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What's the best way to repair this friendship?


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I'd appreciate any advice on this matter and I thank you very much in advance for your time and help. I am a guy in my mid-20s, and a few months back, I fell hard for one of my closest girl friends, who happens to be a few years younger than I am. Our age difference was a big deal to me at first, but I eventually realized that she was incredibly mature for her age and we became very close in a short amount of time.

 

The two of us were unbelievably compatible and we shared a chemistry unlike anything I had ever known before. In addition to hanging out - both amongst our friends and just by ourselves - we would often spend hours at a time on the phone, sharing our deepest thoughts and feelings. At one point, our relationship had actually begun to move beyond a normal friendship and we both revealed feelings for each other. However, a big obstacle arose in the form of her leaving for college before any next step could be taken, i.e. a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship, so we decided to remain friends. The two of us felt it was only fair that she have the opportunity to be on her own and experience the college life that I had just spent four years living. In addition, I didn't want to hold her back from anything and I mostly didn't want her to have any regrets.

 

I initially felt good about us remaining friends, but the transition hit me really hard and I eventually fell apart, in a sense. A few times I expressed strong feelings for her, only for her to tell me that she just wanted to remain friends at this time in her life. She did, however, tell me that she thought we had something special and that she loved me, but again, she needed this time to experience college without having me as a boyfriend.

 

After a month or so of us exchanging phone calls and texts every few days - she would often tell me that she missed me - I made the mistake of telling her that I couldn't be friends with her while I continued to have such strong feelings for her. I needed to take some time to myself to move on so I could be the best friend to her without having any feelings attached. She begrudgingly accepted my decision and told me to take as much time as I needed and that we would always be friends. She also told me that she hoped I would change my mind because she wanted to see me the next time she came home. I appreciated her response but realized a few days later that I had made a mistake. I felt it was selfish of me to do this to her when she had always been there for me and it was my duty as a friend to push my feelings aside and to continue to be there for her as a friend.

 

I notified her of this decision (to want to be friends again), but it seemed like she had grown extremely cold in those few short days. She never explained the reason, but she told me that she couldn't talk to me for the time being and that she needed "space." This conversation took place over two months ago, and since I didn't want to disappoint her, I have given her the space that she has needed. Her first visit home passed without a phone call or a text and I now worry that she has forgotten all about me. I know she has been having a great time at school - going out on a regular basis, making new friends, etc. - and I'm glad that she is happy because she deserves to be. On the other hand, I do want to be friends with her again.

 

I've been able to move past my feelings for her after realizing that the two of us are in completely different stages of our lives and a relationship between us would never work out given the current circumstances. However, she was a very important part of my life at one point, as I was for her, and I would like us to be friends again. I realize that people change when they leave for college and I know that things obviously won't go back to the way they were (it's highly unlikely we will be able to have the closeness we once shared), but I do miss her friendship.

 

Is it possible that she has forgotten about me after leaving for school and having such a great time? Is it even worth trying to contact her and be friends with her again at this time? Or should I just move on completely and chalk it up to a learning experience? Once again, any help or advice is much appreciated.

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I think you should tell her what you just told us.

 

Write her a letter, and tell her you want to be friends. I really liked this paragraph:

 

I've been able to move past my feelings for her after realizing that the two of us are in completely different stages of our lives and a relationship between us would never work out given the current circumstances. However, she was a very important part of my life at one point, as I was for her, and I would like us to be friends again. I realize that people change when they leave for college and I know that things obviously won't go back to the way they were (it's highly unlikely we will be able to have the closeness we once shared), but I do miss her friendship.

 

Tell her that you will understand what ever decision she makes and that you would love to hear from her.

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I agree with the above post.

 

Even if she's mature, she still has a lot of growing up to do, which you know.

 

Why do you still want to be friends ? She is going to changing a lot and you'll barely see her when she's in school- so why hang on to this ?

 

Let her live her life and move on. It was what it was and now it's time to end-for good.

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I agree with the above post.

 

Even if she's mature, she still has a lot of growing up to do, which you know.

 

Why do you still want to be friends ? She is going to changing a lot and you'll barely see her when she's in school- so why hang on to this ?

 

Let her live her life and move on. It was what it was and now it's time to end-for good.

 

Thank you both for your responses. I still want to be friends with her because she was a very important part of my life; for a while, she had become my best friend and confidant and we had an unbelievable rapport that I have yet to find elsewhere. Even if she has changed and continues to change, I want to be there for her as a friend, as she was always there for me.

 

The thing I'm struggling with the most is the fact that she became so cold and distant in the few short days between my initial decision to not be friends and my recanting of that choice. I was never disrespectful toward her in any way, and in fact, I was a strong support system for her while she was going through some difficult times. I was the person she would call up to talk to about her problems and she would cry on the phone to me whenever she needed to. I was understanding, compassionate, helpful, and I was always there - I thought I was the best friend possible, so I figured we would jump right back into our friendship. However, she was very cold to me the last time we spoke and I can't figure out why. Is it possible that she had her feelings hurt by my indecision and my initial choice for us not to be friends?

 

I have written her a short email, apologizing for anything I ever did or said that made her upset and I let her know how much our friendship means to me. I also told her that I would always be there for her if she ever needed anything and I wished her luck with all of the things going on in her life. She has yet to respond, but if she does, do you think it's necessary for me to repeat some of the things I have written so far, i.e. about feeling selfish for what I did, or would that only rehash bad memories? If she does respond, should I just keep things positive and ask how she is presently doing or would that be rushing things?

 

Thank you again for your time and help.

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I think she became so cold and distant because she was hurt by what you said. She was only protecting herself from any more pain. I think her response was natural and understandable.

 

If she responds, don't rehash it unless she wants to talk about it. I would ask her if she wants to discuss it, or to try and start fresh.

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She's still a kid.

 

And most kids when they date and break up- Don't remain friends.

 

I understand she was an important part of your life- I've had people like that in my life- But sometimes letting go is what has to happen.

People sometimes come into our lives when we need them and then they leave. It's natural. There are a few people in my life that were massively important to me that I am not in contact with- Nor should I be.

I accept that they were once a part of my life, but aren't anymore. And that's okay- It does not mean they meant nothing to me or time together was trivial.

 

During her time at college, she is not going to want to remain static (Nor should she) She is going to grow and change a LOT.

She's not going to be the same person you dated in even a month but especially not in 6 or 12 or 20. She needs this time to discover who she is.

 

I'm not sure you didn't lose a bit of your heart to her.

It's bittersweet, but sometimes things just don't work out due to outside circumstances that have nothing to do with our feelings for each other.

 

Now that you've written her, just leave her be. Let it rest.

Stop looking back and look forward to the next chapter in your life.

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Thank you both again for your replies. tangi, I especially appreciate your response because it really puts things into perspective. I have a tendency to forget how young she really is and I think I've ignored the fact that she is going through a number of changes. Just from my own experience, to look at the person I was when I first started school to the person I am today, it's almost a night-and-day difference in terms of maturity, decision-making, etc.

 

I think both of you are again correct in saying that I have already made my move and the ball is now in her court, so to speak. Whether or not she responds, I've done all that I can to deal with the situation for now.

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