Sunday, July 6

Best-Friend Breakups

I’m not gonna lie: This blog is kind of a downer.

When I was in college, I had a best friend. I met her freshman year, and we used to talk for hours. We had nicknames for each other, knew each others' families and shared everything. A year or so after college, we broke up. It was swift and unexpected, and though I won’t go into the complicated reasons for our breakup, I will say that she ended things without ever saying goodbye. I’m still sometimes surprised that I can’t call her to tell her about something that’s going on in my life. I really wish I could say that it doesn’t still hurt, but it does, sometimes.

I’ve written on this blog about what fabulous friends I have—and that’s very true. But I know the pain of the friend breakup, too, and in some ways it’s harder than the end of a romance. Because it’s the end of something that you really never thought would end.

I even bought a book about when girls’ friendships end—I turned to the self-help shelf of all places, looking for a way to deal with how sad I felt. It’s painful in so many ways. Has anyone else dealt with this friendship breakup? How did you get through it? It’s been seven years for me (!) and I’m still finding my way.

16 comments:

Jessica Burkhart said...

I'm going through that now, actually. She was my best friend since we were born and then when she went to college, things sort of fell apart. It's incredibly difficult and it's painful!

Wendy Toliver said...

Oh Melissa and Jessica, I feel for you. I also had to break up with one of my best friends. My husband had to finally say, "Is it worth it?" because I was always having to walk on egg shells. Since my husband and I are so close, I chose to trust him.

It kills me b/c she's had a baby and I have her gift in the basement, ungiven. But I have to say, when I'm not thinking about her or the baby I haven't even met, I am a lot happier. Plus, my other friends have totally stepped up and also think I've made the right choice.

Gerb said...

That's so sad. I've drifted away from some friends and sometimes I feel melancholy for the closeness we used to share, but I've never had a breakup like you describe so I don't have any wisdom to share on getting through it. It can't be easy. You have my sympathies!

Sara Z. said...

I've been through a rough best friend breakup. It's been like a three-year process. It blows. This was the only friend I've ever lost - not counting people who naturally drift apart. I hope I never ever have to go through it again! It actually helps to know it's a normal part of life.

Melissa Walker said...

It makes me feel better to know that it's a normal part of life, as Sara notes. Thanks, guys.

Kelly Parra said...

I've lost a lot friends over the years from moves. So many friendships just cut off by distance. It was always hard. I'm sorry about your break-up!

keri mikulski :) said...

Yuck.. Yes.. Haven't we all? My experience is distance over time, like Gerb described, but never a true breakup. In fact, my hubby pointed out once that I don't break up with anyone - even ex-boyfriends. I'm non-confrontational to the extreme. :)

Alea said...

I had a (maybe) best-friend breakup in college. It's a very long story. Basically she turned out to be kind of crazy, started alienating all of our roommates so I finally had enough and started ignoring her just like she loved to do to everyone else whenever she was the least bit mad! In my case I'm much better off without her (so are my other friends) so i really don't find myself missing her, or her rude emails from her mother! It was really nice having such a close bond at first though :) Great topic!

I have some other friends that I drift back and forth with. But since I've known them so long we always find our way back to each other :)

just1linmichele said...

I'm sorry to hear that something like that happened to you - I'm sure that experience made you cherish the future friends you made even more. I have two best friends that I've had since the beginning of my freshman year of college and am now entering my third year with both of them as my roommates, and I can only pray that the living situation only brings us closer together instead of tearing us apart, as I know happens to some people.
Happy Summer!

Alyson Noel said...

I've definitely lost a few friends over the years- mostly due to moves -out of state and out of the country- and just an overall sense of growing apart, and yeah, it's never easy . . .

Sara Hantz said...

I've drifted apart from friends... some of them who knew my every innermost thought. But haven't had the sort of breakup you're talking about. It sounds awful... I feel for you.

Nancy said...

My best friend through most of school and I drifted apart a little in high school and then when she went to college, but then one day a couple of years ago, she just stopped talking to me all together and has even apparently blocked me on myspace, and I have no idea why. It REALLY sucks.

GUNDERSTRUCK! said...

Great post subject. I wonder why we don't discuss this idea more often.

I met my childhood best friend in second grade when my mom bought a new house in a new neighborhood after my parents' divorce. My best friend literally lived next door! We were both tall and athletic, and spent so much time playing together as kids and hanging out as teens. We traded clothes in junior high and high school, were locker partners, and confided all of our boy troubles to each other. We really tried to cultivate our relationship, to the point of almost being exclusive (if you can call it that), but we just enjoyed being with each other so much. I knew everyone in her family and she knew everyone in mine.

We ended up going to different colleges. One weekend, my boss set me up with her nephew "Steve", who was tall and super hot. We hit it off pretty good and exchanged numbers, even though our schools were two hours apart. He attended the same college as my best friend, and oddly enough, we discovered that he was friends with my best friend's new boyfriend Andy.

One weekend, I went to visit my best friend at her dorm. She had just broken up with her boyfriend and was devastated. I arranged to see "Steve" and he came to dinner with us. The next night, a bunch of us went to a dance as a group. As the night progressed, "Steve" and my best friend disappeared and were no where to be found.

Guess where I found them?

You guessed it. Together. (Kissing).

I was stunned.

And our friendship was over, just like that.

I drove home immediately and cried for about the next three days straight. Not because of what "Steve" had done to me. But because of what she had done.

I've been able to forgive her, but it's never been the same and we are not close. 14 years of friendship just completely flushed down the drain and for what, I'll never know.

Anyways. It's painful. You are not alone. You don't get friendships like that often, and it's horrible when they end. Sorry this comment is so long, but you've definitely struck a nerve.

Lenore said...

You all need to read "The Myth of You and Me" by Leah Stewart. Best novel about the close friendships between females I have ever read. And they have a BAD break-up.

I have a friend that I used to be very, very close to and though we never "broke up", we are in very different places now.

Amanda Ashby said...

Melissa - yes!!!! One of my closest friends dropped me quite abruptly with absolutely no reason. At the time it was horrible. But then several years later she went to great lengths to get back in contact with me (I'd moved countries by then). After that, she once again became a super close friend until, yup, she dropped me again.

I could scarcily believe it, but this time I knew her pattern - and not just with me, but with the other friends in her life. It's still sad though.

Anonymous said...

i just recently got into a fight w my bff...she said i could stay @ her house where she lives w her parents...n when i got there told me she was goin out w her bf n made it clear i wasnt invited..o n her mom hates me for no reason... n said i could stay there while she went out ...then told me right b4 my shift ended id have to stay somehwere else..now it been a month n she hasnt even apologized! ive just been replaced and i helped her get a job w my company making alot more $! so now idk if its even worth tryin to talk to her..