Friday, March 16, 2012

{Friendship Friday} Are we all too busy to have friends?

I saw a post the other day where the lady was saying she can't believe they've become "those people".

People who are too busy to see their friends because there's one thing after another and it's a whole diary-scheduling manoevre to get a date that suits everyone.

That was 1.

My mind starts whirring. Hmmm.

Then I invited a friend over for lunch and she told me we can do May. All valid reasons but still, frustrating for me. We've since scheduled our lunch.

That was 2.

I'm starting to think, "what in the Sam Hill is going on?"

And then I was trying to make plans with another friend and she said she can do 28 April.

So I flipped.

I told this second friend (in a jokey but kind-of serious way) that this is ridiculous and I'm starting to feel like does she actually want to see me?

She laughed and we made a plan sooner than end April. We'd been saying we missed each other, etc. so I didn't feel vulnerable like it was all about me being needy.

I felt like a bit of a tyrant afterwards but it had been weighing on me.

How can I nurture my friendships if we never see each other?

It also bothers me that I seem to be the only one concerned by this non-seeing thing.

I don't only want to have SMS, blog and email friends. Especially if we live in the same city. Let's not even talk about Facebook friends.

Technology is all well and good... but you can't see the person's eyes light up and hear their laugh and properly connect.

And then someone else mentioned that her friend always makes excuses about seeing them and I commented and said I'd ask her straight out what's going on (this person is straightforward like I am :) I know that's not everyone's style) but yes, I do know we all are too busy.

Over to you.

Do you think we're all too busy to have nurturing friendships?

What do you think when you hear "I can see you in x months"? I feel like "oh, I'm number 20 on the totem pole".

Are you happy to just be technology friends in the same city?

(I am VERRRY happy to be technology friends for those in other cities and countries but I'll admit I think it's ridiculous when you're in the same city)


  1. I think I would be okay with "in two weeks" or something like that - but May!! OMW! In those cases I would likely feel that I am just not important enough, or that the person is trying to delay it, so that we likely would not meet at all. I am also, also have a life (yeah right hahaha), but I try to make time for people who invite me or ask to meet up. I often feel that that is not often reciprocated (from others). In some cases where I have tried to meet with an old friend (who contacted me and chatted online), and they have said they will get back to me with a date - I have just let it go.

    I don't know... Maybe some people are "okay" with the connections we now get thanks to technology. I for one am not - I like to visit, drink coffee or a glass of wine together, chat, complain, and laugh together. Really connect. That is what it is about!

  2. I think it all comes back to personality. I'm happy to have online friends because I don't highly value face to face contact and I'm quite bad at it as you may very well see! I also value my own time a little more than time with other because I spend so much of my day out of the house and with the children. Come 8 o'clock (my going out time) I'm beat and ready to hit the sheets to prepare for the next day!

    So I don't think I'm too busy to have face to face nurturing relationships, it's all in how you prioritize!

    Now my question, can someone like you be friends with someone who doesn't have the same priorities? I think these relationships tend to fall apart because one party feels neglected or rejected. It's not that I don't value my friends, I just value my time more. (Yes, I concede that sounds totally shitty.)

