• Resolving Problems

We planned a trip together and my friend seems to be backing out

Published: April 13, 2017 | By | 12 Replies Continue Reading
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Two friends planning a trip together have a communication breakdown.


Hi Irene,

My closest friend and I decided to plan a trip to Japan back in January. We are booked to leave on May 13 (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


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 other 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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Category: Disappointing friends, RESOLVING PROBLEMS

Comments (12)

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  1. jason says:

    i agree with Amy F, find another friend to go with you or go alone. I have a friend that wants to go to spain in a few months, but we always argue. I dont think im gonna go…

  2. Lady Mary says:

    Simone, I totally empathize with you. I really felt the pain in your words. Travel is extremely important to me, moreso than it is to many of my friends. They are quick to say, ‘that is a great trip idea’; but when it comes to commiting, they are faithful to tell me the timing is wrong, or they simply can’t do it. I’ve not had one yet to ‘stand me up’ but I’m always on high alert that could happen. I love travel so much that at 18 I went to work for an airline, forfeiting college, just so I could see the world on a dime. On a high level, I have often felt singles had huge obstacles to overcome when traveling alone. Mainly, friends and family who take them seriously; secondly, financially it is far more expensive to travel alone than with a pal. Like you, I get great joy out of planning and researching the trip, booking the flights, and eagerly awaiting the day of departure. I even print “X days until ___” (destination) and hang the sign in a prominent place. Few things in life bring me the joy of planning a trip, and then going on it, exploring and meeting new people. That is why when I read your words, my heart ached for you. My opinion is yes, this “friendship” is not going to recover from this. Your trust has been broken, and in a very big way. He took something that was important to you, even cherished to some extent, and took it for granted, then threw it away. I want to validate your feelings of rejection, anger and shock. I’m sure you have more feelings than that. Secondly I want to suggest something that is hard for you to do but important. Choose to rise above this debacle; choose to go alone, and savor every moment of it. Yes I know, money is tight. When I went to France for the 1st time, I took a loan out (around $1K but that was a long time ago) and spent the money on the trip, then repaid the loan faithfully a little every month. I used that to build up my credit score. When you are on the trip, choose to find the good in each situation. I have traveled alone to several foreign countries, and somehow the alone travelers seem to temporarily find one another. Especially if staying in youth hostels. I don’t even know if youth hostels are still a thing but many years ago, they were popular. For security and safety, check in online so loved ones know where you are. Smile your biggest smile. Know that this “friend” lost out on a trip of a lifetime with a very loyal and generous real friend who would have given all she had to give if only had he only kept his word or at least been honest from the get go. There is always the 1% chance he will come up at the last minute with funds and actually go, but this wounding has cost him your trust and it just won’t be the same even if he attempts to make amends. TL-DR Grieve what you need to grieve but don’t let it ruin your amazing trip. Choose to let go of the negativity and have fun.

  3. Amy F says:

    I wouldn’t have booked the trip without the money, because unless I see the money, it’s not a commitment. He shouldn’t have said yes if he meant maybe. You shouldn’t have changed continued to make plans when he talked about being stressed about and told him if he didn’t let you know by X date, you’d find another traveling companion. I think you’re being unreasonable expecting anyone who is online to respond to you immediately, nobody owes you an immediate response. I think you both have contributions into the scenario.
    I don’t think you have much of a friendship and I’m not sure why you’d still want to travel with him. I wouldn’t count on any money from him, and I’m not sure he owes you any, Why not see if another friend can join you?

    • Londonshaz says:

      You’re assuming a lot by basically making out it’s her own fault. Hindsight is a wonderful thing! (I wouldn’t have done xyz, she shouldn’t have done xyz). At the end of the day the decent thing to do is to be upfront and honest with your friends rather than leading them to believe you’re all in and then going silent. She has every right to be angry!

  4. Mena says:

    Hello Simone,
    Like Irene said,he is just not that into you.Nevertheless, it does not excuse him from taking responsibility as a man and communicating what is really going on. You should completely forget about him, and go on this trip on your own. Simone, you are angry now, but it will pass. Everything happens for a reason. The Universe has something better out there for you, you are too young to spend your energy on this. Stay strong, you can meet the best people in the strangest ways and places, when you are least expecting it..Good Luck!

  5. Irene (the other one) says:

    Looks to me as if he may be/ or hoping to be, involved with another woman -( or perhaps he’d rather go away with a man). When people start avoiding ones company, saying things like: ‘can’t right now – I don’t think I’ll make it – perhaps some other time,’ chances are they’ve struck up friendships with other people they regard as more ‘important’ than you.

    Should now these ‘new found friends’ turn their backs on them, they’ll probably come back to you – hoping of course you’ll have waited all this time to see them back! My advice is: Just go your own way, don’t ‘wait up’ for them. Should you meet them again, just say ‘hello, nice to see you,’ when the conversation is over say good-buy and leave, don’t fall for the “we must meet up again.” You could be waiting all your life for this person to turn up.

  6. bizzgirl says:

    I would be so mad if this happened! You don’t mess with vacation plans once they are in place like this.

  7. DCFem says:

    Can you get your money back? If so cancel his ticket NOW and switch your accommodations to things you can afford solo. Then go on your trip and enjoy yourself. This deadbeat isn’t much of a friend so the most he should get from you at this point is viewing your facebook photos of the good time you’re having in Japan.

  8. Boo says:

    Hate to say it but your friendship is probably over. For him to do this to you is messed up! Cancel his flight asap and don’t count on him again. Sorry similar has happened to me. People are really selfish sometimes ?

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