Friends Aren’t Always Forever

Standard

Part of reason I wrote my recent post ‘Friendship Can Be Fleeting‘ was because I’ve been thinking a lot about some of the friendships that have dropped by the wayside over the past year or so.  And some of these friendships were ones that I had expected to last the test of time.

Growing up I didn’t have a lot of truly close friends.  Or at least nobody I could really call my ‘best friend’.  It was usually more about groups of friends all hanging out together, with some hanging out together more than others but I wasn’t always included in that.

But since moving to London, I’d met two different guys that I thought would be there until the end.  We’d talk almost daily about all sorts of shit, even if it was just to bitch about something stupid at work.  And it’s been the relatively recent loss of each of them that has been playing on my mind a bit.

Obviously when I say ‘loss’, I don’t mean that I misplaced them or they’ve passed away or something disastrous happened between us (at least not from my perspective).  They’re just not around any more.  The calls, texts, and messages have withered up and dried up.

And in one case, their profile has suddenly disappeared from my Facebook.

Man And Woman Help Silhouette In MountainsThe first guy is the one that hurts the most, as we’d been friends for over 8 years.  We’d always promised we’d be there for each other no matter what, even if one of us started a new relationship.

We’d been super close for many years and used to go away on weekends together (he lives in Scotland).  We even used to spend out birthdays together each year (2 days apart).

The last time we saw each other was on our birthday weekend in Brighton almost 2 years ago, and he’d been a bit out of it.  He finally told me a few months later that he’d been distracted as there was someone at his work he really fancied… and it was a woman.

I’d only known him as gay, so was a bit shocked initially but it didn’t change anything.  I didn’t care that he was suddenly interested in a woman instead of guys. I was just as encouraging regarding his feelings towards this woman as I would have been if it was a man.

Love is love, after all.

And all through the initial dating bits, I was still there as normal.  I listened to his insecurities and gave advise where I could, and so forth.  And I waited for details on how their first date went.  As normal.

But once they actually started dating, the messages from him slowly started to petter out until the point where a general message went unanswered by him for months. At one point when things were a bit rocky between them, suddenly he was there again to chat.. but then it was back to silence once they got back together.

20130206112854socially-awkwardOh, and they’ve come to London together twice since they got together, and I only found out after the fact or once I’d seen it on Facebook.  There was no suggestion of me meeting his lady friend.

One of the last actual conversations we had, he was trying to get me to become Facebook friends with one of his mates up in Scotland (that I’d met once years ago).  Because his mate needed other ‘gay friends’.

Riiight…

He’d recently promised to be in touch on a certain day to chat.. but that was over a week ago and I’ve not heard anything.  It’s almost seemed like he’s tried to distance himself from all his old gay friends…

As for the other guy, well… I kinda saw it coming to an extent, as he’d done it before.

We’d first met over 5 years ago when I lived in Vauxhall, and initially we were casually seeing each other for a bit before he cooled things off because ‘he didn’t want a boyfriend’, and then ended up with a boyfriend within a couple months.

A year or two later we had a bit of a blow up after a night out at a club where he ditched me to head home with his ‘neighbour’ (he was single again at this point).  I wrote about it in a fit of anger at the time (click HERE to read), which he subsequently read and blasted me for.

That was the first time he’d ‘dumped’ my friendship.

Then a couple years ago he’d messaged me out of the blue, and after awhile we ended up being just friends again.  In fact, during a quite low period of mine he was one of the few people that had stayed by me, allowing me to rant and rave about my feelings.

39th-birthday-cheaters-250But then things started to change once he started working from home, as he stopping hanging out socially with me.  In fact, he wouldn’t even come out for my birthday last year because he wasn’t feeling ‘social’ and had too much work to do.

Communication between us started to become less frequent, and when I did hear from him, it was like he was completing a chore. Like he felt obligated to check in on me or something.

And when we would talk, he would always try to deflect any discussions about his life.  And would seem like he barely listened to what I was saying based one his responses.  It was odd.

In the last conversation we had end of July, he briefly mentioned that he’d started a new job and had moved flats to a different part of London.. over a month prior! And when I asked why he hadn’t told me sooner, he said ‘I’m telling you now’ as if I was prying.

During that conversation it was clear he wasn’t listening or interested in what I was saying, but when I’d said something about being unhappy at work, he responded ‘that’s good’. I’d called him on it at the time, but it was brushed off once again..

