Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

Do your new friendships bloom and die like crocuses in the spring?

Asked by wundayatta (58722points) January 8th, 2010

I constantly have this problem online. I’ll start getting to know someone, and it’s really interesting and then they stop writing. I feel like after the initial period, I am the only one who initiates communications. Maybe I get one or two desultory emails, but then nada. Even if I continue to reach out to them, I don’t get responses.

It’s worse in real life, where I hardly ever meet anyone new, and even when I do, we might talk once, and it seems like we like each other, but then, nothing. It’s just kind of distant after that. People who used to be friends seem to have lives that don’t include me (or us) any more. Even when we ask them to do things, they rarely join us.

Even my old friends disappear. When I was sick, and I couldn’t reach out to anyone, I had no contact with my friends at all. They didn’t call or e-mail or stop by, or try to find out what was going on in any way. The only time anything happens is if I try to make it happen. It makes me feel like no one likes me enough to seek out my company.

I haven’t met any males I feel comfortable sharing my inner shit with since college. I’ve met a few females, but that’s always problematic. It seems like nothing ever meshes. Either I’m not comfortable with the other person, or they aren’t comfortable with me; the latter happening much more often.

Is there anyone else out there with these kinds of experiences? What happens? How do you meet them? Why does it fall apart?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

17 Answers

CMaz's avatar

For me… Once a friend always a friend.

Some friends are always around, some are in and out of my life. But always close to my heart.

wonderingwhy's avatar

Being a introvert who is equally happy (and at times more so) sitting at home watching a movie or reading a book as going out to a party I’m probably not the best person to be commenting but I will say that, with true friends, the time apart seems to just melt away when we’re together again. It’s never awkward or strained it’s just this sense that the connection bridged the gap.

Interestingly, I guess I don’t consider most of the people I meet to be “friends” many even after I’ve known them for several years, they’re more of acquaintances. Sometimes it just clicks though, and when it does that connection somehow makes it work regardless of time and circumstance.

As to meeting them and falling apart, meeting can happen anywhere anytime, I’ve met some of my closest friends in school, by association, and others by nothing more than chance. Falling apart I’ve found only seems to happen when that connection wasn’t really there to begin with; typically discovered over a period of inactivity after which you realize you don’t actually think about them and when you do you find you don’t have anything to say to them (never a problem with friends).

I suppose by being introverted I’ve never mourned the loss of acquaintances but of the friends I’ve lost touch with, I can honestly say I miss them but in a way that always seems to warm the heart.

marinelife's avatar

I meet a lot of people, but few of them become friends. The friends that I have made I tend to keep even though time and distance keeps us apart.

Can you reach out now to those old friends you had before your illness? Perhaps they are wondering what happened to you. Or they have heard something, but they don’t know how they would find you these days.

When I reach out I am almost always glad that I did.

Just_Justine's avatar

I sort of experience life the same way you do, except that I am supposedly an extrovert. A lot of my friends have left the country as things are bad here, but we are still best mates, even so. I find some friend are likes tides they go in and out of my life when I least expect it. But my expectancy is low of friendships simply because they have busy lives, with kids and things they need to do, and plus life has become to busy, that any time they do have they need to relax just like me.
It’s a horrible fact too, that when you are ill people do forget at least after a while, or sometimes think you have family taking care of it. When both my parents died I spent the time with them, alone at the funeral. People were very sympathetic but thought I had other family members rallying about which I did not as they were my family. Often my neighbors will look out for me in times of sickness, or other issues simply because they are aware that I am alone in life.
With online people some treat online as a means to an end, not to make deep friendships, so they probably chat when they can then switch off the computer and forget about the person, which is probably a lot to do with online behavior being pseudo social. To me it is an escape from real socializing but that is my point of view.
Life has become much a survival issue, where one has to earn, has to bring up kids, and work so hard, that now more people have careers as opposed to jobs and so have so little free time. Which is sad? I know.

rhodes54's avatar

To extend the metaphor: Crocuses are perennials- if well planted the first time, they don’t die, they just become dormant and then blossom again. Kinda like….friendships?

CMaz's avatar

“if well planted the first time”

The catch 22 of friendship.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

If this is a problem for you….you need to be brutally honest with yourself.

