Dear Margo: Best Buddies No More

My best friend is too “busy” for me but I don’t buy it; Margo Howard’s advice

Best Buddies No More

Dear Margo: I had a best friend (of 20 years), and we used to gab on the phone every day during high school and college. We maintained a good degree of communication for a few years after graduation.

Two years ago, he was promoted and things suddenly stopped. He didn’t answer messages and very rarely sent them himself. I asked him what was going on, and he said he was just busy. To my knowledge, he works a standard 9 to 5 job. I work seven to eight hours a day, myself, plus two hours of commuting, and I still have time to do many things, including recreation, calling friends and helping out relatives. While his job may be more taxing (he’s a financial planner), my job is not a cakewalk, either (I do research). My impression is that he simply doesn’t have time for his old best friend.

I ask myself frequently whether I am just being paranoid or insecure, but a few things seem to confirm that I am not. For example, on the rare occasions when he’s out with us (old friends), he frequently checks his messages on his handheld. Once, when he ran into a few of his new friends, he actually cut short our get-together so he could hang with them. I got fed up, and seven months ago I deleted him from my contacts and stopped messaging him.

Now, just a couple of hours ago, he sent me a “Hi, how are things?” message. Since I wasn’t happy with the way he treated me after being best buddies for 20 years, I took that opportunity to express what I felt. I basically told him it was rude and arrogant to ignore messages and invitations, and that I didn’t really buy his “I am busy” excuse. He fired back saying he wouldn’t attempt to change my mind, and that this was an indication that our friendship must have been fragile to begin with.

What I want to confirm is whether or not I overstepped in my confrontation with him. — Disappointed

Dear Dis: I don’t think you overstepped by saying what you felt, because a drastic change in a longtime friendship almost demands a discussion. It seems clear, however, that he has, as they say, moved on. Some friendships are outgrown, and others endure. I would hardly consider a best buddy friendship for 20 years “fragile,” so ignore that. But do accept that he’s changed, and whether it’s for the worse is not really relevant. (And he sounds like a bit of a climber.) These things happen. Onward. — Margo, forwardly

90 Minutes Is No Deal Breaker

Dear Margo: I have “officially” been dating a great guy for a month. We get along really well, and this could be it! The fly in the ointment is that he got a job that caused him to move an hour and a half away. Things were moving along well and smoothly because we were geographically within spitting distance of each other. How do we make this work? — Down in the Dumps

Dear Down: Either of you have a car? An hour-and-a-half commute isn’t an out-of-this-world trek. Maybe you could alternate weekends. Where there’s a will there’s a way … or a highway, train or bus. (Trains and buses, by the way, offer a great chance to read.) And there are people, believe it or not, who keep a romance going at greater distances than you have to deal with. Good luck. — Margo, transportably

* * *

Dear Margo is written by Margo Howard, Ann Landers’ daughter. All letters must be sent via the online form at www.creators.com/dear-margo.html. Due to a high volume of e-mail, not all letters will be answered.

COPYRIGHT 2011 MARGO HOWARD
DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

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37 comments so far.

  1. avatar Katharine Gray says:

    LW#1, I can empathize with you.  I don’t think you were out of line to express your unhappiness about how your friend had been treating you.  He may be right that your friendship was fragile but that is because HE did not make the foundation solid and does not reflect on you.  Sadly, some friends are like lovers who break your heart.  You just have to get over them.  I am now mourning the loss of a friendship of 32 years. It seems to me that I have been loyal and there for her, her husband and her children  through many trials.  I suppose she has been there for me too at times but I’m not remembering them now.   She recently was *too busy* to attend a very important once in a lifetime event in my life (she was planning a weekend getaway with her husband instead, despite being given a *save the date card* months in advance of this getaway opportunity).  When she gave me her excuses for not attending via email, I did not respond.  We have not communicated since.
     
    I have concluded that *she is just not that into* our frienship and I refuse to chase her.   I miss her and it breaks my heart but I think if I put myself out there again, I would only be treated badly again.  

