About the Author

Amanda is a Kansas City-based wordsmith with passions for cooking, travel with her husband, raising her two daughters, & preserving family history.

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  1. As the person who typically does the “distancing” in relationships, this is really what I need to hear. I need to understand what the other person is thinking and you’ve done a wonderful job of expressing that. I often distance myself from friends and it’s nothing they’ve done wrong. It’s because I don’t feel good enough, or I develop insecurities, or I’m scared to open up, or my struggle with social anxiety creeps into the friendship. Or I’m scared of the other person withdrawing, so I withdraw first. It’s all very dysfunctional. 🙂 What I’m trying to say is, it very likely is not your fault at all. You are a genuine, compassionate, beautiful woman who undoubtedly is a great friend. I would love to count you as one of mine. 🙂 Thank you for your writing.

  2. Been there. It’s been nearly four years of wondering and worrying. I carry a lot of grace with me, for others and myself. I have determined that friendships are worth fighting for. I realize not everyone shares that perspective. Thanks for your honesty.

    • Thank you for reading and commenting! My rational self realizes that some friendships change (as people do!), so it makes those lifelong friendship even more dear, doesn’t it? You’re right…those take effort and care.

  3. Thank you so much, this post is very timely. I have been hurting over a relationship that distanced itself over the past several months and just recently poured my heart out to God asking how I should handle the situation (do/say something or just let it be?). This morning, I received a text message from this person asking how I am doing and wanting to catch up. Truly an answer to prayer. Thankful for God hearing the prayers of his children!

    • Shannon, your comment is such a blessing to me! I was very anxious about sharing my thoughts in this post…it is just so personal. And reading that it was relevant to you put my heart at ease. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Beautiful!! And, I especially found the first comment (Sharon’s) up there really helpful.

    Again, beautiful. This whole post.

    I’m walking through my “own ugly story” right now (literally, as in part of this morning… this day!) and this post is/has been/will be helpful to remind, to still love; still forgive, no matter what comes of it.

    He is the HEALER!!!

    • Thank you so much! I’m glad it was timely for you and hope that you can find peace in your situation. Shannon (above) shared what I missed in my post…to turn it over to God in prayer and trust Him with it.

  5. Woah, tough subject.

    I hate lies. Untruths. It’s basically a waste of life’s wonderful moments.

    Sorry to hear about your friend. How dreadful. I’m sure you’re worth a million, in JESUS’ eyes.

    This is a tough subject matter to discuss cos I’ve experienced betrayal as well.

    🙁

  6. Amanda!
    You are a God’s treasure and a sweet blessing to me! I so glad we are friends! There is so much that I hope we can share now and in the future! I know that I am not perfect, but I will try to be a good friend to you with God’s help! I love that we are walking this life together!!! I love you sweet friend!:-)

  7. YES. I really struggle with this because often the advice given to girls who want to end friendships is to just let it naturally fade away… which is nice for those avoiding conflict, but leaves the other person in a sea of doubt and anxiety and confusion. I’m not sure how NOT to live like you describe, constantly evaluating, because I want to be a good friend and to “see the signs” so I’m not caught off-guard again. But you’re right, it is a cage. When you’ve been hurt enough, it’s hard to forgive but do-able. What is near impossible trying to trust anyone again.

    • I so understand! It IS a hard way to live (and what I’ve learned…is that it is damaging to me!). Better to love anyway, and turn the turmoil over to God to handle! Thanks for sharing, Jenna.

  8. God takes a risk loving us unconditionally, and we turn our backs and distance ourselves again and again. And yes, it hurts Him, just as when those we love distance themselves. I’ve been hurt, too, and have kept my list of wrongs, but if I stop loving, stop risking, I also stop trusting God. Because He will be with me through every hurt and betrayal, I have the strength to risk again, and to enjoy the blessings of that love I extend and share with others.

  9. Thank you for this post! I, too, keep a “list of offenses” and my distance from friends; now in my mid 50s I have virtually no friends… I AM going to forgive these “mistakes” I’ve made and the ones made towards me!

    I’ve always had trouble making girlfriends, even as a kid, and typically end up getting hurt by my expectations of the friendship…

    About 30 years ago, I terminated a very abusive, non-Christian friendship after being pushed to my emotional limits of never, ever being good enough for my best friend (she was mine; for her, I was a “Bible-Banger” & merely someone to spend time with if no one else was available). After about two weeks I missed her, panicked, and tried unsuccessfully to repair the relationship. What followed was roughly a year of my begging & pleading for forgiveness and her completely unloading on me a laundry list of ALL of my faults that she held back over the years we were friends! I spent time in therapy to understand and come to terms with what happened. I finally realized (years later) God did not want me in this destructive relationship, but the loss haunted me for decades, and I refused to let ANYONE else get that close to me ever again, that’s how I have tried to protect myself all these years.

    I found that person on FaceBook about five years ago; we’ve had two brief email exchanges since then. The first initiated by me to just to say hello, the second time by her in 2011, which was somewhat friendly (she wanted some information from me), until I asked her a question of my own she apparently didn’t want to answer, and she never wrote back. Today, I experience God’s peace that transcends all understanding. In the end I’ve been able to let myself release the hurt and shame, and come into complete forgiveness. I pray for her & her family often.

    • Thank you for sharing your story and I’m so sorry to hear about your lost friendship. I pray that God gives you peace each time those past hurts come to mind — and that He blesses your current and future friendships.

