When a Friendship Ends With No Closure
I dated a guy off and on from 2007-2010. It didn't work out due to long-distance issues and other incompatabilities, but we remained best friends after the breakup and kept in pretty much constant contact throughout the years.
Last spring he started dating another man 10 years our junior and said nothing of it to me for at least three months. I was hurt he was so secretive about it and even more hurt he accused me of jealousy when I asked him about the new boyfriend after finding out through a Facebook update that he existed. My ex has also since surrounded himself with new, college-aged friends (he and I are early 30s and the new piece is 21) and told me "I don't really have time for anyone else".
I reached out to him a couple times in the past year, telling him I missed him and our friendship, but that I didn't want to get in the way of his new life. He said he missed me too but wasn't really spending time with anyone except the boyfriend and his new buddies.
I've since left him alone, enjoyed my time with other friends, amd even cultivated a close relationship with someone I would never have met if I hadn't gotten out there and moved on. I feel like I'm doing everything right, but I still miss him terribly. This is far worse than a breakup in a lot of ways.
If you've been through this, what helps? Any advice is appreciated.
|by Anonymous||reply 54||03/17/2013|
It's painful, but move on, OP.
Clearly this guy thinks the fact that you have a romantic past is a threat to his new relationship - the fact that he admitted he misses your friendship but has decided to hang out exclusively with his friends suggests this. Either that or he doesn't want to be reminded of the age gap between him and his new lover by having friends his age around. Whatever, you don't need "friends" like him.
Also, his new bf could be something of a Clingy Minnie, a lot of very young people are like that.
That said, are you sure you aren't a little jealous? The fact that you described his partner as "the new piece" made me wonder.
I have recently had a long-term friend turn his back on me with no explanation so I know how it feels. In my case, I'm the one who started a new relationship and my friend immediately backed off completely, stopped responding to myh texts and invitations and started telling others I have no time for him now I have a bf. I am completely and utterly perplexed.
|by Anonymous||reply 1||03/12/2013|
If traditional closures like zippers or snaps don't seem right, try Velcro.
|by Anonymous||reply 2||03/12/2013|
R1, I don't think I'm jealous in the "I want him back" sense, just that someone who seems so insipid could infatuate him so much. It's irritating.
R2, from all the emotional eating I've done over this, I might need to bypass Velcro and head straight to caftans. Blech.
|by Anonymous||reply 3||03/12/2013|
Seriously OP, if he is cutting off friends for someone who is "insipid" then you are well rid!
And stop the emotional eating, he isn't worth it.
|by Anonymous||reply 4||03/12/2013|
Thanks, R1. It's good advice. :)
Let me juuust finish this frappucino and I'll get back on the wagon.
|by Anonymous||reply 5||03/12/2013|
I had a work friend who cut me off because we made plans to move out of state.
Stupid reason, but I do wish her well.
|by Anonymous||reply 6||03/12/2013|
First "new piece",then "insipid". You've cracked the case Miss Marple.
It's VERY easy to see why the "new piece" would not want you around. If you were dating a new guy would you want his ex around? Especially if you heard he thought you were insipid!?
|by Anonymous||reply 7||03/12/2013|
R7, we live in different parts of the country so I'm not around. And I promise, I would never openly say he was insipid; I was catty here because I try hard not to be catty in real life.
I know it's hard to believe there's not jealousy at play, but I assure you there isn't. He was a shit boyfriend, but an excellent best friend, and one of the best things we ever did was work out a system for letting the other know when they were on a date or with a boyfriend, so we wouldn't overtext or call and threaten the other person. We had good boundaries and we supported each other, even if we didn't like the new person.
It's just a shock he hid this person from me and closed off so quickly. I'll get over it soon enough--just had a bad night of sleep last night and got sad.
Keep sleuthin', Miss Lady.
|by Anonymous||reply 8||03/12/2013|
I have a slightly different problem. My BF of 10 years, has told me he wants to 'transition' out of our relationship, into great friendship. Before I knew it , he had accepted a dinner invitation from a guy at his gym, and has told me he wants to date others. He also wants me to meet someone, and have us all be happy, and compatable, being able to get together for Christmas, and socialize with each other. I knew things were not great for a while, but the fact he can just tie our relationship up so nicely, put a bow on it , and move on, has left me shocked. And no, he's not a flighty, or capricious person. Were both successful, economically OK, and compatible. Suddenly, he's like an anxious horse, dying to get out the gate, and run wild. Huh ?
|by Anonymous||reply 9||03/12/2013|
Something similar happened to me with a striaght friend.
