maybe she’s not that into me

I can’t remember the last genuine conversation I’ve had with her.

By genuine, I mean, the kind of conversations we would have that would stretch afternoons and would leave the both of us laughing so hard, we couldn’t breathe. We had begun to lose touch earlier this year, our phone calls and visits becoming less frequent. Back in the spring, I was becoming frustrated when all my calls to her were unreturned. I would leave a voicemail with the same script, Give me a call when you can.

This went on for weeks. I would leave a message which would never be answered with a phone call, myspace holler or instant messenger nudge. I would leave one voicemail a week, then every two weeks and then I stopped. I left one final voicemail saying that I knew she was busy, but if she could call me back, I would appreciate it. I didn’t want to say more than that at the risk of sounding like Dimitri the Lover, or Single White Female (which would be Married Chamorro Female). I figured that since she had my number, she could call. She never did return my message. And that’s how it’s been since then.

I had talked to Mike about this, that a friend I had known for years and for whom I cared about very deeply was not making any effort to be an active friend. I didn’t expect much. I knew she was busy with her own life and home twenty minutes away. I wasn’t expecting her to drop by every day with cookies and jam. A simple call would have been nice. But she never appeared on the Caller ID screen or darkened my inbox.

And Mike summed it up like this, “Maybe she’s not that into you.”

I don’t think she’s a bad person. I think she’s a wonderful human being who is having all kinds of great changes occurring in her life. Maybe I am holding onto the memory of what we were as friends, as high school classmates and later roommates. Though every time I dialed her number, I felt so stupid to set myself up like that, to be more open than she was.

She finally sent me an email with her phone number and invited me to call to catch up. Reluctantly I did. Again, there was no answer and I left a simple message with the same words as before, “Hi, call me when you get a chance.” There has not been a return call which I predicted, or should have predicted.

Is it time to move on? To wish her well in her future and leave it at that? Are female relationships this complicated, or is it as simple as this: she’s just not that into me?

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  1. Fiona Picklebottom says:

    I’ve had a similar experience with an old high school friend via email. Twice I’ve touched base after years of no contact. Each time I’ve immediately gotten an enthusiastic “great to hear from you, tell me what’s been going on” email in response. When I do email back with what’s been going on, I never hear another word. Until a few years later, when I try again. Weird.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’ve had similar experiences in my late teens and early twenties, and I also have been the friend who didn’t return friends’ calls. I always regretted being such an inattentive friend later, actually, it’s really bitchy to not call someone back like that. Sounds like they’re anxious about something, going through something. Don’t keep calling because it will just annoy them. If they are worthy enough to be your friend they will eventually call you back. (If you haven’t freaked them out with incessant phone calls already!) Don’t berate them when they do, just pick up where you left off like nothing happened. Hard to do but it’s the best advice.

    –Elisa from San Francisco

  3. I have been one of those people who has avoided friends calls. Mostly because I felt that we just didn’t have anything in common anymore and I am too chicken shit to tell them that. I have also been the one that didn’t get called/emailed back. After a month of trying, I give up.

  4. thecandyqueen says:

    Sometimes I just need a break from certain people. I wouldn’t take this personally at all (I know it’s hard) but I would think this has more to do with her than it does with you or anything you did or didn’t do.

  5. Mamacita Chilena says:

    If I’ve ever not called someone back it was because something bad was happening in my life and I didn’t want to tell anyone. Once it was over I called all the people I had been ignoring for three months and explained what was going on. Most were forgiving. I felt bad, but sometimes I just need to retreat into myself. Maybe that’s what is going on with your friend?

  6. The Introvert says:

    I have been having this same dilemma over my best friend of almost 20 years. We met in the 4th grade and used to be inseparable. Our husbands became good friends, we were in each other’s weddings, we went on trips together. And now it’s like pulling teeth to get a response from her. But it’s so tough to think about cutting the cord on a lifelong friendship, ya know?

  7. ugh, god, friend breakups are worse than love breakups. i’m so sorry, mona. that sucks.
    i had the same thought as mamacita–if she’s the not-open type or somethings’ going on she feels she can’t discuss?
    it’s hard when you are open, and a friend isn’t willing to share that–everything goes both ways. it hurts.
    i think female relationships are that complicated. it might be over, but she might still need your friendship and not know how to ask.
    i hope things iron themselves out.

  8. My best friend since 7th grade did this to me after I had my first baby. She still doesn’t have kids and still doesn’t talk to me. At this point I don’t care, but it hurt at the time. I wasn’t able to party anymore so therefore I guess I was expendable? Not sure, she never explained. Does this friend have kids? If not that is likely the “issue”. If she does have kids (and you didn’t piss her off) then I think Mike must be right, because what other explanation could there be? Either way it sucks and I am sorry Mona.

