Talk to Me Tuesday: Losing a Friend

Q: I had a really good friend who I was super close with. I told him things I’ve never told anyone. He moved away and kept in touch for a while but now he hasn’t answered my text in months. I thought we were so close and I miss him. Should I point it out to him or just let it go?

A: Ouch, dear reader. Losing a friend is just as painful as a breakup and I’m sorry that you have to go through this.

The first thing I want to point out is that it probably isn’t you, or even if it is, it’s on them for not letting you know what you’ve done to make them pull away. If they think there is an issue between you, then it’s their responsibility to let you know that instead of just cutting you out.

However, I don’t think that’s what’s happening here. I think the more likely explanation is that your friend has a different life now. They have new friends, new hobbies, and new hangouts that you don’t click into. While your view is the same life you’ve always had with a hole where they used to be, their view is completely brand new. It’s harder for them to pinpoint what’s different when everything surrounding them is different.

Now, does that make it fair? Does that mean they have a right to ignore your attempts to keep the relationship together? Absolutely not. Neglecting to show kindness to someone who is trying to show that they care is extremely hurtful. Even if life has changed, friends have a responsibility to let their friends know that they are an important addition to their life.

This is the hard part and I’m going to be candid, so please don’t be offended. You friend is aware that they are boxing you out. Refusing to answer texts is a pretty clear denial. This rejection from a friend is hurting you and weighing on you enough that you continue to try to keep the friendship, even though you can see it’s not as smooth as it used to be. You’re even willing to talk to him about the situation in one last attempt to make it better. You have all these feelings and work that you’re putting into the relationship and getting absolutely nothing in return from him.

So, here’s my advice. Save yourself the heartache, sweetie. You can try to talk to him, but I think he’s made the way he feels, whatever his reasons are, pretty clear. You shouldn’t continue to allow yourself to be hurt be someone who is supposed to be a friend. Friendships should be filled with unconditional, mutual adoration.

I know it’s hard, especially when you feel like you really connected with a person, but you have to let it go. There are a million other people on the planet who are looking for a friend just like you who is willing to go the extra mile to show those important to you that you care.

If you do let it go then the only thing I want you to remember is that friendships are for life. Choosing to stop reaching out to this friend of yours doesn’t mean you’re severing ties with anger and animosity. You’re just taking a step back from the friendship, not ending it. Things happen and people’s lives go in different directions, but you should always keep the door open in case your path merge again and you both remember why you made such great friends in the first place.

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