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Hi Lissa,

     My relationship with the woman I loved change about a year ago. She was the most amazing person, but it was long distance so it was difficult sometimes. She broke it off with me and wanted to remain friends. I was devastated, but agreed while seeing it as a chance to get her back. However, that didn’t happen and I was crushed once again. I’m still friends with her sister (how we met) who lives where I do and sometimes we meet up to hike or have a beer. My problem is that being around her sister brings up feelings of my former love and I usually end up thinking about her and getting emotional when I’m alone. Sometimes those thoughts turn into hopes for crossing paths in the future and that cycle starts running in my head. How can I maintain my friendship with her sister without digging those emotions up? Thank you.

P.S. I read your book on closure and really enjoyed it. It will definitely help in the future if and when relationship changes happen. 



I think it would be best for you to kind of take a break from friendship with the sister.  There are lots of other people you can be friends with who won’t stir up these emotions in you.  Given some time, you may feel differently.  Maybe once you have a new person in your life it will be easier.  But for now, why put yourself through it?  If you feel okay with being honest with your friend, explain to her that it’s not personal. I think she’ll understand and give you some space.  See how you feel about staying in touch via e-mail or text for a while. 

And you might also want to explore some new friendships.  Take a class, join a new group to hike with.  Shake things up a bit and get out of your routine.  Give yourself lots of new things to think about and look forward to.  Then when you want to invite your old friend into this new circle of friends, the dynamic will be entirely different.  Then you can redefine this relationship with your old friend and see her as just a friend rather than your former-love’s sister.


Hope that helps!