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  1. Carly Berg

    Carly Berg Active Member

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    Break-Ups

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Carly Berg, Mar 22, 2018.

    I read that a high percentage of new romantic relationships end at 3-4 months, because that's long enough to get to know who you're really dealing with. My platonic friendships often follow that same pattern. Except there doesn't seem to be any established way of ending them. I usually try to back off somewhat first, but somehow that doesn't work and it ends in a complete break.

    Anyone else deal with this?
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019
  2. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin I've got no use for kale... Contributor

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    I'd agree with that. The older you get the harder it is to trust people you don't have a shared history with. Call it cynicism or whatever, but there comes a point where I feel that people who don't know me by now will never ever know me. I'm cool with that.
     
  3. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    I usually just slowly taper off contact until we lose touch. Then it's generally more awkward to get reacquainted than to move on to our own lives. That said, there are some friends I have where we really just keep being friends in spite of everything we do to each other and how much time passes between visits. It's weird.
     
  4. izzybot

    izzybot Transhuman Autophage Contributor

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    I know I'm not an easy person to be friends with, because I tend to be pretty hands-off and can forget to acknowledge someone's existence for a few months at a time. Absolute opposite of needy. But it is nice to have people around to talk to when I emerge from the rock I've been writing and playing video games under, and it's hard to maintain any genuine friendship over the spans of time that I can't be bothered to remember how social interaction works.

    I had this one friend -- we had a lot in common and got along super well, we were artistically compatible and had a lot of great conversations. But he wanted to have these conversations every day and constantly have my attention, and it was absolutely exhausting. Any time I tried to tell him that I needed alone time, no matter how I tried to explain it, he took it personally. So I started taking the coward's way out and ghosting him, because it seemed like the less dramatic way of getting that alone time. We still talked some, but it was an amount that I was comfortable maintaining ... and an amount that he couldn't deal with. He got more demanding and passive-aggressive, I ghosted him more because I'm shit at conflict and was dying of anxiety over all this, eventually it turned into this big dramatic blow-out that was uncomfortably break-up-like, complete with me being worried he'd smear me to our mutual friends. And here I'd just wanted someone to talk about writing and music and robots with, dude :rolleyes:

    I will say, though, being very good at accidentally ghosting people by just forgetting to keep in touch does come in handy when you want to actually get out of things on purpose. For a while I was friends with this artist, but she started doing some shit that made me uncomfortable, and by the time it got bad enough that I started going, "Oh, I gotta get outta this," I realized that we already hadn't actually talked or hung out in quite a while. I quietly deleted her off social media junk and it's all been fine. The least ugly friend break-up is the fade-away.

    I also have this friend who I've known for about six years, and we don't often talk or spend much time with each other, but any time we do, it's the easiest thing in the world and the relationship clearly hasn't suffered from the distance. We're on the same wavelength re: how much interaction is needed for a friendship. It's wonderful.
     
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  5. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Has the Vocabulary of a Well-Educated Sailor. Contributor

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    The romantic relationship stat is dead on! That's exactly the time frame! Knowing that will save me a lot of damn time! :D

    What are you looking for in a friendship? It sounds like--and I don't mean it in the judgmental way it will look in print--you are more interested in a surface-level, activities kind of friendship, and they want something deeper so it makes you uncomfortable? There's nothing wrong with that, but before you seek a friendship (just as when someone seeks a romantic relationship or fling), you have to be honest with yourself about what you're seeking, so you're sending out the right signals.

    If you're just looking for people to do activities with, MeetUp is great. Friendships do form from it, but since it's activity related, it's easier to define the terms of the friendship than if you meet through work or whatever.

    That's an interesting take on it @Homer Potvin but...what's to trust? It's not like you're giving someone the keys to your house or car...Just hanging out for a beer or watching a game or talking about writing or whatever. I agree with you when it comes to trusting new friends who have the potential to do anything that could affect your career, though. Especially if you have something they might want. Those people always stay at arms' length.

    So...I don't know if this answers anything or helps, @Carly Berg , but it's a different perspective maybe?

    Most of my friendships have been made as an adult, including my best friend, the guy I refer to as "Bestie" (platonic, we used to work together and have known each other 20+ years). Bestie is probably the only friend I have a "shared history" with. The concept of having a shared history with a group of friends I grew up with or whatever is completely foreign to me. People grow and change so much, I don't get how that works???

    Assuming it does, I didn't live in the same place for my entire childhood or teenage / young adult years, and I was a focused kid who wanted different things than my friends did. (The tiny resort town where I lived as a teenager was on the Meth Route, if that tells you anything.) When I left home, my college education was piecemeal, whenever I could squeeze in classes, so there was none of the "college friends" thing.

