How To End A Friendship

Remember the good old days? The days when you could actually lose touch with the people you wanted to lose touch with? Sadly, those days are gone.

Once upon a time, you could leave a job and rest assured that if you never wanted to hear from those cubical mates again, you wouldn’t have to. Old neighbors would receive holiday cards for a few years until the communication fizzled out and expired friendships were allowed to simply fade away. It was a natural part of the cycle of life. Relationships come and go and that’s how it always was and is supposed to be.

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Until Facebook. Thanks a lot, Mark Zuckerberg.

A few months ago, I heard from an old acquaintance. She was the type of person who you know for a brief period of time and never hear from again. Except that she found me on Facebook and lived not too far away. Would I like to meet for lunch? I could barely remember who she was, but I accepted. What did I have to lose?

Turns out, a few precious hours of my life. Within minutes, I remembered exactly who she was and exactly why the relationship should have died a quick, painful death. Unfortunately, she didn’t seem to agree. Before the meal was over, I was somehow roped into a double date for the next weekend and invited to her kid’s birthday party. I’m really not even sure how that happened.

I rushed home and called Jeff. Normally, when I meet potential friends and we take that big step of a double date, I give him a speech about us needing more couple friends and to be on his very best behavior. No crude jokes. No inappropriate stories. No third glass of wine. This time, I did the opposite. We need to get out of this friendship now, I told him. You have my permission to be offensive. Be obnoxious. Do all of those things I would normally kick you under the table for. Be your worst self ever.

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And, he was. He told jokes that only belong at bachelor parties. He was loud and brash and didn’t think twice about inserting his unwanted opinion. He was horrible. It was perfect. We never heard from her again and the pending Facebook request was cancelled.

And that, my friends, is how you end an unnecessarily resurrected relationship.

About the writer


In addition to being the founder of all things Scary Mommy, Jill is also the New York Times bestselling author of Simon and Schuster’s Confessions of A Scary Mommy and Motherhood Comes Naturally (And Other Vicious Lies)


Nj P 3 years ago

Immature crap. All she had to do was just decline the invitation at the start. She wasted the time of the woman who was kind enough to make a gesture of friendship and then subjected her to boorish behavior. Time to put on the “big girl” panties and be authentic. It could start with a simple, “Thank you, but I’m not able to do that.” (Not able to accept the original invitation.) No further explanation needed, and can be said kindly.

Lu 3 years ago

And the best part about that story is that you can blame it on your husband! They can really come in handy sometimes. Way to go Jeff! Hahaha! Great post!

Shirley @save the shrink 3 years ago

I don’t know your reasons for ending the friendship but I’m uncomfortable with burning bridges. So there’s quite a lump at my throat while reading this. But then again, that is your call. It’s just awesome that your husband is a cool bean to back you up!

Danielle 3 years ago

What a team the two of your are!! Awesome.

TexasMommy2SAR 3 years ago

Huh, My husband acts like that on ALL our double dates…no wonder I can’t keep a friend. Truth is, my husband hates all my friends- and naturally- they hate him. He’s an ass.

Tiana 3 years ago

I seriously just laughed out loud and my boss looked over and asked me if I was feeling well. Apparently he thinks I’m a lunatic who likes to look at my computer screen laughing all day! Thanks SM!!

kelly 3 years ago

That was funny and great! thank you for all the “tips”

Tamie 3 years ago

I like it! I’ve reached out to people from my past. Some people have willing reconnected and some have not. It did take me a moment to realize why the latter didn’t want to have anything to do with me. Time doesn’t always change people, but sometimes it does. It was good that you tried, but better that you ended it.

Amy McCollum 3 years ago

{{{ GREATNESS!! }}} Thanks for the laugh!! (and the tip)

Christy 4 years ago

So funny! Thank God for husbands that love us enough go along with all the crap we get ourselves into!!

DT @ Dead Trees and Silver Screens 4 years ago

So funny! Can I do with my inlaws? No? Damn it!

the muskrat 4 years ago

This might be even better than my standby of shoving a banana in the tailpipe.

Holli Metz 4 years ago

Hilarious! Laughing my ass off!

Charisse 4 years ago

EEEK!!! Facebook has basically allowed our anonymity and friendship ending days to be numbered. Over. Zip.

I don’t always like it. I am with you. When someone finds me that I wish they hadn’t I cringe. Deeeeeep inside.

Thankfully, I live nowhere near anyone that I used to know, ever. *WHEW*

Jen @ Ginger Guide 4 years ago

Oh holy crap, I need to do this for high school “friends”. We weren’t friends in high school because you made my life a living hell, not sure why the hell I accepted your friend request on facebook, and no, I do not want to have a play date with our kids.

Mod Mom Beyond IndieDom 4 years ago

That’s a riot! My hubby would enjoy this. He hates having to go on those man playdates anyway. If it’s someone we don’t mind parting ways with eternally, what an opportunity to trot out the offensive behavior!

