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How do you mourn a changing relationship?

Someone I love very much has changed from a person I like into someone who I feel as though I never really knew.

I miss the in-depth conversations we used to have, but now we barely talk or message each other.

They used to be so kind but now they use every opportunity they can for a cheap joke.

I used to see a good heart but now I see self-serving and selfish behaviors.

I think something happened to make them change or to make them express this “new” side of themself.

It’s all happened slowly but surely.

If I bring all this up to them, I feel like they’ll change their behavior around me, but then continue the negative behaviors when I’m not around. So I’d rather not say anything to them. Same goes for whenever someone does something that hurts. Guess I don’t want to be seen as that controlling bitch. People have usually twisted everything around to be my fault, even when I accept responsibility for my own part.

I miss the person I love, but I don’t think they’re there anymore. I never told them how much they really mean to me, because I knew that someday, something like this was probably going to happen. And there were/are so many obstacles in the way of things working out.

But I still miss when things were full of hope and goodness.

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Sounds to me that you should have a conversation about what you used to observe, and what you observe now. Not saying anything will just let the behavior continue. Is it worth just putting up w issues you don’t like, or do you want to meet in the middle for change? If it was me, if it really bothered me, and missed the old them that much, I’d say something.

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Thank you for your reply, your input.
I brought up how the jokes bother me almost a month ago. It feels like they’re avoiding me now. I don’t know if they’ll be receptive to anything critical I have to say. And I feel bad for wanting them to change anything about themselves, even if it’s bad behavior. If someone asked me to change something about myself because they “don’t like it”, I’d be offended.
I guess I don’t trust them like I used to. Not with my feelings, anyway.
I don’t know how to start a conversation with him without it feeling like an attack.
Confrontation in any form scares me. It’s not worth putting up with issues that bother me, but I don’t know anymore if it’s better that we drift apart or if I try to bring back the parts of him that he’s seemed to have lost, forgotten about, or set aside and suppressed. In the same way that I’d want someone to accept me for who I am, I want to accept others for who they are, even if that means I can’t be in their life anymore.
I suppose I’ve always had a “defeatist attitude” but I’ve never known things to end happily, so I can’t imagine anything in my life ultimately ending well.

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Hey Crystal,

Hey friend! I just wanted to reach out on your post and let you know that I hear you, and that you’re not alone. Change is scary, and changes in friendships/relationships can be painful and scary as well! So just know you’re not crazy for the way that you’re feeling.

I’m currently dealing with a similar situation of a friend and I distancing, and me not really knowing what to do, and missing the things that we used to have. And that’s a 100 percent normal feeling. I’m not going to tell you to move on, because I know it’s not that easy.

But please don’t make the mistake I did. I still messaged him everyday, and everytime he opened my messages on snap chat. It fucking hurt. Because he didn’t respond. I would still see him post things on his story etc. So make sure you’re giving yourself an opportunity to heal, and the space that you need!

Hold Fast,
Olivia

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Thank you for your reply and for sharing about your experience.

After I had sent him the message about how what he jokes about bothers me, he didn’t respond right away so I assumed he hadn’t seen the message. I asked him on a different platform to check it, and he gave me what felt like a “form response” when he did read the first message.

A bit of time passed, and he posted about various things like always and I’d leave a comment here or there as I usually would. “Normally” he’d respond to comments and obviously no one’s obligated to but he stopped responding; I imagine it might be similar to what happened with the Snapchat messages you sent to your friend. I’d see posts that he’d make because they’d show up in my feed. And you’re right; it did hurt because I realized then that he was likely avoiding me. Especially because the posts seemed to be about “moving on” in some way.
I wasn’t worth his time to reply to.
Maybe it sounds like “performative love”; the idea that somebody does something for me and therefore that means they love me and I love them, or I have to do something to prove my love. But that’s not it - it’s the fact that his behavior changed into avoidance, that’s what made me feel like he didn’t care.

I keep hoping that what I told him made an impact, but I don’t think it did. I keep hoping that maybe he’ll find who he used to be, but I don’t think he will.

I’m trying to take a break from social media, but it’s hard. I miss the friend that I used to know. I loved him, but I never told him.

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Hey Crystal,

Thanks for responding to my response, I’m glad that it helped even if just a little bit.

The thought of sending a message, knowing they opened it, and them not responding kinda feels like a slap in the face. And it causes our minds to naturally over think everything. You ask yourself what did I do wrong? Did I piss them off? Does he not care etc? Here’s a few things to consider that I’ve tried to talk to myself about. Maybe they are busy, maybe they don’t know how to respond, or maybe they want to think about their response before they send it. As I recently reached back out to my friend today, I asked him why he would not respond instantly even though he opened it and these were a few of the things that he would say.

Taking breaks are healthy, but don’t let those breaks turn into isolation. Today I left all the discord servers that I was in, and removed a lot of people from snap chat, and uninstalled a lot of social media from my phone. But instantly, my mind went running. I was like damn, I’m alone nobody cares and it became a vicious cycle. So taking a break from social media will probably be good, you won’t see his posts, and it’ll give you time to heal. But make sure you still have people you can reach out to on your rough days, and tough nights.

Hold Fast Friend,
Monkey

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