    The nature of my career was mostly transient, and a good chunk of it involved working long hours and traveling together for a period of time. Then that job ends, and you start the process over again with a new group of people. So, forming new friendships is such a part of the deal, I don't really think about it. You're all just thrown together into the blender of the job, and you hang onto each other and help each other out, and by the end of it, you may end up with some new friends, sometimes close ones.

    All that said, my situation is different from most women, because I work with mostly guys. My deepest, most long-lasting friendships have been platonic friendships with guys. From the time I was 16 to 30, on any team I was on, I was almost always the only girl in the room, and I'm comfortable in that situation. That doesn't leave much room for friendships with women, but the whole shopping or girls night out thing, which is what most female friends do together where I live, sounds like my idea of hell. The one girls' night I went on, I was miserable because I was so damn bored.

    It's only been in recent years that I've made friends with women, because more of them do what I do for a living now, so we have common interests. They're usually younger than me, and frankly, with more younger women choosing not to have kids, and many of them not wanting to get married, we understand each other.

    So, I think it's about...finding your group, whoever they may be, and being clear about what you want.

    I will say this...Being friends with guys, and having observed them in their natural habitat over the years, :)) ) guys have taught me a hell of a lot about friendship. Guys are far better friends to each other than women are, and their friendships are far more loyal. My guy friends also tend to be straight up honest, even blunt with me, which I appreciate. Years ago, before it became a commonly known part of pop culture, I was getting mixed signals from a guy I liked, and Bestie bluntly explained to me the concept of "F***, Marry, or Kill."

    Their friendships are also less complicated, and a hell of a lot lower maintenance. Edit: Like @izzybot I'm pretty low maintenance in friendships, because I'm busy and gone a lot. I have never in my life heard one guy say to another, "It's been three weeks since I've heard from you. Are you mad at me?" :) Guys always just pick right up where they left off, even if they've been traveling for half a year.

    Sorry that's so long, but...hopefully there's something useful in there?
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018
  6. Alex R. Encomienda

    Alex R. Encomienda Contributor Contributor

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    That is why I have no friends.

    I'm twenty seven years old with no friends, family, acquaintances or spouse. I am a nightman, one who spends his time drinking wine and writing stories.

    However, I do have sex with women here and there but I can never live with anyone. I'm too wierd. I'm so quiet that when I'm in a room with others, I feel like the story is in their pov.
     
  7. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Sure. Like anyone.

    I've never been gregarious, really, because being friends with me isn't easy. I have a certain mindset that comes from a military upbringing and it can come across as very cold to many people. Most people, probably. I expect people to be accountable for their actions. I expect people to be paying attention to their actions. I'm not exceptionally forgiving when they don't. It feels like a breach of contract. And when a contract is broken, well... it's broken. I abhor repeating myself. I'll do it once because misunderstanding is always possible, but if I've explained myself a second time and things still go in a direction I've made clear is not cool with me, then had a hard glass wall comes down, and it's inches think.

    I don't have much patience for being made to engage the damage of others, and I realize that's very out of sync with the current zeitgeist. We're all damaged. No one makes it past the imaginary line of adulthood without having been dropped a number of times on the hard floor, glued back together, and on to the next time we hit the floor. That's everyone's story. Even an event-free life is a kind of damaged life because how the hell can you know what you're made of unless you've been broken and had a chance to look inside the shiny plastic casing?

    But your damage is yours. My damage is mine. Each to their own repairs.

    When I need to cut off a friendship, I just phase out. Again, military upbringing. Every four years you move halfway across the planet to somewhere new and you either add a new file of long-distance friends; else format C-drive, reinstall OS. Maybe that's not a thing anymore because of social media, but when I was coming up all this was totally science fiction. *shrug*

    So, that's being friends with me in a nutshell.
     
  8. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'm sorry you're having trouble, @Carly Berg . Sometimes it's just a lack of compatibility in the place where you live and/or socialise. As long as you're open to being friends with people, sooner or later a few will materialise, I reckon. But some places are harder than others to find compatible people.

    Just be open to the idea of friends, but don't push it. Wait to get to know the person before making a committment in your own mind. Meeting up for lunch at a neutral place is a good way to start. Make your perimeters clear from the start, and be on the lookout for any suggestion of pushiness or entrapment or emotional blackmail. These usually indicate either clinginess or a domineering personality. Take care with both. Also take care getting to know people with whom you have to step on eggshells not to 'offend.'

    One of the things that puts me off a potential friend is when I make an excuse to get myself out of doing something, and the other person starts finding ways to get around the 'problem.' If they don't understand that 'no, I can't, I'm washing my hair tonight' is code for 'no, I don't want to go,' then they're going to be a problem in future. If they start telling me to come with a wet head or wash my hair tomorrow or my hair looks clean enough now, or something like that—I beware.

