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Why do none of my friends rarely or never arrange to meet up with me?

  • 18-03-2022 10:07pm
    Registered Users Posts: 356 ✭✭Galbin

    I am almost always the one to text or reach out to arrange a meet up. I am 40 but none of my friends have kids, so it's not that. I know everyone is busy, but I am really wondering what is up. My oldest friend from school sometimes arranges to meet me first, but it's still a 90/10 ratio. The weird thing is whenever I meet my friends they always talk about how great it is to see me. My school friend in particular always talks about how she wants to see me more often, but yet it never happens. Since COVID I do see her a bit more often than before, but it's never more often than once every month at the absolute max. Another friend always texts back immediately with glee when I text her, but has never once invited me out. In fact, last summer, I didn't text her for months to see what would happen and when I finally did she went on and on about wondering where I had been and how come I hadn't texted her. I seem to have a great time with these people so don't get it.

    I used to live abroad and everyone there seemed to put way more effort into cultivating and keeping friendships. Whereas here top priory goes to your family and school friends. Everyone else just seems to be superfluous.

    I am getting quite down about it because if I didn't make the effort I would only meet friends a few times a year. Plus, COVID has made me realise that I need a decent amount of one on one interaction. I dread to think how lonely I would be if I didn't have a partner.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,812 ✭✭✭Addle

    As people get older, they’re sometimes just not as bothered about going out.

    And some of us have just got in the habit of not going out.

    No idea why you’re not getting the responses you’d like. It’s hard hearing no. If I got a few nos, I’d stop bothering.

    If you really want to know why, you’re going to have to ask.

  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 5,659 Mod ✭✭✭✭HildaOgdenx

    Another friend always texts back immediately with glee when I text her, but has never once invited me out. In fact, last summer, I didn't text her for months to see what would happen and when I finally did she went on and on about wondering where I had been and how come I hadn't texted her. I seem to have a great time with these people so don't get it.

    I had a friend like that. If I didn't make contact for a while, nada. The minute I sent a text or email, she would be straight back with a reply 'long time no hear'. I pointed out that she was free to text/ email me first. That came as quite a revelation to her, but she made an effort after that. We have lost touch now, for other reasons.

    There can be someone who is more proactive than others in a friendship/ group as pp said. However you can also reach the point of wondering if someone can't be arsed with meeting you, if you're always the one making the effort.

    I texted a friend, at Christmas, mentioning meeting in the New Year. I know though unless I text again, fix a day/ evening and book a restaurant, nothing will happen. And yet anytime we meet up we have a great time.

    OP, I don't know what the answer is tbh. I think some people fall into the expectation that one person 'the cog' as pp said, will do the organising. I would probably give it one more try and if and when you meet up say, right, next time you/ one of you do it. Might work, might not.

    Best of luck.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,039 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997

    Far more people I know do not initiate meetups than those that do.

    Ok the flip side some seem to be going out constantly and get annoyed when people can't do the same, either due to schedule or finance's.

  • Registered Users Posts: 356 ✭✭Galbin

    It's too late to edit my comment now, but by meeting up I actually mean things that are free or dirt cheap like coming over to my house for a chat, going for a walk, or going to a cafe for a cuppa. None of us are drinkers, so we don't go to the pub.

    The other thing is all these friends are separate friendships from different areas of my life. So it's not even that I am the organiser of the gang.

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  • Administrators Posts: 13,009 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Big Bag of Chips

    I think meeting up once a month is a pretty good return to be honest. I have a very good friend of over 30 years. We live about 20 minutes away from each other. We meet probably a max of 2-3 times a year!

    If you have a good time when you meet up why does it bother you that you're the one to suggest it? If they didn't want to go, they wouldn't. Some people are active about arranging anything, others are passive and will go along if someone suggests something but won't necessarily suggest it themselves. It means nothing other than you’re better at suggesting things. I am guilty of being a bit lazy and settled. I could happily go months without going out or meeting up with people. I would rarely think to suggest a night out, walk, cup of tea etc but if someone invited me out I’d go and have a great time.

    If you’re getting annoyed about it, say it to your friends. If you get “I haven’t heard from you in ages” you can always remind them phones work in both directions!

    I wouldn’t take it personally. Because I don’t think it’s meant in that way. Just some people are more proactive about suggesting things, others are passive and happy to go along.

  • Registered Users Posts: 546 ✭✭✭Deregos.

    I used to have lots of friends when I was younger, before eventually loosing touch with them over the passage of time. Now I don't have any mates left really, just relatives. Its nobody's fault, just the route life brought me on.

    Even the one relative I did have a very good humoured relationship with for onwards thirty years has recently stopped communicating with me, because our respective wive's had a disagreement.

    Life's friends will nearly always eventually take their own path Galbin, try not to worry about it and do not put any blame on yourself whenever it does happen. It's just one of those things.

    Having no friends only makes me feel sorry for myself when I think about it . . . so I try not to think about it.

    Post edited by Deregos. on

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,039 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997

    Id be the same. You get busy with things and socializing becomes less important.

