• Handling Breakups

Not a priority anymore

February 8, 2016 | By | 19 Replies Continue Reading
Since her friend got involved in a relationship, she feels as if her friendship isn’t a priority anymore.

QUESTION

Hi Irene,

The last couple of years have been a tough period in my life and I was expecting my best friend to be next to me and support me when needed. Since the day she got involved in a relationship, I’m not part of her life anymore. I completely understand her partner has priority but I never thought she would shut me off completely.

I was trying to get her attention by calling her everyday to ask if she would like to go out altogether but she was all about excuses. One of her problems with me was that my parents couldn’t afford to buy me a car and every time we were going out she used to take me and bring me home since my house is right opposite hers.

All of a sudden and after a conversation she had with her boyfriend, she didn’t like the fact that because of me she couldn’t find the time to go to her partner’s house (they are together all day long). She stopped calling me or asking me if I want to go out with the rest of our friends, and she never cared to call me if there was an available car to go and find them.

Her boyfriend is an adorable person I don’t have anything against him. It’s just that she doesn’t even care about me anymore. I’m the least important person compared to the others. And we have known each other since I was four years old and she was two. As a friend, I was next to her and her family when she lost her dad as I see them as my family.

After a rejection I had, I started having a depression and I’m a person that prefers to keep everything inside me and find a solution on my own because I don’t want the others to feel badly about me. I don’t feel the same about her anymore and when something happens in my life I don’t feel like I want to share it with her. From her side everything is normal.

For me though, is this it? Is this the end of our friendship? I hope to hear from you soon. I will appreciate your advice.

Signed, Charlotte

ANSWER

Dear Charlotte,

Your friend probably had much more time and interest in your friendship before she got involved with her partner. It’s understandable, especially when a romantic relationship is new.

It also sounds like you are pretty high maintenance, depending on your friend for transportation and as major emotional support through all your ups and downs. Calling her every day may have had the unintended effect of driving more of a wedge between you.

You need to respect your friend’s need for some distance, respect the boundaries she sets, and start becoming less dependent on her. Since you have such a long history together, I don’t think this will be the end of your friendship unless you drive her away by being too needy. If you are truly depressed, I hope you have a therapist to support you in making this transition.

Hope this helps.

My best, Irene

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Category: HANDLING BREAKUPS, Signs a friendship is going sour

Comments (19)

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  1. Lauren says:

    I have the same situation but I’m not pushing my friend away he’s pushing me away because he’s not around and I don’t think things can stay like they are now the friendship might have played itself out I’ve got to get out of this friendship if nothing changes he’s in a relationship which might be why he’s not the right friend for me anymore once someone is in a relationship they aren’t a reliable friend anymore

  2. Judy says:

    Just reading the comments to Charlotte and wonder wher the heck everyone’s manners went? To tell a person she is high maintenance and needy…wow is this an advice site or a place for people bashing? Where is your empathy. Aunt Irene you are the worse. I will make sure my kids never see this site if ther are ever in need of ”Advice” ! Judy

  3. Salstarat says:

    Charlotte, no offence, but you sound very needy and dependant. Phoning someone every day has a ring of desperation about it and, if the phone calls are unwanted, could be construed as borderline stalking. Yes, many people step back a little when they find a new partner but, clearly, your friend wants to tone down her relationship with you and you have to respect her boundaries. Your friend, no doubt, found your daily phone calls intrusive to the point where she is now avoiding you. The fact that you are relying on her for a lift every day is also an extra burden that your friend is probably shunning.

    You need to purchase your own car and be independent from others. Do you have other friends? Give this friend a wide berth and not contact her at all – don’t get mad, show her that you have OTHER friends in your life and fill your life with activities. Take up new activities, eg sign up for some part-time educational courses, join a gym, take up sport, join a walking club, do art lessons, take a holiday – take up any aspect of interest/hobbies that will get you out and about meeting other people so that you are not focused on this person. If you see her on the street, be civil but detached. Wait until she makes the first approach to renew the friendship …. and if she doesn’t? Then, quite frankly, it is no loss because it will prove that she was NEVER your best friend in the first place. If the latter eventuates, cut your losses and move on. You cannot force people to like you.

