Gransnet forums


AIBU to think this friendship has run its course?

(31 Posts)
JaneR185 Sat 24-Dec-22 11:04:59

Dh and I have been friendly with an old colleague of mine for over 30 years. We have had regular short breaks in various European countries and met up regularly for shows, concerts and dinners out. We live a distance from each other so visits to each other's houses have been infrequent. Pre Covid we had flights booked for Rome but when the airline cancelled she opted to defer our trip rather than take the refund, which was fine. She asked me for dates once it was deemed safe to fly and I gave her several. I said we could be flexible around those dates and she said she could make all of them. We hardened down to June dates. She intimated that she needed to book by a cut off date, some two months in the future. Heard nothing and I text her a few times but had no replies. I guessed she had missed the cut off date when it had passed without any response. I said in a text not to worry if she'd missed it, perhaps we could meet up in England for an overnight stay and a show. No response. Anyway months passed, my birthday missed then two days ago an expensive Christmas gift arrived and flowers. I text my thanks. She then called to ask if she had missed my birthday. I was cool. No apology or explanation from her just inconsequential chat. I asked what had happened but she deflected. She mentioned she'd been on holiday with a relative spanning two of the dates I'd provided! I feel hurt and puzzled. I had told her dh had some health issues and we might need to park him in a bar while we did the sights. Should I just drop her?

ParlorGames Sat 24-Dec-22 11:11:33

Yes, definitely. Don't waste any more effort and energy. In her shoes I would have been mortified to learn that I had missed an old friends birthday and yet she chose to deflect the conversation.......speaks volumes.

M0nica Sat 24-Dec-22 11:26:21

You drop her? Too late. She has already dropped you.

Theexwife Sat 24-Dec-22 11:40:39

I think you are right, the friendship has run its course. Looking as to the reason why will not help you, just accept it has finished.

sodapop Sat 24-Dec-22 12:28:09

It does seem like odd behaviour from such a close friend JaneR185. I think I would need to investigate further to see if she was having any problems or if indeed the friendship had run it's course for her.

Cabbie21 Sat 24-Dec-22 12:51:25

I think the pandemic may have been a watershed for some. Contacts broken, holidays and meet-ups missed, wariness on the part of some to take risks. Maybe new health problems.

Three people that I used to meet up with on a very occasional basis have not responded to suggestions from me, though we are still just about in touch. But things have changed. To be dropped by someone with whom you had specific plans is hard, but it does seem like this is the end.

Smileless2012 Sat 24-Dec-22 12:53:50

I wouldn't contact her again but wait and see if she gets in touch Jane. It is upsetting to feel as if you've lost a friend you've had for so long flowers.

LRavenscroft Sat 24-Dec-22 12:59:19

She sounds flaky to me. Why not just let her sail on by and see if she ever contacts you again? Like that you don't have to do any work, focus on your own life, and let her behaviour decide.

Hithere Sat 24-Dec-22 13:25:25

1 vote for M0nica

seadragon Sat 24-Dec-22 22:00:12

Although no-one died we have, like so many others, had a terrible 3+ years. Both our AC's live in the South of England and were seriously ill. One had to go private to get a diagnosis and treatment of thyroid deficiency despite having worked for the NHS herself for over 20 years and had symptoms for 8 of those . The other was so seriously ill and could get no effective treatment for a serious family illness had to leave job, house and teenage son to move back to Scotland to get effective treatment and support. My sister and her husband, a senior front-line NHS medic had to return to work from retirement to set up the Covid response, had Covid several times this year and then DH was seriously ill with it. The teenage DGS attempted suicide twice having found himself with no qualifications because his parents and stepfather were all seriously ill necessitating a school move during his GCSE,s and then a move to Scotland. All this has been going on since mid 2019 and these are just the edited highlights the actual experiences have been truly horrific. I have been overwhelmed with worry and become a recluse trying to cope with it all. I have not wanted to trouble my many close friends with it all as they may well have their own problems. Things seem to be improving a bit for my family now apart from the threat of war, the cost of living crisis and Climate Change..... I would be devastated if I was dispensed with by friends I've not been able to see. as a result of not being able to be as sociable as I had been previously.... Some know some of it but none know all of it just as I am probably in the dark about any difficulties they may have had... I think we all need to be kind to each other in these troubled times....

OnwardandUpward Sat 24-Dec-22 23:47:21

So sorry. Covid seems to have knocked many friendships on the head. It happened to me as well.

It depends if you feel you can talk to her further or want to talk about it. She might be a fairweather friend? Maybe DH's health problems put her off and if so, I would drop her.

Washerwoman Mon 26-Dec-22 09:10:07

This happened to me after 12 years of friendship that developed with someone who initially was a regular customer of my business.I've not heard from her in 2 years now.We last spoke on the first lockdown and it was me who reached out.Previous to that her behaviour had become increasingly odd and I knew she had major issues around losing her parents and reconciling herself to never having had children.So for a long time tried to keep in touch and be supportive. You can only do so much though.And DH eventually felt we'd been used somewhat as for years she accepted our hospitality in our home yet never reciprocated.Plus I gave her ' mates rates ' from my business.So it fies make me feel I was only useful for so long.I understand how you feel though Jane.The end of a friendship can be very painful especially if it leaves unexplained questions as to why.

