Do friendships have an expiration date?

Recent experiences with someone I thought was a friend has made me question the shelf life of friendships and I find myself wondering do friendships have an expiration date? These events have made me feel insignificant, rejected, and a failure. It’s made me question my self-worth and ask myself over and over why some people don’t hold friendship as precious and as dear as I do.

People grow up, they get married, they move away, and sometimes they grow apart. It’s a part of life. But what happens when the friendship you think you have with someone turns out to be the complete opposite of what you thought it was? How are you supposed to feel when all of a sudden one day that friend moves away and you have to find out about it through a post on Facebook? You’d feel betrayed, right? Well, that’s exactly what happened. I mean, who does that? I feel like the last 5 years has been a total waste of time and that every sentiment of friendship has been a lie.

The worst kind of friend is one who conceals ill intentions under the guise of kindness and trust. I feel like all of the time and energy I put into being friends with this person was for not. I’ve been asking myself what happened. What did I do to warrant being cut off and not even given the courtesy of a goodbye? It’s likely I’ll never know. I wasn’t told about the move beforehand, so why should I expect an explanation after the fact? I’ve skipped the denial phase of the 5 Stages of Grief and I’m currently stuck on anger. I’m angry that I invested so much time into someone who it seems couldn’t care less about anyone but themselves. A true friend should be there for the long haul no matter the distance between them.

I was hoping that this would turn into some profound post about the virtues of friendship or whatever, but I don’t know if I can make it that. I will say that it’s important to hold onto friendships, but not to the point where someone is making you question your self-worth. Who knows why my friend left without a goodbye and then decided to announce it to the world in such a cold, detached way  – that’s on them and their conscience. I know in my heart I would never do that to someone I considered a friend.

My friend liked to talk about people giving off “red flags” and he put a lot of weight into them when deciding whether or not to date someone or break up with them. Much like dating red flags, there are also friendship red flags and if I’m being honest, he had many of his own. I chose never to see them and have always looked past his shortcomings. Had I not been blind to the red flags, I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this blog post. When I really sit and examine this situation rationally, I know it has nothing to do with me. Why am I questioning myself and wondering what I did wrong when I know that history has proven that he is flighty and incapable of maintaining lasting relationships? Why am I beating myself up when I know that it’s just the way he’s built? It’s because I thought I was different. I thought our friendship was different, but it wasn’t. And I never knew he thought so little of me until this past Thursday. But what I know now is when someone shows you their true colors, believe them.

If I’ve learned anything from this so far it’s that some friendships come with a shelf life. Even those friendships you think are strong enough to withstand anything may not last forever. Some people are only loyal to their need of you and when those needs changes so does their loyalty. When that happens you have to pick yourself up, find a way to let go, and move on. You have to let go of the anger, grieve, and then get back to focusing on the things that are most important in your life. For me, it’s going to be giving my time and energy to those who make me feel like I’m an important part of their life. It’s my husband, my family, and those people who still count me as a friend. It’s this blog and all of the many things I still have left to say. It’s the wonderful ladies in the blogging group I belong to who have reminded me that I’m special, I’m important and most importantly that I’m not a failure.

So, to answer the question “Do friendships have an expiration date?” – the answer is yes, sometimes they do and that’s okay. It’s a part of life. Nothing lasts forever. Cherish the friends and relationships you do have and never stop seeking to make new ones. Love the people who love you, forget the ones who don’t deserve you, and know that everything happens for a reason. Life goes on – and so will you and I.

Have you had a friendship end abruptly? How did you deal with it and what did you do to move on from it?

Until next time…

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  • Reply Lindsay

    Hi Michelle! First of all, thank you so much for this post. I recently went through something similar with a friend. He essentially stopped communicating with me with no explanation. I, too, experienced many, many red flags with this person and he had a long history of deceit. I struggle with being angry and wondering what I did wrong, and wanting to know what happened, but I know that the problem is him, not me. I try to think of it now as a blessing. I have my family and good friends and that’s all that really matters.

    Thanks again for writing about this!

    August 2, 2017 at 9:22 am
    • Reply thatmrsmiller

      Sorry you had to go through that. I’m working through it and I’m hoping to see it as a blessing at some point as well. Thanks for commenting!

      August 2, 2017 at 2:46 pm
  • Reply DC Wilcoxen

    Well said, and yes, it hurts. To this day, I have no idea why someone who claimed to be my best friend, just disappeared… I value the friends I have, thank you for being one of them.

    August 2, 2017 at 9:33 am
    • Reply thatmrsmiller

      Friendship is so important and I don’t understand why some people don’t see how valuable it is. Happy to be your friend as well!

      August 2, 2017 at 2:47 pm
  • Reply Nancy Speed

    You are my daughter and best friend. Love you.

    August 2, 2017 at 6:37 pm
    • Reply thatmrsmiller

      You’re mine as well. Love you too ❤️❤️

      August 2, 2017 at 7:44 pm
  • Reply Dave Shultz

    …was for not. Not not but naught.

    It’s difficult to asses this situation. Perhaps he did not have the same feelings about your friendship that you have. It’s hard to understand with only one side of the equation. I am not negating your feelings, just wondering how he felt.

    August 15, 2017 at 3:58 pm
    • Reply thatmrsmiller

      Thanks for the spell check. I’m not really sure how he felt either at this point. His actions told me everything I ever needed to know. Thanks for commenting.

      August 15, 2017 at 4:03 pm

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