Linda Roy 4 years ago

I have got to use this! Brilliant! And my wise ass Hubby would enjoy the hell out of the opportunity to offend some people. He’d start with religion and end with politics and in the middle he’d just go for the jugular.

Office Crush 4 years ago

I don’t think either my husband or I could do this (we were raised repressed, obedient children), but that’s why we have rude, farting, nerf-bullet-shooting children.

Kristin Shaw 4 years ago

Jill, my husband is dreaming of the day I will give him that order. Brilliant.

imperfectmomma 4 years ago

Ha! That is freaking genius! Why didn’t I ever think of that?

Christine @ Quasi Agitato 4 years ago

classic. can you vlog a re-enactment? in your spare time? you know, the time jeff saved you by ridding you of that time sucking bitch?

marni 4 years ago

this hit home! i never thought of the obnoxious husband strategy but hey, i guess you showed that it worked!

mouthymama 4 years ago

Just found your blog and read the first entry…I’m hooked. You are hilarious.

Sean Bianca 4 years ago

Here’s a tip, if one does not wish to have the mean girls and dorky High School Boys find them from long ago then do not put down where you went to High School or College info on Facebook!

Maricris @ SittingAround 4 years ago

This is hilarious! It reminds me of that movie How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.

IASoupMama 4 years ago

Too funny! I’ve also found that integrating every possible opposite political opinion into an awkward situation like that works well, too. The other person thinks you’re looney (they’re probably right) and you get to exercise some good ol’ American judgemental-ism, which feels good in the right situation. Attack values! Attack candidates! Attack anything you want and everyone will leave you alone, very, very alone…

Heather 4 years ago

Well played!

Alexandra 4 years ago

Now that you’re published, and on NBC TODAY, and on the radio, and in newspapers, and magazines: they’re going to come out of the woodwork.

So, yeah, keep it up, Jeff.


Jack@TheJackB 4 years ago

Great googly moogly- this is the kind of order that every husband dreams about because we hate some of your friends just as much as you hate some of ours.

Corey Feldman 4 years ago

I have to say that is actually

Kristin @ What She Said 4 years ago

Or? You could just blog about her. 😉

Seriously, I recently vented about a frienemy on my blog in what I thought was the broadest way possible. I even made my husband read it. “Do you think she’ll pick up on the fact that I’m talking about her,” I asked. “Uh… YEAH,” he answered. “I don’t think so,” I replied. “I was very broad.” “Uh-huh,” he said. “We’ll see.”

Turns out, he was right, I wasn’t as broad as I thought, she picked up on the references, and She.Got.PISSED. We had it out and that was the end of a friendship that had honestly driven me bonkers for nearly two years.

There is a land called Passive Aggressiva, and I am their Queen.

    Kristin Shaw 4 years ago

    I nearly did that myself recently. A needy friend I’ve had for 12 years decided that she was going to beat me up via FB message and told me that she was hurt that I didn’t ask her more often for advice and that I didn’t need her more. Husband told me to cut her off – he doesn’t play. Sometimes it is better to cut the cord on a relationship that isn’t doing anyone any favors!

Mary 4 years ago

Hilarious! My husband and I had dinner Sunday night with some people we hadn’t seen in years. The husband was a boor – completely rude, patronizing and macho-man gross. Now I’m thinking – perhaps they were trying to tell us something???? Well, I’m on to them! I’m gonna call them right now and invite them over for dinner! Thanks for the heads up!

bree 4 years ago

LMAO. My husband will be thrilled with this new idea!

Sweety Darlin 4 years ago

WOW! This is why I am all super secret agent man on the interwebz. I was myself ONCE and the people that came out of the woodwork looking for me and wanting me to send them crap for their dumb games made me want to just run into oncoming traffic.

Therefore I am all super secret agent man now. I only make contact with people that I actually like, and if they fall out of favor they get blocked so they can’t stalk me!

Of course I am offensive usually just being myself. I even manage to offend people when I am trying to be good, so there are not a lot of unwanted invites in my world.

Shauna @ Balancing Bites 4 years ago

This is great. I will have to remember this one. My husband would definitely do this too.

Flodo 4 years ago

Over the past decade, I’ve gotten very good at decluttering friends that I deemed no longer worth keeping (like the toxic ones). Even though, I Facebook, Twitter, and email – when I’m done with a person, I just don’t communicate with them anymore. They eventually take the hint. I’ve never had to explain myself to them. They get it. Warning: some take longer than others. Decluttering friends that are no longer worth keeping (like the toxic ones) is as good if not better than decluttering your garage or basement. Try it. You really do feel cleansed.

dumb{squared} 4 years ago

You should meet with Zuckerberg and the rest of the Facebook team and offer this as a new Facebook option.

Also, should you ever find yourself in this situation again. pull out a box of wine from a bag and ask “Who want’s to shotgun this sucker or should I be the first?”

Manisha 4 years ago

Wait. No 3rd glass of wine. Oops! I sure hope I didn’t make a fool of myself on our last outing with another couple!

