I met “Nick” at work; we hit it off and started dating. We officially became a couple in April, and in June, Taylor flew me out to visit her on her 21st birthday. While I was out there, I devoted all of my time towards making her birthday memorable. I called my boyfriend a total of two times while I was out there, and only texted him when Taylor was in the bathroom, or asleep because I didn’t want her to feel like I was ignoring her. Anyway, after I went home, she went to a mutual friend of ours and started telling him that Nick was possessive, wouldn’t let me enjoy my vacation, and was a psychotic jackass the entire time I was with her. When I confronted her about it, she claimed that she was just being defensive because she thought that I was being taken away from her. Much to her disdain, I ended up moving in with Nick a few months later.
Fast forward a year after that, and Nick and I got married. Taylor didn’t speak to me for almost three months afterwards. When I would try to plan a visit to see her and my other friends and family, she would make up excuses for not seeing me, or she would point out that she wouldn’t be paying for us to come visit or stay at her place, even though I never asked her to pay for us or if we could stay with her. Eventually, we had a long talk and she aired her grievances, and I listened and tried to fix what was bothering her. I was bending over backwards to try and make our friendship get back to what it was before Nick and I got married. But all she has been doing is making excuses as to why she hasn’t been texting me back, using iChat, or commenting on my wall posts.
Now, a year into my marriage, my relationship with Taylor is worse. She even has gone as far as to find a replacement for me. She claims that this girl, “Jen,” is nothing like me, yet, she’s the same major I am, loves the same obscure music I do, as well as the same indie flicks and even dresses the same way I do and has the same hairstyle. She even calls this girl her BFF and is all up her ass on Facebook, and takes trips to places that she and I planned to visit together, and attends movies and concerts Taylor hates just because Jen loves them. When I confront her about it, she feigns ignorance.
Taylor will occasionally post on my wall that she misses me, or that we should text more, but every time I send a text, she doesn’t reply. I have since grown tired of being the one to initiate the conversations and letters. I am trying my hardest to make things better between us, but every time I do, she resists. Her friendship means the world to me, but I am so drained from being the only one trying. Should I just give up? I used to think that her friendship was worth fighting for, but now I am not sure. Based on what I have told you, do you think that maybe I have done something to push her away from me? I really miss her, but I am not sure if I should keep trying to push a friendship on her that she is clearly resenting. I don’t want to throw away eight years of a friendship that has meant everything to me, but I feel like I am at a loss. — Best Friend For Now
Wow. I don’t know what’s stranger — the fact that you and Taylor only ever called each other BFF and never by each other’s first names, that you’re so broken up about her going to the movies with some other girl, or that you’re stressing so much over the shifting of a friendship that has been 7/8 long distance. It’s also a little weird that you went so out of your way to keep your relationship with Nick from interfering with your visit to Taylor that you texted him only when she was in the bathroom. Frankly, this does not sound like a healthy friendship at all, and I wonder if there was more going on between you, like major co-dependence or even an unspoken love affair.
Whatever there used to be between you, it seems obvious it is no more. For whatever reason — a broken heart, financial strain, feeling left behind, or simply life taking her in a different direction — Taylor has moved on and does not seem interested in keeping your friendship alive. After several attempts on your part spanning the course of more than two years now, you need to accept that things have changed. You and Taylor are, in fact, not best friends forever. Few people do remain best friends forever. Forever is a really, really long time, and even with the very best intentions, it’s hard to retain the kind of closeness and intimacy you once shared with Taylor over the distance of many miles, new relationships, and major life changes. It doesn’t mean you did anything wrong or that you pushed her away, but it does mean you probably need to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and MOA.
You’ll always have the memories of your once BFF and the time you shared, but it’s time to grow up and forge new memories in your adult life with people who don’t make it so hard to be close to them (like your husband, for example). Friendships are give and take and shouldn’t be about one person “bending over backwards” all the time to accommodate the other. If it’s become that hard to retain your bond in the face of your changing lifestyles, then it’s probably not a bond strong enough to carry your through the long haul anyway, no matter what your yearbook inscriptions to each may have said about staying best friends forever and ever, no matter what. Move on, and leave your past in your past before your life becomes a scene from “Single White Female.”
*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at [email protected] and be sure to follow me on Twitter.
honeybeenicki August 4, 2011, 8:11 am
I had to go back and check the age of the LW because this struck me as major high school drama and the epitomy of making a mountain out of a mole hill (or maybe a slightly larger hill). I completely agree with Wendy. You need to just move on and put more of your efforts into building other friendships and relationships. There are obviously some co-dependency issues going on here. Unfortunately “best friends forever” is usually a temporary state.
