Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Mutual Friends

I am currently in the process of figuring out what to do about an ex-friend with whom I share several friends... 2 friends in particular who we both consider close friends.

I went through this all just under a year ago when Jerk and I broke up. I fought as best I could at first. I didn't mention my pain and hurt. I made sure that whenever we hung out I was soooooo much fun. I made sure to stop asking these friends what they were doing on any given night to avoid an uncomfortable conversation where they told me what they were doing and then couldn't invite me to come along because Jerk would be there. I made sure to ask them to do thing weeks in advance and take "maybe" as an answer.

Jerk didn't take the same considerations. He invited them all to a happy hour not a month after we broke up (after 3 years together) and also invited his new girlfriend. When I saw one of our mutual friends the next day, she avoided me. Finally, I asked what was wrong. She said she had gone out with Jerk the night before. I asked why that mattered. She looked down and told me she met his new girlfriend. Then she had to tell me what the girl looked like...

It put a big strain on our friendship. I had to spend even more energy convincing her that, even though Jerk was happier without me in his life, my friendship would make her happy. In the end, I pulled away. I figured that these friends would realize I was a good friend and come find me. But they never did. And then, when I left New York, they embraced his new girlfriend and forgot all about me. Luckily, I have an amazing group of friends who I know love me individually. It's a horrible feeling to realize that some people don't want to have uncomfortableness in their friendships. They'd rather not have you in their life when it makes their life a bit more complicated.

But, that being said, I had some amazing friends who loved me and stood by and called me every day to make sure I was okay for months after my breakup. And I guess if I learned one thing, I know that it's situations like breakups that help you separate your true friends from the mass of acquaintances in your life.

The difference now is that I am breaking up with a friend. I could go to battle for my friendships. I could. But I won't. I guess at the end of the day, I love my friends enough to know that they are good people who can make decisions on their own. And just because someone is crappy to me, doesn't mean they'd be crappy to other people. I know I am a good friend. I try really hard to be a good friend. I believe in myself in few arenas, but, in what sort of friend I am, I do have confidence.

I also know that true friendships withstand these situations. I stopped talking to two of my very best friends at different points in time for over a year each... and we missed each other terribly. I remember the exact wording I sent to my friend AF after a year of not talking. A serious fight between was brought on by an ex-boyfriend of hers who tried a little to hard to control her life and wean her away from her friends. She had long since broken up with him and had written me to apologize. I was still hurt, and it took me a while to get over it.

Someone brought a picture in from Australia. AF and I backpacked through Europe together and spent the trip escorted by two hot Australians.

The e-mail went something like... "Someone just brought in a picture from Australia. I wish I could call you up and talk some more about how hot those Australians were."

And we've been best friends again since.

Because true friendships come through tough times. I have faith in the people I call my friends. I know that they are mature and can deal with this situation. I need to believe that. I'll try.


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