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Feels like my friends don't put in as much effort as me in hanging out


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I'm tired of rewriting this.


Basically I have two or three very close friends whom I rarely see (we're all in our late 20s), or at least I feel like I don't see enough - and when I finally get together with one of them it's always on me. I message them, I go to the effort, I plan things out. Basically that, hanging out is 100% on me and if I didn't move a finger for any of them I would never see or hear from them again. Well, not for a few months anyway. I don't know if I'm being clingy, needy, pushy or actually have a claim on this, and not knowing annoys me to no end.


One of them is in a steady relationship - practically married - another one is going out, the third one's single. Only one of them has an actual (part-time) job. They're not exactly swamped up with work and such, though I will concede they have a bigger circle of friends than I do, which I suppose keeps them busy and on demand. But come on, one of them lives like 6 blocks away from me - only been up to his apartment once. Never invited me up since, always comes to my place, if he comes, if I call him. We haven't gotten together since like mid December.


I don't want to overwrite this. I have a great time with my friends when we do get together, it just doesn't happen often enough for my liking, and what frustrates me the most is that it's gotten to the point where it is 100% depending on me. Every time I try playing it quiet for like a week or more I end up caving in and calling them. And then it's back to waiting on them whenever they feel like getting together.


Any thoughts on the situation?

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Friendships change over time. Some people would feel grateful to have people in their lives they could enjoy hanging out with, even if they had to initiate it. Yes, it would be ideal if they would reach out to you, but is it worth losing these friendships just because they require a little extra effort on your part?

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In my experience, that's just how life is when you get older. I find my time primarily occupied by family, work, and running a household.

My husband actually has a friend who got angry today that my husband never comes around anymore. We both kind of laughed and said "what an idiot." We have a family, jobs, he's going to school, we make time to see my family and his, spend most our free time doing family activities with our daughter, cleaning the houses, dishes, laundry, pay the bills, grocery shopping...you get the picture.

As we grow up, we just have more responsibilities and friendships sometimes take a backseat. It is what it is, and it's kind of expected.

Now, if they're getting together regularly and not inviting you, that's a different story. You are the common denominator here so analyze yourself and think about whether there's something you're doing to make yourself the less preferred friend.

But before you go getting all annoyed at them (I'm sure they pick up on it), consider what all might be occupying their time. Or atleast talk to them about it in a non-accusatory way.

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Well, let me ask you, when you initiate a catch up, are they enthusiastic and prompt in arranging the meet up? Do they try to fit you in wherever they can once you asked? If the answer is yes to all of the above and they seem genuinely interested in your life when you see each other and you both have a great time, then I wouldn't be too bothered by it.


Yes people do have less time for friends when they're in a serious long term relationship. Distribution of time outside of work or study is usually, no 1 priority: time with partner; no 2 (or equally no 1): time with family (parents, siblings, family gatherings); no 3 close friends whom you also share with your partner, so like a group / couples gathering that involves your partner (usually for a lot of people, this is already on a limited schedule, maybe once a month). Then no 4 are friends that you catch up alone with separately, not involving partners. I'd say these friends get very limited time, and no 5 are all other acquaintances.


I only have one good friend who mutually initiates catch up with me regularly, that's because we work close to each other, so we get to see each other weekly for lunch. Other good friends, maybe once a month or even longer.


One of my good friends have family gatherings, events, his partner's friends/family events and weddings, and his own friends gatherings, sometimes he's booked out weeks ahead. But he's always enthusiastic when I organise a friends' catch up (along with other friends), we almost never catch up alone anymore. Some of my other friends are in similar positions. But they'll make time for me if I said "let's catch up" and we'd organise something pretty quickly.


One of my other good friends, though not super busy, also rarely initiates catch up, but she's always really excited to catch up when I initiate, promptly agree on a set date and time, sometimes suggest a place to eat but usually I make the suggestion because she doesn't really mind anything. We have a great time when we see each other. I invite her to my group gatherings too and she's always excited to come. She always tells me she likes our one on one catch ups. But she also said to me once that she's terrible at initiating catch ups (I didn't mention anything) and she rarely does with any of her friends.


I don't take offence to these friends not initiating, because sadly, for most people, friends do fall to the sideway a bit as relationship and family start to take up more and more time. For me, I make a conscious effort to keep those connections going, because I don't want to be in a position where my world become so small that all I have is my partner and family. Those outside connections keep me balanced and they are important to me. Whereas I don't think many of my friends think about it like that or at least don't make the conscious decision to maintain these connections.


I also have friends that are now more like acquaintances, because they almost never initiate, we're not in each others' close friends circles (so this is more like no 4 or 5 level priority wise). So one day I just thought, you know what, f*** it, I don't need to keep putting in the effort, they can initiate if they want to see me. Then just stopped initiating. So before I know it, it'd been 6 -9 months before we even spoke to each other. One of them did initiate a Christmas catch up, and we did, it was nice to see them, but I'm honestly ok with never / rarely seeing them because I've mentally let them go, made a conscious decision to stop putting in effort and let the chip fall where it may. But you know what, that's ok, we're not close friends and they are really busy with work, family, kids etc, so I get it.


So...it's up to you where you see these friends fit in your life and how important you see them (and how important do you think you are to them as well).


Honestly, I don't think it's that long if you last caught up in mid December. That's not too bad. It's the holidays, people get busy. One thing to consider is whether you expect too much time from your friends that does not match what they are willing to give. I mean, if you expect weekly contact and catch ups, that honestly sounds like a bit much.


It may also be time to make more likeminded friends who have the free time to hang with you, if that's what you like. Seems like your world is awfully small, and you're depending on those few friends for your social activities. Expanding your social circles opens up a whole world of new opportunities.

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