Now, maybe I can make you feel a little better. Sometimes people drift and then reconnect. Maybe she needs to just re-establish herself in who she is and some time down the road you may hear from her again. That said, you need to cool it and just let her do her thing. I have been best friends with an awesome woman since 4th grade (about 20 years ago). Sometimes we would lose touch for months at a time but we always got back together. We got through some tough times and have made it through a lot of huge life events together. BUT, we knew we have to let each other live their own life and not be co-dependent. You need to just take a step away and if you are meant to be friends with her, you will be.
mel August 4, 2011, 8:18 am
I’ve seen it written in more than a few places, that female friendships formed at a young age are particularly intimate and intense, almost like romantic relationships. I can buy that theory. So I’ll start by saying that I don’t find the co-dependent, love affair-like nature of your relationship THAT WEIRD. (Honestly, it’s kind of a little weird though, but I’ve also never felt THAT strongly about a friend. I’m more reserved with those things.) The problem is, with those hardcore intense high school friendships, is that you maybe don’t necessarily take the time to vet the personality of the person you’re getting into them with. Never mind the fact that intense crazy bonds like that, are nearly impossible to keep up once one or both of you matures into adulthood, ESPECIALLY if your lives move at different paces.
But the fact that I disagree with Wendy on that point doesn’t mean she’s wrong about the rest of the letter. Seems to me that that ship has sailed. Make some adult friends who won’t be obsessively jealous of your husband, find some things to do in your community, get to know some other friends and acquaintances better, spend some time with your husband, have some you-time. You need to examine your jealousy here, and try to accept that you and Taylor are no longer BFFS!!, you’re former best friends who grew out of each other… please stop wasting your life and your time pining over a friendship you started as a teenage girl.
And remember, just because you put 900 years into a friendship, doesn’t mean you have to keep it going if it doesn’t work for you. And considering you wrote into DW about it, it obviously isn’t working for you.
kerrycontrary August 4, 2011, 8:56 am
I totally agree with your first paragraph. I feel like what the LW was describing was a friendship you often see between girls in middle school and early high school. Where they take up the phone line for 4 hours and constantly have sleepovers but also have many jealousy issues over who likes who more within the clique. I also agree that just becuase you’ve been friends within someone for a long time doesn’t mean you are obligated to stay friends with them. Sometimes people grow up and turn into total psychos, are we obligated to stick by them just because we shared barbies?
artsygirl August 4, 2011, 8:23 am
Just let the relationship fade. Send her cards at Christmas and her birthday. Let her know if you are coming into town and see if she would like to grab coffee. Don’t keep trying to force this because you are going to end up resenting her and she you.
Callifax August 4, 2011, 8:34 am
I can empathize with the pain of losing a close friendship – I’ve had a few “Bffs” fade out over my 26 years of life, and it is always hard. People’s lives just move and change at different paces, and you have to understand that it’s likely nothing to do with you. Just remind yourself: why would you want to put in so much effort for someone who clearly won’t do the same for you? Look fondly on the good times but focus that effort on strengthening your relationship with your husband or forging new close friendships instead. You’ll be happier for it in the long run.
Colleen August 4, 2011, 8:59 am
Wendy’s right about your friendship fading, but I don’t know why she thinks your friendship was so weird in the first place. I rarely use proper names with those closest to me; we tend to call each other by titles instead. My best friend and I call each other Roomie because we were roommates for years. My sister and I call each other Hermana, and I call my husband H. Not weird, codependent, or unhealthy. Just affectionate. I also don’t think it’s a problem that she tried to minimize her contact with her bf while visiting her friend. Trying to hide that contact might be a little extreme, but it’s only respectful to give your attention to the friend who flew you out to visit her.
To me it sounds like Taylor is jealous of your relationship, or your time, or where your life has gone. That’s common as we grow up and our lives take different paths. Whether or not she wants to be married herself, your marriage does change the dynamic, at least in her eyes.
Whatever the cause, Taylor is sending a strong message that she isn’t interested in putting effort into your friendship at this time. Back off, focus on building other good relationships in your life, and put your energies into what you can control–not Taylor. Maybe she’ll choose to change things in the future, maybe not. But if you get yourself started down the path of grieving and healing, her choices won’t keep you stuck in this place forever.
Budjer August 4, 2011, 9:24 am
I agree with you that it wasn’t an overly weird relationship.
I do think that the friend in this case is jealous of the new relationship and not being the LW’s #1…which is crappy. Some people also have a hard time adjusting to relating to their married friends…and if the LW was married at 20 or 21 then I can see why their post-marriage friendship may have had some drama that never got worked out due to the new lack of relation and loss of attention from the friends point of view.
LW, MOA – in a stop trying, but don’t write her off kind of way….sometimes peoples lives go different paths and some parties involved don’t like the new arrangements…if she comes around in the future it is easy enough to get in contact with you. People change a lot in their 20’s.
tower_of_fair August 4, 2011, 2:11 pm
I think its weird. And I think that the amount of importance the LW puts on social media is both weird and pretty entitled.
“But all she has been doing is making excuses as to why she hasn’t been texting me back, using iChat, or commenting on my wall posts.”
