Interesting topic so I thought I would see what the forum feels about their friends!

How are you with friends? Do you compartmentalise your friends - sport, shopping,drinking/partying?

Do you keep up your friendships at any cost? What if they frequently 'let you down'?

Do you have an expectation of your friends and drop them if they don't meet your expectation?- or- Do you make excuses for your friends when things go wrong?

Are you dismissive with your friendships and confidently let them go when they no longer suit your purpose?

Would you expect your spouse to understand that occasionally your arrangements with friends took precedence or generally always took precedence over your relationship? Your friends never come before your spouse and you check any arrangements are O.K. with spouse?



  • I'm fairly self-contained, and don't have really close friendships.  I have a small circle of friends, and I do sports and socialize with them (I don't do shopping with anyone!)

    My partner generally comes first - although if a friend had an emergency that would take precedence, but as mostly my friends are HIS friends too I would think he'd be helping out on the emegency too. 

    I've 'lost' friendships over the years, just from moving on, moving away, etc., not from falling out or 'feeling they no longer suit my purpose'.  I've also made new ones along the way.  The longest I've known any of my friends is about 15 years, and most of them more than ten years. 

    I don't confide in my friends, nor they in me.  We don't do girlie nights swapping secrets over bottles of wine.


  • I'm pretty much the same as Wilkie, really.

    I have quite a large extended group of friends, but only a couple of very close friends who I'd socialise with on a one-to-one basis (and I've known both of those for over 20 years)...  I don't do shopping with friends either!



  • Wilkie described my situation pretty well too - don't like shopping!!
  • No shopping for me either image

    I don't have a lot of close friends. I've lost touch with most people after moving Oop North, and I really do miss having people I can talk to, spend time with, etc. I feel much lonelier for it *plays tiny violin*

  • I have a small group of close friends spread all over the place and they are the sort you dont' speak to for ages but there is never any well its his/her turn someone just calls and its all fine

    I am quite isolated where I am but then I have let my work situation interfere with making new connections entirely my fault and I intend to change that especially since it will also tie in with increased trainign so good physically and mentally

  • This subject came up and a few instances were aired.

    A girl got married and had a friend as a bridesmaid. When the bridesmaid got married she never even let her friend know, her friend learned from a third party. There was no row beforehand but relations have since been very strained and no explanation offered.

    Another was a guy (does not drink or smoke) bought a load of duty free drink and tobacco for a friend on request.using his own money and delivered it. He had to wait five months to get his money. Apparently the 'friend' is a laugh and a character!

    Another was two ladies were meeting up as arranged. One lady at the last moment drove her 20 y.o.student son to the train station to save him a fare. There was no way of letting her friend know and so she was about one hour late!  She told her friend. They were too late to do as planned. "Let's have a coffee" - her friend was livid this day had been arranged she worried for an hour that there was an accident.

    There seemed to be a consensus with male and female saying " I don't need to tell my husband/wife if I am doing things with friends" and "I don't need permission". Some say they text a message because they decide to do things after work "won't be home for tea" or "make your own tea".

    Listening to all this I felt that there was generally a very cavalier attitude to relationships whether marriage or friendships, almost as if people just did not care and knew the 'victim' would accept the behaviour.

    On a more positive side I cannot think of any instance when arrangements have been made with a view to running and races where anyone has let others down.


  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭
    I'm a bit between maddy and Sarah. I lost contact with a lot of my friends when I've moved the various countries That have and I do miss them.. But saying that whenever I d all to the - its like we've picked up straight from ur previous conversation and everything is great. I love this about the friends I have.

    I had a cull of friends 5 years ago after a particularly nasty event and I went from a large group of friends to less than 5.

    I will only take 2 girls with me shopping.... Generally because ive no tasteimage
  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    Just a waste of time and money.

  • i consider myself very lucky to have a number of close friends.  one i have known since i was 4 - dont see her very often but when i do its like we saw each other yesterday.  one ive known since school and we are still very close.  a few from my old job and a few from my current job.  i also have my sister who i consider my best friend.

    i think friendships require work and i make an effort to remain in touch with people if they move away etc though like everyone i have had friends that i have simply grown apart from. 

    i would happily do anything for my friends, love them all to death and while i used to compartmentalise my life and friends somwhat when i was with my ex, i no longer do and now all my friends know each other and get on well. 

    having said that there are some friends that i am more open with than others and some that i do more with than others.  but i love them all and consider myself so lucky to have each and every one of them in my life.  ha how cheesy!!  but its actually true.  i would be lost without them!!!  image

  • MK - I'd say the examples you gave above are people taking the piss!  I'd be very angry with the late person, and the one who didn't pay up promptly for their duty free.  I would certainly never do shopping for that one again!

    The bridesmaid one is odd though - to not even tell her friend she was getting married suggests that she felt she would be expected ask her to be bridesmaid in return, but didn't want to.  She ignored the issue completely and hoped it would go away!

    I would always tell my partner if I was planning to do something with friends, but that doesn't imply asking permission - it's just courtesy. 

    My friends and I always plan things in advance, so there's never any question of a "get your own tea" text.

