4

Context

All conversations I had with her are through text messages, games and on occasion through calls. We've known each other for 3 years, with a big pause in between of 1.5 years that ended last summer. We can actually talk about everything (not going into details) however since New Years Eve our contact has not be as much as it was; We used to talk daily. There was no contact for 2 weeks and then another 2 weeks went by where I was unsure how to contact because when I send a message I got responses like: "don't want to talk".

Problem

Last Sunday we talked for more than an hour (I was at that moment fully prepared not be able to talk to her, this time forever). She assured then she does not want to lose contact at all, however she needs quite a lot of time alone. Note that I started the conversation on last Sunday.

At this moment I'm very confused on how to progress. Would it be good to try to push to talk more or just leave it and wait for her to send a message (where I don't want to get the feeling again that it is going to die out). I obviously should discuss it with her, however I don't know when. We haven't talked since Sunday.

Goal

My goal (at least for now) would be to not break the relation completely. Finding out how much time she wants to spend has a high priority, because this is quite important to me. Intensifying the relation has no priority for me, because I'm fine with just able to talk with her on a regular basis.

Questions

  • How can I make sure our contact with each other doesn't diminish while still respecting her wishes?
  • How to be supportive even though the contact is not a lot
  • 9
    If they're saying that they don't want to talk why are you trying to talk to them? "I don't want to talk." is a pretty unambiguous statement. – sphennings Jan 31 '18 at 14:50
  • This person is quite important to me, because we shared a lot of personal information. Maiby i was not clear, however those statements came from nothing when the new year started. – Peter Jan 31 '18 at 14:53
  • 1
    What exactly is your goal here? Intensify the relation? Not break up the relation completely? Finding out why she doesn't want to talk to you anymore? – Philipp Jan 31 '18 at 14:57
  • I'll edit my question to include this – Peter Jan 31 '18 at 15:00
  • We're not here to tell you what is "healthy" or judge your actions. – Catija Jan 31 '18 at 15:21
8

Even though you talk to this girl online, you're not aware of all the happenings in her life. Maybe she found some new friends, or a love interest, and is too busy with them to give you as much attention as she used to. Or maybe she's had something happen in her life which has caused her to shy away. Who knows?

You could write her a message saying that you miss talking to her, and are sad that she's been so withdraw lately (don't blame her for being distant). Trying to force the issue is not a good idea, because you don't know what's causing her behavior (it could be that she suffered some sort of personal tragedy, and just wants to be left alone right now). Gently reminding her that you still value her friendship, and then giving her space, is probably the best way to go.

My suggestion would be to also find someone you can talk to in the real world. A friend you can hand out with and speak about pressing matters in person. You can do this by getting involved in some new activities (martial arts, an art club, etc.) and simply meeting new people.

That way, when your online friend wants to talk, you can do so. There's nothing stopping you from occasionally saying hello, and seeing what happens. But you won't be left hanging when she does not.


Other advice:

If she replies with "I don't want to talk" you can say something along the lines of:

Oh, that's too bad, I miss our conversations. Hope you're well, see you around.

If she's online, but not initiating a conversation, you can (occasionally, don't push the point if she's not showing signs of wanting to speak) send her some short messages reminding her that you still consider her a friend:

Hey, how are you? I just remembered that time when we talked about X and (how much that meant to me) / (how funny that was). Anyway, I hope things are well!

These sort of short messages will remind her that you're thinking of her without the expectation that she reciprocate, or engage with you.

In time, if she doesn't answer, or is stand-offish, you'll have to accept that perhaps she's intentionally ignoring you, and that you should stop sending messages altogether.

