Anyone who has been on the receiving end of a platonic breakup knows that it can be an awkward situation. I should know.
In grade school a group of girl friends dumped me because I liked the Beatles and they preferred the Beach Boys. (Silly, but at the time I was devastated!) And later in life when I opted out of motherhood, my ‘mommy’ friends no longer found my company desirable and I was banished to the Realm of the Fruitless.
Knowing that it can be painful, when it came time for me to cut loose a friend, I struggled with the decision.
I wouldn’t call us besties, but Mary (fictional obviously) and I shared many common interests and had known each other for about six months. When our schedules allowed we’d meet for lunch, coffee or a workout, and enjoyed each other’s company.
But over time, she changed. Her conversation, once positive and uplifting, became increasingly negative and gossipy. Not immune to the pessimism, at times I’d join the bitch-fest only to regret my participation afterwards.
When her relationship hit rocky ground, I was supportive, but at the same time unwilling to enlist in her newly found man-bashing club and felt uncomfortable when she pressed me for details about my own divorce.
I knew she needed someone to talk to, so I stuck it out. After a while it became apparent that Mary was more bent on blaming than healing, and I’d leave her presence feeling emotionally drained and heavy.
So I called it quits. And then the guilt set in. Was I a bad friend? I hope not.
Ultimately I felt the relationship failed to serve either of us in a productive way. She was stuck on a merry-go-round of complaining, and I was miserable. Friendships are meant to nourish our psyche and bring us joy; they should bring out the best in us, not drag us down.
I wish Mary the best and hope she finds a place of peace.
Have you ever found it necessary to end to a friendship? —Karen