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High Maintenance Friendship

Dear Sugar
I had a great friend who recently stopped talking to me. She's a few years younger than me, but I've always really liked her so age never seemed to matter. It's just that she's got a lot more time on her hands. I have a demanding job so I can't talk on the phone during the day and even though she's 28, she's still in school and has a more flexible schedule. I just got engaged as well so now I have even less time. I've tried to explain all of this to her, but she's so high maintenance, she doesn't understand. A couple of months ago she began leaving me attitude filled messages, like, "why are you MIA?" Whenever I had the chance, I'd call her back but she was starting to feel clingy to me. I feel that friends should be understanding - not needy. Part of me could care less about losing this friend, because she was now beginning to just make me uncomfortable, but I've never had a friendship end with no rational explanation. But the other part of me will miss her. When we were together, we had a lot of fun. How can I make my friend less demanding? In Need of Balance Barbara

Dear In Need of Balance Barbara
Some friends do more harm then good - they weigh you down. If you have already explained to her that its not personal, it's just life is a lot for you right now and she still doesn't get it - then there's nothing more you can do. I know it hurts you. It sounds like she was fun to be friends with, but friendships aren't based on fun alone. You can't be her panacea all of the time. Like any relationship, if she can't give you the space you need, you are only going to feel burdened and smothered by her. Do you really want to spend your life coddling her because she has not matured to your level? You are overloaded as it is right now. This friendship seems like it is more work than you can handle. I wouldn't bother with her any longer.

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