Are things reconcilable with my friend?


#1

I had a good friend who lived in my hometown. We became friends through religious activities and he is devoutly Catholic, as am I. He is a medical student but when he lived here we hung out frequently and even more frequently spent time discussing religion and other issues over the phone. Other times we would go for coffee and often we would share personal struggles and issues.

However, our friendship fell into decline after I realized how he would act around me / treat me. That's the crux of my issue, and I will explain further. I would like to get your take on it.

He was a great friend when it was just me and him. We would do many things together. But things wouuld seem to change dramatically when anyone else was around. For example, he met a girl in another province. They had a long-distance relationship. Eventually she was planning on visiting him for about 2 weeks in the summer. For about 2 months prior to this, he kept saying we should all hang out and that she wants to get to know me. He made plans with me and had many ideas about what we could do. Finally she arrived. But for some reason when she got there, he was constantly busy. It was like he was protecting her. He kept saying he was busy and couldn't do anything with me. But he would say "how about tomorrow?" so I would agree. but then "tomorrow" would come and he would just do stuff without inviting me. this continued until eventually she left. I don't mind if he wanted to do stuff alone, but he strung me along the entire time. Actually the day before she left, he invited me for quick coffee. At coffee there were a few other people he knew and we were there for about 20-30 minutes. That's a far cry from all the activities he had planned, like boat tours, movies, etc.

I was upset by this, but eventually we were friends again and I let it slide. A year later, we both attended the Eucharistic Congress in Quebec. We planned it together, talked about it together, and were planning a great trip with our group. He was my friend there, but when someone else came into the scene at all, he would ignore me. We had several roommates and were with people most of the time. He would not speak to me at all if someone else was there. But then when we were alone, he was my best buddy. Also, he knew many many people at the conference itself. If we went from one venue to another, he would stop usually about 7 to 10 times to talk to people. And he would go beyond protocol. Often, I would stand there as he spoke to someone for 10-15 minutes. They seemed surprised that he spent so much time with them. He would totally ignore me during these times and ignore the fact that we were running late.

Also, his total attitude towards me would change. Alone, we always joked and really got each other's humour. They were fun times. But in the group, he would react with annoyance when I told a joke, if he reacted at all. Sometimes I would say something to him, and he would try to brush it off.

Yet another inicident was at a pro-life walk. We went together, we were talking, but then he saw someone he knew. The person he knew was not quite sure who my friend was and my friend had to explain. Then for the entire walk, he spoke to that individual. I totally felt like a 3rd wheel. He did not include me, and he went overboard in talking to this person.

Later that year, he had a new girlfriend from another province. A similar thing to the first girlfriend happened. Since the prior incident, I did not get my hopes up, but I kept an open mind. He kept saying we should definitely do things together, etc. like last time. But when she came it was deja vu. He did not communicate with me at all. I came across him one day at Mass. He was with his girlfriend. I politely said hi, then went home. After about 10 or 12 days, he called me. To be honest, I did not feel up for doing stuff anymore. I had given up. About 30 minutes later, there was knocking at the door and the doorbell was ringing. Also, my phone was ringing. It was him. He came over without warning. He wanted to do something at that point. I didn't feel like it anymore. I felt like it was just sprung on me. I felt like he was saying "Jump" but I didn't want to ask "How high".

In the past I've also sent him several long emails, to which his reply would be one or two sentences. These represented major issues in my life. I had spent many hours listening to his issues whether over coffee or on the phone, but when I emailed him something he was always too busy.

