Am i over thinking things with him?
March 15, 2013 9:18 PM   Subscribe

Am i over thinking things with him, are we friends? Acquaintances? People that talk on occasion?

Before i get started with my question and talk about the details you need to know something. I have what i think is abandonment issues when it comes to being friends with someone or guys i start to like. I freak out if plans don't go right, they don't talk to me for a certain period of time and i assume the worst. I assume they don't want me as friend, which in some cases is silly.

Moving on i'm a 25/f and he is a 27/m. We've been friends or rather we've known each other through facebook/the internet for years just never really said much to each other besides the occasional FB comment. The beginning of January, he messages me on fb and we start talking and texting wondering why we never did before. After about a week of this we hung out for the first time and had a really good time.

A week or two goes by and ask him if he'd like to go with me to get ice cream or something. He ends up having to work over, but still wants to hang out afterwards. Everything was already closed by then and where i'm still living with my parents i can't just tell him to come over since they're trying to sleep;so we decided to raincheck.

He, like me has this problem where he doesn't know how to tell his boss "no, sorry i can't work over i have plans." So, you can imagine this happened 2-3 more times, all ending with him asking if we can still hang out and me saying no it's too late. We're both kind of to blame here, i assume he doesn't want to hang out with me, he probably thinks the same.

Anyway, we were supposed to hang out this past week but he got sick like sleeping for 15 hours a day really bad cold sick. So obviously that was out, but i messaged him on facebook because i freaked out over it thinking he didn't want me as a friend if he can't hang out with me. He's been on several times though, but didn't read it. So either a.)he never got it b.)he didn't see it or c.)he's ignoring me.

I haven't talked to him since last Thursday when he said he'd keep me updated about his work schedule so we can figure out when to hang out. To be honest i'm getting tired of this so i probably won't ask to hang out again unless i know yes we are indeed going to spend time together.

The texting lately has been kind of short as to what it used to be, long and lengthy. I just assumed, like me he probably just ran out of things to say after us texting A LOT the past 2 months. But, what if he just doesn't really want to talk to me?

Should i text him just to see how he is or would it be best to just wait and let him talk to me?

I'm not even really sure what i'm asking here. This situation is weird to me, because i know for now he just wants to be friends as he's inserted the word "friends" several times in conversation. I think it's just been a long time for me, so i don't really remember how often friends talk to each other or how often they do stuff.

Is all this normal for friends that have only really known each other for a few months? Am i making a big deal out of all this?
posted by earthquakeglue to Human Relations (21 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It sounds like you're internet friends that haven't quite made the jump to real life friends. It's a sticky spot to be in - it can be hard to go from "we can chat when I feel like it" to "I need to make time in my schedule for this person," and not all internet friendships make it.

It's complicated in this case by the fact that you definitely seem to have some hopes or at least ideas that it might be or become a romantic thing. Were I you, I'd drop that line of thought at least until y'all manage to meet in the flesh. (It's not clear if you never have or just haven't spent one-on-one time together - in either case my suggestion applies.)

It's also complicated by your (kind of heartbreaking) remark that it's been a long time for you - if you mean just in terms of friendships, it's probably time to try to broaden your friendship base and hang out with more people if at all possible. AskMe is full of good advice on making new friends, and having more people to make plans with makes the stress on any one set of plans a lot smaller. If you're talking about romantic stuff... well, see above. This relationship isn't there yet, at all, and looking too far forward will make you crazy.
posted by restless_nomad at 9:47 PM on March 15, 2013

Am i making a big deal out of all this?

Oh my God, yes. This is taking way too much energy. Being friends with someone isn't hard. This is hard. You're not a priority. Don't contact him again. You're acquaintances and there's no there there. Keep it facebook casual, the occasional like of a comment every once in a while.
posted by shoesietart at 9:48 PM on March 15, 2013 [5 favorites]

Sounds like a classic fade--he was interested, you hung out a few times, but for whatever reason it's not clicking so he's backing off, either because the lack of clicking is hard for him to identify (and therefore hard to explain to you) or because he just wants to think about it some more or because he just doesn't know how to end things gracefully. I'd let some time pass, a week or more, then if you're still feeling in limbo, you could reasonably reach out one more time, but I would not get my hopes up for a satisfactory response.

Sorry I don't have a more hopeful answer. It is a big deal to you, I know, and why wouldn't it be? But this not working out is not the end of the world--just something that didn't work out. It's disappointing, but if it helps, it's happened to everyone.
posted by elizeh at 9:49 PM on March 15, 2013 [3 favorites]

But, what if he just doesn't really want to talk to me?

