What should I do about this friend who has cut me off?
March 26, 2013 8:28 AM   Subscribe

What should I do about a friend who has apparently cut me off for no reason. We are both in our late 20's/early 30's.

Meg and I have been friends for about 2 years. I met her through a mutual friend and we have been close since then. I've confided in her a lot about my past and she to me- we've been there for each other through failed relationships. We talk almost every day, sometimes just short chats on the computer about nothing in particular, other times, more meaningful conversations when we need to cry, vent, or just feeling anxious.

Meg doesn't come out and socialize very often, but we share a lot of mutual friends. We were going to hang out two weekends ago, but something came up (for me). I rarely cancel plans and I knew several of our mutual friends would see her, so I called her and left her a voicemail that I wasn't going to make it. I didn't think too much of it, because she has canceled on me numerous times. I never heard back. I texted to ask how a date went that she went on that same weekend and she never responded. I emailed her a couple days later to ask if everything was okay and never heard back, although I see her posting on FB and whatnot.

I know she does this- pushes people away, but I'm not sure how to approach it. I'm starting to wonder if she's the kind of person who likes to drop people and move to someone else. I'm just so hurt and angry that someone I considered a good friend could just cut me off- especially when she witnessed my sadness when my ex boyfriend, the one I considered the love of my life, did the same thing. I'm starting to even see similarities between her and my ex- passive aggressiveness, etc.

If I've upset her for some reason, I would hope that she cherished my friendship enough to call or message me and let me know, but that's not happening and it's been two weeks. Is this one of those things that I just have to accept, let go and move on? We are also supposed to be going on a trip together in a month that I've bought a plane ticket for. I feel very angry at her right now for being this way.

Even if she does try and reconnect, the sudden cut-off really hurts and I'm not sure I could trust her again.

Thanks for any advice.
posted by Butterflye1010 to Human Relations (35 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Why not just give her her space and let her call back if and when she wants to?
posted by discopolo at 8:36 AM on March 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


Also, I feel like you're being too demanding because you need her to fill some loneliness you have.

You have to not be demanding of your friends. People get busy. Maybe she feels like you're too clingy and dependent on her and she's tired and needs to recharge.

Be patient with your cherished friends. Everybody has their stuff.
posted by discopolo at 8:41 AM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


The only thing you can do is ask her if everything is ok and wait for an answer. If there is no answer, that is your answer. If it still bothers you, ask her again after some time has passed. I think when someone drops another person like this (when it is clear that that is what has happened - which, unfortunately, takes some time to determine) the only thing you can do is move on. It's not necessarily fair to you that she handles things this way, but there is nothing you can do about it if she doesn't want to talk to you. (I'm sorry you are going through this).
posted by marimeko at 8:48 AM on March 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


It seems like you're very, very emotionally invested in this friendship. This isn't necessarily a problem, but it's very possible that she just isn't on the same wavelength. The fact that you're comparing her to your ex is a warning sign - friendships don't typically work the same way as relationships, and not responding to a text/email isn't really a huge deal.

Meg might not even know that you think she's blowing you off. There are certainly times when I need to take a break from talking to friends every day, and if they accused me of trying to cut them out of my life, and even stated that they can't trust me again (after two weeks!) - well, I probably would cut them out of my life after that.

In other words: relax. If she's intentionally blowing you off, then that sucks, but chasing after her probably won't make her want to respond. If she isn't, then chasing her and demanding an explanation will more than likely freak her out.
posted by littlegreen at 8:52 AM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


I suspect she's the sort of person who "drops people and moves on to someone else," as you put it.

Stick a fork in this relationship - it's done.
posted by Anima Mundi at 8:54 AM on March 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


I can be flaky getting back to people sometimes. I find that when they continue to ping me, I either get annoyed or overwhelmed, and this tendency is exacerbated.

For instance, if you email me on Monday, I'll think, "okay I should get back to them by Wednesday." If you email me again on Tuesday, then my clock resets and I think, "okay, I'll write back by this weekend." And if you've texted and Facebooked me, too, then I start to wonder if there's something specific I need to respond to or if you're just bored and making idle chit-chat.

