Why did my friend stop talking?
August 25, 2012 7:27 PM   Subscribe

Why do friends sometimes stop talking to you for no reason?

I have a guy friend that i was talking to everyday almost for the past 4 months up until now. I'm 25 and he's 20. We've known each other 2 years prior to this but never talked much.

At first yeah, i think we liked each other as a little more than friends with the constant flirting. But i think it gradually turned into this just friends that like talking all the time (we both thought it was a little strange us talking this much to each other, but i think we both enjoyed it).

We never hung out (it never got past the we should hang out conversation) which was fine by me, i just enjoyed his company and having someone to talk to all the time.

Over the course of the past 2 weeks or so it gradually became less and less. Until this week where i've not heard from him since Monday.

I don't think i said anything i normally shouldn't have, because i guess in a way he's still around since he's commenting or "liking" stuff i post on facebook (not that that really means anything).

A few people i've talked to have told me i should tell him i miss talking to him, or ask him if he's okay but i just don't feel comfortable doing that at all. I'd feel pushy, and annoying if i did. I'd rather him contact me next since i sent the last message.

I've had similar experiences and i got over them, but in comparison they never felt like this. It's waking me up at night sometimes, and i'm taking my anger out on everyone because of it :/

I'm sure none of you know why he stopped talking, it's anyones guess. I'd just like to know if theres anything i could do. Or if any of you have gone through something similar in the past?

posted by ohtimorousme to Human Relations (20 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Well, you already know the something you could do - ask him what's up. I don't see what is "pushy and annoying" about simply reaching out and saying, "yo, it feels like you suddenly have stopped talking to me altogether. Did I do something to piss you off or are you just really busy all of a sudden?"

"pushy and annoying" would be if you did that every other day for about two weeks or something (which I have done, and yeah it wasn't smart), but just the once should be no problem at all. In fact, if he DOES think it's pushy of you, then he's got too many issues anyway.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:33 PM on August 25, 2012 [3 favorites]

You stopped talking to him. It wasn't for no reason. The reason is that you contacted him last and didn't want to seem pushy and annoying. Well, that's almost for no reason, when you think about it. So why not call him?
posted by Obscure Reference at 7:38 PM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]

I have a couple of male friends who are sweet people who often call me (or chat on facebook). Lovely guys. Interesting. Nice. Some early flirtation but not so much now. I find myself avoiding their calls or not replying in detail on FB because as much as I like them both, I just can't give them that amount of time and do the other things I want to do (eg build relationships with friends who will go out/visit with me, work, study, romance, family).

I'd be happiest if it was just a once in a while sort of thing, but I know they both get hurt when I'm not responsive. There is nothing wrong with either of these guys, I would be happy to introduce them to people I like and respect.
posted by b33j at 7:39 PM on August 25, 2012

@Obscure Reference: How do you mean i stopped talking to him?
posted by ohtimorousme at 7:41 PM on August 25, 2012

Conversation is a two way street. If you haven't heard from him, then he has also not heard from you. Therefore, if you think that he has stopped talking to you, then he might think the same of you. Think about it, in a normal conversation, it doesn't go: you talk, I talk, you talk, I talk. Just because you were the last person to call doesn't mean you have to wait for him to call before you initiate contact. Just call him and say, "what's up?" and go from there. You don't even have to mention that you haven't heard from him in a while.
posted by patheral at 7:45 PM on August 25, 2012 [7 favorites]

More than likely, he's distracted or busy with something else. Maybe this could be a conversation starter - what's new?

I'd rather him contact me next since i sent the last message.

If you want to talk to him, talk to him; if you don't, don't.
posted by heyjude at 7:46 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yeah... this is one of those situations where you are going to have to go ahead and ask him. Literally there are DOZENS upon dozens of reasons why you haven't heard from him but no one is going to know except him. Things come up. Sometimes a bunch of things come up at the same time*. Personally, if I am busy I might only have a quick minute or two to comment or "like" a post randomly throughout the day, but not enough time to commit to chatting to someone for a significant period of time.

*colleges are starting up again this week, that could be one reason if he goes to college
posted by littlesq at 7:47 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

there could be many reasons, it's true, but in my life I find when friends stop talking as much to me it's often because they have found someone else (or maybe something else) to give them the emotional support or affection that I was previously giving them. Maybe his needs changed slightly, or he met another friend who he hangs out with that is taking up more of his time, or he's doing an activity that is taking up his interest.

Whatever it is, by the description of your reactions you sound really emotionally invested, which I totally get. Based on my own previous experiences, it does nothing to wallow in this. Use this time to build up new friendships, acquaintence-ships, and/or interests and activities. At some point this guy will come back into your life to some capacity or at the very least you will eventually find out what happened, organically (or there will be some organic conclusion). By that time if you have made one or two new friends or started practicing yoga, or something, you will be less invested and more accepting. You might also find that there are other things out there that meet your emotional needs better than this guy has been.
posted by bearette at 7:58 PM on August 25, 2012 [3 favorites]

I'd rather him contact me next since i sent the last message.

If two people follow this rule, and one of them forgets who sent the last message, or accidentally deleted it, or it got lost somehow, or someone else used their account and deleted it, or someone loses their phone and misses a few texts -- well, then the two of you will never speak again.

