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Thread: Mixed emotions over the loss of an online friend

  1. #1
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    Mixed emotions over the loss of an online friend

    Long story short, I met someone online back in November 2017. We clicked right away. We chatted on messenger regularly and even talked on the phone some. While we did want to meet in person, we simply lived way too far apart and travel was just too expensive. So, we just settled for making the most of technology in order to talk to each other. As time went on, I could sense a change in her. Sometimes it would feel like she was pulling away from me. It would worry me, and I would ask if I did something and she would always reply with a fast "no". She would assure me that there were times when she just wasn't in a talkative mood, which I understood completely. And then she would message me a day or so later and tell me not to worry. That she just "got like that sometimes" and I would never lose her as a friend, unless I just went and did something really messed up. And she threw in "or of course, if I were to unexpectedly pass away, that would effectively end the friendship, I believe" and she would laugh about it, which I didn't like, but I saw her point. In the last few months of our friendship, we didn't talk as much. She just didn't seem like the same person anymore. I backed off and gave her some space. I would message her only every once in awhile to see how she was doing and I got short, curt answers. It was at that point that I started to tell myself that it was time to accept that this had run it's course and to just go ahead and prepare for the day when she pulls the plug. That day came just recently. What's weird is, the day before she unfriended and blocked me, everything seemed fine. She liked and commented on one of my posts and even shared it on her page. She sent me a PM and shared something with me that she had come across that she thought I would like.

    And that turned out to be the last time we would ever talk again. On the afternoon of the following day, she was gone. She unfriended and blocked me. I figured that she had either A) gotten a new phone number ahead of time in anticipation of the ending of our friendship or B) would not answer if I called. It was the latter. I knew that she would not answer, but I called anyway, just on the off chance that she might. I only called once. I then removed her number from my phone. Plus, I am sure that she will be getting a new number anyway. I have experienced mixed emotions over this. At first, strangely, it came as a relief. Then, I would remember something that we talked about before, something deeply personal that I shared with her at one point in time, and I would get really down. I really should not be in pain over this, should I? It was just an online friend. And nothing is forever, no matter how you slice it. It does hurt some to think about how she did it. How she pulled the plug, so to speak. I mean, did she make up her mind months ago and just held off on it until she felt that the time was right? And did she do it all by design? Why be so friendly the day before? Was that to make me think that everything was fine, so that I would not suspect anything? I don't care for that, if that's in fact what she did. But, it's over now. There is no getting this friendship back, and even if I could, it would not be the same. As the saying goes, this too shall pass. However, it does make me leery of getting too attached to anyone.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Were you dating people during this friendship? Was she? Was that something you guys were able to talk about regularly?

    I ask that because—and, yeah, I'm making some leaps here, just from your tone and what you've written so far—it kind of sounds like you were partly friends, and partly....something else. Some kind of stand-in for romantic connection. The fact that you were so sensitive to a small dip of pivot in communication—that's more boyfriend stuff than friend stuff. The asking "Is everything okay"—that's eggshell stuff, the kind of fraught dynamic that exists in fraught romances, not healthy friendships, be they digital or IRL.

    You sound like you've got a good perspective about the whole thing—a bummer, but one of those bummers that come with the business of living and connecting. I hope something like this doesn't make you too leery of attachment, in the long run.

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    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    It seems to me that you were too attached to each other in an artificial, online romance. The way you think about her is not one simply of friendship. Friendship means here and there, touch and go, live your own lives and touch base when you have time. Friends don't overthink and worry over not speaking to one another every single day.

    Try and open yourself up a bit more to in person interactions and friendships. I agree with Bluecastle that the eggshell-walking and handholding is unnatural and too hypervigilant and hypersensitive for a healthy friendship of any kind. If she's gone, she's gone. Some friend that is. Good riddance. Be on with your day and don't give this a moment's more thought. Don't internalize it and look at all the blessings you do have in your life.

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    I think online friendships can be very close and deep -all depends on the individual circumstances. And I agree that the OP tried to mix in romance and that always complicates online interactions and is no longer a friendship - I personally would not "date" online ever. I was duped by someone who used to post on here (well by more than one person but this situation was far worse). Luckily I had kept my distance enough so that when it happened I wasn't hurt like the OP is hurting.
    OP I wouldn't generalize from this experience other than perhaps to avoid future romances or near romances that are only online.

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  6. #5
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    OP, do you have local friends that you interact with in person?

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    Platinum Member smackie9's Avatar
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    Time....it takes time for them to not have any meaning to you. The best thing to do is to go forward and fill the void with, keeping busy, meeting new people, doing new things.

