Reader Mail: Ambiguous Relationships
I’ve been meaning to start some kind of “Hoboken Relationship Advisor” section, but the person I though was going to take it over has been quite busy. So I’ll just post today’s letter as a “reader mail” segment until I can get this section up to speed.
Today, we have a Hoboken411 reader who is a bit distraught over the changes in a close friendship she thought she had with a male friend of hers. Is she getting paranoid and over-reacting? Is this just a “way of life?” Or do you know someone who’s just your friend when they’re single?
Why do friendships fade?
I have a slight relationship issue that I might think your readers could chime in on. I’m thick-skinned, so I can handle anything they dish out. But I’d like to know what everyone else thinks.
The situation: I met a guy in Hoboken last year and we sort of hooked up, but not really (didn’t take it to the next level). Made out, started dating, but never really clicked. However, in the process, I think we were on the road to becoming something stronger: Really close friends, and maybe more in the future. But it wasn’t the right time for either one of us. He was coming off a serious relationship conundrum, and I was just plainly overwhelmed with my new financial career.
We went through our ups and downs, but for some reason always maintained a good friendship. Even if the interaction wasn’t always perfect, we were always there for one another. Always answered the phone. Always cared. It seemed as if we were just two caring people. It was a nice security blanket to have. Someone you could trust, tell anything to and so on. I thought we became best friends.
But in the last three weeks, something has taken a turn for the worse. All of a sudden, he’s been dating some girl that he met at some party or bar. While I thought we were still friends, he never took the time to introduce me to her. She even came to a party I was invited to, and everyone knew who she was, but he didn’t take the time or have the courtesy to clue me in on it. It was an uncomfortable situation, and made me feel left out. He still denies he did anything wrong.
That situation bothered me, because we had become really close. Not from a romantic point of view, but more of a special friend viewpoint. We shared things with each other that none of use normally cared to disclose… except to close, long-time friends. I thought we were on the road to becoming permanent lifelong friends.
Now, at the drop of a dime, he’s not available anymore. We no longer speak, don’t share any tidbits of our lives, and have become distant. I approached him yesterday, and I had to twist his arm to get him to even acknowledge he was dating this girl. No, I’m not jealous. I just feel shut out. Aren’t friends supposed to share? I thought this was someone who was my friend, and they’re keeping secrets from me? I have no idea if he’s nervous to make me angry/jealous or not, but I swear I don’t care. Because we just didn’t have the chemistry to be like that at the moment. But being shut out by a person you cared out about is almost worse than anything else. It’s a broken kind of trust, that re-shapes the relationship in a big way… an almost irreversible way.
I’ve seen this happen in many instances, where one person was never up-front about themselves, and ruined many friendships in the process.
Are friendships no longer worth anything? Are fly-by-night flings worth destroying what should have been a long-term bond?
I’d personally suggest “time” as a way to heal any difference you might have, but I can understand the frustration of “not being in the know.” Not being upfront with those you care about is a douche-baggy thing to do, and frankly can make you think twice about who you choose to befriend. Communication is the number one key in any and all relationships: Business, friendship, romantic engagements and beyond.
Part of the problem might be the fact he might have cared about you, wanted to be with you, but was unable to express it. And because of that, might feel uncomfortable himself with his new fling. However, if he valued the friendship as you surmised, it doesn’t sound like he’s handling it in a very mature way. Better to show your hand and having nothing to hide behind, than to be called on it later.
But regardless what has caused this distance, once you stop communicating, I feel the house of cards can fall and become hard to put back the way it was.
Good luck anyway!!