Q&a: The Friend You Can’t Seem to Shake

May 16, 2013 by L.A. Walsh  
Published in Friendship

My advice to a woman who is debating whether or not to let an old friend back into her life.

Dear LW,

I met my friend/ex-girlfriend Christie in a chat room when I was fourteen and “questioning”. We “tried to make things work” long distance off and on for the greater part of our teens, but never quite got it right. We’d have a falling out and “block” each other, but, just as fast as we’d cut ties, we’d find ourselves chatting on the phone, continuing where we left off. When things would go well for us, we’d start to make travel plans to meet, but would never follow through for one reason or another. When I graduated from college, for various reasons, I decided to stop talking to her which she fought, but eventually accepted. A couple of years ago, she sent me a private Facebook message asking to reconnect. I was curious to see if she had grown since we last spoke so I responded. We messaged back and forth, but, after it became clear that she was still heavily into drugs and, despite having a child with a woman she was “fully committed to”, me, I stopped replying. The other day, she sent me another private message which I’ve yet to respond to. I am no longer that fourteen year old, LW. I am nearly thirty and, though we have our ups and downs, eagerly anticipating marrying my soul mate and raising a family with her. A part of me wants to reply to Christie’s message to update her on my life and ask her about hers, but the other part fears that if I do she’ll just do what she did to me last time. Am I foolish for contemplating the idea of trying to have a strictly friendly relationship with Christie? Should I simply delete her message and move on?


Dear Meg,

We all have friends that come in and out of our lives that we don’t know what to do with. (That darn Facebook makes it so easy to track people down!) And, when we contemplate our past, it seems so enticing to look up our elementary school best friend until we remember how much of a disloyal punk they were. Just when you think you’re free, your friend keeps unexpectedly reaching out to pull you back. You need to ask yourself why you’ve let her do it in the past and what about the present is keeping you from giving in this time.

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