• Making Friends

Renewed a friendship that fizzled out

Published: June 28, 2015 | By | 4 Replies Continue Reading
A woman looks for reasons why an old friendship fizzled out.


Hi Irene,

I renewed a friendship with a high school acquaintance on Facebook. We became quite close very quickly. She lives five hours away and invited herself over a couple of times. We had fun and got along well. I’m not one to make friends easily as I’m quite shy and quiet so it was nice to have her as a friend.

Recently though she’s totally dropped me. I see that she has moved on and become close with a whole new set of friends. I have to admit I’m hurt and bewildered as I myself am a very loyal friend. I’m trying not to take it personally as I think this is just the way she is.

I know as a child that she moved a lot and didn’t have time to make lasting friendships. So maybe she just doesn’t know how. So …does this happen a lot in women’s friendships? It’s the first time it’s happened to me.


Hi Michaela,

When two people renew an old friendship, in some sense, it’s like two new people meeting again. While you and your high school acquaintance have some shared history, you probably have grown in very different directions since that time.

I can only speculate about what may have happened. Your friend may have simply lost interest after your initial get-togethers or she may have subsequently met other women who were more compatible (for whatever reason, including the convenience of them living closer.)

Not all friendships, even very good ones, last forever.

I would suggest you concentrate on your own friendship needs/strengths/dilemmas rather than any perceived shortfalls of your friend. Being shy makes it harder to connect with new people but if you feel like you want more friends, you can’t afford to be passive and wait for people to extend invitations to you.

Hope this helps.

Best, Irene

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Comments (4)

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  1. Ruth says:

    If this is the first time this happened to the letter writer, that’s a good record. I’ve lost a number of friends for a variety of reasons over the years.

    One thing that comes to mind is there are some people who get bored easily & bounce around from friend, party or event to another.

    I don’t think the letter writer will know why unless she asks her friend if she did or said anything that bothered her, opening the door for the friend to share what’s on her heart.

    As others have noted, if the friend did all the reaching out, that gets old fast.

    It doesn’t seem to me that the friendship starting in childhood is relevant. It seems more possible a clash in political or religious views, one doing all the reaching out or the friend requires more attention & time than the letter writer can offer may be contributing factors.

  2. Amy F says:

    When you live 5 hrs away from a friend, it’s hard to maintain the same level of closeness. 5 hour trips might, at first, seem fun, but morecl frequent trips might feel like a burden. That’s no reflection on the friendship, just that logistics can be a buzz kill even on an anticipated trip. For me quality is more important than quantity, though of course some quantity is important. Your friend may still consider you a friend, even though you don’t, she may just need space.

    Irene has great advice about working on strengthening yourself as a priority, because you can only change you and your reaction to people and situations. I’ve found the more I try to see scenarios from my friends’ POVs, the easier I’ve found my relationships to be.

  3. Sandra says:

    Irene’s advice is spot on, as always. Re-reading your letter, I notice at the top that your friend “invited herself over a couple of times” and that you described yourself as shy. Those are very strong clues, to me.

    Did your friend initiate all of your get-togethers? Did you make an attempt to reach out to her and suggest an activity you could do together, or did you wait for her to call you again?

    To be honest, I’ve lost interest in a couple of promising friendships when I discovered I was ALWAYS the one to initiate getting together. I want to have friends who reciprocate — and I don’t want to feel like a Girl Scout leader … While I understand it’s harder for shy people to reach out, I worry about being too pushy. When someone doesn’t reciprocate with suggestions for get-togethers, or if I am always the one to reach out, I begin to wonder if the other person is less interested in keeping the friendship going.

    This may not be the case with you, but I often hear other women complain that they don’t have many close friends. More often than not, they are waiting for other people to call and make a move. That gets nowhere fast!

    • Mary Lou says:

      Hi, Sandra!
      Great comments! When I moved to a new city and a new community, I tried to make friends fast because I didn’t know anyone. I was the one calling and reaching out. What I didn’t take into account is the time it takes to build close friendships. I kept calling new friends and we’d get together, but I would make probably three calls to their one.

      Finally I realized that these women who had lived in my community for years already had full dance cards. They weren’t avoiding me. They had busy schedules that I needed to honor.

      I think the same thing can happen when old friends reconnect. As Irene says, we need to come together as though we are new friends and see if there is still a connection.

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