Friendships are a great source of comfort in most people's lives, but they can also be a great source of stress.
The good folks of Reddit recently described the exact moments when one side of a friendship decided that the stress was no longer worth the effort and terminated the relationship. I'm sure we all have something here we can relate to.
(Content edited for clarity.)
They Both Lost
“Let my best friend live with me because his uncle’s landlord didn’t want him there. When he left the house, I found paraphernalia he used to get high on my carpet. We were like brothers in high school. I knew he was doing pills but every time I asked why he was nodding off he always had an excuse. I was naive to the use/effects of things like that then.
Before that, he ‘borrowed’ my car around 2 am while I was sleeping, wrecked it, and walked home. He didn’t even have the audacity to tell me until I woke up at 6 am for work. Lost my job because when you’re a group leader, you can’t call off last second. They’d rather find someone else apparently. But he lost a friend and a couch to sleep on.”
You Can’t Justify That
“Once while I was playing SimCity on my computer, my roommates were drinking in the garage. My best friend’s girlfriend came in and blabbed something about him having something on his computer that he shouldn’t. Naturally, we were curious and brought it up to him. He told us that it was perfectly ok to have child smut on his computer because he was abused and violated when he was 9 years old. Afterward, he was completely pissed off at his girlfriend and kept to himself until we moved out a month or two later.
Yes, I did call the police on him.”
A True Sociopath
“My old roommate took me out for a birthday breakfast. At the end of the month, he added his meal and mine onto my monthly rent. He legit didn’t know why I was mad. Also, every time I was upset with him, he would change the wifi password.
Didn’t stop being his friend until I was about to move out. I got a call at work from my neighbor that the cops were at my house so I go home. He told them I abandoned the property and wanted to know what legal rights he has to my stuff. I told the cops I was moving out but was simply at work and hadn’t moved my stuff out. They called him a prick. They even gave me a card and told me to call if he gives me any trouble. He said he wanted me out by the weekend, I told the cops we agreed on one week. The cops turned to him and just said: ‘He has one week.’
Oh, and the whole reason I had to move out was because he evicted me for telling his girlfriend to end their abusive relationship. He gave her my number without my permission if she needed someone to talk to thinking I would be on his side. I grew up with 3 sisters and a single mom. This girl was 17 he was 22. I couldn’t hold my tongue on that.
He texted me a few months later asking if I wanted to play a game with him online. And then he asked me for money to buy out of his lease.
He’s living with a family friend now. He stayed with the girl until the next time he hit her and she ended it for good. He’s now alone and broke. All’s well that ends well.”
Birthday Best Wishes Weren’t There
“It was my 25th Birthday.
My best friend of 15 years and roommate had asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday a week or so beforehand. I told her, go to dinner, catch a movie, drinks at a bar we both like. Nothing crazy, just the 2 of us, low key. She always liked having a big birthday bash parties for herself, I was always the opposite.
She said, leave it up to her, she would handle everything.
Day of my birthday comes around, it’s a Saturday. She is nowhere to be seen that morning. No big deal, I will go lay by the pool and relax till she comes back. She never comes back, doesn’t even text me a happy birthday. I call her and nothing, I call her boyfriend, and he tells me she is at his place hanging out. They had no special plans or anything, they were just going to hang at his place all day.
And it hit me all at once. Our friendship is over. It wasn’t the fact that she missed my birthday, and left me hanging. That was just the straw that broke the camels back. I stopped and thought about how flaky she had been for the past 2 years, all the times she was never there for me, but I had dropped everything to help her. How one-sided our friendship had become, and how little respect she had for me.
I think she expected me to be mad for a bit and get over it. Nope, that day our friendship ended. I kept all communication to a minimum, switched roommates, and went on with my life. She has reached out a few times, but I have always rebuffed her. I missed her like crazy, but our friendship will never be what it once was, and I remember, even now 7 years later, with crystal clear clarity, how badly she treated me the last 2 years of our friendship.
I hope she is doing well in life, I wish nothing bad on her. She is just an old chapter at this point in my life, and I do not want to go backward.”
Petty Payback, Feels Great
“I was at the ballpark and saw my friend and another guy walking around. So I went up and said hey. He then looked at me and said, ‘Do I know you?’ I just said, ‘I guess not,’ and walked away. That upset me and killed my confidence for a while.
Fast forward a few months and it’s the end of the school year. My school always had a competition to see who could read the most books and make the best scores on tests about them. Well, that year I placed 2nd so my class won a pizza party.
