Feeling jaded about a friend
So, not that this is 'problem' but I do like to hear other people's experiences hence my post. In short, I've been feeling rather jaded over a good friend - I've never been put in such a position before to be honest, at least not with a friend.
Lets call my friend John. Well John and I have known each other for years, but have only become very good buddies the last 3 or so years. We bonded like brothers and it was great to be able to call someone that, seeing as how I'm not that close with my actual brother. A couple of months into the friendship, I noticed that John was rather flaky. For example, he would make plans and cancel at the last min. Call at the time he was supposed to be someone and say hes on his way, that sort of flaky kind of friend people complain about. To be honest, yea, it bugged me because I've never had such a flaky friend before. But I let it go because we were close and always had a good time. So a few weeks later, we were chilling and so I brought it up. The conversation went fine but he said that's how he is and that he is going to try and put an effort for the friendship. After that, he became consistently inconsistent, so in the sense that he would put the effort for a month or so, but then not the next and so on.
The last 6 months have been I guess shitter than usual. To given an example, one Friday night we made plans to see an early movie on Sunday afternoon. When I called him on Sunday morning to see when we'd meet - he was like 'Movie? ohhhh movie? but in a rather fake kinda, I 'forgot' way. The drama annoyed me because at least just say, hey I forgot and that's it. There have been other instances where he'll call me at the last min. to cancel plans but start with an entire introduction of his day, which then always leads to an excuse as to why he's breaking plans.
So, now I find myself jaded. I do care about him, but I don't make plans anymore. If he says, lets do something on the weekend, I don't bother follow up. I know hes noticed because his tone with me has been different and it almost sounds guilty-hard to really explain what I mean. Anyways, like I said, Im not particularly looking for advise. I guess since I've never been put in such a position before, other people's experiences would be interesting to hear. Thanks for listening.
Well, you seem to get the idea that he is not dependable, always late, needs reminding of obligations, seems very self involved, reamy, etc.
These kind of folks are difficult to have a relationship with; it can be exhausting. He may just have this dreamy kind of temperament or have ADD or something, who knows?
But once you know HOW he is, then you can protect yourself by being the reminder, the organizer, the guide, the leader. Do you have energy for all that? It does get tiring after a while.
Main thing to realize is: he probably doesn't even realize he's this way; it's not you at fault.
Decide if you want to put yourself thru all this. If he has other admirable qualities, then you can balance out the other behaviors that make you crazy.
or - just let him go.
Ah, yes, the flakey friend. We've all had one of those in our time, myself included. Usually, whatever level of self-centredness is behind it. Or it can be an over-crowded or -complicated life and mind as leads to recall problems.
This is the thing: some fault lines in some people's certain facets are either invisible or appear barely hairline from a certain distance. This means it's only once you get considerably closer that you can finally see and appreciate the true extent of them. And those faults may prove a giant incompatibility between the two of you. Or it may have been that this person's problematic-for-you facet hadn't ever faced you in your line of vision back when the starting nature of the relationship demanded only a certain, single aspect, i.e., as acquaintances you saw only the southern-most facets, numbers 1, 2, 3, but that when the promotion of the relationship demanded he TURNED, you finally got to see the western facets 4, 5 and 6... which weren't as much to your liking. Same happens in romantic relationships, which is why they're in large part a suck-it-and-see experiment (aside from any detectable, actual Red flags).
Another analogy is comparing people to onions, with multiple layers to match. Getting to know them better and better is like stripping off layers more and more deeply. Sometimes you get to a certain depth and find a rotten bit, underneath which the remaining layers might or might not prove likewise to whatever degree tainted. It's then that you have to weigh up their pros and cons to decide whether relationship Light To Dark Ratio, as I call it, is greater than 50:50 - where you feel, "whadevah, not really bothered one way or the other" - with 70:30 being the starting optimum and 90:10 being the (to you) ideal, and, of course, LOWER than 50:50 being a case of "Ew, no thanks - Neeext!".
So what IS John's L to D ratio in your estimation?
But, of course, before you know whether to keep or throw away an onion (or diamond in the rough), you first have to assess and explore the possibility of whether or not the situation is fixable/improvable. This is the burning bit because it relies wholly on the person valuing YOU greater than 50:50, thereby WANTING to tidy up their act and having that motivation to.
John said he did, said he'd give it a try for the sake of continuation of your contentedness (and, tacitly potentially, the friendship).
Sounds like either he truly is incapable OR didn't quite receive the tacit message, doesn't it. And it also sounds like you (think you) need John way more than he does you... The-brother-I-never-had angle.
If you were to meet someone else, someone who better fulfilled that major side need to bog-standard friendship of yours, you'd chuck John like a hot potato. And frankly, no-one would blame you. No-one *could* - least of all John. And certainly not me because, mate, there is flakey and then there is downright CRUMBLY... Last year's sandcastle: one prod and PHLUMPH! :-p
John may be YOUR good friend but you're not his. Respective needs unequal and out of kiler. You hinted that others feel this same way about him, though, is that right? If so, then either John isn't as much of a people-person as you or is a giant commitmentphobe.
He'll learn... Life has a way of rendering each of us needy at some point or other in our lives... it'll get him, sure as eggs is eggs. And then - where will YOU be? Answer: long gone (or at such a far-flung distance you may as well be). And, if he is the same with everyone, so will they be. At which point, ol' John will realise, 'no man is an island' and will start to put better effort into maintaining his friendships.
You're doing the right thing inthe meantime by backing off, however, because it encroaches into 'don't know what you've got until it's gone' territory... in this case, don't know what you've got until it STARTS TO GO.
Personally, however, that drip-drip process allows them too much time to adapt and make other filler provisions, so I prefer the short, sharp GONE! approach.
"Im not particularly looking for advise"
That's a bloomin' shame, then, because I'm very into giving advise and you're on an advice forum, LOL.
Still, no such thing as waste...someone else in your position who does need advice over it will no doubt read this and find it useful (even if just to cure their insomnia, LOL).
No such thing as waste in your own situation, either. Because, thanks to John, you are that much clearer than you used to be over what type of person you definitely do NOT rate when it comes to candidacy of friendship/quasi brother, eh. So it's all good.
Or, there again, when you said 'not particularly looking for advice', was that, per chance, a statement along the same lines as when a patient says to the doctor, 'My friend has a problem', meaning Type A Commitmentphobe (keeps a distance but not via flakiness) attracts Type B Commitmentphobe (ACTS close but keeps flakey distance via bailing out and not turning up), hmm?-Ah say, HMMM? ;;;;
(ow, my eye!)
Talk to 'John' and tell him you're not very happy. And, if he doesn't give you a reasonable explanation/doesn't give you an explanation at all then maybe you could:
Ask your other friends; see if they know anything about his questionable behaviour
Get another friend and play with them
Ask John's parents about it; see if they've noticed anything odd in their son
I hope it all works out for you! Good luck!