Life Advice



Ask Anna: Navigating friend flakiness: Is she just not into me?

Anna Pulley, Tribune News Service on

Published in Dating Advice

Dear Anna,

This isn’t about dating or sex so hopefully it’s OK! I’ve been having an issue with a friend who often agrees to plans but becomes unresponsive when it’s time to finalize the details. It’s left me feeling quite confused and a bit hurt. We’ll start discussing meeting up, and she seems enthusiastic, but then she suddenly stops replying as soon as I try to set a specific time or place.

I’m not sure how to handle this. Is this a platonic version of "she’s just not that into you"? Should I continue reaching out to make plans, or would I be setting myself up for disappointment? Is it possible that she’s genuinely busy, or am I being overly sensitive? I value our friendship and don’t want to overreact, but I also don’t want to feel like I’m the only one making an effort. I’d really appreciate your advice on how to approach this situation without damaging the friendship or my self-esteem. — Feeling Stood Up

Dear FSP,

I hear you. It sucks to feel ignored or dismissed, even in friendship — perhaps especially in friendship, as platonic relationships don’t have the same baggage or loaded expectations that romantic ones do.

So, first off, your feelings of confusion and hurt are absolutely valid. Friendships, much like romantic relationships, require a mutual effort to thrive. When one person consistently drops the ball, it can leave you wondering if the connection is truly reciprocal or if you're just wasting your time.

Before we jump to conclusions about your friend's interest in your friendship, let's consider a few things. Of course, life, in its infinite unpredictability, can sometimes sweep us up in a whirlwind of busyness and responsibilities. It's entirely possible your friend is caught in such a tempest. However, that doesn't excuse the radio silence or give you any less of a right to feel let down.


Here's what you can do: Open up a clear, direct line of communication. Reach out to your friend and express your feelings without placing blame. Use "I" statements, like "I feel hurt when our plans fall through without explanation," to convey your emotions. Ask directly if there's a reason for her unresponsiveness. This could serve as a gentle nudge for your friend to be more considerate of your time and feelings, or it might unveil underlying issues she’s going through that you weren't aware of. (Or, she could try to spare your feelings and simply say nothing, but hopefully she’ll tell it to you straight.)

If the ghosting pattern continues despite your efforts, it might be time to reassess the energy you're investing in this friendship. This doesn't mean you have to cut ties completely, but perhaps adjusting your expectations and focusing on connections that reciprocate your enthusiasm and effort will be more fulfilling in the long run. Remember, friendship, like any relationship, is a two-way street, and you deserve to be met halfway.

And if you ever feel like you're being "too sensitive," remind yourself that it’s your sensitivity that makes you a caring and attentive friend. The world could use more of that.

As you navigate this, remember the wise words of Maya Angelou, "Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option." Let this serve as a beacon, guiding your friendships towards those who cherish your presence as much as you do theirs.

Keep shining.

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