Post # 1
This seems pretty trivial compared to everyone else’s wedding and family stresses, but I am terrible with social situations and need some advice.
“Sara” was my best buddy in high school- inseperable, could talk about anything, etc.. Sometimes she would be hard to get a hold of, but our friendship pretty much ended when she didn’t show up to my small, intimate birthday party and wouldn’t answer any calls that day. She called back like a week later and pretended that nothing happened. I got mad and we didn’t talk for a while.
Skip to college. I missed her friendship and reached out to her. We become best buddies again. After a few months, she starts to get harder get a hold of again and never has time to hang out. It was a slow loss of contact instead of a falling out, but I got pretty mad when I found out through facebook that she got engaged (and again when they got married, but they likely eloped) when she hadn’t bothered to mention she was even seeing someone.
Skip to grad school. I got a message from her recently saying that something reminded her of me and she really regretted letting our friendship go again. She wants to get back in touch.
I am really torn because I do miss that friendship and I don’t have a lot of friends. However, I am scared that history will repeat itself, as in, I’ll rekindle the friendship, end up inviting her to the wedding, and have her not show up to the wedding and never explain why (just like she did with my birthday party all those years ago).
Am I being totally irrational here? Is this all my fault for not communicating with her better and I should have tried more to keep in touch ? Or is she just a flakey friend who is only going to disappoint again? Both? Neither? Help me out!
Post # 3
I have a friend that I am in a similar situation with. I decided to be friends with her again, but not BEST friends. Rekindle the friendship but keep her at an arm’s length and think of her as more of an aquaintance than a best bud, invite her to the wedding and if she shows up, great, if she doesnt than you didnt really lose anything if its what you expected. She may have emotional issues or something you are not aware of so I wouldnt write her off completely.
Post # 4
@FutureMrsJohnston: This was my thought as well. It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing scenario. You can see her once in a while as old friends and leave it as nothing more.
Post # 5
- Wedding: February 2017 - Seattle, WA
@solidarity: I agree with this. Let her in you life, but as an aquaintance.
This has happened to me before, but I’ve been on the other end. I have friends who I love but that I tend to keep at an arm’s length and am sometimes hard to reach, because it’s just the way I am. I can feel overwhelmed by friends who want to spend too much time together, so I tend to distance myself from them until they get the hint. It’s very passive-agressive of me, I totally admit that. But it’s just one of my flaws I guess! Sometimes something will remind me of a friend that I’ve lost contact with and I’ll want to reach out to them to say hello, but then I assume they’ll want to all of a sudden be buddy-buddy again and set up lunch dates and dinner plans, etc etc and it starts to overwhelm me again. This probably sounds weird and maybe its not the case with your friend at all but just wanted to offer you another possible perspective.
Post # 6
They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I recently went through this with a friend that I had to back away from due to her emotional issues and my boundary issues — to the point I was having dreams about it. She wouldn’t let me back off, so I had to tell her that I couldn’t be her friend anymore.
About six months later, she appeared and was doing much better, so against my better judgment, we started hanging out again. And she got crazy again. Not mental illness crazy, but irrational and drama-filled crazy.
I ended up having to have a full-on break up conversation with her because she wouldn’t stop calling me or asking what was up. I started with the whole it’s-me-not-you thing, which she wouldn’t hear, so I ended up saying “actually it IS you…”, which I still feel bad about. The fact that this played out like a romantic breakup (or fifth grade) reminds me of how toxic the relationship was, and I feel so much freer now.
Post # 7
Some people are just flakey. I love my little brother to death, but god help me if I’m trying to get him on the phone. I think you should just be honest with her and tell her how disappointed you were when she stopped contacting you because she means a lot to you. Tell her that you want her to be involved with your life, but it’s not okay with you for her to be so wishy-washy sometimes. Maybe she has a really good reason why she was being a flake, you never know until you ask. And if it goes well, then I would consider inviting her to your wedding, but if she still gives off that impression of someone who won’t make time to be a good friend, then she’s the one missing out. I’m also just saying as someone who used to be really flaky myself, sometimes I was so busy with work and life and trying to get things taken care of that I would miss so many calls from people and finally feel so guilty that I hadn’t called them back before that I would kind of dread it and put it off more. Not because people weren’t important to me, I was just too immature to realize that it’s worth a little bit of a scolding about not calling back in so long to repair a friendship.
Post # 8
@CrazyCoffeeGeek: You basically just described exactly what happened with my best friend from high school. Except for the part where she got married. But the circumstances, the fading (rather than completely cutting things off), the one event that she didn’t show for and then acted like nothing happened. It’s exactly what happened with us.
Despite all of that, it’s so hard to let someone like that go when they want to be back in your life. The history, the connection you shared, it goes against everything in us to just walk away from it. Even if repeating the cycle is the definition of insanity.
All of the previous posters are right: It’s crazy to keep going that way, and it doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing. I’ve recently been in contact with my person. But I went into it this time knowing how it would go, and deciding that I was okay with that. She’s not my whole world, anymore. Despite having very few friends and longing to reconnect like we used to, I’m not going to fall apart when she leaves again. I’ve accepted that it’s who she is and I will take what I can get, when I can get it. But I’m not going to rearrange my whole mindset and life to welcome her back into the fold. We will exchange emails (she lives across the country, so we can’t hang out) when she’s able, and I’ll continue living my life when she’s not. It’s kind of like…an accessory. It’s great when you have it, but it’s not necessary. If you misplace it, you’re not devastated, but when you find it again, it’s a great and welcome surprise.
It might sound cold. I don’t know. I don’t mean it to. I am very happy to hear from her when I do. I am genuinely pleased to have her in my life again. But I do know that it’s temporary and I’m prepared for that. A lot of people might think that I’m giving her all of the power, but I don’t think that’s true. Being there for her when she needs me makes me a good person. A good friend. That’s who I am. I am there for anyone who needs me. But that doesn’t mean I have to rely on that person to be a good friend to me. If I did, if I set myself up to believe that she’ll always be there for me in the same way, then I’d be giving her all the power and entering into something foolish.
You need to decide whether you’re okay with her leaving again, because she will. If you are okay with it, if you’re prepared for it, even if you’re prepared to cut her out of your life if she misses your wedding, then I say go for it. Going into it with your eyes open, knowing what will happen and deciding how you feel about it is different from going into it expecting things to change. If you’re ready for that, I don’t think you’re crazy for welcoming her back into your life.
Post # 9
@CrazyCoffeeGeek: Here’s my take – you know how this girl is. You either accept or don’t. I wouldn’t go into re-kindling a relationship with her if you’re expecting her to be a totally different person. It’s unlikely.
For what it’s worth, my best friend since childhood is like this (different situation – she had some personal issues she was battling for a good 5 years, so I was not a priority in her life, rightfully so). But she’s getting better. We’ve both grown from – her completely blowing me off and me blowing up to her maybe getting back to me a few days later and me being okay with it. I used to make me crazy but now I figure – she’s otherwise too good of a person and too good of a friend to get upset about it. Plus I know if I really needed her, she would be there without hesitation.
I guess my point is, no one is perfect. Everyone has little quirks about them that are frustrating. It’s up to you to decide if you can live with her shortcomings.
Post # 10
Thank you all so much for taking the time to reply. I read all the responses carefully and decided to message her back to see if she wanted to meet up sometime next week. I will, as you have all suggested, try not to expect too much. We’ll see how it goes for the wedding… Thank you all again!