Also, if I think someone is just being a little needy, then I'm really not likely to feed that beast with texts, etc. If you really need something, pick up the phone and call.
posted by juliplease at 8:55 AM on March 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


Thanks for the posts thus far... maybe I am being demanding. I was definitely a "floater" in high school and never had any solid, deep friendships. Taking the advice of a past therapist, I've been trying to make deeper connections with friends. I still have a large number of casual acquaintances, but I just thought she was one of those "deeper connections". But I'll just let it go for the time being and push forward.
posted by Butterflye1010 at 9:00 AM on March 26, 2013


I'm starting to even see similarities between her and my ex- passive aggressiveness, etc.

Whenever I have seen similarities among people who have hurt me in some way, the common denominator can always be traced back to me/my behavior.

It could well be that your ex and your friend are both passive-aggressive, but that doesn't matter as much as looking into why you keep getting attached to passive-aggressive people.
posted by headnsouth at 9:05 AM on March 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


Whenever I have seen similarities among people who have hurt me in some way, the common denominator can always be traced back to me/my behavior.

It could well be that your ex and your friend are both passive-aggressive, but that doesn't matter as much as looking into why you keep getting attached to passive-aggressive people.


I completely agree and it's taken this to make me realize that. Now, I have to figure out how to work on myself to not attract these people in my life.
posted by Butterflye1010 at 9:11 AM on March 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


The only reason that I am responding to this is just to give you some other perspectives.

I am someone who usually forms very deep friendships (as in talk daily, see them several times a week if are close) and there are times when something happens in life that temporarily blocks your friendships. As an example, many years ago (and I hope to never experience this again), I had a friend commit suicide. I pulled back from everyone, including close friends, because conversations and interacting with people was painful.I did renew the friendships at later points and told people why but at the moment,I could not. Posting on facebook is easy, by the way, and doesn't require conversations, so a person can appear normal.

Also, I've seen people pull back from others, regardless of age if they are experiencing depression.They will not tell you they are experiencing it and may stop interacting with most friends/friendships for very long time periods.

Those are just a few examples of ways that life can interfere with your friendships, and it will nothing to do with something that you do.

There have been a few times in my life when I have outright dropped a friendship (not counting acquaintances, friendship) and there were reasons behind it, and I concluded that talking about it would not change anything. It was to minimize the drama. Emphasis on rare times and there was a reason. The only example that I can think of is gossip - as in person 1 tells you why person 2 doesn't like you...put it poisons the well for everyone involved and it is better to go onward IMO. This doesn't necessarily apply to you at all,though, because there are many, many reasons someone could move on and we won't be able to guess what that is.

You could check in a month from now- pre-preemptively say that you apologize if you did anything, that you miss the person, and you would like to continue the friendship. At the same time you could check in and say that you are really worried and hope that they are okay, and if they need anything (i.e if your friend has depression, again, it is hard to reach out).
posted by Dances with sock puppets at 9:14 AM on March 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


It really, really hurts to lose a close friendship. I've seen people cut off friendships for all kinds of reasons. I don't know what was going on with your friend. It might help to think back over your interactions with her--was there anything she asked you to do/not do in order to respect her boundaries, and you wouldn't comply? If so, then maybe she just got fed up waiting for you to respect her wishes. Alternatively, maybe there was something that's been bothering her for a while, and she didn't know how to talk to you about it, but it kept bugging her until she reached her limit and then she went nuclear. Or, perhaps she's just the kind of person who freaks out a little when she gets close to someone, and has to invent a reason to cut ties.

Don't beat yourself up. Think over your actions within this friendship, and consider whether you notice anything amiss. Think about your other relationships, and how you behave toward people generally. Do your best to treat people with kindness and respect. If your (former) friend isn't going to tell you what's bothering her, all you can do is try your best with others.
posted by Meg_Murry at 9:21 AM on March 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Some folks do this, i know someone in particular, and they shed friends when depressed . Just don't make any rash decisions. Text or call ever couple months if you think about them and wish them the best.
posted by couchdive at 9:27 AM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


You have a big imaginary story going on about your friend's behavior and what is going on with her. You just can't know if any of it is true at this point.

