Advice needed on mourning a friendship

So… This one’s kinda rough for me.

I had a friend. Or maybe have? I’m not sure at this point, but things point to the former. For the sake of the thread, I’ll call her ‘K’.

K and I have been friends for maybe four years now. Up until recently, we talked online pretty much every day, and met up with a mutual friend once a week to hang out, game, watch movies, whatever.

Back in August, the once-a-week thing started straining a bit- the mutual friend often couldn’t make it, and we’d just call it off. Once or twice we met anyway, and things seemed okay.

September came, and K started getting really interested in an online game (Monster Hunter). It started taking up much of her free time, and we talked less and less frequently.

Mid-October, K cancelled one of our weekly get-togethers, citing being unwell. Both me and the mutual friend wished her well, and talked about getting together the following week. Immediately following, K sent out another message saying she wasn’t in a good head-space, and she was cancelling the weekly meetings indefinitely. The tone used was mildly passive-aggressive.

I tried to talk to her afterwards with mixed success, but her responses got fewer and farther between, usually under the guise of not feeling well, being tired, or being busy with other things.

Now, I will admit- in past years, if K has been upset about something, she goes quiet for a while. But that while is often 2-3 days. Not weeks.

She’s said she needs me to respect her boundaries, and that she worries my psychological state is too attached to her, which, I will admit, it may be. I have issues with abandonment, and four of my friends have recently left the state, so I’m trying to hold on to those I have.

I’ve been told by my therapist that I need to just mourn the friendship and move on. But I’ll be honest… Not only do I not really want to (I want my friend back, dammit!), I don’t really know how. How do you let go of someone who’s important to you… and who’s still around?

(For slightly more info: Mutual friend gets very evasive when the subject of K is brought up. Also, K will -occasionally- text me, but it’s along the line of ‘hope your Thanksgiving is good’, and will not respond to any replies. She’s also said we’re still friends, but… with this semi-ghosting, that’s hard to believe at this point.)

Ghods, this was a ramble. Thanks for listening, and thanks for any advice you might want to give.

You know, you never once mentioned WHY this “K” is important to you. Not “I miss having someone insightful to bounce ideas off” or “nobody else around here likes X but at least one person shared my interest” or references to a great sense of humor, or even a great set of tits.

To you, K seems to be … a fixture, perhaps? Maybe that’s why you miss K, who was something of a constant presence.

But that’s very different from missing K for the sake of who that person is.

That’s the philosophical answer. My pragmatic answer, however, is this: K is moving on.

Could be to something new, or someONE new, or simply moving away from old pastimes. You may never know. Doesn’t matter. K is moving on.

You may not like it, but there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it. K is moving on.

(The “solution” is to find new companions and/or pastimes yourself.)

The why? I mean, why does anyone like their friends? We share common interests, we have a compatible enough schedule that we can talk about stuff and game together, share podcasts and shows, that sort-of thing.

But yes, maybe K’s just moving on. I’m trying to find other outlets (with some success), but starting up with new people … it’s not the same as hanging out with someone you’ve known for years, y’know?

I guess the other part of what I’m looking for is how to nullify the pain of this, or at least lessen it.

There is something undefinable about someone who is a friend as opposed to an acquaintance. What you describe sounds practical and would be the basis of an ongoing relationship. That could perhaps be something like a co-worker, neighbor, etc. But why do some people become friends and others stay at arms-length is harder to quantify. It’s like asking why you love some people but not others. Either that feeling is there or it isn’t. And it can often be one-sided.

One thing you might want to try is to greatly expand your circle of acquaintances. This way there are lots more opportunities for casual get-togethers and a greater chance for friends to develop. A great way to do this is get involved in activities where you see the same people over and over. This provides ample opportunity for casual time together to get to know people slowly and organically.

You might try volunteering at an organization like animal shelter, food kitchen, etc. You’ll see the same crew day after day. You can also join a small training group, like boot camp, running group, etc. A lot of times people go out to eat or whatever after working out. Think about those kinds of activities that you can join.

The more people you can see on a consistent basis, the more people you will have as social companions. You won’t feel the loss of one person as much since you will likely have more people you feel close to.

I had a friend like this (you’re both female, correct?) that I moved away from. We didn’t talk every day but I found myself hanging out with her more than I wanted to and enjoying our time together less and less. I had started hanging out with her because I was trying to spend more time with other people, and she was around, and I liked our mutual friends. So I kept accepting her invitations. But it turned out to be exhausting to me and I disliked her more and more all the time, to the point where I was stressing about her when I wasn’t with her.

