Should I fight for my friendship?

I guess guys are not good at these sort of situations, or at least I’m not, but I was wondering what to do. I was fairly good friends with this guy I knew from work (let’s call him Dave). Then for some reason, Dave started distancing himself from me about two years ago. We had used to hang out a lot, either the two of us, or with our wives, but at some point he stopped suggesting we do things, and it was about two years ago that I noticed that Dave hadn’t initiated anything for a while. And 18 months ago both of us left that job to work in other places, and we pretty much lost touch. I have communicated with Dave a couple of times since then by email, and his response was friendly enough, but nothing more than that. Last fall I proposed that we meet for lunch, and he said that he had some travel planned but would get back to me after he returned to set something up. He never did.

I should add that we never had a falling out or anything, just sort of grew apart. I know that I have let this go on for quite a while already, but I never really knew what to do. And in the meantime, my wife and I had a baby, but never received any congratulations or anything from him. Dave and I still have common friends, and I have gently tried to sound them out to see if there was something up, but they couldn’t shed any light.

So I am thinking of contacting Dave and just flat out asking if there is a problem and to tell him that our friendship is still important to me. But is that too pathetic? Perhaps he ‘just isn’t that into me’. I don’t suppose he needs a reason. But I also wonder if I do raise the issue with him, what is he going to do? Would everything just go back to normal? Would he tell me the truth that he doesn’t want to be friends? Or would it create an awkward situation where he is forced to hang out with me (at least for a while) when he doesn’t really want to?

Dopers’ advice would be appreciated. I feel like I am in high school again…

He dumped you.

Move on.



Either one of these, or he might just not respond at all. He’s Just Not That Into You, I’m afraid. :frowning: Sucks, but there it is.

And on the bright side, now you have time to seek out new friends who won’t give you the brush-off when you want to hang out with them!

Sounds like you two just grew apart. Feel free to invite him to stuff or whatever, and it’s up to him to decide if he’s interested or not. Either way, I wouldn’t expect to ever be as close as you once were. The thing is, with this sort of thing, unless it was quite sudden, there probably isn’t a specific thing he can point to except that you aren’t as close as you used to be. But that’s sort of the nature of friendships, even good friendships ebb and flow, and sometimes they just slowly fade.

I’d look for new friends. Many friendships wither because of mundane things (e.g. schedule changes, new boy/girlfriend, your kid doesn’t play on their kid’s soccer team anymore, etc.) and are not some huge dramatic deal. It may be less of a “I don’t like him anymore” than a “I only have a finite amount of time in my day and I’d prefer to spend it doing something else.”

You’ve made the attempt. Now let it go.

Let it go.

Let it go. Maybe his wife hated yours…or was attracted to you. Maybe your politics differed. Whatever it was, you can’t get it back. It sucks, but it happens. Sorry.

Another vote for let it go. Sure, you could email him and ask what the deal is, but whether he responds or not, the fact is he doesn’t want to be your friend anymore and you’re not going to convince him otherwise.

I have been the dumpee on a similar relationship lately. On the surface, Jane (not her real name) and I have a lot in common. However, I find her personality to be grating and now that we don’t work together, I don’t feel the urge to keep in touch with her.

I agree with let it go. You can always be open to grabbing lunch or a beer if fate and circumstances dump the opportunity in your laps, but don’t put effort into arranging anything.

I predict, with confidence, that there will be no desirable result from any attempt to get together, nor from any attempt to talk to him about it. There could, however, be an undesirable result from the latter, with the naked truth leaving both of you in awkward postitions.

There’s probably no animosity or bad feelings on his part, rather just on of those things where people grow in different directions. Though the underlying cause may remain a mystery – even to him – I’d say the communication has been clear enough. Take the hint.

Guy just aren’t that good at keeping friendships going. Call him again and go to lunch. You may need to be the guy that keeps the friendship going. I wouldn’t worry too much about it. If he doesn’t want to go he’ll keep making excuses or come out and tell you.

Try again. I mean you are just as guilty as he is for letting the friendship lapse.

