Thursday, August 6, 2009

Letting it Go

The end of a relationship can be very traumatic or liberating. I've heard of people who have done everything from throwing parties to committing suicide. As women, ending a relationship with a man can be very difficult. Why then, do we continue unfulfilling friendships with girlfriends? Friendships that have fallen by the wayside, no longer have a meaning, we don't care about or worse yet, infests us with negativity? One word: fear!

I had a friend who I had known for 20+ years. Things began to change with us when I got married. I started to see her less and less and spoke with her even less than that. When I had my son, it took her 5 months to come out and see us (we lived in the same city) and I didn't see or hear from her again until months after. When I had my daughter, I called her to tell her and we spent an hour talking about how things were not working out with her then boyfriend. I never heard from her again. I never called. It's been 2 years. I should've ended the relationship earlier, the signs were all there. I know of a sister who (in order to end a friendship) ended up running out of a train she was travelling on with those same friends. Later, when I asked why she didn't just tell her friends things were not working out, she said she was afraid to. We don't break up with our girlfriends the same way we do with our boyfriends. It's funny because, usually the friends we want to break up with are people who we have known a long time, who have been there for us, when we needed a shoulder to cry on, someone to laugh or gossip with. The end of Toni and Joan's friendship on the TV show Girlfriends is a perfect example. It was no surprise, but it did leave me wondering why their friendship hadn't died years before.

We should not allow fear to keep us in bad relationships with our girlfriends. Relationships breaking down are a part of life and if you think yours is worth fighting for, give it that effort. If not, let the friendship go and lay it to rest, but remember to do with grace, tact, sensitivity and class. There's nothing more tasteless than watching a friendship breakdown on YouTube, Facebook or Twitter.MM

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