    Be aware that people come and go in your life for a reason; some people are there for a short time to support you, or for you to support them and share some good times together; other friends may be there for a few years and move away; other friends may disappoint you (that happens to everyone) but you learn from the experience and move on. People change and some remain the same whilst YOU change. Whatever the reasons, some friendships are doomed because either party have different focuses and needs as you go through life – your friendship with this person looks like it now fits the latter category. Don’t allow her to make you bitter … just accept the fact that this particular friendship was not meant to be and move on with your life. Life is too short to allow a failing friendship to lead you into a depression .. you must pick yourself up, find NEW friends or rekindle and nurture relationships with acquaintances so that they form stronger bonds of friendship. If you are busy, outgoing and friendly .. you will automatically be someone that people WANT to be around. Good luck.

  4. R. Davidson says:

    Hi Charlotte!

    As I read through your responses, I noticed you said you
    were able to buy your own car. That is no small thing and
    I want to commend you on that. Now you don’t have to depend
    on others or your old friend. Good for you!

    You sound like a caring person and I hope you can find
    others who appreciate your kindness. My best wishes to you.

  5. Jared says:

    Reading this letter highlighted a few patterns I’ve noticed:

    1)If a person gets a partner, it’s very likely they will make less time for you as a friend. You can’t change it. You can only accept it.

    2)You cannot force people into spending more time with you–for any reason. Either they will want to spend time with you or they wont. Worrying about it won’t make a difference.

    3)If you need to contact someone too often, it’s a HUGE RED FLAG that the relationship isn’t working. You can’t force a friend to be closer than they are willing to be. Being too persistent will only make them push you away.

    • Charlotte says:

      Hello Jared,

      Thank you for your comment. I know I was only pushing her away from me with my behaviour and I was very respectful when she asked me that she wants to spend time with her boyfriend and of course I apologized if I was pushing her too much. But unfortunately even when I gave her space and stopped calling her everyday, she was calling me to tell me how great her day was with our friends or to tell me that she has a problem with her boyfriend. As a friend I tried to help her but when I needed her help she was never there.

      • Jared says:

        I’m sorry that you experienced this, Charlotte, but you are not alone. I’ve felt the same way about numerous friends–ones I’ve kicked to the curb.

        The bottom line is this: Are you willing to be friends with someone you know you can’t count on?

        • Charlotte says:

          I did questioned my self the same thing and i still do actually. Unfortunately it is not so easy to let go of our friendship because I am nearly 23 now and we’ve been together as sisters for 19 years now. I am not a kind of person who throughs away that easy so many years of friendship. Even though I was about to. Do you believe is better to keep the distance between us? Is there a chance she might understand one day?

          • Jared says:

            Charlotte,

            Part of the problem is that you’re being too double-sided about the issue. You know she’s not a good friend, but you make excuses for why she treats you poorly.

            It’s reminiscent of how–just to put it in perspective–an abused wife makes excuses for her husband’s abusive behavior. “He beat me, but I didn’t have dinner ready.”

            The reason it’s hard is because you keep wanting to explain more or soften the hurts your friend has delivered. In order to move on, you need to stop letting yourself excuse her poor behavior and get involved with another friend or activity.

            Trust me, you can keep overlooking her selfishness but you have to realize that if you do, you’ll ALWAYS be doing it for as long as you stay friends. Are you willing to make that sacrifice or would you rather look for friends who will treat you better? At some point, you have to make a decision without adding more and more caveats to the story. The choice is yours. Good luck!

  6. Kays says:

    Hi Charllote,
    I’m sure you have gotten that good advice aunty Irene has given you.You see,your friend is building her marriage now & may be she has not forgotten you,but she has to be with her husband for now & so,this shouldn’t give you headaches.
    I feel,you just have to accept this for now & make a move on by yourself,friends come & go no matter how close you were,things change with time.I’m sure this break will help you organise yourself & do things by yourself without her.
    Be happy & stay blessed.

    • Charlotte says:

      Hello Kay,

      Thank you for your comment. I have accepted the fact that I was not longer her priority anymore in her life because she build her relationship which is very normal. But the only fact that I never liked it was when everyobody else, even people that I got them to meet her, were more importand. If it was only about her relationship I would’ve say that I’ve been acting very selfish, but because it has to do with other people too it hurts most. I never minded when she was going out with her boyfriend. I only minded when everybody else was there and she was never saying anything and then the next day she was calling me to tell me that she went out the day before with our friends.

