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How do you end a friendship?


musicman777
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Hi ENA, I hope you are all doing well! I was a regular here many years ago, venting about being single and chasing the wrong women. I'm happy to say all these years later, I have a very serious girlfriend now who I plan on getting engaged to within the next year. She is amazing, as is her family that treats me like my own. 😀 

So this post has to do entirely with something else. And that is, friendships! My girlfriend and I were talking about future marriage plans, and who would be part of our wedding. And I came to a pretty sad and sudden realization; I have no true friends left. At least no one local to me, people that really got to know me personally and spent time together with. 

 

I had one now (former) best friend left, who's name I will leave out. We're the same age (31), we were friends since high school and survived a lot of personal hardships together. Honestly, I truly loved him like a brother, he was my best friend and someone I thought I would have never lost throughout my life. Throughout the past couple years though, we have grown very distant. We used to exchanged some very friendly texts throughout the holidays. Now even that has ended. Back in March, he ignored a call and text about seeing a movie. Eight months passed. Yesterday, I texted him a short happy Halloween text for the hell of it. He responded, but the conversation quickly faded out, with him not answering or showing any care or excitement about me telling him that I'll be moving in with my girlfriend in the near future. 

He's been through a lot (losing a job over COVID and working odd-jobs since). And I feel maybe we've naturally grown apart. I felt like, when I got my new fancy job and car, he kinda started talking to me less and less. Maybe he doesn't felt compatible with me anymore, but I never did nor said anything to him to make him feel that way that I know of.

 

This all came up again because of the wedding stuff. I always thought that, he would have been my best man at my future wedding if I ever met someone. I never thought he would be someone to fade away from me like this. We both had a mutual friend who did the same to us and basically completely ignored our existence on Earth, and loathed him for it. But now it feels like, he's doing the same. 

It sounds very funny, but it honestly feels like a breakup! But instead of a romantic one, a platonic. I'm genuinely hurt by his lack of communication and disinterest in my life. I feel like, I need closure on this. I kind of feel like just cutting ties with him. It sounds dramatic, but removing and blocking him on my phone, games, facebook, etc. That has always been my way of removing people out of my life in a healthy manner. I feel like, it would be kind of crappy to do that to him without saying anything or any final words. But I also just don't think he cares, or needs to hear that. It sounds like me saying something would be weird and overdramatic. 

 

Have any of you felt this way and how did you deal with it? I feel like this happens to a lot of people as they get older. I thought he would be the one friend that I would always keep some kind of contact with. But he doesn't seem to care for me anymore. On the plus side for me, I have this wonderful woman in my life and her loving family. I'm getting very close with one of her siblings, who may be the best man at our wedding. So, there is a silver lining with it all! But it's still hard and a little scary to leave behind an old life that you've known for so long! 

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How to end a friendship:  Sometimes no need to "end" it as they simply naturally fade away on their own.  It's always a sad thing and it hurts but not much one can do about it.  That's life.

That said, have you considered actually asking him straight out to be your best man? That would be showing him that you still feel close to him as a friend.  He may be pleasantly surprised.  On the other hand, his lack of interest could be due to him going through a very rough time right now, feeling down and depressed and not in a good place - hence not being able to show much enthusiasm. We don't know what others are going through.  Life is tough these days.

Side note:  Congrats on your new found happiness.  I wish you well.

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This is actually quite common when we move to a different stage of life. I don’t think it needs a dramatic bridge burning and a social media banning. It just happens and will happen again as you age. I would just leave everything as is. He hasn’t done anything mortally offending . 

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One of my best friends lives far apart. We did go in the same high school and hang out but he lives in a different city and far away to see each other more then once in a few months. But, we still did hang out during faculty days and even after and kept contact. Even though life has kinda gone in different directions for both of us. He has a family and kids, is very, very rich(I am more middle class) and sometimes we couldnt be any different regarding life situations. But we both cherished our friendship and keep it going through years. We were both there for each other during tough times and we hear from each other almost every other day if not just to see how the other one is doing.

Anyway, I am saying this because I think both of you maybe kinda forgot that. Its OK it happens (happened to me with my female best friend), just saying that you both let it grew apart. You think its because of your situation and how he is maybe jealous, he maybe thinks you werent there for him when his situation happened etc. So you moved away from each other. There is really no need for drastic actions like blocking. If you grew apart and you think its time to end the friendship just leave it be. However, I also, like Capricorn, dont think its the worst idea in the world to still talk to him and see if he wants to be the best man. Dont think your future wives cousin is remotely good idea for best man as much as somebody who you know for years. Even though you did grew apart. But that is still your decision only. I mean you want to block him so that means you maybe dont want him at the wedding at all.

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Congratulations on the upcoming nuptials!  🙂

No need to worry.  When you marry, you'll have a lot of couple type friends whom you'll have more in common with.  That's what happened to my husband and me.  We often met couples for dinner (pre-pandemic).  Nowadays, we work around the pandemic situation socially speaking. 

As others have noted, friendships are transitional and dependent upon various stages in your and their lives.  Friends move away, establish new careers, meet someone new for a relationship, get married, start new families and it's about mortgages and bills.  Life has a way of taking over with responsibilities.  People are frenetically busy trying to survive and there isn't much brain space left after that!  Many times, friends are temporary and not meant to be your forever friend. 

I have several childhood friends because none of us moved faraway and remained in our local geography whereas many of my former friends moved far away from where I reside.  Or, I had friends due to my children and many of us have since moved on because we don't have much in common anymore.  Granted, I've retained some friends but lost some as well.  Life happens and we keep moving forward. 

As for your former best friend.  He lost his job due to COVID and working odd jobs since.  He's unhappy with his lot in life.  Often times whenever people are very stressed and miserable, there isn't any brain space for social niceties.  Usually people are in a comfortable mindset to socialize whenever life is wonderful.  Then when life sours,  people become grumpy and anti-social.  It's human nature. 

