Why am I the only one keeping in touch?
September 8, 2010 7:04 PM Subscribe
How do I deal with a close friend who doesn't put in effort anymore in terms of keeping in touch?
posted by bearette to Human Relations (39 answers total) 49 users marked this as a favorite
I have a close friend who I met when we lived nearby. During that time, she initiated contact at least as often as I did. We spent hours every week hanging out together, went traveling together, etc.
Fast forward...for several months after moving away from each other we kept in touch with phone calls a few times a week, lasting for hours each time. The phone call ritual (we had certain days we would call) was suggested by her. We'd talk about everything, laughing, and also discussing personal matters. I looked forward to those conversation every week, especially since I didn't have many local, close friends (I guess that's key).
Fast forward more...I moved closer to where she lives, but still not that close. These days, I am the only one to initiate contact. However, when we talk, we both go on for hours as before, laughing, crying, having inside jokes, etc. She gives me wonderful advice and is 100% present during the conversation. Last night we talked (I called of course) and she talked about me coming to visit, and things we could do then. I was also telling her about an ex-boyfriend who seemed to have disappeared off the face of the earth, and that I was worried about him. She said, "There's no point in contacting someone who doesn't want to hear from you." At that point I said, "is that how you feel towards me? Because I feel that I'm the only one making an effort in our friendship. Since you never contact me intitiatively anymore, I never am sure you want to talk before I call."
She replied that I was taking what she said too literally. She said she doesn't stay in touch with people out of laziness. I said that if I didn't call her for a year, I might not hear from her. She replied that was probably true. She said she has the "out of sight, out of mind", mentality and is very concerned with her job and making money now, building a future.
It hurt me a lot to hear that, and also made me angry. I don't understand how she could give up our friendship and why the responsibility of keeping in contact is on me. It makes me feel bad. At the same time I don't want this person out of my life. I feel great whenever we talk/spend time together.
I'd really like advice on how to change my thinking as well as the balance of our relationship. How do I get to the point where I can enjoy this person's company but not get caught up in feeling hurt about these issues? Even better, is there a way I can get her to put in the effort? I was thinking of just not contacting her until she contacts me (even if that's never). I sort of feel that because I have taken up the task of keeping in touch, she can be "lazy" about it. I don't feel that it's an issue of her not liking me, as she often makes affectionate comments, hugs me, and it's clear that when we talk, we have a great time. So any advice on how I can change my focus?