At this point the only contact I have with him is I'm "friends" with him on Facebook. No email, no phone, no address, no nothing else. And he never posts on there don't get any real updates.
This was the guy I wanted as my "best man" at any gay-wedding I ever might have had (never became an issue for me).
I'm thinking about finally just unfriending and letting go. It's been so many years since I've seen him, and even years since we've interacted in any meaningful way.
|by Anonymous||reply 10||03/12/2013|
Yet queens here constantly are babbling on about unnecessary lesbian drama.
|by Anonymous||reply 11||03/12/2013|
OP, this is a process that you'll get through when you get through it.
Maybe write a letter to him telling him how you feel - get it ALL out and then, most importantly, DON'T SEND THE LETTER!
If he doesn't want you then he's not worth your time.
I know it's easy for everyone else to say that but we've all been there.
|by Anonymous||reply 12||03/12/2013|
You sound like a nice and decent guy OP. Your ex, on the other hand, sounds selfish and manipulative and in the way he has shut down your relationship. This notion that friends are assets to be prioritised, managed and eventually despatched is, I'm afraid, one of the least attractive aspects of modern society, especially in the US and especially in the gay community.
Love's not love that alters when it alteration finds or bends with the remover to remove. It is an ever-fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken.
|by Anonymous||reply 13||03/12/2013|
[OP], sorry. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings. I shouldn't have ass u me d you lived in the same city. [R9], what your partner is doing is cruel. Dating while you're still with someone is bizarre. Also the whole happy family,holiday get togethers thing is immature and naive. FWIW,he strikes me as the kind of guy who'll come running back to you,when it all falls apart with someone new. AND expect you to stroke his ego and make it all better. You don't sound like that kind of person.I wish you the best.good luck.
|by Anonymous||reply 14||03/12/2013|
I hope your Ex is hot.
10 years older at the age of 21 is a lot of years older. Not true at 30 compared to 40, but is true 20 compared to 30.
The youngster is just getting started in life. He will move on.... I promise.
So should you. I have a rule that I never break - I don't ever fuck friends... Once a relationship with an ex is over.. Bye Bye.
Good luck, and go get 'em...
|by Anonymous||reply 15||03/12/2013|
You're friends with your ex? That's the problem right there...
R9's BF is s cunt. You should confront him, R9, and make it ugly.
|by Anonymous||reply 16||03/12/2013|
If you don't live in the same city OP, how do you know the new BF is insipid or that you "didn't like the new person." when he dated other guys.
Have you liked anyone he has dated since you broke up?
|by Anonymous||reply 17||03/12/2013|
I strongly disagree, R9 should end it in a mature manner, NOT be friends, but MOVE ON.
|by Anonymous||reply 18||03/12/2013|
10 years in a relationship, and then he wants R9 to play sweet and friendly for his surprise new gym BF? No way he should move on - if anything calls for the ugly truth and a big scene, it's this scenario.
|by Anonymous||reply 19||03/12/2013|
How do friendships end *with* closure? A mutual amicable discussion about how much the two have come to hate each other and an agreement never to contact each other?
I've never had friendships end any other way than through gradually fading away.
|by Anonymous||reply 20||03/12/2013|
Never mind: I realize now this thread is really more about being-BFFs-with-your-ex, which is a totally different thing from a real friendship.
|by Anonymous||reply 21||03/12/2013|
RE 19 - What do you suggest ? Throwing myself on the floor, and yelling "You fucking son of a bitch, it's not the Brady Bunch. We're not gonna be one big happy fucking family", or, the more subtle, " You ruined a good thing my 'friend'. Enjoy your new life , and remember - I was the best thing that ever happened to you......and you blew it". These are just 2 options I'm considering. Any more ?
|by Anonymous||reply 22||03/12/2013|
We evolve on a daily basis. Every new experience shapes us into a different person than we were before. All of a sudden you realize that you are no longer a match with your spouse or friend since childhood. No relationship can survive the 'You are holding me back!' resentment. Let go and remember the happy times and find your perfect spouse or friend for the moment (maybe this time you evolve in the same direction?).
|by Anonymous||reply 23||03/12/2013|
The latter scenario is better, R22. But you should definitely not accommodate your ex-BF and his new gym squeeze with your feigned happiness.
|by Anonymous||reply 24||03/12/2013|
There's an interesting book, written for hetero couples, but it applies to same-sex ones, called "Uncoupling." The author makes the observation that, in many if not most relationships, by the time the couple talks about breaking up, one of the partners has been planning or at least contemplating it for about six months. Hence, these things may not seem as "out of the blue" to one of the partners as to the one who hasn't been contemplating breaking up.
|by Anonymous||reply 25||03/12/2013|
Agatha, no hurt feelings at all. You had good questions, actually. They helped to clarify the situation better, so thanks!
