Friendship Is Slipping Away

By Annie Lane

March 29, 2020 5 min read

Dear Annie: I was lucky enough to make several wonderful friends in college a decade ago, and a number of them are still in my life. A kindred spirit amongst them moved to the same city as I did after we graduated, and we conquered and failed our way through the many obstacles of our early adult lives. We were like a living, breathing Taylor Swift song.

One difference was our approach to dating. While my friend "Gabby" has spent her 20s crushing from afar and waiting patiently for the perfect man to waltz into her life, I trenched through the mud of phone number exchanges at bars and online dating. I kissed a lot of frogs, and leaned on Gabby through it, but eventually found my prince.

With any serious relationship, you have less free time, but even though Gabby and I were not romping our way through the city nightlife every weekend, I still made time for her and caught up as much as possible.

Shortly after I became engaged, I saw a lot less of Gabby. True, I was busy wedding planning, but that did not mean I didn't want to at least be invited to outings with our mutual friends. I approached her about this a few months ago over lunch, expressing to her that I was feeling left out and wanted to know if I did anything wrong. Gabby promised me I didn't do anything wrong, that she had just been busy.

Since then and since my wedding, I have seen even less of Gabby and my requests to grab brunch or drinks have been fruitless. Just because I'm married doesn't mean I don't want to still be friends. And if I did anything wrong, why didn't she tell me when I asked?

I wrote out a letter to Gabby that I have yet to send, telling her how sad I am to see her slip away, but insisting I will not beg her to be my friend. I thanked her for the good times. Should I send it, or am I being overdramatic and desperate? — Broken-Hearted Bestie

Dear Bestie: Send the letter — but withhold the finality. I encourage you to leave the door open a crack because it doesn't sound as though you're ready to fully close it. There are a number of possible explanations for Gabby's drifting away. Maybe she'll open up about them after reading your letter. Either way, this gives her an opportunity to reach out.

Dear Annie: I'm a grandmother raising a grandchild. I am a young grandmother, and no, I didn't fail my own child. My own child chooses to be free, and there is nothing I can do about it. It was either this or letting the grandchild live in squalor.

To the fellow parents of young children in my community: Please don't treat me any differently than any other sports mom. I am only in my mid-40s. I don't want my grandson to miss anything, so please don't ask him about his parents. Invite him to play. He will never have siblings living here to play with. Understand he's bound to be a bit high strung; he's confused about where his Mom and Dad are. It's not his fault he was born to people who didn't want to be parents. Adoption is always an option, though I'm so glad I was able to have dibs.

There should be more support programs for guardians of grandchildren. I hope I inspire someone to start a chapter of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren in their town. — Grateful Grandma

Dear Grateful: God bless you for offering your grandson the stability he needs. It's important to find the support you need in doing so. I encourage you to explore local networks though apps like Nextdoor and to visit the page entitled "Raising Grandchildren: Support" on https://www.aarp.org for additional guidance.

"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]

Photo credit: hitro4ka at Pixabay

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