Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Afternoon Quickie: “Should I Tell My Former Friend Why I Dumped Her?”

I used to be friends with a girl who was also my housemate, but I decided to just shut her out of my life without even telling her. The reason: I thought she was a bad influence on me. Before I started seriously dating my current boyfriend, I met a guy and ended up sleeping with him. I told my boyfriend what happened, it was really difficult for us to get over it, and we are still working on it although we get better every day. But returning to this girl: I think she played an important role in my past decisions; she would offend my boyfriend, saying he was probably getting laid while he was not with me during summer, that he was weird, and that I should find another boyfriend. It was the first time I was seeing someone more seriously, and I was insecure and had a weak mind. I told my boyfriend everything–my reasons, my feelings–including what I thought about this friend. I decided to block her from everything and stopped any form of contact.

My currently dilemma is that, more than a year after everything happened, she added me on Skype and I decided to accept her to find out what she wants. But I don’t know what to do in this situation: Should I tell her the reasons I don’t want the friendship anymore, including the effects she had on my relationship? Should I just say I don’t feel like being her friend anymore and not give any reason? Or should I ignore her?

I want her away from me (we already live in different cities, and soon in different countries), with no contact at all and I want her aware of it, so she stops trying to contact me. But I don’t want to expose everything that happened in my relationship. — Anxious Girl

You slept with someone else before you and your boyfriend were exclusive and you: a) blame your former friend for that decision?; and b) told your boyfriend all about it?; and c) have spent over a year trying to work through it together? You know what, it’s not the friend here who’s the problem. It’s you. You need to take responsibility for your actions, quit blaming them on other people, and maybe consider that, if after a whole year, you and your boyfriend are still working through something that happened before you two were even exclusive, perhaps your issues run deeper than that one incident. Maybe he’s not the right match for you? Maybe there was some truth in what your friend said (or you worried that there was some truth in it) and you didn’t like hearing it and THAT’s why you dumped her?

And about that: Look, if in a whole year this Skype invitation was the first time she tried to contact you after you dumped her with zero explanation, and so far she hasn’t even really contacted you, I wouldn’t worry that this is someone who is going to continue bothering you indefinitely. Honestly, it sounds like you’re just looking for drama where there isn’t any. But, okay, if you want to ensure she gets the message and doesn’t bother you ever again, delete her from your Skype and send her a brief message saying that you have moved on and no longer wish to hear from her because you find her to be a bad influence on you and you blame her for decisions you regret. Pretty sure you won’t hear from her again after that unless it’s a brief response saying: WTF?

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

12 comments… add one
  • Diablo

    Diablo January 28, 2015, 3:19 pm

    “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” Often ascribed to Mark Twain or Abraham Lincoln, but possibly orginating in Proverbs 17:28.

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  • Stonegypsy

    Stonegypsy January 28, 2015, 3:20 pm

    WWS x 1000

    WHY did you even tell your boyfriend that you slept with someone else *before* you were serious? And why has it taken this long to get past it?
    And what on earth did your former friend have to do with any of that?

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  • MaterialsGirl

    MaterialsGirl January 28, 2015, 3:31 pm

    the whole part about the “weak mind” makes me think the boyfriend is jealous and controlling. No one says that on their own.

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  • mylaray

    mylaray January 28, 2015, 3:31 pm

    WWS. A lot of times on Skype, people will select to add all their contacts from their email (or other social media) and she may not have even intentionally sent you a Skype invitation. I think it’s odd you are looking so much into that. Just let it go.