Send her a message letting her know that you hope everything is ok and do something else with your time. When she gets back to you, you can decide if you still want to be friends with her based on the situation.
posted by Kimberly at 9:36 AM on March 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


I know she does this- pushes people away

Has she ever confided in you about why she does this: what triggers this, what's going on in her head, etc.? (If she has cited negative qualities of the person she's dropped, bear in mind that what she's told you may be post-hoc rationalization.)

We are also supposed to be going on a trip together in a month that I've bought a plane ticket for.

Is there a deadline after which the ticket will be non-refundable?

I feel very angry at her right now for being this way. Even if she does try and reconnect, the sudden cut-off really hurts and I'm not sure I could trust her again.

That's completely understandable. I've been in a somewhat similar position, and felt the exact same way. (We're once again close friends and confidants, but it took a long time.) Since you can't really do much about whatever's going on with her, focus your efforts on working with your own emotions. For me, anger can lead me to act destructively when it leads to obsessive stories about how one of us is right and the other one is wrong. But it can be useful when it prompts me to protect myself. In order to defuse and sort out my anger, it helps to focus on its physical manifestations, e.g. noticing how they increase and decrease. If you don't already have a meditation practice, now might be a handy time to start one. (You might look at some of Thich Nhat Hanh's work on anger -- I find particularly helpful his image of anger as a beloved but unhappy baby, or a house on fire.)
posted by feral_goldfish at 9:48 AM on March 26, 2013


Send a short practical message if you need to know about the plane tickets, then move on.
posted by the young rope-rider at 9:50 AM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Unless there's something you aren't telling us, I think you are really jumping the gun.

Maybe she isn't even aware that you feel ignored here. It's easy to drift off for a couple weeks and she'll be seeing you in a month anyway.

Sometimes I get insecure about friendships. I texted someone something right after we'd made plans, and she gave what could be interpreted as an exasperated reply, and then didn't answer my subsequent two texts. By Friday I was wondering why she hadn't gotten back to firm up the meeting time, and I was thinking "Oh no! I expressed the worst of one of my worst habits as if it were a joke, and she's finally gotten fed up with me and dropped me!" I was in the theatre at the time and I was feeling quite anxious about it. Okay don't panic... don't panic... what would a sane person do in this situation? As soon as the house lights came up, I texted her "Do you still want to come along on Sunday" and she replied "yes, can we fix the time tomorrow?" and then got back to me really late on Saturday. She was just trying to pin down her babysitter.

So, yeah. It's really easy to overreact. Now maybe your friend does have a problem here, but it's way too early to tell. Proceed as if nothing were wrong.
posted by tel3path at 9:56 AM on March 26, 2013


It could be nothing. You might just have different requirements around frequency of connection with the people in your life.

I'm generally an introverted person, who goes through occasional high-contact periods before settling back into a relatively low-contact style of communication. It doesn't mean I don't like my friends, it just means I don't really require (or desire) a lot of daily interaction with them.

Sometimes I'll go a week or two without responding to an email just because I don't have enough of whatever-it-is - social energy? Mana?? - to do the whole reaching-back thing. Sometimes my friends do the same thing to me. It's not depression, it's not shedding friends, it's not passive-aggressive, it doesn't mean my friends have done something wrong or have failed to meet some requirement of mine that I haven't told them about. It just means I'm recharging, and I'll get back with them when I have the juice for it.

Luckily, most of the people in my social circle are much the same - capable of maintaining a well of affection for one another without constant contact. The depth is still there, it's just spaced at different intervals.