    LW#2:  Many people have over an hour’s commute (or more) one way each day to work, so an hour and a half one way to see your love doesn’t seem so far to me.  If neither of you has a car, as Margo says there are buses and trains.  For over 18 months my husband and I lived 6 1/2 hours drive apart and still managed to spend every weekend together but about 4 and those were due to business travel schedules.   At the time my daily commute to work one way was 45 minutes.  So…I don’t think the distance should be a problem if both of you are motivated to continue a promising relationship.  If he is telling you he thinks the distance is an issue…then I’m wondering if he is using the distance as a reason to cool things off.   If, after six months or so of the commute, your mutual feelings are stronger and you are thinking of making a life together, then either start looking for work where he is or encourage him to look for work where you are…depending on who has the most lucrative and stable employment situation.  I would not have said *depending on* if things were normal in the employment realm but obviously, they are not and jobs need to be treasured these days.  

     

    • avatar John Lee says:

      “She recently was *too busy* to attend a very important once in a lifetime event in my life.”

      Was this a single occurrence or repeated offenses like LW#1 and many of us deal with before we cut off a friend of 20+ years?  And what was the very important once in a lifetime event, if you don’t mind sharing?

      Not trying to downplay your incident, just trying to understand and maybe help you reconnect what seems like a great friendship of 32 years.

      • avatar Anais P says:

        Since “save the date” cards are generally only sent for weddings and milestone anniversaries, I would assume it was one of those. One would assume a best friend would change her vacation plans to accommodate a longtime friend’s anniversary or wedding.

    • avatar ann penn says:

      Perhaps the weekend getaway involved something special over which she had no timing control. I have had weekend getaways with my husband because I could meet him in the middle of an extended business trip, for example, but I had no control over the timing of his travel. Perhaps that was the only time they could do the getaway together (schedules, family obligations, etc.). Perhaps your event was important to her but her husband refused and she did not want to/could not attend alone, but also did not want to share that reason with you. We do not always have the same affection for the friends (and sometimes family members) of our spouses as they do.

      OTOH, I have had friends who would (and sometimes still do) call on me for support but weren’t as willing/able to reciprocate when I had a similar need. I think to them, my challenge was just not that important. It did change the way I have viewed those friendships.

      • avatar Katharine Gray says:

        To Ann and John:  The event was to honor my husband for his thirty years of service to his law firm.  My friend’s husband is one of his law partners and will be celebrating his own 30 year evening next year.  It is a very big evening for the honoree.   The 4 of us have been close all of these years and gone through a lot of ups and downs in connection with this firm.    The save the date cards were sent out 4 months in advance and my friend told me upon receiving it…*of course we are coming*.  This couple’s children are both grown and gone, they are not separated by work or distance.  About 2 weeks before the event, I called the event planner and asked that this couple be seated near us…and learned they were not planning to attend.  She did not tell me of the change in plans and I do not believe she intended to tell me.   I sent her an email saying:  We will miss you at the party.  That is when she informed me  (by email) that her daughter had surprised her and her husband with a *weekend getawy* to the Ozarks.  This couple travels often…a trip to the Ozarks is not some special thing for them (and if you have ever been to the Ozarks  its not that special for anyone).  Moreover, the places in the Ozarks offer packages all the time and I have no doubt they could have changed the date without a problem.  As it turns out, they did change the date because they had to attend a friend’s funeral that weekend.  Now, I’m not saying they should have come to my event instead of  attending the funeral…of course not.  But they had no intention of coming to the event which they both knew meant a great deal to my husband and to me.  Over the years I have noted that I am always the one making the connection with this friend and when we do talk it is usually about her issues.  She has  had some troubles during the past 5 years (death of a parent) and so that is understandable but then…I have similar troubles and it was at a time when she was busy raising her kids and I do not even recall her contacting me when my parents died let alone offering support through both of their very long illnesses although she probably did come to the funerals and I have just forgotten.     I have not said *You are no longer my friend* and I  don’t intend to do that.  However, I do not see any reason to chase after her friendship and cannot feel the warmth for her that I once did.   

        I had thought she might call after the event just to ask how everything went and if it was a nice evening but she did not.  I’m waiting  for her to make the next connection.   

      • avatar John Lee says:

        Ahh, thanks for the backstory, Katharine.

        “Over the years I have noted that I am always the one making the connection with this friend and when we do talk it is usually about her issues.”

