This could be something that’s actually happening or a symptom of my depression and insecurity. I know it’s happening sometimes. Other times, I’m not so sure. But, more and more lately, I feel like a placeholder in other people’s lives, like someone who’s only good enough to hang out with until they find someone better to be with. Or something better to do.
Seriously, I’ve had people act like my friend when they were single and then totally cut me out when they started dating someone. The first person who did this to me stopped coming to the social group we were both in and then stopped talking to me. Completely. One week, she was messaging me to go to a parade or a party (tagging me in photos from both on facebook as her good friend), the next week, I might as well not have existed. And, honestly, she hasn’t spoken to me since. And eventually, when people brush you off, you stop trying to get them to hang out anymore.
Other people claim they don’t have time to hang out anymore because they have to be with their significant others. Really? You can’t miss a couple of hours with the person you’re dating? Other times, they’ll say we can hang out, but their significant others have to come, too. I don’t mind that as much since it means they actually do care about the friendship enough to see me. But is that always necessary? Is there some unwritten rule that once you have a boyfriend, you have to spend every minute with them?
As much as it would be nice to hang out with only my friends, I don’t push because when the choice comes down to hanging out with me or with their boyfriends, I usually lose. That’s part of what makes me feel like a placeholder. Especially when they used to talk about how they hated how girls do that. And, yes, I’m afraid to point that out.
I try to be logical. I remind myself that people change. They grow apart. They find different interests. It could be that my friends and I drifted in different directions. That would mean that they truly were friends, and then they changed. That might be better than the placeholder idea. But I really don’t know.
Whatever the reason, it’s so hard to feel like a close friend when the other person can’t make any time to see you, especially when you don’t live very far apart. And when my schedule is often just as busy (if not more so). On the rare occasions when I see them, and they say things like, “I never get to see you anymore!” it’s really hard not to say, “You could if you wanted to.” I don’t because I’m afraid I’m being too selfish or harsh. But then, they turn every conversation to themselves. We used to share, back and forth. Now, it’s all about them and their boyfriends. Even when we hang out, it’s like I’m not even there. And when I text or message them, I get occasional short responses. Or none. I get a lot of none.
That’s when the depression circling starts. Did I do something wrong? Is there something wrong with me? Do I have really bad taste in friends?
I didn’t use to think so, and they still seem like interesting, fun, and generally nice people to me. But it doesn’t feel like they want me as a friend anymore. Or not enough to put much effort into it. That’s why I feel like a placeholder. Like I’m ok to pass the time until something more fun comes up. It’s a lousy feeling, and it’s definitely not helping me fight the depression.
What makes it worse is not knowing if it’s true, if I really am a placeholder in other people’s lives, or if it’s the depression lying to me. What do you think?