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Letting Friends go is Hard Work!

Best friendships are valuable. They help us process stress, and laugh so hard we can’t stand up straight, they know us well enough to call us on our BS with a smile that recognizes our basic goodness. Sometimes, they may fade, but always, the embers glow hot. We can ebb and flow, but they’re there for us, with us, and we’re there for them, with them, through the years. We grow old together.

And yet—sometimes, we make like Thelma and Louise and drive off a cliff of The Best Friendship Flat Planet…a planet that we could have sworn was round.

What should I do?

So, I write this one not to share wisdom. I don’t have any, other than feeling that it was time to let go and feeling my sad heart since, and feeling that perhaps it is on me, though I have let go, to reach out once more.

I’ve been somewhat sad over this one for many months, months totaling two years, and the more I feel it out, perhaps much longer. We didn’t hang out on weekends or for dinners. The friendship may have been based, in the early days, on some notion that I was cool. But while I may be fun or happening, I’m vulnerable when you get to know me, and I’m not pretentious. I look to friends for counsel, and one must bear all to receive truly helpful counsel. And so, I do.

But, over time, baring all may equate to “not being seen as cool.” And then, from there, our “best friendship” found another crutch: doing an activity together.

And when that activity stopped a few years back, so did our friendship. Now, I know this friend was busy, overwhelmingly so, yet other friends see this friend, and I don’t. I reached out 1000 times with little things about this, or that, sports, or news, or thoughts…the usual friendship stuff. And I generally received a rather short, abbreviated, guttural response…if any. It becomes a running joke. Even if I sent a paltry two words, I’d get one back. If I sent one word, I’d get a shorter word back.

And so, at some point, I forced myself to snap that twig, make a break, and let go. Otherwise, I’d become like a cloying lover, not offering space.

And if you let go into space, and the bird loves you, it returns, right?

Nothing came back.

I’ve tried to let go of my friend, and I have, and that’s been tough work, so it feels hard to reach out one last time before letting go fully. And I really don’t want to let go fully. But I realize that it may have been rather hollow or based on things that weren’t actually friendship, for many years.

Oof. This one hit hard:

And may just realize that the bond you thought you had, wasn’t a bond at all. It may have been for you, but not for them.”

It hits hard because it hits true.


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