I could tell he grew tired of me as his responses became fewer and far between. I’d hit him up with an empty pit in my stomach I knew no longer contained butterflies. They had only died after a month.
He wasn’t the first of course. There had been others before him who I clung to so tightly their eyes bulged in fear because how can you end a friendship with a suicidal girl who thanks you for your friendship and support in the every conversation? How do you not feel obligated to someone who constantly tells you how great you are while wondering how they can possess the same qualities? You said I’m a good person, would you end a friendship with me?
How do you tell someone “I don’t think we should be friends anymore.” She held fast to the idea that she could do no wrong. She could name the reasons why she wasn’t a bad friend but none of them explained why maybe they no longer liked her. Being in that same position before I wanted to tell her that maybe she’s not as good of a friend as she think she is. That maybe her shining qualities tarnished by negativity that she not only used on herself but reflected on to others. As though they deserved the criticisms she felt were just a necessary part of friendship.
Sometimes people outgrow us and there isn’t much wrong with that.
But, how do I end a friendship with someone? I’ve never been good at break ups.
It took me days to decide I didn’t want to be with him. We had only been together about two weeks. I debated every day that maybe it was the wrong thing to do. I remembered my father’s words, “date a man who likes you more than you liked him.” Clearly his advice wasn’t the best. I stumbled between the right words; he read my mind. Told me it was alright. That we’d be friends afterwards. With another, I broke down over the phone, spit the words out. Days later, questioned my judgment. Every day deciding whether or not I had made the right choice.
Some how this was different. Something about this relationship made it harder. Maybe it was her. I don’t know.
I sat there thinking of ways to tell her that she was manipulative, she was hurtful, and I no longer wanted to be around her. I wanted to tell her that dating an older guy didn’t mean she was cool and that her sex appeal didn’t make her any better. “If you were ashamed to tell me, you shouldn’t have done it” is only meant to come from my mother, not my friend. Burning his clothes after he used you seemed like a fun plan at first but afterwards you just looked crazy. So I just stopped talking. It cut deep. A friendship I thought would last long into our futures. In the end, I didn’t want to stick around someone who was holding me back. If they weren’t bringing happiness into my life what were they bringing? My reasons made sense to me. I was no longer a happy member in the relationship. Looking back, I outgrew her and there wasn’t much wrong with that.
Even after years, leaving continues to be challenging. I thought back to her and how my friendships changed along with the loss. Letting go of one friend can mean letting go of others. Casualties of war I suppose. It’s taken me months to accept this reality.
Feelings go both ways. Just because I’m good for one person doesn’t mean I’ll be good for another.