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jessicakicksbut 24th April 2003 5:16 AM

Is this normal?
Let me start by introducing myself to the forum. I am a 25 year old female, engaged to be marrried, who works a demanding, yet rewarding job (will explain more later). Over the last year, I have really backed off of my friends because I just don't feel like hanging out with them anymore. Weeks have gone by that I haven't picked up the phone to call any of them, and I am struggling to get the desire to do so. Is this normal? Am I being selfish, or anti-social?

Here are a few explanations I give myself (Does anyone else out there feel the same way about these things??):

1.) I'm in a different stage of my life now (engagement) then my friends, so it is hard to relate to them. Also, it seems as though some people treat you different once you become engaged or married.

2.) I work 12 hour night shifts during the week, and by the weekend all I want to do is spend time with my family and boyfriend, and sleep of course! Another thing is because of the shifts I work, this is the only time I get to spend with my family and boyfriend. Worse yet, I am sometimes on-call for my job on the weekends, so it is not like I have every weekend off.

3.) My friends have managed to irritate me over the last year, most of them apologized, but it hampered my enthusiasm to spend time with them. Long story in each case...I even lost a friend during this time because she was becoming too possessive and controlling, on top of being argumentative.

I'm not trying to give excuses, I just am trying to find reasons why I find maintaining my friendships makes me want to cringe...can anyone provide insight?

Jackie 24th April 2003 6:48 AM

Friends are important
I can understand all of the reasons you have listed for not making a concerted effort to maintain your friendships. I don't, however, see any real justification for severing contact altogether. You might think right now that having a fiancee and a loving family are all that you need but what happens when either of these two pillars of support - or both - come crashing down? Even if you just experience problems with either, it is healthy to turn to people who can give you objective advice and support outside your immediate family. Having good friends is also important for maintaining a balanced and healthy social life; you don't want to isolate yourself from your friends now and end up as a lonely recluse 10 years down the track. It is much harder to find friends when you're older, believe me.

In my opinion, and I don't mean to sound harsh, people who can't maintain friendships tend to be selfish by nature. My twin sister has never had a true and loyal friend because she can't be true and loyal herself - she refuses to give, or even compromise. She told herself she wanted to be alone with her husband and their life but I know she regrets not maintaining her outside friendships. Now she has nothing but her job and the kids to keep her occupied, while I can get away from it all with some close aquaintances and have 'real' conversations. I'm surprised that your friends would bother making an effort with you at all, after the way you have behaved. It's understandable that you're busy but you don't need to take entire weekends to catch up with these people - can you really not find the time for a 5 minute phone call?

If it wasn't for my friends my life would not be half as enjoyable and rewarding as it is now. We have been through our ups and downs together but it is always worth holding onto friendships in the end. They can teach you a lot about yourself and the world around you. If someone is having a negative influence on your life, certainly terminate the relationship. But don't end your friendships now just because you're too self involved to pick up the phone.

Dragonflys 24th April 2003 1:41 PM

Lousy Friends
It sounds pretty clear that you have the wrong type of friends. From what you say they appear insecure, controlling and selfish. The right type of friends for you would be those who discuss making plans to get together, with agreement on what you will do and respect for your time boundaries. You just do not need people in your life that are going to demand things of you when you are so busy.

I do believe, however, that if you do meet the right kinds of friends (and this may come down to more compatible interests too), that you will be more excited about getting together with them and will probably work less, or better still, bring your fiance along so you can all have a nice time together.

Keep yourself open to meet new people.


EnigmaXOXO 24th April 2003 3:10 PM


You are ABSOLUTELY normal!

As you make the transition from one life style to another, it is to be expected that your priorities will change. True friends and family will remain a part of you life although they may not remain the center of your universe or occupy such a great portion of your time as they once did.

As your life becomes busier, its normal that you will feel "stretched thin" at times and want to spend your quality time with those who mean the most to you at the moment. During this time, those high-maintenance friendships of the past will seem more of a chore to you than ever before. You and your partner may even gravitate towards new friends who have more in common---perhaps other couples with whom you share common goals and interests.

But it is also "normal" for your single friends to feel slighted and even put off by your sudden emotional detachment at this time. After all, they've become accustom to having you around. While some of your acquaintances will feel hurt or even a bit jealous, your TRUE friends will eventually understand and share in your happiness.

It will be impossible for you, right now, to keep EVERYONE happy without compromising your own well being. It will require a lot of tact and understanding on your part to juggle everyone's emotions (including your own). You must decide which of those relationships/friendships are truly valuable to you and nurture them to the best of your ability, while putting gentle closure on those acquaintances that only seem to tax your time and patience, demanding what you are unable to give at this time.

And remember not to burn all of those bridges. For one day things may not be going as wonderful for you as they are now, and you may need one of those close friends to confide in.

Compromise without sacrifice...

Tony T 24th April 2003 3:19 PM

To: EnigmaXOXO
Outstanding post above, excellent information, superb insight!!!

jessicakicksbut 25th April 2003 1:52 AM

Thank you for the advice.
I'd like to thank you all for the advice, especially EnigmaXoXo, it was very insightful. I realize more and more everyday that I have to move onto developing new friendships, and that not all friendships will last forever (such as the ones that are diminishing now). It's a shame, but when you have been hurt by friends before, and are going in totally different directions in life, it's ineveitable. My desire to hang out with my old friends is almost zero. I do care about them, but I am just afraid they will do to me what they have done to me in the past. It's just starting to build up inside me...the times they bummed money off me without repaying, Make subtle insults to me because of my looks or status (unfortuantely CONFESSED jealousy over what I have), bash my family, totally ignore me in the presence of certain people, etc. I've tried to forgive and forget, but I have almost reached my limit, so I have been weaning myself off my old friends.

My biggest obstacle in making new friends is the hours I work (12 hour shifts at night). The only friends I have made since I started my shift years ago are usually MUCH older than me...I mean they are great friends with much wisdom and understanding, but I sure wish I knew young people in the same stage of life as me who worked nightshift, and had time during the early morning hours to hang-out :-( I have some friends with whom I work nights with, but again, they are not close to my age and they are almost all married men. Any pointers for meeting people in the 20-30 range who have time during the day for friendships?

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