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  • The slow fade is not working. Have you ever broken up with a friend?

    I've had a friend, Kendra, for about two years now. We are both in our mid 20's. I feel as though I'm at the point where I need to end the friendship, but I do feel quite guilty and worried to hurt her feelings. I'm not sure what to do and am hoping for some advice and fresh perspectives.

    So for the full story,

    Kendra and I became fast friends when we met a couple of years ago. We had a few things in common and just kind of dove into the friendship. We were definitely both looking for a new, solid friend in our lives and we each started to fill that role for one another. It was fun for a while. Mostly, we would drink together -- share a couple of plates of food, get a little boozy, and end up sharing a lot of personal stories about our lives and families. She would talk a lot about whatever guy she was dating that particular month. The conversations definitely got very intimate. I've told her things I've never told anyone else. But it was always fueled by alcohol. That's been the typical interaction between the two of us. We started doing that at least once every two weeks. Sometimes once a week. It started to feel like an unhealthy cycle for me. I'm not much of a drinker myself, and I feel like a better and happier person when I don't drink. But I would drink whenever I was around her and it started feeling like a shallow, unfulfilling friendship... especially since I'm very into healthy eating and fitness.

    So I decided to cut alcohol from my life for a while. She was totally cool with that and more than willing to spend time together without drinks being involved. So we did that. But our time together was totally different. From my end, it felt so awkward. I tried hard to make conversations work, but frankly, the time with her when we were sober was downright dull. That's a problem I've never had with anyone else before. I felt like I had been on an awful first date with someone who couldn't carry a conversation. I realized the intimate conversations we had had we solely the product of cocktails. That was kind of the beginning of the end for me. Kendra is a very sweet girl (really just a very kind person who's not out to hurt anyone), but intellectual compatibility in a friendship is more important than anything for me. I'm someone who is VERY introverted and a bit of a loner, so when I give up my solitude to devote time to someone it's critical to feel the like the interaction is adding value to my life. I was realizing that time with her was distracting from other acts of self-betterment that I'd rather be devoting time to, like my health or my creative pursuits.

    I didn't give up there. Maybe it had just been an off day. But I've seen her plenty of times since then, mostly with at least a bit of drinking involved. It's the same thing every time. She goes on and on about whichever guy she's currently dating. And she's that type who falls in love with someone new every other week with whoever will give her attention. I can't stand it. She puts me into this big sister/therapist role about what move she should make next. She tends to take my advice as gospel and I find it offputting... kind of like her personality lacks a certain level of autonomy. It's all very high school. I'm not used to interacting with someone who focuses so much of their energy on finding a boyfriend and I'm bored as hell with it, frankly. I try to ask her about her work... all she wants to do is talk about a guy. She's a tad obsessive about social media and tends to use it in ways solely to get attention from guys. In so many ways, I've realized we have different values and priorities in life.

    I've begun doing a slow fade. I text her less. I never text her first anymore. I never make plans with her. Most recently, we hadn't spoken in two months, but the other day she reached out with a text telling me how much she misses me, how she's been thinking about me, how much she has to tell me (that means boy news), and how we should get together soon. I waited a while to text back. I was cordial, but a bit cold, thinking she might take the hint. I told her I was busy for the next week, but that we could maybe make plans for sometime after that. I was trying to avoid everything. I was vague. I didn't tell her I missed her too. I didn't tell her I've been thinking about her too. But then she texted again saying how she can't wait to catch up.

    I really do feel so guilty. I wish only the best for Kendra, of course, but I simply don't enjoy spending time with her anymore. I can't keep forcing myself to have a relationship with someone I don't want a relationship with. As awful as it sounds, I dread hearing from her. She's not catching on to the slow fade and I feel like a breakup would come out of nowhere for her. It's a little terrifying to admit I need to go through with it. I've never had to do this before.

    Has anyone else had to breakup with a friend? How did you do it? How did it go? How in the world did you build the nerve to do it? What do you think about my situation? I think it's normal for me to feel guilty, but I also feel like it's fair to me to feel I need to do what is best for my own life.

    Thank you in advance for any advice and help.