She doesn’t need to justify why she hasn’t been commenting on wall posts or going on iChat (at all, it seems, not just ignoring the LW). That LW would feel entitled to a justification rubbed me the wrong way too, (texts, fine, i get that) and their relationship does sound incredibly strange to me, if not a sad product of overconnected expectations.
VioletLover August 5, 2011, 12:48 am
I think the emphasis on social media is because their friendship is long distance. When I was dating my boyfriend LDR, I got really irritated if he missed an online “movie date” or a skype session…because we couldn’t make it up by seeing each other later. If Taylor used to be all in on their social media connections and then has suddenly decided to not communicate with them, I can see why the LW would get so upset and why she places so much importance on it. Not entitled at all, I feel.
BecBoo84 August 4, 2011, 11:20 am
I pretty much agree 100% with everything you said! Definitely not weird. I’m in my mid-twenties and have had the same bff since my freshman year of college. Yes, I do of course call her by her name sometimes, but other times it’s just amiga, BFF, or bestie..
Amber August 4, 2011, 9:07 am
Definitely sounds like an intense high school/middle school friendship. I had a friend similar to that and I would definitely say we were co-dependent. We were basically the only friend the other had in the area. We did everything together to the point that when the other had something going on the other person didn’t have anyone at all to call to hang out with. I got a boyfriend and a few new friends and things did not go well. I wasn’t supposed to ever do anything with anyone but her. In the end it was good for both of us to get out of that friendship. I made new friends and she did as well and I don’t think either of us ever got to a place where we only had one person to rely on for everything again.
Mainer August 4, 2011, 9:23 am
The only thing I hate more than the term BFF is hearing someone say “BFF.” Or “LOL,” “OMG,” or “totes.” For fuck sake, use words like a big person. Every time I hear someone say it, that special part of your brain responsible for inspiring you to backhand someone lights up. My coping mechanism for handling the extreme delusion that would inspire a person to declare another person as their Best Friend Forever is to associate the term BFF with Best Fucking Friend. Because otherwise I just can’t deal with the notion that someone would be so irrational as to think something will actually last forever. There is no forever. There are segments of our lives. Some last longer than others, but the reality is our lives and situations are constantly changing. To live in a world where everything stays the same all the time would be torture. Whether it is moving to a different place, starting a different job, meeting a significant other, starting a new hobby, whatever, we are always meeting new people and drifting away from others. This crazy concept is known as life. I would argue that these changes are pinnacle at the age of the LW. Late teens to early/mid-30s, think of all the changes we experience. Graduate HS, leave hometown, go to college (most anyway), graduate, move somewhere, find a job, try to establish a career, meet someone, maybe get married, maybe have a kid or two. That time of our life is more or less dedicated to establishing it. You need to focus on establishing your life, LW, rather than trying to hold on to a different part of it. We all get it, the time spent with my childhood friends were blissful and carefree; I’d love to live in that world forever. But eventually, we all need to grow. Recognize the things worth holding on to, and let go of the ones not. Don’t try to force anything. If it don’t fit, you must acquit.
kdog August 4, 2011, 11:26 am
…no but really the first part of your response had me cracking up.
SweetChild August 4, 2011, 11:38 am
Love that last sentence. 🙂
Lindsay August 4, 2011, 9:30 am
I’m 25 and have had many situations in the past 10 years in which I’ve lost friends who were once my closest. That’s what happens when you grow up, especially if you move away. I’ve kept in touch with several close friends and see them when I go home, but it’s nothing like what it was before. I’ve made new friends whenever I’ve moved, but I’ve gotten really used to people moving away (or me moving away) because at our age, it happens so often. You can’t control how your friend acts toward your friendship. Let’s hope that she grows up and realizes that you can be a friend to someone in a different way from when you were a teenager. But you should definitely work on making friends where you live now because any one of the people you meet could become one of your closest friends.
silver_dragon_girl August 4, 2011, 9:44 am
Can I just ask- HOW do you make new friends every time you move? I’ve always struggled in this area, even in school and college, when it’s supposed to be easy. Now I’m thinking about moving back to my home state early next year, and I’m really scared that I won’t be able to make any new friends.
ktfran August 4, 2011, 10:48 am
Silver dragon – I think there was another post about this, making friends, on DW a while ago.
I’ve moved a few times in my life. Most of the time, I made friends through work. Although I was lukcy to be working at places with lots of people in my age range who were also new to the city. Now, I live in a bigger City and I’ve met people through people and I’ve also used the web site http://www.meetup.com. Check it out. There are lots of people in the same boat you are. Also, just do what you love and have fun and people will pick up on that and want to meet you. I do have to say, in my new city, it took me about a year to form pretty darn good friendships. Don’t worry if it doesn’t happen overnight. It will happen though.
silver_dragon_girl August 4, 2011, 11:49 am
Thanks, I do remember that article. And yes, I know it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s just very daunting!
ktfran August 4, 2011, 2:04 pm
It is very daunting. I think the older I get and the less I worry about things, the easier it is.
