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When is it time to move on to new friendships?

(36 Posts)
multicolourswapshop Sat 30-Oct-21 09:11:50

I feel I’m no longer in need of certain past friendships, I’ve gained so many more these past couple of years. Should I just struggle on pretending, or give up the ghost. I wouldn’t want to feel obliged to keeping in touch. I believe friendships are a two way relationship. All advice will be genuinely listened to. I’ve one particular past friend who used to make me laugh a lot she’s not been interested in keeping the friendship going I never hear from her any more. What am I to do?

Juliet27 Sat 30-Oct-21 09:20:07


Aldom Sat 30-Oct-21 09:25:22

Perhaps your friend hasn't been keeping in touch with you because she is experiencing problems in her own life. Family illness, bereavement, who knows? Have you asked her recently how she is?

Smileless2012 Sat 30-Oct-21 09:28:56

If you want to reignite the friendship then get in touch and do as Aldom's suggested. If not then as Juliet says do nothing.

BlueBelle Sat 30-Oct-21 09:30:33

If your not close enough to know if there’s a reason then you’re not a friend
A friend is someone you care about and keep in touch with to know their ups and downs, an acquaintance is someone you occassionly have contact with
So the ‘friend’ you speak of is no longer in your circle so as juliet says do nothing it’s done, gone, finished

VioletSky Sat 30-Oct-21 12:19:15

You don't have any obligation to be the one making all the effort in a friendship. Its OK to take a step back and see what happens. You don't necessarily have to make the decision to cut them off, just that you won't persue them anymore.

Sometimes it may be painful and you may not know why a friendship has fizzled out and sometimes you may feel more connection to others and place them above old friendships. I think it's normal and natural?

I have had the same friends for a long time and it tends to be newer ones that come and go for me. I never shut any doors though unless there is something about them that troubles me. So sometimes we talk and sometimes we go long periods without speaking.

multicolourswapshop Sat 30-Oct-21 16:11:00

Thank you everyone for your wise replies to my query, I’ve so much to think about. I’ve always known there needs to be a two way communication between friends, one person cannot always be the one to chase the other one up I’ll think about what I’ll need to do if I want to continue the special friendships I’ve had in the past. sadconfused

OnwardandUpward Fri 12-Nov-21 23:26:18

I'm sorry to hear about your friend. I think that having the space we have had due to lockdown has given us a lot of time to reassess what works. I was dropped by a few friends, maybe because their mental health suffered? I will never know because they didn't reply to messages. It hurt, but I wrote it off and moved on. I have not made replacement friends yet, just got used to my own company.

Another friend I have is really rubbish at replying to messages. She can read a message and not reply to it for 2 weeks. I'm really fed up with that, so I have started to make less effort with her. It's sad, but hopefully new friends around the corner for us!

Hetty58 Sat 13-Nov-21 02:49:31

We sometimes grow out of old friends as we make new ones. I'm absolutely rubbish at keeping in touch but always glad to hear from them or meet up.

I only have the time for two or three, though, as I have a large family and I'm not very sociable - prefer to be alone.

Allsorts Sat 13-Nov-21 07:26:17

Unfortunately, friendships sometimes run their course. If you find you’re putting all the effort in with none from her side back off and and see if she does contact you. Maybe you could send the friend you lost touch with a Christmas card, saying you often think of the good times you had together and hope she is well and happy.

Susan56 Sat 13-Nov-21 07:40:50

My daughter and I have been talking about friends this week.I think sometimes we have people in our lives who are great friends at certain seasons of life but as life changes you may find you have nothing in common anymore.
I think as others have said lockdown has made some of us realise we are happy doing less and that being on our own more is ok.

dragonfly46 Sat 13-Nov-21 07:47:12

We have a few very old friends who live a distance away. We often go months without speaking but I know we will continue to be in contact but other things get in the way as we get older, often health issues.

Kim19 Sat 13-Nov-21 08:22:28

Goodness, the luxury of so many friendships you can actually consider a clearout. Has it occurred to you that the 'friends' in question are perhaps doing the same thing and you may be on their hit list? I have few friends but they are indeed treasured. This sounds so cold and calculating to me that I cannot remotely associate it with my interpretation of the wonderful world of friendship.

annsixty Sat 13-Nov-21 09:20:16

I also have few friends and coincidentally have been assessing them this last couple of weeks.
One, who I have considered a good friend for forty years , has amazed and disappointed me.
Due to circumstances she has been living away for over a year, we have kept in touch by email and phone regularly but she moved back 7 weeks ago, just 4 miles away and has failed to make time for me during that time.
I should explain that I no longer drive and am virtually housebound but I could get a taxi over to see her if invited.
She has been seeing others regularly so I have to conclude she doesn’t want or need to see me.
She seems to regard disability and widowhood as something she doesn’t want to associate with as she has similarly been the same with one other old friend.
At 84 I feel I will never make new friends and think very seriously that Covid and lockdowns has changed many people.

Kim19 Sat 13-Nov-21 09:26:16

Hi AS, sounds sad but just wondering if you might invite her over to yours rather than wait?

OnwardandUpward Sat 13-Nov-21 09:42:39

I'm so sorry Annsixty I think you're right that covid and lockdowns have changed people.

Have you explained to your friend that you could get a taxi over to hers if invited? If you have and shes not taking you up on the offer, thats very sad.
Bing virtually housebound is very hard and isolating , too. Might there be a disability aid such as a Sit on scooter or walking trolley that might enable you to have a more interesting life and meet new people? Some really good trolleys have seats so you can stop and sit down and a scooter you could get independance and go anywhere you wanted ? I'm so sorry about the loss of your husband. That's a definitely a time when a real friend should be there for you.
I don't know if you feel up to being social, but if you were able to get to a Lunch Club or social event, you might make new friends because I'm sure others are in the same position.

