Yesterday the subject of my former BFF and how she became former comes up between me and the GM of an RPG I play. He suggested that even with all the hurt feelings between us (even if they are mild and one sided), I should drop her a message and try to reopen the lines of communication.
I find this particular line of thinking/advice to be intensely frustrating, largely because I have a massive natural tendency to go there myself. It's the idea that no matter how much non-contact has happened, no matter how many times a person has failed to initiate (or even respond) to contact, it's still worth just one more shot because of all the history.
I've spent more time than I ever should have chasing after people who, in the end, didn't really want to be caught. I don't think I've ever once actually preserved a friendship in that situation...just dragged it out beyond the point where I should have let it quietly die away until eventually even all my effort couldn't stave off its last, final gasps.
What I got out of it was the feeling that I'd been an idiot (for not realizing faster that the person in question probably didn't want to maintain the friendship, and probably wasn't actually that
busy all the time). I got anger at having invested a bunch of time in a friendship that, in the end, wasn't worth it. And I got memories tinged with a healthy dose of bitterness that might otherwise have been things I could look back on at least a little bit fondly.
Ultimately, I've had to learn to set limits for myself on just how far I will pursue a drifting relationship
, mostly for my own sanity and happiness. I tell myself I can contact someone a certain number of times without them initiating and/or responding, and then that's it. I write off the friendship without malice (so that if they
ever reopen lines of communication, I'm not mad about it, but I'm not sitting around with bated breath waiting for it to happen).
I would say in your case, you've already given this friendship a number of chances to be more than extremely distant, but none of those chances has really done much towards keeping the friendship alive in anything like a robust way. I think you should really consider what you would be looking for, if you reestablished contact. And you should also be really honest with yourself about the chances of what you want actually happening, using history as your guide. If you do decide to reach out to this former friend again, give yourself a limit for how many times you're willing to reach out before you give up (I suggest once), and make sure what you're looking for is clearly defined. If she doesn't respond, or doesn't respond in the way you're looking for her to, then do yourself a favor and spend your energy on turning this friendship into a nice bit of nostalgia, rather than spending it on worrying about whether or not you should contact her this
time or on this
occasion even though nothing came of such attempts in the past.