DEAR ABBY: How do you break up with a friend? "Jenny" and I have known each other since high school, more than 30 years. Over the years we've both moved far apart and see each other every couple of years. We were each other's bridesmaids, supported each other as our parents passed away and celebrated graduations and wedding anniversaries.
I no longer enjoy her company the way I did, and I sense that she doesn't enjoy mine either. During our last visit we had a significant disagreement, after which she didn't apologize. Since then she has emailed and texted me frequently, saying how much she enjoyed the trip and values our friendship. I don't know if she is trying to make amends.
Relatives who know of our long relationship say I shouldn't let the friendship go. But I see no reason to stay in the friendship having been treated poorly. How do I convey to Jenny that our friendship has run its course? Do I drop her cold turkey and not send any more of the usual greeting cards? Or should I send cards but no gift? Do I not answer the phone when she calls, or answer but not engage enthusiastically in the conversation? -- WANTS OUT OF THE FRIENDSHIP
DEAR WANTS OUT: Feeling as you do, you have two choices. Distance yourself little by little, stop sending gifts and be "too busy" to talk when she calls. Or, simply level with Jenny and tell her that the disagreement you had during your last visit was hurtful, and in spite of the fact that you have known each other for three decades, you feel your friendship has run its course. Then, if she apologizes, forgive her and move on.