  3. This is quite a tricky question. I personally do think that we are too busy to nurture friendships. Having said that, if you really want something to happen, in most cases (where your circumstances allow) you will make an effort just like you and your friend did in the example that you mention in the post. I do get frustrated by it but at the same time, I do understand. I mostly have this problem with my friends who have kids. And in a way I understand it. For example, my Child1 is independent but at the same time he is not independent. He still needs me to fetch and drop him at places, there are still times when he needs supervision and we do live in dangerous times so I think that we are more paranoid about letting them do things when we are not around As the kids get older, THEIR social life starts to determine YOUR social life. Sad but true. I have a friend whose son plays cricket in summer and soccer in winter. She is at the sports field ALL weekend. During the holidays when he goes on sports tours, she accompanies him. She also accompanies him to certain sports functions. My friends husband works shifts so about 95% of the time he can't be there. Also, many people don't have the support that you and I have. Tomorrow morning I am having breakfast with my Mom and Sister. Lance is working from home in the morning so he can't watch the kids. However, I have the option of taking them to MIL which I'll be doing, I'll spend about 3 hours with my Mom and Sister and then I'll go to the shops and THEN I'll fetch them so we can watch movies or whatever. Not everyone has that support. Not everyone is lucky enough to have those options. Not everyone can meet for a quick dinner in the evenings so I do try to understand, even though it is frustrating. I do try to NOT make it about me but it is easier said than done.
    And no, I don't like doing technology friendships (especially if we live in the same city) but sometimes life just gets very busy and I end up doing the technology thing because I do feel that it is better to have some technology rather than NOTHING at all. Yes, it is ridiculous but sometimes it's all that people can manage.
    Awesome post btw. Definitely food for thought.
    BTW...Last night I explained my friends spreadsheet to Elton in great detail - he's never given me a chance because he was always too busy laughing and calling me OCD. I explained why I have it and what the objectives of said spreadsheet are. He FINALLY gets it. And he's now going to do his own one.

  4. Yoh. I had no idea my comment was so long. Should have paragraphed it. Sorry.

  5. I'm a bit guilty on this one. I only schedule one "event" per weekend...otherwise I feel utterly exhausted on a Monday! So for planned events I'm usually booked far in advance. However I like a bit of spontaniety too. If you need to do an unplanned driveby coffee date or somebody to go chuck bread at ducks at a moment's notice I'm very happy to do that provided I don't have to dress up and it doesn't interfere with Nicola's nap time. ;-)

    I do believe that if a friendship is important to you, you'll MAKE time in whatever way you can.

    (on occasion I've turned down restaurant events even when we weren't busy because it was end of the month salty crax for us already...that can't be happens)

  6. HI Marcia You are a wonderful friend and your friends are lucky to have you :-) Yes it gets me down a bit too that I dont see my friends more often but both sides are guilty here. I do try to make the effort to organise seeing my friends now but its certainly not easy as most of mine are at least 2 - 3 hrs drive away so its hard with my 8 month old. Just a note on your other post about being dumped- I really feel for you. I have been dumped but the worst thing was when I confronted her about it, (I'm not one to shy or beat around the bush-) she denied anything was wrong. I hate that! Just say it , if you have a problem. I have also 'dumped' but I did write a letter expplaining why, ie that she had hurt me too many times to go back and I had to move on with my life. It was very hard but that particular friend had broken my "friend" heart and my trust too many times.
    Lovely Marcia I wish you a beautiful Sunday with your amazing family

  7. DH and I work hard to try to make sure we find time to meet up with our friends. Our closest friends we see pretty much every week. They live around the corner and are like family to us. We have other friends that we try to meet up with at least once a month. It takes work to make sure you can, but once you make the time, it's so much fun!

  8. oh man. i get irritated by this as well. but usually it's opposite for me. people call me and want to be able to do something immediately. it's so hard when you have to arrange child care/schedules/work/whatever. i like to be able to schedule things, but try to keep it within the week. scheduling MONTHS out seems to be a little unreasonable!!

    but things are different with two spouses working, kids, other commitments, right? it takes some effort to get everything lined up.

    i'm okay with being techy friends with people, but agree that if you're in the general area that you should try to meet. i say that and i STILL haven't met with my bloggy friend that lives 20 minutes away. we just can't seem to ever arrange it! :)

  9. I think you're on to something here. I'm currently reading "MWF seeks BFF" about a woman's search for a new best friend...someone she can call for coffee and pedicures, ya know? While it's not terribly intriguing, it does lend itself to an interesting question. Are friendships going to be as deep and meaningful in adulthood as they were when we were younger? Will we always be searching for that brass ring of friendship when it could be out of our reach?

    My family comes first, work second, me third, and then everything's tough.

  10. I never have plans so far out that it would be months before I could see someone. Generally I'm always available- wanna do lunch? I'm hungry right now!


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