  • Hmm, so taking distance is probably the right course of action? I didn't mention this in the question, however at this moment I don't really have someone in the real world I can talk about everything (So I should probably search for this?) – Peter Jan 31 '18 at 15:10
  • @peter - you can't force a conversation. You could write her a message saying that you miss talking to her, and are sad that she's been so withdraw lately, but other than that, there's nothing you can do. Trying to force the issue is not a good idea, because you don't know what's causing her behavior. Maybe something terrible has happened in her life, and she just needs time to get over it before she's ready to talk to people again. Who knows? Gently reminding her that you still value her friendship, and then giving her space, is probably the best way to go. I've updated my answer as well. – AndreiROM Jan 31 '18 at 15:12
  • Thank you, I'll go with giving space and see what the future gives. I'll go with your advice and search for some hobby I can enjoy/finding someone to talk to in the real world. – Peter Jan 31 '18 at 15:18
  • @peter - I've added some more details which you may find useful. Best of luck! – AndreiROM Jan 31 '18 at 15:21
  • 2
    I like the answer, but I'd change it to letting her know I'm available to talk whenever she is feeling like she does. It's possible something terrible happened in her life, and she feels isolated with nobody to talk to. Reminding her you're there could provide entry into why she's been non-talktative. – Anoplexian - Reinstate Monica Jan 31 '18 at 15:24
5

I am old, so perhaps a little cynical. I am wondering what it is about you that makes you feel compelled to maintain this relationship? What I am getting at is this seems to be a very casual relationship, and the level it is at does not seem to make you happy, or maybe better said leaves you apprehensive about the relationship.

What I would like to suggest to you is that the problem you're having here is within you, and has nothing to do with this other person. By suggesting that I am suggesting that the solution to your problem here rests entirely with you and has nothing to do with this other person.

Your question deals with how you can get her to change her behavior a bit to solve your problems with the relationship. You would like her to give you a bit more time. I would bet that if she was so inclined as to post about her problem she might be saying that she really likes her online friend but wishes he would give her a little more space and ask how she can do that without messing things up between the friendship.

Friendships get trying when one or the other starts being needy about the relationship, then starts laying down terms and gentle manipulation of the other person. She will resent you if you keep trying to suggest she needs to change for you or you keep sending unwelcome messages. I am just saying plainly that if you need her to change to make you happier, she will sorely disappoint you, as anybody will.

Since I mentioned an unwanted message let me give you some sense what an unwanted message is. If you just message her "hi", she will know intuitively if that is a sincere hello friend, or a needy message to see if she says hi back. I swear people know this. Oh yeah the needy "hi" is an unwanted message.

So lets get back to you. It is you that needs to own your own happiness. She can't, and if you insist that she needs to, she will not, people are stubborn that way. Your life should be rich and content with or without this friend. The less you expect from this or any friend the less they will disappoint and the more joy you will have because they are your friend when you get the unexpected from them. In other words just take it for what it is worth and enjoy it for what it is. If you can't like it for what it is, that is your problem and not hers. If you clearly feel that something needs to change for this relationship to be right, your choice is really that you change or the relationship ends. The only change you need to make is to own your own happiness. There is nothing else that really works in the long run.

  • Your words hit at the right point, I think this is a problem I have for a very long time (due to various things that happened and are happening in my life). I am trying to get more from hobbies etc, however I feel like I have a big 'gap'. You sound like someone who experienced this yourself, could you elaborate a bit more on how to handle when you notice by yourself that you are too needy? – Peter Feb 13 '18 at 8:31
  • I followed the advice from above and left the contact at minimum, which made her talk more with me. I know now that I have the tendency to be needy, however I don't know how to stop myself (except adding some 'rules' for limiting myself). – Peter Feb 13 '18 at 8:31
  • @Peter yeah of course I get it because I lived it. It is not an easy thing because you need to recognize it, you do, then you need to understand it, then you work on it. And working on it is always. So I suggest you start by reading a good book on codependency. You will know what to do from there. – Jon Feb 13 '18 at 9:13
  • I'm going to read Codependent No More by Melody Beattie. Thank you for the suggestion on codependency, I never heard of this term before. I searched the topic a bit, all lists contain more than 75% of things I can relate to, which is a lot. – Peter Feb 13 '18 at 16:11
  • @peter yeah I think that's the book I read, it was a while back. Good luck. – Jon Feb 13 '18 at 20:36

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