A month ago I had the unfortunate displeasure of breaking up with a friend. Not a lover but a friend in the platonic sense. It hurt me that what was once a beautiful, committed, unconditional friendship with someone I still like had to end. Unfortunately, not all friendships are meant to last forever. I must add however, this decision on my part was actually one of the healthiest choices I ever made.
What defines friendship really? The Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary (8thEdition) defines friendship as “a relationship between friends: a close/lasting/lifelong friendship” ~ the feeling or relationship that friends have.” My definition is that friendship is when you consider another person’s well-being as being valuable as your own. If we marry these definitions we can conclude that a mutual and devoted feeling of a lasting relationship is what makes friendship.
In this article I really just want to share my breakup letter to a friend. I do not want to go into the nitty grittiness of good/ bad friendships, confusions, delusions, signs of breakdown of a friendship and all that jazz. I am not a psychologist. The following is the breakup letter I sent to an ex-friend. A Dear John letter one may say…hahaha.
“What I have to say cannot or rather its efficacy is better said by word of mouth other than sms.” Note that I had first called two days before (no answer) then sent this sms two days later. There was no response after three hours so I proceeded with the following:
“I hope you are well. I wanted to do this by word of mouth but it seems that is not possible.I respect you and like you so I think it’s best for both of us to find closure without there having to be gray areas that may stress or embarrass us.
To be honest I got a bad vibe when I wished you happy birthday on the 18th. It’s almost as if I was disturbing you. In the past I always wished you a happy birthday on this day but this time the reception was different. Even, a bit cold. I think change is a natural part of life and I think in our case it’s pretty obvious that a real friendship has been lacking for at least a year. I never want to be a pest in anyone’s life that’s why I choose clarity in these types of situations. I wouldn’t for instance, want to turn up at your house and perhaps make you nervous and unsure of how to get rid of me. Perhaps you have been hoping for a while that I get the “let me be” message but I have not.
It can be pretty stressful to want someone to disappear from your life but they are just hanging on. And you really would think you made it clear. Believe me I know, I went through that with someone until finally I picked up the courage to tell them nicely that we are not compatible. They’re no hard feelings.
To be frank, we have not been important to each other for a while. We don’t even know what is going on in our lives. For instance, my father in law passed away last week and I didn’t even think to tell you. In the past you would be the first person I contact. I have been feeling like you really don’t want me in your life. Out of respect for you l am making it easier for both of us so there is no pretence. However, I think being on civil terms as acquaintances is good. It’s possible that we run into each other sometimes. In that case I suppose there would be or should not be any awkwardness.
In my case there is also the issue of the children. When they ask about seeing you or visiting I don’t know what to say because I don’t know if we are welcome. If there is clarity then it makes everything easier. No guess work, awkwardness, excuses, stress, frustration or seeking advice from others on how to deal with the problem. In other words no worries.
I accept that people change and friendships change. And that’s okay. It’s hard to pretend that things are just the way they were. I think we’re different people now. I think we’re both good people but moving in different directions. Perhaps now is not best for us to be in each other’s space. Maybe in future it will change but for now it just seems fake and strange. I guess I am Dutch now, I like to be direct and honest… Hahaha . I just want a clear head. Life is too short. My father in law’s death and my mom’s battle with her health made me feel this even more.
I wanted to have a dialogue on this because this is one sided and I would have liked to state a little bit more. Anyway at the end of the day, I really like you and BT and you have been amazing people to our family. For that I thank you. I would appreciate a response but if I do not I will take that to mean the matter is concluded. Again, I wish you well.”
Suffice it to say, I did not get a response and the matter is concluded. I felt a huge sense of relief after this. It also gave me a feeling of empowerment and put me in a healthier place. It is demeaning and disempowering to keep on ingratiating yourself to someone who does not seem to care. I refuse to be a trailing donkey (sorry donkeys). I accept not being a priority but I think communication lines should always be open. I have friends that I have not seen in years but our friendship is strong because we communicate and are interested in being in each others’ lives. I am proud to know who my real friends are. It took me a long time to realise that sometimes it is best to break relations and do it peacefully. The truth is, I have many acquaintances, associates and good people in my life but you can count my real friends on one hand. These are the ones I can call in the middle of the night and they will answer. Can you say the same? If not, you may want to start the culling process. Remember, the less people you know the less BS you get.