    I usually tell people that I don't want to do something, straight out, because I find the hair-washing-excuse-making gets tiresome and I can get caught out in the white lie. Yes, some people do get offended when I refuse, straight out. Tough. I always try to be kind about the refusal, but just saying 'no, I'm not in the mood' or 'no, I don't fancy that' or 'no, I just want a quiet night in by myself' should be enough. I know if somebody said that to me, I'd back off immediately without taking offense. (If they did it every time I suggested something, while never suggesting anything themselves, I'd take the hint and stop trying. :meh:)

    Another thing that annoys me are people with chronic bad timekeeping.. While I might like that person, I sure as hell won't make plans to do anything with them. I want the kind of friends who, when they don't appear on time, I KNOW something dire has happened and they're not just fiffing around 'getting ready' or getting sidetracked.

    I just can't stand feeling trapped by social demands, so I try to make sure that doesn't happen. Of course I am 'here' for real friends when something happens and they need my help and support. But that shouldn't be happening 24/7/52.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018
  9. Mink

    Mink Contributor Contributor

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    I've moved around a lot growing up and that made making friends, and keeping them, very difficult even as a child. At this point in time, I've maintained very few friendships and all of them are online due to me leaving that state.

    I agree that it's harder to make friends as an adult. For myself, it has to do with trust and then the fact that they're all either married or have kids (or both) and that automatically puts us into two different groups. While I have no issues with those in particular, it can be hard for me to relate to people like that because I've never wanted kids (and I don't care if you're a friend or not; I'm not dealing with your rugrat on a regular basis) and I'm single (because of my inability to make friends).

    I think, overall, it's primarily my fault and that I just can't seem to get along with people for an extended amount of time. I'd like to make friends, but I'm starting to feel tired just thinking about it and I really don't know if I'm good enough to be a friend.
     
  10. Christina58

    Christina58 Member

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    Friendships change just as life changes. When I was single, I had a group of friends that we always hung out. As we all went off to University we did not see each other that much. We were all too busy. Then enter marriages and children into the mix and we saw even less of each other. Phone calls were a chore, children needed or demanded attention while you tried to have an adult conversation. For the most part all the kids are now grown. We have all gotten in contact with each other trying to re-establish our close friendships. This is what we came up with, we all go away for a weeks all-inclusive vacation. No kiddies or hubbies, just us girls. We have been doing this now for 5 years, we all agree on a vacation spot, book the week off of work (always the same week). Those of us who cannot make it can go next year. We do not spend a lot of time with each other during the year, but this one week is awesome. We all have each other's full attention. we have a few drinks, sometimes a lot of drinks but who is counting, the hubbies are at home and there is no drinking and driving. Ok well there is drinking and stumbling back to the hotel room.

    This was the best idea we all had, we are lucky that our husbands are so supportive, and are in agreement with a "girls week".
     
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  11. 123456789

    123456789 Contributor Contributor

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    A number of friendships were ended in 2016.
     
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  12. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

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    My experience, too, growing up in a military environment, moving every couple of years. I've only recently re-established contact, via FaceBook and other social, with a few of the people I graduated with in high school in Germany, a half a century ago. We all scattered to the four winds, and I've met exactly two of them in the last twenty years. And we really didn't have much in common with them any more.

    Which is the main point: We change. They change. Maybe you're changing faster than they are. In my life, I've been associated with many communities in many different parts of the country, with different focuses on activities. I've made what I considered to be true friendships, but when I've moved from that activity or that locale, the friends seem to drift away. As I go from activity to activity, it's just like when I was a kid, going from community to community. I make friends, and then lose them. I now consider it a fact of life, and don't worry much about it.

    I have that in common with my dad, who formed several friendships with his co-workers, but seldom continued them after he retired. Maybe that's because he was a private person, not given to letting people know how he felt about them (which, in his job as an intelligence analyst, was considered an asset and not a liability).

    Now I have a few good friends. They are friends not because they've invested in me, but because I've invested in them. When they are undergoing surgery, I'm in the waiting room with their significant others to give moral support. When they need a ride or an opinion, I give it to them. I try to let them know that I'm there for them.

    The downside of that, of course is what you're experiencing right now: some of these people, like your friend sobbing at the door, need you more than you need them, and are willing to use you. These people are not your friends, and never were, and never will be. They don't understand the give-and-take that true friendship requires, and damn few of them are willing to learn. They can be toxic. If you can discern their character within a few months, you're ahead of the game.

    How do you make friends? If they seem to have potential, do something nice for them, and see if they respond in kind. If they don't, keep looking and don't look back. Don't judge them, or yourself. They are what they are, and you're what you are.
     