Skyblossom August 4, 2011, 1:04 pm
I think it helps to be warm and friendly. Say hello to everyone you work with or meet regularly. Chat with people. Some of them will usually have more in common with you than others and you will gravitate toward those people. Find an activity that you like where you will meet the same people regularly so you have an opportunity to build a friendship. Some of my most recent friends were met while we waited to pick up our kids at preschool. There were fourteen kids in the class and I became friends with one mom over the course of the first year. The second year we became friends with two other moms and so there were four of us who got together as friends. A friendship is something that grows gradually from a stranger you greet to an acquaintance you chat with to a friend you invite to do things. The most important thing is that you have the opportunity to meet people.
tower_of_fair August 4, 2011, 2:28 pm
one word: MeetUp.com
It’s a great way to meet people in your area, who have a common interest. Especially if you just moved to a new place. Saved my sanity when I sent abroad for a spring and knew no one.
Bethany August 4, 2011, 9:46 am
I was in a relationship that was very similar to the LW’s. We met in middle school and were BFFs through high school and college. We had ups and downs along the way, but there was always something there that kept us together, and we always had SO much fun together. Eventually when I started dating my fiance, things got bad. In the begining of our relationship I made sure to only hang out with him 1 or 2 times a week so my friend would not get jealous- I limited how much I talked about him around her. Basically I went out of my way to coddle her, because she could not handle “losing me” to a guy.
After a couple of years, she really just couldn’t handle it and she picked a fight with me over something really stupid and that was that. It took a lot of convincing from other people that this relationship was over for good. I defended her left and right and made excuses for her behavior, but eventually I saw what everyone else saw. She wanted me all to herself- She loved the attention I gave her, she loved that she had a bit of power over me.
It’s been almost 3 years since we “broke up”, and I miss her a lot. Most of my favorite memroies involve her, and it really sucks that she won’t be there to see me get married. We were friends for like 12 years and BFFs for like 8, and now we’re nothing.
But in the long run I’m better off, because she was a drain on my time and energy. She was take take take, and any time I needed her to give, she would accuse me of ‘always needing attention’. Sometimes there are people in our lives who we love, but they’re just not healthy for us and you need to call a spade a spade and just MOA. She doesn’t really love you or care about you like a TRUE BFF should. She loved what you provided to her, and how you made her feel, and that’s not what a true friendship should be based on.
LTC039 August 4, 2011, 8:59 am
LW, as sad as it may seem, friends come & go. I’ve had many “bffs” who I thought I would be super close with forever, but I barely speak to them anymore. In elementary/middle school I had a best friend that I practically lived at her house. Well, we went to different high schools & even though I would see her every now & then, it wasn’t the same. She went to college out of state & we stopped talking period. When her father past away a few yrs ago, I went to the funeral (they were like my family for many yrs) & saw her maybe once after that. But the truth is, our lives don’t correspond w/ each other’s anymore. I still care for her, but we’re on different paths & that’s ok.
You should really be focusing on creating a life long bond with your husband. Obviously this girl has proven she doesn’t care to fix things with you, so put your big girl panties on & MOA. I’m curious if you view this girl as a symbol of your youth & that’s why you’re so afraid to let her go. All in all, things change, life moves on, & all we can do is accept it. You’ve made numerous attempts to make this frienship survive the test of time, but relationships are two way streets. You’ve done all you can do, let her go & focus on you, your husband, & cultivating new frienships in your area.
fallonthecity August 4, 2011, 11:31 am
Thumbs up for “put your big girl panties on.”
katie August 4, 2011, 7:32 pm
i totally agree with the symbol of your youth thing..
i have found it so hard to accept that i dont get to see my friends everyday like we did in high school, and that we dont just get together and “do nothing” like we used to, because now we have real lives and jobs and all that and real life just doesn’t permit it. i think that is a big part of this letter
MsMisery August 4, 2011, 9:59 am
Well. I’ve been best friends with a girl since 4th grade (20 years now). We’ve moved, done adult stuff (I went to college, she joined the navy/got married/had kids), moved some more, traveled, but we’re still best friends. If something ever happened to that relationship I’d be devastated and would probably need therapy. It would be like a death to me. So I can understand why you don’t want to lose your friend. On the other hand, my friend and I aren’t dysfunctional, which this seems to be. There’s no jealousy or hiding or sabotage. We can tell each other anything and are always supportive. We’ve have ONE fight in 20 years.
So, if the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit. Release her from the obligation being your friend since it seems to be more work than it is worth for both of you. It is causing you too much emotional strain and you’re not getting anything good out of it. Keep your fond memories and start building new ones with new people.
robottapocalypse August 4, 2011, 11:45 am
So many of these responses display the same amount of maturity of the LW. Is it not obvious what’s going on? Do people really feel that okay with stringing people along?
