By Naomi

This quote is so important right now. It says so much. It’s also very true.

Two things you will never have to chase: True friends & true love. Mandy Hale

I’ve found that as I’ve got older, my responsibilities have increased. This has inevitably meant that my time for myself, let alone to spend the people that are important to me, has significantly  reduced. This is especially compounded by the fact that I have little to no childcare options. The joys of single motherhood.

Needless to say, I find this difficult. As although I’d say that I’m quite a loving person, I have a small inner circle. So when I don’t have the time or money to see my friends and family as much as I’d like, because of the demands of being a working single mother with an enormous childcare bill, I feel guilty. I want to be there for my loved ones.

Open letter

I’m quite an organised blogger, usually I plan my posts in advance. I even have a schedule. I haven’t planned this. It’s coming straight from my heart and my head. Who knows if that is a wise decision, but I can’t not think this. It has to be said. It has to be said to the intended recipient, so I am going to write directly to them.

This letter was written a while ago, but the sentiments and the sense of loss prevails. It’s hard. I hope the intended recipient understands why I’ve written this and why this is on my mind.

Open letter


I care about you, but you know that, or at least I want you to know that the fact I care about you is why I’m writing. Things have changed in the way that we are with each other but I want you to know that I’ve always got your back. I’m never going to stop caring and taking an interest in what you do. For me, emotions do not just switch off like a light bulb. Maybe they do for some people, I’m just not built that way.

I want you to reach your full potential and achieve all of your dreams. All of them. Not just in your career, which understandably is a huge focus for you right now. Believe me when I say I beam with pride every time you tell me something amazing that you have been involved in. I’m so proud of you.  You deserve your success.

I know I’ve joked with you about my plan for world domination, I think you’ll beat me to it. I hope you do, you deserve it. But also, please remember the personal dreams that you have. Particularly, the one that you told me that you didn’t think would ever happen for you, that you’ve closed yourself off to. It will happen, one day and it will be amazing for you. You just have to be open to it. You also have to work at it too. Be honest with yourself about what you want.

Open letter

And this is where I think it’ll get harder to write to you. We’re friends, and for me that needs to involve two-way communication. That is currently lacking. I miss you. I miss that you used to ask me how I was. You really don’t seem to care at all now. Or at least that is what is being portrayed. I used to be able to pick up the phone and tell you what was on my mind, but I can’t do that anymore and it makes me wonder if we really are friends? Were we ever really friends?

I wouldn’t hesitate to contact any of my other friends. You? I really think about it and carefully consider any contact. You make me feel sometimes like I’m bugging you, like I’m an inconvenience. I don’t want to feel that way. Also, it feels really strange to not know what is going on in your life anymore.  I really can’t understand how things have got to this stage to be honest. How has this happened? I’ve tried to ask. I’ve tried to find out. I don’t know anymore. I’m tired of trying to understand, and repeatedly hitting a brick wall.

Do you know what has hurt the most? Surprisingly, not the cancellations. As in all honesty, I think that was a wise decision despite the lack of respect for my time. What would we say to each other? We have so little in common now. It’s the fact that I’ve had a difficult time recently, I don’t doubt you have heard about it from mutual friends. But you’ve ignored me. You were the only friend that did. Everyone else checked to make sure I was okay. Not that it’ll ever be okay. Speaks volumes doesn’t it? Especially when written in black and white.

Thing is, I could completely understand it if you were having a challenging time too. You may well have been, to be honest. It’s just that, I’ll never actually know. And that’s sad.

Open letter

So, going forward from this point, what am I trying to communicate? I essentially want you to know that I care about you. I want you to know that even though you will no longer hear from me, that I haven’t stopped rooting for you and hoping you are as fabulous as you should be. I want you to fall in love and be treated the way you deserve. Please don’t settle.

I want you to succeed in everything you do and I have the complete belief that you will do it. But I just can’t be around to see it. Because as much as I want you to be happy, I need a friend. A friend that I can talk to about my life and will share details of theirs. You can’t be that friend. I don’t think I’m being selfish to expect a friend to ask how I am or to have a reciprocal conversation.

I really feel like I do all the running and initiate all the communication, which let’s be honest never really gets beyond the superficial anymore. I think I deserve a proper friend. I’m not a bad person. I have to put myself first and trying to maintain a friendship with you is draining. It’s hard doing all the work. I need to be able to talk freely, so that I know that I’m not alone in my thoughts and experiences.

Open letter

I need to, and want to, be able to listen to you. You never give me the opportunity anymore. I feel restricted when talking to you as given the nature of our friendship, some information from my life I don’t feel able to share with you right now because I no longer know where the line is. The line between confidant  casual acquaintance seems to have been crossed.

I’m glad that for a long time,  I had you in my life and we will obviously share some amazing memories. I just feel that now for me, the very definition of friendship means that it has to be a two-way street and looking at all the evidence, you just don’t want that. That’s fine, things change. Life changes.

It’s just that when friendships end, it’s difficult to know what to do or say as there is no protocol like there is for a divorce or a bereavement. I think it’d be so much easier if I knew what to do and say, if there were rules. You know how much I like structure. Fact is, we’ve drifted apart. That’s normal.

