Dear Oracle, what do you do when a friendship is beginning to feel one-sided? I love my friend and have been close with her for years, but I’m noticing that I’m starting to feel drained after spending time with her. It definitely didn’t use to feel that way, and I don’t want to end the friendship, but I haven’t really enjoyed hanging out with them for a while.—Burned Out Bestie
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The wands are all about creation.
Cards: Page of Wands, Ace of Swords (reversed), King of Cups (reversed), Waning Gibbous
Dear BOB, one of my favorite movies last year was Martin McDonagh’s ”The Banshees of Inisherin” because it asks the very common but rarely acknowledged question of “what do you do when you don’t like your friend anymore?”
The answer the movie provides is equal parts absurd and brutal, neither of which I’d recommend, but there is a hint of that sorrow in your question. You love your friend. You loved them for years. But at the moment, you don’t really like spending time with them.
You mention your relationship feels one-sided and draining, and it’s important to figure out why it feels that way. Let’s start with you, the Page of Wands. The wands are all about creation (AKA Newness), and as the free-spirited Page, you probably enjoy adventure or novelty or simply discovering something you didn’t know before. You probably feel best when you’re intellectually stimulated—and probably dislike talking about the same things over and over again.
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The reversed Ace of Swords and King of Cups suggests that you’re giving a lot of mental and emotional energy to this friendship but aren’t receiving it back. Which makes me wonder: are you, by any chance, your friend’s unofficial therapist? Do your conversations mostly revolve around them and their problems, but they don’t ask about yours? That could certainly make a friendship feel one-sided.
Now, it’s normal for a relationship to become unbalanced from time to time. People go through shit, and sometimes they need to take more emotionally than they can give. We’ve all been there, on both sides of the equation.
You mention your friend hasn’t always been like this—are they going through a hard time right now? If so, it’s important to acknowledge that they might not be a giving friend for a while. And depending on their situation, they might not be able to change that even if you tell them your concerns.
The Waning Moon suggests that you may need to let go of some expectations for this friendship. They might not be able to be the kind of friend they once were. This might be temporary, or you two might be growing apart. I don’t know.
I know you want to keep the friendship alive, so I recommend shorter visits that won’t leave you drained or resentful. A drink instead of dinner, a 20-minute phone call over a lunch break. Or go see a new movie so you’ll have something new to talk about after.
Whatever is happening, I hope your relationship regains balance. True Friendship is a type of True Love, and our lives are richer for it.
Dear Oracle, about six months ago, my adult daughter began divorce proceedings. I moved in with her to help care for my two young grandchildren since she works full-time and is now a single mother. I love my grandchildren, and I love being able to help my daughter, but it’s exhausting raising little children, and I’m not a young woman anymore. Is there a way for me to help without feeling exhausted?—Gi-Gi
Cards: Temperance, Four of Cups, Queen of Wands (reversed), Full Moon
Dear Gi-Gi, I am sure your daughter is deeply grateful for your presence during this difficult time. I’m sure it’s great for your grandchildren, emotionally and practically, to have you around to love them and help them.
But I think you and your daughter know that this isn’t sustainable in the long run. The Four of Cups shows up when we know something isn’t working in our relationships, and while this arrangement was made with the best of intentions, it’s taking a lot out of you.
While you don’t specifically ask about “finding balance,” that’s what the cards want you to do.
Temperance is a card of balance and sometimes appears when we feel like we have to give all or nothing. Right now, you’re giving it your all: you’re helping with the day-to-day every day. I wonder if you might feel more balance if you were able to have your own space (like an apartment nearby) or if there is a way for you to take a step back so that you have energy for yourself.
Your daughter is a warm and protective mother, and this divorce is probably taking a lot of her. The reversed Queen of Wands suggests that she cannot be her whole self at the moment (probably due to the difficulty of said divorce), but that wasn’t always the case. She was a powerful woman before and will be again.
With the Full Moon bringing energy and clarity, it might be a good time to sit down with your daughter and figure out the next chapter of this story.
You asked if there was a way to help without feeling exhausted, and while I would love to give you a specific answer, I can’t. I don’t know the details of your daughter’s finances/custody agreements/relationship with her ex or what’s feasible right now.
But I encourage you to be honest about how you’re feeling and what you have the energy for. Perhaps you can help in the evenings but not the mornings or can offer help on certain tasks but need outside help on others. I’m not sure.
But I hope you are able to be honest with your daughter and yourself. Changing your role does not mean you love your daughter or grandchildren any less. It just means acknowledging how very human you are.
Best of luck, my dear.