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Dr. Irene S. Levine Headshot

Friendship Advice: Did this Friendship Unravel Due to a Lie?

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QUESTION

Hi Irene,

I'm 37 years old but when I was 18, my best friend and I met this friendly guy whom we both liked, but he liked me more. He and I kept our relationship quiet for a while but at a party, my best friend saw us together. She and I didn't speak about it for a few months; I was busy in love.

Two years later, we spoke again as if nothing ever happened. She never asked about my boyfriend again and moved out of state. When he and I got married, she congratulated me through a nice card. She kept her distance, and we spoke less and less through the years. I would hear that she had come to town but she never let me know she was here.

I, on the other hand, missed her more each year. She and I connected again through Facebook and share photos of our kids but when she's flying into town to visit her family and I ask her to get together for a drink or dinner she gives me excuses.

What can I say or do to ease that pain? Did I ruin our friendship? Years ago, I did give her an apology for how it all happened.

Signed,

Meaghan

ANSWER

Hi Meaghan,

You probably shouldn't have hidden this relationship from your friend at the time but there may have been extenuating circumstances. Now, nearly twenty years later, you and your friend are both married mothers. It seems like too much time has passed for you to still feel guilty over a youthful indiscretion like this one.

At present, you have a superficial relationship with this old friend, keeping in touch via Facebook but not getting any closer. If you want to strengthen this friendship, you could try writing to your friend, asking her, in advance, if she is interested in making plans to get together next time she is in town.

If she responds, you'll know whether or not you can become closer. If she doesn't, my suggestion would be to forget this relationship. For reasons totally unrelated to what happened years ago, she may not feel the same need as you do to become close again.

Best,

Irene

Prior posts on The Friendship Blog that discuss legacy friendships: