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cookieman's avatar

Have you ever had a really good friendship that ruined you for future friendships?

Asked by cookieman (39121points) June 18th, 2016 from iPhone

For about seventeen years (starting sophomore year in high school) I had a really good friend whom I totally clicked with. We had many things in common, shared a sense of humor, and had a similar world-view. We also had the best conversations and would challenge each other intellectually. He was rat-a-tat smart too, which I love in a person. We also shared a group of friends and were each other’s best man at our weddings.

Finally, after a failed marriage, he pulled away from everyone and I don’t see him anymore.
He pops up on eMail a few times per year, but has no interest in getting together.

It’s been over ten years and I have yet to meet anyone who pushes all those buttons with me.

Has this happened to you? What have you done to cope?

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16 Answers

Mimishu1995's avatar

Yes, I had two friends whom I invested in too much that I just forgot everything else around me, and worse still, I later found out the friendships were not worth investing. The first one was a classmate from high school. She texted me that she wanted to sit next to me the day before the new school year started. I had virtually no friend at that time so of course I couldn’t turn down the offer. She was very intelligent and perceptive, and she knew about my problem with getting on with the class. She said that I just had some “bad habit” and I just needed to change a little amd everyone would love me. When you are desperate and someone point to you a solution and is willing to guide you, can you resist? But as time went on I noticed something was wrong: she was always criticizing me, and she seemed to want me to be like her. She was also very bossy and easily offended too. I had to back out when I couldn’t take it anymore. And as soon as I ended my friendship she began to spread the word to all of my high school classmates. She told them a lot of horrible things about me like I was inconsiderate, a liar and a user. Luckily I didn’t have any feeling for the classmates so I didn’t risk losing any friend.

The second one was from college. She became friends with me on my first day at school. She was like your friend: shared some common thing with me, could carry good conversation… I was so into her that I forgot to get to know other students. Then one day she broke up with me just as sudden as when she appeared. She never gave me a good reason for her leaving other than a plain “we clashed too much”. I heard from her friend recently that she didn’t want to hurt both her and my feeling so she had to cut me off. I still don’t forgive her for cutting off so abruptly and cruelly like that and I want her to tell me her reason directly instead of through a friend, if she is still that conscentious.

I’m sorry for what you had to go through. I’ve had a lot of friendship ruined and most of the time it was just because I had chosen the wrong person in the first place. Maybe he wasn’t the real friend you wanted. A normal friend, or at least a conscentious person, doesn’t “push buttons”, even after a breakup. You shouldn’t be sad because at least he showed his true color after the breakup and you were no longer involved. You deserve better friends than that.

cookieman's avatar

@Mimishu1995: It is so hard when you put your trust in a friend and they later turn it around on you. Also, with your college friend…My friend stopped communicating abruptly as well. I was so hurt at first. Later, I heard from mutual friends that he disappeared on them as well. I’m sorry you went through similar situations. I appreciate your thoughts as well. I know you are correct in your assessment.

@HC: You are very lucky then sir.

zenvelo's avatar

Good friendships, like good lovers, expand one to have more of them in one’s life. People evolve and change, and often it is not the other person, it is we that have changed.

But true friends will always have a place in our hearts and what we have leaned from them makes our hearts bigger and able to share with others.

Seek's avatar

I’ve never really had a best friend.

I have a few friendships of the “let’s hang out when it’s convenient” variety, but never the share-everything, chosen-family type.

I’ve got serious trust issues. Whenever a friendship gets too personal I tend to pull away.

dappled_leaves's avatar

I have someone like that in my life now. We were separated for a long period while we didn’t live in the same city, and during that time we almost never spoke. However, since we’ve reunited it is just as it was before. Both of these outcomes have surprised me.

si3tech's avatar

@cookieman I think I pulled away from some friendships when I got divorced. Looking back at it I was the one pulling away. Some years later as I reconnected with some of these friends, they had missed me and let me know it. The friends I refer to were friends of both me AND my husband. I think I felt like half of a couple for some time. I don’t make friends easily partly because I am so deaf. Could you reach out to see if your friend has perhaps healed enough by now that you two can enjoy each other again? I hurt for you. I wish you well.

cookieman's avatar

@si3tech: I tried for a long time to reconnect, suggesting we get together. Whatever I offered, he had an excuse for. He’d say, “Ah, we’re all really busy.” I sometimes want to just say what you mentioned, “I miss you”, but I’m reluctant so as not to get rebuffed again. I should try again.

