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Having trouble managing my time with friends


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I'm a major introvert, and have very few friends.. I have two best friends (both males, one gay, one I used to dated about 5 years ago), whom I see once every two weeks or so and I'm completely fine with that and they are as well. I have a two year old, focused on school, and completely understand about where I need to be. I dont go out at night, if I do go out, it'll be to have coffee or lunch with them. I'm also in a period right now where I'm getting over my ex, we were together for two years, and its been about 6 months since the breakup, and I'm doing fairly well in my quest to get over him.


One of my best friends (the one I dated a long time ago), sees me being newly single as an opportunity to squeeze in and date me again. I made it very clear that I just want to be single right now, and didnt want to ruin our friendship.. I very much enjoy staying at home, and just hanging out with my daughter. I know it sounds bad, but the times I go out to see my friends, I actually force myself to because I dont want to lose their friendships. He's persistantly still trying to hang out with me more and more often. I can tell I'm disappointing him and maybe even hurting our friendship, but I know his intentions and dont want to put myself in an uncomfortable position..


Also, my parents live upstate, and my mom is visiting, and I so want to stay at home and visit with her. and both of my brothers live about an hour away and I want to see them on the weekends. My family is so important to me, and I dont know how to tell him my family is more important to me right now.


I dont really know what I'm asking, just venting. If you have any thoughts, please share.

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Your priorities make perfect sense to me, given you have a young child and school to focus on, you know what you want, and cannot afford to spread yourself thin. You sound strong and compassionate and level headed. As for your friend who is not getting the message, I'm not sure how you can get it accross. Perhaps " I don't have time or interest in a relationship, but friendship is good. Coffee once a month is all I can honestly do these days. Maybe we can have a coffee clan and open it up to new friends? First Monday of the month?" Just a thought...

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True friendship is equal with neither holding an agenda for the other. The minute one person wants 'more' than a friendship from the other, it's not a friendship anymore--it's manipulation.


You're not the one harming the friendship, and the fact that you feel squirmy and a need to justify your free time to the guy means he's manipulating you.


I'd give him the option of accepting the limitations of the friendship you're willing to offer, or not. I'd clarify for him that you won't be pushed into offering more, and if you start to feel pressed, you'll see less of him, not more.


You don't 'owe' excuses or justifications, and a real friend would not position you to feel uncomfortable. It might be time to put the brakes on this guy unless and until he can readjust his expectations of you--and ether take it or leave it.


If he leaves it, you're better off. That means the relationship was reduced to dishonestly cloaked in friendship. That's not something a good Mom allows into her life--your time is too valuable for that nonsense.


In your corner.

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Thanks so much for your opinions, I agree with all of them. Just, a part of me feels like I'm blowing him off. He says he understands about the whole friend thing, and part of me feels like he's still waiting around until I'm "ready" to be with him. I feel like when I find the guy I choose to be with, it wont be so forced, like it already is when I make time to hang out with him. I'm not saying our relationship is forced, it's just easier to talk just at school, and harder to invite him over to spend the evening just talking when I have my daughter there begging for attention.


Lol, I just read that over again. I feel like an old woman. If I had my way, I would spend all of my time at home playing around with my daughter, or reading, or taking naps.

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Nah, you don't sound old, you sound like a Mom. Plus, someone who's still talking about school doesn't sound old, whether they're 20 or 60.


Anyone can state point blank that they understand and accept limitations. Just watch what comes out sideways. If the same person applies pressure in any way, then they're full of bunk. If someone tries to make you 'feel' a certain way, such as 'guilty' then that's manipulation--it's not an 'understanding,' at all.


Go with your gut, and don't cater to anyone just because your social list is small. When and if you're ever ready to expand your number of friends or the amount of time you want to devote to friendships, you'll do so. If not, then you won't. The only valid pressure to do so is internal--anyone else's pressure is an agenda, and you don't need to cater to it.

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