She never invites me anywhere!
March 24, 2008 6:25 PM   Subscribe

She never invites me anywhere. Why am I excluded, is it on purpose, and what can I do to fix it?

Lets get this out of the way first, I'm a guy who doesn't have many friends that are girls. This question is in regards to my closest and pretty much only friend of the female variety. We really became "friends" a few months(November, December) but I've known her for a little longer then a year and a half.

I consider us to be pretty close friends due to the fact that we text message each other nearly everyday, all day. Plus we have frequent phone conversations. So over the course of our text message conversations she will regularly tell me about her plans for the day/night and will usually continue to message me while doing what ever she has planned for that day. I have never been invited to join in on anything with her, even when she knows I'm not doing anything.

For example; having some friends over her house, not invited. Going to the movies, not invited. You get the idea.
What really bothers me is that she tell me about this stuff before,during,after going. So, am I being purposelessly excluded for some reason? I've been trying to think why and here are reasons I've come up with for excluding someone:
1) She doesn't like me/enjoy my company. (Doubtful, she texts/calls a lot and has gone places with me when I've invited her.)

2)Her friends don't like me. (They always act nice and friendly to me and I think they like me. Also it is never a girls only type of thing.)

3) She wants me to ask to come?(Why... plus I think inviting myself would be rude, no?)

Does this make sense to anyone? Why am I not being invited but she tells me her plans. What can I do to "fix" this? Should I start asking her to get together more often and hope she will extend an invite to come along?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (21 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
First of all, I think anyone asking a "social" question like this should be required to give the ages of the people involved. I'm assuming you're all teenagers based on the tenor of your question and the fact that you define "close friends" as people who send each other a lot of text messages.

Why don't you just ask her: "Hey, that sounds like fun -- is it OK if I come along?" Make it very casual and positive, not confrontational or implying that she's done anything wrong. You should be able to get a sense of what's going on from her response. It is a little weird for her to constantly tell you about the people she's hanging out with but never invite you, so you should just bring it up with her.

As with many of the social questions on AskMe, I think the answer here comes down to one word: communication.
posted by jejune at 6:36 PM on March 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

I think she's gotten used to thinking of you as a "long distance" friend. You're someone that's fun to confide in but not someone that's her social "type," whatever that may be. It's kind of like having a trusted online friend that you never intend to meet or a co-worker that you want to only know at work.

It might not be because you she looks down on you, but regardless of the reason, it's how she's gotten used to thinking of you like this.

Maybe you can remind her somehow that you're a real person, not just a fun text pal. Just saying "Hey, I notice we never get together. Why not?" is a way to do it, although it might be too direct for some people.

That's my theory.

An alternative is that she thinks you're attracted to her and doesn't want a relationship with you and so keeps her distance, but it doesn't sound like that's happening based on the information you've given.
posted by ignignokt at 6:40 PM on March 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

Unattached straight guys and unattached straight girls can never truly be close friends. The point of the exercise here is to find someone you can hug and smooch (you can save sex until marriage). Your female friend is probably expecting you to get all drunk and profess your undying love for her, which is why she is (wisely) choosing to keep her distance. So you should enjoy what you have, and perhaps look for a real girlfriend (someone you can smooch). You might find that your existing female friend will start inviting you as a couple out for more activities.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:54 PM on March 24, 2008 [2 favorites]

i think ignignokt has it--she likes you but doesn't want to date you, so she's keeping you at arm's length to avoid a potentially awkward situation.

it may be because she is genuinely not attracted to you, or she is, but doesn't feel like she "should" date you due to whatever social pressures she may feel. that's an immature response; nevertheless, the only solution is time.

i wouldn't invest too much into this relationship until she grows up some.
posted by thinkingwoman at 6:57 PM on March 24, 2008

She could be one of those odd birds who still believes that "asking" is the guy's job. If you believe that's possible, why don't you do something and invite her to do it with you?

If that doesn't sound likely then the unfortunate answer is most likely that she's just not that into you.
posted by toomuchpete at 6:58 PM on March 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

First of all, I think anyone asking a "social" question like this should be required to give the ages of the people involved. I'm assuming you're all teenagers based on the tenor of your question and the fact that you define "close friends" as people who send each other a lot of text messages.

What? My close friends and I are in our twenty-tens and we text each other all damn day! Anyways...

It sounds like your friend is single (you don't mention her hanging out with her boyfriend). If that's the case, she very well may be trying to steer her interactions so that she always looks available. She may not even be aware that she's excluding you. Either way, her behavior is lame. I would bring it up to her. If she's a decent friend she'll feel bad for leaving you out, or not noticing she's left you out, and she should start including you in plans—or at the very least start addressing why you're being excluded from certain plans (girls night, mall trip, etc.)
posted by iamkimiam at 7:37 PM on March 24, 2008

I personally would find it kind of odd if someone, even if I talked to a lot asked "can I come along?" because if they could I would have thought of it. But then again I'm not this girl. No one but her can really say why she isn't inviting you places.

