Complicated relationship with friend after 2 years of fighting
In 2020 my best friend got into a serious romantic relationship. I was surprised because I didn't know she was even looking for a partner, especially as we had been talking about moving in together. She knows that I'm not remotely interested in dating and had been planning to prioritize her as the main person in my life once we lived together, so to not even mention that she wanted a boyfriend (and as it turned out had been desperate to) felt a bit off and hurtful.
I talked to her about it and apologised for misinterpreting our relationship and said I hoped I hadn't made her feel uncomfortable or like she couldn't talk to me about things, and that I would back off and give her space for her new relationship. She got upset and said she didn't want our relationship to change and that I was still just as important in her life and she still valued friendship more than romance.
I won't go into everything that has happened in the past 2 years but the short version is that I believed her and so continued prioritizing her and putting a significant amount of effort into our relationship and planning to move in with her once lockdown ended. She obviously prioritized her boyfriend and began to find my additional attention overwhelming, but because I had already offered to take space neither of us felt like we could bring it up for the time being and so we both kept interacting and resenting each other more and more
I know now that I should have just backed off without saying anything, or taken space at literally any later point, but I didn't until this summer. I don't think things would have been this bad if it hadn't coincided with the extra stress of covid, which I found particularly hard and isolating so I wasn't exactly at my best or with a great support network to fall back on. She's gone from the most important person in my life to someone I can't even think about without getting very upset.
The way that we left it is I said that if she wasn't interested/didn't have the energy right now to repair our relationship back to a good place then we probably just shouldn't talk at all to prevent things getting worse, which she immediately agreed to without any additional discussion about when to check back in or anything else. I have no idea about what I mean to her other than someone she used to be friends with, if anything else. I really do miss her and would like to be friends again one day and would like for her to meet all the new friends I've made in the last two years, because I think they'd all really get on. But given how much effort I've already put in and how many times I've been the one to try to fix things I feel like I can never reach out to her again, because it would annoy her and make me resent that I had to be the one to do it. So all I can do is wait and hope, which feels impossible.
It's hard to even get proper space because we are in some shared group chats and annual meet-ups. I can avoid them but it's noticeable if I do and I don't want to cause drama, but I want us both to have space as well.
If it ends up being that we just are never friends again then obviously I will survive, I have lots of great friends and she is just one person. But we had been best friends for nearly a decade, she is one of my oldest friends and was certainly the person who knew me best during the most formative years of my life. I still really like her as a person, if we met for the first time today I would still want to be friends with her. She has a lot of admirable qualities. If she was ever in any trouble or upset I would still want to be there for her if that is what she wanted. But I think she just wants to be 'old friends' who catch up sometimes but I think it's too late for that, I think the old version of our friendship has been destroyed too thoroughly for us to get together and reminisce, I don't trust her or feel respected by her or comfortable around her at all anymore. So we would have to build something new first and I just don't think she's interested.
I should say as well - after she told me she still wanted me to be part of her life I made an effort to include her boyfriend as well, I would invite him to hang outs and invite him round my house, support his band, get him gifts etc as I often pick up gifts for my friends. He never did any of those things for me and would often not talk to me when we all three hung out, just sitting on his phone or nuzzling my friend. When I brought it up to her she just said he was shy. I would never be invited to stuff they were doing but the one time I did invite just my friend to a day out because I hadn't seen her for a month or so she invited him without asking me.
Honestly, it sounds like you are kind of high maintenence. Presents and obligatory time together should not be part of a friendship.
My recommendation is to pull back a bit.
I never said I expect obligatory gifts etc., I don't think she's ever got me a gift outside of my birthday the entire decade we've been friends because that's not the type of person she is and I'm not big on receiving gifts anyway. If you're referring to the additional comment I was only making the point that I had tried to befriend her partner and make him feel included and not like I didn't want him there, so as far as I know that's not the problem
As for your recommendation I haven't spoken to her for 4 months lol.