    CCB


  • #2
    You seem to have an extraordinarily lot of time and energy on your hands. End all contact completely and stop wasting your energy and time on a friendship that's meaningless and mindless. Your situation is self-made and self-perpetuating and I think deep down you just want to be liked by everyone and are afraid of making others upset with you. It's not normal to feel guilty. I wouldn't make too much of your "introverted" personality. When you get older you'll realize that there is a time and place for everything: alone time and having to be about with other people. It's about being a responsible adult. You're just annoyed with someone who isn't similar to you. Find other people who are similar in tastes and interests and you'll find yourself overflowing and brimming with joy.

    Comment


    • #3

      I could've written this because you were me a few years ago. I felt guilty, too but you'll get over it as did I. Don't do a slow fade. Do an instant disappearing act. Yes, I've broken up with a friend. One day, I stopped all forms of contact, period. No ands, ifs or buts about it. How did I build up the nerve to do it? I just did it and didn't think too hard about it. The clincher was telling myself, "I'm going to respect myself, become kinder to myself, know who I am, I'm focused on health and fitness and I will surround myself with normal people for the rest of my life. Also, I'm going to live my life my way." Normal meaning, surrounding myself people who are similar to me because this is my comfort zone. Or, even better than me because I want to emulate people whom I strongly admire and respect as honorable people.

      What do I think about your situation? I think you're going to work up the courage and not do a slow fade anymore but do an instant stop. Consider your friend as a future distant memory one day, soon, I hope. Yes, it's normal to feel guilty but over time, you will have time to think what is best for you for your mental health and physical well-being.

      Keep in mind, for the rest of your life, people will waft in and out of your life. During your lifetime, you will encounter all sorts of characters and it's your job to weed out the bad apples. It's better to whittle down the number of your friends to the very best few. Quality over quantity. I know many acquaintances but I only have a few best friends and I shall keep it this way.

      It is normal to feel guilty because not everyone will feel indifferent. Guilt comes from feeling sorry for the other person and it's actually good to have empathy. However, you really need to think if feeling guilty is justified when you do yourself a great disservice associating with a person whom you're no longer comfortable nor happy with. You can't always force yourself to associate with someone if they're "too off" or simply not your cup of tea.

      Relationships evolve. First it starts out innocent, then you get to know the friend better, you see warts and all and if it's really bad, the friendship is no longer enjoyable. It becomes taxing and simply too much work to sustain in a negative way. I was involved in a friendship where I needed to be the hero, always felt the need to help her, I became her therapist, I felt sorry for her and guilty for not doing more. She wore me out and eventually deceived, lied and betrayed me. I had to cut her loose. At first, I felt guilty and it was my mother who gave me moral support and told me I did the right thing. Actually, it was my mother who saved me because she is the one who had the foresight and gave me the heads-up. She is the one who forewarned me to cut this friend loose as in yesterday! I'm forever in her debt. She saved my hide. It's because of her that I'm content and relieved today. My mother is the smartest woman I had ever known. She told me to be wary of shady characters and thankfully, I heeded her wise advice.

      It takes a long time to heal from a break up but once you grow accustomed to it, you'll feel RELIEVED to feel free at last. It's nice to have friends but friends require time and they're too much work. Fortunately, I only see my friends once a month which is plenty. We meet for lunch, catch up and then depart. It's just right.

      I was like you once. I was such a people pleaser. Now not so much. Be absolute. Guilt fades away as your self-confidence and self-worth grows. Your guilt will fade away as you grow accustomed to realizing this friend was a burden to you. Guilt fades away once you see clarity and use common sense. It is a wake up call as you learn which relationships are healthy and good and which friendships or relationships are dysfunctional and toxic. You'll have time to think longer and when it all makes sense, one day, guilt will vanish into thin air. This is what happened to me. You grow as a person and you mature as you do what is best for you and your life.

      "If you bungle raising your children, whatever else you do well in life doesn't matter very much."