R9, your boyfriend is a cunt, and I'm so sorry you're in that situation. Hopefully you'll find someone worthy of you soon.
R15, he's not hot, but the new boyfriend is (well, hot in the sense that he stays in shape. The rest appears unremarkable). My ex is blindingly intelligent, fun, and successful but definitely insecure about his looks, so I could see how this would be a nice ego boost.
R17, I've liked two of his boyfriends, and disliked two others. The two I don't like were/are both in their early 20s, which is admittedly probably a prejudice of mine. I haven't yet met the new bf personally, but have seen their interactions on Facebook and it makes me cringe. I guess seeing my formerly extremely witty best friend communicate in LOLspeak and worry about My Little Ponies and Futurama instead of the stuff he used to like grates on me a little. But you have a point: I should meet this person before I write them off completely.
R21 I'm curious by what you meant about BFFs with exes vs. a real friendship. Do you think they're mutually exclusive?
|by Anonymous||reply 26||03/12/2013|
Hey, I'm nearly 50 and LOVE "Futurama", and am quite intelligent. Don't hate on "Futurama"!
|by Anonymous||reply 27||03/12/2013|
[quote] This notion that friends are assets to be prioritised, managed and eventually despatched is, I'm afraid, one of the least attractive aspects of modern society, especially in the US and especially in the gay community.
Worth repeating. It keeps getting worse. I am very grateful for my old friends.
|by Anonymous||reply 28||03/12/2013|
R27, I like it too, just not to the exclusion of everything else in my life.
|by Anonymous||reply 29||03/12/2013|
This thread will make a great Lifetime Movie
|by Anonymous||reply 30||03/12/2013|
OP, is it possible that this is not a healthy relationship for him? Could the new bf be controlling, manipulative, emotionally/physically abusive? Could your friend be abusing drugs or alcohol? Both are valid reasons why friends seem to shut people out.
|by Anonymous||reply 31||03/12/2013|
R23 is ridiculous. Your friends are holding you back? Such rot. Such projection. Such self-dishonesty!
|by Anonymous||reply 32||03/12/2013|
OP, this isn't a "friendship." You're still in love with the guy, and it sounds as if you will remain in love with him until you break off all contact -- I'm glad you live in different cities -- and wait a couple of years.
Get away from this dude. Contact with him is only bringing you down. You sound like an addict, and that's how you should treat it.
|by Anonymous||reply 33||03/12/2013|
r32, yes, friends can hold you back when they don't want you to change.
|by Anonymous||reply 34||03/12/2013|
What's this "closure" bullshit that everyone is on about?
|by Anonymous||reply 35||03/12/2013|
Nah, R33, definitely not in love or addicted (I'm pretty well smitten with my own boyfriend instead).. I do love him in a brotherly way. We kept up with each other's families and he was even going to come down to see my sister's new baby, but then dropped those plans. I've hidden him from my FB feed and haven't contacted him since December, so I'm doing my part to move on. Just would be nice to know what changed so abruptly. I don't want to blame his new relationship if that's not what distanced us.
R31, the relationship seems healthy and happy from what I've seen, which is good. He's had a couple of unstable partners in the past, but they fairly radiated crazy. This guy doesn't.
R35, I think closure evolved when we got penicillin and everyone stopped suddenly dying from dysentery.
|by Anonymous||reply 36||03/12/2013|
OP, GOOD LUCK. Seriously, this has happened to me -not same circumstances but it is difficult. I really liked what r23 had to say - thanks r23!
It is possible you still have deep, unresolved feelings of love towards your ex that are not even apparent to you. That is OK. It is also completely fine to allow yourself a wallow every now and then.