Dear LW, you were a stand-in spouse to “Taylor.” You’ve gotten a spouse and destroyed Taylor’s dreams of turning you gay enough to have a GFF relationship. She’s moved on. She realizes that you’re not GFF, and that you have a husband. She’s now trying to date another straight girl because she has some issues. You were never just friends to her.
bittergaymark August 4, 2011, 9:39 pm
Actually, I gotta say… this thought totally crossed my mind in a big, big way. There is simply so much jealousy… Way, way too much jealousy… It reminds me of how I felt when my great unrequited love (Jeff) got real serious with his first girlfriend…
I hated her. God, how I hated her…
Unlike Taylor, however, I was a fabulous actor and so she thought I was the greatest thing. She genuinely liked me. Always invited me around. I was always very nice to her. And I honestly think I was never phony with her at all — meaning it never SOUNDED phony… But God, it was so rough. It tore me up inside that she was to him what I so wanted to be… (Not his wife, GOD NO! But his lover. His partner for life… He really was — in so many ways — my soulmate. I have never, to this day laughed as much or felt as comfortable as I did around Jeff…
And so I gotta confess, it would have been very easy for me to act as Taylor did. Also, the way she replaced the LW is very suspect. Though I didn’t set out to do it to spite J. I gotta confess I always found myself in similar friendships with similar straight guys…
Maracuya August 5, 2011, 12:22 pm
To be honest, I thought of that. But I would have expected Taylor to say something hinting more at it.
I do think it was a little suspicious because I’m sure the LW made other friends. Even though I have LD besties, I make new friends where I am. I think her friend’s initial response after her first visit was a big red flag–“You texted him twice? He’s a control freak!” Ooh, projection.
And flying my friends out to see me…I would only do something like that for my boyfriend. I guess all the thumbs down are because it seems like reaching? I’ve never had a friendship so intense, so that may be why it doesn’t seem SO farfetched to me.
Robin August 4, 2011, 11:46 am
Did anyone else notice that they’ve been friends since they were 16 but the LW moved when she was 17? So this super amazing lifelong friendship is based on only one year of actually having spent time together? This seems the oddest part to me. I can understand having trouble getting over a friendship that lasted from the time you were in kindergarten, but this was a one year friendship, essentially, and then you were just penpals. That to me makes the whole situation seem weirder and more codependent.
AnitaBath August 4, 2011, 11:52 am
Meh. I had a roommate who was a camp counselor during the summers, and so the vast majority of her best friends were scattered. She was just REALLY good about talking on the phone and video chatting. It may seem weird, but it’s actually pretty easy to keep in contact with and have a strong friendship with someone like that. Usually when friends get together, they just talk anyway. It’s not like it’s a LDR where you miss out on being intimate, since BFFs usually don’t make out or cuddle…
Oddly enough, my roommate kind of had some friends like this (and she was one herself).
silver_dragon_girl August 4, 2011, 12:03 pm
Sometimes when you move away from someone, physically, you can actually become closer emotionally. It sounds weird but it’s true. I’ve been in LDRs where this is true, and since friendships are just relationships without a sexual/romantic component, the same thing can happen.
Caroline August 4, 2011, 4:06 pm
I became really good friends, even best friends with a girl in middle school, but we only knew each other for a year before she moved back to New York City. We stayed in contact throughout high school by sending letters, emails, IMs and text messages to each other. I usually went to visit her at least once a year. We managed to stay pretty close for a while, but I don’t talk to her very much now. It’s sad because we were such great friends, but we missed out on a lot with each other, and that makes it hard, I think.
silver_dragon_girl August 4, 2011, 12:01 pm
Ok, LW, I get where your coming from. Your friendship is not *that* weird, but it is somewhat unusual. Friendships, however, come in all shapes and sizes. There have been times in my life when ALL of my good friends were people who lived very far away from me. It sucks not having anyone to spend time with, physically together, but other than that, distance friends can provide a level of support just as high as anyone else. So I wouldn’t focus too much on worrying that this whole friendship was “wrong” or “weird” necessarily.
That being said, I really think you’re going to have to let this one go. I know it’s hard to let go of a friendship that was such a big part of your life for so many years, but she has made it clear that you are no longer a priority in her life, and you have to accept that. Friendships are like relationships- you are only in them so long as the other person involved wants to be. It sucks, but it’s the truth.
Now, I don’t think you need to have a “we aren’t friends anymore” conversation with her or anything. I think in this case you should leave the window open to reconnect in the future. Who knows- she may need support for something in her life someday and call you. Or maybe one of you will move closer to the other one and you can hang out again. But for now, you’re going to have to accept that she’s NOT your best friend anymore.
bagge72 August 4, 2011, 12:20 pm
I would like to hear Taylor’s side of the story. Something just doesn’t add up to me, but it seems your friendship has run it’s course. You are still very young, and it might be easier if you try to find a new BFF that lives a little closer to you, and just remember the good times you had with Taylor. I Had a best friend in High school where we were pretty much inseparable, and now they only time I hear from him is updates on facebook, and I’m ok with that our lifes went in different directions, and I made friends with people who’s plans where more along the lines of mine. It sucks at first, but over the years you realize it was for the best.
