Amy Sept 18 - potential ways to reset, to move on

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Sep 18, 2020, 11:05:31 PM9/18/20

Ask Amy: Fight over shared lodging expenses may end this friendship
Today 12:06 AM
Ask Amy column
Amy Dickinson writes the syndicated Ask Amy column.Tribune Content Agency

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By Amy Dickinson
Dear Amy: I am a single male in my early 30s. After law school, I met
“Judith,” and we became best friends. Judith and I were both competitive
athletes in the same sport, the same age, and knew some of the same people.

The friendship was always strictly platonic. Honestly, I considered her
my best friend.

We had a falling-out over something quite petty, on its face: After a
fun party weekend in the mountains, I felt compelled to ask her (and her
boyfriend) to pay for part of the lodging expenses. It really wasn’t
about the actual money, but I couldn’t help but to feel used. It
embarrassed me to ask her to contribute after the fact, when I had
assumed that they would step up without asking.

Anyway, the resulting (text) conversation we had was insulting. She
brought up topics from the past that were completely unrelated and out
of line. I felt hurt and betrayed.

This happened over a year ago. She has reached out multiple times to
apologize and try to mend fences. For the most part I do not respond.

Most recently, she reached out to ask if I considered the friendship
permanently over. She wanted to invite me to her engagement party. I do
think her attempts to reconcile have been genuine and she understands
that she was in the wrong regarding our falling-out.

The thing is, I don’t want to be friends with her. I feel like once the
paper is crumpled up, it can’t be perfect again.

I can forgive her for the petty argument, but I will never forget how it
made me feel. The way I view her as a person has been forever altered.

Do I need to rethink my approach regarding friendship? Am I wrong to
think it’s fine to move on from friendships when they prove to be broken
beyond repair, regardless of all \ the positive memories associated with
the friendship during an important period of life?

— Disoriented in Denver

Dear Disoriented: In a perfect world, we would never need to smooth out
a piece of crumpled paper in order to reread what’s written upon it; we
wouldn’t need to accept an apology; we would never face the necessity of
forgiving someone.

However, the world is not perfect. No one’s story (yours included) can
be read on pristine paper.

I think it’s possible that “Judith” has changed. She is being honest,
contrite, and apologetic. She is extending a hand. You have firmly
anchored to your disappointment. I wonder if this is the kind of person
you want to be.

In short, yes, I do think you need to rethink your approach to
friendship (this one, and perhaps others, as well).

This re-evaluation doesn’t mean that you must re-enter Judith’s life,
but most disappointments offer opportunities for growth. Judith may have
grown. Have you?

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