Why is my friend warm and affectionate in person, but very evasive when it comes to keeping in touch? How do I get over this?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (27 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I am an American female, and have a guy friend I made while studying abroad. We got along great and used to spend hours and hours, several times a week, just talking about anything and everything, including personal stuff. He's a popular, warm, and outgoing guy, and I deeloped a crush on him. He said he did not return the feelings, and I became very conflicted about maintaining the friendship, but he seemed adamant about staying friends, and continued being as close and friendly as possible. He would initiate contact just as often as I would, and we always hung out alone, talking and talking.
I went back to America, and we kept in touch frequently, talking twice a week, for hours and hours. We did this for several months, and then he started to become unavailable, usually not responding to messages and calls. I sent him an email telling him I was coming back to his country to work for the summer, and he told me he never got it. It was hard to get in touch with him after that and I felt really frustrated, as I thought he'd be excited to see me- he often talked about me coming to his country again. I finally got in touch with him after he sent me messages when I joined a social networking site, and he expressed excitement at coming to see me at the airport when I had a layover in his city. We sent several excited messages back and forth, and when I got to the airport, he came to meet me and we talked non-stop for the 4 hours I was in the airport.
My job was in another city, relatively far from the city where he met me. I was working in the city where we both went to school, and he told me he'd be there the next week to go to the graduation ceremony, because his girlfriend was graduating. I waited for him to contact me, but finally messaged him when he didn't, and he met me. We had a great talk as usual, and then went to hang out with another classmate (another guy, and American). Upon seeing me, that guy hugged me. Later, he left the room, and my good friend (non-American) said to me, "I noticed [other classmate] hugged you when he saw you. I want to give you a hug too." I said okay, and he gave me a big hug, then told me I should initiate it next time. He told me he wanted to give me a hug in the airport, but didn't want to embarassas me. Hugs between people who aren't dating, or even hugs in public, are rare in his country.
He walked me back to my room, and told me he'd give me a call before he left and we could go out again before he returned to his city. So I waited for him to call, except that he never did until right before he was leaving, and I didn't have time to say goodbye (i got the message at like 11 pm).
After he returned to his city, I hardly heard from him at all. I called him once, he didn't answer, then later sent me a text message asking me what was up. I wrote back, "just saying hi", and he never replied.
Later, I went to his city for work, for a few days, and he met me at my hotel one night. He hugged me upon seeing me, and then we went for a walk, and talked and talked as usual. He was extremely attentive and warm. He said he was lucky to spend time with me. He hugged me when he left, too, and expressed interest in seeing me again if there was time. However later he said he didn't have time.
I got back to the city where I was working, and he proved to be hard to reach- never intitively calling me and sometimes not responding to my messages. I asked him for some advice about a guy I had started dating, from this country, and we talked on the phone for over an hour. He was very attentive and gave me great advice, and listened carefully. However, it was so hard to reach him. I called him and sent a message, and no answer. Finally I called him again, and he said he never got the other call or message, and seemed surprised.
A week or so later, I sent him a text message- no response. A day or two after that, I called him- no answer. A couple days later I sent a text asking him if he got my call/message- he wrote, "I didn't get them! Not either one!" (this is translated from his language).
It seems pretty clear to me that he is being evasive- possibly not completely consciously, but evasive nonetheless. I really don't want to have a friendship with someone where I have to make all the initiative. The thing is, he really meant a lot to me, and when we talk/spend time together, he is so attentive and warm, and everything seems perfect. We never run out of things to talk about, and seem so close and affectionate. We talk about personal topics and give each other advice. But these days, when we are apart, he seems to make NO effort at keeping in touch, and I feel fed up and confused my his behavior. I actually want to stop calling him, but I can't seem to! (I have inadvertantly memorized his cell phone number).
I'd really like some advice about why his actions are so confusing, and also how I can stop contacting him. It really makes me crazy. It also makes me very sad, when I think about all those conversations we had with excitement about being able to see one another again. When I left his country, we weren't sure when we'd see each other again and he wrote a few emails to me expressing sadness and regret.
Maybe he has just moved on from the friendship, emotionally?
Thank you in advance!