They say there are three types of friends in life: those who enter for a reason, those who enter for a season, and those who are there for a lifetime. But there is a fourth type — the type who doesn’t really fit into any of these categories, the “fake friend” type — and you, my dear, are the latter.
You are shallow, self-absorbed, and two-faced to the core, and I had to learn this the hard way.
Of course, I didn’t know this when our friendship began. In the early days, you seemed genuine, compassionate, wholesome, and kind and I poured my heart out. I came to you when my marriage was failing, and I was struggling. I turned to you for advice when work became overwhelming. When I felt as though I couldn’t make it through, and when I was deep in the throes of a depressive episode, it was you I turned to for an ear. For a shoulder. For a safe place to cry.
And you did the same with me.
We spent many days (and nights) having deep conversations via text. Over cocktails. And on the phone.
But then something changed. You changed, and our relationship began to splinter.
Scratch that: It shattered, and the shards that remained cut me deeply. To my core. Right through my soft and vulnerable heart. And I know why: you were never really my friend.
Well, you were never really a good friend.
Of course, I know that sounds harsh, and maybe it is, but hindsight is 20/20.
Our time apart has allowed me to see right through. I have clarity now.
And you? I see through your facade, and it hurts. The lies hurt.
Make no mistake, you weren’t intentionally cruel; that would have been better. Harshness would have been easier. Instead, you listened to me. Then, you lied to me. You lied through clenched teeth and with a crooked smile, and you did so while I poured my heart out on 42nd Street, nodding with compassion. With a shared sense of understanding and commiseration. Because the greatest lie you told me wasn’t a manipulative one — it wasn’t a he said/she said story about a mutual friend (though I had heard my fair share of those too) — it was the way in which you lied.
You smiled to my face, and offered your empathy, but whispered behind my back.
And I know because I have talked to others now. People who share my experience, and together, we have pieced this strange situation together. We know now that you aren’t the loving, maternal woman you portray, but the mean girl most of us have long since left behind.
Make no mistake: I know why you act the way you do. You are anxious and apprehensive, unsure and insecure, and you are a people pleaser. It is part of your demeanor. Your personality. It is ingrained in your core. But your desire to be loved and accepted caused you to put on a fake front.
And when the lies began to unravel, like they always do, I was left wondering who you were.
I wondered what — if anything — about our relationship true and real.
But the hardest pill to swallow wasn’t what you said, it was what you did.
It is what you failed to do.
You see, you looked in my eyes and told me you loved me. You told me you cared for me, and you held my hands and swore you’d be there for me. Anytime. Anywhere. All I needed to do was to reach out. To ask. That’s what friends were for.
But when I needed you most you were absent. My calls went unanswered. My texts were unread.
And get togethers? They failed to happen. You were always too busy. And that hurt. It still hurts.
Of course, I know the irony in writing this: in putting down these words I admit I’ve been lying. That I’ve been a fake ass friend too. And you’re right, I haven’t always been as upfront as I wanted to be.
As I should have been. I should have confronted you before now, and let you know how I feel.
And for that I am sorry.
Fake or not, you deserve better; we all do.
I can no longer listen to your lies — and accept them. I cannot play a part in your dramatic little game, and I cannot put myself in a position which makes me question my self-worth.
Which makes me feel anxious and insecure.
So, fake friend, this is my goodbye. I’m sorry I had to do it this way, but I couldn’t find a better way just yet. The wounds are too fresh. The pain is too new, and while we had good times — I will never forget the good times — the bad far outweigh the good and I need to step back for my own well-being.
I need to walk away.
And if you find yourself reading this, or you feel defensive as you recognize yourself in this post, please remember: good friends don’t need to lie. Good friends simply step up. They show up, and they stick around in good times and in bad.
The best friends love you for you. Those are the friends you stick with, and never leave behind.