So maybe consider that not everybody experiences a friendship in the same ways at the same time - but that doesn't mean the friendship isn't there.
posted by kythuen at 10:00 AM on March 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


This totally sucks. I know a lot of people above seem to think you are overreacting or over-invested in this friendship. However...look, some people do have really strong/close friendships, and there is nothing uncool or unhealthy about that! I have definitely had/have 'best friends' of the style where we talk mostly every day, go on trips together, etc. In some ways, friends of that type can be closer than a romantic relationship, because (unless you're engaged/married), there's sort of an expectation that things may end romantically with a break-up, but one doesn't always have that sort of expectation with a close friend (even though it totally can happen) - at least when you're in the middle of it, it can feel more like you're siblings who aren't going to randomly end things for unclear reasons.

So, my advice here is that you should not feel stupid for investing in this relationship or feeling hurt that your friend is pushing you away. (Yes, if this is the sort of friend who you talk to every day and she has refused to respond for 2 weeks, that is pushing you away!) I have had this happen to me: it totally sucks and hurts, and you have to get over it the same way you get over any intense relationship like a romantic relationship. It's tough because I think society doesn't validate that the end of friendship can be as big a deal as a bad break-up, and people tend to minimize it - like 'oh, you were just overly clingy, get over it!' Personally, I think that is bullshit. You need to give yourself time to grieve the end of this friendship (or at the least, the shift of this friendship from a really close one to one where you have less intimacy/contact/trust). Best of luck to you...just know, as with any relationship ending, it will get better - just trust yourself.
posted by rainbowbrite at 10:10 AM on March 26, 2013 [11 favorites]


Thanks all. Yeah, I thought that I might just be reading too much into it, but I also know how she is. It's usually not just me reaching out- she will chat me almost every day about some work aspect or a guy issue. She's also really good about responding and always at her computer or near her phone. The last message I sent her asking if everything was okay and if she was upset was "seen" by her on FB 3 days ago. That's why I'm certain that she is deliberately ignoring me for some reason. My only guess is that she's angry that I canceled last minute, but again, she does it frequently and I called to apologize. She doesn't even do that for me.

I'm not completely certain why she pushes people away. I just look back at her friends and know that she doesn't have that many. It takes a lot for me to let people in too- especially after I was hurt so badly by my ex boyfriend. My guard was way up after that. That's why I hate to lose this friendship that I've worked hard to maintain, but I'm also very jaded now from her actions.
posted by Butterflye1010 at 10:17 AM on March 26, 2013


Yeah, I'd echo the advice to back off a little bit. You might be stressing her out. It sounds like sort of an emotionally heavy relationship if there's a lot of venting/crying/etc. going on in your routine interactions.

I think if you tell her you can't trust her anymore, it's sort of taking your emotional reaction to the situation and putting it on her, if that makes sense. She's not really responsible for you feeling super-upset over this. You might mention that you were noticed she's been difficult to get ahold of and you were a bit concerned that something might be up. I'd try to sort of be cool about it.
posted by mermily at 10:17 AM on March 26, 2013


That's why I'm certain that she is deliberately ignoring me for some reason

All you know is that she didn't respond. It doesn't mean that she's ignoring you. She might be thinking about you every day but feeling too overwhelmed to craft a response (especially if you keep checking in with her constantly -- maybe she feels like she's being nagged?)

Normally, I would say to back off, give the girl some space, and wait to see if she comes back. But, you've got a trip coming up, and it's reasonable for you to want to understand the logistics of that. I'd give her a week from today, then send a message along the lines of "Hey, are we still on for this adventure?" Don't bring up the fact that she's been absent, just focus on the future.
posted by sparklemotion at 10:41 AM on March 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


You have a plane ticket for a trip in one month, and this person has been icing you out for the past two weeks? Holy shit. I'd be freaking out, too.

Your "friend" has chosen a really sensitive moment to pull this stunt. It certainly is creating a lot of drama and focus on her, putting all of the power in terms of the relationship and any investment in this trip in her hands, isn't it?

fuck. her.

Refund your ticket, or better yet, transfer it to another destination. Go have yourself an awesome adventure!

Two weeks is too long to be ignoring you, especially with a trip coming up. It is extremely childish of your friend. I do not understand all of the answers in this thread making you out to be the needy one. I see ZERO reasons why icing you out for two weeks without a word is acceptable.

