When ever we talk about break ups, we usually imagine a romance ending. Some combination of guy and girl calling it quits after an epic argument or something deeper. We see in movies the post-relationship partying and blues; the tubs of ice cream consumed while friends work on lifting each other up.
What about breaking up with your best friend?
A person, who for years, you built a non-romantic relationship with. Seemingly inseparable, you could finish each other sentences and would often share talks of futures together (wedding planning, being god parents to each other, binding college and career choices).
This is a different type of break up, and one I want to keep present in conversations.
This is what happened to me. I had a high school best friend (we shall call her “D”) who built me up, but on occasion tore me down. She would help me to recognize my own intelligence and helped to give me confidence to join AP classes. We worked on drawing comics together. We planned on being each others bridesmaids, and godparents to our distant future children. As we grew, we grew apart. Towards the end of high school, we had fights. One mutual friend, “L,” I remember her specifically saying that perhaps we should no longer be friends after she found me distraught and in tears. At the time this was a devastating though, but it was something that came to fruition a few years later.
What ended our 4 year long friendship was a complex combination of actions. It’s been a few years so smaller details are fuzzy. She dove into astrology and used my Leo zodiac sign to tear me down as egotistical whenever I was proud of an accomplishment. She cheated on her boyfriend (a mutual friend of ours), lied about it, used religion to guilt him into forgiving her. She wanted me to remain silent, which I did to the most part, but after they broke up and she continued to lie to him; I shared with him the texts between us confirming her cheating so he could move on. Our relationship and all attempts at healing ended when she got married to a very controlling man. I told her I would always be there for her if she needed me, but I could no longer take her guilt trips, and being talked down to. There’s more that happened, but these are what stands out to me the most.
After I was done, I boxed up all of her belongings, and dropped it at her front door. A liberating move at the time. I spent some time moping and mourning the relationships end.
Breaking up with your best friend is messy. It involves tears as you put a chapter of yourself to rest. If you are reading this looking to commiserate, you are not alone being broken hearted by breaking up with a close friend. It hurts, and that pain is real.
If you are looking for advice, look to new adventures. L and A (I’ve mentioned then before) remain close friends to me, and are constant sources of positive energy. Spend time redefining your future. My future no longer included D, but I was able to broaden my view to include romantic interests, college, travel, and careers. It’s amazingly liberating to re-imagine yourself.
If you’ve ever ended a friendship, share your experience below! It can be cathartic, and help guide others to a healthy way to move on.