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You Asked: I Am a Better Friend Than She Is

Dear Sugar--

I have this friend, we met through business two years ago. She's quite a bit older than me - I'm 27 and she's 46. We get along like a house on fire, but the friendship is pretty much one-sided. If I don't phone, go to visit or text/e-mail her, then I just about never hear from her. I once did an experiment: the "silent treatment." It lasted 12 weeks exactly, then she called and said: oh you are so quiet, I haven't spoken to you for like a month! I have tried to confront her, but we end up arguing, she says I'm oversensitive.

What bugs me most about our friendship is this: she seems to always call when she needs me, but she's never there when I need her. She had a hysterectomy last year and I did everything in my power to support her, even visiting during business hours when nobody else could. I know she appreciates it and I certainly didn't do it in order to get anything in return, but she is never there when I need her. Are friends not supposed to care for one another? At least just ask: Are you really OK? You look very stressed. Or insist: you look horrible, can we meet up for coffee and a chat? We just never seem to get to it, she can never commit to a date or find the time for me. Perhaps it's the age thing? I made a New Year's resolution to just let it go but it's difficult. I love my friend and I'd feel cheated to lose her since I've invested so much. Please Help! ~One-Sided Wanda

To see DEARSUGAR'S Answer,

Dear Wanda--

It's tough when you feel like you are pouring your heart and soul into a friendship and getting nothing in return. You should feel good about yourself that you are such a great friend. I hope your other friends appreciate your devotion to them more than this woman does.

Although you have tried expressing your frustration, it doesn't sound like she is listening. Unfortunately, in this situation, I think you are going to have to stick to your New Year's resolution and just let it go. It is obvious to me that this woman does not value your friendship in the same way that you do. Perhaps she is just at a point in her life where maintaining friendships is not a priority. I have a feeling that if she is treating you badly, she is probably treating her other "friends" badly as well.

I don't think you should feel cheated to lose her. You are only cheating yourself if you continue to waste any more time and effort in a one sided friendship. I think you should continue to remain friendly if it makes you happy to do so, but you have to face the fact that she is giving you everything she can. If her lack of effort continues to bother you, I think you are better off finding a better friend.

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