If you end up talking again, I would make light of this incident and graciously forgive/apologize/etc....

And then I would never again be this chick's best buddy, and I would never ever trust her ever again. I would be nice, never say a mean word about her, but I would never ever ever trust her or let her into the inner circle of my friendships ever again.

You don't have time for power plays by attention-seeking children. Alter your travel plans and move on.
posted by jbenben at 10:45 AM on March 26, 2013 [7 favorites]


In my experience, the worst thing you can do is force some sort of awkward confrontation at this point. That will only make it unpleasant and guilt-laden to hang out, which makes it more likely that she's going to avoid hanging out with you. Because who wants to hang out with someone if you know a big scary confrontation is coming?

Once a friend did a disappearing act like this for over a year. Turns out her grandfather died and she was laid off in the span of a week and then felt so guilty that she didn't want to get in touch. Best to be easy going. In my experience, friendships, even close ones, are fundamentally transitory. They'll shift and change over the years, but if you make yourself someone who is easy to get back in touch with, they're more likely to weather the storms of life.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:26 AM on March 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


You don't have time for power plays by attention-seeking children. Alter your travel plans and move on.


Doing this unilaterally, without actually attempting to confirm with your friend that she does not want to travel with you any longer, would actually be a power play.

Reach out to your friend and ask if she still wants to take the trip with you. At this very moment, you don't know if something major has come up in her life that is complicating things and making it difficult to respond to your messages, or if she is trying to distance herself. Instead of assuming the worst and canceling your trip to send her a message, actually ASK her if she still wants to go. If you don't get a response to that question, then that's your answer, but do the decent thing and actually give her the chance to answer you instead of pulling a jerk move.
posted by palomar at 11:32 AM on March 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


Cynical explanation assuming passive aggressive intent:

For whatever reason, she doesn't want to/can't go on the trip with you. Maybe something came up, maybe she wants to spend the money on something else, maybe she just changed her mind. But she doesn't want to be the bad guy and cancel.

So she's setting up a situation where you get to be the bad guy by repeatedly contacting her - she'll keep ignoring until you force a confrontation. She then gets to be put out that you're being so pushy or annoying, and cancel the trip, and it's YOUR fault. Instead of the story being "Meg cancelled a vacation and it was really inconvenient and disappointing for Butterflye1010" it becomes "Butterflye1010 was all psycho with constantly contacting Meg and getting pissed off when she didn't reply, so Meg didn't feel comfortable traveling with her after that."

For your sake, I hope that's not what's going on, but I've seen this kind of thing in the confrontation-averse.
posted by jetsetlag at 12:34 PM on March 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


She could have seen the FB and meant to respond later, and forgot. This happens to me. She may also be conflict-avoidant and have difficulty expressing anger or hurt, especially if she realizes how illogical and hypocritical she is being (she can't tell you she's upset about your last-minute cancel because she knows she does it). This doesn't excuse her behavior but it may help you to consider the possibility.

Do you want to go on the trip regardless of whether she comes along? Or would you be on the hook for expenses you thought you would share (hotel, etc)? Call the airline or travelocity and ask about the penalty for canceling the flight, and figure out your timeline. Also think about whether you even want to take this trip in the current situation.

A day or two before your cancellation deadline, get in touch to confirm plans in a low key way. Make it easy for her to say no to the trip. Because going on a trip with someone who is pissed at you and unable to talk about it is MUCH worse than going by yourself or not going at all.
posted by bunderful at 12:41 PM on March 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm all for talking things out, but I can't advise repeatedly contacting someone who is actively ignoring you. The "friend" is alive, well, and communicating with the world at large - she just isn't communicating with the OP.

I guess maybe there could be a misunderstanding where the first voicemail didn't reach the friend, and maybe that lead to the friend accidentally being "stood up"??

With a trip coming up, tho, I think by now the friend could have responded and cleared up any misunderstanding.

I don't think it is jerky to protect any investments in plane tickets and planned time off from work (or school, family obligations, etc.) by acting as soon as possible to cancel accommodation arrangements, or whatever else needs to be done, so that the OP isn't out of pocket and will be able to maximize that vacation time.

