Friendships can be complicated. There are friends you love to hate and friends you hate to love. There are unhealthy friendships that should probably end but that live on no matter how hard you try to kill them and there are friendships you love and value that end. This can be especially confusing and heart breaking, regardless of if you were the one who ended the friendship or not.
Some friendships are situational, like working together, and some endings are situational too. Not too sure what I mean? Hmm. Let’s say for example your best friend is your drinking buddy, but you decide to get sober. No matter how much you love her, she (unintentionally or not) makes you want to drink and get crazy. Chances are, if you want it to or not, the friendship will end. Or, maybe your friend consistently asks you for favours you don’t want to do, like feeding her pet while she’s away, or watching her kids, or helping her do her housework…. Although you enjoy quality time with her, it seems that is never what you get, and the only way to get away from the situation may be to lose your friend. Alternatively you might have a friend who has become so vague, distant and cold that you have to dump her to stop the anxiety that is eating you up inside, even though you really didn't want it to end. You might find you have unreciprocated romantic feelings for a friend and spending time with them is just too difficult to bare knowing they don’t feel the same way and probably never will. Or a friend may confide something to you that you wish they hadn’t because now it has put you in an extremely awkward position causing you to feel disloyal to one party if you tell, or disloyal to another if you don’t. These are just some of the reasons you may find yourself ending a friendship when you actually do like the person involved. I am sure there are many more. The point is that a situation arose that caused a need to exit, not any bad feelings necessarily, per se.
We have this way of assuming that if a friendship ends, it was never meaningful to begin with. It just isn’t true. I have experienced all the situations above, and I loved every single one of those friends dearly. I miss them as people and I am sad that we couldn’t continue on. However if any of those people were back in my life at this time, I strongly believe the situation would follow them, and I can’t be in those situations anymore. It’s not healthy and it only breeds resentment.
It’s not that any one of these people were bad people, they weren’t. They were good people, and close friends; it’s just that, for whatever reason, we aren’t compatible at this time in our lives. It really sucks that a situation could end a friendship. Ending a friendship with someone hurts, even if you are the one ending it. People don’t seem to understand this. I know I have badly hurt and confused some people I love because of this lack of understanding. They think it was easy for me to walk away. That I didn't care and never did. That I didn't hurt. Or worse still they blame themselves. I hate the thought of these women thinking that there was something wrong with them. That there was one specific thing that they said or did wrong that caused me to abandon them. Questioning the validity of our entire friendship. It was real!
If you were a friend that I walked away from. I’m sorry. Please know that. Please know I think of you, I miss you, and I still have love for you in my heart. Please know that it wasn’t that you failed me in some way. You are good enough just the way you are. (If you weren't pretty fab we never would have been friends in the first place! ) You will have more meaningful friendships in your life, and you are loved by many. I have been in your shoes. I do know how much I hurt you. I didn’t want to and believe me I tried not to. I tried to tolerate the situation. I tried to talk to you about it. I tried to change it, I even tried to ignore it, but in the end I had to free myself from a situation that included you. It wasn't easy or pleasurable for me.
I didn’t enjoy hurting you and I lost something just as special as you did when I walked away. I do feel terribly guilty for hurting you the way I did. I don't blame you. Whatever the situation, I played my part, all situations are somewhat co-created. I'm sorry for that too. I know you probably strongly disagree, but I need to point out that I’m not a bad person either. I never set out to hurt you. I didn’t know we wouldn’t last… However, does a friendship have to last forever to prove meaningful? I don’t think it does. I learned things from all of you. I hope you took something positive away from our friendship too.
The worst thing about this situation as it stands is that you probably hate me now for walking away…. But the best thing about situational endings is that situations change. I hold hope in my heart that someday our situations will realign and we can once again enjoy time together as friends without the negativity of the past haunting us. Time has a splendid way of changing people and things. Until then, my (former) friends; just know that you are in my heart, and my thoughts and I hope you are happy.
Just because you miss someone, doesn’t mean they should still be in your life
Your Best Friend ForNever