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AIBU

To think that a friend should visit when she has time.

(45 Posts)
MotherHubbard Fri 13-Oct-17 17:15:13

I have a friend and neighbor who has a very busy social and family life so is often away. I occasionally call for a catch up and coffee when she is around. However when she calls into see me she always says ‘just thought I’d call in, but I can’t stay long as I’ve.........to do’. I have to stop myself from asking her why she’s bothered in the first place then. She usually refuses a drink, no time, and then spends the next 10 mins glancing at her watch or the clock. I know she doesn’t realise that she does this but I find we never get chance for a proper chat.

palliser65 Thu 19-Oct-17 17:29:56

Saggi. This intensity will not continue. All new at the moment. I have to be honest and wonder why on earth you are not included. When it all calms down and she reengages with you that's when you'll have a decision to make. In the meantime meet others and get on with your life. I do sympathise as it is a loss and you going through a grieving cycle.

Cafemum Mon 16-Oct-17 12:30:49

MotherHubbard, I think an open conversation about it is the best way forward. One possible way to look at this is that she wants to talk but doesn't want to admit that she needs anyone's help. I think the fact that she calls shows she likes you enough to want to see you but she doesn't want to be a burden on you. Maybe she perceives you as always busy and doesn't want to be a nuisance? Or maybe she just doesn't like the way you make tea? Would she prefer to make an arrangement to meet in a nice coffee shop? Good luck.
Saggi, I hope your friend comes back to you, she may do. If she has not had chance to be close to her sister before I'm sure she will relish all the attention she is getting from her now. In the meantime maybe there is a group you can join for the kind of trips you are missing out on? I joined a WI and we have lots of trips all over the place. Good luck.

Solartie Mon 16-Oct-17 05:38:53

Whatever you choose to do I hope there is a good ending if not try to move on, you say you have other friends so see them more regularly.

Coconut Sun 15-Oct-17 18:54:54

Not losing the plot ! iPad playing up and was not registering that the post was accepted !

Coconut Sun 15-Oct-17 18:53:31

I would have to come clean with her and tactfully tell her exactly how she is making me feel

Coconut Sun 15-Oct-17 12:56:37

I would have to be honest and tell her how she is making you feel ... offend or please it would have to be said

FarNorth Sat 14-Oct-17 22:03:46

Saggi, it seems odd that your friend now has no time for you at all.

You'll be understandably reluctant to suggest any meetings, if she keeps cancelling, and if she doesn't get in touch with you, there doesn't seem to be much you can do about it.

I hope it turns out to be temporary and that your friend can make time for you again, as well as for her sister.

poshpaws Sat 14-Oct-17 20:59:08

SAGGI that's really sad, and very upsetting for you, but the truth is that sometimes we do lose people who were once very, very close friends. I have one, whom I now only exchange Christmas cards with: I still care about her, but have had to accept that our life paths have totally diverged. The hurt will lessen in time.

blue60 Sat 14-Oct-17 20:48:49

Well, you can either decide to accept it is what is, or screw yourself up about it. And breathe... smile

Solartie Sat 14-Oct-17 20:40:35

Perhaps you could suggest an outing with her and her sister?

I suspect she doesn't realise how you feel and it would be sad to lose someone you have been so close to.

Ramblingrose22 Sat 14-Oct-17 20:27:32

MotherHubbard - I too would be fed up if someone who I regarded as a friend kept telling me how busy she was but could stay and chat for a short time-limited period. She probably has no idea how this comes across and is unlikely to understand why you find it annoying.

I have a friend a bit like this but we make proper arrangements so that we have at least an afternoon or an afternoon tea together.

Where she annoys me is that she complains how busy she is when she has willingly made lots of arrangements to entertain people or accepted invitations to go out.

I regularly hear complaints like "Oh dear, I've got 10 couples coming for dinner on Sunday evening and I haven't got all the food in yet..." etc etc. Oh dear, I've been invited to a big party and don't know if I've got the right thing to wear.

MotherHubbard - I think you'd feel better if you took control of the situation. I like the advice to say you're just going out yourself when she turns up unannounced. Do not reveal where you are going or what you're doing - stay a woman of mystery.

Then invite her for a lengthier get together which is planned. If she's genuinely interested in seeing you she'll make time for you. If she doesn't want to commit to a planned arrangement lasting longer than her ususal flying visit, you are better off without her.

palliser65 Sat 14-Oct-17 15:41:08

You know what I'm guilty of that. I feel so pressurised at times I could almost cry. The way I have managed responsibilities and what I want to do(spend times with friends) is to book lunch or coffee. Please give your pal one more chance and text or phone a date and venue and ask if she can make it. THis of course may cause more stress but you've tried. I've got worse as I've got older with coping with pressure. Good luck.

ajanela Sat 14-Oct-17 14:46:55

Saggi, I feel very sad for you. I would have expected her to include you in some of the outings with her sister.