If the OP isn't put out (or out of pocket!) by the fallout from her friend's shenanigans, then it will be easier for the OP not to hold a grudge in the future. Basically, the OP should arrange circumstances so that her "friend" can no longer cause her trouble or expense.

Again, I'm all for talking things out, but I can't advise repeatedly contacting someone who is actively ignoring you.


Upon Preview: Sadly, I think jetsetlag above probably has it.
posted by jbenben at 12:54 PM on March 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Again, the OP doesn't actually know what's going on with her friend (and the use of the scare quotes around the word friend seems really unnecessary here). Someone upthread mentioned a friend of theirs who dropped off the radar for a while due to a death in the family and a layoff from work -- who's to say that Meg (the OP's friend) isn't dealing with something like that? Two weeks honestly is not that long to be out of touch with a friend. People have lives, people have emergencies crop up, people have complications. Cutting someone dead and resolving never to be friends with them again because they didn't get back to you as quickly as you thought they should is a little excessive.

Is it possible that the OP is being blown off? Sure. But it's just as likely that there is something else going on, and right now the OP doesn't know which one is happening. What does it cost the OP to reach out with one last message saying, "Hey, please let me know if you're still up for this trip, otherwise I'm going to cancel my ticket"? It costs nothing, and very neatly solves the problem of wondering what's up. What does it cost the OP to follow the advice of going, "fuck you, I'm canceling this trip without even checking in with the person I have plans with"? Could cost a lot, all things depending.

Personally, I'd go with contacting my friend once more and asking if she's still up for the trip. Some people prefer the nuclear option, I've been screwed by opting for that so I tend not to go that route. YMMV, obviously.
posted by palomar at 1:13 PM on March 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


I want to second the idea that it might be depression/anxiety/other life circumstance. TMI example: last summer I just stopped responding to my few remaining friends. I like them and I often think about them, but I just can't bear to reach out. I'm sure they feel hurt and angry like you do, and my actions suck by any healthy measure of friendship, I know.

And my friends saw me as a very mellow, humorous type of person, because in public I make an effort to act less depressed than I am, which is severely (who really wants to deal with someone who's like that all the time, you know?). So it's possible that your friend is struggling with completely subterranean issues. Her history of pushing people away also makes sense to me. The depression is always there, but my ability to cope with it is cyclical.

I really feel sympathetic to your sense of betrayal and damaged trust. I just hope you can also extend the benefit of a doubt to her that she may be doing this because she's in pain.
posted by iamleda at 1:24 PM on March 26, 2013


Unlike many posters here, I think that her silence does signify something, and not because it has lasted two weeks, or two months, or two years, or however long, but rather because it is very unusual in the context of your past communication patterns as described by you. Some things get their meaning and significance not because of calendars and chronometers or because of some external sense of "objective" meaningfulness, but rather because they break with what has become established as the natural flow of things in a given situation, between two individuals etc.

It is true that there are quite a few explanations for this: a possible personal crisis she is going through, an overnight shift from the "soulmatey" phase of your relationship to what is more generally considered an acceptable form of friendship between two people etc. But my sense is that the one you have hit on - she is either blowing you off or making a power play which is intended to show you who has the upper hand in the relationship - is the more likely one.

I think this for two reasons - the first one is because, based on what you say, she has cut off people before with minimal reason (this is what your phrasing of "pushing people away" suggests to me). This, together with her non-responsiveness on the heels of a (possibly perceived by her) infringement by you, after a long time during which certain communication patterns have been established, suggests to me that she actually intends you to feel as you feel now as punishment, or in order for her to regain the power she may have felt she lost when you didn't go to x event, or else because she thinks, for whatever reason, that unless you are a faithful echo to her, you are a traitor.

