I have someone in my life who I once considered my best friend, but no longer do. Don’t get me wrong, she is still a dear friend, but I have allowed the relationship to cool. Some years ago, this friend moved from my hometown to several states away. I was determined to keep the friendship alive and worked very hard to keep in touch. At one point, I noted that the friendship was sliding apart, so I mentioned to friend that I did not want that, but was told “friendships are a two way street.” I took that to mean that she did not feel that I was putting forth enough effort, so I worked even harder to keep things alive. However, I realized that I was the only one actually doing any effort. A couple years back, she came for a visit and I was disappointed and even hurt by some comments that were made about me by this “best friend”. I decided that the friendship was not worth the extra effort and I would just let things slide a part a bit. While I no longer consider her my best friend, I certainly find value in the more limited friendship that is left, as well as the "old times". Additionally, she was recently in the area and I made arrangements to see her. During that visit, she mentioned that I was her “closest friend”. So, I am not sure if we view the friendship the same way, because I feel like we are old friends, but not close friends anymore.
At one point, I stopped gifting for birthday’s and Christmas. I speak to this person less than once a month; I am clueless as to her current interests, so gifting was becoming stressful. However, she has continued to gift for both of these occasions. I figured that after some time of me not reciprocating the gifts that she would eventually stop as well. Nope, the gifts continue to this day. They are all quite thoughtful gifts and I do appreciate them and let her know, but I feel guilty for not returning the gift. (There was even a conversation during this recent visit about all the fantastic gifts she’s given to me. It was very awkward and I felt terrible.) So with Christmas coming, what should I do? Is it better to continue not gifting and feeling rude for not returning the kindness? Or should I try to come up with some kind of gift? It’s not that I dislike this individual, I just felt that our relationship was no longer of gifting status.
ETA: I hadn't realized how many gifting threads had been started lately. Opps! Hope I am not boring you! =)