Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Breaking up....

I caught a clip of the Today Show, this morning, while waiting for Sara Jo to come over and drink coffee with me. I texted her last night and invited her over for coffee. I thought it would be a nice way to catch up on our day. I spent most of Sunday with her, but I enjoy Sara's company. I wanted to know how her Monday went.
On the clip, there was a segment about break-ups. Specifically, breaking up with your girlfriends, not boyfriends. I mean, haven't you felt distance between some of you and your closest friends?
Geograhy, interests, and toxic friendships are just a few ways that friendships can be challenged, leading to a break-up. I, for one, never did the formal break-up with one of my friends, but I haven't spoken to her since my birthday weekend in Napa either.
I met her in college. We worked at the same job and had similar interests. I introduced her to my family and likewise. She would hang out with my friends and I always believed everyone saw how fantastic she was since we were friends. I overlooked her laziness at basic etiquette and lack of paying since I believed it all was a wash. We were friends and we enjoyed drinking wine and dining on the Plaza.
After college I moved to Phoenix and she was supposed to come with me. I am grateful, everyday, that this did not happen. We would have been terrible roommates and I would have continued to clean up her messes. I knew that financially, we had different takes on how to pursue paying bills, for example. I would have been miserable had she moved in with me in Phoenix.
Instead, she went to Iowa with her boyfriend. We stayed in touch despite the geographic distance. I would see her while in Kansas. She would invite herself to stay at my sister's house, too. Initially, I believed that Michaela was okay with it, but one night, she told me that my friend was no longer welcome as an overnight guest.
I couldn't understand why until Michaela said--you are my sister and always welcome in our home. Your friend feels entitled to stay here and never says thank you.
I understood that and so I broke it to her that next time, she and her boyfriend would have to find alternate places to stay if visiting me in Lawrence.
Years pass and still we remained friends, but there was strain. She visited me and Brian in Denver, once, and we got in a huge fight. She said that I was exactly like my mom, which is sacrilege in my world. I waited for her to call me, but she didn't. I contacted her, hoping to repair our friendship. I felt it was worthy of saving at that point.
When I went to Napa, I invited her to come along, as well. She lived in the city and it would be convenient for her to join us in Napa. Everyone else paid me for the car and the hotel.
She never did.
From our history, complicated as it was, I came to the realization that it was no longer worthy of a save. We had changed, grown up some, and I could no longer justify why we were friends.
People came out of the wood work with complaints about her once I opened up about discontinuing the relationship. Of course, it was difficult, but I was tired of always being the bigger person, always apologizing when we fought and paying for the majority of our meetings. It became toxic. It overwhelmed me. It became too much work.
So, yes, I think break-ups are justified amongst friends. Do you? Have you experienced a friendship that dwindled when interests changed? In all honesty, I have a few others that are on life support. I realize that in order for friendship to work, it requires two people to do it. One cannot only be cultivating it. And you should not be involved in a friendship due to obligation. I don't want you to call me because you feel like you have to. That isn't friendship. I sense that I have a few of those, too.
I am grateful for the friends I have in my life. Each friendship is unique. I am blessed in that department and figure if my friends were all like me, that would suck, since I would never be forced to look at other people's perspectives or beliefs. It is never easy, but sometimes, you must choose to divorce youself from people that bring you down.


Unknown said...

Oh the friend break up. Those are always so hard and so much like a real break up. You have history, trust, secrets, etc... But sometimes you have to cut the toxic friends from your life to be a better person lest they bring you down. We've all been there and we've all had that friend.

scarlethue said...

I don't think I've ever had to break up with a friend. But I'm very, very careful about making friends in the first place. As a result, I only have about a handful that I trust dearly, and only about another handful that I associate with on a regular basis. But that works for me.

harmony said...

I have a great support system and was sad to have to give up on my friendship. But, again, I knew it was bogging me down and nothing good had come out of it for quite some time. I resented her inability to communicate and was tired of being the bigger person. Sometimes, it is better to walk away.
I understand how that can work for you. I know that I am more open/honest with my nearest and dearest and censor my information with other friends. I want to say that I have a handful of people that know everything about me and still like me...no judgment. That is friendship.