The other reason why I think that you are not far off the mark is because of my own experience (we all bring our own baggage when interpreting problems like the one you're going through): I've seen this kind of thing quite a few times (there's nothing like student life, for instance, for volatile relationships), had it done to myself, and have done it a couple of times as well. Some of those times there were "reasons": problems, depression, some sudden thing which de-calibrated someone and threw them for a loop. The vast majority of times, it was actually just people being so self-centered that it bordered on jerkiness. Some weird, minor thing would be perceived as a "slight", or slights were created out of boredom (they honeymoon phase of the friendship/ romance was over) and drama ensued. Sometimes, the "perpetrator" (in this situation this would be you) was forgiven and magnanimously allowed to make huge efforts to regain the good graces of the slighted party, sometimes not.

I don't know what your friend is going through, maybe she is depressed, maybe stuff happened, maybe she is having a childish tantrum, maybe she is just being all black-and-white about things and she has written you off/ wants to teach you a lesson. Whatever it is though, I second those who advise you to look after your own interest regarding the trip (can you recuperate money if things don't clear up and you decide not to go on your own or with her in a huff?).

I'd write her an email with a clear, practical objective - to find out if the trip is still happening. I'd also ask her if she is OK, saying something along the lines of "I haven't heard from you in two weeks, which is highly unusual, hope you are doing OK and that nothing bad is going on for you". And then leave it at that - if she doesn't get back to you within a reasonable amount of time (which could be determined, for instance, by ticket refund policies - if you can get a refund, but the deadline is 5 hours from time of email, that is the reasonable time), do what you need to do re. trip. And then try to put her out of your mind for a while (again, this is determined by you). It is up to her to then try to reconnect - and even if she does, I wouldn't make it totally uneventful. I mean, regardless of what happened and why she went so far away from the norm you two established, I think she still owes you at least a heartfelt apology and an explanation.

The upshot is: in my opinion your spidey-senses are telling you something, if only that you are not happy with this sudden swing in communication (my opinion: this is perfectly OK. I certainly find almost-daily communication excessive, but if that was the norm with a friend of mine, deviations would be noted). I wouldn't ignore them: I bet in hindsight you can see quite a lot of give-away behaviours in your ex. But I would also not go overboard in the other direction without one more attempt to communicate with regard to the trip.
posted by miorita at 2:38 PM on March 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think that if I'm not right, miorita and jetsetlag probably are.
posted by tel3path at 3:26 PM on March 26, 2013


Thanks again, all. I'm going to give her another couple of weeks and then maybe reach out to her one more time- about the trip and all that. If she chooses to ignore me again, then I'll have my definite answer, will cancel my trip, and will move on to hopefully more meaningful friendships.
posted by Butterflye1010 at 3:55 PM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Check your mefi mail.
posted by cynicalidealist at 5:35 PM on March 26, 2013


The last message I sent her asking if everything was okay and if she was upset was "seen" by her on FB 3 days ago. That's why I'm certain that she is deliberately ignoring me for some reason.

But as others have pointed out, what YOU read as "deliberately ignoring" doesn't necessarily read that way to HER or to other people with different communication levels/styles/etc. As I've gotten older, I find I can get overwhelmed a lot more easily with interpersonal relationship obligations, and so I don't always fire back a response to someone the same hour, day, or even week when I hear from them. This has nothing to do with me "deliberately ignoring" any of them. Your friend may very well be a similar person. You are creating a narrative to fill in the gaps of your knowledge, and then responding to these hypotheticals as if they are objective facts. This is a recipe for anxiety and crazy-making -- not just in friendships, but in whole swaths of life.

I don't say this to scold you at all (it's a tendency I've had to learn to overcome myself), but rather to point it out as a kind of mental storytelling that isn't actually serving any positive purpose. I agree that reaching out about the trip in a few weeks will actually tell you something more concrete about the situation, but in the meantime, try to give yourself (and her) a break by not engaging in the storytelling.
posted by scody at 5:42 PM on March 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


If she chooses to ignore me again, then I'll have my definite answer, will cancel my trip, and will move on to hopefully more meaningful friendships.

Get started on the other friendships now. Regardless of how things work out with this person, you might want to broaden your social circle so that you're not intensely involved with/reliant on one person at a time. Eggs and baskets.
posted by headnsouth at 6:05 PM on March 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


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