Are you a complainer?
Are you a whiner?
Are you so negative that other people feel their oxygen draining out when they are around you?
Are you needy? So needy that the other person feels suffocated?
Do you make demands that the other person cannot meet?
Do you always ask for advice, but never ask the other person how _they_might be doing? What_they_might need?
Do you ever just listen? Or do you start in with a litany of your own problems without asking the other person if this is a good time to talk? Or without asking them how _they_are?

Online friendships don’t always work out…they only seem to “stick” if you meet the person in the flesh and then they still want to be your friend.

So…if friends are disappearing, one has to look at oneself first….and not point the finger at the friend. That’s tough. But I’ve done it and healed a lot of my own stuff…and attracted much stronger friendships in the process.

“Ask not what your friend can do for you, but ask what you can do for your friend.”

(Paraphrasing JFK.)

ETpro's avatar

Once I have formed a bond of friendship with someone, it is very rare for it to break.

wundayatta's avatar

Complainer? Somewhat.
Whiner? Pretty much.
Negative? Occasionally.
Needy? Big time.
Demands? I ask for time, maybe a few minutes a day. That seems to be too much.
Need advice? Sometimes.
Ask how they are? Always.
Listen? My favorite thing.
Meet people in flesh and blood? Nope.

But yeah, I’m trying to find out what it is about me that chases people away. I’m really, really good at that. Being too needy is my first theory. Being too intense is my second. I feel like I’m high maintenance. I seek drama (not on purpose, but I seem to be always finding it). I think I keep saying things that hurt people—not on purpose—but things I think are innocent turn out to be offensive. I guess I think relationships are stronger than they are. I am really bummed. Sigh.

Supacase's avatar

I have some of the same tendencies depending on the friend. One thing I have found is to allow them some space to drive the friendship a bit. Wait for them to contact you sometimes. It can be hard at times, but once you realize the are going to call or email even if it takes a couple of days you will start to feel less anxious about it.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I don’t even use the word “friendship” anymore in reference to myself. I talk to people online, they drift away or get mad at me. I have zero expectations in that area.

majorrich's avatar

I too am in the midst of an illness and friends are wandering away with their own lives and troubles. As my health worsens my ability to get out and visit with my friends diminishes. Most of my friends are from the Church now, and some new ones I met at the clinic. These are transient as I know one of us is going to go home. I’ve made strong lasting friends in Scouting and in the Service. Still, with time we all drift down stream to the sea.

Sophief's avatar

I don’t tend to go out my way to meet new people, infact I don’t. That is why I like these sites. I love nearly all the people on here. Everyone is so friendly and so helpful to me. You have been one of the kindest to me.

daemonelson's avatar

I rarely acquire friends. I’ve had perhaps 10. Makes names and details a whole lot easier to remember.

evandad's avatar

Most of them do

rooeytoo's avatar

Someone told me once that if you have 1 or 2 good friends in your life you are going good. I have one female friend who still lives in the USA, she is like the adult equivalent of a “bffl” or a level 1 friend. we are in contact by email practically every day. I call her every now and then, she never calls me which annoys me a little bit but she won’t get a phone card so the one time she did call me it cost over a hundred dollars. She has never called again.

I haven’t really run into anyone male or female since I have been in Australia to take her place. And that is okay with me. I have a number of level 2 friends, that seems to fill the void. Sometimes I sort of feel like you @daloon and sometimes I wonder why I don’t make friends as easily as some folks seem to do. I remember though a shrink told me if you want to be loved you must love. Which I interpret to mean I must make the effort and I usually don’t. Now the real question is, do I not make the effort because I simply don’t need that many friends, or is it fear of failure or rejection?? I think in all honesty, it is a little bit of both.

nope's avatar

I have a few close friends, and I depend heavily on them to keep me grounded. It’s the same way for them, too…we each seek out the others’ company, especially if we haven’t been in touch for a while. Once in a while, I make a new friend, and enjoy that friendship, but I’ve found that nobody is quite the same as people who’ve known me since my teens.

I’ve made a few online friendships, and I have to tell you, I really don’t like them, because you never know if the other person is genuine. In fact, a couple times, I’ve really liked the person, and suggested meeting sometime, and they make excuses, or mysteriously go away. It really sucks, so I don’t share much in that way anymore; for online interaction, I prefer the anonymity of things like…Fluther.

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther