Ten Ways To Tell If A Friendship Has Past Its Expiry Date | Life Love and Hiccups: Ten Ways To Tell If A Friendship Has Past Its Expiry Date
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Tuesday 30 May 2017

Ten Ways To Tell If A Friendship Has Past Its Expiry Date

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It goes without saying that life would feel pretty empty without your friends in it.

Your sisters from other misters or maybe even your brothers from other mothers, these friends are those special ones with whom you have chosen to trust with your deepest secrets, who you turn to when you are busting with exciting news to share, and who you seek out when you need someone to carry you through the shittier days that life insists we endure every now and then.

They are beside us through the good times as well as the not so good and if they were suddenly gone - we would miss them as much as we would miss our left hand if it too suddenly went missing.

I mean, you could cope without your left hand... I guess. It sure as hell would be difficult though and probably even unbearable at times.

So then how do we cope when a friendship ends, and what if you were the one to end it?

Why would you even consider drawing the curtains closed on a friendship?

Hmmm good question, but the answer is simple - because sometimes a friendship has past its used by date and is no longer good for you.

Alright, so how can you tell if a friendship has past it's expiry date?

Well, if you are anything like me, you probably try to hang on to those friendships to the bitter end. You do what you can to 'fix' it and you are not beyond donning the gloves in a bid to fight for them.

You think nothing of whipping out your nunchucks to defend them to the end when others repeatedly speak badly of them, and often you are willing to forgive the unforgivable because let's get real here... breaking up with someone sucks and who is ever really ready to just let a friendship go?

Maybe you are more ready than you realise.


I know.

Your left hand is twitching right?

I've had to break up with a friend before, and it was an awful thing to go through. You miss them like crazy and for a long time you find yourself reaching for the phone to call them to tell them about your news or to share a juicy bit of gossip you know they would love.

There's no denying that the end of a friendship can leave a big gaping hole in your life, but much like that infected hole you once regretted piercing in your belly button... it needs time to close up and to heal, but you know you'll be better without it in the long run.

A very special friend once explained to me her views on friendships and how they can pretty much be divided up into three different categories; Reasons, Seasons or Lifers.

The 'Reasons' are those who came into your life for... well der, a reason.

There was something that brought you together in the first place, school or uni, mother's group or even your work. Maybe she was a friend of your sister or a fellow school mum newbie who held your hair for you whilst you expelled the excess champagne you nervously consumed at your first school trivia night.

Whatever or however - she came in to your life for a reason, albeit one you may never actually understand, and she may only be around for a short time or perhaps for many many years to come.

There is a chance she may become a lifer... but there is also a chance that she won't, because no matter the reason that she came into your life in the first place, sometimes, that reason isn't enough to keep the friendship alive forever.

The 'Seasons' come and go like their name suggests. Often we fall hard and fast for these friends, but they rarely last the distance long term.

One day you just quietly fall out of friendship with this friend, and you may not even realise it has happened until you find yourself in the supermarket feigning interest in the calorie content of a can of Whiskers rather than making eye contact with her and enduring an awkward post seasonal friendship conversation.

The 'Lifers' are your soul mates, your kindred spirits and the ones you would do anything for. You love them with all your heart and even though you may have the occasional spat - you never doubt the bond that ties you together. Your friendship with a 'Lifer' is never too hard.

Often you will go for long periods where you don't see each other or even speak, but that moment you are reunited... it's easy as and you effortlessly pick right up wherever it was that you left off.

Friendship shouldn't be all hard work. It really shouldn't.

That's not too say you'll never hit bumps along the way, but a good friendship should never make you do something you don't feel right about and it shouldn't make you feel bad about yourself, or sad or guilty... unless you bonk your bestie's boyfriend or hubby because if you do that then you should TOTALLY feel the guilt and suffer in it because YOU are the bad friend.

So if friendships don't always last forever, how do you tell if your friendship has past its expiry date?

Are the signs obvious?

Sometimes they are... sometimes they are not, but I think it is fair to say that if you ever find yourself regularly feeling any of the following with a friend, it's probably time to consider calling it quits and put that friendship out with your recycling.

1. She's not happy for you. 

Our friends should be happy for us if we are lucky enough to get a win under our belts, and she should with no questions asked, bring out the best glasses if we arrive on her doorstep with champagne and good news to share.

I mean you would for your friend right?

If she has an ongoing reluctance to share in your joy, doesn't have time to listen to your exciting news or is always 'too busy' to celebrate a win with you... then you probably need to check the use by date on that friendship.

2. She likes to make you feel guilty.

Now I'm not talking about the kind of guilt you would get if you stole your bff's boyfriend, or promotion or recklessly trashed her favourite dress she graciously lent you. No, we have already established that you probably deserve any guilt you feel for those things.