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    It's been a roller coaster ride for sure. I tortured myself by going back and looking at some of our old chats. And I found myself getting emotional because I was thinking how those chats were from back in happier times. I just don't get why she did this. Especially the cold, backstabbing way she did it. The way she talked to me the day before like everything was fine and then the next day, she was just gone. It's like the last year and a half meant nothing to her. I had someone tell me that I'm in the worst of the pain now and then it gets better from here. I think that is true. It will only go up from here. Also, I'm seeing some things in looking back at our old chats. Like how she had no issues with hitting me up at 2:00-3:00 AM when she needed to talk. And I never once complained about being woken up or asked her not to message me at such a time. Because I told her at the beginning to call or message at anytime and I meant it. However, she would act all put off if I messaged her at the wrong time. And it was never at 2:00-3:00 AM. And I always prefaced it by saying "is this a good time?". Yet it was perfectly fine for her to message me at odd hours.

    There was a lot of one sidedness for sure, now that I look back. That saying is SO true about hindsight being 20/20. Perhaps this is for the better. Maybe she was never really a friend, but just someone masquerading as a friend.

    Hollyj, I actually have no local friends. None at the moment anyway. I need to change that, as I have done the online thing too much. That's the bad thing about meeting and/or dating someone online. You don't go online and meet someone just up the road. They are usually at minimum of 1,000 miles away and a lot of times, not even in the same country.

  9. #8
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    Originally Posted by WorkSux56
    It's been a roller coaster ride for sure. I tortured myself by going back and looking at some of our old chats. And I found myself getting emotional because I was thinking how those chats were from back in happier times. I just don't get why she did this. Especially the cold, backstabbing way she did it. The way she talked to me the day before like everything was fine and then the next day, she was just gone. It's like the last year and a half meant nothing to her. I had someone tell me that I'm in the worst of the pain now and then it gets better from here. I think that is true. It will only go up from here. Also, I'm seeing some things in looking back at our old chats. Like how she had no issues with hitting me up at 2:00-3:00 AM when she needed to talk. And I never once complained about being woken up or asked her not to message me at such a time. Because I told her at the beginning to call or message at anytime and I meant it. However, she would act all put off if I messaged her at the wrong time. And it was never at 2:00-3:00 AM. And I always prefaced it by saying "is this a good time?". Yet it was perfectly fine for her to message me at odd hours.

    There was a lot of one sidedness for sure, now that I look back. That saying is SO true about hindsight being 20/20. Perhaps this is for the better. Maybe she was never really a friend, but just someone masquerading as a friend.

    Hollyj, I actually have no local friends. None at the moment anyway. I need to change that, as I have done the online thing too much. That's the bad thing about meeting and/or dating someone online. You don't go online and meet someone just up the road. They are usually at minimum of 1,000 miles away and a lot of times, not even in the same country.
    This is a big problem and why you have allowed yourself to get so attached to a stranger. You have no life. You must get out and meet local friends and interact physically. You cannot have a relationship through a screen.

    Have you tried volunteering, Meet Ups, different classes or clubs that offer your hobbies? Dude, get the hell out of the house and live your life!

    You should start by making platonic male and female friends. Then, start with dating. I would find it odd to meet someone that had no social circle in their area, unless they had just moved there.

  10. #9
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    I agree with the others that you need to get offline and start building up your life. Is there a reason you have not already done so?

    Unfortunately, this girl was just never going to be a viable prospect for you. I have to wonder if she's dating someone who clued into the fact that she's got an internet guy she chats with, and he wasn't happy about it. Or, she realized she couldn't keep chatting with you in the same manner if she's got a boyfriend and took a preemptive strike by cutting contact with you before that was discovered.

  11. #10
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    Originally Posted by Hollyj
    This is a big problem and why you have allowed yourself to get so attached to a stranger. You have no life. You must get out and meet local friends and interact physically. You cannot have a relationship through a screen.

    Have you tried volunteering, Meet Ups, different classes or clubs that offer your hobbies? Dude, get the hell out of the house and live your life!

    You should start by making platonic male and female friends. Then, start with dating. I would find it odd to meet someone that had no social circle in their area, unless they had just moved there.
    I am the very picture of someone with no life. To that end, I am pathetic. In fact, one time when I was wrapping up a chat with my now former online friend, a relative asked me "don't you have like, a life of your own?" and I replied "I do not". I probably shouldn't be laughing about it. Another time when I was explaining my online friendship/romance (with that woman) they asked "so...is she...your future?" and I said "yes". Looking back, that was a ridiculous expectation. What in the world did I think was going to come of it? My social life (or lack thereof) was on a screen. For a year and a half. Now I am actually laughing at some of our old chats. Like how I would ask her "please don't unfriend and/or block me". And asking her "do you promise?" LOL! How sad. Trying to hold a grown adult (online no less) to some kind of promise. It's past time to do something different. Actually, that is an understatement. Interestingly enough, I have come across an old friend on Facebook that I once knew in real life years ago. I'll message them some, but I want it to lead to some actual in person time in the not too distant future. Going forward, there HAS to be more to my life than just "knowing" someone via social media and chat apps.

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