V's Take

Dear V: Should I rekindle acquaintance with fickle friend?

Dear V, 

I used to be best friends with a girl who was a terrible best friend. She would always blow me off to spend time with her boyfriend of the week. The only times I would see her was when she would randomly show up at my house with whoever she was sucking face with that week, and even then, they’d do nothing but make fun of me. Sometimes she’d cut me out of her life for months at a time and then decide from one second to the next that she had forgiven me for whatever it was I had supposedly done. I decided to end the friendship, but after two years of not speaking, I saw her again and realized how much I missed her. Should I try to rekindle the friendship? Does it matter how much you like someone if they’re terrible at relationships?

~To Rekindle or Not to Rekindle?

 

It’s my understanding that if someone doesn’t care enough to be a real friend while you’re supposedly best friends, then that person isn’t really true. Maybe I’m wrong, but years of neglect followed by years of silence do not constitute a meaningful friendship. Acquaintance? Maybe. Best friend? No.

In the realization that friends are usually not forever, it’s comforting to know that life is about more than just the fleeting memories you shared at any given moment with any given person. While it’s sad to experience the disintegration of a friendship, it’s even sadder to kid yourself into thinking that such abuse is a fair price for maintaining a friendship just for the sake of it.

I advise you to cut your losses and call it even. Trying to rekindle this relationship in the expectation that maybe things will be different a second time around is just crazy. While it’s possible that she learned a lesson or two on how to keep a friend, who’s to say that she won’t be okay doing that to you again? 

I’ve been down this road of friendships gone cold and trust me, a lot more is at stake the second time around. “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me,” is a saying for a reason, right? It’s better to honor the good memories you had with the person by forgiving her for the bad, but leaving it all in the past.

Trust me, there are good friends out there, but a real friend does not require you to give up a piece of your dignity or swallow your pride in order to accommodate her and her years of inconsideration. A good friendship should build upon the good that you wish to be and the good that is present in your life.

October 23, 2008

Reporters

V

Advice Columnist


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