Breaking up has always been touted as hard to do. For romantic relationships, I will completely agree. The ending of my marriage was an incredibly intense and difficult decision to have made. I'm grateful for it all now, with hindsight being what it is, but it was definitely hard to go through.
Breaking up with terrible friends, however, turns out to be incredibly easy to do. I had this friend. Let's call them Sam. A nice gender-ambiguous name. Now Sam is someone I started talking to over IM one day. We had been acquaintances prior to that, but we had never really been close before. Suddenly Sam was my new chatting BFF. Every day, all day, we'd discuss literally anything and everything over IM. Complaints about society, the election, global warming, work, mutual friends, general personal gripes, etc.
We made silly pacts. We told deep secrets. We spoke in the way that you can only speak to someone who you never actually have to see in person…ever. Except…
Somewhere along the way I got frustrated with them. The constant negativity and need to constantly be right even when I was agreeing with them got really old, really fast. Something about the way they spoke started to rub me the wrong way. I always felt as though I was on the defensive with them. There were two things that made me finally want to cut the cord.
The first was a conversation about one of the home food shipping services. They were trying to convince me that it was cheaper and I was arguing that while it was certainly more convenient, it definitely isn't cheaper. I then went on to explain how I cook and then reheat my meals throughout the week and blah blah blah. Not even interesting. They came back with "you cook?" As though this was some revelation. Suddenly every conversation we'd ever had about food had a weird coloring to it. Did they think that I just sat home sad and alone eating frozen dinners every night? Do they see me as some slovenly sack of fat crying into my Lean Cuisines?
From there the conversations started to become fewer and fewer. At one point they "accidentally" unfriended me and when I asked what the heck, they claimed they were cleaning out their friends list and it must have happened by accident. Sure, have you ever unfriended someone on Facebook? Literally no need to lie. Then, they told me that they weren't coming into town for a work thing during a specific time. Then, during the specific time? I saw them in the lobby. Weird how that works.
I tried to pull back. I attempted not to be standoffish, but it's hard when you've got someone who clearly doesn't respect you, lies for no reason, and then calls on you when their self-esteem is low or they've run out of people to complain to.
The final straw came while I was out one evening and with family and friends enjoying a show. They attempted to make small talk and I sent a picture of where I was at. It was clear where I was. There was no room for error. The conversation deteriorated from there. Ending with my snarky-jerk attitude shining through despite the fact that I was trying to reign it in and them being a sarcastic-ass right back at me.
I stopped talking to them. Then and there. Decision made. I waited a few days and was weighing the decision of a total social media blackout of this person. Turns out…they beat me to it. I unfriended on Facebook. I blocked them on Instagram since I have a public profile for business reasons.
It's amazingly freeing to have cut that cord. They cut their end and I cut mine. They can go on with their life and I can go on with mine. It's been a couple of months since this happened. It's interesting because this was something we actually discussed before. Where if we're done with someone, we're just done. There's no need to continue to drag things out. Even though we both said that, we clearly waited too long. We didn't let it peter out naturally, we needed a big bang.
Every once in a while I see a meme or article that I think they would like and then I remember that we're not speaking anymore. It's funny though. To think about having someone in your life so intensely only to forget about them so quickly. I'm sure it's the same for them with regards to me. Part of me wonders if they go around telling people what a terrible human I am, but more than likely they've forgotten all about me. Which is as it should be.