The most ANNOYING thing a friend can do...

I think you can also use the word "selfish" to describe such behavior.

We've all had at least one friend who ditches us when they jump into a relationship and come running back once that relationship has ended. One of my closest friends -- my wife and I have known him since high school -- falls into this category.

I noted on the blog last year that he pulled a major disappearing act in the 8-month stretch he was with his then-girlfriend.

One day, out of nowhere, I start receiving calls and invitations from him to hang out again. It's as if he had morphed from Mr. Indifferent to the clingiest person you'll ever meet.

It took him awhile to come out and say that the relationship was officially done, but the fact he'd suddenly become so available again gave it away. He never gave specifics on why the relationship failed -- only saying that he broke up with her because he didn't want to hurt her. (We'll never really know who actually did the breaking up. No one likes to concede that he or she was dumped.)

So now my friend calls me 2-3 times a week during his drive home and proposes a weekend outing every Friday.

I came very close to calling the friendship quits last year. I think it was selfish of him to put his close friends on the back burner and now be this clingy only because he has no one else to turn to. The tables have turned so much that now I have to find excuses not to answer all of his calls.

I gave him another chance because I think that's what a true friend does. I have known him for over 15 years and consider him a good person. But make no mistake: If he pulls a stunt like this once he hooks up with his next girlfriend, I am ending the friendship for good. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

He seems to have no qualms about being the third wheel now, a role he seemingly took on during our college days as well. I get the feeling that being the third wheel makes him feel as though he is in a relationship, even if it's vicariously through my wife and I. Odd, I know.

I'm proud to say that I never cast this friend aside (or any others) when I first got with my wife. Naturally, we have a little less time available to hang out with them now that we're married, but we do our best to accommodate them a couple of times a month. Not many couples are this generous.

I firmly believe that friends should never be shunted aside. You just never know when you'll need them. Take my friend: I basically became irrelevant to him for 8 months. When the relationship came to an end, he had the awkward task of trying to curry our favor again. As I said above, he succeeded this time, but he won't be allowed to make that mistake again.

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