My Friend Is Backing Out Of Our Trip!

QUESTION

Hi Irene,

My closest friend and I decided to plan a trip to Japan back in January. We are booked to leave around 6 weeks from my writing this note. My mum could no longer use her flight voucher so she kindly gifted me her $750 voucher, which I used towards the flights (keeping in mind that I could have just used this to travel solo and pay for my own flights with!!!).

I booked the flights on my credit card, but not before having a thorough conversation with my friend about whether he was 100% sure he wanted to do this, could afford it, get time off work, etc., etc. I told him I was more than happy to go alone, or with another friend.

He told me yes! All good, he’s super excited, and that money wasn’t an issue. So, awesome! I book the flights.

Many weeks go by after this, of me asking him about where he wants to stay, what he wants to do, whether we can start booking things, etc. Each time I mention it, he says that he can’t talk about it yet because he’s stressed and/or can’t afford it.

I also mention to him that I’m struggling a bit financially and ask could he please pay me back the $650 for my flights. I get similar answers.

Ten or eleven weeks go by and I still haven’t been “allowed” to discuss the trip, ask about my money, or book anything. Our trip is now six weeks away.

Yesterday I finally message him on Facebook, “Hey love, are you ready to talk about the trip yet? A lot of accommodations are booked out now and we really need to start doing this, hey.” I send some links of accommodation I’d scouted and asked what he thinks.

After I send this, he’s online on Facebook for three hours, whilst obviously completely ignoring my messages. He finally reads them and then just doesn’t reply for another hour, until I say to him, “Screw this, I’m over it dude”.

I’ve been trying to stay cool and calm throughout this process but now I’m just totally over it, and feel like it’s ruined our friendship.

Keep in mind that he’s a 36-year-old man, and I’m a 30-year-old woman. So old enough for this crap not to happen….or so I thought?

My questions are – why is he being like this?? Who’s in the wrong? Am I being unfair here??? Do I go ahead and book the trip without him? I’m really upset and angry.

Signed, Simone

ANSWER

Hi Simone,

No one wants to be placed in the position of having to beg another person to respond or to follow up on commitments. You checked with your friend before you booked these tickets and he gave you the go-ahead to purchase them, sounding quite enthusiastic about the trip.

Maybe he changed his mind or unexpected financial problems cropped up. But it was unfair of your friend to be unwilling to share his thinking with you or to figure out a solution together. I can understand how you could get upset and angry under these circumstances.

If I were you, I would be skeptical about traveling with anyone whom I didn’t feel I could trust or take at his word. It seems like this may suggest more fundamental problems underlying your friendship.

Do you have anyone else with whom you could travel? Perhaps, you can tell your friend that since he is so ambivalent, you want to go ahead with your travel plans with someone else. He may feel relieved that he is no longer pressured to go.

Whether this relationship is romantic or platonic, it sounds like He just isn’t that into you!

Yes, this type of disappointment can tarnish a friendship. I sure hope you find a way to work out this messy situation so it doesn’t interfere with the joy of your vacation.

Best, Irene

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