However, try to focus on the now for a bit and look after yourself - cut off the temptation to Facebook stalk and you will feel better, trust me on that.
|by Anonymous||reply 37||03/12/2013|
I typed a letter and used bullet points to end a friendship that was already fading.
|by Anonymous||reply 38||03/12/2013|
I completely agree with R23. Everything they said is spot on.
|by Anonymous||reply 39||03/12/2013|
You sound addicted to that person he's not into you. Damn. Take the rejection like a man get over it!
|by Anonymous||reply 40||03/12/2013|
OP, I used to be like you. What does that mean? It means I was determined to overlook the full picture when it came to certain people.
You seem to think you've lost something wonderful. Maybe the time you spent together with the guy was great, but what you describe is kind of a pathetic asshole.
Listen, I have a friend who got involved with a (psycho) younger guy who has lied to him and stolen from him. And yet, this friend has chosen this guy over all of his long-time friends. Some members of the group have really struggled with the loss. I haven't. The guy is making a really bad decision, and it reflects incredibly poorly on him.
When people like that leave you, they're doing you a favor, opening you up to quality people/relationships. Stop idealizing this douchebag.
I say that with love.
|by Anonymous||reply 41||03/12/2013|
Good post r41, there are some guys that always adopt their new bf's friends and lifestyle. It's their choice, of course, but it is also a great reflection on their personality - or lack of it.
Let it go op.
|by Anonymous||reply 42||03/12/2013|
Thanks to all of you who posted a thoughtful reply. I really appreciate it. It helps to hear what you already know sometimes.
Except R40. You're an asshat.
|by Anonymous||reply 43||03/12/2013|
Move on. It gets easier with time. Why would you want to pursue a friendship with someone who doesn't want you in their life?
|by Anonymous||reply 44||03/12/2013|
If only insecurity made us more attractive to other people...
|by Anonymous||reply 45||03/12/2013|
Almost everyone can relate to OP and/or have had the same thing happened to thing. Who doesn't have a passive-aggressive person in their life? These people are just frustrating.
|by Anonymous||reply 46||03/15/2013|
Get that book, OP. Read it, love it, live it.
It's a great way to learn to let go of people who are toxic, passive aggressive or just aren't caring for your relationship in a healthy way. Friends, family, whoever.
|by Anonymous||reply 47||03/15/2013|
R47 I just downloaded it to my Kindle. Thanks for the recommendation.
|by Anonymous||reply 48||03/15/2013|
Looks like Viorst's book is homophobic Freudian drivel.
|by Anonymous||reply 49||03/15/2013|
It's got some outdated passages, R49, but it was incredibly helpful in helping me to let go of worrying about other people.
|by Anonymous||reply 50||03/15/2013|
Is it possible the ex is afraid of being judged for dating someone so much younger? I have some very opinionated friends. Maybe he does as well? You mention he's only hanging with his boyfriend's friends. I imagine they are close to his boyfriend's age.
|by Anonymous||reply 51||03/15/2013|
When someone at 30 dates someone at 21, there is clearly something that the 30 year old needs or wants that is specific to that young energy. Perhaps your ex feels something missing from his past? Perhaps he came out kind of late? Perhaps he is feeling 'old' for some reason and needs a boost?
It sounds like maybe his energy is really sucked into taking care of, and keeping up with, this younger guy. The fact that this would happen to him really speaks to his maturity at some level...and honestly, 30 isn't really old, and not too old to be exercising giddy school girl antics on FB. Over 40, yeah, that would be sickening (to me at least).
I think there is a bit of jealousy there, not romantic jealousy as other have blamed, but simply feeling abandoned and reacting in a jealous way to the obvious reasons for the abandonment: the new energy of the new guy, plus the ex's tendency to prioritize it to all other ends. I'd bet that you're not the only one feeling shafted by the new relationship.
There is no way for you to just get over it, OP. There is only a way for you to process your feelings and try to live with them, and try to get stronger for it. That's really all you can do.
|by Anonymous||reply 52||03/15/2013|
That's pretty much spot on, R52. Thanks for taking the time to post.
|by Anonymous||reply 53||03/17/2013|
You can't really know a person except by the things that they do.
Take a look at what he has done and decide for yourself what you make of it, hurt feelings aside.
It is natural to hurt when something ends and someone disappoints. In my life, people come and people go. You get used to it. Concentrate on the quality in front of you.
It sounds like you are moving on with your own life. Time will take care of the rest of it.
|by Anonymous||reply 54||03/17/2013|