Just drop him a line already.
posted by yohko at 7:59 PM on August 25, 2012 [15 favorites]

PS- the other reason that friends have stopped speaking to me is if I've offended them. However, if that's the case, it's usually clear. Don't obsess over how you may have offended this guy because I doubt that's the case here.
posted by bearette at 8:00 PM on August 25, 2012

If two people follow this rule, and one of them forgets who sent the last message, or accidentally deleted it, or it got lost somehow, or someone else used their account and deleted it, or someone loses their phone and misses a few texts -- well, then the two of you will never speak again.

yes, that's true and makes sense logically, but the thing is two people rarely follow this rule at the same time unless the friendship really is not that important; or in rare cases where it's better for the people not to talk because they need space. if there has previously been steady contact and someone stops, there's usually some kind of reason behind that.
posted by bearette at 8:03 PM on August 25, 2012 [3 favorites]

I have been on the other end of this before. For me, it's not intentional or caused by the other person doing/saying something I didn't like. I've never thought about it before, but maybe the effort to generate conversation equal to or better than the previous conversation is more than I am willing to invest. I probably still like the person and would communicate in the future, but for me, it's just really difficult to maintain a tremendously involved level of communication for a long period of time. I don't particularly like small talk, which sometimes is all that's left after the big bases have been covered.

That's not to say I don't respond when the other person initiates conversation. I might not be the one to keep the ball rolling but I personally wouldn't be rude or standoffish if the other person contacted me and wanted to talk. There comes a point for me where if something exciting happens and I want to share it, then I will. But I would never call someone if I didn't have something interesting to say.

So my suggestion would be to yes, contact him again, and if you get brushed off in an obvious manner then move on. If not, he's probably just like me...
posted by thorny at 8:15 PM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]

If he's still commenting and liking on Facebook, he's not trying to avoid you or anything. I'd just send him a "hey what's new?" text. If he didn't reply to that I'd feel entitled to be like "how are you doing man, are things cool?" but I have a feeling he's just busy and he'll reply.
posted by stoneandstar at 8:32 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

"We never hung out"

Wait, have you never met this guy in person? Have you only talked/texted on the phone? I'm confused.

Maybe he just felt whatever friendship you guys had was fizzling, and he let it continue to fizzle, as you have as well (as others have noted).
posted by lewedswiver at 8:41 PM on August 25, 2012

Yes, we know each other in real life. We met two years ago and we'd hang out in groups sometimes with him there.
posted by ohtimorousme at 8:43 PM on August 25, 2012

There's no way to answer this question accurately, there are too many possibilities, and some of them are diametrically opposed to one another.

For example:
1. He stopped talking to you because he realized he was falling in love with you and he thought that you did not feel the same way, and so he wanted to spare himself the heartache of having constant communication with you.
2. He stopped talking to you because he met a girl and is falling in love with her, and he realized that it might seem inappropriate if he was constantly on the phone with someone else (or he is so caught up in his new crush that he doesn't even realize that he is ignoring you).

Either one of these is a possibility, but the situations are 180 degrees different from one another. You might well ask "if he was falling in love with me, why didn't he tell me?" or "if he met someone else, why didn't he tell me?" Maybe because he's avoiding the straightforward approach just like you are? Seriously - you should just give him a ring.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 9:32 PM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]

True. Though neither one of us ever spoke of or mentioned other girls/guys to one another. Still, i suppose thats a possibility that he met someone at work or somewhere.

But i'll see about getting in touch with him tomorrow since its late here.
posted by ohtimorousme at 9:58 PM on August 25, 2012

I dunno, this happens with me all the time.

1. You're super excited about talking to someone and talk to them all the time, think about talking to them when you're not, squee about how much fun they are to talk to, etc. Sometimes it's flirtatious sometimes it's not but it's usually got to do with wow this person is so cool feelings on some level. You totally put aside or forget about all the other stuff you usually do (or maybe the friendship flourished so strongly because some other thing has been put on hold and you now have a ton of free time to fill - e.g., summer vacation being a break from college).

2. You start getting busy with other things or people. You can't run home to call them right away 'cause you've got this other thing planned and then when the other thing is over it's late, or you forgot (any sort of disruption to routine can make you forget to do things that are habitual).

As far as i'm concerned this kind of 'talk every day for hours' relationship is always ephemeral. It's fun and exciting but it's just not sustainable in the long run. You can only put the rest of your life on hold for so long.
posted by Lady Li at 11:10 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yeah, that's also super true. Even best friends can't talk all day every day once they start to find husbands and wives and invest more of themselves into different activities. (And emotionally intense relationships, especially those that have the potential for romance but aren't heading there, are often seen as a kind of time sink, where a romantic relationship would not be.)
posted by stoneandstar at 3:18 AM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

What did I mean? When you say someone has stopped talking to you, it usually means they are avoiding you, refuse to respond to you, or that they are giving you the cold shoulder. But this guy hasn't cut off contact with you. He just doesn't call you. Similarly, you don't call him. But you're not avoiding him. The only way your situation differs from his is that: "It's his turn."

That's what I meant.
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:39 AM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

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