He was most likely envious or jealous of your new fancy job and car.  Some people are in the "misery loves company" mindset.  They prefer people or friends to be equal to them or beneath them but not better than their station in life. 

Since he's fading away from you, you do likewise and fade away as well.  Ignore, ghost, block and delete him since he's giving you the cold shoulder.  Or, if you want to put your conscience at ease, text him this:  "We're incompatible and it's time to go our separate ways.  I wish you all the best.  Sincerely, Your Name."  Don't complain, don't explain.  Remain respectful yet gentle and firm.  If he doesn't care to reply, then you've done your part and it's time for you to move on.   Focus on your fiancee and future marriage.

Yes, I've experienced what you're experiencing.  I agree, it does happen as we get older because this is life and very universal.   I too thought that some people would be special forever and unfortunately, what we wish for is unrealistic.  I'm sorry.  Concentrate on people who matter such as your future wife, perhaps a family someday, your in-laws and all things beautiful.  Let go of your old life and look forward to your new life!

 

 

 

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Are you within driving distance? Why don't you invite him and his partner for ie over for dinner? I think you are jumping the gun and depending too much on the texts. Some people don't text about their life in details or text in long conversations. Plan something in person without making any hasty decisions just yet.

 

Edited by Rose Mosse
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6 hours ago, Capricorn3 said:

his lack of interest could be due to him going through a very rough time right now, feeling down and depressed and not in a good place - hence not being able to show much enthusiasm. We don't know what others are going through.

I agree. Some people pull back when they're going through tough times. I would still invite him to the wedding. He might not be in a place to be the best man I envisioned for myself, but I would still make an old friend my guest.

Edited by Jibralta
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7 hours ago, Capricorn3 said:

How to end a friendship:  Sometimes no need to "end" it as they simply naturally fade away on their own.  

Agree. Just fade. People drift apart for no particular reason.

Wedding are stressful for this reason. Make it as easy on yourselves as possible.

 

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Yes it does feel like a breakup depending on the friendship!  Congratulations on your upcoming marriage !  I never assumed I’d make “couple friends” or “mom” friends and I don’t have more in common with people based on marital status. Maybe at times on an acquaintance level of course but true friends - nope. I was single well into my 30s and yes I have had friend breakups.

Some had to do with the friend becoming one of those smug married types who assumed friends were no longer as important once she found her partner or that she had to focus on married friends or mom friends.  But I had two close friends go MIA on me for no apparent reason.  And it hurt.  So I get it. 

I had the best luck meeting friends through volunteer work and professional networking groups and to a lesser extent my place of worship.  I actually did make a good friend about 11 years ago when she admired my stroller - no we weren’t even at a playground - just at a random park in a huge city.  We had a lot in common and both being married moms was a very small part of it.  So you never know but be out there and be active and I do think if you want to you’ll meet people.  

Don’t worry about your wedding.  I’m sure you’ll find someone you care about to stand up for you. My matron of honor was my sister and the best man was our close friend who later became our son’s godfather. We had a small wedding and it was magical and also so natural to be marrying my husband. And I so hope you have a wonderful wedding and marriage !!

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I feel he is just 'down' about life 😕 .

Like you said his job loss, so he may not be in good spirits at this time.

Instead of the 'gaming' and online stuff, texting etc.  Can you not actually 'talk' to him?

When was the last time you two hung out together?  Could he maybe feel like HE is a third wheel, since you have been taken away by your relationship?

I just see this is you having a friend who's a bit lost... and could do you both some good having some 'real' time together.

Maybe if he see's you are truly wanting a friendship with him still, he will come around again.

Is really sad, if you see the only solution is to remove him totally from your life. 😕 

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Regarding dropping friends along the way in life, sometimes people just get lazy.  Friends take your time.  Friends require obligations and social commitments which not everyone is willing to give of themselves.   Call it smug, arrogant, careless or whatever.  I don't care.  Life happens.  Friends drift apart peacefully and fade away.  There doesn't have to be any rift to cause friendships to disband.  No harm,  no foul.  I've even drifted apart from relatives, extended relatives and in-laws throughout the years to no fault of one's own. 

I've drifted apart from several friends from my past due to not relating to one another anymore.  We have less in common.  Personally, I'm secure and content enough not feeling the "need" for some friends.  My happiness and life feels full and very satisfactory as is.  I don't crave friendships.  I have individual local friends and we get together several times a month.  However, overall,  I'm fine where I'm at. 

Some people are good at constantly cultivating, nurturing and maintaining friendships whereas some people grow weary.  Some friends eventually lose interest.  Some friends are consumed with either their own lives, their frenetically paced schedules and in other unfortunate cases, their insurmountable problems (personal relationship problems, unemployment, money stress, poor health, etc.).  Not every friend is willing to share their private lives with you even in the name of moral support.  Everyone has their gamut of reasons and excuses. 

Don't fret. 

My husband and I have both couple and individual friends.  Just give it it time.  You will develop new friendships as your social circle expands.  It's a great big world out there. 

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If he was a good friend, give him the benefit of a doubt, and realize, he may be going through a hard time, and this is not the same thing as not wishing the best for you.  With my hubs having health problems from the stress of COVID, my eldest on suicide watch from the isolation, and my one good buddy going through so much anxiety, she can barely function most days, and now getting out of her funk, be kind.  Send a text that you really miss him, and hope he's okay.  And keep texting like you do care.  

Sure, maybe he's jealous, but it's not that same thing as he doesn't care about you, and I am sure he is happy for you.

The Pandemic was really scary and very hard for the world...and people are still decompressing from what's going on.

Edited by tattoobunnie
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