M.S. asks from Elgin, IL on February 06, 2009
Need Advice on How to Handle Luke Warm Friend
I have a neighbor friend who at times is great, but once in a while, she fizzles out and doesn't return my calls, emails, or texts for weeks. I give her space because I know that she can get overwhelmed, but at what point is she taking advantage of my good nature. I can't help my feelings, they are real, and should be validated. I don't want to push her away because I feel a calling to be her friend, yet I want to convey to her that being a friend means communicating good or bad. How do I do that?
So What Happened?™
Wow, this was my first time asking for advice and I was overwhelmed with the responses that I received. Thank you all very much for your advice. I am blessed to have several close friends in my life, so as far as this May/December friendship, I will rest my weary head and heart and let the will of God decide its fate.
S.S. answers from Chicago on February 06, 2009
Tara, She may have things going on that you know nothing about. Being a friend doesn't mean she has to jump each time you feel like calling. If you want to see her if she doesn't call you back assume she is busy or doesn't have time. And then don't call her again till she calls you. Maybe she doesn't feel the same "calling" to be a friend that you do. Your idea of being a friend and hers may be different.
2 moms found this helpful
M.K. answers from Chicago on February 06, 2009
I think the problem might be that the two of you are looking for differing levels of friendship. Others are right---you never know for sure what is going on in someone else's life. It could be many different things or a combination: she could be much busier; she may not desire or need the level of friendship that you are looking for; she may have a different way of coping with her stress (some women need to "talk" through their problems, and other women turn more inward, etc.) Each person is different. And, since you can only control your end of the relationship, my humble advice is to recognize that difference for simply what it is, and nothing against you, and be proactive about choosing to take the necessary steps to find that friend who needs the same level of friendship that you do.
I have found, in my 38 years, that good friendships tend to just "click" and seem right from the get-go. The friendships that take a lot of work and always have you guessing are the ones that you have to take a step back and ask yourself if it is one-sided and something you shouldn't push. Women are relational by nature, so it would be my guess that she is getting that void filled somewhere---maybe a close relationship with her M., or with her husband, or maybe a good friend that you aren't aware of? What I have found to be true is that when we find that friend that fills that void, we know it. So, I would say to just gladly accept the level of friendship that she has the time and capacity to offer you and look elsewhere to fill the void for that deeper level of friendship that you desire. God bless you...
1 mom found this helpful
N.W. answers from Chicago on February 06, 2009
Some people are just not good communicators. I have some friends who are hard to get to communicate back and I just have to realize that's the level of friendship they are capable of. Your definition of a friend may not be hers, and you can't ask that of her.
That being said, I'll get busy and forget to return calls.
If I were you I'd ask your friend what's the best way of getting ahold of her. I have some friends who texting is the best way, others email, others phone. If she says texting, make that your communication line and text her when you need to get ahold of her. If your calling, emailing, texting etc. she may feel overwhelmed by you. Then let her know that when you text her (or whatever) you would really appreciate a quick message to say she got your text.
If she is still "lukewarm" maybe that's her feeling toward you. I guess you just have to accept people the way they are!
M.O. answers from Chicago on February 06, 2009
People have really busy lives...it does not mean they do not want to be your friend...For example, I take my son to OT, PT, and ST every week! A lot of people do not know that about my son. I have not even told my close friends. Something like that might be going on in your friend's life. Add to that running errands- tot classes- grocery shopping- house cleaning ect. It can get really crazy. I have a friend who wants to get together for a playdate every week and it can get really hard. Instead, I signed up for a tot class with her. It will get better in the summer when you are all out doors and you see your neighbor more. Also, sometimes- after all the crazy running around, personally, I just want to be alone with my son- and just have quiet time to play. (Maybe I am crazy). I have found that the best way to connect with people is through scheduled activities, meetup.com, and tot classes- I find that other people are just as busy as me- although, it doesn't mean we can't make friendships in that capacity. My husband also works 60 plus hours a week so a lot falls on me- and when he is home, I just want to be with him.
N.O. answers from Chicago on February 06, 2009
I agree with the other posts...if you have to put this much thought and effort in to being friends, you might want to rethink the relationship...you're either on the same page or you're not - I'd go about my days and stop trying to figure it out - it's nice you care so much, but if it isn't a strong relationship on it's own you can't make it one.
E.M. answers from Chicago on February 06, 2009
I was in the same situation. We moved here 2 years ago and this particular neighbor has 2 girl like I do. We met every week for a while, but I saw that she wouldn't be available to have playdates after that very often. I thought she was upset, but then after weeks she would call me to see if we can have a playdate. Even though I found other friends I always try to say yes if I can. But she is like a luke warm friend only. So I realized you can't be close friends with somebody who doesn't want that. If she had enough signs that you would like to be her friend, just let her go. This might be her answer to you. Maybe she doesn't want to be a close friend to you. Don't take it personally. I try not to. Look for friends somewhere else and you will find them. I did.