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Toxic friendships: When friendship reaches its limits

Having friends is useful in life, it is emotional support, mutual assistance and evaluation. But friendship can sometimes be a double-edged sword, and it becomes toxic when expectations are not the same on both sides.

Stephanie and Lawrence met at the beginning of their first year of college. “We started chatting together at the end of our English lesson, and we never left each other,” said Lawrence, 25. Stephanie is a very strong girl who requires a lot of attention. Talkative and playful, she had darker sides, too. Laughter and tears were not far away.

As the months went by, Lawrence felt their relationship was beginning to slip. “I don’t know if it was jealousy, but Stephanie always had something wrong with her. She called me regularly in tears and I took my car to join her at home to cheer her up. I got the impression sometimes that she was alone in the world and that I had to take care of her. I spent a lot of time with her, Without being able to see my boyfriend or my other friends.

Furthermore, when Lawrence didn’t answer or said she had something else, her friend didn’t hesitate to frown and not give her any news for days. “My boyfriend began to open my eyes. Little by little, I realized that she was trying to lock me into an exclusive relationship, she was forbidding me to do what I wanted. We saw each other at university, in the evenings and every weekend.

When she realized that this relationship was toxic for her, Lawrence began not responding to all of Stephanie’s messages, and no longer helped her when tearful messages left him. I finally decided to change fields of study, because the program I entered with her didn’t really suit me. Stephanie took it so badly that, overnight, she stopped talking to me, calling me and texting me. She even deleted me from her Facebook friends. I found it cruel and unfair.”

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Oddly enough, even if Lawrence knew this relationship wasn’t going anywhere, she still experienced some kind of friendship ache. “It’s crazy, because I knew this friendship was going to end, but the fact that it came from it closed me in a spiral. I had a hard time getting out of his grasp, because I was thinking about it all the time.” Fortunately, Lawrence was well surrounded and a vacation with her lover allowed her to move on.

Sylvain and Annie met at their workplace. Both of them are of French descent, the relationship is strong. “We began seeing each other regularly to go for a drink and eat together, my wife and I, my wife and I,” Sylvain detailed in an interview. She was single, in need of love. She lived alone in a small apartment and her owner wasn’t necessarily nice to her. By regularly inviting Annie to dinners or weekends at the cottage. It was a one-sided relationship. Then she supposedly began to have health problems. Sometimes she had celiac, other times she had IBS. She couldn’t seem to She eats something like that one day, and then it’s something else the next week. She’d only drink red wine one month, and only drink white wine the next.” Of course, the menus have to adapt to his regularly changing state.

“She made a good living, but never contributed to the costs. She never gave me gifts for my wife or for me. At some point, I realized that she didn’t bring me anything in life, and she just got bolder.” Sylvain ends the affair by canceling his presence at Annie’s birthday party at the last minute, when he had to bring champagne. He never returned her calls.

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In friendship, like in romantic relationships, you have to set and express your boundaries. If you often feel slighted, this communication is difficult, you need to talk about it with the other, and not allow yourself to suffocate.

It’s often hard to let go of someone you loved, and sometimes you still love them, but the point is to take time for yourself. Do what you really want. Finally, avoid going to places where you might meet your boyfriend, and try to date new people.