Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
I’m trying to figure out what to do about a friend. We used to be very
close. Actually very, very close. We were in an intimate relationship for
several years. Then her life got more complicated. She got back
together with her ex; they started a new business; and one of their
kids developed a medical issue. Because I knew the affair was just
that, a short-run experience, I was exceptionally supportive during the
trauma and rebuilding period.
I helped with medical expenses and invested in their business,
just like a good friend and quasi-family member would do.
But now I feel like I’ve been marginalized, as in off their grid.
Twice we’ve made plans, and twice she has blown me off.
The first time she left me sitting in a restaurant for an hour waiting,
and the second time apologizing an hour before we were supposed to
get together saying “Something came up…..” via text. How much slack
does one cut a friend? I’ve always valued this relationship but I don’t
think she does anymore. That’s certainly how it feels on this end.
On the Edge
Dear On the Edge:
There’s only one person that can answer the question of how
important you are to her. That’s her. And there’s only one person who
can decide if her answer (assuming you can get one) is sufficient to
sustain a friendship, and that’s you. You’re describing a world in which
virtually everyone but your friend, her ex, their family, and the
business might feel like an “extra.” And the chances she would actually
say, I’m sorry, my life is too full for you are slim. You’ll have to
measure her affection by her behavior not her words.
There’s a simple way to test the hypothesis that you’ve slipped
sufficiently down the ladder of priorities to not be noticed. You
probably won’t like it, but here goes: back off. No emails, texts, phone
calls, plans made or hoped for. Tell her you know she’s busy and to
please signal when she wants to connect. Then go on with your life.
Don’t be needy and don’t be anxious. Expect nothing and you may be
pleasantly surprised. But the guts of my advice: move on and stop
hoping. This candle’s wick has burned down to the nub.