When to End a Friendship

Friends come and go in our lives.

Sometimes it’s for the best. As we grow and our interests change so do our tastes and tolerances for the people we thought were our friends.

With most of my “used-to-be-friends” we have just drifted apart. We found that we had less and less in common and there just wasn’t much to talk about anymore. So we both carried on with our lives, both okay with never getting together or talking again.

Generally, a few unanswered texts seems to do the trick and the other person will get the hint. This isn’t a “real relationship” after all, there’s no need to break up with a friend is there?

But how many of our friendship have ended because “we just stopped talking?” And what if it isn’t mutual.

I have a friend that I don’t know what to do about. We have known each other since we were young; three or four years old. We grew up together, went to school, briefly lost touch after high school, got back in touch and have been friends ever since. But she has always been my flakiest friend. She’s really hard to pin down.

I get that she’s busy. In fact, she’s REALLY busy. She works two jobs (both of which require her to travel), is taking her Master’s Degree, and recently joined a rugby team. So she’s always busy, and typically “too busy” to meet up.

But is “too busy” actually a thing? I feel like “not a priority” is more accurate. We make time for the things that are most important to us. So what’s going on here? Is she done being friends with me? Am I no longer a priority? Does she just take for granted the fact that we’ve always been friends so we always will be?

She seems to find time to help friends move, and go on day-hikes with other people, but somehow she can’t find the time for a quick coffee at Starbucks or a walk by the river?

Not only does she fail to find any spare time, but too many times she says “yes” to doing something only to cancel last minute. Or she texts “we should do something” or “we should get together soon” but with no follow-up. Saying we should do something is not the same as doing something.

Part of me is super tempted to cut her out of my life. But she’s one of those people where on the rare occasions when we do get together, it’s like no time has passed at all. We have so much fun together. Plus, because we have known each other for so long, there is so much history and precious memories.

As an unbiased third party, I’m sure it’s obvious what I should do. I should cut her out, right? But I don’t want to. And if we’re going to stop being friends anyway, isn’t it worth trying to say something and let her know that she’s losing me as a friend? That this feels too one-sided and she hurts me every time she doesn’t make room for me in her life?

I hate confrontation. But I also hate the thought of losing a friend just because I didn’t want to get “too serious” and tell her how I feel.

The other problem is that because she’s so hard to pin down, I am not sure when I’ll get the opportunity to say anything. And when we do get together, in the past, I’ve been so reluctant to ruin the time we have. It’s so frustrating. She deserves better than an email. And I would love to hear her side of things without the chance of misinterpreting things over email due to a lack of body language and intonation.

So I think it’s time to tell her how I feel and face the awkwardness. And if I need to break-up with her as a friend, maybe it’s for the best.

If anyone has any advice, I would love to hear it!

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4 comments

    1. See? Like I said in this series of posts… The solution is so much more obvious for third parties who aren’t emotionally invested. Maybe one day I’ll walk away but for now I’m willing to fight for it.

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