        Yeah, sounds like a repeat offender.  I had a former best friend like that as well.  While I would give my best friends a “get out of jail free” card once (even for missing a major event), if they are repeat offenders, then good riddance.

        I think you’ve made the right choice.

      • avatar Lym BO says:

        Rescinding my post below after reading your second post. It’s all about her. I wouldn’t bother continuing either. She has little value or respect for your relationship, nor does her husband. Remember it’s not your fault she’s just egocentric.

    • avatar Lym BO says:

      Katherine, maybe your friend really needed that get away with her husband. Mybe he demanded it. Who knows, but I would cut her some slack.

    • avatar Lisa Bonnice says:

      Shoot, we live an hour and a half from work and do that commute twice a day! I think this relationship, if it is promising, can certainly endure and overcome. :-D

  2. avatar rapunzelina says:

    Re: LW 1, I did much the same thing to every single one of my few good friends after college. For me, it was precipitated by some crazy family problems, serious financial/employment straits, some chronic medical issues and a serious bout of depression that all kind of coalesced at once. Instead of having to confront explaining all of this to them and dealing with their potential reactions (sympathy/attempt to help/frustration/guilt/whatever), I simply withdrew, becoming “too busy”, more distant and unavailable and eventually (and understandably) they stopped pursuing me. Not making excuses for myself, because it was an avoidant, cowardly, and all-around pathetic response on my part to it all. I feel guilty about it to this day, because these people were good to me and I’m sure I hurt their feelings (though none accused). Not to mention that I still miss them, fifteen years later. I’ve tentatively tried locating contact info for them, but even now I have no idea what on earth I would say to explain myself. Not that I necessarily believe any of that is what’s going on in LW1′s friends head–I guess my ultimate point is that LW1 doesn’t have access to his head either, and (assuming LW1 actually wanted to know why, instead of simply expressing resentment) attacking him probably wasn’t the best approach to finding out. It may have little or nothing to do with LW1.

    • avatar Katharine Gray says:

      I can understand what you are saying because there have been times in my life when it was really hard to keep up with friends because I was depressed, had nothing to offer them etc.  In fact, a friend of mine and I went 10 years without contact and when we made contact again discovered that both of us had been going through a very depressed time and couldn’t find the energy to reach out.  But, I think the  clue in LW#1 is that his/her friend looks at his handheld and on at least  one occasion abandoned the group to go with others so it doesn’t sound like he was in a bad place where he couldn’t socialize at all.  After about 7-8 years of pretty much isolation I started searching for and contacting friends from grade school, high school, college, and my work life.  In most cases, they were thrilled to hear from me and I was thrilled to be connected to them again.  So, keep trying to make the connection with your old friends  and don’t be ashamed to say *my life was just so crappy at that point…I couldn’t bring myself to burden anyone else with it*.  We all have points in our lives where we are not at our best. 

      • avatar sdpooh says:

        Katherine, This event you mention sounds like a business recongnition party.  Maybe after 30 years your friend has tired of spending evenings doing work related activities and has decided to do what she wants.  I am sure it is hard to be a “corporate” or “business” wife.  It sounds like the party was for your husband and not you.  Don’t hold it against her that she chose to make her daughter happy by accepting a gift instead of you happy to sit and listen to speeches about your husband.  I can also understand her changing her plans for a funeral, which far outweighs a party for working for the same company for 30 years.  Please think about mending fences with your friend.    

    • avatar TheTexasMom says:

      I believe your situation was somewhat different than the LW as his friend would go out with the old gang but seemed preoccupied and even left a gathering to be with the new and improved group of friends.  If what he said was true it doesn’t sound like depression to me.   In some situations you are the teacher and sometimes you are the student but all times there is a lesson to be learned by someone.  People come and go into your life for a reason and it’s up to you to figure out why.

      • avatar David Bolton says:

        Sometimes you never will get the answer you need. It’s up to you to make new friends and hopefully learn from any mistakes you might have made in this friendship.

      • avatar Deeliteful says:

        People come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. I wish I could remember the difference in reason and/or season, but I know it boils downs to an ending of a friendship. No one is to blame; the friendship served its purpose. Of course you feel hurt, confused. Treasure the time you have/had with your reason/season friends. Cherish the lifetime friends. I know 20 years seems like a lifetime but you have many more years ahead and who knows? Maybe in another 20 years you’ll reconnect with this old friend and the years will melt away.

