Thursday, July 22, 2010

the bestie BLOW OFF

I used to wish that we could break up with friends the same way we break up with the people we're dating. Via text message or email. Okay, fine-- even face to face would be fine. You call your friend, tell them you need to talk. You meet somewhere for coffee or drinks and then you break it to them gently: this isn't working anymore. The only difference would be omitting the "hope we can still be friends" portion of the conversation.

We all have friendships that have run their course or have dragged on too long, but there is a certain societal expectation that friendships should last a lifetime, even if what you bonded over in 8th grade isn't necessarily what you still share twenty years later. Unfortunately, breaking up with a friend is even harder than breaking up with a gf/bf. So, instead we keep the person in our lives, maybe try to hang out with them less, maybe conveniently forget to return their phone calls, maybe just relegate them to Facebook status until they get the hint.

I have a lot of long-term friendship relationships, but there have been a few over the years that have fallen to the wayside...and none of them ever ended with an actual break up conversation. There was the friend who constantly talked about how attractive she thought she was, which was annoying on its own--- but what was worse was her habit of dropping subtle insults when I least expected them. Like how I should still have hope that one day my skin would clear up. It got to the point that every time I hung out with her, I worried what new thing would come out of her mouth to make me feel like shit. We had a few falling outs over the years and a few reconciliations, and I know for a fact she's a much kinder person now, but we've never gone back to being bffs.

Then, there was the friend who became a total born again and may very well be in a cult now. We were super close at one time, but friendship between an atheist slash agnostic and a born again just doesn't work. I couldn't deal with how often she'd bring up Jesus or getting saved. And I really couldn't deal with the fact that she believed I was going straight to hell after I died. Then, there's just the friends that you lose touch with cause you're both bad at long distance relationships. Nothing malicious happens, it just becomes too hard to keep the weekly phone calls going.

I've been on the receiving end of the bestie blow off a few times too. A really close guy friend of mine in high school (yes, Brian Gogineni I'm talking about you) completely vanished after college. We visited each other all the time in college, and then one day, he just stopped returning my phone calls and emails. It wasn't just me though, it was everyone we were friends with in high school. He wasn't at the 10 year reunion and no one knew what had happened to him. I'm almost 99% sure he's still alive, I just don't know why he decided to cut everyone out of his life with no explanation....he's not even on Facebook!

So, what do you think readers? Is it best to just let these friendships fizzle out or should we man up and break up with each other in person?


  1. One has to clean up once in a while. Tie up some loose ends. - The actually-not-really-practicable-option of staying friends when ending a love-relationship is not an option, when ending friendships, is it. It must be even more harsh to a friend getting broken up with: "...but we can't still be friends." (well, you could become lovers, if that helps) But nobody does it that official. You just disappear. Easy as that. At least that's what I do. Tie up some loose ends. New People that become friends seem to fill that gap (if it was one) rather soon. Noone can manage all this social overkill and has to clean up once in a while. I'd be such a funeral-pro if everybody died. Shoes are already polished, a tear and a flower later...done. Oh, but some haunt you. They knock from inside the coffin and want to go out for brunch with you. Friendship is supposed to last for ever. And it does...if nobody breaks up.


    P.S.: I haven't heard from Brian for the last 13 years. What a dick.

  2. So true Max, usually when it comes to breaking up with friends the best thing to do is just disappear. Brian is a dick! Why did he disappear on all of us?