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Wedding Woes

Close friend relationships don't happen overnight

Dear Prudence,
I’m a junior in college, and I’ve just lost all of my friends. Last year “Evan,” part of my former friend group, asked me out. I said no, and he became increasingly mean. He cursed at me because I cooked our friends dinner one night and used onions, which he hates (I knew he hated them, but I spaced out and forgot). Another night we all went out to dinner, and Evan was short on cash, so I spotted him. When I asked him to pay my back in front of our friends, he cursed at me for embarrassing him. Our friends (four other men and women) would admit in private that Evan was out of line, but they never interfered. They hoped we’d work things out between the two of us. I explained to them how badly Evan scared me when he flipped out and asked them to stand up to him when he lost his temper. For reasons I’m not sure I’ll ever understand, they wouldn’t. I walked away from those friendships. I’m starting to make new friends, but I feel like I stick out like a sore thumb. I’m not a transfer student, so I should have good friends by now. I don’t know how to explain what happened to new friends. I’m also not sure what to tell mutual friends who ask me why I don’t hang out with Evan and our gang anymore—or even worse, don’t know I’m not friends with them anymore. Do I owe anyone answers? And what do I say if people ask?
—No Good Answer
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Re: Close friend relationships don't happen overnight

  • I'll admit, I didn't really "get" this letter.  Maybe my college experience was just very different?  Like, almost the opposite, different, lol?

    I had a variety of friend groups.  I met new people all the time.  Some friendships "stuck", some didn't.  Some of them more "core" than others.  Although I didn't ever have a divisive issue were I cut myself off from a whole group, if that did happen, I just don't see where new friends would be wondering, "What's up with her?  She's a JUNIOR and not a transfer student (gasp).  Why isn't she already in a good friend group?"

    I think that last worry is just in the LW's own head.  And maybe because they feel they "should" already have all these great, established friendships.  They feel "off" in their new friendships...not because they stick out like a sore thumb...but because they want a new friendship to be an "instant" close one.  And that's not how it works.  It takes time for people to get to know one another and build experiences with each other.

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    STARMOON44
  • LW must go to a tiny tiny college where everyone knows everyone and it feels more like high school.  Otherwise I just really can't see this being an issue at all.  But I could see feeling weird if you knew most people who went to your school and everyone had pretty specific cliques already.  Even so, I would suggest joining a club or starting a study group, or something like that in order to get to know people better than maybe are acquaintances right now.
  • I agree with PP that this does not reflect my experience - essentially every time I joined a new club or activity I got new friends.  And then sometimes those would peter off, and sometimes they would keep going.  It isn't weird for someone to suddenly start hanging out with new people most of the time.
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    short+sassy
  • Casadena said:
    LW must go to a tiny tiny college where everyone knows everyone and it feels more like high school.  Otherwise I just really can't see this being an issue at all.  But I could see feeling weird if you knew most people who went to your school and everyone had pretty specific cliques already.  Even so, I would suggest joining a club or starting a study group, or something like that in order to get to know people better than maybe are acquaintances right now.


    Thx for the context.  I could see that scenario making more sense.  Though I still think the LW is overdramatizing how they think people view them.

    I actually went to a fairly small college myself, but in an urban area.  I'm aging myself here lol, but it was also just a few years shy of when people meeting online was commonplace.  I've sometimes wondered what my earlier years would have been like if it was the social online world of today. 

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