  • Basically my family (hubby and grown up - (age 24, 20 and 19) children) are my friends - we do everything together...I do have a wider social group but no one I could say was my close friend.  I did have a very dear friend - she died of cancer 6 years ago - we had a very close BFF kind of friendship...I do miss her.  But I'm totally content with how things are now - I don't see how I could fit anyone else in we're all so close!

  • I have different groups of friends from different activities (running buddies, old uni and school friends, friends from different areas), but they all mesh together really well and I don't feel the need to compartmentalise them. If my running buddy mentions wanting to see a film, I don't feel like I have to go back to one of my film buddies instead of suggesting we go together!

    If there is a genuine reason for being let down, then I will hang on to the friendship -e.g. if someone is going through a tough time and they are acting out then that's understandable - but I'm not a doormat. My time is valuable and I don't appreciate it being wasted through selfishness of others.

    One thing that is a deal breaker for me is people who break plans and come up with lame (and transparent) excuses to cover their tracks. I'm a grown woman, I can take it if someone says "thanks for the invitation, but I don't want to do/see/run that, let's do something else soon" or "I know we had plans for this day, but I've been offered free tickets to this amazing concert and really don't want to miss out". I can accept that, and will happily rearrange. I'm usually so busy that sometimes its nice to just have an unexpected night to myself!  But not saying anything and then waiting until the day itself to cancel (because then the excuse seems more believable) is something else.

  • Saying that, I've got a couple of friends who are pathologically late for everything. They don't mean to be, they are just incapable of arriving somewhere at a given time. I accept it as the 'opportunity cost' of the friendship, and usually suggest that our meeting point is somewhere like a coffee shop where I can sit down and relax for 20 minutes while they are frantically sending apologetic text messages.

  • I hate lateness (without good reason), it's just rude to keep people waiting because you can't get your act together.

    I have a friend who is always late, because she doesn't want to be the first one there! 

    It used to really annoy me, but now I just turn up a little late myself, so I don't have to wait very long. image

  • I don't intentionally compatmentalize friends, I think it happens naturally because of where I've met people and got friendly with them.
    I have people that I'm friendly with through work, church and a few that I've gotten to know through being online.

    When it comes to close friends then I've got two. One is a friend that I made when we were at infant school together, we keep in touch, not regularly, and meet up every so often. Both of us know that we'd only need to call if we needed something and the other would be there. I dropped a bombshell on him at the end of last year and he's been totally amazing.

    The other friend I've known for about 10 years. We've both been through the mill and have supported each other through some traumatic stuff. She's definitely the one I go shopping with image

    As to losing friends or terminating friendships, this last year I've found that a number of people I valued as friends have stopped keeping in touch. I don't mind because a whole bunch of them let me down big time and its something that I don't need.
    I do have another group of friends who I've got to know over the last two years and who I love to bits. At the moment I'm not able to see them like I was but I know that their missing me the same as I'm missing them.

    As to putting friends before family, nope. My family always come before friends.  Fortunately that's not happened very often and has usually been because of my son.

  • Interesting replies.

    I think that I am very loyal to friends and can keep rare confidences. I don't think that I have ever "fallen out" with a friend. Given similar circumstances to those that I mentioned above I think that I would probably start pull away - though in my case not a bridesmaid maybe best man. You have a relationship problem if you think telling your spouse/partner your arrangements with friends implies asking permission. I think after work last minute arrangements with friends/colleagues must be rare, do normal people not go running!

    I think life's events often mean friends can slip in and out of your life and nobody takes offence. Perhaps though I mean 'acquaintances' maybe with friends we expect more empathy and understanding and are upset when we find that feeling is not reciprocated. On that basis I could count friends on one hand.

  • I am very loyal to friends, even when they have let me down. I love all my friends as they love me.

    I have lost many friends from moving over the years, or just through work, life etc....

    The friends that I have now are mostly from old jobs, one from school ( primary) and three from my current job. None of them know each other, as I have met them all seperatly. I do value all of my friendships, but sometimes feel that I am the one that does all the calling and arranging.

    I have one friend, that I call every now and then to check she is ok, as I know she had some issues with her husband, but she never calls me back when arranged, only sometimes, but I always forgive her. 

    Now I am single I feel I do more with friends, as my ex wasn't too keen if I spent too much time with a friend, so I guess i'm making up for lost time.

    As for shopping, well I do prefer to go alone, but I wouldn't rule out going with a friend.image

  • I'm so glad I started to read this thread as I'd always assumed I was 'Billy no Mates'..... well I have 2 BFF's that are more like sisters, one lives in Oz and the other lives about 50 miles away from me, but even if we don't talk for months (which is rare now we're getting older) it still feels like I spoke to them yesterday, and I love them dearly. I don't have any other friends, just acquaintances. I have been hurt in the past by supposed friends and this is maybe why I'm very cautious. But you know what, I'm happy with what I have even though myself and partner have just split after 12 years together. We still get on extremely well but I'm so glad he wasn't my one and only best friend....

    Wilkie, I'm really sorry but I'm one of those people that are late 9 times out of 10. You see, I faff, I really try hard not to be late but the more I concentrate on getting somewhere on time, the more I panic and faff. Us faffers are genuinely lovely.....honest, I'm sure xine267 will agree?