      • avatar David Bolton says:

        “No one is to blame.”

        Try telling yourself that when a friend or friends put you through the emotional wringer for years because they suddenly up and leave without the slightest explanation. Someone most definitely IS to blame, and in my opinion it’s the person who doesn’t have the balls to conduct an exit interview. If I’ve done something—tell me and give me the opportunity to fix it. That is the definition of friendship, both in the concept of forgiveness and the concept of valuing a relationship enough to try to fix it when it’s not perfect.

    • avatar bright eyes says:

      rapunzelinaif/when you get in touch with them I would appologize for having been so distance and explain that you were going through a hard time so you distanced yourself from everyone. If they ask why you didn’t go to them for support, briefly explain that you didn’t want to burden them with your problems. If you say it was more about you than them (and from what you say it was.) then I would be honest and tell them that. I think if you do that, they should be able to slowly begin to include you again.
      And if you can’t find them – check facebook, it seems that everyone is on there :)

  3. avatar Briana Baran says:

    Re: L#1: I am the sort of person who has never had a great many friends (the peanut gallery may engage at any time now), and certainly only the sparse handful that I’ve known for more than two decades . These latter come and go as we touch base in our busy, well-differentiated lives…but when we all manage a get together, it’s as if no time has passed, and the comfort and comraderie is still a deep pleasure for everyone. They are all male, all married now, and most, like myself (the one woman) and Rusty, have children. I recently was responsible for the “bachelor party” (no strippers, porn, alcohol, etc., just a custom table-top RPG) for one of them, of which his wife-to-be, a beautiful inside and out woman absolutely approved.

    But…friendships can run their course, too. Twenty years can be a long time to sustain one. I have no female friends with whom I’ve managed to remain friends for so very long. It seems typical of my friendships with women that we will be very close while I *listen*, be their sounding board, offer support, encourage…and don’t say a word about myself that doesn’t reflect whatever their image of me is. It can be months, or it can be years…but when the discussion turns to me it always seems that I manage to say something that offends. From a comment such as “I love your hair (my violet buzz cut), but I would never dare do that!” and my response, “Well, okay…but it’s just hair”. Or, “Tattoos are so trashy”, and my rejoinder, “Um, mine too?”, knowing they’ve seen them all the way to, “I just have to have my four glasses of wine before dinner to deal with the kids and my husband ” (this was a comment made by a woman with two under six, repeatedly), and my reply, “Are you okay?”, and “My son has refused to say a single word to us for four (4) weeks because we won’t get him a brand new $30,000 car…and I’m frantic because he won’t tell me what kind of Pop-Tarts he wants” (true story…from a woman I’d been friends with for years, and supported when she was having serious issues), and my admittedly scandalized reply “So, he goes hungry”. All of these women disappeared off of the radar…as well as those who have tried to convert me, get me to go to “sales parties”, cried about money shortages…then taken three $2500+ cruises in one year (and no, I made no comment) but been less than understanding when I couldn’t give to their favorite charity, or make a lunch date…and so on. You roll with it.

    My best friend, female, is an amazing person. We can and do talk about anything, accept each other unconditionally, never get upset if one asks the other for advice…then isn’t delighted with what she hears…understand prior commitments, changes in schedules, headaches, bad nights and general weirdness. I think she is a rare gift. As is my husband, and my MIL.

    LW1, let go of this former friend. These things happen, and all you can do is roll with the changes. It does no good to criticize, or speculate on the changes…because you’ll never know exactly why they occurred…and you might dislike, or actually be shocked by the reasons. I am not so sure that he’s a “climber”, as time passes, sometimes people find that the niche they occupied most of their lives no longer suits them. The promotion may not be the actual source of the problem (the “climber” thing)…because he probably still knows the same people from work. It could be that he met someone, and through that person, other people, who have somehow, in a non-work related way, changed his life. It could be so many things. There seems to me to be an element of secrecy, or a desire for privacy, in his behavior. No excuse for ignoring old friends…but…I’m not all that sensitive about these things, I expect, and I accept that this is not an uncommon occurrence.

