What it feels like to be friend ‘dumped’

Around this time of year, along with extortions of ‘do this, do that’ to make yourself a better person, there is one thing that I often hear – ‘Lose people from your life who…’. I actually think it is sound in principle, however it can have negative impact in practice.

I write this from personal experience. My husband and I are the friends who have been dumped. And I’m not sure why. It could be any number of reasons or nothing specific at all, it could be that we have caused offence, or that the other party feels that we have grown apart. But at the end of the day, I am not entirely sure why.

I accept I am not perfect, I don’t profess to be the perfect friend, although I think that could apply to most people. And I think I have a good handle on my character faults, to know them and to counteract them.

There are friends who have come and gone over the years, who were not particularly close or who were much more specific to a time in my life. On which, the parting has been a much more mutual affair. That happens. I can’t really explain the dynamics of that but it does.

This is different. I struggle with it, it lingers over me.

Our friend was a big part of our lives. We liked and valued our friendship. But from about 7 or 8 years ago any effort made to arrange socialisation started being rebuffed and gradually contact has dried up. That’s how important to us this friendship was, that we have hung on to it for so long.

In the face of being ignored we have had to conclude that we are ‘no longer required’. It makes me incredibly sad. It feels that there is a hole in our lives and we have been abandoned. Any unintentional error on our part has been given no chance to be rectified or at least apologised for.

I considered telling this all to the person directly but I realise that we can never go back to where we once were, trust and intimacy has been lost and doing so would be looking for a reconciliation that won’t happen, if our friend has let this go this far without communicating with us.

Each time in my mind I think about it, I try to explain it, I can’t help but create reasons for how things have turned out. And that is not really right, I cannot second guess and I think this is the particularly harmful part for me. I simply do not understand. It is a weight around my neck.

This issue has been on my mind for the last few years, but I haven’t known how to deal with it. I feel that I need to do this finally now, to get it gone from my life and move on. That involves cutting all contact, removing them from Facebook, numbers from phones, crossing out their address from our address book, and that all seems so final.

I accept that this is partly my choice, although I do feel that my hand has been forced. I am not sure that the act of doing so will actually clear this person from my brain. But I need some catharsis. And maybe this is it. I need to now take a big breath and walk away.

My only caution to those considering cutting a friend out of their lives is to consider how much of the separation is your friend’s issue, or your own, particularly if it is not a mutual friendship split. And to at least consider being honest with your friend if there is more than simply a circumstantial reason for you to abandon your friendship.

Marie Kondo and her tidying method (that I have been practicing of recent times) has taught me two things pertinent to this situation, that makes it easier to bear. That when something no longer brings you joy it is time to let it go. And that when you let something go, you must thank it for what it has done for you. I see no reason these could not be applied to friendships.

So I thank our friend for once being a part of our lives, and the enjoyment we had of our time together. I thank them for this difficult lesson.

If you know anyone else who might enjoy this, please share

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Mummy Tries says:

    Those two closing points are great to keep in mind hon. Sorry to hear that you’ve had a tough time letting this go. It’s so strange when it happens out of the blue. My husband’s best mate from school basically did this directly after being best man at our wedding. He also took himself off Facebook and cut ties with everyone from his early life. From what we can gather he had a breakdown, but it still hurts like hell! It would be nice to hear from him again to see where he’s at, but it’s unlikely… Sounds like it’s taken you a while but you’ve come to terms with the situation now. Hugs lovely xx

  2. Oh Alice, such a brave post and one I can most certainly relate to. I was ‘dumped’ by someone I regarded as a friend last year. This person was not one of my close friends thankfully,but someone I liked and cared for. Someone’s whose corner i had often fought. It hurt and I was disappointed but I said my peace in the kindest, most loving way I could and I have moved on. And the funny thing is this…I’ve realised that I’m much happier and more content without that person in my life, already. And I’m sure it will absolutely be the same for you too. People come as you say to teach us a lesson, it’s then up to us what we do with it. 🙂 x

  3. Tim says:

    It’s sad when any friendship ends, no matter what the reason. I’ve seen friends come and go in waves, friends you swore would be life-long. School friends – all gone. University mates – a couple remain among our closest friends but that’s about it. Friends from the years we lived in Oxford – a few, but largely restricted to Facebook these days. Old work colleagues – largely forgotten. I really regret losing some of those relationships – in many (but not all) cases we’ve just drifted apart but some of these have involved a conscious cutting of ties by one side or the other. I’m old enough now that I don’t worry too much about it – I prefer to look back on the positives of however many years of past friendship rather than the sadness of them ending. Easier said than done sometimes, though!

    1. Yes, it is sad Tim, but like you say and I am doing, focussing on the positives, however tricky that can be is definitely the way of moving on from these situations. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Debs Aspland says:

    I love your honesty. When I wrote about saying goodbye to friends, one of the examples was the friend who dumped me without any explanation. I had to say goodbye to her because I was wasting so much time and energy trying to understand what I had done. Like Kate above, I too found I am much happier without them but I had to say goodbye to them first.
    It is hard being friend dumped without explanation so big hugs. Congratulations on being so honest.
    I love the new layout of the site by the way – it looks amazing and now I may need to go and re-jig mine
    Chaos in Kent xx

  5. Alice, thank you for sharing this. It is beautiful in its vulnerability and honesty. I feel quite silly to admit that I have never considered this issue from the other side although I make it a habit to reevaluate relationships and the time that I spend in them often…and end many unhealthy or outgrown and strained relationships. I’ve always assumed that the other party feels the same way even if we do not discuss it. I won’t any longer.

    1. Regina, thank you for reading this and thinking about it. I’m honoured that I have made you review how you deal with friendships ending. It is easy to make assumptions, I’m guilty of it too, so don’t berate yourself. Xx

      1. You are a daisy, Alice! Thank you for those kind words

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