Sometimes though, I'm off to do something girly ("ZOMG, chocolate martinis and cakes!") and assume that the other person isn't into that and thus wouldn't be interested in coming. I can be kind of a jerk like that. The way to solve that would be for the other person to mention that they ARE into it ("ZOMG, I love pansy drinks and pastries!"). Maybe you could try it?
posted by universal_qlc at 8:16 PM on March 24, 2008

Sounds as if you are taking a totally reactive approach to this situation. Why not take a different approach and ask HER if she wants to do something social for once? I've had experiences similar to this in the past and it has mostly boiled down to simply having different social groups and interests. People can be close on many different levels and yet still live separate lives from each other. In a lot of ways it can be easier to have a kind of "long distance confidant" because you can fully control how much or how little you choose to tell that person about yourself.

In the end, you need to understand what this relationship means to you and act accordingly. Tis better to try and make something work and fail than to be bothered over not trying.
posted by ISeemToBeAVerb at 8:51 PM on March 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

I think a lot of answerers are missing the poster's parenthetical after point #1 - he has invited his friend places, and she has agreed to go. That sort of puts the "she doesn't want to date you" and "you should ask her" responses in the realm of not really to the point.

One possibility is her social circle is closed and in-groupy - they may be nice, but they prefer to do things without anyone else. If that's the case, it's not a judgment on you at all, just how things are with her group of friends.
posted by donnagirl at 9:06 PM on March 24, 2008

Unattached straight guys and unattached straight girls can never truly be close friends.

I adamantly disagree.
posted by phrontist at 9:59 PM on March 24, 2008 [3 favorites]

First, I would ask her outright if you can join her on something that you are sure is a mixed sex non exclusive activity. And then if she dodges you, try one more time, if it happens again DTMFA. Either she is socially clueless and just figures since you haven't asked you must not be interested in going out with her and her friends or for some reason she doesn't want to associate with you in public. Don't take it personally, this is her screwed up hang up and not yours.
posted by whoaali at 10:23 PM on March 24, 2008

Try saying something as simple as "I'd love to do something like that!" Maybe she's just being clueless and doesn't realize how it sounds to describe an activity to someone who's not included.
posted by HeyAllie at 10:28 PM on March 24, 2008

Well, being anonymous, it's hard to expect your responses to our questions, but do you keep her up to date on what you're doing in your own life, the same way she does to you? Do you have other social circles you hang out with, separate from her, and have you invited her to join you and them? I figure it's common for people to have different sets of friends and such, and it might just be too awkward to "assimilate" one into the other.

She probably just counts you for a certain kind of friendship, and her older friends for other stuff. And I think it's a good sign that she accepts your invitations, and still calls/texts frequently, rather than coming up with excuses or "forgetting."

And the fact that she lets you know what's going on with her other friends makes it seem like she's just happy to fill you in, and isn't trying to rub it in, and has no idea that you (understandably) feel left out. Although I'm sure at least one of her friends has asked her why she hasn't invited you by now. Are you shy, or the type to feel uncomfortable around strangers or large groups?

Or, maybe she sees you as a brother, and while she might enjoy keeping in touch with you constantly, having a "brother-type" hang out with her friends might be too weird for her. Just brainstorming.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 12:54 AM on March 25, 2008

Maybe you guys are going to end up dating and she doesn't want to invite you out with all her friends because she's not yet sure how this crush will work out. She considers you her special friend, and wants to keep you as this separate, unique thing rather than mix it up with all these casual old friends. They're old friends and she loves them dearly, but they burp in front of each other and think it's funny, and their only other jokes consist of the same tired old movie quotes that they all have known forever. It's kind of lame and not the scene she wants to be with you in.
posted by salvia at 1:17 AM on March 25, 2008

Salvia has it right, I think.

Not all friend groups mesh. I.e. my church friends, my binge drinking friends, and my kinky-sex friends are not always the best of social companions. (Sometimes they are, though, but that's another story.)

It is a bit rude of her not to include you in stuff she's telling you all about...maybe be a little bit slower to respond to her texts when she's out with other people. Ugh, watching someone text is so dull--you'll be saving her friends a bit too.
posted by sondrialiac at 5:13 AM on March 25, 2008

Anonymous: "You're going to the movies? Mind if I join you?"

Her reaction to that question will show you the cut of her sails in short order.
posted by LN at 6:23 AM on March 25, 2008

I don't think this is so unusual - if the group of friends she's doing these things with are all girls. My time with my girlfriends is sacred and my boyfriend and boy-friends know when I'm going out with my girlfriends that they're just not invited. I do, however, like to tell them about some of the stupid things we do together. Maybe you could say something like, "let me know when guys are invited on one of these outings. I'd love to come along."
posted by jrichards at 6:33 AM on March 25, 2008

I have a friend who creeps my other friends out because he's kind of skeevy about women, in addition to being over-the-top desperate to make new friends to the point that he comes off poorly. I enjoy his company in a one-on-one situation but the more he asks to hang out with my friends the less I want to bring him along. (He also does things like goes around and gets every persons' cell phone number in the group after we've hung out for about 15 minutes the first time he's met them, then proceeds to call them all up the next day to try and make plans, not picking up on their disinterested signals, unreturned calls, etc.) Also it puts me in an awkward position because they are very nice and polite to him when we do hang out as a group, but the minute he's out of earshot they request to be warned next time he's around.

