I'm thinking about disowning an old friend

One of my oldest friends has, quite simply, become a pain in the ass. We’ve known each other (platonically) for almost 30 years. After this year, though, I’m just about fed up…

For example: 7 canceled dinner engagements in a row. Excuses have run the gamut to believable to completely lame. The last time, she was totally AWOL and called two days after our date. (The original engagement, five months ago, was my “birthday dinner”.)

For example: When I go to visit her and her husband (who I actually like when he’s sober), they do their best Bickersonsimpression for hours on end.

For example: I invited the erstwhile Bickersons over for a home-cooked meal. They stop off at a potluck on the way, and barely touch the dinner I spent hours preparing.

For example: She asks me again and again for help with her computer–but every time I offer to help, I have to start over from the beginning. This, because she’s “too busy” to even turn it on when she’s at home.

For example: Without fail, her husband will call when he knows that we’re together. (We used to get together after work on a regular basis, just to talk and hang out) Inevitably, he’ll be drunk, and she’ll put him on speaker. Uncomfortable conversations ensue.

For example: I don’t want to bore you with a dozen other examples.

I’m sure that my disconnect with this old friend has as much with getting older and the crystallization of our quirks and pet peeves. We’ve both become more set in our ways, more prone to be less considerate of each other, I guess you could say.

I’m sad to feel this way about an old friend, but I’m disinclined to try to patch things up. Too bad for me, I guess.

It happens. People change.

Seven cancelled events in a row is a sure sign that you should stop. Hell, I would have stopped at three. Especially when the first one was so personal.

Best to simply let it fade away than allow it to fester into something destructive. Take it from me, I have a history of the latter and I’m working on changing that pattern.

I stopped at five broken engagements, the last when she didn’t even call or email until she wanted to meet again, about 3 weeks later.

Phhht! My time is important, too, bitch!

Seems to me that the time you’re spending on her would be better spent with people who enhance/enrich/enbetter your life, than with someone who just frustrates you and makes you sad/hurt/angry.

I had a very lopsided friendship with a woman I’d known since high school. Eventually, I decided I’d had it, and I just stopped returning her calls and e-mails and everything. It took a couple of months, and it was hard to not feel like a complete creep during that time, but eventually she got the hint and now she doesn’t bother me anymore.

Just let it fade away. No need for a big showdown. Besides, don’t you have better friends or a family you could be spending all that time and energy on? Your time and energy are limited - use them wisely!!

L & k,
BaileyC - jumping right in…

I’m in a similar situation, only the break wasn’t as long and painful as the one that you have. I realized that either 1. the people in the relationship had changed and didn’t want to be connected as before, ergo, they were, literally, NOT the people I had had a friendship with for so long, or else 2. MY conception of what our relationship had been was a total illusion all along.
Either way, the reality was, I didn’t know and didn’t like the new people, so it was quite proper to not have a relationship with them.
I just started ignoring the calls. They got over it just as quickly as I did.


Once a relationship is no long worth the return on the investment, I let it die.

I have friends now that I just recently realized are more work than the ROI. We’ve been friends for 20 years. But we’ve grown apart and so I’ll stop making the effort. (It is almost always me that makes the effort.) I won’t do anything formal, I’ll just stop driving all the way up there to see them and stop making calls and stuff.

Let the friendship dwindle down. You can still be friends, but the framework of that friendship has obviously changed. I’ve been through this. Its sad, for sure, but it isn’t what it once was, and there’s no need to pretend it is. Get together a couple times a year, send birthday cards, and call once in a while.

Be busy when she wants to do something. After a while, she’ll get the picture.

Forget her. I dumped my best friend from high school a few years ago. She’s a psychologist and analyzes EVERYTHING, including herself, which is pretty tiresome, but most annoying is that she’s decided that she is a narcissist, and uses this as an excuse for all of her narcissistic behavior. “Oh, I know I’ve gone on about my personal problems for HOURS while you’ve listened sympathetically but I can’t be bothered to listen to your problems for more than five minutes, but I’m a narcissist, you know how it is!” I feel sorry for her patients.

Then she accused me of being racist against Asians. (She’s Chinese-American.) WTF? That was the final straw.

My life is better off without her “friendship”.

She does indeed sound like a pain in the ass. I think I would have let this friendship die about five broken dinner engagements ago. Do you think your friend is very interested in having you as a friend any longer? She doesn’t seem to be making much effort herself. I agree with everyone else; the thing to do with a friendship that just dwindles away or turns into an active pain in the ass is to let it die a natural death - just stop making efforts to see her.