    Move on, dear. This is one for the books.

  4. avatar Barbara says:

    LW#1 – You are putting this all on your old friend. It sounds like you were a bit out of line to me when you unloaded. Old friend reaches out to say how are you doing, you interpret it as him trying to have the old relationship back. It sounds to me as if he valued your friendship but has new interests and friends so has a different balance in his life. That doesn’t mean you can’t still keep in touch. He’s probably feeling very burned now. Wow – I reached out because I cared about what was going on with an old friend and I got a lot of baggage dumped on me. Don’t need that looney tunes in my life!

    LW#2 – Dating for a month and you can handle being less than two hours away? I predict it won’t last.

  5. avatar B.eadle says:

    LW1 – Just because someone has outgrown a friendship doesn’t make him a social climber. We are all constantly evolving. The guy developed new interests and tastes. Give him a break…wish him well and if you run into him be cordial and nice and then just get on with your life.
    LW2 – Sounds like a drama queen…”officially dating” for “one month” this “could be it” but you think your relationship was only so good because you were so close together? If this love is really “the one” than an hour and a half would mean nothing to you. If you think that is really something that could break you up than he really isn’t “the one.” Good luck to you.

  6. avatar Cindy Marek says:

    L #1: I don’t think you overstepped, but I’d definitely let him make the next attempt. And if he doesn’t, then cherish the friendship and memories you had, and accept that people and circumstances do sometimes change (easier said than done, but I’ve been through similar too).

    L #2: It can work.

  7. avatar martina says:

    LW1: My daughter, who is 18, is going through something similar now only she’s known her friend since she was 7.  I told her pretty much the same thing that people grow up, change and grow apart. It is especially true at her age but it happens at any age as we are constantly evolving.  I truly wish people would put the phones away when they are with company and this was one of my daughter’s complaints of her friend.
    LW2: Before my husband and I were married we lived an hour apart for quite a few years.  I would stay with him on the weekends (I lived at home) and occasionally (once or twice a month) during the week and call each other every evening.  This worked very well for us.  It’s a good test of how much he wants a relationship with you.

  8. avatar JCF4612 says:

    LW#1: Margo captured it with “onward.” You now have the satisfaction of having expressed yourself. Unless Best Bud can offer a more satisfactory explanation, leave this friendship in the “once cherished, now extinguished” bin.  

    LW#2: If your romance can’t survive an hour and a half separation, it’s not much of a romance.

  9. avatar bobkat says:

    LW1: Get over yourself! Relationships change and your friend seems to have outgrown the type of friendship the two of you had, with the daily yakking on the phone and stuff. Maybe he still wants to keep in touch, just not as much as you seem to demand. It sounds to me as if he felt smothered by you.

    • avatar John Lee says:

      Uh-huh.  So next time you’re out with your old friend and he decided to end your outing when he bumps into some new friends, he was probably smothered by you and outgrown the type of friendship that you provided.

  10. avatar bright eyes says:

    To LW#2 I dated a guy who drove trucks cross country for 5 years. We dated for the whole 5 years while he was home every other weekend and at really odd times. Sometimes he’d be home for a day, sometimes he’d be home for a week – we never knew what his schedule would be. I don’t see a problem with an hour and a half distance.

    Have you thought about moving closer to where he’s working and have him move a bit farther from where he’s working – you could work it so that you both have a 45 minute commute instead of one of you driving 90 mins. But after dating for only a month, I wouldn’t do it. 

    Try visiting every few weekends and talking on the phone (or computer or skype, etc.) and see how that goes for a few months before you say he’s “the one”. Try that for 6 months and then see where you stand. You will either realize you truely can’t live without each other or that you’re not right for each other.

  11. avatar Cady McCowin says:

    LW2: My husband and I lived 10 hours apart when we started dating (we had known each other for a long time before that) and were that far apart for 6 months. I moved to be closer to him but we were still a 40-minute (at best — roads were often icy) drive apart. Now we’re married. If you both love each other and you both want to be together, it’ll work. If not, it won’t, but it wouldn’t have worked out in close quarters, either, in the long run.

