Dear Carolyn: I have just been "friend dumped." A very close friend of a few years stopped talking to me, and when I asked why, she ended the friendship with an Internet message. She claimed (in literally three sentences) it was because the friendship is unhealthy.
The friendship was unhealthy at times - I have jealousy and fifth-wheel issues - but it was because we lived together, and we don't anymore.
I can't wrap my head around the idea that someone I trusted so much would do this to me so easily, without feeling bad or giving me even a paragraph of thought.
The worst part is, I will have to see this person regularly in school. I know I need to move on, but I am very deeply hurt. I did so much for her, and I was always there for her. How do I stop obsessing over this and feeling bad?
- The Dropped Friend
A: I'm sorry. Getting dumped hurts, and getting dumped abruptly hurts even more.
Be careful, though - an abrupt end can also be distracting to the point where valuable information gets lost in the why-me haze.
Please turn your attention not to the how-could-someone-I-trusted-do-this-to-me-so-easily question, but instead to those "jealousy and fifth-wheel issues." What was your part in the undoing? Did your friend ask too much of you, or did you ask too much of (or do too much for) her? Was the silent-treatment breakup about her cowardice, or about your inability to hear bad news without melting down? Or were you smothering her and this was her way out? What clingy behaviors got you in trouble?
What did being roommates have to do with it? What are the chances you'll repeat your mistakes with the next roommate/friend?
If you were to trace your insecurities, where do you think you'll find the roots?
I know this veers toward victim-blaming. I also deplore silence as a means of ending relationships except when one party fears for his or her safety.
It's just that being wronged often provides - after time to grieve - useful information for preventing a next time.
As a student, you have access to mental health resources that workforce-dwellers often don't. Make the call, try a session, take your fifth-wheel concerns for a spin. Grief always hurts less when it spurs something good - like figuring out healthier ways to be friends.
Dear Carolyn: I have been dating a wonderful, kind, generous and caring man for almost seven years. For whatever reason, my mother harbors resentment for my partner, and has said she wishes he'd suffer a heart attack and die, among other less-than-friendly sentiments. We see my mother only a handful of times per year, and my partner is cordial to her but relieved when it is time to go.
A few months ago, my mother called me and asked why my partner refused to accept her friend request on Facebook. I deferred and told her she'd have to ask him, figuring she'd drop the subject. Big mistake. The next time we saw her, she demanded that my partner friend her!
Would my partner and I be better served fighting this battle, or saving our strength for possibly larger future conflicts (marriage, children, etc.)?
- Where Should We Stand Firm?
A: "Mom, when you wish people dead, you can't expect them to friend you on Facebook." The sooner you start telling your mom the truth when she crosses lines, the better your outlook gets for "(marriage, children, etc.)."
Email Carolyn at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/carolyn.hax
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