The New York Times' Sunday Styles section recently ran an article. "It's Not Me, It's You" about ending friendships. I've been brooding about the article's contents ever since.
One woman interviewed revealed that she ended a friendship by using the "bad boyfriend approach." That is, she stopped calling her pal and spurned the pal's overtures. Eventually, the scorned friend took the hint.
According to the approach described above, I'm a bad boyfriend--although I'm not a boy and haven't dated since I fell in love with Hubs decades ago. Can't a person be absorbed in work, family, and the weeds choking her roses without being seen as a hater?
I think fond thoughts about buddies all the time. Do I pick up the phone and call them? No. Text them? Rarely. E-mail them? Once in a while.
I'm busy, absent-minded, and unconvinced anyone's happiness and well-being depend on hearing from me. I may intend to write a catch-up email, but the cat throws up. I plan to pen a newsy letter, but it's my turn to blog. I HAVE NOT CUT ANYONE FROM MY FRIEND LIST.
You, on the other hand, may have cut me. If so, I am totally, pathetically unaware.
Perhaps you've broken up with me and are taken aback when I bound up to you at a conference or neighborhood gathering like the most affectionate puppy in the litter. I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING'S CHANGED, YOU SEE. FRIENDS THEN; FRIENDS NOW.
If you want to break up, you'll have to put it in writing or tell me to my face.
But is a breakup really necessary? I mean, given my ability to maintain fond feelings in the absence of all communication?
Presumably, you want a friend to hang with on a weekly basis, and my hanging time seems limited to a hour Tuesday and Wednesday and the occasional Saturday night.
Looking for someone to shop with? Argh. I hate to shop.
Someone to whine to? Uh oh. I'm a recovering problem-solver. A friend (I think) likes to vent, and I used to exhaust myself offering suggestions and advice before I realized she just wanted someone to listen. Once in a while, I catch myself formulating a solution to her problem but keep my mouth zipped. Usually. Frequently. When I remember.
I want to break up with myself, too.