  12. avatar Rose says:

    Losing a best friend can often feel like a break-up with your significant other. I’m going through that right now, losing my best friend of ten years. We’re both in our 30s, met each other professionally, and saw each other or talked with each other via phone, email, skype, etc almost every day.

    But lately I’ve realized that she has not been honest with me on all things, and there have been many times she takes offense too easily. I’m not perfect, but always I’m the one “at fault” if something happens between us, and I’m the one who has to do the apologizing. I’m always the sounding board and emotional crutch; she’s not there when I needed her.

    So….I’m bowing out. I’ll always care about her, but I just can’t do this any more. I need someone who can be a friend to me, too. :(

  13. avatar Davina Wolf says:

    Sounds like LW1′s friend is naturally growing away but still wants to keep in touch at a lesser frequency.  I agree with the  commenter who said that the friend was probably blown away by the confrontation.   I’d back off and let things take their course, which probably means drastically reduced contact.  These things happen in life.  There’s always a reason but it would usually be stressful, exhausting and usually not fruitful to have disscussions with friends over the reasons for friendship changes.  It’s not marriage.    
     
    I reconnected with a college friend from 35 years ago; we’ve been talking for an hour or ninety minutes once or twice a month.  I pretty much carry the conversations as her only interest is her kids and she doesn’t read books or newspapers.  She’s gradually begun to try to control and criticize me, which I’ve been politely stepping around in the hopes that this woman, a counselor by work and education, would moderate herself.  She hasn’t, and a confrontation isn’t going to change her, so I’ll talk with her a couple of times a year from here on out and see if that helps.  She may be mystified, but there is a reason.

    After ten years of pretty close friendship I decided that another friend is materialistic and sneaky.  She’d been having an affair for ten years; this didn’t bother me when I was younger but it seemed sordid as her sneaking around progressed and I matured.  It also came to light that she keeps a lot of things secret that don’t need to be, such as her weekend home, and that she’s very materialistic.  A discussion about the differences in our values wouldn’t have changed anything.  I moved away and gradually faded, but I know she wonders why.      

  14. avatar Caramia says:

    When I was in college, I struck up a friendship with someone and we did quite a few things together to the point, she stopped by my room in the dorm to see if I’d wanted anything after I had canceled my invitation to come watch TV the night before (I had gastritis). When I left the dorms, and got an apartment we still got together every once in s while. Then, she got out of the dormitory and got herself an apartment. She kept accepting my attempts at keeping this relationship going, but she would often cancel at the last moment several times. I was disappointed but thought she had valid excuses. Finally one time she called 2 1/2 hours before the play I wanted to go and declined, saying she didn’t feel like it. “Awww DeeDee that’s the second time you’ve canceled out.” “I know, but I really can’t go tonight.” We talked for a little bit more and upon ending that conversation, I said, “OK well the next time you want to do something, you ask me then.” OK I sure will. She never contacted me again and I didn’t contact her.

  15. avatar A R says:

    “Now, just a couple of hours ago, he sent me a “Hi, how are things?” message…… I took that opportunity to ……..basically told him it was rude and arrogant to ignore messages and invitations, and that I didn’t really buy his “I am busy” excuse…….. He fired back saying he wouldn’t attempt to change my mind, and that this was an indication that our friendship must have been fragile to begin with.”

    Hm…
    Okay. My two cents.
    He does not want to continue seeing you as before, however he does care that you are safe and okay, hence the “How are things going?” message. It’s a way of saying that he is glad you are sound and out there in the world, and he wishes good things for you, not bad.

    You were not wrong to ask what was wrong, but you sure did it in a ham-handed fashion. Instead of telling him he was rude and arrogant, better to have said, “Hey man, things sure have changed between us.I’m feeling that we’ve grown apart. What’s the deal?” Would he have been honest? Maybe, maybe not, but you’d either have seen greater effort on his part to refresh the friendship or increased avoidance which lets you know where you stand!

    His statement that he wouldn’t try to change your mind shows me that long ago turned this friendship loose, and he hoped you would take the hint.

    The thing is, the first advice we give others about ending a friendship is to gradually draw away, let greater time pass between calls, begin to decline invitations, etc. Essentially this guy has done all that to you. He’s been as civil as one can be, so respect that and let it go.