Wyllow3 Mon 26-Dec-22 09:27:34

I'd do what was suggested above, wait to see if she contacts you, since you contacted her last.

Its possible things have been happening her life which she doesn't want to reveal but have messed up her being able to maintain what she used to - or wanting to maintain what she used to. We don't know if she is ashamed or indifferent.

but emotionally, I'd work on accepting she isn't in your life and try not to ruminate on "why" too much, tho its hard.

Maggiemaybe Mon 26-Dec-22 09:33:23

I don’t think this lady would have sent you an expensive Christmas gift and flowers if she no longer saw you as a good friend, would she? I agree with sodapop - it’s odd behaviour from her and you need to investigate (gently) what’s been going on to bring it about. Don’t just give up on her. The past 3 years have been a life-changer for many people, as others have said, and there is a saying that might fit here - circumstances alter cases.

I hope you and your family have better times ahead, seadragon. flowers

OnwardandUpward Mon 26-Dec-22 09:59:02

So sorry Washerwoman yes the end of a friendship is painful. I lost a few after covid. It seems like everyone changed. I suppose it's impossible to go through hard things and stay the same. Maybe if those people lost touch in that time, they were in touch with other people who they feel closer to.

I felt particularly disappointed with a friend who just stopped replying to messages and never said why. I just felt frozen out. Another friend split with her partner and only told me after she had moved away. She had gotten less communicative in messages too and it dwindled to nothing.

I think Covid damaged a lot of people's mental health, so they shut off more.

loopyloo Mon 26-Dec-22 10:03:54

Agree, Wyllow. Personally I can't summon up the energy to be polite and keep in contact with people.
Only those really close.

BlueBelle Mon 26-Dec-22 10:13:45

I think if anyone reads seadragons post they ll see clearly what could be
seadragon that’s an awful catalogue I thought my last few years had been a bit difficult but that’s been an awful catalogue I do hope things improve for you and your family in 2023 ❤️

I wouldn’t personally give up at this stage as it sounds out of character with what you ve said about the friendship in the past so maybe something has knocked her off kilter

You say she deflected when you asked if everything was ok which makes it sound as if everything isn’t ok perhaps the holiday with the relative was for a reason there is all sort of ifs

Perhaps you need to be more honest and tell her you feel hurt and sidelined instead of all these hints and hurt, 30 years is a long time to walk out on unless you are sure of a reason

nanna8 Mon 26-Dec-22 10:18:10

I’d say something was going on in her life that she doesn’t want to share. She must still like you or she wouldn’t have sent flowers. It is hard but a fact of life that friends are not family and I don’t think you can ever be that close with them like you can be with a blood relative. That’s what I have experienced anyway. Just play it cool,maybe just keep up a loose friendship that is mutually beneficial.

Hetty58 Mon 26-Dec-22 10:36:02

I'd cut her some slack and show some sympathy - as we've been through some challenging times with the pandemic - and still are. Applying the usual 'normal' logic or rules just doesn't fit. You don't know what she's been through and she doesn't want to tell you - yet.

OnwardandUpward Mon 26-Dec-22 10:51:12

I had a friendship with a neighbour for 20 years who I used to be really good friends with, we used to have coffee and lots to chat about. But, during covid she stopped communicating , split with her partner, moved away without telling me and only told me afterwards.

I was pretty hurt that she'd not asked for help as I would have given it- and also felt like she wanted to cut ties in a polite way as she would go for two months without communicating and then apologize. This went on for a year and didn't improve. The apology was not convincing because we talk to who we want to talk to, every day- and because we had once talked every day. I felt she didn't want to talk to me and was just being fake so she wasn't the bad guy. Life's too short for fake friends.

Caleo Mon 26-Dec-22 12:18:39

Thirty years of friendship is too much to abandon. Give her the benefit of the doubt until one of you dies.

LRavenscroft Mon 26-Dec-22 13:56:15

No offense to anyone on here but I have a friend who never stops talking. I used to find it charming and colourful but as I am getting older I just find I don't have the capacity to listen to her anymore. She is a lovely person with a heart of gold but I've just had enough and turned into a miserable old woman. People change and sometimes they can't help it. Whereas she has become more sociable I have become more reclusive and there is no longer middle ground.

OnwardandUpward Mon 26-Dec-22 14:42:38

LRavenscroft do you feel you could say this to a friend that talked too much?

People do change.

My friend's personality changed after she started a new medication and she cut off from all her friends as a result. I was one of the last to go.

VioletSky Mon 26-Dec-22 14:54:55

Sometimes people go through things and they can't even recognise it themselves. Depression can lead to behaviour changes as one example.

I'd be straight with her, tell her what hurt you and why. Tell her that you value her and want to put this behind you so it doesn't impact things in future.

A real friendship can survive this but you have to be strong, patient and kind because sometimes people's short term reaction isn't the same as the long term reaction

Caleo Mon 26-Dec-22 15:29:01

Violet Sky 's response (which I agree with) is like "you don't know what is going on with your friend and if you knew what is going on with her you would not feel offended"