Anyway, if anyone is still reading, I emailed him to explain all of these concerns. I had the impression that he would express his apology to me and say he was sorry for all of that, but instead he justified himself. He took each thing I said and gave a reason why it wasn't as it seemed or that I was wrong. As I said, he systematically responded to each issue I brought up. He also blamed me for much of it. Many of the issues I brought up, his response was something like, well I felt like that too, etc. But no apology or it was an apology like "sorry but you also did that"

Anyway, to say the least, I felt unsatisfied by his response. He seemed not to care. He was probably my best friend. We talked about so much, but in the end he seemed totally blase about my email. He kept saying things like well if that's what you want, then that's how it'll be I guess. My emails were not attacking, but rather cordial, and I tried to be very civil. He also said after a while, you shoudl forgive me, that's the Christian thing to do. That's part of my question. He only justified his actions, did not seek forgiveness. He has said multiple times the ball is in my court and that I must forgive him. But he hasn't expressed any regret. This was all a while back, but I decided to post it here to get everyone's response. As I said, for years we were really great friends. but he doesnt' seem to care one way or the other. How should I proceed?


#2

I think it's perfectly normal and understandable and expected that a man would blow off his buddy to spend time with a woman. It would be strange for a man to include you when he has precious little time with this long distance girlfriend. If they're a couple, they want to be alone, want to do romantic things, have romantic conversations. Why would they want another guy there?

It is strange that you would be upset with him because of that.

But if he treats you one way when you're alone, and seems annoyed at you/ignores you in company I would say that is weird and something to wonder about.

Why do you have so much emotional investment in this guy anyway? Why not just see him as a buddy you sometimes hang out with, and not care if he prefers to talk to other people?

You almost come across as if you're jealous.


#3

I think you need to give each other some space. He should probably be more direct if he feels smothered, and you do actually sound a bit clingy. Sorry but that’s how your post comes across.

Why did you stand there quietly when he chatted with people for 10-15 minutes? His chatting with someone for that amount of time is “beyond protocol”??? Go around and find other stuff to do, to see. Then at the pro-life walk he “went overboard” talking to someone?? What does that mean? Healthy friendships allow for some breathing room. Yeah it does sound like he lacks some social graces. Maybe next time you can smile and say “Hi, I’m phil8888…where are you from?” and be a casual, friendly part of the conversation instead of waiting for an invitation from your buddy. Look at it as meeting new friends instead of competition.

When his gf came, you could have invited a group of people out for bowling or coffee etc and then invited him and the gf. That way if they didn’t show up it’s no loss to you. You still would have had a great time. I hope you didn’t sit around waiting for the phone calls that never came.

Sounds like you would benefit to put more effort into what YOU want to do and what YOU enjoy doing apart from this person. Branch out. There’s a whole big beautiful world out there and lots of folks in it. You sound too dependent on this person, imo.


#4

I haven’t spoken to him in 3-4 months now, so if you are concerned about me being too “attached”, then don’t worry. I’m not upset that he spent all that time with his gf, that’s normal. If he was like, listen I probably can’t do much with you for a couple of weeks when my gf is here, I’d be like, no sweat man, have a good one.

This was different he would be constantly saying man, we definitely have to go here and do this, and do that, and on saturday when she’s here we will go on a boat tour, and then we can drive to here, etc, etc, etc. but then when she got here, I would say so what about this and he’d be like, no maybe tomorrow, and keep stringing me along. I could be honest about it.

and about talking to friends. we’re at the eucharistic congress and it says “next meeting at this location at 2pm. it’s 1:30” so we’re trying to get there. then he stops and talks to his friend for 10 minutes, like 10 literal minutes. ok fine. then he sees someone else, talks to them for 10 minutes, then next person. eventually we are 20 minutes late.

also, I mean when I was there in a group, I wouuld talk to everyone else. but if I made a joke to him like we always joke around, his response would be like “uhh, yeh, sure whatever” and look uncomfortable and annoyed.

it probably appears like I’ve very clingy because I only put in pertinent information. it happened over a span of 3-4 years, like a couple of weeks. you seem to make fun of the guy at the pro-life walk. I don’t mind him talking to a hundred people, but imagine you go somewhere with your friend and then your friend sees someone he BARELY knows and the other person doesn’t even recognize him, and then he spends the ENTIRE event talking to him, never once even introducing me.

