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You Asked: How Long Should I Accept Her Silence?

DearSugar --

About 3 years ago my best friend from childhood and I got back together after a sixteen-year separation. It was like nothing had changed. We were both newly single and we talked, emailed and chatted at least 3 times a day. We went out to clubs every weekend and listened to each other when a dream date turned into a disaster. It was like a real-life Sex and the City.


Then everything changed. She started a new friendship with a colleague and we all hung out for a while. We both found boyfriends. She broke up with hers but I'm still with mine. Then suddenly I became a leper. I can't really understand it but she stopped returning phone calls, emails and declined invitations. It seems that she decided to replace me with this new colleague as soon as I had a boyfriend.

This has caused a lot of pain. It's like being dumped by a guy but it's worse because I don't have a best friend to talk to about it. I have sent countless emails with little or no response. Should I keep trying to heal the relationship and find out what happened, or should I just read the writing on the wall? ~Sincerely, Shunned Sheila

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Dear Shunned Sheila --

You lost a friend, found her, and now appear to have lost her again for no reason you can understand. This sounds very painful and unsettling. Still, you do seem to understand, through your description of the chain of events, why she has disappeared. It's not pretty, but it certainly seems likely -- and sad.

Some friendships become deep, long-lasting bonds between people. Some fade, fracture, or crumble altogether. Some friendships serve a purpose or a function, and when that purpose ends, so do the friendships. Perhaps your friend is jealous, threatened by something and ashamed to admit, or perhaps she wanted a playmate, which is a different thing entirely from a friend.

We can only speculate, which I don't recommend doing for too much longer, Sheila. If she can't show you the basic courtesy of a response, the only thing left for you is to grieve the loss, take care of yourself and open yourself to another friendship.

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