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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Always * Offline
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What to do when you feel like a chauffeur in all your friendships... - March 30th 2016, 04:23 PM

A lot of my friends are my age (20-30 years old) and a lot of us are new graduates and, understandably, don't own our own vehicles. I'm one of the lucky few who has my own vehicle. For that matter, some of my friends don't even have a drivers license, nor can they just borrow a parents or friends car because very few of us still live at home.

I've sort of come to realize that a major reason that I am so insular and don't spend time with my friends as often as I might like to is because I live in the suburbs and everything is around 10-30 minute drive away (one way) depending on what part of the city I have to go to, and then I feel obligated to give my friends a ride at least one way, which means I have to go out of my way (e.g. I pick them up, I drop them off etc) so it takes up a lot more time when that's included.

It gets super exhausting when I always feel like I have to go to my friends (which is never very close to where I live since I moved away from the downtown area) because I would feel bad asking them to take a long bus ride to my corner of the city when I could drive in a fraction of the time.

A lot of the time (even if I put my guilt aside), they only want to do things that are closer to them because of the no vehicle issue. And while I know that none of my friends expect me to drive them places when we're together, I would have a hard time saying no if they asked (which they do sometimes) for a ride home or whatever just because it feels like a hassle for me to have to do so all the time.

I know this sounds like such a minor thing, but sometimes it's nice when I don't have to do all the leg work (e.g. one couple that my boyfriend and I spend time with have vehicles so they can come over to us sometimes, so we sort of take turns I guess in who's side of the city we spend time on if that makes sense). It's bad enough that I dread making plans with people, no matter how much I like them, if I know they don't have a vehicle because I know that I always have to literally go the distance for their benefit. I'm already introverted and anxious at the best of times without feeling obligated to do certain things.

To be clear, I know it's not my friends faults that they don't have vehicles. Vehicles cost money that many people my age don't have. That's fine... But [see the above].

How do the rest of you handle such issues?




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Re: What to do when you feel like a chauffeur in all your friendships... - March 31st 2016, 04:40 PM

Try to gather them up and talk to them. Tell them that driving them back and forth causes a lot of unneeded stress for you. I'm sure they would understand, I don't think they want to cause stress on purpose.
   
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Re: What to do when you feel like a chauffeur in all your friendships... - March 31st 2016, 04:59 PM

I'm on the flipside with this- I don't have a car

That said, I don't see why your friends can't take public transport every once in a while. I live in the suburbs, and my options were walk, or use public transport. It's not a big deal, so if you want to suggest that your friends should use public transport once in a while, don't feel guilty about it.

It is unfair that you have to go out of your way all the time, and that shouldn't be expected. I'm not sure if you do this where you are, but over here, when a friend often 'chauffeurs' you around, we tend to give money towards gas. Obviously, it doesn't help that you still have to go out of your way, but I'm guessing the gas and the cost adds up too.

It would be great if you could talk to your friends and take it in turns to hang out nearer you or them, or even meet half way, like you do with the couple you and your boyfriend hang out with.


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Re: What to do when you feel like a chauffeur in all your friendships... - April 1st 2016, 04:36 PM

I haven't been in this situation. While I do have a license, there is no need for me to drive much because I still live with my family. It must feel frustrating or tiring for you, though.

I agree with what Holly said. I think you should talk to your friends and explain that while you don't mind driving them around or driving to where they live, it gets tiring sometimes and you'd like it if they could take public transportation or maybe meet you halfway. I know the guilt is hard to deal with, but you shouldn't feel guilty. It's very generous of you to drive to where your friends live, pick them up, and drop them back off again.

If you don't want to confront them like that, maybe you can look around to see if there's anything going on close to where you live, like an event or maybe a restaurant, and encourage them to come hang out there with you.


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Re: What to do when you feel like a chauffeur in all your friendships... - April 3rd 2016, 08:01 PM

Talking to them is a great idea. I just worry that if I do get them to come to me for once, then they'll ask me for a ride home later because they don't want to take two 45-minute bus rides, even though if I had to spend 15 minutes driving them home then I'd effectively be spending almost much time driving them home as it would have taken for them to get on the damn bus (ok, still half the time but still...). And then I feel bad because their time is just as valuable as mine, so I feel selfish asking. And yes, I realize that a lot of that is me and my feelings; I just have a hard time sometimes putting myself first, you know.

Part of the problem is that I don't have 1 group of friends. It's more like I have 1 friend living here, another here and another there and so on, and none of them have cars (except my boyfriends friends it seems. So like if it's just for 1 friend it's not a big deal, but when ALL of them expect it it gets old, so like I don't want to seem like I have taken issue with giving 1 friend a ride or always having to drive far out of my way for 1 friend; it's because I feel like I need to do it for all of them.

I do like the idea of meeting in the middle more, that way they won't have to bus so far to get home.




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