People who use you as a backup plan

I have no intention of going into great detail, because frankly it’s a bit boring, but I hate it when people commit to doing something with you only to change plans later because something better came up. If you don’t want to do X, then say so. Or at least say maybe I will do it. Don’t suggest it and then when I call you the day of to actually do it say you have other plans. Fuck off!

It’s incredibly disrespectful to me and my time.

ETA: I wouldn’t even mind it so much if I was then invited to whatever “better” came up, but to leave me with nothing after you find something better to do really pisses me off.

I know how you feel. But for me it usually involves watching my niece and nephew so it’s a blessing in disguise. Watching them grow up with all the things I didn’t have as a kid is time better spent than I would spend it anyway. And by things I don’t mean material ones.

A friend of mine had been pulling this crap on me and a mutual friend for a while now. If we ask her if she can do something on the weekend, she hems and haws and thinks about all sort of contingencies and scenarios.
Then she almost invariably ends up going off with one of her many guy friends; if they ask her to do something, she drops everything and goes.
We take a back seat because we’re women, apparently.

Now, we just make a proposal and then assume she won’t be joining us. We’re almost always right.

We do not wait on her anymore.

That sucks. I actually feel kind of guilty because I do make conditional plans with the idea that it won’t be definite until the day of due to my theatre schedule which is constantly changing and always really busy and something I have no control over. Believe me, I’m just as annoyed as my friends must be because I never get to do anything fun anymore. Not that I don’t love what I do, I just miss having friends around sometimes. But anyway, are you sure of this person’s motivations?

Agreed. That will only happen to me twice. Once I’ll let go, but the second time I will simply not make plans with that person again.

I agree. A surprisingly large percentage of people are very flaky in this way.

One of my oldest friends used to do this. I still don’t know if it was intentional or not. We’d be hanging out having the best time, and make plans to meet up again, and then I’d call her/expect her/whatever, and she wouldn’t show.

When I got hold of her she’d tell me she forgot, or “this came up,” or whatever. Her reasons (when she had one) were always rational, and when she forgot she’d be very sorry.

Who cares, though. If you’re that forgetful you’re just being rude, and if “this came up” X amount of times you’re being even more rude.

I still love her and I see her when I can, but I no longer make her a priority, because I’ve never been a priority for her.

As long as you’re upfront about why you can’t be definite, your friends understand the reasons, and you let your friends know as soon as you do that the plans must change due to your work’s demands, I don’t see anything wrong with this. What the OP and others are unhappy about (me too) is the situation where one’s left feeling like an afterthought to the date-breaker’s life.

I don’t have any friends who do this. I’ve had friends who do this, but after a couple of times then I stopped inviting them. Life is too stort for that kind of shit.

Someone like coffinjumper wouldn’t bother me, since that’s a valid reason to not be able to commit.

God, I had a friend like this in college. We’d made plans to hang out on Christmas Eve (like, waaaaaaaaaaaay ahead of time, and she was the one who wanted to do it in the first place) and then she blew me off so she could hang out with this guy she’d met on a blind date the previous week. And she wasn’t even really that into him, or so she said. She was a nice girl, but insecure as hell, and the idea that a guy actually wanted to hang out with her was too attractive to pass up, I suppose.

I agree. I take it as a pretty obvious sign that the person’s preference in friends lies elsewhere. No sense wasting my time over it.

I have a frirnd who does a variation–won’t respond to invitations, or call me, until the last minute, in case something better comes up. I only invite her to do things when I don’t need to know until the last minute that she’ll show up, oe when I don’t care. However, when shje does put in an appearance, she’s hilarious, which is why I keep her around.

Yes yes yes! This is my number one pet peeve about people, so much so that all I have to say around my friends is ‘Better offer’, and they know exactly why I’m in a foul mood about someone or some event. I HATE it when people blow me off because they were offered something more enjoyable.
I will admit, there are times that I’ve not done things I’ve considered ‘more fun’ because I made a commitment, and felt sort-of frustrated about that, but fer chrissakes, folks, a commitment is a commitment. If you say you’re going to do something… Do it.
It took me a long time to get to a place where I could realize that certain friends just weren’t going to come through for me, and I’ll admit I’m still somewhat upset over the fact that I lost a friend specifically due to this, but it’s healthier. Now if certain people say they’re going to do certain things, I can look at it with an eye of, “Well, I know they’re probably not going to do it. If they do, I’ll be pleasantly surprised, but I shouldn’t hinge my hopes on it.”

I had a friend I used to bowl with and run around with, then she moved out of state. She would e-mail me when she was planning to come back in town, and we’d make plans to get together. I swear, it was about 4-5 times in a row that she stood me up! The last time she didn’t even e-mail me to say she was sorry! No call, no nothing.

So the next time she had plans to come this way, I told her the truth. I told her that she’d hurt my feelings one too many times, and that we should just be internet buddies instead of trying to meet up again.

She blew up! She severed the friendship completely. It still hurts, because it was fun to keep up with each other’s lives and children and stuff, but - whatever.


What’s really frustrating about this is that the kind of person who would do this often has no idea that they’re doing anything wrong. I’ve got to wonder if other people do the same to them, and if they’re OK with it.

Yes. I sometimes wonder if this one friend of mine ever thinks that by rights, I should still be sitting at the Baker’s Square restaurant, waiting for her to show up for lunch–18 years ago. This was not the first or only time she stood me up. I am still (nominally) friends with her, but it’s very loose and I don’t count on her for anything. This is the same friend who when I cancelled some lunch plans via email–the next time we did get together asked me if she’d done anything to piss me off etc. I told her no, but did think–see, not so nice when the shoe’s on the other foot, eh?

One thing I am sick to death of is doing all the heavy lifting in any relationship. There must be reciprocity or I’m outta there. I’ve come to this after years of being “nice” about this kind of shit. People don’t see is as being nice–they see it as being a doormat. Ugh. At 45, I am sick of being a friend of convenience to anyone. Subsequently, I have few friends (most women my age are working FT or PT and have kids etc). So, I do get lonely, but not hurt. Kind of a Hobson’s choice, really.

Amen to all of this. dgrd, do you let the same people do this over and over, or do you cut them loose when it becomes apparent what they’re doing? I have no time at all for people who want to waste my time and treat me disrespectfully. I would rather have no friends than such bad friends.

Hell, nip that in the bud. Once someone does that to me, they’re on the list. I won’t go anywhere with them. They won’t get any phone calls from me, and they’d better hope they catch me by surprise if they call me, 'cuz I probably won’t talk to them. Lifes too short for fair weather friends.

I have no intention of ever inviting this person to anything again (note that I didn’t even invite this person this time; he invited me). If they ask to come, then that’s fine. But I certainly have no intention of being used like this so if they invite me I will give a tentative yes.

Hell, tell that person, “Okay, I’ll come, unless something better pops up in the meantime, then tough titties.” :wink: