I Didn't Ruin This Friendship, You Did

Why do I have to put in the effort, and you don't?

unhappy friends Cast Of Thousands / Shutterstock

By Emma Spear

“Hey! I haven’t heard from you in forever!” “Why don’t we text anymore?” These are just some of the messages I have gotten from people I’ve lost touch with over the years.

It’s as if our friendship just died. And the only answer that I have for them is: You. It’s all about you, babe.

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I am always the person who reaches out first. I’m always the one to initiate a text, to see if someone wants to meet up, or to see if someone is free for a cup of coffee.

Yet no one reaches out and asks me how I am or if I want to grab a cup of coffee.

It’s all about you and your life, but the second I want to talk about something, I’m left on read or given a quick answer like “yeah” or “OK.” Meanwhile, I just wrote you an entire paragraph about your situation.

I give you all my attention, and I can’t even hold yours for 30 seconds. And I’m sick of it.

I’m always the friend who puts in the effort and responds at 3 a.m. when you’re overthinking and in need of someone to talk to. Yet when the roles are reversed, I’m the one waiting around for a response.


And I’m the one who has to sit there with my thoughts festering in my mind.

Why do I have to put in the effort, and you don’t?

Sure, I get it: You have other friends and people in your life that you’re closer to. And maybe they take up more of your time. And that’s fine. But when I don’t respond to you, why is it an issue?

It’s OK for you to ignore me and go days without talking to me. But the second I go quiet, you’re wondering where I went. Why do you get the chance to be quiet, but I don’t?

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The weird thing is if I don’t reach out, you don’t take the initiative and reach out to me either. So it’s silence on both ends of our friendship, and there is no relationship left.


So you’re telling me that to have a relationship with you, I not only have to respond to you, but I have to be the first to reach out, even when you don’t reach out half the time?

Make it make sense. You probably can’t, can you?

Look, I get it. Things happen, and life gets busy. Sometimes we don’t have the chance to talk all the time. I have people in my life that I don’t text often, and I never question our relationship. Because I know life gets crazy, and I know our bond is secure.

But when you go from texting and messaging me every day to half-ass responding to me and leaving me on read two to three times in a row, that’s when I draw the line.


“Am I annoying?” “Did I seem too excited?” “Was I mean?” “Am I not a good friend?”

When you start making me wonder what I did wrong. When you don’t reach out anymore. And when I start questioning what I did when you stop responding. That’s when I realize that our friendship isn’t worth it anymore.

I’m not perfect. I may not respond in a split second. I may forget to hit send sometimes. And I might send you paragraphs when I’m trying to convey my feelings.

But I know that I’m a damn good friend, and I refuse to let anyone make me feel like I’m less than that.


You don’t want to talk anymore? That’s fine. You want to be immature and not tell me how you feel? OK, sure.

But when you’re at your lowest point and feel like you have no one to turn to, don’t blame me for that. I didn’t cut the string of our friendship — you did.

Take care of yourself.

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Emma Spear is a student, paraeducator, writer, and contributor to Unwritten. She has a passion for writing about mental health, self-care, and education.