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Old 11-21-2012, 12:23 PM
 
146 posts, read 263,171 times
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Our house is the only house on our street where people are in and out all the time. We don't have much family, but we have tons of good friends that stop by to visit. We noticed that none of our neighbors ever have anyone over. It is the same cars parked on the same spots all the time. Everyone seems to keep to themselves. It's like a ghost town. Lots of kids in the neighborhood, but hardly anyone plays outside or with other kids. The parents are moody, cold and unapproachable. The moms are cliquey and stuck-up. Is it any wonder why these people are alone all the time? Very sad.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:24 PM
 
6,028 posts, read 13,092,155 times
Reputation: 6870
It's not weird.

In my experience, when a family has a strong faith - and I don't mean just one person within the family but the family as a whole adheres to one particular flavor of religion - the family tends to stick closer together and be immersed in each others' lives more over the long-haul. And a lot of families these days are not religious.

Also, there's usually one or two "matriarchs" or heads of the family who, like another person mentioned, act as glue and hold the family together. My grandfather was like that. He was our family glue. When he died, the family was never the same. Everyone dispersed.

Without common interests, religions, or physical locations, or without a person who acts as the family glue, I think it's totally normal these days for families to naturally spread out and for their to be distance among the family members. I don't see it as being necessarily sad or necessarily good or healthy, it just is what it is.
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:11 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,882 posts, read 17,190,006 times
Reputation: 40776
Quote:
Originally Posted by caponeleo View Post
-I'm 20 years old in college

I was just thinking and I really don't even know my grandparents. One set lives within 10 miles of my home back home and I may see them 2-3 times per year now (used to be much more) and we don't really speak, just maybe hello, we really have literally nothing to talk about and its the point of being akward, I can say I don't have a relationship at all with them I probably haven't directly touched them since I was a baby and may have spoken less than 500 words in my lifetime to them, probably far less than that. My mom talks to them at least once a week a lot

My other set of grandparents are divorced and live in separate cities in California and Arizona and I haven't seen each in about 2 years, again no conversations really I haven't really spoken to either in months years (on the phone), thank you for paying tuition, etc. Again I don't really know them. I have 7 cousins, two live in my home town but haven't seen in maybe a year, no conversations, two live in Houston (I don't know them and have seen them twice in my lifetime) and the rest live in Europe (same situation)

I have no siblings just a mom and a dad, does this seem weird to you? I always hear people saying yeah I miss my family, my grandparents, my cousins, but I don't even know mine.. but i haven't even seen my parents in 3 months nd they're about 30 miles away
Three of my four grandparents died before I was born. My last grandmother died when I was 12. My grandmother came from Germany to the US and only spoke German. She could understand English fairly well but didn't speak it. This wasn't a problem for her children and other grandchildren and friends & neighbors as they all spoke German, However, my brothers & sister and I spoke very little German.

In spite of that, I still had a very warm and loving relationship with my grandmother. We would "converse" on many topics.

Perhaps now that you are older you could start building a better relationship with your grandparents & parents.

My younger brother felt so badly that our parents died before his children could really know them (their grandmother died when his son was 1 year old and their grandfather died when the son was 8 and the daughter was 4 years old). Over the last 5 years my brother, SIL together with other relatives put together a 500 page book of geneology, stories written by and about our parents/aunts/uncles/ grandparents. Favorite memories written by our generation plus information about the younger generations. The book includes several hundred photographs ranging from many, many family portraits starting from about 1880 to snapshots, wedding pictures, confirmation pictures, graduation pictures.

The book started out with our parents (the grandparents) dictating stories from when they were growing up and then just built from there. Perhaps you could start with that with your grandparents. You may learn some surprizing information that may draw you closer together.

Good luck to you.
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:41 PM
 
Location: Arlington, VA and Washington, DC
23,565 posts, read 33,287,625 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
Which reminds me of the time-honored and wise phrase, "Be the better person."
Not gonna cut it. Better person . Look bottom line, if you want to be in my life I'll make time for you. If you don't want to be in my life I won't make time for you. Simple as that.
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:45 PM
 
3,967 posts, read 4,588,209 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
Which reminds me of the time-honored and wise phrase, "Be the better person."
Why? He may not want them in his life either. Why should you incorporate someone in your life who you don't want to be in it in the first place. Family is overrated, it can be toxic and it's a group of people you had no choice to be biologically related to.
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Old 11-21-2012, 04:51 PM
 
28,906 posts, read 46,582,918 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dissenter View Post
Not gonna cut it. Better person . Look bottom line, if you want to be in my life I'll make time for you. If you don't want to be in my life I won't make time for you. Simple as that.
So basically, you're just as bad as the other person.
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:57 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,882 posts, read 17,190,006 times
Reputation: 40776
Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
Three of my four grandparents died before I was born. My last grandmother died when I was 12. My grandmother came from Germany to the US and only spoke German. She could understand English fairly well but didn't speak it. This wasn't a problem for her children and other grandchildren and friends & neighbors as they all spoke German, However, my brothers & sister and I spoke very little German.