  16. avatar A R says:

    A personal story:
    In high school and just after, I was friends with a guy. Over time, during college, I realized that our lifestyles, friends, and personal choices were no longer compatible. I gradually eased away from communicating with him. I was very glad that I did.
    Out of the blue, he contacted me on facebook just over a year ago. No biggie, I accepted the friend request. A few times he made comments that I found inappropriate and not amusing, but they were not indecent…just…juvenile and mildly insulting. They hearkened back to some of the foolishness that had caused me to draw away from him in the first place.
    Two months ago, he messaged me to ask why I hadn’t RSVP’d to attend his 40th birthday party. (It was one of those general facebook invitations on his wall.) I replied that I was not going to be in the area on that date, but that I wished him the best. He responded by asking why I wasn’t making his party a priority. I replied that as we’d not really kept in touch over the years (nearly 20), I had not made plans to attend. Like the letter writer, he promptly blasted me for letting the friendship fade. Yep, I replied to him, you are correct. I did let it fade for my own reasons, and I *stand by* my choice. I explained that if he was content to keep a facebook-based acquaintance, that would be fine, but if it didn’t work for him, I’d understand. I haven’t heard from him since.

    My point: when it’s time to let a friendship go, most of us try to do it civilly, discreetly, and as kindly as possible. If a person can’t take the hint and wants to escalate it to a discussion, well….

  17. avatar Belinda Joy says:

    Letter # 2 – If distance is a deal breaker, then break it off. 

    I’ll share with you a lesson I have learned in life. We all (whether we want to listen to it or not) have a little voice in us that tells us what we should and should not do. And when you are talking about love, sex, romance and passion, if you truly, deep down in your heart wanted this man, he could be not just an hour and half away, but states away and you would STILL stay with him. There wouldn’t be a question.  You’re knee jerk reaction would be “I love you, we’ll just have to make it work“ The fact that a mere hour and a half difference is causing you to pause and ponder…..in that you have your answer. Your little voice has spoken.

    Letter #1   -  I think you over reacted and now it may have cost you a friendship. I’ve been in this situation myself where those that have known me for many years accused me of neglecting them, when nothing could be further from the truth. It was nothing more than me being busy. It is because you’ve known his for 20 years that should have been enough for you to understand his life.  As Margo said, time to move on. This friendship is no more.

  18. avatar R Scott says:

    LW1 – Or, you could have responded with, “Hey there. Long time. What’s new”? and see what developed. But instead you channeled your 12 year old girl and got all butt hurt about it. Had you elicited some conversation and communication you may have gotten a better understanding of why he isn’t playing the Friend Game by your rules. Too late now but consider yourself friendfree. If anyone needs to come around it’s you. He held out his hand and you bit it. Bad doggy!!

    LW2 – It’s not going to work. Not because it can’t but because you’re already making it an issue instead of just going with it and making it work. 

    • avatar mayma says:

      I agree with this comment on LW1, pretty much word for word. It may be that you guys have grown apart, AND it may also be that you could’ve grown back together at some point in the future. That possibility is torched now. I don’t understand the inflexibility. (And congrats on being able to work 8 hours and commute for 2 and still have a life, but he is not your mirror image. He doesn’t have to do everything the way you do.)

      LW2 is ridiculous. “Officially”?? One month?!?! “The one”? Oy.

  19. avatar Lila says:

    Mixed thoughts on LTR#2: once future hubby had proposed, he suddenly got orders to move to another station. I was not yet eligible to move, and without that marriage certificate, the Army will not help you on this. My feeling was, if we got physically separated so early in the relationship (and it would have been opposite coasts of the US), the relationship would likely founder. We ran out and got married almost on the spot so we could get our assignments coordinated, which worked out… initially.

    We managed to stay together for about four years, but then things got difficult with our assignments. In all we were stationed apart, for different reasons, for a grand total of about 5 years. For one full year, we were separated by a deployment and there was not even a visit. Then we were stationed six hours apart for nearly four years, had a brief reunion for a year, then were twelve hours apart for about 7 months. Whew. We owned two of everything.

    The thing is – I really wonder whether the relationship could have gotten through all that time apart if we had not already been married. I know it seems like a piece of paper should not matter, but – it IS quite a commitment, both legal and emotional.