Wedding Woes

Not getting a response is an answer.

Dear Prudence,

I have a friend, or maybe I had a friend, who I saw at least once a week all summer, but who I have only seen a few times since the school year started. At first I chalked this up to being busy: I’m a teacher; she is the mother of two middle schoolers and is going through a divorce. Whenever I see her (we share a hobby) she no longer initiates conversation and offers minimal replies to my questions. She doesn’t reply to text messages about getting together or asking how she’s doing, although she does eventually respond to logistical questions. She seems to speak to other people normally and responds to our mutual friends in a way she no longer does to me. I feel singled out, and I’m not sure what’s changed between us. I finally wrote her an email saying I miss our friendship and that if I’ve done anything to offend her, I’d like to know what it was so I can make amends. She never wrote back, and I know the healthy thing to do is let it go and accept that she doesn’t want to be friends anymore. But I don’t know what letting go looks like, given that we share a small, tight-knit group of friends, and I still feel hurt and confused by her sudden change in behavior.

—Haunted After Being Ghosted

Re: Not getting a response is an answer.

  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member

    Letting go means you no longer seek out one on one time with this person.  Don't contact them with mundane chit chat.  Stick to only logistics when you need to organize something.  When you do see her out at your group events, just be cordial.

    Something happened, but I don't think LW should focus on what the something is.  It could be nothing on LWs part and totally something going on with the friend.

    STARMOON44eileenrobshort+sassycharlotte989875
  • Maybe instead of writing this person an emotionally charged, needy email, try saying: "I am so sorry to hear about your divorce. I can't even imagine how hard it must be to juggle all that you're juggling right now. If there's anything I can do to help you, please let me know. I'm happy to pick up the kids, run errands, or just drop of dinner some night." 

    In times of huge life events and stress, NOBODY needs some needy-McNeedster tugging at their pants. We need low-maintenance friendships that are helpful. 
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    STARMOON44eileenrobbaconsmomsparklepants41
  • Maybe instead of writing this person an emotionally charged, needy email, try saying: "I am so sorry to hear about your divorce. I can't even imagine how hard it must be to juggle all that you're juggling right now. If there's anything I can do to help you, please let me know. I'm happy to pick up the kids, run errands, or just drop of dinner some night." 

    In times of huge life events and stress, NOBODY needs some needy-McNeedster tugging at their pants. We need low-maintenance friendships that are helpful. 
    This is so true. Just let people be. You were summer friends, that’s great. She’s busy in fall. Okay. That doesn’t need to be a personal affront to you. 
  • How does LW know for certain that the ghosting friend still responds the same to their mutual friends?  Sounds like the friend has a lot going on right now.

    This particular scenario is tricky considering they share a close-knit group of friends and still see each other.  An ideal ghosting would involve not seeing each other in addition to not communicating virtually.  
  • I have a few friends who I'm close with sometimes, then lives get in the way and we lose touch.
    Unintentionally we ghost each other.

    Two friends I know are somewhat going through stuff. I often text them saying I'm thinking of them and if they need to chat - about their stuff or whatever - I'm here.
    Sometimes that's all people need to hear. Sometimes I get a text back, sometimes I don't. I never expect to but it's great when I do.
    short+sassy
  • This was a new friendship, and the other person now is going through a divorce and has 2 middle-schoolers? 

    Yeah, this is definitely not about you, LW. I get stressed and I have trouble talking to my boyfriend about it, let alone some new acquaintance I made in a hobby group. Either empathize up, or stop bothering her. 
    image
    MissKittyDanger
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