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by chanelle View Post
        I could've written this because you were me a few years ago. I felt guilty, too but you'll get over it as did I. Don't do a slow fade. Do an instant disappearing act. Yes, I've broken up with a friend. One day, I stopped all forms of contact, period. No ands, ifs or buts about it. How did I build up the nerve to do it? I just did it and didn't think too hard about it. The clincher was telling myself, "I'm going to respect myself, become kinder to myself, know who I am, I'm focused on health and fitness and I will surround myself with normal people for the rest of my life. Also, I'm going to live my life my way." Normal meaning, surrounding myself people who are similar to me because this is my comfort zone. Or, even better than me because I want to emulate people whom I strongly admire and respect as honorable people.

        What do I think about your situation? I think you're going to work up the courage and not do a slow fade anymore but do an instant stop. Consider your friend as a future distant memory one day, soon, I hope. Yes, it's normal to feel guilty but over time, you will have time to think what is best for you for your mental health and physical well-being.

        Keep in mind, for the rest of your life, people will waft in and out of your life. During your lifetime, you will encounter all sorts of characters and it's your job to weed out the bad apples. It's better to whittle down the number of your friends to the very best few. Quality over quantity. I know many acquaintances but I only have a few best friends and I shall keep it this way.

        It is normal to feel guilty because not everyone will feel indifferent. Guilt comes from feeling sorry for the other person and it's actually good to have empathy. However, you really need to think if feeling guilty is justified when you do yourself a great disservice associating with a person whom you're no longer comfortable nor happy with. You can't always force yourself to associate with someone if they're "too off" or simply not your cup of tea.

        Relationships evolve. First it starts out innocent, then you get to know the friend better, you see warts and all and if it's really bad, the friendship is no longer enjoyable. It becomes taxing and simply too much work to sustain in a negative way. I was involved in a friendship where I needed to be the hero, always felt the need to help her, I became her therapist, I felt sorry for her and guilty for not doing more. She wore me out and eventually deceived, lied and betrayed me. I had to cut her loose. At first, I felt guilty and it was my mother who gave me moral support and told me I did the right thing. Actually, it was my mother who saved me because she is the one who had the foresight and gave me the heads-up. She is the one who forewarned me to cut this friend loose as in yesterday! I'm forever in her debt. She saved my hide. It's because of her that I'm content and relieved today. My mother is the smartest woman I had ever known. She told me to be wary of shady characters and thankfully, I heeded her wise advice.

        It takes a long time to heal from a break up but once you grow accustomed to it, you'll feel RELIEVED to feel free at last. It's nice to have friends but friends require time and they're too much work. Fortunately, I only see my friends once a month which is plenty. We meet for lunch, catch up and then depart. It's just right.

        I was like you once. I was such a people pleaser. Now not so much. Be absolute. Guilt fades away as your self-confidence and self-worth grows. Your guilt will fade away as you grow accustomed to realizing this friend was a burden to you. Guilt fades away once you see clarity and use common sense. It is a wake up call as you learn which relationships are healthy and good and which friendships or relationships are dysfunctional and toxic. You'll have time to think longer and when it all makes sense, one day, guilt will vanish into thin air. This is what happened to me. You grow as a person and you mature as you do what is best for you and your life.
        Thank you for this thoughtful response, chanelle. I found it helpful and really appreciate it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Rose Mosse View Post
          You seem to have an extraordinarily lot of time and energy on your hands. End all contact completely and stop wasting your energy and time on a friendship that's meaningless and mindless. Your situation is self-made and self-perpetuating and I think deep down you just want to be liked by everyone and are afraid of making others upset with you. It's not normal to feel guilty. I wouldn't make too much of your "introverted" personality. When you get older you'll realize that there is a time and place for everything: alone time and having to be about with other people. It's about being a responsible adult. You're just annoyed with someone who isn't similar to you. Find other people who are similar in tastes and interests and you'll find yourself overflowing and brimming with joy.
          Unsure why you felt the need for such a hostile response. You seem to think you know everything about me. And you couldn't be more wrong. I really don't have a desire to be liked by everyone. I've never been that way. But it is normal to feel guilty when you know you're going to hurt someone who doesn't see it coming and never did anything wrong to you. Otherwise you may be a complete sociopath. I never want to hurt anyone, even though I realize this situation inevitably calls for it. I appreciate the response, but I think your words were irresponsible.

