Putting the “end” in “friend”
When a friend dumps You
By: Clarice Joos
We look to our dearest girlfriends for comfort and cheerleading when our hearts get broken. They’re not supposed to be the ones who break our hearts, stop returning calls and decide that “they’re just not that into you”. But that’s how an old friend terminated me from her life without even a performance review.
We’d been friends for more than a decade, sharing all those milestones that transition you from “Roaring Twenties” into “Middle Ages”. We met our princes and were each others’ bridesmaids. We shared maternity clothes, nursed our newborns while chatting and bubble-bathed our toddlers together.
But none of it offset the grudges she had begun to hold against me for what she saw as slights. When we were deep into a round of husband- bashing, did I cross some line I wasn’t aware of? Should I have apologized more profusely when my toddler threw a tantrum at her child’s birthday party?
After one month of unreturned calls and one icy blast of a final conversation, I was given my walking papers in a tone similar to, “We won’t need your services any longer.” Topping off the list of grievances I was hearing for the first time, she said, “Our parenting styles are just too different…” for the friendship to continue. And I’d thought our playdates were wonderful! I was found guilty of being a bad friend when I didn’t even know there’d been a trial. And it hurt much more than being dumped by a guy ever did.
Some time has passed since then, enough to take most of the sting out of thinking about it. But I still “woulda-shoulda-coulda” myself. I should have seen the signs. She should have been honest with me before the molehills became mountains. Confrontations are uncomfortable, especially telling people you care about that they’ve hurt you. There’s fear in the possibility of not getting validation or apology. But it’s likely that a good friend never meant to hurt you at all, and would welcome the chance to make amends. I wish I’d been given that chance with my friend.