  10. This, Amanda, is a tender-to-the-touch subject for so many of us. Betrayal, exclusion, abandonment.

    I hear you. I’ve been there. And several years later, I’m still recovering.

    Forgiveness is paving the way …

  11. I value womanhood as a strong bond all women should have. I definitely believe in women power, uniting as women (in the like we must unite to love & support & encourage each other as moms, employees, friends, sisters, daughters, etc). But I totally relate with this…friendship can be a tough subject. Forgiveness & acceptance are two of the hardest things in life…we all need grace in these areas.

    • Thank you for your comments, Carrie. I agree, it is so important to unite as women (rather than be divisive and tear each other down). I think it is such an important thing to teach our children, too, to be careful of how we speak of others and to teach them to encourage other women!

  12. This is a good post. I have hurt in my heart and it can make friendships hard today. My expectations and hopes are high. I often don’t trust.
    I don’t understand why I hear more than once that someone misses me, wants to hang out, and yet it’s kept to just words, no actions. It causes me to mistrust everyone. They say it, but they surely don’t mean it. This post, it makes me look not at my friend’s heart but my own. What is hurting me so much that I keep people out or that I mistrust like this? I am only hurting myself. But for me it is so very hard to move past this, to learn to trust and take each friendship for what it is…

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Hope. I can relate to your comment about someone saying they want to spend time together but never acting on it! I’ve been on both the receiving end, and sadly, the giving end of that. It has made me more conscious of how I “make promises” to friends to get together, and I’ve been trying to either get those plans on the calendar right away, even if it is a month out! Praying for peace for you and the courage to continue to build your friendships.

  13. Wow. Couldn’t have put down my same feelings about a friendship that ended in just the same way. I have no desire for another good friend. It’s sad. I don’t want to be hurt again. I’m going to get past it some day.

    Thanks for sharing this.

    • Hi, Jeanette! Thank you for taking the time to read and share your story. I’m praying that God heals your hurt and has a dear friend waiting for you.

  14. I believe that often, when we don’t have answers, it’s easier for us to cling to a hurtful one than to live with uncertainty. I, myself, can entertain a possible “lie,” instead of “thinking on things that are true.” A few years ago, someone didn’t return my calls, and I dredged up every possible reason and a list of offenses I may have committed. A month later, she called to say she’d been in Norway. Norway?! THAT was not in my mental card catalog/data base. There’s no way I would’ve come up with that one. Now, several of my friends and I have a running joke when we don’t have the answer to something: ” Oh, that’s just a Norwegian thing”!

    • Oh, Cathi…your comment brought such a smile to my face! Norway?! Norway!! You are so right that we can easily jump to the most hurtful conclusions rather than accept that there is often a simple explanation. Thank you for sharing your story!

  15. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I can not even begin to explain how deeply this rings true for me. Losing a dear friendship years ago has kept me from even trying to forge new relationships. The Devil takes the opportunity to make me doubt everything I thought I believed about myself. Those are hard days and they still are.
    Your article gives me hope that I am not alone and yes, none of us are perfect. Thank you. ~lm

    • Thank you for sharing, Lori. I am praying that you can continue to turn your hurt over to God and lean on Him for the strength to build new friendships.

  16. Thank you for this. I am standing in the wreckage of a friendship right now, feeling stupid for having spend the past few years caring and praying and trying to be a good friend to a non-Christian – and wondering whether any of it even mattered. At least I know I’m not alone in this friendship struggle.

    • Thanks for commenting and sharing, Tanya. I hope the effort and love you put into your friendship was not lost…and I know that God can use it for His glory.

  17. This was timely for me too! I have (had?) a dear friend who pulled away last year. I think it was mostly because I had pulled away a bit, wanting to add some new friends to my circle. I wanted to keep spending time together, but just didn’t want all my eggs in one basket. Our family sizes were really different too- and I could see her discomfort when our get-togethers were a little chaotic (I have three small kids, she has one boy). Anyway, I thought we could hang just a bit less but then I quickly realized she had even less hanging out in mind. I love how you wrote the friendship is “hanging on by social media threads”. That’s true for us too. Sometimes I consider unfriending her on FB- it seems a charade to continue to share in each other’s lives only virtually, ya know? But I think we both still have positive regard for each other. It’s just that our lives changed and we both met new friends. The worst part is that her son was my daughter’s first best friend. She talks about him a lot still and wants to have him over :(. I agree that the best thing is to turn it over to prayer. Since this whole thing started (or ended) God has gifted me with beautiful friendships…and I’m so very thankful, even though the old hurt is still there.

    • I hear you, Tiffany! I have young children as well, and I am learning more about changing friendships during various seasons of life. I’d be so thrilled if each friendship was a “forever friendship” but am seeing how that is not always what God intends. Hopefully what you and your friend invested in your relationship is not lost…and maybe someday you’ll be close again. Thank you for sharing!

  18. You’ve looked right into my heart, Amanda. I’m so thankful that my dearest & truest friends are my sisters. I’m so blessed to have your friendship & love. Your story is one I’m living & struggling through right now. Thank you for being my shoulder to lean on. I love you.

  19. As we age, move, grow and change we will make new friends lose old ones and time still marches on. If a friendship dies for some reason–pray about it and ask God to heal it or give you peace about it!

    It is to easy for people to get their feelings hurt and not understand each other. With God’s help and a little work on our part maybe the relationship can be restored. I would send a card to the person or just call them and see how they are doing. That might be the jolt they need to rekindle the friendship.

    Blessings 🙂