Then you move on and can make new friends. Just keep telling yourself this.

Should i text him just to see how he is or would it be best to just wait and let him talk to me?

Absolutely. Don't rely entirely on FB to deliver your message. Check in with him. He might just be swamped and completely missed your initial message. It happens.

Is all this normal for friends that have only really known each other for a few months? Am i making a big deal out of all this?

Sure, like I said, it happens. People get busy. People prioritize work. It's up to you to decide how much energy to invest in him. But don't put all your friendship eggs in one basket. Diversify. Make friends and hang out with other people.

But be honest with him. Tell him you really would like to hang out with him, but you can't be out late and you can't really take another cancellation. If he is really into you, he'll make it happen. I mean, he doesn't work 7 days a week, right?
posted by inturnaround at 9:50 PM on March 15, 2013

You sent him a freak out message, and he hasn't responded? I like inturnaround's answer, but if it were me, I personally would not message him again. If I put forth effort, I want some back, to hell with excuses. In general, the sort of desperate tone of your post pains me. You're a young woman. I wish someone had shook me up when I was 25. I sat and obsessed about the silliest men. Don't sit around waiting for some Facebook dude who isn't rising up. At the very least, maybe you could devote some of this nervous energy to working out the issues you mention.
posted by amodelcitizen at 10:27 PM on March 15, 2013 [8 favorites]

If he wanted to be your friend, he would have made an effort to spend time with you. People have a way of making it happen, even if you're continents and many time zones away, especially at your age - you're both very much adults. He hasn't spent more time with you because he doesn't want to spend more time with you. Let it go.
posted by halogen at 10:52 PM on March 15, 2013 [3 favorites]

He sounds lame.

I'm sorry you got caught up. This isn't worth it.

It was over the second time he blew off plans. The sickness on top of the other excuses, btw, sounds like bullshit. Like, his pants are on fire liar bullshit.
posted by jbenben at 11:20 PM on March 15, 2013 [4 favorites]

One thing I've learned over the years, if a guy wants to see you and is worth your time, he will make the effort. I have been in this situation and cringe at having bothered with those dudes. I thought they were just being a bit elusive when they were really just stringing me along.

I'm with jbenben, the sickness and having to cancel plans for work 2-3 times smacks of bullshit. Bottom line, you deserve someone who jumps at the chance to get together with you. Settle for no less!
posted by futureisunwritten at 12:53 AM on March 16, 2013 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: To answer everyone's questions so far, yes we have hung out together one time just the two of us. I thought it went well enough for the first time, but that was back towards the middle of January.

When i say it's been awhile i mean friendship. I have a best friend but she lives 5-6 hours away so i rarely get to talk to her anymore. Plus i keep comparing everyone to her so it's hard to meet people.

And yes, at first i thought maybe this could lead to a romantic type thing but now i'd rather just have a friend. I'm not ready for a relationship, my self esteem is shot, and i just don't like myself too much right now. I'd like to check on him, but i feel like i need some time to myself first to figure things out.

And he actually was in fact sick, he didn't tell me he was i found out through his facebook update. He also never saw my freakout message, so that's good i guess. And no, he doesn't work 7 days a week but he does work 2 jobs and helps local bands design t-shirts and album covers on the side.
posted by earthquakeglue at 6:25 AM on March 16, 2013

Yeah, none of the follow-up information you've added changes my opinion any that you've been getting the right advice.

no matter what kind of relationship you have the guy, or WANT with the guy, you still have the basic fact that - you're putting forth all the effort and he's all "whatever" about contacting you. And that's not fair to you, so fuck him. Go find people that will actively want to hang out with you.

His loss.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:06 AM on March 16, 2013 [2 favorites]

I'm a person who has a hard time making friends and often used to do that thing of "oh I won't bother him/her, I don't want to be annoying" which morphed into "s/he hasn't contacted me in a while, why don't they want to be friends with me/what's wrong with me/I hate everyone!" so I can relate. But I'd not bother initiating any more contact with this guy as he doesn't really sound like he's interested in being friends, for whatever reason. (And all the "can we hang out even though it's late" comes across as rather hook-up-y, but maybe I'm just being cynical.)

But honestly, since I worked on not doing that kind of thinking I mentioned above, I've been a lot happier and enjoy my friendships a lot more, too. Maybe instead of focusing so much on whether this dude is or wants to be your friend or not, you should work on your meeting (and not comparing them to your bestie) folks and appropriately managing your expectations/emotions with those folks.
posted by sm1tten at 11:20 AM on March 16, 2013

Response by poster: Him asking was late because thats when he got off, we have hung out early before.