Marie 4 years ago

That is brilliant! The roles would have been reversed with my husband & I. I would be the one telling the inappropriate jokes, stories and the like. My husband would have died a thousand deaths of embarrassment but in the end would have been happy I severed the “potential friendship”.

Lala Mama 4 years ago

That was awesome – your hubby is super-cool!

@StayAtHomeMaven 4 years ago

I know I’m coming the party late, but I couldn’t pass up a title like this one (featured in your most popular posts). That is a high calibre husband you have there. Genius move on your part and excellent execution on his. I tip my hat.

Jessica Brown 4 years ago

Oh, Jill, that is so awesome. You know, my husband’s name is Jason…we’re another J and J couple, and my husband could have taken Jeff’s place at that dinner table admirably, based on what you described. Priceless blue bachelor party jokes included. My husband would’ve told the one about how his best man hired a stripper to give Jason a lap dance, and how the stripper’s stilettos left some VERY odd bruises on the tops of his thighs that were rather evident on our honeymoon. Everyone on the cruise ship asking, “Wow, what happened to your thighs?” And he’d have to choose: tell the truth and make a pina colada come shooting out of their nose, or make something up about running into corners. A lot. Sigh. Glad your man rescued you from the horrible potential “friend,” mine would’ve done the same. Isn’t that one reason we love them, because they do the things we need done but don’t have the guys for–squishing spiders, fending off robbers, and scaring away stalker former acquaintances. 😉

    Jessica Brown 4 years ago

    I meant “guts” for…grrr…sticking keys!!!!!!

tracey – justanothermommy 4 years ago

You are truly brilliant. And your husband is a saint!

Claudia 4 years ago

Jill, this is hilarious! I can just see Jeff coming through in the clutch in this way. I look forward to hearing some of those successful jokes – hopefully this fall. Congratulations on your book deal! xox Clauida

Elisa 4 years ago

Good on Jeff for playing along! I think my husband is too much of a goody-two-shoes to do that, and then being obnoxious falls entirely on my shoulders. But then again, it does come natural.

Marta 4 years ago

Hilarious. You should write a book titled that, we all know people we wish we didn’t!

AlexandraZ 4 years ago


Aileen 4 years ago

OK, I recognize that this is a funny story…BUT it seems a bit passive-aggressive, and a bit cowardly. A man would never find himself getting pulled into a friendship he didn’t want… Why couldn’t you just say “no” to the double date? It seems like a lot of time and energy spent to end a friendship you didn’t even want…

    Scary Mommy 4 years ago

    Because I suck at saying no. Plus, she was REALLY pushy.

amy 4 years ago

Hilarious! Your hubby is a saint!

Vicki 4 years ago

Good post.. hadn’t really thought about it but it is sort of hard to get lost today. Just found your site and adding it as a keeper!

Emily 4 years ago

Never would of thought of that. Very clever!

Stasha 4 years ago

Pimping out your husband. I like it. Jill may I just point out; seeing a pattern here. You need to stay away from Facebook for a bit. You were bitten a few too many times in the past few weeks.

mommy gem 4 years ago

Maybe I could use this trick to one of my super dooper bragger friend! You know the type of facebook friend who will post everything, her designer bags, her engagement ring, her photoshooped body in two-piece. Maybe I will invite her over and let my kids and hubby do the work. :)

Fine Life 4 years ago

Just so you know you’re not alone, I curse Mark Zuckerberg every other day. He has removed posts on my page that are critical of facebook. He stalks me! ;).

This plan of yours is so perfect, that I’m going to have to bogart it. Not like we can’t be really obnoxious around here, but we’ve never planned ahead. Next time, forethought!

Nina 4 years ago

Jill–so, so, so funny. And true. Actually, twitter has introduced some odd facebook requests too. My FB account is still a personal one so I’m not crazy about accepting those requests. And yet, it’s awkward to let the requests hang out there. I don’t have an FB on my blog, nor do I ever put a link to it on Twitter. Weird.

Carol 4 years ago

I absolutely loved this!

It came at a time when I was just talking to a friend how FB has changed “friendships”, and the meaning of.

Pam 4 years ago

Holy Beans! You need to lend your husband out to scare folks away.
I still get random messages from guys that had a crush on me how they still miss our close relationship from high school. Ewwww! Ewwww then and Ewwww now!

the mama bird diaries 4 years ago

Well done. Do you rent out your husband? This is why I like Twitter. No one really asks me to go to lunch.

Kristi 4 years ago

Oh except if that was me and my husband you went out with, we would have gotten along fabulously. It sounds like our husbands have a lot in common. He can very rarely “be himself” around people we don’t know well. We have to make sure they don’t offend easily first. I remember this trick next time we want to get out of being friends with someone. :)

Tea 4 years ago

I’m pretty sure I’m my relationship’s Jeff, since Man is often giving me the “play nice” or “be yourself” cues.

Mommyfriend 4 years ago

You are a genius, and married to my husband it sounds like.


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