Greebo August 4, 2011, 1:47 pm
I had a best friend through school. We went to different universities, communication grew less frequent, we had less in common. I tried for a while to keep the friendship I thought we’d had, but ultimately I had to conclude she wasn’t interested. As soon as I stopped making the effort, I got a letter about how she’s been a bad friend, misses me, etc. I was happy–thought we could have that friendship again, but when I reached out, she wasn’t there. Again. The next time I heard from her, she only called for advice relating to my profession. I gave up. Periodically I still get an email or whatever from her, and I respond cordially. We even exchange Christmas cards. But I no longer consider her my “best friend”. She and I also were also long distance best friends. It happens.
And sometimes, friendships change, or fade, or end. It hurts, but it’s part of life. Leave the door open if you want, but accept that you have closer friends, physically and emotionally, now. This isn’t really about right or wrong, and no matter how many times you confront her, you won’t turn back the clock. Be well.
tower_of_fair August 4, 2011, 1:55 pm
Sigh…. These lost-friendship posts always make me wonder if I’m living on a different planet than everyone else. There is no problem here, other than the LW being sad that she’s drifting away from friendships that were once strong and now less important to both people. I’m sorry, but I HATE the jump to “Taylor is just jealous, find a friend who can be happy for you” “and “why would you want to put in effort with a friend who clearly doesn’t prioritize your friendship?”. Certainly sometimes those are appropriate responses, but I just don’t see that here.
Here, Taylor doesn’t seem jealous so much as resilient. Her old friend got married and is now busy being married, -totally fair– so she made a new friend with someone who has characteristics she obviously enjoys. Of course she felt a little jealous and worried for her old friend who was clearly smitten with the new guy, but felt she had to hide it, when you visited. You might have thought you were all stealthy, checking the phone all secretively, but of course she saw. And she saw you trying to hid it, which both made her feel stupid (how immature does my friend think I am that I’d get mad if she texted her bf?) and, yes, a tad jealous, either in the “why don’t I have a bf” way or in the “why is he stealing my friend” kind of way. But that isn’t a terrible kind of jealousy, its a reasonable one and one you should (and seemed to be) sympathetic to. Plus, keep in mind, you yourself said you guys defined yourselves, in part, by your relationship with one enother (BFF as a name means it was part of how you saw yourself/how she saw you). Changes aren’t easy and they take adjustment. And when you started visiting, it wasn’t just you anymore, you brought your bf. So she felt she lost the “BFF time” she liked, so she got defensive.You changed the game; you brought a new player, so she made sure you knew the game had changed for her too (no staying, no paying). Not a sin. Just growing pains.
But now, you’re married. You live in a different state. She isn’t trying to “replace you”; she’s making new friends. I understand feeling replaced — we all feel that and it sucks — but you actually think that she actively tried to replace. Maybe you think its to hurt you, purposely? That’s a whole different level of self-centered and unfortunately, not very understanding. You say you try to reach out and “she resists.” It doesn’t sound like she’s “resisting” — that’s an active word. It sounds like she isn’t responding with the enthusiasm that you’d like her to. Her life isn’t about you (anymore) and your life isn’t about her (and hasn’t been for a while). Whether she comments on your facebook posts or engages in (way too many) forms of social connecting, is her choice and most likely, has nothing to do with you. It has to do with her (new) life and her daily priorities, and her attention. Seriously, you have to stop taking her actions personally, as if they are geared to show you a particular emotion or to get you to feel a certain way. They aren’t (most likely). Think of everything she does from her perspective, not from yours, and you’ll see that she probably isn’t even thinking about you. That sucks in a different way, but it doesn’t make her mean, jealous, or even inconsiderate. She’s just… living… ,like you are.
This friendship isn’t doomed, and no, you don’t always have to be the one doing all the work. Just take a step back and realize that you are not her most important person anymore, and neither she is yours (you married yours, and I’m sure she was right there in a illfitting dress that you picked out holding your flowers). Don’t begrudge her her life. Like someone said above, friendships come and go, and their strength ebbs and flows. Maybe she’ll be the best Aunt Taylor once you have a baby. Maybe she’ll forget to send a note. Don’t write her off as a person– but accept that you two have grown into different lives than you were in 3 years ago.
VioletLover August 5, 2011, 12:53 am
“Here, Taylor doesn’t seem jealous so much as resilient. Her old friend got married and is now busy being married, -totally fair– so she made a new friend with someone who has characteristics she obviously enjoys. ”
See, the reason I (and maybe some other posters) think that Taylor is jealous is because after a visit where LW put in a LOT of effort to make sure Taylor felt like she wasn’t being snubbed in favor of LW’s guy…”Anyway, after I went home, she went to a mutual friend of ours and started telling him that Nick was possessive, wouldn’t let me enjoy my vacation, and was a psychotic jackass the entire time I was with her. When I confronted her about it, she claimed that she was just being defensive because she thought that I was being taken away from her.”
