Did I Just Get Dumped by a Friend?


I was recently dumped by a friend of five years. It was heartbreaking, and I honestly am still grieving a little. As my mind was processing this I also realized that I sounded and felt an awful lot as if I had just ended a romantic relationship. 

Dumped by a Friend

The following are 5 things that I realized are strangely similar in these two situations (getting dumped by a friend and ending a romantic relationship. 

  1. The dumpee feels shocked. I was blindsided. Now I know how the castaways on the television show Survivor feel.
  2. You start overthinking EVERYTHING about the final days. Questions like, “What could I have done better?” and, “What did I do wrong?” go through one’s head.  I started with these questions but ultimately reviewed things and realized that I didn’t do anything wrong. The miscommunication or the view of the other party is what ultimately went wrong.
  3. You grieve the loss of your future. With my friend, I grieved not having that future with our kids hanging out, all the plans for future outings, and just watching our kids grow up together.
  4. You stalk. Yes….you stalk. Are they having fun without me around? Do they even care about me not being around? Did they ever care about me? Unfortunately, I stalked Instagram. I felt like a high schooler, but I couldn’t help it. This went on for a few weeks and it was painfully obvious that her life didn’t need me in it, and maybe, she hadn’t ever really let me in it at all. In the end, I unfollowed and hid her profile for my own sanity.
  5. You have to break the news to your family. The bonus part for me was breaking the news to my husband (immediately) who helped me see that it wasn’t me. I didn’t miss something that day that solidified it for the friend. I had someone just as confused as I was, when I told my husband. Unfortunately, due to everyone in both families being friends, this “breaking the news” piece was really hard. Having to tell my 5-year-old she won’t see her friends again while she ugly cried in my lap saying, “but I just love them so much” is one of the worst things I’ve had to do, to date, as a parent.

All in all, we think we’re out of the “dating” scene just because we’re married, but in reality, all relationships are a form of dating. So for those of you out there who are dealing with being dumped … either romantically or by friendship, you’re not alone. Sometimes we need to just let go. 


  1. You, MY FRIEND, are incredible. I know it’s easy to say “she’s the one missing out” but we both know that doesn’t help when you think of all the what if’s. It was good for my heart to get to talk to you about this because I realized just how unfortunately common this is. Thank you for being vulnerable.

  2. I have, for the first time in my 68 years of life, broke off a friendship. I’m a guy, he’s a guy, we’re both gay.
    I have always recognized my friend’s limitations and even his way of disappearing when he’d meet a guy. One guy, he moved in less than a month after meeting him, and then the only time he saw me was when I invited THEM to MY house. My friend never thought to invite me to his. Fair enough. I knew he was of a depressive nature.
    But during my crisis – the loss of the person i loved most in this world for 63 years, to pancreatic cancer (my brother had died of it 2 years before) – he was not there much at all. Never asked – even given his stoic nature – if I was okay. (I didn’t expect it, either. Just noting the degree to which he was depressed and lacking any empathy for others. And when his OWN mother died the next year (2016), he barely blinked. I then understood he was REALLY clinically depressed. I actually felt MORE empathy for him.
    He was great at building things, horticulture and taught me a lot. I valued that. I valued him.
    But I was shocked one evening, months ago, when he came over to my house with documents that the guy he had met two months before, was replacing me as the Power of Attorney. Trust me, NO jealousy here. Just common sense. TWO MONTHS?!? I was alarmed, because this was irrational, but I understood his trying to force this guy to stay with him because now he had legal responsibilities to my friend (who has has bouts with Hep B and HPV – due to his…sex drive. Got it. And then, while he was at my house with the POA papers, he’s telling me about a guy who stopped calling him about 6 months ago, because he’d confessed he’d gotten HEP B (which, if you’re HIV positive, can come back at ANY time) and he had never told the guy this PRIOR to sex.
    Finally, my friend THEN said something that horrified me just to justify his withholding the truth about his health status: “Everybody lies.” It turned out he hadn’t told all the guys he’d been with (and there were many), that he was HIV+/Hep B and other diseases they should have know about BEFORE sex. As a man who worked with the major AIDS organizations back in San Francisco at the beginning of AIDS, I was horrified to know I was friends with a guy who thought nothing of endangering the health of others. And didn’t care. After all, “everybody lies,” right? I had NEVER lied to him about anything, but it was apparent he’d lied to me all along. And the new boyfriend was not to co-exist with me, but to REPLACE ME. (Depressive thinking is like that: selfish. “I’ve got mine, see you when I have time for you.” I was reeling. But I still loved my friend (you can’t turn Love on and Off like a switch). Fortunately, he and the boyfriend were leaving for Florida shortly and I’d have time to think. And then, again, I was ghosted. No “we’re having a great time,” no ‘Merry Christmas.’ I was as invisible as the guide dogs he’d tried to see if he could care for for a year. (He wasn’t dog owner material, so that he even thought of that surprised me. But I got it. Anything that would show him love. But then the dog would have to go back in its cage after 15 minutes.) Not a good candidate for seeing eye dog organization and they realized it when a dog escaped from his backyard and was found by someone else.
    After MUCH thought…
    I had no choice but to break off contact, so the minute after I had delivered him and his boyfriend home (I picked them up from the airport from Christmas visit to Florida). I icily reminded him he was supposed to stay in touch because I had had plans too, and he hadn’t bothered to notify me to pick them up until 12 hours before his plane was gong to land. Not a long drive, but still…12 hours?!? My plans with a guy fell through, as did any chance of seeing the guy again. He saw the fire in my eyes, but said nothing. I’m sure he thought it’d blow over. “He loves me. He’ll come back. I’ll wait it out. Not gonna call, ’cause he’ll ‘break’ first.'”
    He had always been intensely conflict avoidant (and somewhat devious when he wanted a roommate to leave or a situation to change, so talking to him wouldn’t have worked (yes, tried it before, over the course of years. Never worked).
    He guessed wrong. I’d been “ghosted” several times – I realized all of this around Christmas time, when he was away (he didn’t text to say Merry Christmas or anything), so I went over to his home (was actually delivering a Christmas present for him and the new boyfriend), but in the course of talking to his roommate, one he’d moved in hoping the relationship would ‘take’, I was Horrified again. He had never told this guy he was HIV+ either. The guy had been a roommate – by Christmas time – for 6 months and they had fooled around many times. I had to leave immediately before the roommate could see the fear in my eyes (for him, in case he’d been infected). Then I realized my ‘friend’ had shady ethics and values that were truly more than I could overlook without being an authentic person. I’d have to discard all my morals and squash what I knew down.

    So, keep one thing in mind: rational, emotionally balanced people without personality issues? We’ll talk about anything with someone, assuming they’re capable of engagement in difficult matters. But people who’d find a way to avoid you, waiting until things ‘cool down’ and they figure you’re not mad any more?
    A Bridge Too Far


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