Letting Go Of Frenemies

Monday , 18, February 2013 5 Comments


Once upon a time, I was a part of a group of girlfriends. Through random circumstance (read: having a lot of the same classes together in high school) we all became close, vowing to never ever lose touch, to still get together even after we graduated college, got married, and have kids. In a pre-social media world, this seemed like an uphill battle. However, all of us were in college at the time that sites like Myspace and Facebook emerged, so staying in touch did not seem so hard anymore. It was literally as easy of a click of a button or a scroll down my news feed. Granted, I did lose touch with a couple of them along the way, but the “core” group of girls remained, even (coincidentally or not) all getting married within a year of each other.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d be willing to bet that almost none of us are as close as we want to be. We attempted to get together once or twice a year for a while after we all had kids, but let’s be honest: Not only is it hard to get away for a weekend away within your own family, trying to coordinate 5-6 different schedules is almost impossible.

I tell you all of that to set the stage for my main point of the story. A few months ago, I deleted one of those women off my Facebook. It was not anything more personal than this being a woman that, had it not been for social media, I probably would have lost touch with long ago. My friendship with her was not as close as it was with a couple of the other girls. If I’m being completely honest, we were probably more “frenemies” than friends.

While I was at it, I deleted a bunch of other people I felt it was okay to lose contact with, too. I have had a Facebook account since September 2004-so almost since the beginning of (Facebook) time. Sure, I may have taken Political Science 101 with you and gotten sloppy drunk with you to celebrate passing our hardest finals, casino pa natet but the truth of the matter is, that’s about all we’ll ever have in common. I am almost sure I’ll never see some of them again.

So….why do I feel so guilty? An email conversation with said frenemy after she noticed I deleted her still leaves me rattled. Did I make a mistake? Should I have disrupted the flow of things? Did I do it to create drama?  On the other hand, the conversation went exactly like it’s always gone. While I consider myself to be fairly drama free now, it was not always that way. I used to thrive on it. But then I became a mom, and I don’t want to model that behavior to my children. (This is not to say I don’t still indulge from time to time. I do. I’m human. I’m working on it, because, again, I do not want to thrive on negative behavior.) I don’t think this person is like that all the time, either. I just think we happen to be like oil & water.

Another Facebook friend of mine wrote, shortly after our 10 year high school reunion, that you’ll always be 16 in your hometown. I think part of that is true. I resort to 16 year old behavior around these ladies. That’s not always a bad thing. It’s fun to act like a kid again from time to time. But 16 years old was (almost!) 14 years ago. I’m a different person. We all are.

I guess maybe the biggest thing I struggle with is this: It’s one thing to gradually lose touch with people. It’s another thing to remove them from your life. That’s what I did. I still don’t know if I made the right decision.

How about you? How do you deal, or have dealt, with “frenemies?” Are there people you’ve purposely “unfriended” on Facebook? How did they respond, if at all?

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  • Wendy says:

    I say don’t feel guilty, I have done the same thing lately with my “friends” list. Noone has responded back when they were unfriended, so they didn’t care or didn’t notice. To me there is a huge difference between friend and acquaintance and I consider alot of people on fb to be acquaintances. It’s nice to keep in touch but people change and so do priorities. 🙂

  • Becca says:

    I’ve cleaned up my friends list a few times. One thing that made me do it was that I saw someone I’d recently become friends with on FB around town…and I didn’t say anything to her and she didn’t say anything to me. If we wouldn’t even talk in person when we saw each other in the store, there is no reason we need to be friends on Facebook. Mostly, they don’t even notice when you delete them. I find it odd that she’s so on top of her friends list that she 1) realized someone unfriended her and 2) knew exactly who it was.

  • Jamie says:

    I have a different perspective. If a “real” friend, or a Facebook friend isn’t “toxic”–meaning harmful to me, my family, or my friends, either in person or virtually, I simply let them be! What harm is there in keeping Facebook friends on your Facebook friends list, or old friends in your current personal address book? You don’t HAVE to see/speak to someone regularly for them to be a “real” friend. I have plenty of genuine friends whom I don’t hear from for years at a time. Yet when we finally do cross paths, it is as if no time has passed. I have no doubt that if I, or someone in my family, needed help, I could call on those friends, and they would respond. I trust they know that I would do the same for them. Not all friends have to be regularly groomed. Many of my friends keep up with others on Facebook, but never post one word. Often, I have found out that something I have said or done (both good and bad) made an big impression on someone, and they did not let me know for years! You never know the impact your posts may have on others. I believe God can use the things we post to encourage and inspire others. If someone doesn’t want to read what I post, they can “hide” or unfriend me. I don’t “unfriend” others. I choose to try to be a friend to everyone–I don’t worry about whether or not the relationship is reciprocal!

    • Julie says:

      I would normally agree with you, however, this particular friendship was more toxic than not, unfortunately. I certainly agree with you on trying to use facebook to encourage & inspire others!

  • Holly E. says:

    No guilt! You did what you felt was right. What you said about how you feel, well that just makes you human. I think, as women, we are especially critical of our actions when others feelings are involved. Makes we realize that I need to reevaluate some of the people I have on my FB….