The Friend Break Up

This morning on the radio The Kane Show was discussing the “Friend Break Up” and how as a woman breaking up with a close friend is much more traumatic than breaking up with a boyfriend.

It seemed like each of the DJ’s and everyone who called in to the show had gone through a friend break up at some point in their lives. I didn’t realize how incredibly common it was.

So, of course I started thinking about my own experience with friend break ups.

When I was the Dumper
I was close friends with a lady that I’ll call Claire. We worked together at the same location, but in different jobs/companies. We bonded over our shared boss and would laugh hysterically whenever he did something inappropriate, stupid or insane. For example, one time I was in his office when he decided to clip his nails and I literally had to duck so I wasn’t hit with flying fingernail shrapnel. She was in his office one day when he full-on farted and she had to try to pretend like she wasn’t dying in the resulting bog of eternal stench.

Ok, I WAS just going to post a link to the Bog of Eternal Stench. But then I saw this on Youtube and it warmed my heart so I had to post the whole clip. LOVE the Labyrinth!

Anyways, back to the Claire story. I dealt with nasty fingernails, she dealt with stinky butt. It was a match made in heaven, right?

Well, we were friends for a few years and it was the perfect storm situation where we could do couples things because our husbands also got along. I guess I was kind of naive, because I assumed that she was an honest person. I took all her silly stories at face value and never even suspected that she wasn’t being very truthful. I slowly started to see discrepancies in her stories and eventually realized that she pretty much lied about 85% of anything she ever said to me. Oh, and that boss that we would share stories about? Apparently they were having an affair.

I didn’t want to be confrontational (or listen to any of her denial lies), so when she left the company I just let the relationship fizzle out. I’m not proud to say this, but I did start ignoring phone calls and texts from her until she finally stopped calling. What was I supposed to say? Hey Claire, apparently you’re a crazy psycho bitch and I don’t want to be your friend anymore?

Actually, yes. That would have worked.

The Dumpee
I’ve actually been friend dumped a few times in my life. The first was the most traumatic because I literally had NO IDEA why my friend dumped me. Which I guess is my comeuppance for Claire, right?

Dump #1: Mike (fake name)
I was friends with Mike in middle school and we became closer in high school because we did a lot of theater stuff together. We even started out at the same college together and were so incredibly close that I found out after he left our university (after the first semester) that everyone assumed he was my boyfriend.

I stayed at the college and he went back to his life at home… and we stayed friends. But within a year or so, he just stopped returning my calls. I had no idea what I had done to be cut out of his life. I still actually have no idea. My best guess is that I was a sucky friend. I was 20ish and incredibly self-centered at that point in my life, so I wouldn’t blame him if he just couldn’t deal with my superb asshattery.

It hurt though. We had been friends since middle school and then he was gone. No explanation. No fight. Just gone. A few years ago we became Facebook friends, so I assume he doesn’t hate my guts (anymore).

Dump #2: Annie (real name)
Annie and I met in 2003 when we worked at the same company. We got along really well and became super-tight best buddies with a weekly date night at our local bar. About three years into our friendship, I acted like a total douchebag (hmm… I sense a theme) and we had one of those fights where we pretty much both yelled, “FINE” and never spoke to each other again.

And by ‘never again’ I mean for about two years.

This dumped story has a happy ending, because we went back to being friends. We both grew up a little in the time that we were apart. By time we found our way back together, she was in a long-term relationship and had an adorable baby girl. I was about to get married to Travis.

Since we reconciled it’s been almost 5 years and we pretty much email each other every single day. So yay for besties!

Dump #3… maybe
I was going to talk about the third time I was friend dumped, which was recently, but I’m not actually sure if I was dumped or not. It could have been a mutual breakup. Or we could find our way back into a friendship at some point in the future. I guess we’re just at different phases in our lives right now and what I have to offer her isn’t enough.

When you deal with the actual loss of a friend, it really makes you wonder whether stupid petty disagreements are worth it. So, I’ll keep that door open and if at some point she feels like walking through it, I’ll be here.

So how about you – have you gone through a Friend Break Up? Were you the dumper or dumpee?

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4 thoughts on “The Friend Break Up”

  1. I broke up with a friend because our life paths were going in different directions (she chose drugs). I’m pretty sure I’ve been dumped and some silly stuff from being a selfish teenager comes to mind. As humans we’re constantly evolving and the people we need at that period in our lives will find us. Friendship breakups are hard but sometimes those experiences are necessary for us to grow and mature.

  2. I’ve been the dumper and the dumpee.

    I’ve also had friends say they would never want to get on my bad side, because when I break up with a friend, I’m pretty harsh. Apparently. I don’t understand because…I’m the nicest person ever. 🙂

  3. I’ve been both. I dumped a friend that was just toxic and depressed the shit out of me every time I talked to her. I also dumped a friend that was so incredibly needy that it was like being in a relationship with an insecure 13 year old girl.

    But I was dumped by a childhood friend basically because I wouldn’t lie for her. And that was BS.

    She snuck out of her house to stay at her boyfriends house and told her parents that she was staying with me. Well she neglected to tell me that. So when her parents called my house looking for her, my mom said she hadn’t been over. I got told off because I basically didn’t ask my mom to lie for my friend, like my mom would EVER lie to another parent about where their 15 year old daughter was. Even if it had been me her parents talked to, I can’t lie when I don’t know what the lie is supposed to be!!!

  4. I need to learn a thing or two from you. I am in the midst of trying to end a friendship and I am doing a horrible job. I know that I should just talk to her, or at least have a blow out fight where I purposefully act like an asshole so she hates me. But, I hate confrontation and all of that intense emotion. I’m trying to just do the slow fade, but its totally not working because I keep feeling really guilty about it. The guilt takes over and I hang out with her again (which is a totally toxic event for me) and then I have to start the slow fade all over again. One of these days I’ll figure it out. Or I’ll just have to move away.

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