What we really mean when we cite "I’ve been busy" to explain ourselves  

VenusRedux2 44F
338 posts
5/8/2017 6:43 am
What we really mean when we cite "I’ve been busy" to explain ourselves

I haven’t blogged much lately. Nor have I even commented much on other people’s blogs. I’ve been too busy.

Yup, there it is, the dreaded "I got busy" excuse.

I know I’m not the only one who cites this as a reason for vanishing. It seems to be a cultural norm here. You know what I’m talking about ... we’re talking to someone, everything is going great, then suddenly BAM – things take a drastic turn for no discernible reason. You can’t get a conversation going past "Hi" and a few pleasantries (if you can get even that much out of them). When pushing for details, the answer always comes back as "I’ve just been busy."

Now, people don’t get busy for 4, 5, 6 weeks at a stretch. So what’s really going on here?

Doing some introspection on that issue (since I’m going through it right now), here’s what I’ve come up with:

I was only legitimately busy for 2 weeks or so. But that doesn’t explain the precipitous drop in participation here. In fact, I’ve been back for several weeks now. While that excuse worked at one point, I have to admit that it no longer applies now. I am NOT busy.

I lost my rhythm.

I’ve got pages and pages of notes. So I’ve got plenty of material to work with, that’s not the issue. I just can’t sit down with it and do anything with it. Time is no longer the issue, nor is it writers block. I just don’t feel motivated to get the creative juices flowing. I sit down with it, and within about 10 minutes I’ve become distracted by something else. Oh, look, something shiny over here......

Not just with blogging, but the entire sphere of social networking. I'm just using myself and blogging as microcosm of all online communication.

Time lapses, relationships languish, then when I'm finally back I don’t really remember where we left off, and I don’t feel like summoning the energy to rekindle things (even if it is just a friendship relationship and not a sexual/flirty one). What do I do?

All outcomes are ultimately bad. I can participate in bland conversations just to be polite. You all know how much I HATE bland conversations. It is polite, but it is essentially running out the clock until they finally give up (making them the bad guy).

Or, to avoid that, I just don’t respond at all and dodge the issue entirely. It isn’t particularly kind, but it is easier. They didn’t do anything wrong, yet an explanation is only going to make it worse. I'm not proud of it, but this is usually the one I go with.

I mean, how would you explain it if you were being totally upfront and honest? "I'm sorry, but I just haven't felt up to talking to you?" And then what? Follow up with "It's not you, it's me?" Yeah, guys just love that. So yeah, I take the easy way out.

I wish I could say I have advice in how to deal with that when you're on the other side of that equation, when someone is distant because they're "busy." I don’t. There is nothing you can do when the other person is going through that except to watch helplessly. Maybe they come back, maybe they don’t. If you take offense to being sidelined, I don’t necessarily blame you.

My advice: nobly accept that you’ve lost and walk away with your dignity intact. Maybe you didn’t "lose" to another person. But life has this nasty habit of getting in the way.

This is the price of these alternative relationships (NSA, FWB, FB, whatever). You DON’T have a relationship. These relationships are little more than sex while reserving the right to walk away at any time with no hard feelings.

Even if it isn't here, even if it is on PG-rated sites, social networking is NOT a substitute for genuine face-to-face relationships. I don't care what anyone else has to say on the matter. It is the social equivalent of artificial sweeteners ... tastes good, but a terrible substitute for actual nutrition. Social networks have the benefit of keeping everyone at a comfortable arms distance, but has the drawback of keeping them at arms distance.

This is the moment where the other person exercised that clause in the social networking agreement. There’s nothing you can do to stop it. You don’t even have the right to be upset. That’s the contract you agreed to.

Let me open this up for discussion. Does this happen to you? Do you feel guilty when it does? How do you handle it?

BiggLala 48F  
27759 posts
5/8/2017 2:31 pm

"I haven't been feeling very social lately."
-Same here. My version for acquaintances is, "I don't think I'd be very good company right now."

It used to bother me when on the receiving end, but as Tickleplease said, my processing time is shorter.

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BiggLala 48F  
27759 posts
5/8/2017 10:26 am

I don't use the 'I'm busy' excuse for two reasons: 1-I'm not; and 2-I recognize that people say that when they have no resolve to or interest in you being a priority on their schedule. I don't take it personally when someone doesn't want to make me a priority. I firmly believe people make time for what they want to in life, so if I'm not that person they want to make time for, I'm not and it is what it is. I can't make them.

I learned the second reason the hard way about ten years ago with a guy I liked. I was truly at the busiest time in my life...single mother who maintained a home for her and her child, while also working and attending school. He often used that excuse for not returning my calls or wanting to go out, while being single, no kids and lived in an apartment. He came over one Saturday evening for 'company'. I spent the day running errands, cleaning, doing laundry and had just finished cutting the yard. He was 'tired' from sitting by the pool all day and 'oooh, I think I had one too many beers'. 😕 So yeah, that was the epiphany to me that I was just a booty call, and I won't use the 'I've been busy' excuse.