          Comment


          • #6
            Breaking up with someone, whether a friend or lover, is always very difficult. If you're a decent human being, the thought of hurting someone is very painful. I think you've been doing exactly the right thing, that is not contacting first and waiting a while before you respond. With any luck, she'll eventually get the hint that you really don't want to hang out with her.

            But you know, some people don't take the hint. Like compulsive talkers who don't get the uncomfortable body language of their listeners. In cases like those, all of your avoidance tactics may not be sending a message to her. She probably just believes that you're too busy to get together. If that's the case, at some point in the future, you may have to just tell her that you don't feel you have anything in common with her anymore. That would be painful, but final.

            I think the best bet for right now is to continue to put her off and delay seeing her until she comes out and asks you if anything is wrong. Your guilt is totally understandable. And it has nothing to do with wanting to be liked by everyone. That's absurd.
            "What lips my lips have kissed and where and why I have forgotten." ~Edna St. Vincent Millay

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by plantbasedprize View Post

              Unsure why you felt the need for such a hostile response. You seem to think you know everything about me. And you couldn't be more wrong. I really don't have a desire to be liked by everyone. I've never been that way. But it is normal to feel guilty when you know you're going to hurt someone who doesn't see it coming and never did anything wrong to you. Otherwise you may be a complete sociopath. I never want to hurt anyone, even though I realize this situation inevitably calls for it. I appreciate the response, but I think your words were irresponsible.
              I'm not the one with the problem. I think you're creating problems where there aren't any and drawing out a situation that doesn't need to be drawn out. Being clear about where you stand and having the courage to do that is not sociopathic. It's actually the more mature thing to do instead of wallowing in whatever you've created for yourself and staying stuck in the same position for so long. Kendra is NOT your romantic girlfriend. In fact she's a person you claimed to have dove into a friendship with and with whom you apparently have nothing in common with over time. People outgrow each other. That is normal. Imho, if this is "painful" for you, you're setting yourself up for one unnecessarily pain in the butt life.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by SarahLancaster View Post
                Breaking up with someone, whether a friend or lover, is always very difficult. If you're a decent human being, the thought of hurting someone is very painful. I think you've been doing exactly the right thing, that is not contacting first and waiting a while before you respond. With any luck, she'll eventually get the hint that you really don't want to hang out with her.

                But you know, some people don't take the hint. Like compulsive talkers who don't get the uncomfortable body language of their listeners. In cases like those, all of your avoidance tactics may not be sending a message to her. She probably just believes that you're too busy to get together. If that's the case, at some point in the future, you may have to just tell her that you don't feel you have anything in common with her anymore. That would be painful, but final.

                I think the best bet for right now is to continue to put her off and delay seeing her until she comes out and asks you if anything is wrong. Your guilt is totally understandable. And it has nothing to do with wanting to be liked by everyone. That's absurd.
                Thank you for this! The thought of hurting someone is painful (as it should be for human beings who possess a healthy amount of empathy) and it's the primary reason I'm having the issue of feeling stuck in my situation. Deep down I've known for a while that I have to end it in one way or another, so I came here for advice. Unfortunately one bad seed wants to attack my character because of it, but that person doesn't deserve any more attention. Thank you so much for the advice, though. I agree with the sentiments. If the hint is not take by her soon, I'll make the decision to have the difficult conversation to end things conclusively. I really appreciate your input.

                Comment


                • #9
                  As time goes on the 'friendship' will more likely then not just fade away. Its what happens in all relationships that are not being nurtured as a rule so see what news she has for you and then continue on letting her do all the work. Eventually she will get bored with always being the one to initiate and she will do the fade back. It's inevitable.
                  "First off, welcome to the Relationship Forums, You'll come to understand that I don't pull any punches when giving my opinion/advice and I hope you're not so sensitive to what I see as the truth of the matter." Me!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I hope this helps you:
                    Take the time to have quiet time for yourself. Remove yourself from all electronics at least temporarily so you can think for hours or days. I'm not saying to disconnect yourself electronically. I'm saying take breaks so you can think long and hard about your friendship with Kendra. When you think long and hard and make the time to contemplate your friendship with her, you are able to think with great clarity and what makes sense for you and your peace of mind. It's a matter of convincing yourself that what you're doing makes sense. It's better to be alone or surround yourself with people who are similar to you or people whom you truly admire and respect as honorable and good. If you can throw in there a healthy lifestyle, no foul language and core goodness, those types of people are worth associating with to be sure.

