She’s Just Not That Into Me

I talk a lot on this blog about my friend-making successes. I dish about a waitress, or a girl sitting next to me on a plane, or an improv class full of new friends.

I’ve written less about the BFFs that never were. Ladies who never called back or stopped responding to emails or who flat out told me they didn’t think we should be friends.

I do this because I want to encourage people to go out there, introduce themselves, and invite a new acquaintance for coffee.

But the truth is that for every three-to-five people who happily accept my invitations to brunch and the like, there is usually one who brushes me off. And I get that, because there was a time not so long ago when I would have thought it was plenty odd that some random girl was trying to platonically pick me up.

Commenters on this blog are often discouraged because they did what they were supposed to do—the asking out, the following up, the saying yes—but then the potential friend disappeared. So I’m here to say that this has happened to everyone. Or at least, this has happened to me.

A girl I genuinely thought I’d bonded with stopped acknowledging my emails. To this day I still don’t understand why. Another one told me outright that our friendship wasn’t going to work out. And there’s yet another who I think may currently be passive aggressively trying to end things.

I generally take this kind of brush-off personally. Who doesn’t? But these days, when a PBFF gives me the old heave ho, I’m usually able to laugh about it. Since so many people have been receptive to my friendship advances, I don’t get too bent out of shape about those who haven’t.

You know what your grandma said about kissing a lot of frogs? It’s true. But with friendship it’s even better, because you don’t have to limit yourself to one frog at a time. You can kiss all the frogs you want at once.

Ok, this metaphor is getting weird.

What I’m saying is, if you’ve tried to pursue a friendship with one or two people and it hasn’t worked out, you can’t just bail on the effort entirely. Remember, it’s not personal. As Jon Stewart says, we’re the busy majority. Some people don’t have time for new friends.

But other people do.

So take solace in my failures. We’ve all had the not-so-great friendship adventures. But I’ll guarantee that if you continue to introduce yourself and do the work, you’ll end up with more potential friends than rejections.

And then, when the inexplicable “We can’t be friends because I don’t like people who wear purple” happens, you’ll be able to laugh. If you’re me, you’ll just plan to write about it some day.

Have you had any less-than-stellar reactions from would-be friends? If you’re on a similar search, have you had discouraging moments? How did you get back on track?

11 Comments

Filed under The Search

11 responses to “She’s Just Not That Into Me

  1. Christina

    Thanks for this post; it is very encouraging! I called a friend recently to tell her that I’m optimistic about my search for a new bff, not simply because I like to think of myself as a natural optimist, but also because I feel supported through this journey via blogs like yours. It’s a little bit scary, but with a little humor and a whole of patience, I’ll take each new experience as a stepping stone towards finding a fantastic bff!

    I recently sat down at a party with three gals (all my boyfriend’s friends’ girlfriends – are you still with me?) and thought they all had lots of potential. We all hit it off and talked late into the night. My boyfriend suggested we go out with one of the couples for dinner another night, and I was happy to see L. again. She sent me text messages prior to our meeting, “Can’t wait to see you!” and “This will be fun!”

    At dinner I realized she seemed bored out of her gourd whenever the conversation turned away from her as the central focus. My boyfriend pointed out that maybe she was just tired and not a good listener that night. I sent her a card with a friendly note providing my email address and suggesting we meet up at a later time and asking for a recipe that I planned to use at a family party. I never received a reply email message. I did receive an envelope in the mail with no message, no signature, just a recipe. Umm, I think I understand. On to the next! :)

  2. Jen

    You blog is great! I’m so glad I stumbled upon it while researching GrubWithUs.

    I think finding a BFF can be harder than finding a boyfriend. I always try to compliment other females to start a conversation, and I feel like most of them don’t expect to receive a compliment from another woman, sometimes they’re even weirded out by it!

    I have had discouraging moments when so called ‘friends’ don’t call when they say they’re going to or they make plans and then break them regularly.

    But remember, it only takes one to fill the BFF role!

  3. Yeah, I’ve had the same thing happen, usually in the passive-aggressive way. Whether romantic or platonic, being dumped is always a little humbling. I’m glad you’re able to handle it with grace and humor. And I’m definitely hoping you never got dumped for wearing purple.

  4. Suzannah

    O’ Rachel, you have done it again!!! the petfect topic, just what i am needing to hear. I am on the hunt for a Bff, no two ways around it. but it is not something I can discuss with my current friends , who I adore, becuz it either is taken as ” Aren’t i your bff? or that is very high school”….I tried to discuss with Mom-in-law, well she told me that day of bff’s is over….
    but back to today’s topic, it is very hard to determine being blown off vs. heck lots of things! shyness, busyiness, ect…. so I am staring to question is finding a bff possible , I think finding friends absolutely is….. but the wonderful unique relationship of
    Best Friends may just be like a cold…it finds you, trying to catch one on purpose, dang near impossible, ask my kids!!!!!
    TGIF:-)

    • Lorrie Paige

      Suzannah, interesting that your friends say it’s “very high school”.

      In my research on friends, I find much more books about friendship written for kids than for adults!

      I’ve noticed places like MeetUp tend to be mostly filled with “social butterflies”; people who want to be around others only so not to do things alone. They don’t want a close, genuine friendship–a BFF, but only want a very loose and casual friendship….So far, I have never seen any exchange of phone numbers, email addresses, etc. at these kind of meets yet.

      Sadly, a BFF does seem almost extinct these days, but I think famous people do help very much to keep it alive in awareness, like the fact that Oprah and Julia Roberts regularly mention their BFFs for instance.

      There’s always hope.

      Rachel, I loved when you mentioned the kissing a lot of frogs story….As we know, friendship is similar to romance in so many ways. A BFF can seem like a marriage, but without the sex.

  5. Katie

    Oh my god, what did the girl say that “told [you] outright that [you] friendship wasn’t going to work out.”??? That’s unreal!

    • Lorrie Paige

      Actually Katie, she was the best one of the three. She’s the most honest and didn’t want to lead Rachel on to believe they could be friends. I would have done the same thing.

      What REALLY hurts are people who lead you on–just like a potential lover would lead you on to believe the relationship could go deeper…It’s best to just be upfront and honest about your feelings so as not to waste either one’s time.

  6. Suzannah

    Question Rachel, how do you handle the flip side of this coin…..the lady keeps contacting you, and you just ain’t feeling it??? I figure if you just keep in touch with everyone you thought was nice, but not the BFF…..you could end up spread kinda thin….maybe this could be a topic for another day:-)….

  7. san

    Oh, let me tell you… you hit a nerve.

    I’ve recently felt rejected by potential friends and even though I was making every possible effort, I still don’t understand why.

    It hurts and to be honest, I am a little bit discouraged right now.
    But your post might have come at the right time… maybe I’ll pick myself up, brush it off and try again.

  8. This post resonated with me. I think it is important to point out that there can be “failures” in friendship making, but also enormous successes. I do wonder about those “friends” that drop off without any notice or explanation. But instead of dwelling on it, I think it is best to move on.

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