Why have I not heard back?
September 2, 2010 2:50 PM   Subscribe

How much more effort do I put in before giving up (relationship advice)?

A little background:

A few weeks ago, a friend from a few years ago who I had fallen out of touch with messaged me over Facebook about getting together. I responded and said that I would message back when I found a good time. Last Thursday I sent a message saying we should get together on the following Monday. Friend got back to me and said that they thought they might be busy that day, but that they'd contact me when they found out.

Fast forward to Tuesday. I hadn't heard back, so we didn't get together on Monday (obviously). I sent Friend another message saying I was available Friday. I still haven't heard back, and I'm starting to wonder what's going on.

If this was somebody who I'd called up and who wasn't returning my calls, I'd chalk it up to them not being interested in getting together, but I was the one that was initially contacted. I also know that this friend hasn't been in any sort of accident (they've updated their facebook since I've messaged them). This is somebody who I really liked and felt a real connection with. What else can I do? How much more effort do I put into contacting them?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (21 answers total)
One more effort.
posted by DMelanogaster at 2:53 PM on September 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

I personally wouldn't contact them again, at least not right now. You've made it clear you're interested so the ball is in their court. Even though they initiated contact with you, you still don't want to seem overly eager or desperate.
posted by cdg7707 at 3:05 PM on September 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

My rule is three times. I would send another message asking if they are available Friday and if not to let you know when they're free. After that if they don't get back it's their loss.
posted by IanMorr at 3:06 PM on September 2, 2010

It depends on how badly you want to be (current) friends with someone who doesn't appear to be putting in a whole lot of effort themselves, now that the initial buzz of reconnecting is over.

Do you want to always be the one chasing and waiting for a response?
posted by malibustacey9999 at 3:07 PM on September 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

It took you a few weeks to complete your response to friend (I realize your inital response was probably prompt.) Perhaps friend interpreted that as a lack of interest, perhaps not. But it doesn't seem unreasonable to wait a little longer. More effort? Maybe not right away, but why give up right away, either?
posted by TruncatedTiller at 3:10 PM on September 2, 2010 [2 favorites]

updating my status on FB, or Twitter for that matter, takes seconds. Looking at a calendar and confirming that I'm going to be available is another story. Granted, I would generally write back and say "let me confirm" or something to let the other person know.

But generally I don't take these things personally. I just chalk them up to "life" and wait to hear from someone.
posted by FlamingBore at 3:11 PM on September 2, 2010 [3 favorites]

I'd wait to hear from them. They already know you're interested in seeing them, and you were the last one to try to make plans. Plus, if you call them now and they can't name a time or they don't get back to you, you're going to be justifiedly irritated. Let it lie and see if they call you.
posted by wryly at 3:17 PM on September 2, 2010

The same exact thing happened to me a few years, and I just dropped it. Still haven't hung out with the friend, even though we live in the same city. Oh well.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:24 PM on September 2, 2010

Shrug it off, you'll be right.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:37 PM on September 2, 2010

Why bother? If really wanted to meet, then would get back one way or another.
posted by Postroad at 3:45 PM on September 2, 2010

I'd give it one more try. This person may find it really difficult to schedule things due to a job, family situation, etc. While I try hard to set time aside to see my friends, it can sometimes be difficult to do on short notice. Try to actually set a date rather than a one-sided "how about Monday", by giving a couple of alternate days/times two weeks in advance so you can set it and plan on it.
posted by Sukey Says at 4:40 PM on September 2, 2010

If you're using Facebook to do the actual messaging, they may not check Facebook as often as you do. Also if you're writing on their wall (as opposed to actually sending a message) they may not see it if they don't use the profile view very often. I've had both of these situations crop up lately.
posted by doctor_negative at 4:47 PM on September 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

Some people are just rubbish at arranging things (myself included). Give them the benefit of the doubt - they would not have contacted you if they didn't like you. But don't get hung up on it, if you can help it.

I would feel very much the same in your situation. I am sensitive and feel the sting of neglect very easily. But as a complete scatterbrain, I also know how easy it is to do this to people.
posted by marmaduke_yaverland at 5:07 PM on September 2, 2010

If I'm reading it right, they haven't responded to two of your messages in a row. I'd leave the ball in their court.
posted by blueblueblue at 5:19 PM on September 2, 2010

This is my take: Wait it out a bit. Let them get back to you (they might really want to contact you and get together, but be slow at getting such things organized). If you contact them again it might set off a whole thing that procratinators put themselves through (silly, yes, but very real), and then they'll never get together with you because of all the guilt-weirdness (theirs) and feeling rushed. I know it sounds totally ridiculous, but this is what happens to me sometimes. As well, as people have said, the ball is in their court.
posted by marimeko at 5:28 PM on September 2, 2010

I'm a little confused -- is this a potential romantic relationship, or just an old friend? For sake of argument, let's say there's a romantic interest for both parties.

So, this person got in touch with you, expressed his interest in getting back in touch, and you said you'd get back when you had some time. Then you didn't write back for several weeks. If I were this person, I would interpret that to mean that you weren't especially interested, so I'd ratchet down my own eagerness to get back in touch with you. But if you showed me that you were really were just busy and now your schedule is clear and you want to get in touch with me, and you showed me this by going out of your way to try to get in touch with me -- like by finding my number somehow and calling me and being excited to set something up very soon -- I would bounce right back.

Of course, there's also a chance that this person has met someone else in the last few weeks. Honestly, I think both of these possibilities are equally plausible, so I'd say just try to contact this person one more time, two at the most. If they still don't get back to you, they're no longer interested, for whatever reason.
posted by roscopcoletrane at 6:38 PM on September 2, 2010

Have you tried proposing an activity rather than a specific day? Let them know you'd enjoy seeing a movie with them, or dining out with them, or doing some outdoor activity. If you just give them a time slot, it can feel impersonal.
posted by germdisco at 9:41 PM on September 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

Is this someone you are interested in romantically?
I would lean towards they are not interested. Not saying they aren't... but I would lean that way.

As for friends - that's just the way it is sometimes. Especially when you get older. People have families, wives, houses, jobs - or, if younger, they have college/studying/internships.

I am a person who is not good at making/keeping plans. If an old friend of mine said, "we should hang out", I would probably be like, "yeah alright, how about next Friday". this especially happens when I'm out at a party or bar (where alcohol is involved).
My friends are all this way pretty much. So, I guess we're all used to each other doing stuff like this.

It's much easier to convince people to meet up if there's a set plan, like an event or party.
Maybe you should give it one more chance but come up with something to do first. Otherwise, people tend not to take it seriously and just think it's chat talk.
posted by KogeLiz at 6:22 AM on September 3, 2010

"Hey, we've been missing each other. Getting together was your idea, but I still think it's a good idea. I'm available (free times). Tag, you're it if you still want to get together."

And leave it at that.
posted by cross_impact at 6:33 AM on September 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

Honestly, I find communicating via Facebook such a pain. Why not just give them your phone number and have them call you? You can then both look at your calendars there and then and figure this out. It's not rocket science.
posted by Dragonness at 8:06 AM on September 3, 2010

OH please forget about it NOW. delete him as a friend on Fb, ASAP Read my threads and questions and questions, you'll save yourself a heart ache with this type of flakes.

If I had ignored and let go the bastard who from the beggining showed not real commitment and respect after I contacted him I had not been hurt so badly...

Listen to me, forget about him and move on.
posted by zulo at 3:16 PM on September 3, 2010

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