• Handling Breakups

A fickle high school friendship

Published: October 10, 2012 | Last Updated: August 9, 2015 By | 6 Replies Continue Reading
High school friendships can be fickle as young people learn about choosing, making and keeping friends.

QUESTION

Dear Irene,

I just found your website and have been reading all the posts; you give great advice. I’m 16, in high school, and had a falling out. I had this best friend for a year and I thought we were going to remain friends for a long time. No one else got me like she did—and although we didn’t have much in common, we somehow felt like a perfect match. She truly was my best friend. Well, she met this other girl and became friends with her, after that she got a boyfriend. It went down hill from there.

The short story is that I tried to patch things up. I always said “Hi” to her even though she ignored me, and I always texted and called to see if we could talk things out. We did a few times but it never seemed to help. I finally realized I needed to move on, and I did.

Then she called me and said she missed me. We had a heart-breaking conversation that confused me more than ever. I was moving on, thinking about her less, hurting less, and then she just calls me! After that, she never talked to me again until the end of summer when she asked to hang out with me. We never made any plans even though I told her it would be best for her to pick a day since I had work and I could just ask for that day off.

This happened quite recently. The fall out happened about two to three months ago. I just want to know if it’s healthy for me to still be so sad and broken up like this. Every time I’m alone I think about it and I get sad and I still feel so hurt. I just don’t know what I should do.

Signed, Mindy

ANSWER 

Hi Mindy,

It’s normal for friends, even very good friends, to have disagreements from time to time. But one of the tests of a solid friendship is the ability to work out and get over these misunderstandings. In fact, doing so can make a relationship stronger than before.

It sounds like you did everything you could to make this friendship work and you should feel proud of that. However, your friend is young (like you) and she may not have learned how to work out conflicts. She also sounds fickle, so I can understand your upset about her changing her mind about the friendship and about getting together.

While you and your friend may have gotten along and felt close when you were together, she doesn’t sound like a loyal person if she ditched you when she made other friends. I think your initial instinct, to move on, turned out to be right—although I think it was good that you gave the friendship another chance.

At this point, I would say don’t wait for her to change her mind again—and if she does, remember all the ups and downs of this relationship. Once YOU decide that you deserve a better friendship than this one—and begin making new friends—you will likely feel less sad and beholden to her.

Hope this helps.

Warm regards, Irene


Some previous posts on The Friendship Blog about teen friendships:  

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Category: Getting over getting dumped

Comments (6)

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  1. Amy says:

    This is basically like me except my friend doesn’t try to be friends again…

    • Arjun says:

      I too have the same situation as your’s.My friend too doesn’t try to be friends again.I don’t know why….I am soo sad that she is avoiding me and it hurts me times I am all alone,which is most in a day!! 🙁 :'(

  2. Anonymous says:

    I had this same situation happen to me with a former best friend. She was my best friend off and on from 6th grade until we were mid twenties. It was so great when we were friends, but then she would disappear for months, even up to a year. Looking back it was always to her advantage when she would rekindle the friendship. Always something that I could offer – whether she had a falling out with another group, or that I had a social connection that she wanted, or just that I would always jump when she called. I always forgave (didn’t even question her!) yet she would never forgive someone else for the same behavior. My advice to you is to keep busy elsewhere and not to be quick to take her back if she offers. There are people that will test you to see if they still are important to you just for their own selfish need to be “worshipped”. I’d play it very cool and not allow this.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I agree with Irene on this. You have to decide what you want regardless of her. I suspect she may bounce back to you when she has a falling out with someone else. But it’s not much fun to be treated like a yo-yo.

    You’ve put more than your share into this and this is a good time to establish a pattern of not always allowing someone else to do the choosing.

    I don’t know what’s up with this girl, but she doesn’t seem to value your feelings.

  4. Anonymous says:

    You will have many more friends and best friends in your life, and you’ll learn that sometimes people don’t show their true selves until the relationship becomes comfortable. A year is a long time in your life at age 16, but when you’re 26 or 56, a year will seem like the blink of an eye.
    Being sad is normal after breaking up with a friend, but if that sadness is interfering with your ability to function in school or at home, you might want to talk to a school counselor about what you’re feeling. If you didn’t feel at least some regret the relationship probably wasn’t that important to you.
    Sometimes looking back on your relationship, you realize there might have been signs you missed. Does she have a history of abruptly losing friends or of being unforgiving?
    I hope you find other friends who can give you parts of what this ex-best-friend gave you and I am sure you will . Good luck,

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