Also, thank you for your very kind words.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

@cookieman, what’s the worst that can happen if you tell him you miss his friendship and the times you spent together? The worst is he will say he doesn’t miss those times and he doesn’t want to go back to that. You’re already in that place, so it can’t hurt any more than it does now. You’ll just know where you stand. I get that it’s probably a ‘guy’ thing, but I’d tell him how you feel.

I know when my first marriage ended, I went into what I call my ‘isolationist’ phase. I didn’t contact people. I spent time alone. I talked to people online because that was emotionally safe. I can’t even tell you why I felt the need to withdraw, but I did. Perhaps something similar happened to him and he’s just never come out of that place.

I know I lost track of a good friend during that period. I’d love to reconnect, but despite attempts to find her, I’ve never been able to locate her.

Coloma's avatar

I have one, super solid, amazing friend in my life right now. We have known each other for about 10 years, an intro. by a friend of a friend thing.
While she is not as intellectually minded as I am she also loves to listen to my wacky ramblings..” Oooh, I watched the coolest documentary on…blah, blah, blah, last night.” haha
She is the last of a handful that I have chosen to move on from over the years. growing in different directions, but mostly, no longer willing to put up with toxic traits. I have fond memories of all, but, as @zenvelo said, people change, shift happens, and sometimes we move on without those from our past.

My 28 yr. old daughter is my best intellectual and humor buddy, while we are different in some ways, of course, we mirror each other in a myriad of other ways. Our conversations flow, we have sharp, agile minds and blend effortlessly. It is very rewarding, even if our mutually stubborn natures flare up on occasion. lol
I can let go easily and not harbor grudges or ill will towards others and accept our time together has run it’s course, why fight it?
Bottom line, we all have to learn to be our own best friends even if we enjoy the company of like minded others.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@cookieman @HC: You are very lucky then sir.
I would say luck had little to do with it, it was more of not letting a bad friendship influence or contaminate a new or future on. I have had friendships I thought were quite solid to have said friend maligns me or stab me in the back. I never figured because that person acted the way they did, the next would surely be the same way or act accordingly to the point they were not worth engaging in a friendship. For me it was get off it, get over it, and get on with it.

cookieman's avatar

@si3tech & @Earthbound_Misfit: I took your advice and tried again by eMailing him last week. I even wrote “I miss you”.

Amazingly, he agreed and we are meeting for coffee this weekend. :^)

si3tech's avatar

@cookieman I am so happy! I hope you two can continue to enjoy your friendship for years to come!

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I’m very happy to hear this @cookieman. Please let us know how the meeting goes.

Jeruba's avatar

A really good friendship, yes. That ruined me, no. I’d say the opposite.

I had a best friend in college. The first year we didn’t take to each other, but as sophomores we became close when some upsets brought us together. We remained close for many years even though we lived far apart after college. There was nothing we couldn’t tell each other, and although we were very different personalities we had a level of understanding that I’ve never equaled with anyone else.

There’s never been anyone else in my life with whom I felt so completely at ease and whole. I’ll never regret learning that that’s possible. I treasure the memory of it.

And maybe it was just the right time for it: the shared stress of college life, the intimacy of a dormitory setting, the relative maturity of late teens combine with the relatively short life history, short enough that it was still possible to convey to someone else most of what had shaped us to that point. By the late twenties or thirties, a person has accumulated so much personal history that no one else is really ever going to get who we are. At least, that’s what I think.

But far from ruining me for other relationships, I feel fortunate to have had one such in my life. It’s not something everyone gets to have, and I don’t expect to have it again. In my case, it takes me a very long time to establish trust in a relationship, and some people just can’t wait for me to get there.

Belatedly, I’ve realized that that’s one very good reason to stay in touch with siblings: that shared history that you can never explain to others. As Edith said to Mary in one of the last episodes of Downton Abbey, “Someday we’ll be the only ones left who remember all this.” With our parents gone and no “back home” to go to, we’re already there.

Romantic relationships, of course, encompass a dimension that was absent in my relationship with my friend, and they have their own wonderfulness. Here I’m just responding to the question about friendship.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@cookieman glad that you don’t end up the same way as me. At least that gives me more hope for the existence of a good friendship.

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