There’s No Time For Those Who Don’t Have Time For You

There’s No Time For Those Who Don’t Have Time For You

A while back, I had the rare opportunity to hang out with two of my best friends at the same time.  Back in the day (late 1990’s), I lived with one of the guys and the other was over at our apartment 3-4 times per week.  Getting together was easy and frequent.  Even after my roommate moved out and eventually moved to the other side of the state, we still found ways to get together regularly.

mb-friends-201308In 2006-2007, all three of us got married.  Over the next four years, each of us had two kids.  Each a boy and girl as a matter of fact.  With all that, we found less and less time to spend together, and while we’d see each other now and then on a one-on-one basis, we just didn’t have the opportunity to get together.  Fantasy football and e-mail kept us in communication, but eventually the league folded and the e-mails got less and less frequent.

We were still friends, but it was just harder to stay in touch.

So, when the three of us got together and all six kids descended upon my friend’s basement to play (and obliterating any sense of organization in roughly 15 seconds flat), it was awesome.

Still, all three of us reflected on the one that was missing.

Back when we hung out, there was another guy that was with us every step of the way.  He was in all of our weddings.  He was over at our apartment all the time.  When we went out, he was there.  All the time.

I won’t go into all the details of what happened, because frankly I’m still puzzled as to the entire sequence of events.  Long story short, our buddy went through a whirlwind romance and got married, and then promptly shut us out of his life.  Nobody was invited to the wedding, but the reasoning was that they got married in front of a few families at a courthouse downtown.


Calls to congratulate him were answered, but they only lasted a few minutes.  E-mails to stay in touch were answered, but got shorter and shorter.  Every one contained a promise to get together and stay in touch.  Each one got shorter.

A couple of calls went back and forth, as well as some text message.  Each enthusiastically received a response about how our respective friendships were all important to him, and every one was followed by silence.  He never called us.  He never texted or e-mailed us first.  And eventually he stopped answering all of those.

He moved out of state and changed his number.  He told nobody what it was.  He actually deleted his Gmail account (who does that?).

One time, before all of this happened, I actually got together with him and his new wife for lunch.  She was nice, we all got along, and everything seemed great.  I don’t think she’s the source of his silence as she actually still sends us stuff in the mail.  They had a baby a while back and she sent us a birth announcement.

She sends Christmas cards.  My wife sends cards back.  This year, my friend’s wife actually wrote his e-mail and phone number in the card.  My wife gave it to me.  I looked at it and gave it back to her without a word.  A few weeks later she asked if I ever planned to use that information.  I answered simply by pointing out that my phone number was still the same.  My e-mail hadn’t changed.  If he wanted to get a hold of me, there was nothing stopping him.

He hasn’t.

So, when the three of us got together and were watching the kids tear apart the basement, talk inevitably turned to our missing friend.  We wondered why he cut us all out.  We talked about some of the great memories we have.  We speculated if we could have done anything different.  We couldn’t figure out why he couldn’t just talk about whatever problems he had with us versus shutting out his closest friends.  We all agreed we missed him.

But, as I stood there it hit me that I had no interest in trying to reach out to him anymore.  Up to that point, the idea crossed my mind to try to reach out and find out what he was doing.  Give it one more shot, so to speak.  But, standing next to my two friends, I realized that these were two guys that wanted to stay in touch and wanted to be friends with me and that, in spite of all of our best efforts, we still struggled to make it happen as often as we wanted.  It hit me that I needed to spend the limited time on the friends that actually cared about me, and that I didn’t have time at all for the guy that no longer gave a damn.

Since that day, I’ve not been tempted once to try to contact him.  If I ever think of him and start entertaining notions of talking to him, I instead send my other two friends an e-mail or pick up the phone and call or text one of them.

After all, they’re the ones that want to hear from me.

Recent Carnivals In Which I’ve Been Included:

  • Money Life and More
  • Festival of Frugality
  • According to Athena
  • Adam Hagerman
  • Miss Thrifty
  • Funny About Money
  • Tales and Trenches

25 thoughts on “There’s No Time For Those Who Don’t Have Time For You”

  1. It’s so sad when this happens, for whatever reason, but you have to make time for those who care, and you don’t have time to chase down people who don’t care. It sucks, but you’ll be happier in the end spending time with those who make an effort.

  2. Always an unfortunate situation – and you’re right… who deletes Gmail? (The NSA is spying, sure, so move your drug deals to another channel!)

    Seriously, I’ve dealt with lost friends a few times, and it’s always hard, but necessary. If he wants to rekindle the relationship in the future, ball’s in his court, not yours.

    • It’s funny because I have a Hotmail account that I don’t actively use but Microsoft won’t let me remove it. They claim I have another service linked to it yet when I go to ‘services’ and look, there is nothing except Hotmail.

  3. My husband had a threesome like that. One of the guys moved away and same deal. We even took a trip to Utah to see him with months of advanced notice and at the 11th hour, he wasn’t able to meet us (after we flew 3000 miles to see him specifically). It was bizarre and my husband hasn’t spoken to him since as he never gave a real reason why he had a conflict.