If I ghost someone for whatever reason, I explain why (and make my apologies and take my lumps) or I just move on with the conversation--if the person wants to move with me they will, I don't take it personally if they don't. Going through the mea culpas doesn't feel good, but it's honest. I'd rather be honest than anything else.

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VenusRedux2 replies on 5/8/2017 11:58 am:
I've begun just saying "I haven't been feeling very social lately." Not sure it's having its intended effect, but that's what I've been going with.

I mean, its all platonic friends and all, but still, nobody likes being sidelined. I feel for them, but I don't have it in me to throw them a lifeline. I have to ration my emotional reserves elsewhere.

It's never bothered me to be on the receiving end. I am well aware that life takes everyone in different directions. I've learned to celebrate that and share their joy, rather than lament how much it changes things for me. Many others aren't that resilient though.

TicklePlease 52F  
12548 posts
5/8/2017 8:37 am

Does it happen to me? Yup, it happens all the time. So much so that it's become much shorter now that I can acknowledge that my brain has more on it than social interaction. By taking a time out for myself, I can refocus on what's actually important, not just what's shiny and within reach. By being upfront with people about that, that it's just something I need to do, I've realized that nobody really thinks I'm selfish, which was the main driver for guilt.

On the flip side, I'm sympathetic to a point to a partner's need to disengage temporarily... but that comes with it's own set of conditions for me to be acceptable. Like not engaging with a new partner and also knowing the difference between "distant" and "unavailable."

I'll definitely be coming back to read others responses, thanks for a great blog post!

VenusRedux2 replies on 5/8/2017 9:10 am:
I agree with this. While I keep circling back to "well, social network relationships have such an out-clause to just up and vanish, can't blame them for invoking it," it DOES nevertheless burn bridges in doing so.

That's easy to say when on the receiving end of it. I don't particularly appreciate being sidelined. I'm just noticing that I'm currently on the giving side of it. I'm sidelining others (mostly platonic relationships). Not a terribly big loss, no one was expecting lifelong friends, and friends naturally come and go.

However, as you point out, it comes at a cost. Things won't be the same afterwards.

aflower2c 45F
14986 posts
5/8/2017 7:30 am

I found when a man says "he was busy" after disappearing for weeks or months he is usually dating and usually monogamously. Even though they pound thier chest otherwise.

As for the lack of imagination...Geez that has plagued me on and off for a few years now. Possibly in part due to my less than stellar experiences with "dating" and sex. And my frustrating search for kink partners.
I used to write great ideas on what I wanted to explore, how hot it would make me...then my searches fizzled out. Lol

Now I am too busy to bother meeting most of the men that wrote to me.

Little miss flower

Written from a small city middle of no where kink thinkin kinda gal.

VenusRedux2 replies on 5/8/2017 8:56 am:
For men, I think that's probably the case. I think they sideline women when a better chick comes along. Guys can't maintain more than a handful of friendships at once I've noticed.

For women though, I've been on the receiving end of this in platonic "chat buddy" situations. In fact, it happens rather frequently. Most of my platonic social network eventually evaporates due to this.

I don't necessarily mind. I wasn't pretending we were bff's or anything. It is just weird when they come out of it and try to reengage. It never works well. The magic just never gets recaptured. It isn't easy to recreate the rhythm once it's gone.

funsmartfriendly 51M/50F  
2149 posts
5/8/2017 6:56 am

When we get busy, or perceive we're going to be either because of work or other offline priorities, we take a break. These breaks are good because they make it all fresh. Yes, you'll appear to have disappeared for awhile, but you can always come back and people will remember you. Some will anyway.

As for once you're back and not feeling motivated to engage? Then don't. Phony engagement is worse than no engagement. At least that's our perspective.

VenusRedux2 replies on 5/8/2017 8:50 am:
Yeah, I don't push myself to be here either. I don't "officially" take a break (unless I'm actually deleting my account). I just engage less. Since it is not a conscious decision, there isn't a clear delineation point to make it clear for others.

I'm like you. I don't phone it in. Either I'm engaged or I'm not. I see a lot of blogs here, though, where it is clearly a phony engagement. "I made waffles this morning ... oh, and to ensure I still get blog views despite such nonsense, here's some pics of my ugly pussy, it is certainly not pretty by any objective metric."

VenusRedux2 44F
518 posts
5/8/2017 6:47 am

Yeah, I could have pumped out page after page of stuff, but my heart wasn't in it. I don't do half-hearted. So I haven't been around much.

And to all of you who have noticed me lurking around your blogs and not leaving comments, that would be why. My apologies. I do otherwise try to be supportive by leaving comments.

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