More threads by heatherly


Before we moved 9 years ago, I had a friend who I used to go shopping with once a week or we would go to each other's homes to visit. There were times when I would be at her home and if he long distance family called, she would talk to them, and I would finally get up and leave. I knew she was homesick but this put me out, literally and figuratively. When we moved she gave me a party and cried.

Then after we moved she never called. I would call, leave a message, and maybe she would call back.

Then she moved back to her family, and her two friends that she knew had emailed her and called, and when she didn't return the call, they quit trying. They were smarter than me.

So now she is with family, and the same thing happens. Sometimes, I would finally call her mother to see how she was, and her mother would relay the message, and she would call. But on the holidays I always got great gifts from her, even my birthday. I have told her before that I would rather hear from her. I even asked her once if she would rather not do gifts, and she would say that she loves shopping for a gift for me. I often got a little note from her in the gift box.

I have even told her that I felt bad that I never got return calls. She tried to do better but failed.

We went to visit her this summer on our trip across the U.S. She told us that the day we were coming she had to do some things for her mother and would be home as soon as she could. We waited about two hours. Her son told us that he told her that we had come all this way to see her, and so she should have been there. It wasn't as if her mother couldn't do what was needed. We we only spent two nights there, and on one evening she wanted to go to her family's party. We were sick from the elevation but said that we would go. It isn't as if her family doesn't all live there. And then of course, she went to help them do things. I had wished we had never stopped. Even though we had had one day together shopping and had lunch.

We have been back since September and no word from her. I decided to not write or call. Then I get a call from her that her brother just died. And then I write a nice letter, give a Christmas gift again, and then I call, and no return call. She emails me a quick thank you for the gifts, calls me her dearest friend, and then I get a gift from her with no note. I email to thank her and again say that I would love to hear from her that that was more important than gifts. Nothing.

So I am left thinking that I am stupid for trying to keep up the friendship. And I don't quite understand her. Her birthday is now coming up, and my plan is maybe a card but no gift. And no card if I don't hear from her. I have tried analyzing this but have failed. Once I didn't write to her or call for over 3 months, and then I get an email where she is telling me that she is sorry, that she isn't good at communicating, and that she hopes I am not angry, but that she will call soon. I write back that I understand. Then I don't hear from her until I have called a few times.

I think we had been friends for 3 years when we lived next door to each other.

What am I missing, if anything other than my marbles? How do I get out of gift giving if that is needed?


MVP, Forum Supporter
Maybe she has a limitation that she finds hard to explain or perhaps even understand herself, and also to change. Some people find chatting on the phone to a friend difficult.... or maybe it depends on the circumstances.... the type of relationship or the circumstances of the relationship.

I should at some point work on this, but I have never been good at / confident with talking on the phone about ... like... life. I will make a quick call about an arrangement if I need to. A 'task call' - making an appointment or something, using the phone in the workplace for a task to be completed - fine.

I never, ever, ever call anyone to see how they are doing or 'just talk'. I do my relating in-person or in a textual way.

I talk to my parents on the phone, but they call me. They rave and rave and rave, and I don't have to find / think what to say / worry about how well I'm carrying on the conversation. They are also my parents - it's just different to a friend.

And something that a person finds hard, quite often they intend to try to do, but may put off and then other things get in the way. Depending on the friendship or what's been happening in my life or mind, I can tend to feel awkward or unsure easily, and don't know how to keep up with friends well or if I'm doing it right. (Health is an issue too.) I indecisively put it off or turn over what I should do and how I should do it, in my mind.

What ends up happening is, eventually I run into them or they make contact, and then I feel better and more confident to do something and stop worrying. Or if I work really hard on a certain aspect of wellbeing or if other stressors are calm for a while, I ...eventually.... have a moment of confidence and do some sort of contact via Facebook or something.

There are lots of people I care about but I simply don't know how to reconnect or stay connected well or don't feel confident to do it in certain ways, after certain things in my life story. And there are friendshippy things in me I'd like to work on or develop, but there has simply been a list of more pressing challenges that would be very costly and disastrous to not focus on first.... and just one stressor or change or thing to deal with after another. So lots of things I'd like to improve just get back-burnered.

I don't necessarily tell people depth or detail of what my life is like or explain my experience or go into certain topics. And I don't necessarily know how well I could if I tried.

The result of all this is, people might think the wrong thing or make a certain conclusion, but if they lived in my body and mind and life I know they would 'get it' and would realise that I do care about them. What I am offering might not be good enough for their viewpoint and I guess they can make that call. But it would not have meant that I do not care for them, and sadly what I am doing really is my best.

I am not sure what to tell you to do or think - but I don't think she does not care about you; that's just my instinct.
Heatherly if you care abt this person and she is your friend then all you can do is continue to reach out to her.
As said maybe she just has so much on her mind that reaching out to others just is something she cannot do
If yoiu feel the friendship has run its course and that there is no further connection then letting go may also be an answer and see what her response is. Last time you did not connect to her she eventually contacted you so i do think she care


I do not see anything that this friend of mine does that shows that she wants me for a friend. She never calls unless I have called and left messages several times. If I did not persue the friendship it would be gone. She talks on the phone to other people, even has two women friends that she sees and gets together with. In our case, she lives thousands of miles away now, so it has to be via phone. The few times we have talked in the last eight years, it was me calling her, and we had an enjoyable conversation. The two times she has called me it has been to report deaths in her family, and after that, it was a struggle to get in touch with her to see how she was doing.


MVP, Forum Supporter
It is a confusing situation, true. The only other thing I can think of is, is it possible that there's something about the physical distance that has made a difficulty with intimacy or talk for her? Maybe not, but it's just an idea. Does she have other very-long-distance friends that she works hard to make calls to?

It *would* seem like she's disinterested / less interested or invested than you, or inconsiderate, apart from the fact that it seems like she's done well via the gift side of things. I feel like a disinterested person would not do that....?? Don't know?


I know what you mean MHealthJo by a disinterested person would not do this, but ever since she has moved away she doesn't call, yet when she lived away from her family they always called each other, and I know she has a friend back in the State that we both moved away from, and once a year they get together and spend a few days. She must talk to her more than that once a year gathering, but I don't know for sure. And as to the gifts she says, "I like to by things for you." And I always say that "talking to her means more to me than gifts," but then nothing comes of that. I said it again over a week ago, and it is always, "I will call you." Then nothing. It is her birthday coming up and all I could manage to do with send her a card and a note when we usually exchange gifts. I just couldn't make myself do the gift thing anymore as this has been going on for 8 years. I am finally just too hurt.
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