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SuperMouse's avatar

Would you ask an old ex-friend what happened?

Asked by SuperMouse (30772points) April 26th, 2009

Stick with me, this might get rather long…

Growing up I had the same best friend all through elementary school. We went to the same junior high school but in seventh grade she stopped being my friend. She never said a word, just stopped wanting to hang out and wouldn’t talk to me. That was a pretty tough year for me, my mom who had been ill died and I was pretty torn up about it, losing my best friend since kindergarten didn’t help the situation. Anyway, I recently found her brother on facebook and we have been talking back and forth. He told his sister we found one another, she said to say hello and that she would get on and send me a friend request.

So here I sit wondering if I should ask the question I have had for 30 years; namely, why did she stop being my friend. I would like to be able to say I have forgotten all about it, but I haven’t. I have wondered many times over the years exactly what I did to make her stop being my friend.

Would you ask the question or would you just let it ride?

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23 Answers

chyna's avatar

I would ask. I would have to know. But casually after catching up a bit, throw in there, “so, what did ever happen to us? We were friends, then we weren’t. You got any idea, cause I don’t.” Kind of in a half serious half silly voice.

hug_of_war's avatar

I think it will create a lot of akwardness. My best friend stopped being friends with me in 7th grade too – it’s a time of great transition. People change. I think you’re just asking for trouble. You’re not friends anymore. Maybe if you become friends again you can ask, but I think it’s pretty rude to ask someone that who you aren’t close to.

gailcalled's avatar

Let it go. All seventh graders are mentally stark raving bonkers, remember.

chyna's avatar

@gailcalled Yeah, I do remember that part too.

Likeradar's avatar

I would ask.. it’s been 30 years, maybe her insight will be helpful for you to get closure. But be prepared to get an answer you don’t like, or no answer at all.

chyna's avatar

So what do you want to really do? Ask or not ask?

asmonet's avatar

I had a friend, Katie in middle school that dropped me for no reason. I saw her on and off in the halls through high school but I never knew what happened. After high school, we met up again and a few weeks after that it came up naturally in conversation. We both knew that we stopped being friends, it was no secret, but she just up and volunteered why. She was going through a lot at the time and fell in with a crappy crowd, she apologized and we laughed about it. Because, honestly, we were thirteen. It had been five years, we didn’t care.

Our conversation on the matter started almost exactly how chyna mentioned above, except she brought it up. Later she told me that it was something she thought about over the years, but that since we no longer knew each other it would have been weird to bring up.

Just be her friend, get to know each other again. If you both hit it off again, I bet you it will come up and be a non issue at some point.

Darwin's avatar

I, too, would ask if I could do it in a half-serious, half-joking way.

I lost some friends at that same time period, too. Part of it was I was late in developing an interest in boys as sexual beings but they were fascinated by them so we no longer had much in common. Part of it was that they met other people that tugged them in other directions. And part of it was that as a nerd and a geek I wasn’t “cool” enough to be seen with in that raging flood of hormonal and social insanity represented by middle school. I also was taller than almost everybody so we couldn’t pod together and be identical, which can be vital in that age group.

Get your relationship going again, and then go ahead and ask.

Lothloriengaladriel's avatar

I think at this point in life theres more important things to worry about but since you can now and it obviously still bothers you, might as well ask her.

RedPowerLady's avatar

I can see how asking would give you some emotional closure.
I can also see how it would piss you off more or cause some serious awkwardness to occur as others have said.

I suppose the question for you is “What is your motivation in asking that question?”
If you think more harm than good can come out of it then don’t do it.
If you think more good than harm can come of it then do it.

Personally I would ask. I think of it like this. I don’t really know this person anymore. So even if it does harm asking the question, oh well, i’m no worse off. It might just give me some emotional closure. Plus it’s been 30 years. There shouldn’t be too much tension left about the situation so it seems as if it would be much easier to talk about. I know if someone asked me about why I did something in 7th grade I would probably laugh and explain myself. Likely I would, personally, apologize as well.

gailcalled's avatar

Personally, I would have trouble remembering not only what I did in seventh grade but also why. I was too tall, my hips were too wide, I sweated when I got nervous (which was all the time), I had wild Russian hair and size 8 feet and I never wore my glasses outside of class so developed probably a permanent squint.

Darwin's avatar

What’s wrong with size 8 feet? I had them, too, but now they are even bigger.

gailcalled's avatar

Mine are now 10. Back in the day (way back) my friends were petite, had straight blond hair, size 6.5 feet and names like Mary El and Poo Stevenson (whose boyfriend was “Whitey.”)