I was abandoned by five friends in lockdown who just stopped talking to me. It was crushing and I have not yet made new friends. It hurt a lot, but I have written off those who abandoned me and accepted its over. I have no one in particular, but smile at and talk to everyone I meet. I think in remaining open and friendly, I will in time make more friends.
As far as being housebound goes, I was for a time never leaving the house due to health and also mental health. It ended up being a depressing cycle where I tried to commit suicide and I hope you'll consider phone counselling from your GP to help you cope with the bereavement and other problems. flowers

Birdie1 Sat 13-Nov-21 11:10:11

There is an writer, Indra Sofia - who wrote a lovely piece about friendship that l have taken to heart - Life is a train. It starts at one station and ends at another. Along the way, you pick up passengers: your friends, and the relationships you make. Many passengers get on and of at different points along the ride. Sometimes, they get on in groups and you stay in the same car. Sometimes, a passenger will stay there longer than others. Occasionally, a passenger stays on with you until the end of the ride.
I have taken comfort in these words having lost a great friendship due to our differences in respect of the Covid pandemic - l still care about her and miss her but our life journeys were different - so l got off the train.

AGAA4 Sat 13-Nov-21 11:29:46

Birdie that is such a nice way to look at friendships.
When I think of all the friends I have had throughout my life most have left the train with just a few still here.
I think sometimes we have to let go of friends who we lose touch with. Not all will be keepers.

kircubbin2000 Sat 13-Nov-21 11:38:48

I have one friend that I have nothing in common with. She befriended me and thinks I give her sensible advice about her dysfunctional family. She rings me regularly but we probably won't meet up much.
Another of my oldest friends has moved her life in a very different way to mine and I hear news of her from another friend but have no desire to meet her again.
Another tells me of all the social things she and hubby are doing, holidays and bus trips etc. but I would be embarrassed to see her as I am mainly at home in old clothes and am becoming a recluse.

missingmarietta Sat 13-Nov-21 19:53:20

I've also been let down by 2 friends [they're in a couple] since Covid/lockdown. The last phone conversation was about how one of them decided she didn't want to mix with people in the same way as before. That was a year ago.

I understand wanting to make life simpler and cutting social stuff down....but I thought we were friends, I'd known them for 3 decades! However I am single now, live on my own, and wasn't able to see my sons/grandchildren and it's been tough, still isn't back to 'normal'. That's with me being used to and liking my own company and having plenty of interests/always busy. They have each other. I don't think they realise exactly what living alone means at times.

Now I see they are moving, no idea where to. I'm hurt, but will let go.

welbeck Sat 13-Nov-21 20:14:31

some of these don't really sound like friendships, more kind of functional, someone to do something with, like playmates from childhood.
going out to play never involved a consideration of how the other was feeling, their inner self, merely were they coming out to play, i've got a bat, you bring the ball.
so it was for a purpose. which is ok, like sport, or dance.
when the other party is no longer able to fulfil that role, then they are dropped.
friendship involves a real interest and care for an other person, and not merely as a means to an end, being useful.
some of these people sound like they want an audience to admire their enviable life style. stealth boasts etc.

Jezra Sat 13-Nov-21 20:18:44

I think Lockdowns etc during COVID has given us time to reassess how we feel about certain friendships.
We have “friends” who are a couple. The male has been friends with my DH since they were in their teens. We are all in our 60’s now. The female, his partner is quite pushy, opinionated, pretentious and makes some horrible comments as if she is trying to get a reaction out of me. I tolerate her for my DH’s sake and the friendship he has with the male. However, we have both realised that we have enjoyed seeing them less and that we just can’t be bothered with her silly behaviour and his conspiracy theory views. He is an anti vaxer. My DH just doesn’t want to hear it anymore but instead of coming clean and ending the friendship my DH keeps making excuses as to why we can’t visit them. The rest of our friends in the same circle don’t particularly like them either it transpired.
What to do? It’s very difficult. We’d be quite happy if we didn’t have to see them any more.

OnwardandUpward Sun 14-Nov-21 11:11:29

It's good to talk about this friendship issue because I think it's easy to go quiet and feel shame about not having many friends and that's just destructive for us.

I think with covid everything has changed and we too must change, as Charles Darwin said "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change."

The friends who dumped me, did me a favour. Moving on, I'll find new friends who are more my type of people. Sometimes we can hold onto old friends even though we have changed and no longer have anything in common, just because we are scared of being alone. I have come to realise that it's better to be alone and start again.

Babs758 Sun 14-Nov-21 14:48:58

I found this too! One friend in particular I had been close to for 10 years prior to lockdown. He lives a distance away from me. Sadly he became an anti vaxxer and we had some heated discussions about it. Gradually the correspondence dropped off. He stopped responding to emails. Then after nearly two years I was back in his part of the world. He resumed like nothing had happened and was very friendly and fun. He had also got the vaccine! I enjoyed his company but for me it was not the same. And I am fine with that. My father used to say beware of fair weather friends!

OnwardandUpward Tue 16-Nov-21 18:49:38

Yes. There's also the kind of friend that's just a user. They don't really like you, but they like your cooking.

I am getting better at spotting friendship red flags and enjoying my own company, because it's better than being with a user or someone who's going to stab you in the back and gossip as soon as you've left.