  4. I had a similar experience. There were 4 of us in college that were inseparable. We were fraternity brothers, double dated together and did just about everything together. We graduated and moved in 4 different directions. I tried to reconnect a couple of times, but only got occasional responses. Perhaps we grew apart or grew up, who knows? I have had friends locally for nearly forty years. Perhaps it is maturity or distance?

  5. It is sad to lose in touch with your friends. But you are right, we really need to give time to those who care rather than to those who doesn’t. I guess that is one of the real measurement of great friendships.

  6. It is easy to lose touch with your friends when you all grow up and get “real” lives. In my experience, though, on the rare occasions when you do get together, it’s just like you just pick up where you left off. It should be easy like that. I’m not sure what happened to this fellow, but I would be like you and focus my energy on the friends who are there and willing to make the effort to stay in touch.

  7. Things like that happen over the years. I had a great friend from high school who I was close with, in each others wedding, etc – then I just stopped contacting him. I guess he did the same too, but it was about 5 years that we hadn’t communicated. I wondered what the heck happened to him and why I hadn’t heard one thing in half a decade.

    One day out of the blue, I just decided to call him. I thought, what do I have to lose. We reconnected, and have remained close friends again. All it took was someone making a call.

  8. I used to be far more callous with friendships than I am now. I was always afraid that I’d attach too closely to one group and never expand my reach of friends (I’m far more introverted than I seem to someone I meet casually….learned from years in retail customer service). I’m afraid I would have done the same with the friend’s info: I don’t have time to chase old friends who’ve tried hard to disappear from my life. That said, because I was the one who did the disappearing act several years ago with some friends, I’ve enjoyed reaching back out and catching up. Hopefully your friend will do the same.

    • Could be though I’m not counting on it. I would not turn him away, but since he now has a pattern of doing this, I’m not sure I could ever welcome him back into my close circle of friends again.

  9. Sorry to hear your friend dropped you for no visible reason. But…weirdly, it’s kind of encouraging to learn that other people — lots of them, judging by the comments — have had this kind of thing happen to them. I tend to think there’s something wrong with me that leads people to hate me.

    I’ve had two dear friends (or I thought they were dear) drop me in the same manner. In one case, a friend and I had been like sisters for twenty years; in the second, we had been close friends for ten years. Both of them dumped me, without explanation, at different times, about a decade apart.

    Some people, I think, must periodically clean out their social closets. “Friends” that they’ve grown tired of or who no longer serve a purpose get tossed in the ash bin.

    After the twenty-year friendship abruptly ended, the ex-pal’s daughter told my son that the woman’s new husband had cut her off from all her friends. I kind of doubt that. When she took up with the guy, he was a married man; she set her sights on him and quite deliberately engaged a campaign to disconnect him from his wife. It worked. At one point while they were sneaking around together, I remarked that “if he’ll treat his wife like that, sooner or later he’ll do the same to you.” As you can imagine, that was not much appreciated…even though she had asked for my opinion. Evidently a little too much frankness undermines even the best of friendships.

    The other woman took a job with another good friend of mine — she landed it largely on the strength of my recommendation. She was hired as the coordinator of an academic program directed by the second friend. She then began a series of self-serving machinations, one of which entailed secretly disobeying an expressed order from her new boss. In time, her behind-the-scenes scheming resulted in the destruction of the academic program, causing my friend to lose her position as director (since after this woman got done, no program remained to direct). I’ve always figured she dropped me because she feared if she said one wrong word in front of me, I would clue my other friend/her boss. So in that case, it was a matter of inter-“friendship” politics. Could it be that one of your other friends offended this guy or knew too much about him and so he dropped all three of you?

  10. Your missing friend must have had a tough reason for not getting on touch with you. Anyway, I agree with you that it is best to spend your time with someone who actually want to get in touch with you rather than chase someone who doesn’t want to be chased.

  11. Every time I go back to France the list of people I really want to see gets shorter. Taking 5 minutes to email and check out on someone you care about is effortless, when it becomes a chore it’s time to say goodbye.

  12. You’re not alone. I had a best friend in college who, when she entered law school, did the same thing to us (our two other friends and I). We were shocked, angered by it. I, however, tried to reach out to her. She finally responded after a couple of texts and emails were made. She explained her side and I relayed it to our two friends. And guess what although she doesn’t go out with us that much anymore, we’re all okay.

  13. I can relate to that story…sometimes friends just grow apart I guess, but it does hurt when you try to keep in contact, maintain the friendship and the person ignores you…even though you guys were so close at one in time. But I agree with your philosophy…I don’t have time for you if you don’t have time for me! I was actually thinking it was the wife in your case…but that doesn’t seem to be the case as you explained. Nothing you can do.

  14. What a good posting! I think this happens to everyone but especially men. My DW has GF’s from elementary school that she stays in contact with and they meet for lunch and what not and nothing has changed. I have very close friends that just won’t put forth the effort to touch base. Two of the guys have divorced several times so I don’t know if this is the reason or what. But like you I just don’t see the point of a “one-sided relationship”…

  15. I have only kept in touch with one of my childhood friends and I like it that way. Some people from high school and even elementary school have tried to friend request me on Facebook, but I always decline the invitation. If I wanted to be friends we would have stayed friends – it’s been 15 years…Get Over it.

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