                    Regarding Kendra, she drags you down which is unhealthy for you mentally and drinking is something you prefer not to do as you focus on your health. It's also unhealthy for you mentally to be with someone who is a "Debbie Downer" for you.

                    As mentioned previously, in some ways feeling guilty is good because this signals that you have a conscience and empathy. What is alarming is when someone feels indifferent and cold because they can discard people in their life so easily and casually. That to me is scary and cruel. I've known people like this in my past. They use people and when they're done with them or there is no need for them, they simply throw people away like yesterday's trash. I had never even received a slow fade. I had the shades pulled down and I was thrown to the street. That's what it felt like.

                    For you, Kendra should be able to take a hint regarding your past slow fade and if she's not intelligent enough to get the message, then by this time, ceasing all contact and never looking back is the next step. She'll get over it and you will, too as both of you go your separate ways. People outgrow friendships. It is exciting at first and then when you discover a certain friend is not for you, it is time to move on. Most importantly, it's extremely important to associate with good people without unhealthy lifestyles and even better without a lot of baggage. It's not mentally healthy to become someone's therapist 24/7.

                    What helps are healthy distractions for you such as focusing on your physical health. There is something to be said regarding the sound body sound mind connection!

                    As your self-confidence, self-worth and self-esteem grows, you separate yourself from friends or relationships which are abnormal. In my past, I so wanted to be my friend's hero and it only lasts so long. It's hard to see it now but when you look back, you'll think in your brain how abnormal some friendships are. You need to cut those abnormal friends out of your life in order for you to have a sound, relieved mind and so you can think straight, and concentrate on your great life. This new way of thinking signals strength and your becoming a stronger person. When you're a strong person, you like yourself so much better. As days, weeks and months pass by, your guilt about leaving her will fade away. Before you know it, she'll become nothing but a blur to you. For me, been there done that and you, too!
                    "If you bungle raising your children, whatever else you do well in life doesn't matter very much."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by chanelle View Post
                      I hope this helps you:
                      Take the time to have quiet time for yourself. Remove yourself from all electronics at least temporarily so you can think for hours or days. I'm not saying to disconnect yourself electronically. I'm saying take breaks so you can think long and hard about your friendship with Kendra. When you think long and hard and make the time to contemplate your friendship with her, you are able to think with great clarity and what makes sense for you and your peace of mind. It's a matter of convincing yourself that what you're doing makes sense. It's better to be alone or surround yourself with people who are similar to you or people whom you truly admire and respect as honorable and good. If you can throw in there a healthy lifestyle, no foul language and core goodness, those types of people are worth associating with to be sure.

                      Regarding Kendra, she drags you down which is unhealthy for you mentally and drinking is something you prefer not to do as you focus on your health. It's also unhealthy for you mentally to be with someone who is a "Debbie Downer" for you.

                      As mentioned previously, in some ways feeling guilty is good because this signals that you have a conscience and empathy. What is alarming is when someone feels indifferent and cold because they can discard people in their life so easily and casually. That to me is scary and cruel. I've known people like this in my past. They use people and when they're done with them or there is no need for them, they simply throw people away like yesterday's trash. I had never even received a slow fade. I had the shades pulled down and I was thrown to the street. That's what it felt like.

                      For you, Kendra should be able to take a hint regarding your past slow fade and if she's not intelligent enough to get the message, then by this time, ceasing all contact and never looking back is the next step. She'll get over it and you will, too as both of you go your separate ways. People outgrow friendships. It is exciting at first and then when you discover a certain friend is not for you, it is time to move on. Most importantly, it's extremely important to associate with good people without unhealthy lifestyles and even better without a lot of baggage. It's not mentally healthy to become someone's therapist 24/7.