YMMV, but I'm just putting forward the idea that your desire to be friends with her circle may not be reciprocated, even if they seem very polite and nice. But that doesn't mean she doesn't like you/enjoy your company or that her friends are awful people. Sometimes it clicks, sometimes it doesn't. A good question to ask yourself is whether these friends of hers ever ask YOU to come along on outings, apart from her having to bring you as her plus one. Do they ever say "hey, you like horror films too? You should come with us to the Scream Fest next week," etc.? Having THEM invite you places takes the onus off both you and your lady friend to integrate you.
posted by np312 at 7:49 AM on March 25, 2008

Is it always the same group of friends? sondrialiac and salvia both have good points here. Introducing a new person into, say, the group of four people you've known since middle school and have pancake-eating contests with while watching Audrey Hepburn movies on the 15th of every month and you all have Color Me Badd-themed nicknames for some reason... well, that doesn't always go too well, since the new person may not appreciate Roman Holiday, and there were only four members of Color Me Badd. You can all have a pleasant enough time nibbling pancakes together, but it's just not the same.

If it's the same handful of friends she's doing everything with, and if they've all got something in common that you don't (e.g. all went to the same college), and especially if she refers to them as a group (e.g. "the gang" or "my work peeps" instead of "some friends"), this is very likely the case. If it's a larger group of people, or if there's a bit more rotation to who she's hanging out with, there's probably something else going on.

Additionally, how social are you? Do you have other friends that you regularly hang out with? Do you do things with your other friends that she might enjoy, and if so, have you invited her along? Maybe she's into wine bars and you're into D&D (or vice versa) and your social activities don't overlap enough for her to think you'd enjoy coming along. And, sad but true, if you're the kind of person who doesn't get out much on your own, she might be hesitant to invite you for fear that you'd be too clingy or uncomfortable in the group. Inviting her to do stuff with you (and possibly your friends) can go a long way towards showing that you're able to pull your own social weight.

Finally, do you want to hang out with her or with her group? If it's just her, start inviting her to do stuff with you. If you want to be a part of the group, tell her "I'd really like to meet your friends" and start suggesting things you can all do together rather than just waiting to be invited along.
posted by Metroid Baby at 2:30 PM on March 25, 2008

On preview, I second everything Metroid Baby just said.

I was writing to add that I completely agree with you that purely inviting yourself along ("you're going to a movie? can I come?") is not the best way to go. And especially, I would not (follow advice above suggesting you) ask it with a chip on your shoulder like "this'll show me if she REALLY cares." On the other hand, hinting seems completely fine: "oh, I heard that's a great movie, I've been wanting to go see it."

I just want to advise over-thinking what's going on with her decisions and generally recommend that you just be proactive about getting what you want without expecting her to give you that thing.

For example, if what you want is more friends, I'd suggest you take the pressure off her by working to make friends in other areas of your life (and, as MB points out, then maybe making more friends with her group will come easier as well).

If what you want is to hang out with her in group settings, you could suggest things like "want to get your friends and my friends and all go to the arcade?" or "hey, what if we got a bunch of people together and played Capture the Flag?" or "me and my friends are doing something, want to come along?"

If what you want is to reassure yourself that she's not excluding you because she doesn't like you or her friends don't like you, you could mayyybe find a very delicate way to bring up the question, or just look for other clues.

There's a funny balance to find. The more you feel like she has something to give you, and like you need her to give that thing to you or else you won't have it, the more unbalanced things will feel and the more clingy or demanding you will seem to her. The more you create what you want for yourself and offer to share those things with her, the more you tip the balance the other way. Ideally, you want the situation to be balanced and the exchange to come equally. Not that you have to have the same strengths (she wants to learn welding, you want to go out drinking, or whatever). But rather than focusing your attention on what she's not offering, I'd focus on creating what you want yourself and offering to share with her.

If this social stuff is a real point of weakness for you, somewhere along the path of trying to solve the problem yourself, you could admit it's hard for you and mention that you're trying to change. "Man, I feel like I spend all my time building robots. I have got to get out of metal shop more often. I don't even know where to start -- where are the good bars around here, anyway?" Then she can offer to help, or silently decline. Anyway, too bad you're anonymous, because I wish you could clarify whether we're on the right track or not, but anyway, good luck!
posted by salvia at 3:12 PM on March 25, 2008

Christ, what would Bruce Springsteen do?
posted by KokuRyu at 11:10 PM on April 24, 2008

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