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When To Dump A Friend

Submitted by Jenny Roth on June 10, 2010 – 5:25 amComments

Nobody’s perfect, obviously. Even our bestest friends. At some point or another they’ll disappoint us. Maybe they skipped your birthday party or refused to pick you up from the airport or got drunk and puked on your favorite pair of suede pumps. But what happens when they do something so heinous that it makes you contemplate dumping them? When do you break up with a friend?

Best Friends Forever?

There are many reasons to break up with a friend, but alas, I believe I have unwillingly discovered the number one reason. It’s a cardinal rule of friendship that should never be broken: sleeping with a friend’s ex. OK, actually the worst thing a friend could do is to sleep with your current partner, but for the purpose of my argument we’ll toss it out as to not ruin the bell curve.

A few days ago, I discovered a friend of mine has been seeing my ex behind my back. Ben wasn’t a boyfriend per se, but I did date him for a solid month or so. I had confided in my friend Amber ever since the break-up. “Do you still like him?” she’d ask me every now and then. “Yep,” I replied, “I’d hit it.” Which, in my special language roughly translates to “I still have strong feelings for this man.” Then, suddenly one day there was a shift. Amber started avoiding me, and when I did see her, had an aura of guilt surrounding her.

Call it an instinctual ability, but based on rather sparse clues I managed to piece together what was going on. I subtly asked her about the budding relationship via text message. What followed was a back and forth of “no I’m not” and “yes you are” that resulted in her finally admitting the affair. Here’s the weird part… it wasn’t the actual transgression that upset me, but the denial. I’m pretty sure if she has just admitted it in the first place, I would have been far less upset.

I haven’t actually talked to her since this all went down, nor has she tried to talk to me. I guess that makes us both non-confrontational haters of all things drama. But eventually, because of many mutual friends, I’ll have to see her again. Should I preemptively call her and try to make up? Is that even my responsibility? Or should I just take this whole situation as a sign that she didn’t deserve my friendship in the first place?

I still haven’t decided if I’m going to dump my friend or not. Either way, from now on I don’t think I’ll introduce her to my boyfriends for a while.

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  • I've been a witness to this behaviour more than once. I think it depends on the situation. If it's a meaningless fling, then I'd be upset your friend would risk hurting or upsetting you for something 'meaningless'. I would find that close to unforgivable.

    If however they have true feelings and the feelings are reciprocated, you really should step out of the way. It this hard? Yes. But it's also a grown up thing to do. Truly.

    Good luck either way.
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