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  • TaraMonster

    TaraMonster January 28, 2015, 3:32 pm

    From the tone of this letter, I can tell you are riddled with self-doubt about yourself and this relationship. I’ve been there, but Wendy is right, you need to take personal responsibility for your actions- and not because you did anything wrong, you did NOT, I repeat, did NOT do anything remotely wrong by sleeping with another guy before you and your current boyfriend were exclusive. I don’t know if you framed it to him like it was this huge betrayal or if he’s warped the situation to be a betrayal and you’re just too full of self doubt to see it, but what I do know is that you need to snap out of it.
    .
    “Personal responsibility” tends to carry the connotation of a reprimand as if you are doing something wrong and not admitting it, but that is not the only thing that it means- it means owning your feelings and your thoughts and acting in a way that lines up with what is important to you. Taking responsibility for yourself is actually the most empowering thing you can do! Because then everything GOOD that happens in your life is also something you’re responsible for.
    .
    Though I think it’s less important than the self work you need to do to feel more secure in yourself, I would advise you to let things lie with your ex-friend. At least for now. You may eventually come to realize she wasn’t such a bad friend after all, and want to reach out to her again. Or not. That’ll be up to you. And as far as things with your boyfriend go, I would keep your eyes wide open and pay very close attention to how you feel in this relationship. If you’re not fulfilled, that is OKAY. Good luck, LW.

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  • avatar

    Sunshine Brite January 28, 2015, 3:34 pm

    I mean, I had a friend who led me down the path to bad decisions including holding a bottle of vodka to my mouth until I drank and put me in a drunken position multiple times with different men to confirm her opinions of them. We got a mandated break after she was asked to leave campus to get her shit together. I was glad to see how much better I was without her. We’re still FB friends but that’s it.

    That said, all of those decisions were mine. I wasn’t seeing anyone, well kind of someone at some point. He encouraged space from her since he saw her influence on me and other, but that didn’t hinder our relationship at all. If she tried to contact me again I would let her in because I’m not in the same place. I recognize how far peer pressure took me and what decisions I made based on that. Not that it was her fault I made them, that’s so roundabout.

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  • Regina Chapman

    Regina Chapman January 28, 2015, 4:31 pm

    Whether or not your friend was really to blame for your decisions in the past, you obviously don’t feel comfortable being in contact with her. So, you know – don’t be. Just ignore her. She’s not being pushy whatsoever, so spare yourself the added anxiety of what to write, how to word it, how she’ll receive it, if she’ll respond, etc etc etc and deal with the other anxiety-inducing stuff in your life.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark January 28, 2015, 5:06 pm

    This letter makes about as much sense to me as this relationship probably does. I don’t get what the friend had to do with anything… and frankly, it sounds like she was probably right about your tool of a boyfriend.

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  • avatar

    wobster109 January 28, 2015, 5:10 pm

    Yes, exactly what Wendy said! Golly, what sort of person responds to “your boyfriend’s weird” with “let me sleep with this random other guy”? Sounds like your friend said some pretty ordinary stuff that college friends say to each other all the time. If you didn’t like it you should have told her, “Sally please don’t joke about this, it bothers me.”

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  • niki

    niki January 28, 2015, 5:26 pm

    If I said something about my friend’s bf that she didn’t like, I would hope she would be grown-up enough to talk to me about it, rather than going nuclear and refusing to talk to me with no explanation. But I guess If she’s the type to do something she regrets and blame it on me, then she’s not really the type of person I want in my life anyway.

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  • Portia

    Portia January 28, 2015, 6:16 pm

    Yeah, WWS and everyone else. Sounds like the friend’s biggest crime was not liking your boyfriend and not hiding that fact. And unless you’re leaving a ton out, it doesn’t sound like she was that bad of an influence. Separate issue: if the boyfriend is still giving you grief over a year after you slept with someone else before you had an exclusive relationship (that’s what I’m guessing “seriously dating” means), that’s no good. Although considering you’re the common thread here, I’m going to venture a guess that you make drama out of nothing. So, stop making these out to be a big deal to other people and see what happens?

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  • avatar

    Eve January 29, 2015, 6:37 am

    I have parted way with lots of friends throughout the years, either by my choice or theirs. I have never been told the reason why people suddenly stop returning my calls/messages, I’m sure they’ve had their reasons. I also have never went on to explain myself why I’ve decided I don’t want to hang around with someone anymore.
    I mean when you discuss an issue with someone, it’s usually because you want to fix it. When you decide for sure you don’t want this person in your life, what’s the point of stirring up more drama? Because this is all that will happen if you start explaining why you don’t want to be in contact with them.

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