I am 21 years old and have had the same "best friends" for eight years. Since we started university, things have changed, though. I've made new friends and my old friends have not. I feel like I'm living my life at a different pace than them because they're hesitant to break away and meet new people.
I've recently noticed that my old friends have been making plans on nights that they know I can't go out due to family obligations. I've also learned that on those nights out without me, they make other plans, again without telling me. To make things worse, one of the girls accidentally forwarded an email chain to me in which they were all talking about how much fun they had the night before, and I felt horrible that I wasn't even invited.
Just last week one of my uncles passed away. I know for a fact that they heard the news, yet I did not receive a single phone call, text message, or email from any of them. This has been a really hard time for me and my family and it would have been nice to have my friends' support, yet no one was there for me. What should I do? Have our friendships simply run their course? Were they ignoring me out of spite? — Left Out Laurie
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Dear Left Out Laurie,
I'm so sorry to hear about your uncle — my thoughts are with you and your family.
I'm also sorry to hear that your friends weren't there for you when you needed them most. It's pretty clear that there's a disconnect here, so I'd talk to them ASAP. These girls have been your friends for eight years and while some friendships do just run their course, I'd be surprised if that happened with all of them at the same time. Since you've been making new friends and experiencing new adventures, your friends could be feeling left out. Although I'm sure that's exactly how you feel, they might think your desire to meet new people means they aren't good enough for you anymore. Now I'm not excusing their actions — they shouldn't be conspiring against you or alienating you in any way — but once you sit down and talk it all out, I'll bet the cause of this distance was all just a misunderstanding.
If having a heart-to-heart doesn't help, you'll have to ask yourself if what they're giving out of this friendship is enough for you. If it is, take them for what they're worth, but if it's not, I'd sever ties and move on. If you choose to take that route, you don't need to be arch enemies, but you don't need to be best friends either.
I hope a sincere talk will do the trick. Good luck.