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Dear Wendy

Former Best Friend Issue

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  • #1033842 Reply
    avatarAmanda Cameron

    I’ve been friends with my (teetering on former) Best Friend for 5 years. We were super close in the prime of our friendship, spending almost every day on the phone during our free time (we live in different states.) The kicker was, I had feelings for her. She knew, and would engage in relationship type things, but always say when I would mention it that she wasn’t interested in girls, and her feelings towards me weren’t romantic, despite her actions. For a few years, since I was the loneliest I’d ever been and loved having someone there, I accepted her terms and respected her boundaries, only participating in what she was comfortable with. That included paying to have food delivered to her, sending gifts, and even being on my best behavior around her extremely christian family who had no idea of my feelings, but still accused me of being “gay” because they saw us sit close to each other on a couch. Her mother made comments about me behind my back and she would tell me,but she never defended me, because she still lived at home with her parents. Fast forward, my internal clock started ticking and one day I asked her if she ever saw a future with me, or would ever think of marrying me (On a few occasions she would fantasize about it, and lead me to believe it would be a possibility) or allow me to have a child. When we had the conversation, I was going to a hockey game for a friend of a friend who I’d started to develop a crush on, and wanted to make sure one door was securely shut before opening another. She agreed there were no romantic feelings, she would never marry me, didn’t want children, and wanted me to “shoot my shot” with this guy, we’d forever be best friends. So, I did. And we hit it off almost immediately. I called her 3 weeks after that game (in which he’d worked up the courage to ask me out, and we’d set up our first date) after the first date to gush about my excitement, and the first thing she said was “Oh. I didn’t think it would go well.”

    I was heartbroken that my best friend wasn’t happy for me, but dropped it, and tried to move on. She never got nicer about him. Called him names, but played it off as a joke when I took offense, joked about being replaced when I still made sure to call her and talk almost as much as we used to. But calls were never long enough anymore, any time I tried to talk about him, she didn’t want to hear about it.

    He’s the best guy I could’ve ever imagined. Sweet, kind, understanding of my anxiety and mental health, supportive of my bisexuality. After an entire life of toxic relationships with men, he’s the first I could ever trust.

    He’s always been kind about this friend, and knows our past and has always tried to help me see things from her point of view when we argued a lot last year. She has never shown him the same respect.

    The past year she and I have had multiple falling outs, all with the same subject. She gets angry at me for not giving her enough time (i work full time, I moved in with him, etc) any time I offer her is never good enough. We went through a period where things were going better, and my boyfriend was in a hockey accident where he was seriously injured and required surgery. Due to covid, I was shunned by medics when the put him in the ambulance and told not to expect updates. I called her sobbing because I hoped I could have some support. She gave some of it to me that night, then after kept saying she was there for me, when I hadn’t been for her, which I knew wasn’t true. I called her once the dust began to settle and apologized formally for anything I’d done to upset her. She said she forgave me. She lives at home, refuses to work (she claims due to covid, but wont take remote work from home jobs either, because they’re “tedious”) and refuses to enter the dating game herself. Things have been going well, but the other day she started having minor reactions to her vaccine. I’ve been working 6 days a week and also caring for my boyfriend to help him recover from his injury. I wasn’t able to look at my phone much that day. She immediately accused me of not caring about her at all, and when I requested that she explain her concerns kindly to me, like a friend, instead of lashing out when I have so much going on right now, she blamed me for putting her through trauma for the past year, and despite my apology and her forgiveness, she started drawing up things from the past that I had apologized for and still accused me of not caring.

    She used to be my best friend and I always pictured her as my Maid of Honor at my wedding and being there for me. I recently explained that despite everything thats happened, I still want her to be a bridesmaid (my boyfriend and I are nearly 2 years into our relationship) someday and she flat out told me she could never make a speech for me or because all of pur fun memories make her sad, and watching me get married would wreck her.

    I’m having trouble with the idea of letting her go, but unsure of what to do anymore.

    #1033843 Reply

    It sounds like she did have romantic feelings for you but that shame from and fear of rejection by her parents and religion didn’t allow her to admit this to herself, even inside her own head. In the back of her head she likely was telling herself that some day she’d be independent and brave enough to admit her own attraction to you. She has ambivalence about her sexuality, if only between what she feels and what she believes it is right for her to feel.

    You also seem to have some ambivalence. You wanted to marry your friend. You didn’t date this guy until you checked one last time to make sure there was no chance of a romantic relationship with your friend. So you started the new relationship with this guy as a distinct number two. Your friend was surprised to learn that you are not exclusively gay.

    It is not at all unusual for friendships to die after a failed attempt to turn friendship into a serious relationship.

    #1033854 Reply

    You asked her to be honest about her feelings and she wasn’t. If she does actually have feelings for you, she is carrying around tremendous baggage that she has yet to acknowledge belongs to her. That’s going to mean you have to do all of the extra work – which is what you’ve been doing for years. When you needed her, it became about HER needs and she couldn’t put her own issues aside to help you. So how is she being a friend? She loves you for how you love her, and if you are dating someone else, you can’t give her the attention she wants.

    So no, I don’t think she’s actually been your friend for a long time. I think as soon as you both realized that you were in love with her, your friendship ended and was replaced with something unhealthy for both of you. She’s enjoyed having someone constantly feed her ego and you kept trying to make her love you back. Now that you’re moving on, she can’t handle that her “feed” is being redirected.

    So, phase her out. Hope that she gets the mental support she needs, but you she sounds like she’s moving into toxic territory.

    #1033857 Reply
    avatarDear Wendy

    I’m sorry, but this friendship is over. She enjoyed having your sole attention and love – even the romantic love that she didn’t reciprocate. A real friend would be happy you’ve found a great partner and are happy, but she’s much more concerned about herself and her needs. She doesn’t care about your needs and your happiness. This isn’t a friend; this is someone you need to let go of. As for “how” to do it – it’s pretty easy. You’re long distance and you have a very busy life. Simply stop responding to her. She’ll get the hint shortly.

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