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May

What To Do When Your Friend Dumps You

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I was in complete denial when I was dumped by one of my closest friends.  I just thought (let’s call her Tracy) Tracy was busy and our schedules were opposite.  Just to give you some history, about six years ago Tracy quickly became one of my good friends.  We’d met through my old roommate and while we’d always seen each other at parties and group events, we were just casual acquaintances.  Then Tracy moved into my neighborhood.  Just three blocks away, we quickly became new best friends.  We went running together, made dinner together, went to movies together, etc. She even got me a job with one of her friends.  We were inseparable.  Even when she started seeing a new guy and he quickly moved in, the three of us hung out all the time.  Tracy and I had tons in common, lots of mutual friends, and very similar personalities.  So when she asked me to co-officiate her wedding, I was honored. I thought that the day I eventually got married, she would be standing there for me.  I never imagined a day would come when we had blocked each other from facebook, didn’t speak to each other, and should we run into each other at social occasions, the bare minimum of civility is all either of us can muster.  Even describing that (which is very true) is sad.  But I was friend dumped.

I didn’t see it coming, and to this day, I’m not exactly sure why it happened.  We never had a falling out. There was no disagreement or issue over money or men.  In fact, when she started to drift away, I tried everything to salvage it. I’d call and try to hang out, but she was either not returning my calls or texting me about how “crazy busy” her life was.  In a desperate email, I asked her if there was anything I’d done. If I’d hurt her feelings in any way I was sorry, and we should get together and talk about whatever was going on.  I considered showing up on her doorstep and demanding to know what was going on.  But I realized unannounced visits only happened in sitcoms, and I didn’t think I could bare a straight out admission of her dumping me.

One day I bumped into her in my neighborhood.  She was carrying a tub of pinkberry and seemed happy and relaxed, until she saw me.  “Tracy!” I yelled out. Excitedly I hugged her, and was happy just to see her.  I was still hoping we could fix whatever was going on. I told her how much I missed her and asked if we could schedule coffee or lunch to hang out.  Then she said probably the best-worst excuse for not hanging out with a friend ever.  When I mentioned lunch she said,

“I have to do my taxes. I’m really caught up with taxes, so… yeah, I don’t know when I can do lunch.”

Taxes? I got dumped and the best excuse was taxes? Wow. If that didn’t scream loud and clear that she didn’t want to have anything to do with me, nothing else would. I nursed my wounded pride all the way home and vowed to never look back.  But I did. A lot.  I bitched to all of my friends, stalked her facebook page wondering why she was doing all of that fun stuff without me, and grilled our friends we had in common with ‘what went wrong,’ ‘what did I do,’ ‘why does Tracy hate me,’ ‘what happened!!’ No one had no clue what happened, and no one wanted to ask.  After a lot of beating myself up and feeling shitty about myself, I came to some realizations.  So while I know being friend dumped is the worst, here are some things to remember to get through it.

1. It’s Not a Character Assassination on You

I dragged myself through the mud coming up with a million reasons why Tracy didn’t want to be my friend. Don’t do this. It sucks. Coming up with reasons why people don’t like you is like mental self-flogging.  It’s painful and crippling.  You didn’t do anything wrong. People change and as much as it hurts, we don’t always change together.  While it’s hard, you have to remember that you’re a good friend and it’s her loss if she has chosen this route.

2. Delete Her as A Facebook Friend

This may sounds petty, I recommend this for your own sanity.  I would spend time looking at Tracy’s facebook pictures really bummed that I wasn’t part of her life. There are so many studies that facebook makes us feel worse about ourselves and looking at profiles of old friends is probably why.  If Tracy didn’t want me in her life, then she wasn’t going to be in mine. I didn’t want her to know my new job,  the new guy in my life, my trip to Greece, or other fun things happening to me.  Because trust me, even if she’s dumped you, she’ll check you out on facebook too. We all do it.  So block her and move on.  You don’t need to know.

3. Focus on Your Friends

I wasted so much time depressed about Tracy. I honestly think I mourned this breakup more than most of my breakups with men.  I think we are prepared in life for relationships to end, but not friendships. Elisabeth wrote about this in her post Breaking Up is Hard to Do.  I found myself complaining to my friends about her all the time.  Until one day, I realized all the friends I did have in my life and that my post-Tracy life, I have so many more incredible new friends. My life is more full and joyous than ever before, and if being dumped got me that. Then thank you Tracy.  I decided to focus on the people that want to be a part of my life, that support me, love me, and make me happy.  And now, looking back, my friendship with her seems small and trivial.

