Yesterday was fantastic. You were smart. You were funny. You gave great advice. You didn’t get me fired. Well done. You all deserve grilled cheese sandwiches.
Today we have a euphemism-free Love Letter about platonic love and Paris. Help decide whether this reader should break up with her friends.
Q: This is a question about female friendship. My two best friends and I have been close for around 7 years. We have been through thick and thin, through breakups and new relationships with guys, through good and bad, we have always supported one another. When I finally graduated from nursing school, they offered to take me to Paris for a week to celebrate, but money never quite panned out so we did not do that, and had a small party instead. That was around two years ago. Now one of them is going with the other, because a friend has a free place to house two people for one week at no cost.
I am very upset because they did not tell me that they were going to France until this week, a few days before they leave, though they planned it a month ago when the apartment opened up. I am so hurt and feel rejected; I angrily told them both off in very unkind words. Both of my friends think I am overreacting and cannot understand why I am so hurt, since the place only houses two. But I said I gladly would have paid for a ticket and stayed nearby on my own, had they only invited me. I am thinking of calling it quits with both friends, as I feel so deeply rejected. At the same time, these are my two closest friends, and I hate to lose them over this.
What do you think? Am I overreacting?
-- Hurting, Boston
A: Hurting, I understand why you’re having a tough time with this, but it’s important to understand that all friendships change. They grow and shrink depending on the needs of the moment, and sometimes “best friendship” is more about history than frequency of social visits or trips to Paris.
My gut tells me that these women care about you -- but it's clear that they planned this trip as a pair. Perhaps you don’t see them as often as you used to. Perhaps they are in romantic relationships and you’re not, or you are and they’re not, or they have kids and you don’t, or they travel better as a twosome than they do with you. I don’t know the details, but for whatever reason, something has changed. They chose to break up your friend triangle for this vacation.
I think it’s worth telling them (calmly, please) that you’re concerned that you’ve done something to push them away. If you’ve been depressed or difficult to be around, you’d want to be accountable for that, right? The fact that you told them off -- in “unkind words” -- makes me wonder if you’ve changed your demeanor over the years. Listen to what they have to say. If they continue to tell you that you’re overreacting, all you can do is believe them.
It stinks to be left out, but it’s not the end of the world. It certainly doesn’t mean you have to drop these women from your life. Good friends – even the ones who don’t invite you to Paris – are hard to come by. As long as they’re still taking your calls, listening to your problems, and asking for your support and love, they’re still your friends.
Readers? Am I right? Should Hurting forgive and forget Paris? Or should she drop these pals from her life? Share your thoughts here. Read yesterday's lactose-packed letter here. Submit a letter to the right.