Why I Wish My Friends Wouldn’t Date.

On Saturday, at work, I ran into a girl who used to be one of my best friends. It was more awkward than expected, with her completely unable to make eye contact with me, even after I extended an olive branch, said hello and asked how she was.

Most of our Richmond friendships were formed when we lived in the Old Apartment, and this one is no different. There was a balcony where all the smokers converged and we’d often spend nights out there drinking, smoking, sharing stories and engaging in general shenaniganry. There were five of us, two girls, three guys, and we formed a tight pack. We spent days at the river, illegally drinking beers and letting our dogs splash in the water. We visited the Outer Banks together a few times, carpooling in two or three cars and spending a weekend in debauchery, throwing beers at one another, getting burrs stuck in our feet and soaking up whatever sun we could get from the October sky.

Looking back on it, it almost seems surreal. Rare have been the times I’ve had a group of friends like that and the memories from that year or so, when we were at our closest and most ridiculous, are some of my favorites.

After some wild changes, this girl friend of mine starting dating one of the guys in the group. I was for it, initially, but then things just went all crazy, they broke up in a horrible traumatic fashion and the next day she unfriended us all on facebook and that, minus a few random encounters at work events, is the last we saw of her.

I’ve written about it before, about how angry I was and how frustrated. It’s been years since then, and now I’m just confused and maybe even still a little hurt.

I sent her a message once, after it all went down. It was a really big olive branch, especially considering I’m not the one who did anything wrong. I asked how she was and said we should get together for drinks sometime, she said sure, that she’d let me know and there was a spark of hope. All I really wanted was her side of the story, to give her a chance to explain it her way. She never wrote back.

I’ve spotted her at other events, but I’ve always given a wide berth, doing my best to avoid her and trying my hardest to smash down the feelings of awkwardness and annoyance and frustration. This weekend was different. There was no escaping, no option to give her a wide berth.

We were in the same group for our annual Army check-up. She surprised me at first. I walked into the waiting room, sat in the second row, pulled out some papers to start reviewing for yet another research paper that’s due. I was completely oblivious to everything around me and then I looked up, noticed her profile in the row in front of me and immediately felt a rush of dread. It was just one more thing, one more painful reminder that the people you love are sometimes not the people you think they are, that no matter how much you give to some people, all they’ll do is take and squash and mush and then, as they’re walking about the door, throw fireballs at your chest, just for good measure.

No, I’m not bitter at all.

During the first part of the physical, the dental part, she refused to make eye contact. I kept trying, determined to offer a smile, to make the best of an uncomfortable situation, but she carefully kept her eyes cast down, doing some serious research on the carpet pattern.

At the second part, the medical part, I spoke to her when she entered the waiting area. I asked her how she was, she said fine, but still didn’t look at me, and then picked a spot against the wall behind me to wait. She still kept the eyes locked on the linoleum. And from there, what could I do? That’s it. Point taken.

But I guess the point isn’t taken, because here I am, Monday morning, still frustrated. I still don’t get it. I still don’t understand how you walk away from the only friend group you’ve got in the entire state, how you unceremoniously end a great friendship with a facebook unfriending all because you broke up with another one of my friends.

I don’t know where to go from here. I’ve contemplated shooting her a message, but how? And what could I possibly say at this point?

PS – Thank you all for the kind words and support on my last post. The light is starting to get back in and I feel surprisingly okay after a long weekend of work and friend related stress and anguish. I tend to ignore emotions, to stuff them into a duffel of shit I don’t want to deal with and then there’s the inevitable explosion of suckiness and tearfulness.

22 thoughts on “Why I Wish My Friends Wouldn’t Date.

  1. I may go against the grain of what most people will say to this, but I think you do your best to forget about her. She sounds like an absolute asshole. What kind of person won’t even make eye contact when answering someone else’s direct question?! Sometimes we lose friends over stupid shit, and it makes no sense. BUT perhaps it’s just because it’s in order to make room for better friends to come along. You’ve got so many great people in your life now. She doesn’t deserve your friendship.

    1. I think you’re right. I’ve tried, she hasn’t, so oh well. What’s done is and done and you’re totally right – she really doesn’t deserve my friendship.

  2. tj

    It sounds like youve tried multiple opportunities to reconnect with somebody you valued in your life, but for whatever reason, its just not being desired by that person. I know that feeling well, for me, I ultimately decided i just have to cherish the memories and move on. Its hard, but you cant force someone. I hope you figure out the best way to deal with this situation, whatever that means for you.

    1. I think, like most of the commenters have said, I’ve just got to let it go. It sucks, but I’ve done what I could and she’s done nothing so that’s it. Book closed.

  3. Ash

    Agree completely with Stacey! You tried, did your best, but she doesn’t want to engage. Maybe it was all so painful to her that she just doesn’t want to be reminded of it, although she could have still made eye contact & small talk.
    Have to admit, reading this on my phone, I got to the line, “I’ve contemplated shooting her” and *then* had to scroll to read the rest, made me smile. 🙂

  4. You did what you could, and I agree with Stacey.

    Feels like time wasted, but in reality, you’ll just waste MORE time worrying about it. Clearly she’s not grown-up enough about it handle it like an adult, and you’re better off without her.

