Ask Ciiku: Should I End the Friendship?

Dear Ciiku,

I’ll try and keep this as short as I can. The issue is a friend who dumps me whenever they feel like only to come back when they feel like they need me. We met in campus a few years ago and some strange trick of fate, we became quite close. There were people who were amazed at our friendship, we seemed totally in-congruent, but the connection was deeply genuine. We have grown together over time and changed as it is expected. My issue started about a year and a half ago, there was a disagreement and we had our biggest fight yet. I knew we would work it out since it was what we did. We had a tense period and slowly warmed up to each other then my friend withdrew affection and became cold and distant. I accepted my role in out squabble and apologised but that didn’t seem enough. I have many friends but with this particular friend the bond is quite strong and so I felt hurt at this turn of events. I also understand that some times people are going through their own things and they react differently, I encourage having a broad support system but this hurt. Let me know what’s happening for the sake of courtesy. This behaviour has become a habit now, my friend can be very good for some time, texting the whole day some days then going silent, coming back to me after the fun, the heartbreak. I have adjusted to this and now I understand that this is the friend wants to be in their life and we talked about it but they brushed it off. I’m tired of feeling like a substitute, someone who is remembered when nothing else is in sight. It’s not fair as I have put a lot into being a good friend. Should I end the friendship?

GK

Dear GK,

Before I go into a long post about what I am thinking etc, I have to tell you, you seem to know what it is you need to do and that is, to end the friendship.

I have to say with your letter, a lot of what is currently holding this friendship is the memory of what it was. For example you say that the connection WAS deeply genuine. And maybe for you, holding onto these memories helps in some way, ease the pain you feel when your friend is not being your friend.

I want to let you know that whatever it is you are feeling is a sign and symptom of an unhealthy relationship. And the fact that you have had discussion about it and yet you are still find yourself in this place where you know that the friendship might indeed have ran its course. If you see that you have communicated your issues and what it is you are feeling is that you are not being heard or that you are a “substitute”….. then you know what you deserve. You have experienced what a good friendship looks like and therefore it makes sense that you can discern that you are not in a good place. The truth is that you will likely not go back to the place that you once were with this friend. And while friendships change and morph, if you feel this doesn’t work for you, it is understandable if you let the friendship end. And I am truly sorry about this.

Remember GK that with friendship, like any other relationship, you deserve love, kindness, to be treated with respect and love. Things have obviously changed and the only person you can control in this situation is you. Be good to you.

Ciiku

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