  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭

    I was told that friends are the family that you choose and I truly believe that.

  • ive kinda lost contact with many friends over the past few years, grew into different people i guess since school/college and the ones i knew from the marines are still serving, very little time to see/talk to each other. I have 1 friend though who is very close to me, couldnt go a day without talking with her.

  • Inocent and MM2 both refer to splitting from their partners'.

    Though I have not gone through that difficult experience I have been told that friends can desert you at such times.

    Either they are afraid that it can precipitate an awful solution to their own relationship problems or a footloose fancy free male and female in the circle might be somewhat of a temptation for somebody to stray! 

    Generally I think that probably the versatility of entertaining ourselves on computers, T.V. and with music at home nowadays may dampen the urge for social interaction. Certainly teachers' and others' say this is making youngsters sit at home and not go out to play.

    I think that for those who say that they have not kept in touch with friends from the past, remember that it works the other way too and they have let time pass also. In many cases they may be very pleased to see you again so why not get in touch with them? 

  • Martenkay wrote (see)

    Inocent and MM2 both refer to splitting from their partners'.

    Though I have not gone through that difficult experience I have been told that friends can desert you at such times.

    Either they are afraid that it can precipitate an awful solution to their own relationship problems or a footloose fancy free male and female in the circle might be somewhat of a temptation for somebody to stray! 



    That is an awful attitude to have towards their friends! If any of my friends felt unable to even keep in contact with me (perhaps not support me) during such a time I would be glad to see the back of them.

    If someone is so insecure in their relationship that they think it will crumble because a friend has split from their partner then there isn't much that can be done to save it really. I don't have any friends that I have such a low opinion of that I wouldn't trust them to be around my boyfriend if they were single, and more importantly, I don't have such a terrible low opinion of my boyfriend to think he'll go sneaking off with one of them the minute they are unattached.

    MM - yes the faffers I know are always worth the wait image

  • Martenkay - what an absurd thing to say, it actual fact I'm quite offended! My friends knew me before my ex and loved me for me, and they are still there for me as I would be for them. Perhaps it is you that has watched too much tv or that scuzzy Jeremy Kyle show?

    Xine 267 - totally agree with you 101%
  • I have 142 friends .... I know because Facebook tells me so !

  • xine267 I agree your sentiments wholeheartedly. It is a poor reflection on one's choice of friends!

    On the one hand if the relationship is so tenuous and the partners/spouses have not seen it proper to improve the situation one would think it a bit much to think a friends break-up could adversely  affect the relationship.

    Also there are single men and women about all the time if somebody is going to stray why wait for a marriage break-up? If it is to be some kind of secret you would think to avoid  your circle of friends.

    Mandy Martin2 you have entirely misunderstood........


  • we were talking about friendships at one of my talking therapy groups recently.

    I think there are varying levels of friendships. There will be casual friends, people you get on with becuase you have a shared hobby/interest, close long term friends who are there through thick and thin and will tell you what you need to be told etc, social friends, family friends etc. 

    Trick is to who which category friends fall into and know what to expect from them

  • So true Loon!

    As said earlier, if done well, friends can be the family you choose for yourself.

  • I think Martenkay is right - when you get divorced and you are a single woman, you are no longer invited to events because spouses think you are going to run off with their husbands.  It's quite funny really.....silly sods.  They have such low opinions of themselves.  Either that, or they know their husbands too well! image

  • I have a total of 9 friends 5 of which I tell pretty much all my secrets too. But as I stated before, I feel as though I am the one doing all the calling and arrangingimage

    Since the split of my relationship ( of 8 years) I am trying to keep myself busy by trying to spend time with friends as well as alone.

    But I do sometimes feel quite alone. And that friends are not wanting to hear my problems of a broken relationship,or things of that nature.

    It is really hard, because I guess we all have expectations from close friends, but since being single, maybe we/I shouldn't expect anything from anyone.

    Because we really are all alone.

    One of my friends, who is actually quite bad at keeping up with our friendship, has seemed to cut me off!!??

    She told me she never called because her phone broke and she lost all her contacts. So I was left with no choice but to call her partner. I did manage to talk to her, but she said she needs to get a new phone, and good I called her cause now she has my number. That was almost 3 weeks ago!

    She was in the same situation as me almost a year ago ( when she broke ip with her boyfriend) we would talk at least 2/3 times a week, even meet up for chats.

    Now she's back with him- NOTHING!!?????

    And I always seem to forgive, because I don't want to loose any of my friendships.
  • mandy martin 2 wrote (see)
    Martenkay - what an absurd thing to say, it actual fact I'm quite offended! My friends knew me before my ex and loved me for me, and they are still there for me as I would be for them. Perhaps it is you that has watched too much tv or that scuzzy Jeremy Kyle show?
    Xine 267 - totally agree with you 101%

    I think MK is right - people do sometimes 'drop' a newly-single friend. 

    Whether it's insecurity that a single might 'steal' themselves a new partner, or just that an odd number at dinner is less comfortable, but it does happen.

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