                      What helps are healthy distractions for you such as focusing on your physical health. There is something to be said regarding the sound body sound mind connection!

                      As your self-confidence, self-worth and self-esteem grows, you separate yourself from friends or relationships which are abnormal. In my past, I so wanted to be my friend's hero and it only lasts so long. It's hard to see it now but when you look back, you'll think in your brain how abnormal some friendships are. You need to cut those abnormal friends out of your life in order for you to have a sound, relieved mind and so you can think straight, and concentrate on your great life. This new way of thinking signals strength and your becoming a stronger person. When you're a strong person, you like yourself so much better. As days, weeks and months pass by, your guilt about leaving her will fade away. Before you know it, she'll become nothing but a blur to you. For me, been there done that and you, too!
                      I really appreciate this. Thank you for all the additional suggestions. This is helpful for not just my situation, but life in general. "It's better to be alone or surround yourself with people who are similar to you or people whom you truly admire and respect as honorable and good." I like this advice as it's something I've been thinking about a lot. Not only am I trying to surround myself with people who I truly admire and respect as honorable and good, but also people who inspire me to be a better person. I think that's something I have to keep in mind when I'm finding the courage and compassion to end my friendship, because unfortunately I've come to realize that she'll never been that person for me. Thank you so much for all of your input.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by plantbasedprize View Post

                        I really appreciate this. Thank you for all the additional suggestions. This is helpful for not just my situation, but life in general. "It's better to be alone or surround yourself with people who are similar to you or people whom you truly admire and respect as honorable and good." I like this advice as it's something I've been thinking about a lot. Not only am I trying to surround myself with people who I truly admire and respect as honorable and good, but also people who inspire me to be a better person. I think that's something I have to keep in mind when I'm finding the courage and compassion to end my friendship, because unfortunately I've come to realize that she'll never been that person for me. Thank you so much for all of your input.
                        Thank you for your kind words, plantbasedprize. You're young and someday, you can say you've been around the block a few times and developed street smarts. It is true about getting yourself out of the muck (meaning remove yourself from an unclassy crowd) and be with those who are truly honorable, moral, classy, respectable and worth admiring. Those types of people become a mentally healthy influence on you, you'll grow accustomed to being treated with respect and you'll want to emulate them because they're worth emulating. You'll grow accustomed to this new preference of being with people who know how to behave properly.

                        I had rough beginnings with many people acting like animals around me and it took me a long time to get out of it and associate with a new crowd. I'm married and married a good guy. I've since become extremely picky with who is in my current world and you'll become this way, too. It will become your new comfort zone. It pays to be very picky and choosy. The better the people are in your life, the less stress you will experience. Better people lift you up. Bad people drag you down, down, down.

                        You have a good heart because you're trying to be gentle in the way you end your friendship. You have compassion and your empathy is a priceless virtue to have. At the same time, you have your newfound wisdom of discovering and realizing Kendra and certain people are not mentally and physically healthy for your life and personal well-being. There are times when you release a friend or person (in a relationship / friendship) from your life, you're doing yourself a favor because it means you respect yourself. Releasing or ceasing friendships also gives the other person (Kendra in this case) a chance to develop new friendships with those whom she has in common with.

                        Severing ties is your way of enforcing boundaries for yourself. It makes you smarter and wiser. It starts with eliminating certain people from your life and gradually allowing those who pass muster to enter your life. Make sure new people in your life are up to snuff. Always have your radar up. If something doesn't add up, it doesn't ring true or if they're off or abnormal, listen to your instincts because it is there for a reason. Being an intuitive and perceptive person will help you guide and navigate your life and the people in it or not in it.

                        Birds of a feather flock together. Or, be evenly yoked. These idioms pertain to your daily life. Putting those idioms into practice will make you grow as a person and make you content. Also, your common sense and intelligence guides you towards making sound, sensible decisions especially with those whom you associate with or do not wish to associate with.

                        I was once sweet and innocent. I've come to realize that it doesn't pay to be naive. Over time, you too will learn this and it signals your growing up, maturing and making wise decisions.
                        "If you bungle raising your children, whatever else you do well in life doesn't matter very much."

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