In spite of that, I still had a very warm and loving relationship with my grandmother. We would "converse" on many topics.

Perhaps now that you are older you could start building a better relationship with your grandparents & parents.

My younger brother felt so badly that our parents died before his children could really know them (their grandmother died when his son was 1 year old and their grandfather died when the son was 8 and the daughter was 4 years old). Over the last 5 years my brother, SIL together with other relatives put together a 500 page book of geneology, stories written by and about our parents/aunts/uncles/ grandparents. Favorite memories written by our generation plus information about the younger generations. The book includes several hundred photographs ranging from many, many family portraits starting from about 1880 to snapshots, wedding pictures, confirmation pictures, graduation pictures.

The book started out with our parents (the grandparents) dictating stories from when they were growing up and then just built from there. Perhaps you could start with that with your grandparents. You may learn some surprising information that may draw you closer together.

Good luck to you.
To clarify the part in blue. We were lucky that, over the years, my parents had dictated stories to various people. We put together the story that Grandpa wrote for a newsletter about raising a young family during the depression, his poem to his wife (grandmother) giving the long, long history of their love and life together, the story that he dictated to one grandson for a boy scout project, Grandma had written a long, loving letter of advice to a friend, several stories were dictated to children or older grandchildren for various school activites. I didn't want to give anyone the impression that these stories were "written from the grave". But we missed the chance to ask them about many other stories that we would have loved to hear again & have in writing.

But for all of you who are blessed with older relatives who are still alive, take the time now to get to know them. Perhaps make a videostorybook before you eat your Thanksgiving meal. Everyone tell a five minute story about their favorite childhood memory or what they are most thankful to have.

You can add to it later in the day or on the next holiday.

People do not live forever.

We had planned to do something similer with our dad. Most of his siblings lived into their mid to late 90s and he was in excellent health so we though that we had plenty of time. But sadly, he died very quickly and unexpectantly at age 79 1/2. All of us wished that we would have "found the time" to make the videostorybook earlier.


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Old 11-21-2012, 06:12 PM
 
Location: Arlington, VA and Washington, DC
23,565 posts, read 33,287,625 times
Reputation: 32116
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
So basically, you're just as bad as the other person.
So basically, I don't give a including people in my life who show no desire to be there. That's all. I don't think that is strange.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Cupertino, CA
860 posts, read 1,746,813 times
Reputation: 1166
It's pretty much just me and my mom and dad. All my grandparents were dead by the 1980s. There is virtually no family around on my dad's side who is an only child himself. My mom has a number of brothers and sisters and their families are spread out all around the world so I rarely see them.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:38 PM
 
Location: Florida -
8,748 posts, read 10,770,005 times
Reputation: 16574
Quote:
Originally Posted by caponeleo View Post
-I'm 20 years old in college

I was just thinking and I really don't even know my grandparents. One set lives within 10 miles of my home back home and I may see them 2-3 times per year now (used to be much more) and we don't really speak, just maybe hello, we really have literally nothing to talk about and its the point of being akward, I can say I don't have a relationship at all with them I probably haven't directly touched them since I was a baby and may have spoken less than 500 words in my lifetime to them, probably far less than that. My mom talks to them at least once a week a lot

My other set of grandparents are divorced and live in separate cities in California and Arizona and I haven't seen each in about 2 years, again no conversations really I haven't really spoken to either in months years (on the phone), thank you for paying tuition, etc. Again I don't really know them. I have 7 cousins, two live in my home town but haven't seen in maybe a year, no conversations, two live in Houston (I don't know them and have seen them twice in my lifetime) and the rest live in Europe (same situation)

I have no siblings just a mom and a dad, does this seem weird to you? I always hear people saying yeah I miss my family, my grandparents, my cousins, but I don't even know mine.. but i haven't even seen my parents in 3 months and they're about 30 miles away

Sometimes, as young people grow-up, they continue to expect their family (grandparents, etc) to take all of the initiative and make all of the effort to have a relationship (as though they were still small children). Continued years of this type attitude and behavior can convince grandparents/parents, etc. that the young person doesn't want to have any type of relationship. It sounds like it is time for you to grow-up and assume some of the responsibility and initiative for building a relationship with your relatives... if you have any interest in one. When was the last time you picked-up a phone and said "Hello?" ... or is that their job?

Soon, you will be grown and will likely start a family of your own. Is the non-relationship you describe with your family, the relationship you want your kids and grandkids to have with you .... or their grandparents? Somebody needs to make the effort! ... Why not you?
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