Ghosted by my best friend

I moved to a different state, and all of a sudden he just stopped replying to my messages. What should I do?

Don’t take it personally, says our elder. Find a way to enjoy your life regardless of what he does.

Dear EWC

My friend and I met a few years ago and we hit it off very quickly. He and I have been best friends ever since and did everything together and talked about everything. We hung out and FaceTimed 24/7 and were always there for each other. We ran up and down the halls in school, laughing and having a great time. He was the only person I could truly be myself around. We would always get mistaken for being a couple due to the fact that we were so close and we just laughed at it. A good friend of his passed away and we stayed together all through that rough time. We both used to say nothing would make us ever part. Four years later, I moved out of state. He was the only reason I had wanted to stay, but we were still extremely close and stayed up all night talking to each other for months and months.

But, one day out of the blue, he started leaving my messages on read and not answering and I figured something happened and he needs space so I gave him weeks of that and then I tried talking to him about it and he told me that he is sorry for ignoring me and he said he wouldn’t do it again, but the next day he did the same thing; he started ignoring me again. He also likes talking to me just not every single day and I understand that. He said this almost two months ago though and I messaged his brother just to see if something happened and his brother said nothing happened with him, he seems like the same happy person so I messaged him one more time and he read it and still did not say anything. People say just give him space, others say he is ignoring me and I should let him go. I don’t know if I am just thinking too much of it, but I feel terrible and feel as if it is all my fault. Or maybe high school just changes people more than we thought, but he seemed great the first few months. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to lose him as a friend, but I also don’t want to stay up at night anymore, wondering what happened and what I should do. We used to be the best of friends and I don’t want that to change. Would you please help the best you can?

Ms.Mary replies

I’m sorry that your friend is ignoring you. I know first-hand how heartbreaking it is when a close friendship ends. Almost all of us experience that numerous times throughout our lives. You didn’t do anything wrong. Don’t take it personally. His actions reflect on him, not you.
It’s a challenge to continue a long-distance friendship, especially when you are a teen and when you live in different states. It seems that this friendship has served you both well, but now it is time to let it go. You are right not to spend any more time worrying about it. Don’t make your happiness dependent on him or anybody else. You will find that friendships come and go throughout your lifetime. Sometimes they are short, yet meaningful, and other times they last a lifetime.

To help find closure, I suggest you write a letter to him explaining how you feel and saying goodbye — but don’t mail it. The exercise of writing down your feelings is very therapeutic. Or you could even plan a little ritual or ceremony. Consider ripping up the letter you write or throwing away something he gave you as a symbol of letting go.

You can’t change his behavior, so find a way to enjoy your life regardless of what he does or doesn’t do. Maybe he will be back in touch eventually, but pushing him, or even desperately waiting and wondering why he isn’t responding is a waste of your time and energy. Want the best for him, without needing anything from him. When you find yourself obsessing about him, distract yourself with friends and activities that you enjoy. Whatever we focus on gets bigger, whether we like it or not, so do your best to give your attention to anything and everything that makes you happy.

When one door closes, another opens. It will take time for the pain to dissipate, but gradually you will start a new chapter in your life. Trust that you will be OK and that in the scheme of things, this has played out as it should even though you can’t understand why. The universe has an uncanny way of surprising and delighting us. Expect that a fantastic future is awaiting you.
I’m happy to talk with you further if I can be of more help. Wishing you relief, clarity, and happiness as you move forward, dear girl.

Letter #: 456950
Category: Friendship

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