, people they can gain benefit from fast, and other things that create quick pleasure e.g. quick dates, playing computer games, face book and other instant chats/apps, etc

I have found all my friends have slowly drifted away over the years. I am single, so it's a lot harder for me to not get lonely pangs. I'm glad you have your Girlfriend.

I don't understand the argument that people put forward such as , ' i know my friends are always there' or ' I don't need to keep in touch', or ' i have a busy life, so don't get the time' etc. These are all usually just lazy excuses. Friendships, like romantic r'ships need nourishing and caring by BOTH parties. Otherwise one of you will start to feel down and hurt by doing all the 'chasing'. This will inevitably make you bitter and affect your social interactions with people in the future. It's better to let go of these non reciprocal friends. Now, I'm not saying these people are bad. A lot, of my friends were lovely and i know somewhere n there heart they care for me, but it's somewhere in the hazy distance, as i fade away into the mist of time. It never had to be like this. They just could not be bothered to make the effort. They manage to make the effort and time to manage other things and people in their life. So, really, there was no excuse. I have 3 close friends left in my life now, and they are all reciprocal. I meet one once every 2 months , fairly regular, but when she can't make it, that's cool, i know we will get together again soon.
I have a friend who was very close to mea few years back , but he slowly stared communicating less, but would always reply when i messaged or suggested we meet and he would then meet. When we met, it was always like old times. I would drive to his town regular. However, there was this unrest at the back of my mind that i was doing ALL the contacting.Also, he would ring when he was feeling down and that was it.I then found out he had moved to my town. I thought we would meet more, but he never contacted me. That's when i thought, ' i don't need this anymore'. I'm not sure why he doesn't contact me, but it was starting to hurt. I loved this guy like a brother too. So, I stopped texting to see if he would. He did text, after a year and then again a year and a half later. So, that's 2 texts in 2 and a half years. I just let him be in the end and think about him in that far away misty place.

So, it's a sad state of affairs and i understand where you are coming from totally.
Feel free to drop me a message.

Take Care
Kelvin
Kelvin
3rd Nov 14 00:09

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Cell

Cell

I am in the same situation, out of sight out of mind I guess. It is sad because I have not been able to make good connections as an adult as with the "kids" I grew up with, that find it too much trouble to reply to an email when at one time we like brothers.
Cell
25th Sep 14 21:20

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Ash

Ash

I'm in a similiar position- I always make the effort and send messages to my friends, to meet up etc. They respond to me, but they never message first. I thought I would do a simple test- and not contact any of them- just to see if they would notice. But they didn't! They didn't bother to contact me just to ask how i am etc. It's been 2 weeks. I'm sick of this one sided friendship. I've decided that I'm not going to bother anymore- if my 'friends' truly want to be my friend, then they will make an effort to contact me. I'm done chasing people that don't give a damn.
Ash
1st Sep 14 13:51

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pet

pet

I know life gets hectic and busy, and as people get older they tend to drift away, but it's not so busy that they can't find the time to send an email or a text. I agree with the posts below, maybe these 'friends' need to be let go. The ones that make the effort to stay in touch will be the real friends. Actually, I'm guilty of this also, I think I need to go send some emails..
pet
21st Apr 14 07:55

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ahforfoulkessake

ahforfoulkessake

I, like the griper above, have had friends who only contact me if they want something and their regular douchebags are not willing or able to help.
I have facebooked them with my new mobile number whenever i've had to change it and asked for theirs but very few have got in touch, though they(some, not all of them) may have left me their number but I have made the effort of asking them how things are going, any news etc, and hardly get a reply. Never been nasty or borrowed from them and not returned(hardly ever borrowed in first place) and yet Ive been ignored.
I feel that one day I'll end up like the people who are found dead after months in their flat.
ahforfoulkessake
1st Jun 13 11:38

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Cassia

Cassia

In this world we tend to have the bothered and the can't be bothered and as time drags on we get sifted onto one pile or another. The good news is you are a bothered! Well done! This is an achievement of which to feel proud.
On the other hand, stop bothering your old friends, they clearly want nothing more to do with you. Which is probably true. But, pick yourself up, leave the door open to them and find some of your bothered kin to share New Years Eve phone calls and maybe even a drink or two.
Cassia
29th May 13 17:44

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Mia the Cat

Mia the Cat

If so-called friends do not bother to keep in touch with you then I suggest you 'let them go'. What is the point of pursuing a friendship if the other party cannot be bothered? I did this with one person for about 4 years and in the end made no more phone calls and never heard again. Instead I made new acquaintances with people who CAN be bothered and whom value friendships. Unfortunately we live in an ever more selfish 'me me' world, and if that's the way people behave toward you, I say let them bu88er off!
Mia the Cat
25th May 13 21:40

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