  7. Susan M. says:

    I appreciate your candor, Charlotte. Do you work, or go to school? I hope you are no longer calling this friend every day. If I were having issues or feeling conflicted about someone in my life, I would tend to pull farther away if they called me every day. Give her (and yourself!) some space to process things.

    • Charlotte says:

      Hello Susan,

      Thank you on your comment. im currently working at the airport. I made a decision not caling her everyday because I wanted to give her space and to see my self if she still wanted me in her life and might call me. But when she did call me it was only to tell me what she did with the rest of our friends and once more without inviting me. When I started working I was able to buy a car and unfortunately I wasnt sure if I was feeling it to share it with her as her issue was that I didnt have a car on my own. Everyday, after I bought the car, she was calling me to go out all together. Don’t you find that a bit weird? Now that I have a car all of a sudden she wants me back? I dont wanna end my friendship with her. At first I thought that everything was just my idea because of the depression but after she went to england for her studies I was visiting her mother to keep her company as she was all alone and she started telling me that her own daughter is not there anymore, everything now is all about her relationship . To be honset I could understand what she was saying because I was kind of feeling the same, but I never told her what was going on.

  8. Amy F says:

    If your friend became busier and less available when she started a relationships, which sometimes happens, calling her every day might have come across as needy and unsympathetic to her wanting to spend time with her boyfriend. A lot of people find attention seeking behavior, like calling too often, to be stressful so instead of your desire, getting attention, it probably pushed her further away. If you hope to salvage part of the relationship, you need to respect her boundaries and be someone she looks forward to seeing, instead of someone she feels pressured to be around.

    When I read your letter, it sounds to me like you were blaming another person for your depression. Depression is a complex medical, biological and mental illness, and while certain situations can precipitated the condition, people aren’t to blame for others developing it. If you aren’t already, seeing a therapist to help you address your depression and other aspects of your life that feel unsatisfactory might be very helpful for you. Keeping everything inside isn’t healthy, nor is expecting a friend to take the place of professional support.

    Dialing back a friendship is difficult, but it’s your best hope for salvaging a new version of your friendship.

    • Charlotte says:

      Hello Amy,

      Thank you for your comment, I completely agree with you with the fact that when people start their relatioships have now other priorities and become more busier everyday doing stuff with their partner. But I dont find it normal when you forget your own family and im not talking about me, im talking about her own mother. When her mother needed her most after her husband passed away and she was not ther because she believed than her mother didnt want to accept her relationship and she could see that it was because she didnt have anyone else. Her mother not only accepted her boyfriend but she accepted his family too.

    • Charlotte says:

      As for the depression, I am a kind of a person that when something is happening in my life Im trying to figure it out on my own and i searched about depression online just because i wanted to get more information about it and how to help myself to feel better. I might blame someone for my depression, i dont know if this is right or wrong, but I believe that whenever something happens in our lives and it affects it to the point that you get depresed is because someone else caused it to you.

  9. Dionne says:

    Hi Charlotte. It’s a shame some people forget all about their closest friends when they get a boyfriend/girlfriend. I agree that contacting her frequently when you know she doesn’t want it can push her further away.

    She’ll probably be more back to her old self after this relationship isn’t so new anymore. In the meantime, you’ll probably be happier to focus on making new friends or strengthening other existing friendships.

    It can be painful to feel like you’re being left behind, even temporarily, but friendships most often do keep changing over time, whether beginning, ending, getting more distant or closer.

    Also, when she does come knocking on your door again, you might want to keep a little more distance than you had before anyway, so you can’t be hurt this much if she withdraws again. Good luck!

    • Charlotte says:

      Hello Dionne,

      Thank you for your comment. Well she does knock on my door sometimes and especially when there is a problem with her relationship and I would never turn my back to her because I am her friend. But is our friendship based on that, i mean I am her friend only when she has a problem? Do you believe it was fair when she turned her back to me when i needed her most? To be honest when I started thinking that this rfriendship is coming to an end I decided to keep a big distance to see how she will cope with that and it started getting a bit better but still im not sure about it.

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