In any event, if that’s what he wants to do, fine. I don’t think it’s appropriate, and I’m basically wondering what you think of his comment about the ball being in my court and being Christian and forgiving him.


#5

Hearing your side of the story I would say that this is how your friend is when among other people.

If you still want to be his friend, then forgive him and move on with your friendship with the understanding that this is how he will be.

Don't expect him to apologize for who he is. If you don't like him like this then avoid group situations with him.

If you decide that you don't want to be his friend then forgive him and move on with your life.

You must forgive him either way. Otherwise this will just drag you down.


#6

It sounds like you have a lot in common with him. If you can find a way to give him his space and forgive the times he just doesn't have the social graces you would like, then why not hang out again from time to time? If he hasn't done something strong enough to merit breaking off a friendship, why not just say "hey, you know, let's let it be water under the bridge. Such and such is happening next week and it would be cool if you could show up." And not get more intense than that, kwim?

Good luck.


#7

First, I will say upfront that I cannot really tell you what to do. :o

In regards to the girlfriend thing, I would say that he just lacks follow through. I know plenty of people who are big on making promises, but slow to deliver. He might not be doing it deliberately but just do to lack of foresight.

If he’s acting differently around you one-on-one than he is in groups, that is sort of weird. I had a friend like that…in grade school. Not knowing you or your friend, I can only guess, but it could be indicative that he’s embarassed of you.

Have you tried talking to him about this face-to-face? I know that for me, I’m far more comfortable expressing myself through the written word rather than the spoken word, but there are certain conversations that need to be done in person.

I think adv1sor (fittingly) gave some good advice. The only one you can change is you. So if you want to remain friends and accept his shortcomings, then go right ahead. If you’d rather not deal with and would rather just move on with your life, then do that.


#8

[quote="Joe_5859, post:7, topic:195050"]
First, I will say upfront that I cannot really tell you what to do. :o

In regards to the girlfriend thing, I would say that he just lacks follow through. I know plenty of people who are big on making promises, but slow to deliver. He might not be doing it deliberately but just do to lack of foresight.

If he's acting differently around you one-on-one than he is in groups, that is sort of weird. I had a friend like that...in grade school. Not knowing you or your friend, I can only guess, but it could be indicative that he's embarassed of you.

Have you tried talking to him about this face-to-face? I know that for me, I'm far more comfortable expressing myself through the written word rather than the spoken word, but there are certain conversations that need to be done in person.

I think adv1sor (fittingly) gave some good advice. The only one you can change is you. So if you want to remain friends and accept his shortcomings, then go right ahead. If you'd rather not deal with and would rather just move on with your life, then do that.

[/quote]

you're right, I feel more comfortable through written word than orally. it seems though he only wants to talk about it over the phone. he lives on the other end of the country now anyway and we haven't spoken in months. another thing that disturbs me is that he seemed to have no concern that our friendship was in jeopardy. he was totally satisfied to say "well, it's up to you" and then not care. I find that odd. but what makes it odd is that we were like best friends. I mean we would talk every day, hang out, etc. etc. it's not like we were casual acquintances. anyway, I'll digress.


#9

Just off the top of my head…he doesn’t sound like a true friend, and if you are uncomfortable with him then just keep your distance. Your friend comes across as someone who is difficult to communicate with on a mature level.


#10

[quote="Dorothy, post:9, topic:195050"]
Just off the top of my head....he doesn't sound like a true friend, and if you are uncomfortable with him then just keep your distance. Your friend comes across as someone who is difficult to communicate with on a mature level.

[/quote]

Thanks. At one point he even said I or another friend of his would be his best man at his wedding.


#11

That is weird that he seems so nonchalant about the prospect of losing you as a friend.

Perhaps he has intimacy issues and fears really getting close to people on an emotional level. :shrug:


#12

It sounds like you were more of a friend to him, than he was to you. I would just let him go his own way, fortunately he lives so far away now, that should not be too difficult.


#13

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