Have I Grown Out of This Relationship?

This is a sequel to my previous hub "I Thought We Were Friends..."

It's interesting how writing about my dissonant relationship with my long time college friend has led me to rethink about this friendship all over again. I also wanted some feedback for my hub. So some time after I published my hub, I decided to share it in the writers' group which I recently became a member.

In this group, there were three other women besides myself and each of us presented a piece we had written. The reaction to my hub was generally positive and I received some useful comments from one of the women in the group. She pointed out that the comments my friend had made were "very hurtful" and more importantly, "sometimes we grow out of a relationship and the same relationship no longer serves our changing needs". I thought these were truthful comments. I realize three months after I had written down the saga of my dissonant relationship with my friend, that that is what happened. I grew out of this relationship which became less important to me. She and I were compatible during college, but she could not continue to be my closest friend in the present. When my kids arrived, other moms with kids the same age who lived in my neighborhood became more important to me. Just how important was a friend from college who lived an hour away?

Sharing My Hub

I then decided to share my hub with two other people. The first was another friend from college with whom I'm still in touch. She complained to me in her earlier e-mails that she had a falling out with at least two of her closest and long time friends. I thought that she would know what I was trying to convey in my hub. She complimented that my hub was excellent and that she totally "heard" me. She gave me a detailed account of her falling out with a friend whom she had known since first grade. Her story and my story were different but the sadness and disappointment we both felt from being "betrayed" were similar.

The second person with whom I shared my hub was a professor from the University of Wisconsin. I had taken his class once while a student and his compassion and willingness to listen led me to want to share my story. He responded in his e-mail that he was sorry I had to go through all this but he also asked, "who knows what your friend was going through?".

That was a question I never considered asking myself! I had no idea what she was going through while I was being hurt by her comments. I never bothered to find out either, since I had avoided confronting her.

As a result, I have come to realize that my hub "I Thought We Were Friends..." was actually one-sided, if not a biased view of our falling out. It did not address what my friend was going through.

If I had shown the hub to my friend, she would have dismissed it as a biased version of what went on in our friendship. If we actually sat down for a discussion, we may realize that we have misunderstood each other for all this time. Was she really jealous of me? That was strictly from my point of view.

In Touch Again

After sharing my hub, I was compelled to contact her again. In my e-mail, I wrote:

"How are you? Do you still live in Yokohama? We won't be returning to Japan this summer. Your kids must be growing up very quickly. Please let me know how you are doing."

I didn't hear from her for a while, but then, a little while ago, I got a message from her!

"So glad to hear from you. I finally got around to checking my e-mail on my computer. Yes, I still live in Yokohama. My son, now in grade 8, is on the ping pong team at his school and has made many friends there. My daughter will also attend the same middle school as my son next year. I still work at the same bookstore part time. By the way, you haven't given me your new home address. I'll try to respond to your e-mails but I know I'm slow at it so please don't get mad at me." (end of message)

So, Where Do We Stand?

It certainly was nice to hear from her and though I haven't responded, I intend to do so and give her my new home address. As readers will notice, my above message to her was purposely blunt. I have to admit I still hold a grudge against her for her hurtful comments. She, needless to say, does not know this. I never discussed it with her.That aside, she seemed genuinely happy to hear from me. She did, however, hint that she believed I may be angry with her.

I don't think our relationship is over. At least she doesn't hold a grudge against me. But neither she nor I know anything about how the other feels regarding our dissonant relationship. I didn't confront her when I felt hurt because I was afraid to make things worse. That tells me that I am insecure about our friendship. If I felt sure that she would listen to me and that it wouldn't make things worse when I confronted her, then I would have done so. Maybe she was giving me hints all along the way that she wouldn't listen to me.

Somehow, I doubt that I can reclaim our once compatible friendship.I honestly can't picture ourselves sitting in a cafe and reconnecting or having tons of things to talk about, especially now, since we are an ocean apart. If we were to see each other again, would we have anything interesting to say to each other?

Perhaps I did grow out of this relationship, and in the process did not know and may never know her side of the story.

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Comments 8 comments

Scribenet profile image

Scribenet 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I was touched by your first story and it prompted me to write my own hub on friendship. We are all different, friendships are different. What matters is what works for you as an individual. Friendships are a vital part of life, but they need to add "something" to your life i.e. companionship, common ground, positive feedback, the list goes on. Sometimes we just move on.

I enjoyed this Hub!


mtkomori profile image

mtkomori 6 years ago from Yokohama, Japan Author

Thanks for your comment and I'm glad to know that my hub was touching and enjoyable. I guess the types of friends we need change as we grow older but perhaps this is more true for women than for men. I noticed that once I became a mother the members of my family became top priority and friends from before I was married tended to take back seat, although I still needed friends (moms with kids the same age, as I mentioned in my hub). As you point out, we do sometimes move on and aren't necessarily friends with the same person anymore.

Thanks again for your encouragement.


salsaqueen profile image

salsaqueen 6 years ago

I commented on your first story and then I read this story. I'm glad you contacted her again because the way it ended before was unsatisfactory. Having a friend that you speak to once in a while or email once in a while is fine, it doesn't have to be anything deeper. I live in the UK and I still speak to a friend who emigrated to America 11 years ago, we have not seen eachother once in all that time!! He calls me once or twice a year and we always talk about meeting up one day. Who knows if this will ever happen but it doesn't matter, sometimes its just nice having a friend that you speak to (or email) only once in a while! Its a low maintenance, unchallenging relationship!

The friendship you now have with your friend is just fine, don't stress over it anymore. Just accept it for what it is - someone you were once close to but you guys are not so close anymore but still care about eachother - and live your life.


mtkomori profile image

mtkomori 6 years ago from Yokohama, Japan Author

Thank you for your comment.

Yes, I actually did stop stressing over my friendship with this friend, although I am in doubt as to whether we should get together at the next opportunity.

At least I know that she isn't upset with me.

I guess each relationship is different, and since people are ever-changing, you may remain friends with one friend for decades, but part ways with another. Also, the nature of the relationship with a friend may change over the course of time. I guess this is the lessson I have learned.

Looking forward to your hub!


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

Thank you for the update. Time does change ones perspective.


Stan Fletcher profile image

Stan Fletcher 6 years ago from Nashville, TN

This was moving to me as I thought of lost friendships from my past due to hurt feelings. I think that's just part of life and we have to continue on with the new people in our lives. Just cherish the relationship for the good memories. Sometimes that's all we have, and that's enough. Thanks for reading some of my hubs. I'm anxious to read more of yours. I'm a fan.


mtkomori profile image

mtkomori 6 years ago from Yokohama, Japan Author

@James, yes, I think time does help us see the issue in perspective. You've made a good point.

@Stan that is a positive outlook, it's important to continue on without ill feelings.


create a page profile image

create a page 5 years ago from Maryland, USA

Thanks for being so transparent mtkomori. I hope you have forgiven your friend for hurting you since that is the only way to get true peace and the freedom to move on.

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