  9. oh man. i’ve so been there. my bff moved an hour away to be with her boyfriend, and that was virtually the last time i saw her… she just dropped off the face of the earth. i tried to keep the friendship intact after that, and when i’d get an email from her asking how i was, and seeming to want to reignite the friendship, i’d get sooo excited and write back a big long email… then not hear anything back for another 9 months.

    at the time, it was worse than anything a boy had ever done to me, and it was really hard to take. i think she was just a lazy friend, and that it wasn’t a personal decision against me, but it still hurt. still does. i’m sorry you’re going through it šŸ™

  10. Honestly, I’ve totally been that friend before- I’m terrible about calling people back, and it’s not because I don’t like them, it’s that I forget. And when I remember, I feel really bad about it, and then decide that they probably don’t want to hear from someone who forgot to call for two weeks or whatever. The guilt eats me up, and then I just blow off because I don’t want to face up to how much I suck. I’d give it one more shot (you’ve done it twice, right?), and if she doesn’t call you back, then let it slide. She can get ahold of you if she wants to. And yes, female relationships are that complicated. It’s unfortunate, but true šŸ˜›

  11. I feel you. And it sucks. There are some days I still want to cry over it because I just want them to be there. And at the same time it’s hard to make new friends because I compare everyone to them and what we once shared.

  12. Patreesha says:

    I agree with Miss Mamacita Chilena — most often, the times that I never called people back was when I was going through something supremely poo-poo.

    Just thinking about being asked about how things were going with relationships/job/family gave me a huge feeling of dread, even with my closest, most non-judgmental friends.

    I would suggest leaving her a final message asking her if everything is okay, and that you’re around to listen if anything is wrong. Then, wait.

    I personally never really close doors on one-sided friendships like that, but I do stop being the one that always calls first.

    Good luck!

  13. Oh Mona, I’m so sorry you’re going through this. It definitely sucks.

  14. That bites, Mona. You guys have a huge history which makes it hard.

  15. When I had a similar situation (me calling and leaving messages, her not responding), I eventually gave up. I don’t want to be friends with someone who doesn’t return my calls. I actually feel good about making that decision, although it sucks that we aren’t friends anymore.

  16. Chickenbells says:

    I had a similar thing happen with someone I was BFF with for years…she went on a summer break to visit her long distance boyfriend, and I figured she’d call me when she got back home…and I’ve not heard from her in a year and a half…I also have another “close” friend who, when we finally connect with each other, usually rushes off the phone and says, “I’ll call you ____” and I roll my eyes and hang up and think…uh-huh. I don’t know when it became this complicated really…I, like you, know that other people have busy lives, and I’m not expecting 2 hour giggly phone calls…but sheesh.

  17. I’ve had this a couple of times. What I do is I put the friendship into “suspended animation.” That is, I don’t do anything dramatic like End The Friendship or send her a letter or whatever, I just kind of forget about the friendship for awhile, with the attitude that maybe it’s done or maybe we’ll be friends again later on.

  18. Jenny, the Bloggess says:

    Don’t give up on her. She might be going through something she can’t talk about. Or maybe she’s being held hostage. Did you ever think of that?

  19. Most everybody has the right idea….that maybe she is going through something…and maybe she truly isn’t that into you…but such is life…how many people could we honestly say that we aren’t into either. It just sucks when it comes back on ourselves. Great post dealing with something that we all experience from both sides!

  20. Uhm… I’m THAT friend who doesn’t call back! Only to one girl and that’s cause she gets on my nerves. We have nothing in common anymore… and she text me EVERYDAY for about 2 months.. hmm she hasn’t done that in about 3 weeks. FINALLY.

  21. Pickles and Dimes says:

    That’s a tough one. I’ve been on both ends of the dilemma, and when I haven’t gotten back to people, it’s either because I just need my space or because I’m simply too busy with other things.

    When people haven’t gotten back to me, I usually just shrug and move on, hoping they’ll contact me sometime in the future and if not, that’s OK.

    (Can you tell I don’t have that many friends and that I prefer the company of myself? Maybe I should be a better person, huh?) Nah. Why mess with a good thing?

  22. Female relationships are so much more complicated than “maybe she’s not that into me.”
    I’m going through the same thing with a good friend from college–she was even my matron of honor in my wedding. I call and leave messages or write her an email, but I only get a response maybe 2-3
    times a year. It’s really tough when you care so much about someone and she doesn’t seem to reciprocate. It probably has nothing to do with you though. Maybe she is going through some tough things in her life and just doesn’t want to talk about it. Or maybe she was offended by something. I would just be completely frank and write her an email about how you feel.
    Hope it all works out.

  23. great entry! this has happened to me on more than one occassion unforutnately and i feel horrible thinking about could i have done so wrong…and then ultimately accept that i’ve done what i can and missed my indication when there was no response.

  24. I wish human relationships were just as lovey dovey as Romeo And Juliet where the passion would simply extend that deep, but alas it’s not… I hate how dramatic and complicated human relationships are. And personally, I’m tired of playing the dating game. So I feel for ya, just on a different scale!

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