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Looking after ourselves

Senior Contributor

how to get friendship back with someone

Hi all!


i am not to sure if this is where to post this.


my ex was a really good friend of mine before we got together. We were only together for 4 months when his depression and anxiety got the better of him and he broke up with me. We tried to be friends but I found it quite hard and confusing. He ended up distancing himself from me. I didn’t do anything wrong except try and understand what was going on.


its been 6 months now and I really miss his friendship. I don’t want to rekindle anything with him. I have done a lot of work on myself during that time.


What I want to know is, How would I approach someone with depression and anxiety about working on a friendship after they pushed you away? I don’t plan to do this right now but perhaps in a couple of months. It’s also his birthday at the end of March so I was thinking that might be a way to break the ice.


Re: how to get friendship back with someone

Hey there @SoSad this is a really good question, also thank you so much for sharing what you've been through. I am sorry about the break up too, you're right some of the symptoms he's up against can result in people being unable to engage in a relationship - incredible work on your own self-awareness and growth during this time.


It could be good to shift the focus to you a little more. It's important you're ready to speak to him as much as he is too, it sounds like you're going to approach him very compassionately and gently, but it's super paramount as well to monitor your own self-care. Would you feel most comfortable with a phone call/text/in person etc? Let us know how you're traveling, the community's here to listen Heart 

Re: how to get friendship back with someone

Thank you for your reply @nashy


I am thinking I will text him. That way he can respond when he wants and he can think about how to respond. 


If he is open to rebuilding our friendship,  I have started to put together a list of boundaries. I think baby steps is the way to go as well. I know it can be quite difficult to go from friendship to a relationship and back to a friendship so these things are quite important.

Re: how to get friendship back with someone

I have been doing a lot of thinking and also research on whether I should contact him. I feel like I would be doing the right thing. He is a great person. Although he hurt me when we broke up, with the self improvement I have done, I have been able to let that go.


I know he can’t be in a relationship. That’s a choice he has made. I understand that and have worked on moving on. I still care about him and also worry about him. 


He was diagnosed with depression and anxiety at the beginning of 2017. This was after a hospital stay after a few years of self medicating with alcohol. He was having suicidal thoughts. I also met him at the beginning of 2017. So I’ve never known him “before depression.” I imagine after self medicating and not taking action sooner now means it takes longer to recover. I am also thinking that this will be a battle that he will have to fight for a long time, which I think he might be in denial about. He doesn’t have consistent therapy and he always forgets to take his medication. He also still drinks alcohol. Not as much as he used to but it’s still a worry about how much he drinks.

Re: how to get friendship back with someone

Just a quick update. I sent him a text wishing him a happy birthday. I didn’t get a response. That was 3 days ago. So, unfortunately, that’s me done with him now. I think there is only so many times a person can put themselves out there and feeling rejected Smiley Sad.

Re: how to get friendship back with someone

I think people suffering mental health issues often have a lot of past traumas to deal with. Those traumas can cause flare up of mental symptoms and risk lives or hospital admissions.


Friendships are very important to help us through our trauma and mental struggles.


It is not easy to care for friends who are depressed and withdrawn.


First we must look after our own mental well being. Please keep on efforts for other friends.

Friendships just are so important in life and paramount for us to stay well and happy.



Re: how to get friendship back with someone

Unfortunately I am the only person he seems to have distanced himself from. I haven’t done anything to him. He has a friend who didn’t treat him well but he can still be friends with him. 


I just don’t know how much more rejection I need. I don’t want to give up but I think that’s the only way now.

Re: how to get friendship back with someone


I am back. 

A couple of weeks ago I found out that my ex’s dog had passed away.  She lived with me for 6 months last year and I had quite a bond with her.  I treated her like my own.  I was quite upset to hear and worried about how my ex would handle it as he truly loved the dog.  She was a good companion to him and helped him a lot with his depression/anxiety/PTSD.  She had issues of her own.  I was a bit upset that he didn’t tell me and I found out via social media. 

I sent him my condolences and I had a feeling that my phone number had been blocked (went from blue to green on iphone).  I sent the same message via Facebook messenger (previously blocked on facebook) a couple of days later and he called me about an hour later (don’t know if he saw the message or it was just a coincidence).  I missed the call as my phone was on silent.  I tried to call him back half an hour later but it went straight to voicemail.  I didn’t leave a message.  The next morning, I sent him another message just to let him know that I missed his call as my phone was on silent and to feel free to call or text me.  The message went from blue to green again.  Definitely blocked.  I was able to send him a ‘Happy Birthday’ message a couple of months ago and so it was after that he blocked me (didn’t say thanks or anything, just blocked).  I waited a week and on Saturday I sent a message via facebook again and an email telling him that I had missed his call and my phone was on silent and that I had been trying to get in contact with him and that he can call me later or text any time and then I made a light joke about how I was starting to feel like a stalker.  No response.

I just want to know what happened.  Him calling me and then a week later still nothing from him is just playing on my mind.  Why call me but keep me blocked.  All the other ways I have been contacting him, I don’t know if he is seeing my messages.  It’s cruel.  Then I think that he might be thinking that I am ignoring him if he hasn’t seen my messages.  I think I need to just let it go now but it just feels like he is playing some kind of game.  I can understand that blocking me is his way of handling things but at least, if you are going to call someone, take the person off your block list for a couple of days.  I was going really well with moving on and then all the blocking and not returning any of my messages etc is just really making me anxious and opening old wounds again.  I did nothing to warrant any of the behaviour towards me.  If anything, I was too nice to him when he broke my heart.

Re: how to get friendship back with someone

So sorry to hear about your ex's dog @SoSad, and that you are playing phone tag with him, just to simply send your condolences. Apparently, the green message simply means that it is a text message, rather than an iMessage which is blue. It could mean that he has changed to an Android phone. Hope this clears up some of the confusion around the coloured messages. Have you been able to get in contact today?

Re: how to get friendship back with someone

Thank you. It says “sent as text message” under 3 of my messages and each flicked from blue to green so don’t know if that means anything. It’s confusing lol.
I haven’t heard anything back. It’s incredibly frustrating. I think trying to let it go is the best thing for me. It’s quite clear he has issues.

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