I mean the unnecessary guilt that you get piled with when you haven't called her for a while (helloooo, she has fingers doesn't she? She could call you!) or the guilt you are made to feel when a friend who never has time to call / see / catch up with you, somehow manages to make you feel bad for not spending enough time with her or for spending too much time with someone else.

Then there is the guilt she gives you when you dare to speak your mind or disagree with her. Isn't that what a good friendship is built on - honesty? You should be able to discuss with her how you feel about something without being made to feel any guilt for offending her.

That kind of guilt is just not fair and if you repeatedly find yourself having to make up excuses to avoid being smacked over the head with a bucket of unfair guilt, then it's time for you to quietly back away and don't go back.

3. There isn't an equal exchange.

If you are having to do all the work and always be the one to call her or organise when, where and how you are going to catch up, or if you are there for her whenever she needs you but when you need her?


If you are constantly giving and not getting anything in return - then stop it right now because
you deserve more than that. Friendship is after all a two way street and if the exchange isn't flowing both ways then you need to change direction... and put your foot on the accelerator as you drive away.

4. She always talks about herself but never asks about you.

Of course there are going to be times where you won't get a word in edgewise. Your friend might be going through a tough time and just needs time to vent, or maybe she is really excited about something and genuinely wants to share it with you... at a million words per minute.

Generally though, it is not like that ALL the time and you both get equal air time to share what's going on in your life with each other.

It's probably fair to say that if every conversation is about her and she never stops to ask how you are and properly listen to your answer... then she probably doesn't really care too much and the last thing you need is a friend who doesn't give a shit about you.

5. You are always her scapegoat.

Oh man, I'm pretty sure we've all used someone or have been used ourselves as an excuse at some time or another in our lifetime of friendships. But there is a difference between being used as an excuse to not go to a party and constantly finding yourself being used a pawn in a dirty game or being blamed for something you didn't do or say because your friend dumped you in it.

If you are familiar with the latter scenario then... RUN because aint no-one who needs frenemies like that in their life.

6. She is always putting you down.

Now I am not talking about your friend who kindly pointed out your camel toe before you headed out to dinner the other night... no, that is a GOOD friend, keep her!

I'm referring to the one who feels it is her responsibility to point out every flaw you have - whether it be to do with the way you look, how you parent, how you manage your love life or your finances or even how you keep your home.

Good friends go out of their way to build you up and keep you up there, not tear you down and give you an extra boot in the side to make sure you stay there.

7. She is ALWAYS negative about everything.

We have all had at least one of these friends right? A negative nancy who never has anything positive to say about anything or anyone.

How flipping exhausting are they?!

She never sees the positive... in fact she goes out of her way to point out the negatives.

Be careful - she is like a walking talking magnet for negativity because the reality is - you get back what you put out, and so if you are always finding things to moan about... well the universe will make sure you don't run out of those things. You don't want to spend too much time with someone like that... that bad juju can be contagious you know.

8. She is a constant one upperer.

Ha - She's had it worse than you, done it tougher than you, or did it better than you... or at least that's what she insists on telling you.... all the bloody time.

Trust me, if you get a whiff of a 'one upperer' - give her some of the 'you win' recognition she craves and then whilst she's distracted with her victory RUN for the hills because no matter what it is you choose to share with her, she will somehow find a way to make it about her instead... only bigger and better than your version.

9. She won't admit when she is wrong or say sorry.

Look, forgiving is one of the key foundations of a solid friendship.

We are ALL going to screw up at times, we're mortals, we do that, but a good friend will recognise when she has done something wrong and she will own it, say sorry and do what she can to make things right again.

If you find yourself constantly forgiving someone who doesn't deserve or even realise they need to be forgiven, say your goodbyes and get out of there. That's not a friend you have there and deep down you already know it.

10. She makes you feel bad more than she makes you feel good.

You guys - friends are supposed to add to your life in a good way. They should be there to support you when you need them, to laugh and cry and to celebrate with you too... just as you are for them.

She should care as much about you as you care about her and for the most part - you should leave her looking forward to the next time you get to see her or speak with her again.

If a 'friend' constantly leaves you feeling sad or used or not valued - there is a good chance the friendship has past its expiry date. If you find yourself getting anxious at the thought of telling her how you are feeling in case she 'goes off' at you, then it is a deadset doner.

Let's face it, letting a friendship go is usually a lot harder than it sounds. It can hurt deeply for both of you and like with any loss - you need to give yourself time to grieve.

But eventually, you will feel better, lighter, and perhaps even relieved.

Don't feel guilty about that relief.

Please don't.

Think of your life as a fridge.

If you insist on hanging onto something that is well past its 'use by date', you are not only at risk of it turning all weird and toxic on you, you are eventually going to run out of room to put anything new in there.

As hard as it is - sometimes you need to let of a friendship to free up the time to spend on someone else who is both appreciative and worthy of what you bring to the table and is someone who is willing to bring to the table too.

Have you ever had to break up with a friend?
Was it hard or was it a relief?