SuperMouse's avatar

@gailcalled, I’ve had size 9 feet since I was in third grade! My grandmother used to tell me, “there’s a lot of you running along the ground!”

figbash's avatar

I’ve had a few of these situations and have been on both ends of it due to Facebook reconnections. I have addressed it really casually so that we could get past the elephant in the room in and move on.

In the case where I had questions I’ve just said something along the lines of “it’s so great to see you – I have so many great memories of our childhood/ time in rehab/ cult abduction, and I’ve always wondered how you are. I’m not really sure why we stopped talking then, but I’m looking forward to hearing how things have been going for you!

In the case of the few questions I’ve had the person also said they had nothing but good memories and chalked it up to some teen phase. In the other cases where I’ve been asked, I was open about why we stopped talking and made it clear that I wasn’t planning on rekindling the friendship either. In the case of having questions, I’d need the closure.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I’d let it go for now and enjoy the new exchange because that person will most likely address the situation themselves anyway as they think back in time and play “catch up” with you.

Jeruba's avatar

If the question had been bothering me for so long, I would feel like I had to know. I could not just launch and sustain a casual exchange as if that question weren’t still burning.

But I would not spring it at first contact: “Hi, Suzy, great to hear from you, what was up with ditching me 30 years ago anyway?” I would bide my time a bit, because I have learned that it there is something I really want to say, sooner or later there’ll be a perfect opening. In the meantime I would not bring it up or allude to it but give her the chance to do it first.

arcoarena's avatar

I don’t think you have anything to lose by asking. It’s something that happened in the past and I know it would bug the hell out of me not knowing so imho i say go for!

augustlan's avatar

I’d probably have to know, so I’d ask. My ex-husband’s best friend throughout his life ditched him when we were all in our early 20s. He would never say why, and it still bugs the both of us to this day. So infuriating!

casheroo's avatar

I would just bring it up…probably not right away, but after you’ve started exchanging messages for a bit, catching up.

I lost all my best friends in I believe it was 6th grade. All because I didn’t like this one girl they wanted to hang out with, because her laugh was similar to a hyena’s and I couldn’t stand to be around it. They chose her over their years of friendship with me. It really messed me up. I’m facebook friends with all of them, and have chatted occasionally..but we’ve never gotten close again.

Triiiple's avatar

Id ask.

I value my friends more then i think my friends know i do since i really dont show it but if a friend just stopped talking i would have immediately been hurt maybe become obsessive about the WHY they stopped talking to me.

Id def. ask and put some closure to that chapter if it comes to that.

Jeruba's avatar

@casheroo, I know what that feels like even though nothing exactly like that happened to me. I’m sorry. It can take a long while to get your head straight again.

I also know what it’s like to be hypersensitive to certain voices and mannerisms. There was a man who used to sit near me who cleared his throat constantly and a woman in the next cubicle who talked to her sister on the phone every day from work and who had the habit of laughing a forced laugh as punctuation at the end of every single solitary remark she uttered. While I was sitting next to them I think I went a little mad. There is a woman near me right now who is on the phone at least half the day and who has a Betty Boop voice.

bright_eyes00's avatar

warning: long story…

I had a friend that I met my freshman year in high school. she and i were close as all get out. I went through some pretty traumatic things that she helped me through which only made our friendship stronger through the years. we were always there for one another.

we graduated and I moved out of my parents house and lived on my own. we would still hang out and what not and spend time together at my place since she still lived with her mom. I eventually moved in with my boyfriend at the time (who she had had a crush on once in high school but he asked me out and she ended up hooking up with another guy she really liked). A few months after i moved in with my boyfriend she stopped talking to me. She wouldn’t answer my calls. She wouldn’t talk to me when i went to her house either.

I chalked it up to growing up and moving on. Things went south with my boyfriend and i moved in with my step brother. We had tried to work things out but he left me. not two months later i found out that on my 18th birthday while i cut the cake inside to serve to people my ex and friend had had sex in the pool. she stopped talking to me because she felt gulity and angry that he was still with me and didnt leave me like he said he would.

after finding out it was easy to move on even though i still love my ex, only a little, and i actually miss her from time to time.

its been three years since i spoke to either of them. of course i joined the military and moved out the state.
before i found out i was wrecked with the loss of my boyfriend who i loved and the loss of my friend. i would ask. not saying it was something as bad as that but it would get you closure. thats just my two cents. good luck

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