    However rather than being reactive you could be pro active and just visit other people accepting they won't probably do the same in return. Be selfish get what you want out if it rather than trying to meet people half way.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 9,398 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jim2007

    Every group has some kind of unofficial organizer, it is just how it goes…. Maybe it’s partially because I’m retired, but my ex work colleagues can’t even seem to organize to even met one another unless I do it. I get messages like:

    • It would be great to meet Tom for an evening…
    • Would love to go hiking in……
    • The pub/hotel/etc have a Christmas dinner special

    So I just do it when it suits me, otherwise my answers are: yes it would, sounds interesting, keep me in the loop, etc…. I’ve yet to receive a follow up!

  • Registered Users Posts: 823 ✭✭✭Liberty_Bear

    This is something I came across with close friends so I check in on a weekly basis. I think covid has changed how people interacted and I can totally get where you are coming from. Im hopeful the warmer days might wake them from whatever poxy slumber they are in!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,242 ✭✭✭thefallingman

    If you have to chase a friend op, are you really their friend in reality ?

    I find it best to cut people like that out of my life it's probably what they want but just won't say it. Actions speak louder than words

    Post edited by thefallingman on

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,789 ✭✭✭NickNickleby

    Hey OP, I think you're worrying needlessly and getting yourself down. I'm sure these people are truly happy to see you when you meet up, there's no mention of people not responding, or rejecting you. There's positives already! Like someone else above, I've a group of friends going back 50+ years. We meet rarely , as in 3 or 4 times a year. But when we do meet up (as a group generally) you'd think we'd just seen each other a week before. I've no idea who makes it happen, it just does.

    Just go with the flow, accept you're the organiser and enjoy the meetings when they happen. If you're looking to find a negative, and if there simply isn't one, you'll drive yourself nuts trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist.

    Each time you make an arrangement, you're making TWO people happy, the other party and yourself. A very worthwhile exercise. Relax and enjoy life. People are happy to see you, make the most of it.

  • Posts: 4,727 ✭✭✭ Joe Important Martinet

    The harsh reality is that most people work 40 hours a week, commute 10 hours, need to eat/sleep/wash/exercise/run errands, and then have obligations such as visiting family etc. That only leaves a person with a few hours a week to actually socialise or have me time.

    It sounds like your friends like you but maybe don't consider you a best friend. Perhaps you value those relationships more than they do.

    Its a tough situation. I would say that you either confront people or find other friendships.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,042 ✭✭✭Wabbit Ears

    This is completely normal. People don't have time to hang out for the sake of it like you did when you were younger. In my experience the vast majority of people are not organizers and rely solely on other people doing the planning and making contact. This annoys the people who do make contact as it makes them feel they are putting in all the effort and that effort is not reciprocated. Unfortunately its hard, if not impossible to change this dynamic in any given friendship. once there is a set pattern of who does the reaching out, if they stop doing so then that friendship tends to die.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,488 ✭✭✭bb1234567

    Look I just wouldn't overthink it. Tbh I'd say you just got unlucky and some kind of lazy culture has established among your friends where they assume youll make the effort and by now they're just so used to it that they've honestly convinced themselves you're the problem if you're the one not calling them up. They say they enjoy your company and meet you anytime you ask, if they didn't like you they certainly wouldn't do that, they'd make reasons to not go at least half of the time. Don't over think it and continue to make the effort, as you say, it's worth it and a lot better than being lonely.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 12,394 Mod ✭✭✭✭riffmongous

    I remember having this issue back when I was in college so imo it's not about people getting old or whatever.

    In the end I just gave up texting them and lo and behold I never heard from them again. It just made me value the ones who also made an effort that much more though.

    It's disappointing to get on so well with some otherwise very nice people and have them never make any effort.. but you can either just accept thats how it is till you eventually never meet them again once your forget to contact them, or give up and find new friends/focus on ones who do make an effort.

  • Registered Users Posts: 70 ✭✭RojaStar

    I've experienced that difference with living abroad and coming home as well OP. When you're away your friends are like your family. I really struggled with having to make arrangements with friends weeks in advance back home.

    I felt really isolated during covid, like no one was reaching out to me. I would have had a very busy social life before. I realised people weren't really reaching out to me because I was always the "busy" one and people just assumed I was doing something else. Meanwhile I'm at home lonely AF by myself! So it could be the case that your friends just assume you are off living "the life". As it certainly doesn't seem like they aren't interested in meeting you. It is quite odd though given they don't have kids. It's definitely worth having a discussion about it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,368 ✭✭✭JimmyVik

    Some people. like myself, are just lazy when it comes to organizing things. But when asked are only too delighted to meet friends.

    I wouldnt read anything into it. Its just different personalities.

    I have a relative who always moans that people havent called them in ages, yet when asked if they made the phonecall the say they cant be bothered because the other person didnt call them first. Stupid attitude. Just make the call and the other person will be just as happy as you are that you made it, even if they are too lazy to do it first.