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Friend Will Be Live-In Hell

Dominique wrote:

I've been best friends with a girl since preschool. I'm now in college. I don't think I can explain just how much I adored this girl. We were the very best friends, and she was honestly my favorite person for 17 years of my life.

But lately I've begun to become disillusioned. I can't even place my finger on what precisely is causing this problem, but I've become shocked to find that I'm starting to genuinely dislike her. I don't want to see her, I make excuses to avoid her. She isn't mean-natured or generally difficult to get along with, but I've just become averse to being around her.

Recently she asked to live with me in an apartment next year, and I figured I just might need some distance from her. The issue is, I don't know how to tell her that. She's considered me her best friend since preschool and she has some troublesome self-esteem issues. I'm afraid that our friendship may be irreparably damaged if I tell her I want to keep a distance, but I'm also afraid living with her will turn this dislike into hatred. What should I do? I'm desperate here.

Thank you for your time!

Dear Dominique

The problem is not as uncommon as you might think. Many 'lifelong' friends fall away, not through malice or evil intent, but because as we grow up, we grow into different people.

If one of you moved away, and you met just occasionally, you might never have realised; but living together would be hell - immediately for you, but eventually for her too, unless she's incredibly thick skinned.

Don't do it. Living with someone is a big step to take, as your home is where you feel safe and in control. Never put your whole home life at risk.

If you can't find a decent excuse, then be honest - "It just won't work" - try not to be brutal, unless you have to, but honesty is probably better than a white lie, which may come back to haunt you - and may put poison into a relationship which should fade gently over time.

Even if honesty is painful, it's a pain she will recover from.

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