I was allowed to go get a friend from another class so when I walked in and asked for my best friend at the time, lo and behold, there was the guy who didn’t know who I was. He then had the gumption to say to the teacher that he was also my friend.
So when the teacher looked at me for confirmation, I looked him square in the eyes and said, ‘Do I know you?’
He tried to laugh it off but a big portion of the class had heard all of it. They kind of gave him a lot of crap after that. He never once tried to even talk to me after that. I hate burning bridges with past, present, or future friends but this one was already looking like Magneto had gotten to it. Even though I know it was petty, I still felt great doing it.”
The End Of Innocence
“When I was really young, I was good friends with this girl mainly because our parents were friends and would hang out and play board games and have fun. I pretty much grew up with her and nearly thought of her as a sister. She was always super nice and sweet and loads of fun to play with.Only real issue was that every time we were playing at her house, all she had to play with were barbies/dolls (and I’m a guy). I didn’t actually care that much, I would bend them into weird crazy shapes, take all their clothes off, throw them across the room pretending they were throwing knives, hold them by their bent legs and pretend they were weapons and chase her around… whatever.Previous birthdays used to always be me and a few other kids of my mom’s work friends, but this year she had invited her whole class from school (we went to different ones). I tried to get to know them, but they treated me like I wasn’t even in the room.
When it was time to open presents, she behaved really strangely and started just ripping the paper to shreds like a crazed cat trying to find catnip.
Then one year I went to her birthday party (7 or 8), which my parents (of course) bought the gift for, but had I also made her a special stupid ugly bracelet out of beads and pipe cleaners, which I attached to the box.
When she got to my present I tried to tell her about the bracelet but she was totally in the zone and flung the thing across the room with the ribbon. I went to pick it up and gave it to her mom and told her what it was all sad and pathetic.
Then after present time was over, suddenly she screams, ‘Hey everyone, guess what, [my name] likes to play with Barbie dolls!’ It was honestly like my sweet wonderful sister/friend had been replaced by some kind of sadistic mean demon that had eaten her soul and possessed her body. I cried and she laughed, and she got all her new friends to laugh with her.
I told her mom to call my parents because I wanted to go home. And thankfully, I never had to see her again after that.”
A Toxic Shock
“I was getting out of a really horrible, severely psychologically and physically abusive relationship with a sociopath (I was in the process of going to the police for the abuse and he is now in prison for it). She seemed really supportive at first and would come over all the time, ask me questions and let me vent, check up on me daily, etc. A few months later, I met my now fiancé and she started to get really jealous and weird whenever she came over. She tried to flirt with him and he got weirded out by her behavior so he really didn’t want to spend time with us when she was around. So she started being really mean to me with passive aggressive comments and started ignoring me whenever I wanted to vent about the stuff I was going through, I started to really dread the days when she would come over because I started to dissociate whenever she was around, but I felt like I had to because we were best friends and that maybe it was just my issues that were making me feel bad, maybe that I am an introvert and get worn out in social situations, not her fault at all, etc.
My birthday came and she brought over a big bag full of random things that didn’t cost more than 30 dollars (this matters in a second). It was really awesome regardless of its price or quality, and I really appreciated the thoughtful gift because she had picked out stuff I would use and like, and that she spent time with me on my birthday. I made everyone dinner, all was great, all of us were happy.
Next month was her birthday, so I started to plan what I was going to do for her. I decided I wanted to make her favorite food and take her to the movies and maybe go bowling or the beach or something, just generally spend quality time together doing fun things. I asked her about it over the phone and the next few times I saw her briefly, and she said it sounded great, was visibly happy/smiling when I asked about specifics, and that she was looking forward to it.
When her birthday finally arrives, I ask what time she wanted to come over/me go over to her house. She texted me back a few hours later saying that I was a bad person for not buying her a ‘big gift’ because she had done that and expected me to do the same.
Then she said didn’t want me to ‘spend 15 dollars on food for her birthday, and make something lousy that I don’t even like because I spent at least $100 dollars on yours.’
Clearly confused because she was very obviously happy about the plans I had made when I talked to her previously about it, I tried to tell her that I had planned on taking her out to do some other stuff as well, she retorted that I was a ‘selfish manipulative person and a pathological liar, you aren’t telling the truth about what happened with your ex-boyfriend and I can’t trust anything you say, that’s why I don’t even like hanging out with you anymore.’