ExaltedWombat Sat 14-Oct-17 14:42:06

Remind a 'busy' friend: "You do realise you've just listed 50 activities that are more important to you than spending a little time with me?"

anxiousgran Sat 14-Oct-17 13:20:11

I have exactly the same problem. I have known this person for 40 years and we used to see each other regularly. The scenario is the same. I don't feel welcome if I call in on spec, but when I suggest we make a firm date when she is free, she actually says she is too busy. She has been very kind to me in the past, and she has been my go to person in times of trouble, but I don't think I came over as needy and it was only very occasionally ( 2 or 3 times in 40 years!), after all that's what friends are for. Perhaps she wants to dump me now. I have to admit it upsets me sometimes.

paddyann Sat 14-Oct-17 12:35:15

I've had a friend for almost forty years and am always happy to have them in my home,but not keen on visiting in theirs.She's excessively houseproud ,always jumping to put coasters under cups /glasses watching for crumbs or plumping cushions when I go to the loo.Makes me very uncomfortable,my house is a home ,not a showhouse and a few dropped crumbs or a ring on a table can be cleaned so I dont visit them .

lesley4357 Sat 14-Oct-17 11:51:51

I had a friend who did exactly the same thing. If I rang her to arrange to meet up she would have to 'check her diary' to see when she could fit me in. Each visit would start with her saying she was on her way to somewhere else. We had been best friends for 30 years but in the end I gave up and we haven't seen each other for 6 years now.

Nannyme Sat 14-Oct-17 11:09:07

My thought is at least she does call in, albeit for a short time. It’s far better than someone who just texts and you never see.

Tottylimejuice Sat 14-Oct-17 10:13:44

I rarely see a friend of mine, and therefore, I could spend hours chatting, and in the past we have, but the last few times we have met, she starts by saying “I must leave at ....o’clock”. I now realise/feel, that she is kind of warning me and I have felt a bit self-conscious that I am a bit of a bore. I have avoided arranging to meet since, but can’t say she is pestering to get together, perhaps I should take the hint! 💡

W11girl Sat 14-Oct-17 10:13:33

I'm afraid I would have to bin her, as they say, ...as many posters have said just don't find time for her, unless of course you need her as a "friend". I put up with something similar for months, "binned" her, haven't heard from her since! Hey ho!

Chattybarbara Sat 14-Oct-17 10:12:30

My advice would be to accept her for who she is, she doesn't have to call on you but makes the effort so must like you and you say you like her, so whats the problem really. If you want her to stay longer then invite her formally in advance so she will have the time....... I am sure she doesn't realise you think her a little rude and would be mortified if she knew..... but if she turns down your invitation then you know where you stand.

Saggi Sat 14-Oct-17 10:10:14

While we're on the subject of negligent friends , maybe somebody out there will have a more un-biased opinion of my 'problem'.My friend and me have been best buddies for 42 years. Our husbands worked together most of their working lives and through that us women got to know each other. We are confidantes..... stuff we wouldn't tell anyone else we know we can trust each other with. But just recently her favourite sister ... closest in age.... retired and my friend has been spending a lot of time with her. At first of course I understood this and let cancelled lunch appointments and cinema dates go by me! But I find that the cancelled dates were her just doing the same stuff with her sister . My friend spends a lot of time on holidays ( I never holiday), at least 4 times a year so getting to see her is hit and miss anyway! I am beginning to feel jettisoned... she used to text at least twice a week for a catch up... or we'd meet for coffee , lunch, window shopping trip, a train into London and lunch on south bank . But it's all come to a shuddering stop.I feel despondent. She knows well that my husband never goes out and certainly not with me! I've come to terms with his negligence.... but hers' is far more devastating to me. Do I complain or just accept the situation , and our relationship has been usurped by her sister.??

MotherHubbard Sat 14-Oct-17 10:08:10

Thanks for all the interesting replies showing such a range of opinions. Yes, I do call to see her, she only lives round the corner, but we often go weeks without seeing each other. I do have other friends, it isn’t that I want ‘an exclusive friendship’ or change in our relationship. I was just a bit miffed that when I opened the door, really pleased to see her and asked her in she said ‘okay, but I won’t sit down as I can’t stay long’. I’ve got over myself now, hey ho, life’s too short😀

Tessa101 Sat 14-Oct-17 09:56:32

Agree with lemongrove, she’s just ticking you off the list. Give up on expecting anything more.

ajanela Sat 14-Oct-17 09:50:55

I would say nothing. She is over committed and she wants to see you and be friendly but has to rush of to something else. I am sure if you were in difficulty and rang her she would be there for you. Maybe she doesn't like sitting having chats, some people don't do small talk and this is her way of coping with it.

If you do decide to invite her for 30 minute chat, make sure you make moves to let her go at the end of the time. I know when I am chatting it can go on much longer than I think. I am amazed sometimes when I look at the time I have been talking on the phone and I know sometimes I have to end calls because I have to be somewhere else.