(It’s not what you think. I’m still deliriously happy with my husband.)
But, I have been dumped. And sometimes, being tossed aside by a friend is just as hard to survive as a romantic break up. Often, it’s worse – because friendships can run the course of 10, 15, over 20 years… and the emotional investment is often just as deep.
Have you ever broken up with a friend? Has a friend ever turned his/back on you?
My former girlfriend and I were chums since high school. Although we ran in different circles, we were always kind and friendly to one another – recognizing that we had a lot in common, and our brief conversations were easy and lively. Our friendship strengthened when we attended university together – since we had many classes together and commuted in on the same GO Train, it’s no wonder we became closer; two people brought together by circumstance and proximity.
As the years passed, our friendship evolved – first, we continued to touch each other’s lives peripherally, with coffee dates, casual phone calls and a trip to the mall or two. Later, when I was married and had my children, she became a fixture in my life, serving not only as a confidant and supporter, but also a ticket to the “other side” – still single, I reveled in her carefree lifestyle.
But then, she met her husband-to-be. And that marked the beginning of the end of our friendship.
Now I’m totally cool with the fact that she met the man of her dreams – I fully endorse jumping into love recklessly and with your heart on your sleeve. In fact, I’d be worried if she didn’t cancel our plans in the beginning – complete and utter infatuation requires snubbing your friends at regular intervals :)
The thing is, the snubbing carried on, well after I felt comfortable turning a blind eye.
Phone calls not returned. Birthday parties missed. Special occasions forgotten. And when we did chat, she was constantly busy with her new love, her new life. In fact, I was quite concerned that her husband was controlling her social calendar. Or, maybe she is just one of those girls who completely loses her identity when she is in a relationship.
Either way, after a while, she just stopped calling – and stopped caring.
The truth is, I didn’t “fit” into her new life. I wasn’t part of her family soirees, I had no involvement in her community, and although I did my part to keep the lines of communication open, it’s hard to make someone work at a friendship. Plus, I like to say what’s on my mind, and if a friend does something to hurt me, yes I am comfortable enough to be honest with her.
So I did just that. And, she responded by breaking up with me.
And it hurt, it hurt a hell of a lot.
I spent the next few months wondering if I should have just kept my mouth shut – taken the friendship on her terms. I don’t have a lot of close friends, so why throw away years of closeness over a silly thing like love and respect?
Oh yeah, that’s why we’re not friends anymore. Because I do believe friends need to love each other enough to make time to keep the friendship strong, and respect one another’s needs – even if that means admitting you’ve been a bad friend.
So, I’ve been dumped. I’m one less friend.
But, I do have good friends. Friends who always have my back; friends who I can turn to when nursing a broken heart – even when it’s over another girl. And to those friends, I thank you.