From The Confessional: People Are Getting Real About Friends (And Fake Friends)

by Karen Johnson
woman talking with friend at home

We learn about friendship from day one. As toddlers, we’re taught to share. In kindergarten, we’re taught to spread kindness and welcome the new kid at our lunch table. As middle and high schoolers, we navigate friendship dramas—as we find out one friend is talking behind our back and another is dating an ex-boyfriend.

As adults, we learn the value of true, loyal friends. The ones who are there to celebrate our joys and successes—new babies, new relationships, new careers. And the ones who are there to sit with us when we’re grieving and help us back up when it’s time to take the next step forward.

One of the best lessons we learn in life is that good friends are hard to come by. And that it’s better to have one or two true friends than 20 fake ones. Because when shit gets real, we need that one person who lets us fall apart and then is there to help us put ourselves back together. Unfortunately, however, one of the hardest lessons we learn as adults is that friendships don’t always last, sometimes are one-sided, and sometimes we just have to let them go.

If you’re missing your bestie, mourning the end of a friendship, or wishing you had a friend who understood you, chances are someone in our confessional is going through the same thing.

I wish I had more friends but because I live with chronic pain and chronic fatigue, I frequently have to cancel plans and nobody wants to stick around for that.

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My only genuine friends are two men past and present coworkers about 15yrs my senior. Can’t really hang out though due to social standards. No real female friends.

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You guys, I’m hurting so bad. I wish I had a scary mommy friend in real life. I’m so alone. I’m crumbling inside and nobody knows.

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I didn’t really have any friends growing up and now it’s hard for me to maintain friendships as an adult because I don’t really know how to be a friend

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Sometimes our “friends” are actually kind of shitty and need to be cut out. Or the friendship is just too much fucking work and you need to be done.

Sick of my friend's hot and cold behavior. Only wants to talk to me when I go silent on him and then as soon as he has my attention, he retreats again. Fucking lousy 'friend' .

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Asked a really good friend - one I do favors for ALL THE F'N TIME - to pick me up hand sanitizer in the store if she found some. Pissed she bought herself 2 (the limit) and won't sell me one! They may need in sometime she said. Feeling really stabby!

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So sick of listening to my friend complain about a specific guy. The guy obviously doesn't like you. Don't put up with being anyone's second choice. Walk away and be done with it!

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We agreed to work on our friendship. I’m seeing now that he’s a shitty friend.

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We all have that one friend who annoys you to your core, and you often have to ask yourself if you need to hit that unfriend button.

My friend posts (with photos) everything she does with her kid during quarantine to social media. She's a close friend but I've unfollowed her for my sanity and our friendship. There's no award for best quarantine mom! No one cares.

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Just realized my easy going agreeable friend just agrees with you & then does what she wants. Prefer ppl who are more honest. She doesn't try to hide it, but it just seems disrespectful to okey doke me when it is not a big deal.

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I love my friend and her cute little daughter, but we literally cannot have one single conversation, ever, without her bringing her up. How many times can you agree that she's adorable? I feel bad, but it's SO boring bc it's ALL THE TIME! EVERY convo!

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Another friend is pregnant without trying. I’m not trying for another, but still bitter because my pregnancies were hard to achieve and my births were even harder. Everything comes easy for her.

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And part of being an adult is making the call to say “I’m out” when a “friend” shows their true colors—and they aren’t pretty.

Friend wants to know why I've been distant. Lied and said I've been tired but really it's because I realized that she is an insecure, sanctimonious hypocrite.

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My friend pretends to be kind and giving but she is really a selfish cunt.

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Now that my bff has washed her hands of me, I wanna tell all her secrets. And the secrets of her new bff. It would seriously alter their work lives if everyone knew they are the company snitches and I have texts to prove it.

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WTF just when I am ready to let the friendship die she sends a text. I respond, she goes quiet. That's not a conversation, so guess what, the friendship is over. You are an acquaintance going forward.

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But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. In fact, saying goodbye to someone you thought was a friend, someone you thought would always be in your life, can be completely heartbreaking. And the loneliness can really take its toll.

I am heart broken. Finally accepting the truth; someone I thought was a close friend is barely more than an acquaintance. I may text them, invite them over, check on them, but it's one sided. It hurts to know they don't care. Time to move on.

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Im tired of being everyones therapist and not having any real friends who are ever there for me. Feel like people suck and have lost faith in humanity

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Trying to decide if I should unfriend the bff who dumped me this year on Facebook. We were friends for 30 years. I know I should let her go, but the thought of not seeing her again, even in pictures, still guts me.

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I had a lot of painful friendships , was bullied became a bully. I felt jaded and afraid to have friends. I've been inside and just to work for almost 11 years , social distancing is my norm. I dont want to put energy into anyone else. I dont know myself.

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In the end, all we can hope for is a ride or die bestie who will drop everything and show up when your life is falling apart. That type of friendship is special and something to be cherished.

If you talk crap to me about my bff’s kids it’s like talking crap to my face about my kids. I will cut you. Even if I’m married to you.

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Every time I talk to my best friend on the phone I feel happy again. Even if it’s for just a little while. I wish we did t live so far apart.

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I’ve started low key daydreaming about going out of town with my best friend and our kids. Neither of our spouses are involved. I just want to spend a few days with them at the beach without the party poopers around.

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DH and I are friends with a couple that has a kid our age. We all get along well. I can’t stop thinking about buying a duplex or triplex with them and sharing everything. One main house and two adjacent houses for everyone to sleep at night.

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Turns out, the lessons we learn as preschoolers about real friendship still apply, even as adults. Things like “be loyal,” “share,” and “cheer them up when they’re sad” are important. Plus, as adults we know that the real dream is living with our besties in a Golden Girls house where we lie around in our bathrobes and eat pie. So here’s to the true friends out there who know when to just listen, when to tell us to get our shit together, and when we’re at our breaking point and we just need them to come get our kids so we can sit in the quiet and stare at the wall in peace. We love you and we’re grateful for you.