Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Life Cycle of a Friendship

This morning, while I was perusing for anything interesting, I came across an article that raised both its hands and waved them in my face.  Check it out here: Is it time to end that friendship?

Why did it jump out at me with lights flashing and bells whistling?  Because a few months ago I basically had to "break up" with one of my closest girl friends.  She was also one of my best friends.  Lemme give you a quick run down first... 

I've known *Kelly (*names were changed to protect the person's identity lol) since I was a sophomore in high school.  We were practically inseparable: sleepovers at her house, shopping, partying, studying, you name it we did it together.  I could tell her anything and vice versa.  I would call her late into the night chatting about heartbreaks or family issues and she would be there for me.  Listening to me sniffle and snort through the phone into the wee hours of the morning made me love her even more.  She was like the sister I never had.

Our friendship survived graduation.  Even though I graduated before her (I'm a year older) we still managed to hang out.  Our relationship got rocky during the beginning of my relationship with my now-husband.  She felt as if I put her on the back-burner and chose to spend most of my time with him.  I have to admit that it was true.  I eventually found a balance between spending time with my friends and spending time with my spouse.  However, the roles became reversed.  She now had and was living with her serious boyfriend.  It was her turn to realize what her priorities were and to learn how to juggle her relationship with him and her relationship with me. 

Unfortunately, the epiphany never came for her as it did for me.  At first it was because of her boyfriend, then school (graduate studies), then she had plans with other friends...  I tried to be understanding.  Since it was her schedule that seemed to lack flexibility, I would try and schedule everything a few weeks to a month in advance.  I'd get her to pencil me in but she would flake on me.  She gave me one excuse after another, some times on the day of.  I though she was very inconsiderate.  Hell!  I STILL think she's inconsiderate. 

I tried my best for 2 years to keep the friendship going but to no avail.  I even explained the situation and how I felt to her and for a couple months I thought I had gotten through.  But she reverted back to her rude and inconsiderate behavior: not answering my calls, not returning my messages, making appointments then cancelling last minute.  I had enough.  I placed the ball in her court.  I let her know that I valued her as a friend but it was obvious we had grown apart and we had taken different paths in our lives.  If she wanted to continue the friendship she would have to make the move. 

That was basically the end.  I never heard from her since and the communication has just been cut off.  It's a shame because I saw our friendship spanning decades.  I pictured us with our respective husbands going on trips and having dinners together.  Eventually, we would have raised our children to be friends and have playdates at each other's houses.  But it's not meant to be.  I won't lie.  I felt a little heartbroken.  We had a relationship, after all, and it felt just like when I broke up with a boyfriend who just wasn't treating me right. 

To this day, I still think about her in passing.  I wish her well and all the happiness in the world.  Dr. Falk summed it up perfectly in the article.  "As we gain a stronger sense of self, what used to matter no longer does, and we're bound to outgrow certain friendships.  Once you're aware of that, without being cruel or feeling guilt-ridden, you can begin to let go of relationships that no longer nourish your most authentic self."

1 comment:

  1. Very special post thanks for sharing. I have been there as well... it is truly a challenge. I'm appreciative of your friendship though... as corny as that sounds :-)! Sorry I haven't emailed yet!