LovelyMe asks: I am really exhausted. I’m currently in college and it’s so much work. On top of that, I’ve been having issues lately with my best friend – that I feel like I can’t really call my best friend. I feel like she gets around other people and acts totally different, and that’s not the person I’m used to. Also, she’s really judgmental and that affects me sometimes. I feel like sometimes I can’t be myself, because our beliefs aren’t the same. What really hurt me was the fact that her mom said she didn’t want her to hang around me because I had a girlfriend; it kind of offended me because I’m not gonna make her daughter like girls – this isn’t an contagious disease! Minus that, I feel like the person I’m with is cheating on me because our conversation has become really distant since I went off to college. We’re always arguing and we barely call each other. I feel like I’m not getting any attention while I’m away. I love her so much and I can’t see myself without her. I’m just so exhausted because I feel like I’m going through obstacles in a game, just to prove who I am to people, and being rejected again. Please help me because I have no clue what to do.
Hi LovelyMe –
I’m so sorry you’re going through this. But as awful as it is – it’s very normal. Kids have friendships that are inseparable… until they separate. Suddenly, their views and desires for what kinds of adults they want to be send them in different directions. And nothing’s ever quite the same.
It seems like you two are right in that transition now. When you and she are alone, it’s like it used to be, but when other people are around, she acts completely different. And when you’re away at college, conversation is distant, and you feel ignored. Then you have that other element, that her mother is intolerant of your sexuality, which makes things tough for both of you.
There’s no really great solution to this. But my best suggestion is to let it happen. I know, that hurts (believe me, NO one gets more attached than us dogs!). But the more you try to fight it, the more strain it’s going to put on your relationship.
Stay in touch of course, and get together when you’re in town with each other (though best to avoid her mom, at least for now!). And when you are together, I’ll bet you find the same great chemistry you always had, the same affection… and you know that way you and she laugh with each other that you never quite get with anyone else? That’ll be there too.
I often get letters from people whose friends have betrayed them, or completely left them. That’s not your situation, and that’s a good thing! Instead, you’re just dealing with the fact that moving off to new worlds that excite and fascinate you always carries a bit of sad loss with it. Will you two stay friends? I think you will – it sure looks that way! But will it ever be just as it was before? It just can’t.
If you want to hear a great song about this, that might just get you crying, may I recommend tracking down an early Bob Dylan tune called, of all things, “Bob Dylan’s Dream.” The title’s not very imaginative, but the song nails what you’re going through perfectly.
Be strong, and look forward, while keeping in touch with your past. That’s a pretty good recipe for living life as well as anyone can!
All my best,