I was appalled because for one, she had witnessed the abuse, psychological and physical, firsthand, and never did anything to try to help me realize that my relationship was abusive. Second because this was coming out of nowhere, there were no signs that she was unhappy with me, so I had a moment of clarity and realized that she didnt care about my well being, I looked back on our entire friendship and she had always put me into bad situations and acted like they weren’t a big deal, used me and (before I was an adult or had resources to give, my parents) for money, food and shelter, made me feel terrible about myself by bullying me constantly, making me feel like I was less than human when she was around, always made me think that no guys would like me because she was thinner than I am, and always made me beg for her friendship.
So, after realizing how toxic she was, I stopped replying to her and she blew up and freaked out, called me a few times, texted me walls and walls of words that I couldn’t even read because I was so upset. I ended up ignoring all of it and went no contact for about 8 months, then I tried to apologize once over text in a moment of weakness, but she simply said ‘Why are you even texting me I want nothing to do with you.’ Since then I haven’t heard from her or heard anything about her again. My life is muuuuuuuch better now that I have grown as a person and started to value myself.”
The No Show Brought No Hope
“The person I considered my best friend moved to another town for the last year of middle school. It was only ten minutes by train away but we saw each other a total number of two times after that. Plans were made but dropped at the last minute (often by not saying anything about it at all until I asked what time we were going to meet, etc.).
The last straw was when we had made plans for me to come over, my friend had something to do that day so we could only squeeze in some time fairly early, so I got up in the morning, got myself on the train and then texted that I’d be at the station in five minutes, and got a reply that said something like, ‘it seemed like you didn’t really want to meet up, so I’ve made plans with someone else.’ I have no idea what I’d said or done that gave off the impression I didn’t want to meet, we had planned to meet, and if I want to cancel plans I would actually say so rather than just ignoring the topic altogether and then not showing up.
So sitting there on the train feeling a bit foolish, I decided that was it. I didn’t even reply to that text, I stopped reaching out to that person, and to my complete lack of surprise I wasn’t reached out to in return.”
The Monster Wants You To Be A Better Person
“Up until recently, he had been a great friend. He helped me through the torturous breakup with my ex-wife, he was helping me with my mental health and it was him who encouraged me to go into therapy to get help.
Recently though, his behavior towards me started to change. He became hypercritical of decisions I was making, he would undermine me around our other friends and he was perpetually correcting me. Like, going to extraordinary lengths to prove me wrong or prove himself right.
Then I found something funny on Reddit that I shared in a group chat a few of us had with him in it. He immediately jumped on it and started giving me a load of strife. I lost my temper. I left the group to just get some space. He messaged me and started going on about me acting like a child and such so I just told him. I was sick of his attitude. I was sick of him talking down to me, constantly undermining me and correcting me.
His reply? ‘I do it for your own good so you can be a better person.’
Seriously? I said goodbye to him. I wasn’t upset, I actually felt relieved. Since leaving my ex, I’ve come to realize that having people in your life who bring you down isn’t worth the time or effort. I feel better that he’s not in my life at the minute.”
This Is Not An Intervention
“I had a best friend all through my teen years. We hung out several days a week.
One day she calls me and invites me to meet for lunch with a mutual friend. When I arrive they are both sitting on the same side of the diner booth.
She beings ‘I invited her here for support and mediation.’ Then proceeded to unleash all of her grievances with me. She was bringing up petty situations from years previous that I didn’t even know had upset her.
I guess I had hung out with some guy she was interested in romantically. I didn’t invite her to a concert I was going to, even though she didn’t like the band. Things like that. She ended it with ‘I’m just not getting anything out of this friendship anymore.’
The entire time I’m just sitting there silently in shock. I was totally blindsided by all of it. Just a few days before we had been hanging out as usual.
She asked me if I had anything to say for myself and I just said ‘This is a lot to process, I don’t know how to respond,’ and excused myself and left.
We have not spoken to each other since. Its been over a decade. I haven’t even seen her. She’s not on social media. I have no idea what happened to her or what she is doing with her life. I think about her often, not necessarily in the sense that I want to reconnect, but just that she was my best friend for so long, and our friendship ended so abruptly and strangely.”
It Doesn’t Happen All At Once
“I’m currently planning a wedding and we’re trying to keep the guest list under 100. When trying to narrow down who to invite, we thought about what criteria should be met. Who knows about our day-to-day lives? Who has been there for us recently? Who have we been there for? Have I even talked to this person in the last year?
Essentially, who is an active and caring person in our lives. Well, when really considering people with that in mind, I realized very few people actually meet those standards. I know friendship cannot be fitted into neat and tidy packages, but when you stop and look at certain friendships objectively, it puts things into perspective.
