When Your Lifelong Friend Ghosts You
Why? What happened? What did I do? These are all questions I have asked myself for the past several months. My closest friend’s circle was made up of Becky, Jane, and myself. We are (correction…were…tight). We did so much together. We united for coffee every other week. We talked nearly every day. We even vacationed together.
Until we didn’t.
Jane started ghosting me. She stopped initiating contact and when I did, I got a short but polite response. The woman abhors phone calls so our conversations were either via text or in person. Our back and forth on social media suddenly ended…no more liking posts or pictures, no comments, or tagging which had always been a normal and constant thing. If I invited her alone or with Becky for coffee, a shopping day, any occasion, I was declined by Jane.
Time has passed and I still do not know why. I’ve racked my brain going back over our times together, conversations we had either one-on-one or with Becky, social media posts, etc.
I could think of nothing.
I asked Jane early on in the ghosting if I’d done or said anything that upset her and that I hadn’t heard from her. If I had upset her, I would certainly apologize and make whatever it was right if possible. As expected, she would avoid conflict at all costs. The response I got was trivial…a blow-off…that she was just “hanging around, doing her thing, and nothing was wrong.”
Except it was.
I know this because Becky was hearing from and chatting with Jane like usual and they were doing things together frequently…just without me. This was crushing. Why me? What happened? What had I done? The same questions over and over. I realize that sounds a bit jealous. Hell yes, I was jealous because I just couldn’t wrap my head around what had happened. I had been wiped from Jane’s world and her from mine. But hers and Becky’s friendship was tooling right along.
If you’ve ever been ghosted, especially by a long-term friend, you know how painful it is. It’s a feeling of loss, bewilderment, and suffering in that you usually never get an answer for the ghosting. You feel like you must be an awful person for your lifetime friend to dump you at the curb with no explanation. And eventually, your other friends start to notice your absence from the group.
I’d go a week or so and try my damnedest to accept that it is what it is and then other days I’d dwell on it, (in fact, I’d wallow in it), trying to understand. So, I did what I swore I wouldn’t do. I swore I wouldn’t put Becky in the middle any more than she already was, trying to maintain a friendship with both of us. I felt bad for putting her in that position but it got to the point where, sadly, I didn’t feel bad enough.
So, I did just that and put her square in the middle and asked her what she knew about Jane’s total alienation of me. And I hated myself for it. And I was angry at Jane for putting both Becky and myself in a position that could possibly damage our friendship. Truthfully, it was me putting it at risk by drilling Becky about it. But I was so wounded and confused. No excuse, right?
Becky swore she didn’t know anything. She said she’d even asked Jane about it but her response was “What? I don’t know what you’re talking about.” It saddened Becky also as our tribe of 3 was no more. I had been thinking Becky was just playing both sides of the fence but truthfully what else could she do? If she was to remain friends with both of us, she had no choice and I realize that.
The process of moving forward
The end of a friendship, and a lifetime one at that, is very painful. It feels like a death. When you have no idea why or what you have done (if anything), it’s all the worse.
If you are the one doing the ghosting and ending a friendship, when asked, please be honest and let your friend know why you have decided to end your relationship. If they’ve been your friend that long, they deserve the respect and courtesy of knowing. It will allow that person to make an apology if need be which will at least be some closure. Complete alienation with no explanation is just cruel. Even if you hate conflict, you owe it to your friend.
As the ghosted party, I’ve come to realize that I may not have actually done anything at all to Jane. Perhaps it was just a time where our personalities didn’t align any further and Jane just noticed first.
I’m learning to accept there’s nothing I can do or say to make someone tell something they do not wish to share. And begging is not a becoming look. Neither is desperation.
I’m thankful I have other friends that I can rely on and enjoy their company so I’m very blessed. I will focus on those relationships.
In going forward, I will enjoy Becky’s friendship for what it is without Jane. We will not discuss Jane any further. They will continue to be friends and knowing each, I see the reason for that. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been friends with either in the first place.
I feel a twinge of sadness occasionally but mostly I’m good and accepting of the situation of not knowing why. I now focus on what I do know and that is I’m a good person and a loyal friend.
Maybe one day Jane will come back around and, if not, perhaps it’s just meant to be. Maybe she wasn’t as good a friend as I thought all these years. It sucks, but life goes on…with or without…Jane.
And life is too short to dwell on things you have no control over and negativity. I’m a work in progress on this but I know I’ll manage and be just fine.
My sincerest prayer for a happy life for Jane. I’m moving on.