Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Ending a Friendship (11/11/05)

I haven’t had a lot of girlfriends (special note to Mike: This term does not refer to lesbian relationships!) since high school, and none that I’ve been really close with. Partly it was a result of bad experiences with my high school friends. One of my first real relationships was with a guy that was part of our group in junior year. When we broke up it was too painful for me to be around him and he wouldn’t leave so I just started hanging out more with some new friends. Senior year he had graduated so I thought things would be cool with all of us again and they were for a while until another guy got involved.

I was dating him for a while fall of senior year and then decided to break up with him so he decided to start going out with my best friend Katie. I mean, that’s a golden rule. Don’t date your best friend’s leftovers! So, and this is the really funny part, he called me up like a week later and wanted to know if he dumped Katie if I would go out with him again. I mean, come on. What a scumbag. So I told Katie, she dumped him, and we had a good laugh (but I was still secretly bothered that they had gotten together to begin with).

Then there was my other best friend Jen and her secret crush, Ed. Ed and I were friends and I hung out with him sometimes and Jen knew all this, but one day I was watching a movie with Ed and he kept putting his hand on my thigh. I kept moving it off my thigh and figured he got the hint after awhile. Next time we hung out we spent the day together and at the end of the day he kissed me. I pulled away immediately and stopped taking his phone calls or talking to him anymore. I didn’t want to tell Jen about the kiss because I didn’t want to hurt her feelings and I was never going to let anything else happen ever anyway, but when she found out I had even spent the day with him she got totally mad and wouldn’t talk to me for like a week. (Even though she had known about me spending time with him before, which makes no sense.)

So there were a bunch of other incidents like that senior year that made me glad to leave high school and move on to new friends. I did have some friends that were great fun my freshman year of college from the place I worked, which is how I met my ex. But once the business where we worked closed we drifted apart because we weren’t that close on a level beyond hanging out and getting drunk together. Besides, by that time I had my ex that I was dating and things had gotten really serious really fast.

We were together for several years and we both sort of mutually contributed to my never developing female relationships that were deep and meaningful. I wasn’t that keen on girl friendships anymore anyway, and he was more than happy to have me all to himself, even though he had his own friends. But I’m not going to go off on the ex thing today. So anyway, years went by and a few friends came and went but nothing really substantial. And I thought I was okay with that. I mean, he was my best friend and we were supposed to get married so I’d always have him.

Except I didn’t always have him. And the night he broke up with me I was alone at 3 am weeping and with no one to call. It is a horrible feeling to realize that there is no one in your life that you are close enough to call at 3 in the morning. I vowed right then that I would never let myself be in that position again. And I haven’t been.

It’s been ten months and my life in no way resembles the life I used to have. I have many friends, most of the close ones female. Since that time I’ve done nothing but develop new friends at every opportunity, which is what made a recent decision very hard. I had to decide to end one of those friendships.

I really, really connected with this girl too. We had a lot of fun even though we hadn’t known each other more than a couple of months and we had a lot of the same interests. First she had a fight with one of my friends. That friend tried to convince me that she was a liar and a hurtful person but I just try really hard not to judge people based on what others say, even though I really trust this person that was telling me these things. I just thought maybe they were miscommunicating or something and I wanted to give both of my friends the benefit of the doubt. Then like a week later she made some really insensitive comments to another friend of mine and pissed him off.

So now in the course of a week she has managed to upset two people whose opinions I’ve come to value. I needed to think about this. We all three of us started talking about the things she had said to each of us about the others and realized that she had been feeding all of us lies about the others. Examples: I had given her detailed reports on my sex life with the new Guy. I would not do that. Those things are too private. (Even if it is the best I’ve had, for instance, I wouldn’t tell anyone but him that. Oops, and everyone who googles the right things on the Internet now.) She told one friend and I a story about this guy she liked but the other friend knew the guy and knew the story was completely false. There are many more examples but you get the idea.

I had an experience awhile back with someone close with me that was a real pathological liar. I can see that that is what this girl’s problem is. It is a mental illness and she is starved for positive attention so she makes things up about all the people around her to make herself look victimized. It is truly sad and she really does need help but is unwilling to get it. I stuck it through with this other person because it was a close family member and we are past it now but it took a long, long time.

So I decided not to stick it through with this friend. I had only known her for a short time. While we had lots of fun together, we really weren’t that close yet and lying is a tough thing to get over. It basically means there is no trust so how do you develop a close relationship with someone where that’s true at the beginning? I can’t so I stopped the friendship.

It was a weird feeling, after months of doing nothing but developing new friends to get rid of one. I take ending a friendship much more seriously than I did as a senior in high school, that’s for sure.

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