Long Distance Conflicts
December 19, 2004 6:08 PM   Subscribe

My best friend, who lives about 300 miles away from me, and I had made plans to get together for Christmas, along with our other best friend, for whom I paid 600 bucks to fly out here so we all could be together. Now 300-mile away best friend has e-mailed me with a weak excuse and cancelled his visit here. I know he's not adjusting well to his new home, and seems to be isolating himself from everyone, including me. I'm hurt and angry. How best to address this situation?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (7 answers total)
You respect his right to govern his social life, you give him the benefit of doubt that some genuine predicament (emotional or otherwise) is holding him back, and you realize that spending $600 dollars on a plane ticket doesn't buy you a right to govern his life. You're understandably upset, because you spent a shitload of money making this work and it seems like it won't -- so feel free to express your disappointment to him. Not much else you can do.
posted by ori at 6:17 PM on December 19, 2004

Cancelling at the last moment could be a childish ploy to get attention. Depression alters people's thoughts. He may be thinking "they don't really want me there, they'll have more fun without me, I'll tell them I won't come, and if they don't protest, I know I'm right." This is pure speculation. In a similar situation on a smaller scale (depressed friend announced he wouldn't come to a birthday party other friends and I had gone to great lengths to put together for him), we just responded with "We'll miss you. We want you to come." And he eventually changed his mind. Just continue with plans as if this guy is going to come. Have a good time with your other friend. Hopefully pouty friend will come around. If he doesn't, I wouldn't make a big deal about it. Let some time pass, and then see about paying him a visit. Good luck.
posted by bonheur at 6:50 PM on December 19, 2004

Tell 300-mile friend you're disappointed that he's not going to be coming, and you really wish he could make it.

If he doesn't come, have fun with $600 friend. It's really that simple--you can't make 300-mile friend come if he doesn't want to, and it would be stupid to ruin your time with $600 friend over your disappointment.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:52 PM on December 19, 2004

Your friend sounds like s/he might be depressed, and people who are depressed are notorious for canceling out on social engagements. Please try not to take it personally, and let your friend know you'd really like the chance to reconnect with him/her in person, and that it's been too long since you've seen one another, and that you are really hoping to have fun together.

Also, any chance there is some jealousy here? Did your depressed best friend think it was going to be just the two of you reconnecting, and then you facilitated Best Friend #2's trip, too, by paying for it? You paid $600 for best friend #2, and #1 now feels like #0? Maybe your depressed best friend thinks you don't really need him or her to come anymore for you to have a good time. (I know they shouldn't interpret it that way, but if they're depressed they might be a little fragile.)
posted by Go, now. Go! at 7:39 PM on December 19, 2004

I've been, somwhat, in the situation of the 300 mile friend. There's something wrong. Call, let 300 mile friend know how much you guys want to see him for christmas. If 300m. friend says no, just let him know that he door is open and you guys want to visit with them.
posted by damnitkage at 8:37 PM on December 19, 2004

He may be thinking "they don't really want me there, they'll have more fun without me, I'll tell them I won't come, and if they don't protest, I know I'm right."

Just as likely he's thinking "I really don't want to go this."
Depression is stressful, and there's nothing more stress-inducing than being stuck someplace for a week.

Please don't take it personally, but don't think that he really wants to go.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 2:33 AM on December 20, 2004

The truth may be He's just not that into you.
posted by sageleaf at 6:22 AM on December 20, 2004

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