M: Donna had Cathy for a best friend since kindergarten. They had a fall out when Dennis, Cathy’s boyfriend, broke up with her to be with Donna. There was no overlap. But Donna lost the friendship nevertheless. It’s been almost a year since Donna and Dennis broke up. Donna wonders if she and Cathy can ever be friends again. This is a really tricky question that cannot be categorically answered. There’s a lot of if’s in the equation. Among other things, what if Cathy has not forgiven them even if Donna and Dennis are no longer together? Donna should try to test the waters before reaching out.
DJ: When a friendship breaks because of a situation such as this, it’s understandable for Donna to feel like it’s hard to pick up the pieces and fit them back together. Some broken friendships, unfortunately, are destined to stay that way. However, what Donna and Cathy once shared seems to be worth renewing or at least, making an attempt at reconnecting. She can start by writing her a note to convey such a primary message. No need to justify or rationalize what happened at this point. The move is just to set the ground and see if Cathy is willing to seek resolution as well.
M: Restoring friendships when there was a guy that caused the break in friendship can be challenging. You were friends before both of you had the same guy for a boyfriend. There’s an unwritten code about not hooking up with your best friend’s ex-boyfriend. But it happens. And usually, the women became estranged from each other while the guy can even remain friends with both of them. It helps to understand the other person before seeking to be understood when trying to patch things up. Time will tell if a broken friendship can be put back together again.
DJ: Hopefully, Cathy responds. The ball is now in her court. If she doesn’t, perhaps she isn’t ready yet. Donna can back off for a while then make another attempt to reach her using a different way. A common friend they both trust can be one. But if she’s still not reaching back, then it’s likely that she needs more time. But if she will, it’ll be a good gesture if Donna asks her how she feels. The purpose is never to analyze the cause. Releasing whatever’s pent up inside her will prime her more to want to work things out. But Donna has to be ready emotionally. She’ll be more in control with her reaction and will be in better shape to keep the discussion calm and peaceful. There can be that awkward “what’s next?” moment after wrapping things up. Well, they can start by doing something they used to enjoy together back when their friendship was fine. This will get them right back on track and move forward.
M: I think Donna values her friendship more with Cathy but only realizes it now. Although there was no overlap in relationships, it’s sometimes difficult for Cathy to understand why Donna would do that to her when she is still hurting from a breakup. Donna, just try to reach out and show you are sincere in winning back Cathy’s friendship and trust. Be patient and don’t push it else you will push her away again.
DJ: These things can take time but it’s been over a year. It’s best for Donna to make the first move without expecting for things to go back exactly the way they were. What matters is she did her part. It’s fine to go back a year later, perhaps. It’s also fine to let things be, but this time more learned not to make the same mistake again.