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Thread: Growing apart and trying to let it go

  1. #1
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    Growing apart and trying to let it go

    So I've been best friends with this person for many years and we live together. Our friendship is sort of unhealthy on both parts. I've always like this person as a friend and they did like me even more than a friend for many years but they understood that I didn't feel the same way romantically.

    We had gone many years totally cool with our friendship the way it was. We are super close. Practically a couple without the romantic side to it. We've been on lots of trips together.

    I moved away last year and our friendship naturally changed. My friend got into a relationship. Things weren't working out for me in my move and my friend allowed me to move back in even though they were dating someone. I didn't want to do this for long but it's been several months and I've been going through a depressive time. My friend insisted that it was fine and everything even though I knew it didn't make sense with them being in a relationship.

    On top of that, when I came back I think my friend was under the impression that we would be super close like we were before plus they started telling me more and more how they felt about me. This was super frustrating to me as I am trying to get myself together and the more they would share their feelings the more it would push me away plus I never felt like the core of our friendship was shaken. I just simply didn't feel like being constantly together one on one all the time anymore. I came back to get my life together and I missed my best friend but I was also trying to be respectful to my friend's relationship and I was trying to branch out a little and do my own thing.

    Now tables have kind of flipped. I had planned out this trip that I've been wanting to do for several months and wanted to go with my friend but recently they said they weren't sure they could do it after all because they have plans to go on a trip with their partner. While I understand this and am trying not to let it get to me... I can't deny that I let it get to me. I feel super selfish for being upset about it because it's not like my friend has ever bailed plans like this before AND I also understand logically that their relationship should take priority. I also know that I built up too much expectation about this trip in general anyway and it was my own fault for making it bigger than it was. To me, the trip was gonna be like our last trip we go on.. possibly ever depending how serious my friend's relationship is going.

    Anyway, I was going to still go on this trip but go alone instead because I don't really know anyone close enough to go with instead and the few people I can think of will likely be busy and such. I realize now I've probably let myself get too upset over it to even go alone at this point and that upsets me more because I was so excited for it and I've ruined it for myself.

    I've already talked to my friend about it and there's really not much more I can say and if I say anything else it will just end up being petty and selfish and come out of anger and I don't want to do that. I'm capable of being more mature than this and I don't want to ruin a friendship over something like this but I really don't know what to do. I can't exactly change how I feel... At least not over night.

    How do I let this go?

  2. #2
    Platinum Member SGH's Avatar
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    First, recognize and admit that at many points you have "used" this individual for emotional comfort when you knew they wanted more from you. I don't mean that statement in a harsh way, but I think it is an important step in moving forward and redefining the friendship. Having all the fringe benefits of a relationship (minus physicality) is not generally how friendships work, and your previous dynamic wasn't healthy for either of you.

    You know logically that your friend is moving forward with someone else and letting go of whatever dream they had for the two of you that was never going to occur. Swallow your own discomfort for a second (if you actually care for this person and they are truly your friend) and be happy for them. They do not exist to simply fulfill your current needs. Once you realize that your perspective is skewed at best and selfish at worst, I think the anger and resentment will dissipate.

  3. #3
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    Thanks. You're right. I've thought of it this way as well but sometimes it helps to hear it from someone else. I do admit that I have used my friend for emotional support in ways that probably shouldn't have been in a healthier friendship. I didn't exactly realize how they felt or to the extent until I came back and before it was probably something we were both ok with because neither of us were in relationships. My friend even admits they were upset I was talking with someone else even while they were in this relationship and acknowledged how unhealthy that was of them to be jealous on their end too. It's definitely been a bit complicated but I know I have to let it go. It's not easy and I'm sure it's not easy for my friend either but I have to let them move on.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member SGH's Avatar
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    Yep, you got the right idea!

    Also, I just want to say it's okay if you lose interest in the friendship now that the dynamic is changing. I had a guy friend where we had a different but similar unhealthy half-relationship dynamic (only in the emotional sense) and once I realized what was going on, I took a serious step back from the friendship. There's something to be said for defined boundaries in relationships and mutual beneficilaity. Being used does not feel good.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    I'm capable of being more mature than this and I don't want to ruin a friendship over something like this but I really don't know what to do. I can't exactly change how I feel... At least not over night.

    How do I let this go?
    If you have the money to go on a trip, why not invest it, instead, into getting your own place and moving yourself forward with your own life?

    You're the one who is stagnating 'around' this friend. I'd make it my private goal to surprise everyone, including myself, with my resilience and ability to move on and build a fabulous home and life for myself. I'd start exploring new interests and expand my social circle to meet new people and form new friendships.

    Maturity has us building different kinds and degrees of friendship with different people who meet different needs. We accept and respect the limits of others and the limitations of each friendship. So a tennis friend may be lousy at conversation, a movie friend may not share your politics, a friend in whom you confide may hate crowds and never want to do parties or events with you. We find one common thread within each friendship without expectations that we can morph people into the kind of 'bestie' we adopted as kids. We were blank slates then, so we could homogenize well with those who were most convenient to bond with. As adults we settle into our own personalities and we won't be everyone's cup of tea. That's just natural odds, and it helps us to appreciate the rare simpatico when we find it.

    Consider working with a therapist or social worker for an assessment to learn whether you are depressed, and if so, your options for treatment. Emotions follow behaviors, not the other way around. If we wait until we 'feel like' behaving our way out of depression, we will stagnate and drill ourselves into a deeper hole to climb out of. Instead, we start taking baby steps in the right direction, and these small successes feed confidence in our ability to take on more challenging behaviors.

    You may want to consider ways to help friend around her home as a goodwill gesture while you seek a place of your own. This can move your focus away from brooding over a trip that would only serve as a distraction from the work you need to do. Your money is better invested in building a life you won't feel a need to distract yourself away from.

    Head high, and take some baby steps toward moving forward. You will thank yourself later.


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