Taylor basically flat out said she was jealous, with that “taken away” line.
Maracuya August 5, 2011, 12:27 pm
Yeah, I agree. I see your perspective, Tower. But I feel like the second paragraph was reaching. They’re 21. I don’t feel like getting a boyfriend makes me a traitor. She still visited her, tried her best to make her birthday happy. I don’t think she tried to ‘hide’ texting him. I don’t text my boyfriends when I’m hanging out with my friends unless there’s a ‘break’ in conversation. To me, it’s just polite. And if she’s so sensitive that seeing her friend text her boyfriend while she’s in the bathroom produces such a strong response, it’s not unreasonable that should would actually be avoiding her.
Skybird August 4, 2011, 1:59 pm
Letter Writer – Are you sure your former “BFF” really wasn’t in love with you? Her behavior certainly sounds like the aftermath of a love affair. Move on, honey. Get some grown up friends and enjoy being with your husband! It’s a GOOD THING that you found someone to love.
bittergaymark August 4, 2011, 9:41 pm
All these thumbs down for these obvious dead on responses make me seriously question the intellect of these boards.
Nick August 5, 2011, 11:51 am
I might call it sort of “E.Q.” more than intellect…but I agree. I do like to see constructive disagreement, as opposed to the “I’m right” type. The only worse advice than that given brashly by inexperienced people is groupthink advice. “Self-appointed judges judge, more than they have sold.”
Kat August 4, 2011, 2:31 pm
LW, I totally get you. I was close with my BFF from 13-21. We hung out all the time, liked the same films, whatever. But we went to colleges on different coasts, and we got into very different habits. Its hard to see the actual changes someone goes through when you’re so long distance and only seeing each other 2-4 times a year for maybe a couple weeks at a time. She’s probably changed a lot since she was 16 – as have you – but they weren’t changes you would notice on a 1 hour iChat, or a facebook wall convo. Now that you’re older (and maybe your friend situation where you live might be a little lacking?) you want to reconnect with her and have those awesome girl times you remember. The problem is that you are in a different life stage than your friend – maybe she doesn’t iChat with you anymore because she’s out with her new friends/boys/family/whatever and experiencing life as a single 24 year old! You should cool it on confronting her and focus on growing those relationships with people you have that live in proximity to you. Taylor isn’t going to be able to keep in constant contact with you at 24 like she could at 17 – and maybe it’s a good thing. It doesn’t really sound like you guys have been on the same page for a while, but you fighting with her to ‘turn back time’ is making the future of your relationship worse.
AKchic August 4, 2011, 2:48 pm
She felt like she was in control of the “relationship” that you two had. She paid for your trips to see her, she paid for her trips to see you. To her, she was in charge. You got a boyfriend without her “permission” or “approval”. To me, it sounds like you didn’t even ask her approval on him, and that pissed her off (not that I’m saying you should have).
Your life is working out for you. You are married. She obviously isn’t. She didn’t even give you “permission” to do so, against her control in the relationship the two of you have. That is what you did. You got a life outside of your BFF relationship. That pissed her off. So, she originally lashed out at the one she could – your now-husband. When it got back to you and you called her out on it, she distanced herself. Partially out of embarassment and partially out of being knocked out of control.
Once she lost control, it spun out of control completely. So, she DID replace you. With a suitable doppleganger.
Walk away. It’s a toxic relationship at best. If anyone asks – you two grew apart. That’s all you need to say. Be the better person. She will obviously try to be negative and blame things on you and your husband, but eventually, people will see it for what it is. Rise above and be done with it.
Bethany August 4, 2011, 4:25 pm
I 100% agree with you- that is EXACTLY what happened to me with my old BFF.
Morgan August 4, 2011, 4:05 pm
Oh my god, I totally had this friendship. It was the fifth grade, and my bff totally replaced me with this other girl who was just like me but with better hair AND then she started dating the boy I liked. And I totally handled it like Taylor did, and then I started sitting at the other end of the lunch table. And I didn’t.invite.her.to.my.birthday.party. Take that!
Point–sadly, your friend Taylor is behaving like ten year old me. I was a brat then, and she’s kind of being a brat now. She will, hopefully, get over herself, I mostly have, I think. All you can really do is move away from the friendship for now, and focus on building new friendships. Stay civil, wish her happy birthday, maybe get lunch when you’re in town if she’s up for it, but accept that you have grown apart. Maybe when she does, eventually, get over herself she’ll be in a position to be a good friend again. But your friendship will never be what it was, because you’ve both grown up, and you’re different people than you were at 16. Generally that’s a good thing.
Caroline August 4, 2011, 4:21 pm
I don’t know, something doesn’t seem to add up here for me. LW, are you sure that you haven’t been a bad friend? I’m sure Taylor maybe isn’t making enough effort, but maybe you hurt her in ways that you didn’t even realize.