I was quite relieved when it worked out that not too long after I stopped wanting to hang with her, she met a guy. He filled that role for her that she was seemingly trying to fill with me, and he enjoyed that role.

They got married, and I continued improving myself, and we’re to the point now where I’ll willingly hang out with her again. Very sparsely but she doesn’t make me anxious anymore.

I don’t know that my perspective can help you in your current situation, other than maybe to shed light on the “why?” that she pulled away. I will tell you that talking to someone every day - unless you live or work with them - is not typical for adults. She might just be exhausted, not necessarily by YOU but by your relationship. She may be retreating into a state of wanting to be alone, where human interaction is overwhelming, and sometimes that happens.

I’d suggest taking stock of your situation and your feelings and working towards being a person who is ok with being alone. Or looking for someone who is in fact interested in having an every-day relationship with you, which is more typically a romantic relationship than a friendly relationship.

It seems like maybe she is clearing up space in her head and her life for a different kind of relationship with someone else too. This doesn’t mean that you can never be friends again. You can continue to be buds, but not with every day contact and not with regular hangouts.

This typically happens when people start getting married, or having kids, and it’s rough for us folks who don’t do either of those things. But it’s a part of life and will probably happen to you again. Best you can do is control your own situation, and learn to cope with it every time it happens. Cuz it will happen again.

I don’t think there’s anything specific you can do to lessen the pain in the short term. Except to really really get it through your head that there’s nothing you can do about it. You have no say, no vote in the matter. If a lightning bolt hit your car and burned it up, it would be the same. An autonomous, external force has done this without reference to you. You will probably never know why. You have to accept the reality of it the way you have to accept the reality of anything that happens outside your control.

Also, put the shoe on the other foot. Have you ever had someone interested in being your friend and you were the one who wasn’t interested? If you haven’t, then imagine it. Imagine them calling/texting you asking you why and you really don’t have an answer, or at least not one you care to share. When you hear your phone ding, you hope it isn’t them…

I was in an online group with three other women for several years. We were in virtual constant communication, sharing all kinds of serious and fun things. One day two of them just ghosted us. Not a word, not an explanation. It really hurt, and I won’t lie, it took me about a year to get over it. If I dwelled on it right now, I could get myself really worked up.

Accept reality is my advice. Accept doesn’t mean you like it or agree with it, but that you recognize that it IS reality. I’m so sorry.

I’ll probably get a lot of :confused:'s, but I had an epiphany years ago that for a true friendship/relationship/marriage to last, it requires acknowledgement that you should be in it because you make them happy, not the other way around. HUH??? Ask most people what the love most about their friend/partner and you’ll usually get, “Oh, he/she does this or that and makes me happy!”. When I ask if they care if they’re making their friend/partner happy, they give me a :confused: and often say, of course I do, while giving signs that they’re really not sure.

You’re asking her to continue your friendship because she makes YOU happy, without any consideration (though you may think you are) making HER happy.

I went back to a therapist shortly after my ex and I broke up, and she said the same time, at some level I’d have to accept her leaving as if she passed away. Time to move on.

“If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they’re yours; if they don’t they never were.”

  • Richard Bach

“You’re in your place, I’m in mine, if we meet, that’s cool”

  • My brother

Cliched? Sappy? Yes! But oh so true.

Yes, there are times where it requires never giving up hope and chasing after someone who doesn’t realize how great friends/couple you really are. But sorry, this doesn’t sound like one of those times. Time to move on!

Edit: It’s possible she’s in/seeking a love relationship with someone else and doesn’t want you interfering in or be hurt by it. Introduction: “This is my friend ArrMatey!”, “ArrMatey, this is my boy/girlfriend and we’re madly in love!”

I’m so sorry, ArrMatey!. It’s an awful state to be in, and I wish I had something to offer besides sympathy.

I’ve been dealing with a similar situation. A colleague and I had gotten to be good friends over the course of a couple of years, until it all came crashing down abruptly. Apparently, such daring activities as exchanging small gifts on holidays and walking to the parking lot together after work were just intolerable to her (much older) husband. So he demanded that she end the friendship.

It sucks on many levels, not the least because a) we still work together and see each other almost every day, and b) I think she misses the friendship as much as I do. It used to be something that made work so much better, and now its absence makes it unbelievably worse. For a while, I tried to convince myself that my friend had left, and I was working with someone who just looked like her. It only worked sometimes.

I guess at this point, I have just gotten used to our friendship not being a part of my life anymore (although I still miss it–like you, I want my friend back). It’s really just going through the stages of grief.

I hope things work out for you. Best wishes.