Saturday, September 22, 2007


This is one I've thought about for a while, probably since I was a kid. Why am I putting it out here? Maybe to see if I'm the only one, or not as the case may be.

Does anyone else have friendships, possibly very close ones, where you're the only one doing all the work? You're always the initiator. You're always the one to make social plans, are the one to call or text first in a conversation, send the first e-mail. You might not realise you are but look back and you start to see a pattern emerge.

There are friends I've had for years and they have never ever been the one to suggest going out for a pint, or dinner, or even meeting up for coffee. Ever. And I've never been to their houses socially when they've been in mine.

A few times over the years I've experimented, left it with friends and not contacted them to see just how long it would take them to get in contact. On more than one occasion the answer has been never. And I've just fallen back into the pattern again. It's that or have no friends. After a while and if the pattern is one that seems to play itself out over your whole life from school to now, then you start to ask questions of yourself and your friendship with the people involved.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not portraying myself as some model of the perfect friend, far from it, none of us are. I'm also not saying they're bad people or that the friendships aren't worthwhile, far from it as they are my friends and I don't choose lightly. Maybe it's just that, when it comes to friendships, some people are pushers and some are the pushed and one type automatically gravitates towards the other.

I'd just like to be the pushed every now and then.


  1. I don't think you've ever been to my house. Oops...

    Theres many occasions when I'm reluctant to hassle mates of mine to go for beers/coffee whatever. I'm often aware that they've got kids, have busier hours than me, etc etc.

    It also does seem to be the case that single-tons (like me) tend to pal around together. My married friends presume that we're all attending some cool drug parties with hot chicks but normally we're bemoaning our lot in life over pints. Which is a pretty good way to spend a day btw.

    Similarly couples tend to flock together and bond over different things. I'm sure those with kids would also like to bemoan their lot in life over pints but normally they're too busy trying to run a family.

    And some of us are just plain anti-social and rude.

  2. I think it's in all relationships that one person is more likely to be active and the other one is more passive! It's unusal to have two people pushing, it just wouldn't work! I'm a pusher, I'm always organising events with my friends, generally it's come over to our place for food or a drink (cos then we don't need babysitting) but at one point I was such a hostess that we ran up a huge bill on the credit card, theme nights, all sorts of extras!

  3. I've a couple friends who chase me, one in particular and I feel bad about it but just don't have the energy to make it otherwise.

    Mostly though, I feel like I did when I was younger, and had to buy an extra ticket if I wanted to go to a gig not alone.

    Though I made strong friendships in college, we drifted apart a lot by our finals, and then I did a masters with lots of foreigners who went home. I made friends when I was pregannt with my daughter but the problem with making friends who have children is that they tend to have a pre-existing social and family circle who are the people who feature strongly in their daily/weekly lives and don't have time for new people.

    It's hard to make a new friend who you visit at Christmas time or whose birthday you prioritise.

    Or so it seems. I miss having a group of people I belong to, who are wrapped up in eachothers lives - I'd love a gang of friends who all went ot brunch together on sundays, that sort of thing.

    Oops, I wrote an essay.

  4. The last time I was in your house GB it had no furniture in it :)

    Am extremely disappointed, nay disillusioned about the whole "single people don't all hang around at sex and drugs parties" thing too.

    You;re right Jo, if only we could all live in an episode of Thirtysomething.


  5. But then one of us would have cancer. And there would be more divorce.

  6. Grrr. Thirtysomething. Truely the most awful smug tv programme that ever disgraced out screens...!

  7. SL - I've been aware of this concept a long time. I'm an 85% pusher, 15% pushed. It's along the lines of attention but not totally. It can just end up in habit. There's a friend I go to lunch with and he was always the one to instigate and then I would almost resent the times when I had to instigate because that was his job.

    There are a lot of people who don't push at all, they're usually the introverts who can take or leave society. I have lots of these friends.

    Even though I know these things go round in circles, its still not easy when you feel used by people. I'm trying my best these days to take a step back but its a transitional process.

  8. I am posting from Exile ...Im no loner blogger because of the very same reason like GB.. over 30 single and most of my friends have babies.. I am still into Saturday boozy lunches with no hurry to go home... and maby stay out all day& night because have no reason to go home.. .I'm into dating/ partying/ collecting stories for when I'm 80 sitting in a rocking chair... I realize how much fun is having the freedom but these days we ain't cool anymore...we're nearly like the Germans stuck in 80's fashion - we're still there where our friends were about 5 years ago.. s,d&r'roll is still on our menu... whereas our buddies talk about sleepless nights because of a newborn not a party! what can we do?? a?