  5. Pea... Tear.... Uh... Griffin. Aw crap!

    To quote Stephen King’s “the Green Mile” (the movie, not the book) “feel how we feel… We don’t hate ‘cha. Can you feel that?” Ok, enough of me being a surly asshole. My opinion is that she is a weak person, or at least is easily controlled by that other guy. I think he gave her an ultimatum, which was to lose everything they had over the last 10 years (I know, you say ‘lose what now?’) or save their relationship. By saving the relationship of course that meant that she must turn her back on the only group of friends she has- a group with which he has failed to form the same bond that she did, and obviously this same group houses the only true rival he has ever known. Both scenarios drew on his jealousy and insecurity. I think she did the only thing she was capable of doing. She gave up relationships that by comparison were young and not deeply rooted in exchange for the one that was most comforting to her, in that looming, controlling way.
    Now though she feels shame that she isn’t strong enough to face, mixed with the fear of what will happen to her relationship if she lets you back in. That’s my theory anyway. I imagine tough to grasp for someone who is rational and stands firm in their convictions, even I’d you do sometimes make weird animal sounds. But don’t fret. We love you. Can you feel it?!

    Sincerely, The other member of your husbands pint glass collecting team.

    1. I agree on most points, especially that there was an ultimatum and that she wasn’t left with a choice by the controlling douche bag, but she’s not with that dude anymore and I guess part of me felt like after that relationship finally ended for good, things would be different. It’s just weird, I guess, to see her and for it to be so fucking awkward. It just seems so unnecessary, for her to try so hard to avoid even looking at me.

  6. There’s something really weird about this. Maybe she’s ashamed? Maybe she was faking it the whole time? Maybe she’s over that whole group and wants to move on with her new life?
    Who knows. I’m sorry you’re so hurt over this. Friendships do come and go though. I think you’ve done all you can for this one, other than straight up grabbing her and demanding and explanation.

    1. I think she might be ashamed. I think the fact that she so abruptly ended her relationships with all of us over some stupid shit is cause for embarrassment and really, I’d probably have a hard time looking someone in the eye after pulling some dumb shit like that too.

  7. San

    I know all the other people are probably right that you should just move on and forget about her, but I am exactly like you… I have a hard time letting go, I’ll try to reconnect with someone over and over and over again, unless I got a really clear picture of why things are the way they are… not knowing is not good enough for me.
    Having said that, I have really no advice on how to approach the situation … maybe you could write her a message and just explain how you feel, but what if she just ignores it? Would that hurt even more? Or would you feel like you gave it one last try?
    I don’t know… I am a glutton for punishment in this regard and have a hard time just giving up.

    1. San, we really are so alike! I’m totally a glutton for punishment too and I know I spend too much time thinking about and worrying about it, but I just can’t help it. Friends are hard to come by, especially friends considered really good friends, and I think that just makes it harder. If it was an acquaintance, it’d be easier, but it isn’t. At the end of the day though, I’ve tried and she hasn’t and I’ve just got to figure out how to let go.

  8. More than being some asshole, it seems like she is a broken person who might be embarrassed about all the shit that went down. BUT, even if continuing to reach out did in some way reconnect you two, it’s never going to be the same as it was. She’s not the person you thought she was. You’re looking to reconnect with someone who doesn’t actually exist it seems. I think that would be even more disappointing – that you would reconnect with her and it would be completely different than you expect. Give yourself some time to grieve a relationship that is over, don’t fight it, and eventually it will get easier, the memories a little more fuzzy and it won’t seem as hard, you know?

    1. You’re right. I didn’t think about that, about how it would never really be the same, but you’re right – it wouldn’t. There would always be this thing in the background, this messed up history. And that would hurt too.

  9. I wouldn’t necessarily advise on letting go of the friendship, but I’m not sure what advice I would offer as to what you can really do in this situation. That’s tough. The girl is being pretty immature about it, for sure. I hope it works out for you either way! Also I totally hate when my friends date but for the reason that I hate being in the middle of everything and having to hear about hookups or relationships from both sides.

  10. Christa

    I’m sure this will come as no surprise, but from the beginning I knew if I ever had to choose between the two of you, then you would win hands down. You are the better person which is why you were willing to move past it, and she wasn’t. Don’t forget that “Don’t waste the pretty,” isn’t just about guys. You are a wonderful friend and an amazing person. The loss is all hers.

  11. Ugh, she sounds terrible! There is just no winning with some people, no matter how frustrating it is, it’s probably for the best. All the best wishes <3

  12. This story just sort of breaks my heart. It reminds me a little bit too much of one of my very good friends, who sort of went crazy; she had a falling out with my ex, who was also her ex, & she just… never came around again. When I moved back home from DC to Ohio, she initially seemed excited but then refused to hang out with me; when I finally called her out on it & said I was really hurt & wanted to try to work things out, she said, “I don’t have time for this drama. if that’s how you feel, so be it.” SAY WHAT?

    I so much understand this feeling, but I think it’s this girl’s problem, not yours, no matter how much you miss her or are frustrated by the lack of closure on whatever the hell happened in her head to make her do this to her friends. You can’t build a bridge with only one person – someone has to meet you in the middle to make sure it reaches both sides. You’ve made it clear that you care about this girl & would like to reconcile – but likewise, I think she’s made it clear that she just doesn’t give a damn. As difficult as it is, I think this is one of those cases where you just have to take solace in knowing that you did what you could… & then you have to will yourself to stop caring.

    1. I love that – that you can’t build a bridge with only one person – and you’re exactly right. I have tried, more than once, and for whatever reason, she just can’t handle it or deal with it. And that’s it. It sucks and I’m sad, but I’ve got to figure out how to just let it go. What’s done is done.

  13. I happened to catch Meghan’s comment on my way down and I think she might have a point. Perhaps this girl is embarrassed… or, more likely, she associates you with an awkward and painful time in her life and she doesn’t want to re-live it.

    I don’t know. It sucks, but if you’ve tried extending the olive branch and she’s just not having it… maybe it’s best to let it go. You tried.

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