For example, I thought my college friends would be lifelong friends and even though we drifted a bit in recent years, I still thought we were close.
But I moved out of state a few years ago and some of them have never expressed a desire to visit me or wanting me to visit them. And last year, I went to rehab because I was having difficulty maintaining sobriety (now I have 10 months!) and maybe one person has checked in. I think some would even have a problem that my wedding is going to be a dry event. I realized these people once had a huge part of my life, are not really part of my life anymore. Sometimes it stings, but I have a beautiful life now and I wouldn’t trade it back for some shallow friendships.”
An Undeserved Reputation
“I was friend with a girl I was a bit interested in. We were always flirting a little and we sounded like old times friends.
On New Year’s Eve night, a couple we didn’t know at the party we were at asked if we were dating. I said no, but she said ‘ahahaha … no never’
What do you mean? I asked
‘Well you’re the kind of guy who cheats on his girlfriend’
She was serious, she never saw me in a relationship, she just guessed it out of nowhere and dropped it in front of strangers.
Another friend heard it and saw my face, probably the most surprised face you could see, took my arm and took me away from her.
Turned out a lot of my female ‘friends’ were talking behind my back, some jealous people began spreading rumors and this very good ‘friend’ just believed everything.
I lost a lot of friends that night…”
Marketing Is Not The Right Way
“I was back in my old hometown for a weekend, and I went to a favorite pub. I was sitting there enjoying a cold one when an old friend I hadn’t seen since high school walked in. We’ll call him Kevin.
It was awesome to see him again. I invited him to have a drink, but he said he was on his way to Rodney’s house for a party. ‘Dude, you should come with me! Everybody’s there!’ He listed off a few names. That sounded even more awesome.
‘Rodney’s house is just down the street. We’ll take my car.’ So I hopped in his car with him. No, the party was not ‘just down the street.’ It was about three miles from my local, and farther still from my house. No big deal, I guess.
I asked if he wanted to hit a store on the way to pick up some drinks for the party. ‘No need,’ said Kevin, ‘there’s already loads of drinks at Rodney’s.’
We got to Rodney’s house and I walked in to see Rodney, a few other old friends, and a bunch of people I didn’t know. They were all sitting around the living room listening to a guy in a suit who was giving a sales presentation.
I asked Rodney where the drinks were. ‘Oh, we’ll get to the drinks, but first I want to hear this guy’s amazing business opportunity!’
So I sat for a few minutes while the salesman went on and on. Everybody in the room was listening intently, and a few people even said things like, ‘That’s amazing! What a great deal!’
It gradually dawned on me that my ‘friend,’ Kevin, had Shanghai’d me into attending an Amway party. I tried to wait it out, hoping the presentation would be over soon, but it just kept going and going. I started to get angry.
The salesman asked me if I wanted to start my own business and be my own boss. ‘Yeah,’ I said, ‘But isn’t this just Amway?’
‘Oh, no!’ he replied. ‘Not Amway! This is [non-Amway company name which is obviously Amway in disguise.]’
After that exchange, he ignored me and focused on the rest of the crowd. I kept getting madder and madder.
Finally, I turned to Kevin, ‘Dude, I am totally not into this. Can you please drive me back?’
‘I’ll drive you back later,’ said Kevin. ‘I don’t want to miss out on this exciting opportunity!’
So I left. And walked three miles back to my local on my own. And it was raining.
All in all, it took only about two hours for Kevin to change from ‘old friend’ to ‘person that I would be upset if I ever see him again.'”
The Moment It Dawns On You
“One day I realized that of all the people I know, I know the least about my best friend.
We navigated the awkward middle school years together. We were inseparable through high school and remained close through college even though we went to different schools. She was my other half. The kind of friend where you could just be yourself and not worry because you knew you were understood. We spoke fluently in inside jokes. I felt like she was my sister. I thought we would be close forever.
But then there came a time when she could come home to visit, and she would be reluctant to make time for us to hang out. She was just too ‘busy.’ Little by little, she made it clear that our friendship was no longer a priority.
We both got married and moved to different states. People grow apart as they get older, I get that. But it’s rare that she texts me back now. And she isn’t active on social media, so besides the 15 min phone call once a year, I have no idea who she is now.
Honestly, this is one of the things in my life that makes me the saddest. I still want that level of friendship but have yet to find it anywhere else. It’s so hard to find that as an adult.”