What confuses me is why he started talking to me in the first place if he doesn't want to be friends with me.

I guess i'll just go about my business and if he tries talking again great.

Also, how did you get yourself to stop thinking that way?
posted by earthquakeglue at 11:39 AM on March 16, 2013

Maybe think of it as a failure to launch, not a failure in the dynamics between the two of you. You were starting to have a friendship, but life can sometimes get in the way. Things come up, stress at work, etc. The budding friendship gets put on the back burner, then, because life got in the way, it stays on the back burner. When this happens, friends that are already established and long term tend to get priority for the limited time he has available. It's not personal, it's just that it wasn't the right time and place in his life.

I have a friend who I am very close to now. But I have to say, it took about 10 years for us to launch.
posted by Vaike at 3:31 PM on March 16, 2013

Response by poster: @vaike: Why did it take so long to start up your friendship (hope i'm not being nosy)?

Would it do any good to reach out every so often just to see how he is?
posted by earthquakeglue at 5:02 PM on March 16, 2013

Would it do any good to reach out every so often just to see how he is?

If you want to.

Okay, no one is saying that you have to give up talking to him ever again; it's just, like, there's a balance you need to find between "I want to reach out to him every now and then to keep in contact" and "I feel bad when I reach out again and again and he never calls me back". There are friends who don't really keep in touch with me every week when I try, but every couple months, sure, they respond. Or, at least, I feel okay reaching out every couple months whether they respond or not.

But right now, you're reaching out to him a lot and he's not responding and you feel crappy as a result. On the other hand, it sounds like you're not ready to cut him out, so maybe just....less often.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:56 PM on March 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you! I think i'll try and figure out what the right amount of contact is with him.
posted by earthquakeglue at 6:17 AM on March 17, 2013

Just so long as you go by what you feel when it comes to what "the right amount" is. I'm just afraid you're going to be back in here asking us "should it be once a week? Twice? Am I giving him enough time to respond?...." when the point that we're trying to say is "what do YOU feel is right. What's the amount that YOU feel is being fair to him, while at the same time being fair to you."

It's whatever YOU feel comfortable with, is the point.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:39 AM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Also, how did you get yourself to stop thinking that way?
Short version: I worked on not over-investing and not over-thinking every interaction. Obviously that's easier said than done.

I try to avoid making assumptions that are negative about myself. If someone doesn't text me back, I assume that they are busy, not that they dislike me, etc. I pay attention to reciprocity - am I doing all the heavy lifting, and there's no discernible reason why? At the point where trying to maintain a friendship or contact with someone stops feeling good (like repeatedly being blown off or not getting a response to initiated contact, which hurts my feelings) I stop doing it.
posted by sm1tten at 9:30 AM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: For now, i'm just commenting on his fb when i have something to say. I really hope i won't have to come back and ask this again. It gets tiring, wondering if its the right amount or if i'm annoying them.

I may just take a break from texting until i can decide what the right amount is. I feel like i need to figure things out anyway.

@sn1tten: I have tried doing all that and it works for awhile, but then i just end up going back to thinking that way again.
posted by earthquakeglue at 11:04 AM on March 17, 2013

In my case with this particular friend, we would run into each other for years at parties, etc. Each time we did, we kept agreeing that we really should get together (she even invited me to her wedding because of our potential future friendship). But then I'd leave the party, I'd wake up the next morning and realize by going out all night, I didn't do the work I was supposed to the day before. Then it would be Monday and I would have deadlines. Then I would be tired. Then I would realize I didn't have her number. Then I would forget to ask a friend for her number. Then a different friend would invite me to a different party the next weekend. Then I would get in a fight with my boyfriend, have to take the dog to the vet and do my taxes, start a new business, etc. She did the same. We finally became actual friends. How did that happen? I needed a place to stay when I was in her city and someone told me she had a place available. We had no other choice but to finally hang out (as we did our taxes, start businesses, take care of our pets, go to work, be tired, have deadlines, etc.).

Point being, that as adults we lead really full lives and creating new space for new people can be tricky sometimes.

Are you branching out and trying to make friends with other people? Think of it as having many irons in the fire. The more you have the more chances you have to have a successful friendship.
posted by Vaike at 11:38 AM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I hope that's all it is, he's just seemed so busy and not around much the past 2 weeeks or so.

I can understand not having time and, feeling like it's just easier to not worry about trying to hang out with someone new. Maybe his load will lighten at some point.

It's kind of hard for me to make friends where i'm awkward and shy. Even harder because where i work noone is really near my age.
posted by earthquakeglue at 12:23 PM on March 17, 2013

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