Its not You… Its Me. Breaking up with a Friend before the Friendship even begins.


Today I sent what I would call a break up message to a friend- before the friendship had even really  begun.

And like the reason for many break ups, it was a case of ‘its not you, its me’.

No but really, it was. It was all me.

I am slightly, but not entirely ashamed to say that there is absolutely nothing this individual has done directly- wrong or otherwise- to make me feel like I needed to vacate the friendship. In the short time I have known her she has been nothing but lovely, always making an effort to try and upscale our relationship from acquaintance to official friend.

The friendship in question started like many do- through mutual friends with children the same age. You have that thing in common that many a mother I have met thinks shall and will be the glue to what will be a long and prosperous future together. But alas, I disagree with this notion, which is why I have never really enjoyed mothers groups or the like. I am a mother first, but I am also an individual. I like to talk about things other than my children, I like to share adult jokes and after my girls are asleep each night, I like to share a glass of wine with my husband and talk silly stuff that a mother wouldn’t dare at playgroup!

It all started shortly after meeting her for the first time, she invited my family through our mutual friend to her daughters birthday, which turned out to be quite the intimate gathering. Awkward and slightly embarrassed, my little family stayed less than an hour as we felt completely out of place. But it was the start of an odd friendship between her and I, with the bulk of our communication consisting of text messages promising each other to ‘catch up soon’.

So 12 months later and perhaps 2 actual group catch ups in between, the friendship itself hasn’t escalated but the time we have known each other has increased, which is why I now find myself in this awkward position. The natural dissolving of a friendship when one or both parties have ceased to make an effort has not occurred in this case.

The bottom line is- we simply don’t connect as friends or as people.

After that first meeting, the friend in question has tried time and time again to catch up on a one on one basis and I mentally just can’t seem to squeeze these meetings in to my -truthfully busy- life. In all honesty I just feel our time spent together consists of awkward conversations filled with jokes that aren’t understood, and interests that aren’t shared. Yet either she does not feel like this, or I am just friend-fussy- either way its not working out.

So the frustration begins here…

A few comments to our mutual friend later about my ‘lack of effort’ and questions as to ‘what could she have done wrong’ has meant I have had to constantly defend my unreciprocated interest in our friendship and I often find myself copping out with the usual “I’ve been so busy’s” and “Family’s visiting” and “My children are sick”- all which have become tiresome and lame to the recipient and the bearer- me!

She’s bloody persistent that’s for sure. And I can’t work out why… I don’t even really know her.

So I ended it, the friendship that hadn’t begun, in my own little way. It was subtle so maybe she won’t get it- but I hope she does so my awkward excuses can stop.

My question is this-  is it selfish to discontinue friendships that we don’t entirely enjoy simply because we feel we don’t ‘connect’ with people, or should we persevere to see how it goes? Is it unfair to the blameless other party, that has done nothing other than be themselves only to be rejected in this way?

I have been fortunate enough to have made some amazing friends, both new and old. But I have found in most cases, the connection is instant. You don’t have to work for the laughs, and even if you have different interests, which you often do, they compliment the friendship rather than hinder it.

So tell me, am I just being realistic or horrible and judgemental? Be kind when you judge me. I am a full time mother of 3 (ok of 2 if you don’t include my husband!)

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