Why fight for a friendship that isn’t doing anything for either of you? It doesn’t sound like the friendship was that big of a deal in the first place. Sure, you used to be buddies and you may be wondering why you aren’t anymore but I don’t advise calling him and asking what went wrong. Let it go and meet some new people.

I am currently Dave in this situation, with a friend who wants to get together and wonders what went wrong. The truth is that I am no longer interested in the activity where we met and got together. It isn’t him, it’s that I don’t do that thing anymore and that is what brought us together. I don’t mind going out to dinner (with our wives) but it’s kind of weird since we never did before.

You could contact him one more time and try to set up lunch again, but I probably wouldn’t. The ball is in his court, and he’s not volleying it back to you. I had the same thing happen with a friend, with the same result. Still waiting on her to set the time when we’ll get together for coffee. :slight_smile:

On the other side of the coin, I’m terrible at being the one keeping friendships going, but if you called me and wanted to go for lunch, I’d make myself available and go for lunch. I think you and your friend have grown apart.

As I have learned from experience, you cannot fight for a friendship.

If someone belongs with you, the world cannot keep you apart. If they do not, then all the kings horses and all the kings men…

It’s not you. It’s him.

Find a new BFF.

I’m not trying to minimize your hurt, but this stuff happens all the time. ALL the time. I’ve done it to more friends than I’d like to admit (due to distance, growing apart, different lifestyles, kids, etc). I grew apart from the old drinking pals I had in my teens and 20’s. My interests are different and I want to spend free time with my family. Making and keeping friends is a huge downfall of mine. My free time is like precious GOLD now that I have kids.

Really, it’s not you… it’s just life.

Keep in touch. But don’t fight for an active friendship. If you manage to establish one, it will be you doing all of the work.

My guess is that two years ago Dave started looking for a new job and as part of that process, started separating himself from his coworkers. He is probably the kind of guy where if its immediate and in front of him, he spends time on it. But if it isn’t easy - like just getting together for happy hour after work, or talking over the cube walls - he doesn’t make the effort. Doesn’t have much to do with you.

How old is the baby? Babies often change friendships. Especially if they don’t have any. Especially if they don’t have any but want some.

Whatever you do, do not ask “What’s the deal, man?” That will positively register a negative response. Either an angry defensive stance or a sad guilty one. Even if it’s the latter, your friendship will not go back to the way it was. Chances are you will be perceived as needy and every choice in regards to you will go through that filter. As in, “Should I invite Orville mogul to the backyard bbq I was holding exclusively for very close friends? If he finds out I didn’t invite him, he’ll be upset.” Or, “It’s been two months since I’ve talked to Orville mogul. If I don’t call him soon, he’ll think I’m mad at him again. sigh” Do you really want to be that guy?

Dave might be the type who makes situational friends easily, but as soon as those friends aren’t in the situation anymore, it’s like they don’t exist. It’s not the best way to treat people, but I admit that I’m very much like this. A woman I befriended during my post-doc was a situational friend. We ate lunch together and spent our breaks together, and a couple of times I hung out with her and her husband. She told me I was the only friend she had in Miami, and she was my only friend too. As soon as I left for Virginia, though, she didn’t register in my “world” anymore. Yet, the feeling was not reciprocated. She regularly sends me postcards and Christmas cards, and even emails. Sometimes I respond. Most times I don’t. The girl didn’t do anything bad at all, and she really is a great person. It’s just that I’m not into maintaining friendships. (Years before we went our separate ways, I actually warned her that this is the type of evil person I am. We chuckled about it and she told me that she’d fix me. I guess one day she’ll realize I’m not fixable :(.)

So I would move on, if I were you. Don’t give up on Dave; maybe another situation will arise–like a party at a mutual friend’s house that you both attend–and your friendship can be rekindled in a natural way. But I wouldn’t put him on the spot like you’re planning on doing.

Second this. He could have genuinely meant it every time he said he’d be in touch or you should get together (rather than outright lying), and it just never happened. But when it just never happens a few times, it’s done.


Let it go.