• Keeping Friends

Feeling hurt that my relationship with my roommate has changed

Published: December 18, 2014 | By | 5 Replies Continue Reading
A woman feels humiliated when her ex-roommate meets a guy and sees her less.

QUESTION

Dear Irene,

I am living abroad away from my family and I don’t have a boyfriend which makes it much more important to have friends on my life. I had this best friend and I truly love her as I felt we connected and have similar views about things. We always had a great time together!

We used to be roommates for two years and got along great, but since we moved away from each other, we haven’t been so close anymore. She makes friends easily and now has a boyfriend. She hardly texts and almost never calls me. Once in a while, she says we should meet up. She used to say I was her best friend but I feel like it is something she says for the sake of it.

I feel upset and haven’t talked to her about it. I feel if I do and she wants to meet up because of that, it is not going to be genuine. After all, if she doesn’t care about our friendship why should I?

I feel like If I tell how I feel she is going to tell other people and they will think I am dependent and lonely. In fact, I am very lonely but I don’t want other people to know and feel sorry for me. I have some other friends but is not the same as I don’t get along with them as well.

I am considering talking to my friend about it but, to be honest, I am not sure it’s worth because she doesn’t seem to care and has plenty of other friends. I am deeply hurt and angry but sometimes I think I should just let her go without humiliating myself. What do you think?

Signed, Lynn

ANSWER

Hi Lynn,

Although this friendship was one you cherished, it’s not uncommon for friendships, even very good ones, to change as people graduate or become involved in romantic relationships.

Your friend has the social advantages of being outgoing, having many other friends, and being involved with a boyfriend. On the other hand, friendships don’t come as easily to you and you’re living far away from your family. Put another way, your former roommate seems to be spread thinner than you socially and, as a consequence, has less time and motivation to maintain the intensity of the relationship you once had together.

You have no choice but to accept that this relationship has changed. It doesn’t negate the close friendship you had in the past or mean that your friend doesn’t like you. If you want to see her, take the initiative to call and tell her you miss her. If you ask her to get together and she says yes, it’s safe to assume she will do it because she wants to get together with you. If she can’t get together, don’t assume it’s because she doesn’t value your friendship.

In the meantime, reach out and find other people to fill the space that has been left by this changed friendship. You can’t make a close friend overnight but if you work at it, some of your acquaintances may turn into more meaningful friendships over time.

Hope this helps.

My best, Irene

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Category: KEEPING FRIENDS

Comments (5)

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  1. Amelia says:

    Lynn, I am currently going through a very similar thing. Like you, I have moved away from my family and do have a smaller social circle. A few months ago, my best friend of almost two years decided seemingly overnight that she didn’t want to maintain the intensity of our friendship and became very distant without warning or notice.

    Anyway, we had a massive fight and ended up not speaking a word to each other for almost three weeks. Now we’re friends again, maybe even ‘best friends’, but I feel as though she doesn’t want to be as close as we once were. I thought it was the result of the fight, but I’m coming to realise the fight was the effect of the distance, not the cause.

    Everyone keeps saying things don’t ever last in friendships and that I need to move on and accept that we won’t be as close maybe ever again but I honestly don’t know how to deal with it. I can’t accept that at all. My heart really goes out to you.

  2. Maddie says:

    Try to never put all your friendship eggs in one basket. Best wishes.

  3. Amy F says:

    During young adult years (before 30) friendships can go through a lot of changes. We go from students to working people, depending on our parents financially to supporting ourselves. A lot of people fall in love, get engaged, married and start their families. I know it’s hard not to personalize a change in frequency and closeness, but true long term friendships often have peaks and valleys based on life obligations. While this is an exciting time for many, others can have more difficulty with change.
    In my 20s, my primary focus was on advancing my career and getting advanced degrees. All my friends had at least one long term relationship. We were in different places in our lives and that hurt. For a while i attributed it to my importance, but I had a great therapist who helped me see that my friends’ lives diverging from mine wasn’t all about me (what a novel concept). I could adjust to the changes or move on, but if I moved on, was that my plan every time something changed (engagements, planning a wedding, marriages, kids, buying a house). It took me a while to fully understand, until I had a close friend who I had less time for when my life got busier and she was in the same place. Then I got it.
    I’ve found that I’m happiest when I have a handful of close friends, rather than a best friend and other less close friends. All my relationships are more satisfying when so much energy isn’t geared toward one person, because too much focus on one person places a lot of stress on both of us.
    Do whatever you feel most comfortable, with eyes wide open.
    Good luck.

  4. Laura says:

    It sounds like the friendship was situational for your roommate. I agree with Irene that you should work on expanding your social circle.

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