I could use some advice on how to handle a situation with a friend that I may end up losing over scheduling issues.
BG Me: I work full time and have a 45 minute commute each way. Iím disciplined about going to the gym for health reasons and I also perform with a local dance troupe. The latter requires rehearsal and performance time commitments. Like most of us on this forum, Iím busy. I also have an auto immune disorder which, unfortunately, forces me to slow waaayyyy down now and then.
BG Friend: My friendís lifestyle is very different than mine. She has a part-time job, a young son and a husband. She does not have any hobbies. At one point she wanted to get in shape and I shared my work-outs with her for about two months. We spent lots of time together and that was great. Eventually, she lost interest in that and quit coming to the gym so I didnít see her as frequently.
The problem is that when she wants to go do something she always wants to plan it about a week in advance and it usually involves going to dinner and a movie with a group. The theaters are about 30 minutes from where we live. So, by the time we travel there, eat and see a movie we are looking at a long late evening. Because of my schedule, I canít do that on weeknights. Also, my husband works out of town during the week so we are only able to spend time together on the weekends.
A couple of times when she tried to make plans a week in advance it sounded good at the time. However, by the weekend I was too exhausted to enjoy the long drive, dinner and late movie. Most often I did force myself to go but I didnít enjoy it because I was so wiped out and really really wanted to be on the couch with the dog. It got to the point that I forced myself to go so I wouldnít upset her. She got VERY irritated the couple of times I canceled even though these were group outings and my lack of presence didnít impact her plans. She didnít appreciate the fact that I was exhausted and going out would not have been enjoyable. So I tried explaining that planning so far in advance didnít work for me and that maybe we could do things closer to home. That didnít seem to take. When I started being more assertive and saying ďnoĒ she began to get pissy because she had not seen me in foooorrreeevveeerrrrr and then I felt guilty.
Ok, the result is that I have avoided her completely so as not to get into these set-in-stone commitments that feel more like obligations then fun outings with a friend. Thatís bad. I know itís bad. I miss her as a friend. However, Iím afraid to try to re-open the door of friendship with her because I donít trust that she will respect the fact that my free time is pretty limited. Also, Iím not somebody who needs to see/talk to every friend every week or even every couple of weeks. This feels like an all or nothing situation. Help please.