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Why Do Friendships End | Friends Until the End
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Why Do Friendships End?

January 22, 2012

A few weeks ago I watched an interview with Alexis Stewart and Jennifer Koppelman Hutt from the Today Show. It aired back in October but I had only recently read that their friendship is kaput. These two used to do a radio show together on Sirius and a couple of TV shows – one which was HILARIOUS called “Whatever, Martha” where they would just rip into old Martha Stewart Living segments. Anyway, I don’t know exactly what compelled me to Google the Today Show clip other than that I heard the interview was super icy. And it was – especially when the interviewer asked why the two weren’t friends anymore. Alexis mentioned things like “clinginess” and “revenge” while Jennifer played nice saying that friendships “like marriages end.”

ALEXIS-AND-JENNIFER-TODAY-SHOW

I started thinking about my own friendships – both past and present – and wondered why some were successful and why some were not. Had the unsuccessful ones simply run their course?

I believe that friendships end for a reason. Explaining those reasons is the difficult part and that’s when we start saying things like “irreconcilable differences” or “amicably ended” (wow, it does sound like a divorce).

I’ll be honest with you, I have a very difficult time managing my friendships. Growing up I did best with the one-to-one friendships. I’ve always thought of myself as a very good BFF. In the last several years though, I’ve tried to widen my circle of friends. And while I’d love for these circles to overlap, they don’t. And that’s ok. But, I find myself neglecting certain circles for other ones and over time that becomes problematic. Weeks turn into months and summer has passed and I realize that I haven’t seen or talked to friends I once hung with daily.

Have those friendships run their course? I hope not. In a perfect world, we’d pick up where we left off. And some of my friendships are like that and I love it. And some are not and sadly those are the ones that may be deemed unsuccessful.

Sex-in-the-city

Do you think friendships end for a reason? Do you have friendships failures like Jennifer and Alexis or do you have a group of gal pals like the girls in Sex and the City?

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Hilani - Handmade by Hilani January 22, 2012 at 9:17 am

What a great post! It’s a regular problem for most women. 😉

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Galit Breen January 22, 2012 at 8:21 pm

I love this thoughtful post, Wendy. I have a really hard time managing friendships as well. At the same time, I’m *so* sad when they do end!

I have no answers {whatsoever} but I really appreciate that you put the topic out there!

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Sherri January 22, 2012 at 8:27 pm

Wendy, this is a difficult subject for many women I know. My circles don’t overlap much and I am a horrible phone friend. I feel like I have my top go-to gals who would do anything for me, but you have to nurture those friendships. Great post.

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Robbie January 22, 2012 at 8:46 pm

I do think some friendships end for a reason…though some of those could just be time and space. I think there are some friendships that are meant o only last a season or seasons. I spent 40 hrs a week with my classroom team and we developed close working relationships and even friendships. However, when one or both of us left the job it was very difficult t maintain our relationships. They were always many years younger than me (12-18 years younger!), not married and no children. They had no understanding of me not being able to go out to lunch or the movies or being too damn tired to go to a club to hear a band I had never heard of. I do have some “lifers” though. Friends who have been there for me for the past 25 years. We live far away from each other and may go a year or more w/o getting together. The shared history and the difficult challenges we have supported each other thru is very valuable to me.

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Ashley January 24, 2012 at 8:14 am

I agree with everyone. Most friendships are going to be applicable only to the moments when you forge them. Most of my college friends? Well, I don’t live in VA anymore and they all do. Hence, they foster and nurture their relationships with each other, and I see people at weddings or on facebook.

I struggled with letting friendships go for a long time, because my mother always told me that I needed to be the one to put effort into a friendship, because otherwise, no one else is going to do it. Yes and No. I found myself fighting to maintain relationships that should have dissolved a LONG time ago and getting my feelings hurt in the process. I think I believe more in balance now… and reality. Some friends will always be my best friends, picking right back up where we left off. Some are just finished… but not with negative feelings. Others just fade into the background…

It sucks. But it happens and I’ve learned not to take it so personally.

Most of the time anyway.

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Missy @ Wonder, Friend January 29, 2012 at 7:15 pm

Oh, this topic. It’s something I think about a lot. I’m an awful friendship manager, and like Sherri, I’m also an awful phone friend. I always feel fantastic after a good talk with a friend, but I rarely make the time for that to happen.

I feel so strongly that my friendships deserve my time, that the people I care about should know that I care about them – so I have no idea WHY I fail.

I don’t have an answer here… It’s heartbreaking when friendships end. And your post is making me think {even though it’s a painful kind of thinking, I’m thankful for it!}.

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ChiMomWriter January 29, 2012 at 7:33 pm

I have a really hard time with this, especially since I’ve been home with my kids – I talk on the phone and send “real” emails a lot less. When I was younger, I was a “Hallmark Queen” and wrote quite a few letters, but time is so limited. My friends do not overlap much, either, which compounds the issue.

I do think that this is where technology like Facebook hurt me, though – I spend time on friendships that really should have run their natural course but keep getting resuscitated by additional forms of communication.

I’ve committed this year to really putting in the effort where I can for those friends that are my true home base. We’ll see how well I fare.

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Practical Parenting January 29, 2012 at 7:45 pm

This is such an interesting post. I think about this a lot, yet I still don’t have a good answer. I have some very close friendships that have lasted a lifetime, but some newer mom friendships have been more difficult to maintain. I do think it’s more difficult to get to know someone when the friendship depends on kids. I lost a very close college friendship years ago due to decisions I made while going through infertility. It still makes me sad.

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