A Presence From Your Past: Could You Take A Former Friend You Had A Falling Out With Back In Your Circle Years Later?

Last month we ran a piece on our site about marriage and whether or not you could forgive and take back your husband if he gave up on your relationship, but later decided to give things another try. Think Kordell changing his mind on his choice to file for divorce from Porsha and deciding to seek counseling instead of a divorce lawyer. There were definitely some very interesting responses, especially since I think we can all agree that we can’t say for sure what we would do until we are in such a situation, but all I could think of how this whole discussion reminded me of a friend more than any relationship I had been in in the past.

This friend of mine, make that a former friend, we had been cool since junior high. We were part of a clique of close friends, going to homecoming together in similar colors, kicking it post-prom, hitting up each person’s college graduation parties, crying together through each other person’s sorrows, celebrating each person’s come-ups. But post-college, life got a little too real for everybody, and the stress of life caused this friend to be come very anti-social. She fell out with one of the other members of our clique, and all of a sudden there was all of this pressure on me to maintain friendships with both parties, even though they acted as if the other couldn’t be trusted. After feeling too much pressure from said friend, who seemed more bitter and hurt than the other, I told her how I felt (since their problems had nothing to do with me and I didn’t want to be in the middle), and she didn’t like what I had to say. That was the last real conversation we’ve had in years.

I actually loved this friend very much, so to fall out with her was almost like a bad break up with an ex. No crying, but the confusion and hole left in my life could have warranted a few tears. We had shared many special moments together and I looked at her more like a sister than a friend, so when she decided she didn’t want to be bothered with any person in our clique, including moi, and moved on with her life, I was pretty hurt. And mad angry.

After some time, I’ve moved on. But do I miss her sometimes? Of course. But if she called me tomorrow and said she’d like things to go back to the way they used to be, I don’t think I could say that would be possible. I think we can all agree that trust between friends is a huge deal, and when you can’t trust a friend to stick around long enough to weather storms with you, to handle different situations and problems like an adult, and to stop thinking of themselves as always the victim, it becomes clear that they aren’t really adding anything to your life but stress (“Oh Lord, what is she upset about now??” “Is she ignoring me again?” “Here goes that passive a** aggressive behavior again!”). And it makes it worse when you start tip-toeing around their emotions for fear they might find some little nothing to claim they’re upset about and ditch you again.

I haven’t received such a call, and if I did, I think I would be there if she needed me, but honestly, I would try and keep her at an arms length. Consistent friends who don’t let things fester are a precious thing, but friends who ditch you when they don’t get their way and then come back around are…many things in my opinion, but let’s just sum it up by saying they’re more of a liability. Besides, years have gone by! We’re practically different people in different places in our lives. And for that reason alone, it might be time to move on and keep looking forward…

But if you’ve ever fallen out with a friend and they came back around and wanted to be cool again, could you trust them enough to take them back in your circle?

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