Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What Do I Do With a Flaky Friend (Who I Also Love)

<Note:  I've saved this post to write out when I'm in a good mood so it doesn't come across as whiny or complainy. Lately I hate drama more than usual so I don't want to be the cause of it, and I don't want to be high-maintenance either. So it's a serious post, but not in the "woe is me" kind of way.>

So I have this friend. We've known each other for about 2 1/2 years, I think...or is it longer than that? Honest disclosure: I was in love with him for awhile but the feelings weren't reciprocated.  It caused me alot of pain but I decided his friendship was worth it, so like a masochist I decided to maintain the friendship. I value my friendships alot, and will usually do everything I can to keep them. I don't usually let myself just "drift away" for no reason.

I still love this friend alot. Not in a romantic way anymore; I've turned it into more of a best friend/brother type of love. He has a boyfriend now and they seem very happy together, so I don't harbor any secret hopes of him falling for me.  I'm human though, so I do get a bit jealous sometimes...I wish it was me he was spending time with, or going on road trips with, or introducing to his family (even just as a friend). 

So, to get to the point, he's pretty flaky lately. Yeah, he's busy, yeah he has a boyfriend, but he cancels plans with me, he doesn't talk to me unless I talk to him first, etc. And since I love him like a brother, it hurts.  I've grieved and moved on from the loss of a possible relationship with him, so that doesn't hurt anymore.  What does hurt, though, is that I feel like we're not that close anymore.  We've drifted apart. I suppose that's natural, since he has a boyfriend and that relationship is usually more important than a friendship. But since I see him as a brother I still want to be part of his life, know what he's feeling, know what he's doing. Maybe I expect too much, though. There are pretty big signs that he doesn't see me as his brother the way I see him.  E.g. cancelling lunch plans on Christmas Eve when I was going to give him his gift (I still haven't seen him to give it to him). Not rescheduling the plans. Not telling me about his birthday or a trip he went on (I learned about it from Facebook).  Maybe these are petty things that shouldn't bother me. But it would never cross my mind to NOT let my best friends know that I'm going on a trip, or to wish them Happy Christmas, or make them a part of my birthday. Since my friend isn't doing that, it makes me realize I'm really not a part of his life anymore.

So what to do? I've started putting distance between him and me. I don't text him that much anymore, and I haven't invited him to hang out for awhile (even though I've wanted to).  I've stopped sharing things with him that I would usually tell a best friend, and I'm (trying) to make him into a "regular" friend...a friend that I catch up with every once in a while but don't see or talk to regularly.  Doing this won't get me what I want though...I want my best friend back (without me having to make all the effort).  But I don't control his feelings, and the only thing I can control is how I act toward him.  Do I keep being the longsuffering, ever-supportive friend who is there no matter what? Even though it hurts? Or do I do what people tell me is best for me in the long run...let him go, and find someone that can be a better friend? Honestly, I'm starting to give hurts less, and I'm just too tired to try to save it. 

But I love him and I'll miss him.

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