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I Want To Break Up With My Friend

Dear Sugar
I'd like to know how I can end a friendship. For years I've been annoyed by a friend of mine and I am growing tired of the crap that she throws my way. We met in high school but it just seems like now we barely have anything in common anymore.

She is always trying to change me to make me more like her. She suggests that I buy the same clothes, makeup and accessories that she does and she also never ceases to take a jab at my boyfriend when she sees an opening.

I've just spent $1,200 on her wedding this past summer (I was a bridesmaid) and I never even received a thank you. It seems like this has also been the pattern for all of the many favors I've done for her over the last ten years.

She just bought a house and she wants me to come out for a visit. We're in completely different places in our lives right now and I honestly don't feel like making the trip. Do you think that I should tell her up front that I don't want to be friends anymore, or should I just stop answering her calls? Moving On Madeline

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Moving On Madeline
This is tough because long time friends are rare. Are you sure you are ready to say sayonara? Do you think there is any chance that this could all be resolved by taking some time apart from her? Or are you so vehemently disgusted by her that you've passed a point of no return with the friendship?

My advice is to meet with her face to face. Out of respect for all of the years you've known each other, you owe her that much. So suck up the hour and a half at Starbucks and speak to her openly and honestly about your feelings (since it may very well be the last time).

Explain to her that you think you are growing out of the dynamic of your friendship - and that you resent the way she is trying to change you so that you are more like her. Tell her that you like yourself just fine!

If she wants you to give her examples of her behavior, then mention how; you don't like the way she disses your man, how hurt you felt that she never said thank you during her wedding time, and how you feel an obligatory pressure to visit her even though you're not really enjoying your time together the same way you used to.

Be mature about this and don't get nasty. In fact, it would be ideal if you could avoid getting into the nitty gritty altogether. Try and get the message across that you can't be as close to her as you once were - that you have grown up and grown apart. It happens. But don't rip her to shreds for being a crappy friend; just speak from your heart. She won't be able to argue with that.

Join The Conversation
JennaV JennaV 10 years
Yeah, I believe there is even a term called "toxic friends" and this sounds it.
cubadog cubadog 10 years
I agree. To screen calls and ignore someone is something you would do in high school. It isn't always easy but you need to tell her you don't want her in your life and why. I have had to do it with a friend that was incredibly toxic and trust mye your life will be better.
Fancy04 Fancy04 10 years
Pad is right. Be honest.
Padraigin Padraigin 10 years
I think if you have a longterm friendship, you owe it honesty. Screening your phone calls and not returning calls isn't being honest with someone you've been friends with for a long time. No, you don't have to stay close friends with someone, but why scuttle the relationship entirely? Admit and accept that it has changed, but closing the door entirely might not be the best thing.
Sugarblonde Sugarblonde 10 years
The same thing has happend to me. I grew apart from my best friend since middle school... I went away to college, now have a serious job. She still goes out the same amount since high school and drinks tons. Instead of talking to her face to face telling her "I didn't want to be friends anymore." (Which I would think is a little harsh) I just let her know I'm real busy & my priorities are waking up for work in the AM, not staying out till 5am every night. She did understand & we are cool. You can try this approach. Like say, I really am swamped at work and can't visit. I know it is a small white lie (Though you may actually be busy!) but if someone were to tell me to my face that they don't want to be friends anymore... I would be hurt personally. Being a good friend always was important to me.
Marci Marci 10 years
What is it with girlfriends that when they get married and you're still single, they lose their tolerance gene? All of a sudden they can't even have a conversation about your boyfriends or any other of the usual dialogue you used to have. That is an almost universal occurrence in women, I hate to say. But that's just part of the issue here, and I had an almost identical situation with an old friend. I got sick of her judgement calls and treatment towards me so I just slowly faded out. I didn't return calls too quickly, I visited less and less, until one day she wasn't even a thought in my head. Unfortunately, she was thinking about me and left me nasty messages, had her husband call me, sent me a nasty letter.... so I've never really felt like I handled it properly. I think if I'd just told her I was done with the friendship, it would've been a done deal. So if you can work up the nerve to do that, it might be better. If not, I certainly understand because I didn't either!
Luna13 Luna13 10 years
i would def have a chat with her about it and tell her u feel and if then u still dont see an improvement then loose contact slowly, its worth a second shot maybe shes acting like this toward u for some reason u dont know about, or maybe shes jealous of you not in a bad way more envious. Please talk to her first
arianell arianell 10 years
I agree with rubialala. You're not obligated to keep in touch with her or spend time with her if she's annoying you. Keep your distance for a while, and after some time apart you can decide if you're really ready to break off the friendship.
rubialala rubialala 10 years
Of course, honesty is always best, but to BE honest, I'd just cut her out. Screen calls and don't call her back. I'm sorry, that's not very nice. :(
nicachica nicachica 10 years
i have a similar problem but its not as bad with my friend. we're childhood friends but we've grown apart these past few years and then we'll see each other and say "omg, we HAVE to hang out" and then never do. sigh, it sucks hardcore cuz it's not like we got into a fight. like Madeline, we're just in different places. sheez, i should have just submitted to Group Therapy! sorry i couldn't offer my own two cents this time around...
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