  13. CoyoteKing

    CoyoteKing Good Boi Contributor

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    @Carly Berg -- I have a question, and it's tangentially about this. I hope you don't mind I bring it up here.

    A while ago you said something that really stuck with me. It was in a different thread, I think. You said that if a friend was upset with you, then they should just slowly stop hanging out with you... you don't want them to tell you why they're "breaking up" with you, you want them to just ghost you.

    (Correct me if I got something wrong, it was a while ago.)

    That really surprised me. I don't know what it stuck with me so much, but it has. Why do you feel that way? I'm not saying it's bad, I just don't understand.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2018
  14. CoyoteKing

    CoyoteKing Good Boi Contributor

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    Ah. That makes perfect sense. Thanks for explaining.
     
  15. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    Personally, I would much rather hear the truth than to be placated. I mean, I'm not saying it wouldn't hurt, but knowing what tanked that relationship seems like an important bit of information that could be used to avoid similar mistakes in the future. Not that I make mistakes in relationships. It's always everyone else's fault because they're a bunch of asshats that just can't deal with how epic I am. True story.
     
  16. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll What do you mean, 'no more abductions'? :P Contributor

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    I remember reading an article that around the 3mnth mark some people
    change, and show who they really are. Kinda like they are acting to cement
    themselves in the relationship before being who the actually are.

    I will agree that making friends is hard as an adult. IRL I have zilch, but
    I got invited to a social event, and after reading what the nice middle-aged
    married Submissive wrote on the subject matter of the event, single men
    who don't get socialized with are called Chopped Liver. But she seems to
    think after 3 meetings things may turn around. IDK about that, but I do
    agree with her that single women would get hounded quite often in some
    wolfish or creepy aggressive ways. I fall more into the 'Chopped Liver'
    camp, since I am socially inept for the most part these days.

    As for breakups, including my divorce up to current, have been amicable
    to say the least. While it is not easy to be the dumper instead of the dumpee
    when I was still in school. I do have just as much right to what I am interested
    in, and so are they. If it just feels wrong to be in a relationship you don't want
    to be in, it is best to figure it out after a couple of weeks, instead of 3 months
    down the road. Hurts less for both parties since not as much is invested.
    Then there was the 'crazy' one, and it was kinda hard to get away from that
    sitch, but I managed. Not an easy feat for most, but you just have to stand firm
    on your decision or get driven nuts.

    At the present I am who I am, and 'just be yourself' is the worst advice for somebody
    who is shy and socially awkward. At least I can be honest from my little corner in the
    dark. :)
     
  17. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin I've got no use for kale... Contributor

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    That must have been... interesting. I would definitely have been in the "she wanted to know so tell her" camp. Don't ask for honesty and then be mortified when you get it. There's a reason why we have end-arounds, take-a-hints, subtext, cop-outs, and other social conventions. The truth hurts like a bitch... tread carefully.
     
  18. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll What do you mean, 'no more abductions'? :P Contributor

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    Liars Dissappoint.jpg
     
  19. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Has the Vocabulary of a Well-Educated Sailor. Contributor

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    I wish! Yes, some certainly do. Once when I tried your method the guy ended up stalking me and peeking in my windows at night to see if I was with "that other guy." This took some effort on his part: the windows in that house were high enough he had to stand on something to look in. What the hell??? It was right around the time of the OJ trial, and it creeped me out even more when it came out that OJ was caught peeking in Nicole's windows. So then I started saying "I'm really too busy for a relationship."
     
  20. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    I once had a girl try to stab me in the face with a fork in a crowded restaurant/bar (sports bar and grill?) who then later sent me death threats because after the restaurant called the cops on her, child services took her kids and wouldn't give them back after she got out of jail for assaulting like 3 people (including a police officer) and possession.
     
  21. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Has the Vocabulary of a Well-Educated Sailor. Contributor

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    I hit like to acknowledge your post but...I do not like it at all, not one bit! Yikes! (Should we have a craziest Ex thread? CrazyDates?)
     
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  22. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin I've got no use for kale... Contributor

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    Damn, dude. Hard to top stabbed in the face with a fork, but she got there. The possession is almost an addendum. Like of course she was high... duh.

    ETA: was she hot?
     
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  23. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    She wasn't my girlfriend, that's all I noticed. :p
     
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  24. matwoolf

    matwoolf Banned Contributor

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    I'm starting a friends for @carly over on FB if anybody's interested. Anyone, come on...it's 3/4 months commitment of your time, that's all I'm asking.
     
  25. matwoolf

    matwoolf Banned Contributor

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    Deleted, too silly & personal.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2018

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