Friend used me, disappeared, gave lame excuse

Dear Al:
I have been searching the internet for a place to express my discontent with a friendship and to find unbiased advice. I came across your blog and hopefully you have something enlightening to offer.

The year 2009 was a major year in the development of my personal friendships. I chose to end harmful relationships with a few people I have known for over 15 years, more than half of my life. My decisions have been very rewarding. As time passes, I feel less troubled by the decisions I have made. However, there is one friendship that has me quite confused. The friendship I speak of is the least developed relationship I have had in my life. My issue is trying to understand why it bothers me so much.

A little over three years ago we hired a new administrative assistant at my job. He was four years younger than me, so it was pretty nice to have someone working with me who I could help grow professionally. We worked very closely and I became his confidant very quickly. That was a bit awkward, but as we developed a friendship I was able to accept it more easily and still able to handle separating the professional from the personal.

Every so often we would hang out after work, play video games at my apartment, and have drinks and such – the usual friendship stuff we all know. We had much in common and quickly he began calling me his best friend. Whether it was that fact that I had good advice or that I spent more time with him than others, I was not sure. Anyhow, the major part of this became his relationship with his girlfriend. He would tell me everything and I would give him honest advice. I am in a successful 8-year gay relationship. Perhaps my experiences helped him out, when he needed the advice. Whatever it was, he confided in me and would seek me out for some type of guidance all the time. This happened only when things were bad. Since I saw him everyday it was easy to talk all the time. Eventually he got fired from the job and we saw each other less frequently, but we did hang out as usual from time to time. Then she got pregnant and things got even worse for him. I felt badly, and being the friend that I am, was very supportive and there for him anytime, any day. Ultimately things got patched up with her and he disappeared. I wouldn’t see him online, no emails, no texts or phone calls…everything died out completely. I tried a few times during his disappearance to express my discontent with the behavior, but to no avail. He would never respond or give a lame excuse and then I wouldn’t hear from him again. So I decided to end that friendship. I didn’t just end it like that – I told him I was done. As I mentioned I was going through significant changes in friendships I had for much longer than his, so losing him was no big deal.

More than a year passed and he popped up again. He began texting me and emailing me. He started telling me that he held off for long enough and that he misses me, etc, etc. I was open to discuss MY issues and I told him that I was not up for wasting time on a friendship that was one-sided. He never knew how I was really doing because he was so busy talking about his problems and I was the fool consoling him. So we discussed this and he promised to stick around and apologized for his past infractions. I had my suspicions, though. I knew things were bad for him again. Lo and behold he was in fact troubled and going through a breakup with his girlfriend, with whom he has a one year old child and lives with. I kept my guard up, but he was so persistent on hanging out all the time. He was coming over three to four times a week and actually NOT talking about his problems as much as he had in the past. I thought he seemed a bit more mature, so perhaps being so cautious was not necessary. After about three months of constant communication the holidays came and he started disappearing again. Immediately I knew things were going well with his girlfriend. I have always been an advocate of “working things out,” so I am very supportive of making things work in a relationship, especially when you have a child together. I didn’t want to make a big deal of MY issues again. I refused to come across as “dramatic” when all I really am is hurt.

So I couldn’t hold it back anymore and I sent him a text message yesterday. I asked him for 110% honesty and asked why it’s been a month and I don’t hear from him unless I reach out. Furthermore, he was here all the time, and his interest appears to have dissolved. As I expected he gave me a lame excuse about being lazy and work etc, etc. I KNOW that he doesn’t know how to balance his relationship with his girlfriend and those with his friends. I felt the need to test his honesty and he lied. I checked out FaceBook, as people seem to be more honest there than in real life, and of course, he’s back to relationship status. Now I have zero tolerance for him and I pretty much feel the need to ignore him and let that die, as I did in the past. My interest now is myself and remaining loyal to my beliefs in what a friendship should be. I know that everyone is on a different page when they define friendships, but I also know that I am not a doormat to wipe your feet clean every time your girlfriend betrays you. It’s a lose-lose situation for me and I am not sure that my decisions are always right.

So, in conclusion, I just need advice. How would you deal with this? Am I being the stubborn asshole I sometimes feel I can be?


Dear VooDoo:
Nah... you're not an asshole. A sucker, maybe, but not an asshole.

If I was you I would take this as a lesson learned. Unless the person in need is a real friend, don't waste your time extending your hand in friendship and don't cling to hard! I'm not saying you were infatuated by him, but some might think that way since you got your Skiviez' in a twist.

Move on!

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