But I want you to know this, you never stopped crossing my mind from time to time, and you probably never will. I’ll always have your back, but I’m reading your signals loud and clear. I love you, you know that, but right now I love me more so I’m taking a massive step back.


80 Replies to “An Open Letter to A Former Friend”

  1. I have been in your shoes with friends. I true friend will understand and stand by you. There is no reason to ever feel guilty when you are taking care of you and your family.

  2. I know how you feel, I have been in your shoes with friends. True friend will understand and always stand by us. But when it comes to choice of family or friends first. I would say family first, as I am mom of two boys. I seldom go out now as I have tasks as mom to care for my kids, my friend ask me out I would explain I have no transporter for them as the cost of having one transporter is not cheap.

  3. It’s so much harder to go out when you have kids and a family. I do want to spend time with my friends, most understand, it’s just the ones without kids that don’t understand and it’s sad.

  4. I completely understand where you’re coming from. A very close friend of mine who I’d been friends with growing up and through college stopped talking to me a couple years ago and, I swear, it was more emotionally taxing than a break-up.

  5. Such a lovely and heartfelt letter! I agree that adults have ever increasing responsibilities and not enough time to do it all. It is important to focus on what truly matters most.

  6. The end of a friendships is a tough one and you have expressed the myriad of emotions so beautifully. It’s hard and it hurts but sometimes walking away is the best option in the current circumstances. Big hug to you.

  7. The end of a friendship is so difficult, especially when you still deeply care about that person. I think you have handled this beautifully and you really must do this for yourself. You deserve more than you are getting from this person and it seems that the friendship has reached the end of what was meant to be. Not everyone who comes into our lives are meant to be there for our entire lives, sometimes they only come for a season.

  8. The other day I was reflecting on the friendships I had in high school and how I only talk to a few of them anymore. People I used to hang out with every day I hardly recognize in Facebook photos anymore. It’s hard to put that feeling into words but I think you did a beautiful job.

  9. This is such a moving read, it is hard, sometime you have to move on from people who have meant a lot, have been so close to us, but for both parties, saying goodbye is a must.

  10. So beautifully said and I completely identify with you when it comes to the loss of a friendship. It seems like this person is no longer invested and even though you are no longer friends I think that it is admirable that you still care about her. I am sorry to hear that you have been going through a hard time, I really hope that everything will be ok and this letter can give you the peace that you need xx

  11. I’m so very sorry. I’ve been there too. I remember especially when I became a mom, many of my friendships fell by the wayside. Mostly, I think, because I had different priorities. Whatever the reason, the outcome is hard, and it really hurts. Good for you for following your gut and being honest, while at the same time extending a spirit that’s kind and gracious. x

  12. I can relate to this so much, have been going through similar recently myself. It’s good you’ve decided to take a step back though, if you try to keep making contact and continue to get ignored it’s even more frustrating. Stepping back means you can come to terms with the breakdown of the friendship and start to heal xxx

  13. One-sided friendships are never fun. And like you said, you have a lot going on as a single mother. You do not have tons of time for a huge circle, so the ones you do want to keep in touch with are the ones where it feels natural.

  14. This was such a beautiful letter. I think it’s an unfortunate fact that as you grow and your life starts to develop; spouse, kids, house, bills and you aren’t maybe as “carefree’ as when you were younger, you do loose “friends” I know i did for the reasons above. Sometimes having a smaller circle of very close Friends that you love and who love you back is better than having hundreds of acquaintances.

  15. This is so true. I hate losing long time friends. But sometimes you realize it’s for the absolute best. We all grow as people and sometimes you HAVE to grow a part from others. So beautifully written.

  16. This is great! I can relate to this experience – I had a best friend all through my childhood but as soon as I went to university we drifted apart and it felt like I was doing all the work and she wasn’t trying! I think in this case it was right for us to drift apart – I soon realised that I think we were only best friends because we lived in the middle of nowhere with few people but in reality we didn’t have anything in common! Also this is beautifully written. 🙂

  17. Damn, this post really hit home because I have a friend I feel this way about– but I can also see myself receiving this letter too from the way I have treated people in the past. Friendships are a special and important kind of relationship, and I’d say that when that kind of bond breaks, it can hurt even more and even longer than a love. Great post, thanks for sharing!

  18. This is VERY relatable. I have had this experience a couple of times in my life. It wasnt no ones fault that we drifted apart but I just kept saying to myself: Some people are in your life for a season and others for a lifetime.
    Very well written article! Loved it!

  19. I know that feeling. Some friends become more important than the own family for many people around me. Sometimes I’m sad to see the ‘friends first’ but everyone needs to find his luck. For me, one thing is true: family first <3 because family will always stay family<3.

  20. I’ve lost quite a few friends in my life, already, and lots of times it is filled with just as much, if not more, sadness as a breakup. I think writing letters to former friends is a great way to mourn, and to just try to understand what we feel. It’s such a healthy way to get stuff out, even if we don’t end up sending it.

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