You said that she always paid for her visits to come see you and your visits to go see her. On these visits, did you try to reciprocate by paying for dinners or anything like that? Do you still have custody over your sisters and still have to pay for them? If not, did you ever offer to pay for Taylor to come out and visit you as a way to pay her back? Not that friends HAVE to pay each other back, especially if the visits were a gift from her, something she didn’t mind doing, but maybe she felt like she was being taken advantage of. I know you said you didn’t ask her to pay for the last trip you were planning, but to me that sounds almost like you always expected her to pay for your trips or she thought you expected her to pay for them. If the latter is true, then I just have to wonder what your attitude is like when it comes to these trips.
You don’t say anything about whether Taylor has met Nick or not. Did she meet him before the wedding? Did she come to the wedding – did you ask her to be in the wedding? Did you pay for the wedding? If she was in the wedding, did you make her pay for her expenses or did you pay for them yourself?
Are there events in her life that you don’t know about – such as, she may be having financial difficulties now?
And maybe she just feels like it’s time to let go of the friendship, or not put as much effort into it as she used to. And that’s okay, that’s normal – it happens as you get older, friendships fade. I just hope she isn’t your only friend, which I feel like may be the case here, and that’s why it upsets you so much. Do you have other good friends where you live? You mentioned a mutual friend in the letter, but nothing about where that friend lives or anything. Your husband isn’t your life, is it?
I have to wonder if you aren’t secretly jealous of Taylor. She isn’t married and tied down – she still has the freedom to do whatever she wants, including things you had planned to do together. It hurts, but there isn’t anything stopping her from going ahead with her life without you. It doesn’t make sense for you to expect her to always remain the same, does it? You’ve changed, and so has she. The real test of friendship is being able to adjust to these changes and accept the changes and grow. The friendship becomes stronger. Friendship is supposed to be fluid and ever-changing, not stagnant.
Sorry for the novel, gosh.
Budjer August 4, 2011, 4:26 pm
Nice perspective…you’ve changed my opinion.
Megan August 4, 2011, 5:37 pm
As the LW, I can tell you that I would always pay for dinners, and everything else that we did on our visits. I never asked her to pay for anything, she’s the one who would call me, say hey I want you to come visit me and I’ll pay. I don’t like taking money from anyone for anything. But she would always insist, claiming that we were more sisters than friends, and that family does things like that for family. We never had a “you owe me for this” relationship, it was always 50/50.
I begged her to come visit me when I got engaged so that she could meet Nick, but she always had an excuse. Nick, being the bread winner in our house, offered to pay for her to fly out here since I was in school and unemployed. When I told her I was getting married, she said that I was ruining my life by getting married. I set the date, and asked her to come. We didn’t have a big wedding, it was at the Justice of Peace, so no bridal party, etc. Nick and I even sent her a plane ticket to come, she didn’t. She said she wanted no part of it.
I don’t make friends easily, because I don’t trust many people. I do have a few good friends that live nearby, however, most of my even better friends live in my hometown. Those other friends have met Nick because they either came to visit me, or we went to visit them.
As for being jealous, that notion is completely ridiculous! I wanted to get married, so I did. It was MY decision and I have never resented anyone for “having freedom”. I must ask, are you married? I don’t know how you view marriage, but I have the “freedom” to do what I want, whenever I want to. Nick has been very understanding about me wanting to go places and do things. He has never once told me that I couldn’t go see Taylor. He even understands if I wanted to go without him.
Caroline August 5, 2011, 1:38 pm
Thank you for the update. From what you added, it does sound like AkChic’s comment may have been right about Taylor. She may just be jealous that she isn’t your number one anymore, and that you’ve found a man to spend the rest of your life with.
As for the marriage thing, I am not married, no. I think marriage is great, and if I found the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, then I would be very, very happy. However, a lot of people writing into DW seem to only be thinking about the wedding and not about the marriage afterwards. Obviously you are not one of those, but I just meant that you do have freedom, but it’s a different kind of freedom. Nick is understanding and that’s great, but you are going to consider him first before doing anything. You can’t be 100% spontaneous. If you have a job and bills, you can’t be 100% spontaneous. That’s all I meant, that you have more ties than she might. I’m not someone that sees marriage as a prison, but rather something that can be truly wonderful if done right.
Anyways, I’m sorry that Taylor seems to have chosen to be flaky, and I do hope that in time you’ll be able to reconnect with her and talk to her or become closer to some of your other friends.
katie August 4, 2011, 7:42 pm
i think that Caroline’s opinion, fused with AKchic’s opinion, is the situation… i dont know if it can be remedied, but the only way that it will be is with a coming to jesus kind of meeting where both girls lay all their cards down and cry and laugh and shout and talk it through. almost always whenever very good friends are fighting its always, she hurt me in this way and she doesnt even know, while the other one is saying she hurt me in this way and she doesnt even know, and all that needs to happen is some open communication, apoligies, and hugs.
Maracuya August 5, 2011, 12:24 pm
Yeah, whatever the reason, the one truth is that there are tons of repressed feelings somewhere that need to be spoken.