And that was it.  It wasn’t too long after that I noticed that he’d either deleted his Facebook profile or had blocked me.

Ummm.. bye?

Obviously I’m well aware that changes happen in all of our lives, and sometimes people do drift apart.  But regardless of how it happens, it still hurts when you’re the one left behind wondering what happened.

It can make life quite lonely when it feels like there’s nobody to talk to on a regular basis.

Friendship can be Fleeting

Standard

Some friends come, some friends go.  And some friends are there for the long haul.  But sometimes, no matter what you do, the friendship may end.  It could be due to some toxic behaviour from one of you, or it could be a change in one of your lives.

It’s not a matter of loving each other any less, but being willing to understand when a friendship is at it’s end.  Or even recognising when it’s already over and not worth your time to try and save.

Regardless of how a friendship ends, it can sometimes really hurt and be confusing.  So here are a few things to look out for when that fleeting friendship is actually dying a slow death…

It’s exhausting

Spending time with your friends should be fun, exciting, and make you look forward to seeing them again, even when things aren’t going so well.  But if you find you’re coming away from seeing a friend constantly drained, emotionally and physically, it could be that they’re sucking the life right out of you.

Some friends are just emotional vampires, and any time spent together is all about them or their problems.  These people are needy and will latch onto anyone who’ll give them any attention.

Jealous of your happy

Whenever something good is happening in your life, one of the first things anyone wants to do is to share it with their friends.  We all enjoy sharing our happy moments alongside all the rest of it, and a true friend should be happy when something goes well for you, regardless of what is going on in their life.

But if that friend is continually trying to bring you down or is expressing jealousy because their life isn’t going as well as yours, then that’s not someone you want in your corner.  A solid friend should be a cheerleader for your accomplishments (and vice versa) without any thought about their own issues.

Always one-sided

Best_FriendsTruly good friends will always be there for each other through the thick and thin.  They’ll be their cheerleader, a shoulder to cry on, someone they can vent to, and ultimately, their rock.  We all go through tough periods and it’s important to have the right support when you’re going through a bad patch.

But if you find that you’re always listening to your friend’s issues and they aren’t letting you get a word in about what’s going on with you, then perhaps you need to let that selfish friend go.  Same goes if they never ask what’s going on with you (because they’re too busy talking about themselves), or don’t seem to even register what you do say (cause they’re not really listening).

Friendships may teeter back and forth, but ultimately it needs to truly be two-sided.

They put you down

All friends tend to roast each other to an extent.  It’s playful and always meant in good humour, never anything malicious or to purposely put someone down.  But sadly there are those out there who’ll always have something negative to say about you to bring you down.  Perhaps it makes them feel better about themselves, but regardless of why they do it, it’s toxic and they’re a friend you shouldn’t want to keep.

True friends always have your best interest at heart.

Mooches will always mooch

truly caresWe all have that friend who never seems to have any money on them to pay for drinks or dinner, or they say they’ll pay you back for those concert tickets but you never hear another word about it.  It’s one thing if it happens on occasion, but when it’s all the time it can become quite annoying to be chasing after them.

These people may not mean anything bad by it, and sometimes they don’t even realise they’ve done it.  But in the end you can only take so much of these flighty, forgetful friends.  And unfortunately, good luck getting your money back.

They’re overly demanding

It’s one thing to be a bit needy on occasion during a rough patch, but it’s completely different when you try to fully monopolise a friend’s time to the point where they can’t maintain other friendships or relationships.

When a friend is overly possessive, it generally means they’re insecure about your friendship and they’ll allow their jealousy to show.  Some may get so attached that they’ll freak out at the thought of you having other friends (let alone a relationship), and they could even try to sabotage things.

Best thing to do – run away.  Now.

Life moves on

Sometimes a friendship will end solely because life has changed for one or both of you.  People will change and grow over time, or perhaps one of your interests have changed.  It may suck when it happens, but it’s not like there’s a particular thing you can blame it on, as it just happens.  Some people just drift apart.

A lot of the time when this happens, one or both of you will be singing the hymn “We need to catch up soon!”, but it never really happens.  It could be that one of you has found a new social circle, or there’s a new relationship that’s occupying their time, or you no longer live near each other.  It’s just life really.

bad-friends-pic-3It’s ok to feel sad or confused when a friendship ends, but allow yourself the time to get past it.  Understand what changed and then move on.  There is no point dwelling on something that has already happened and can’t be changed.

This post has been influenced by – http://www.thelist.com/17938/tell-friendship/