Dear Thelma: I want a close friend but no one wants me

  • Family
  • Sunday, 15 Jul 2018

How do you build a lasting friendship?

I am in despair over one of my friendships. I have tried to keep my thoughts positive; that I’ll eventually find a good friend who will be more accepting of me.

Eight years of friendship – from our schooldays and living close to each other – vanished in a day all because of a boyfriend. That had a big impact on me.

I was lost for a moment and felt very sad and lonely because I knew I had lost her. Even if we became friends again in the future, it definitely would not be the same.

Then I thought to myself, this is a lesson, this is life, keep your head strong. We learn from our mistakes, we learn how to trust.

The wound was deep but I tried to keep an open mind when I later became friends with someone at my previous workplace. We were friends for two years and became very close. Both of us were very mature in handling our issues and we shared our respective friendship history with each other.

I introduced her to my family and friends, and we even went on trips together. We were each other’s sounding board and advisor.

This went on until one day when my mother suddenly became ill and had to be admitted to the hospital. She eventually passed away.

Not once was my so-called friend there for me throughout the ordeal. I was, of course, hurt but I tried to keep my cool while I listened to her excuses. She went shopping with her mother while mine was on her deathbed. The worst thing was that I had sent her a message hours earlier asking her to come to the hospital.

Months later, I invited her for my late mother’s prayers and she couldn’t make it. I also invited her to visit my mum’s grave, and again she said she wasn’t able to attend. I wanted to tell her how I felt about it. But I was sad and angry and I knew I would say things that would hurt her.

At the end of 2016, we went for a trip together with her partner and mine. We shared the petrol and accommodation expenses.

In the middle of 2017, she blocked me from contacting her and left our friendship without a word. I was again devastated. I kept thinking that I wasn’t good enough and I wasn’t a good friend. I kept questioning myself. What did I do wrong? I hated this feeling of loss and despair. It made me lose hope of ever finding and building a close friendship, which I missed having.

The worst part was that I found out recently she broke off our friendship because during our trip, her boyfriend drove most of the time and forked out more money.

She felt guilty and wanted to apologise to me. But I can’t believe this was the reason she cut ties with me. We could have sorted things out. She claimed she never had a friend like me but her actions proved otherwise.

How do I stop thinking and feeling that I’m not good enough and convince myself that I will again have a good friend? I miss having a close friend, but does sincerity and acceptance still exist in friendship?

Lost in hope

Dear Lost in hope

Are there solid friendships? Yes. However, you are having trouble managing your expectations and friendship style.

We have BFFs, Best Friends Forever, in school. When we become young adults and go to college, the BFFs tend to fade. This is because our daily experiences are no longer shared. Also, we’re busy growing up, and the changes mean we relate to each other differently.

By the time we enter the workplace, our interests are diverse and so are our friendships. We have work friends, various social groups, and our family. At this point, BFFs from school tend to reconnect, although in a looser network.

The kind of solid friendship we had in our youth comes back when we find a life partner. That person is closest to us, sharing daily experiences, and matching our core values and interests.

Now, you appear to be stuck in a youthful mentality where you want a BFF outside of a life partner. However, you’re not a child. This is what has caused you some grief.

With your school friend, I think you were hurt by not understanding how relationships evolve from childhood. You clung on while she has moved on.

As for your work friend, should she have come to the hospital? Well, it would have been kind. However, I think you need to consider that you may have had very different views of the friendship.

The lady didn’t come at all, and put you off at every single turn. She clearly wanted distance while you wanted a significant closeness. You two also saw the holiday from vastly different perspectives.

Furthermore, your letter suggests neither of you talked openly. You hid your anger; she vanished. This suggests that you weren’t communicating.

Frankly, it doesn’t sound like a good relationship.

To look outside your friendship question, you casually mention you have a partner but there are no details at all. If you still have that partner, what is his role in your life? How do you two relate? And how come you’re not looking there for your close friendship?

Given the circumstances, I think it would be helpful if you talked to someone sensible about the way you connect with people.

Find a good therapist, evaluate your relationships and learn how to make connections that give you what you need. You deserve happiness, so go and figure out how you can provide that for yourself.

Is something bothering you? Do you need a listening ear or a shoulder to lean on? Thelma is here to help. Write to Dear Thelma, c/o Star2, Menara Star, 15, Jalan 16/11, 46350 Petaling Jaya, Selangor or e-mail Please include your full name and address, and a pseudonym. No private correspondence will be entertained. The Star does not give any warranty on accuracy, completeness, usefulness, fitness for any particular purpose or other assurances as to the opinions and views expressed in this column. The Star disclaims all responsibility for any losses suffered directly or indirectly arising from reliance on such opinions and views.

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