4. You’re Not Alone

I felt like such a loser admitting to people that we weren’t friends anymore.  We’d been so close that people would ask me all the time, “How’s Tracy?” and I would embarrassingly mumble, “She’s good… I guess.”  But once I started talking about it, other women would tell me about their friendships that had combusted.  It made me realize that I wasn’t a loser, a bad friend, or a horrible person.  These things happen.   In fact, it’s fairly common amongst women to have this happen.  Sometimes bigger issues break up a friendship, sometimes life causes people to drift apart, or sometimes it’s as sudden and weird as this.

5. Kiss Closure GoodBye

When any type of relationship goes sour, we crave closure.  Because when someone does something to us, we demand to know why.  While I understand this need, you have to let it go.  Somethings don’t make sense.  Some people won’t like us. Tough truths, but helpful to remember. While it hurts that someone so close to us could decide to end our friendship, you have to accept it.  Make a little ritual if need be. Burn their name. Throw away photos. Delete their number from your phone. Whatever you need for some resolution, do it. But understand that you aren’t getting that Come to Jesus conversation where she realizes the error of her ways and begs forgiveness.  It’s over and the sooner you let it go, the happier you will be. Trust me.

6. Find the Bright Side

As I plan my wedding this year, thrilled about the mix of family and friends that will be there to celebrate with me. I think to myself how very lucky and loved I am.  I also found an officiant who I’ve never met before because Tracy can dump me and delete me from her life, but I will always be in her wedding pictures. Isn’t karma is a bitch?

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5 Responses to “What To Do When Your Friend Dumps You”

  1. June 16, 2012 at 1:46 am

    Great article, but I kind of disagree with the non-chalantness of ‘these things happen’ when it comes to friendships ending when one party has no idea why. I think women need to start spreading the message to each other that it’s not okay to act like your friend Tracy did. She wouldn’t have done that to a guy she was dating for 3 months, so why is it acceptable to do to a friend she’s known for years? You deserved an explanation – even if it’s that she feels you two have grown apart.

  2. June 18, 2012 at 12:03 am

    Great piece, it’s good to hear your storey. Something similar happened to me and I still from time to time look for answers, hence coming across this website.

    Lisa says you deserve an explanation, however, I don’t think Tracey is a strong enough person to give you that explanation. I believe her reasoning’s for your friendship breakup would be for trivial reasons that most friends would fix over a coffee. If you ask me, she sounds very fickle. I also believe that she left it too long to reconcile the relationship and in doing so, making it too hard for her to confront. She sounds feeble and will float through life avoiding any confrontation. You are better off without her. I truly believe you will have a happier life without Tracy in it, you will have more friends than she ever will and as a result of this situation, you are stronger and a better person than she will ever be capable of being, just look what you have done on this website. Good luck to you.

  3. June 18, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    Claire – the fact that you still look ‘from time to time for answers’ shows that you don’t exactly believe in the encouraging message you give Lisa after. Yes, she is better off without a friend who would act this way – but having to always wonder WHY (for months or years depending on the person) – is wrong and unfair. And if it were for fickle reasons, then all the more reason to tell them to Lisa!
    I once pressed a friend who was disappearing on me and she finally sent me a rather nasty email basically explaining that she needed to get the negative people out of her life. Now, she was going through a hard time at that point – I had just gotten a seemingly, great new job…and maybe she was, maybe she wasn’t jealous of that. However, I had been as negative as she had been for a while up until that point too. So even though her email stung like hell – it was good to know the reasons for her behavior (or at least what she was willing to say). I wrote back telling her that if she needed to blame other people in her life for her own unhappiness, which only she has power over, then she was welcome to blame away :-). And then I sincerely wished her the best of luck. I ran into her a couple of times afterwards and didn’t feel awkward at all, though I know she did. Her email made me realize we were probably both better off without each other…it just wasn’t meant to go on.

    Had she not responded – I’d probably still be wondering. And I think that would have burdened me. In my opinion, she did the right thing and behaved the way a good friend should (one that’s out the door) in telling me why – regardless if her opinion was warranted or not.

  4. February 8, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    I got dumped by my bestie 2 yrs ago. I stupidly groveled wondering “What did I do?.” I also was in a very bad place in my life and thought I “needed her” so badly.

    Lessons I learned: Don’t EVER do that to another woman. (I admit I had before, not w/ a bestie, but gotten mad at women and dumped them)

    Listen to people, they WILL tell you who they are. She was angry w/ plently of people in her life she wasn’t speaking to anymore, but of course I thought she would NEVER do that to me. I’m me of course. ;)

    Finally, I learned to cherish those women God has placed in my life. :)

    Great article. So glad to hear there are so many of us out there and we have survived. :)

    Sheila

  5. May 30, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    Don’t complain about taxes. After calling a friend (and being ignored), I received this text from her: “Sorry– my dad is killing a bug for me right now. I’ll talk with you later!”

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