Tuesday, July 6

The Heartbreakers: When A Friendship Ends

If there is one thing that matters in high school--and for your whole life--it's friendships. They are what memories that stick with you.

The amazing ones.

The awful ones.

My current novel, The Unwritten Rule, is about a girl, Sarah, who falls for her best friend Brianna’s boyfriend, Ryan, but it’s about more than wrestling with feelings for a guy that you know you shouldn't ever have. A lot of the book deals with friendship, the kind of lifelong friendship that means the world to you...and what happens when you realize that maybe it isn’t what you think it is.

That maybe your best friend isn’t your best friend. Maybe she isn’t even a friend at all.

Friendships are tricky things. You can be sure everything is fine, and that your friendship is going to last forever--and it can just end. No explanation, no anything. And it is not easy. In fact, I think losing a friend is worse than losing a boyfriend, especially when it is a friend you’ve had in your life for a long time.

One of the things that Sarah struggles with in The Unwritten Rule, beyond her feelings for Ryan, is her friendship with Brianna--how long they’ve been friends, how she understands Brianna in a way no one else does, and what to do when a crack appears in their friendship, not because of Sarah's feelings for Ryan, but because Sarah begins to wonder if maybe Brianna isn’t her best friend after all.

Having a friendship end is incredibly painful and one of the things I hated when I was younger--and that I still hate now--is how people say, “Oh, it’ll be okay. You’ll move on, you’ll be fine.”

It is true that you will eventually move on and that you will be fine. But you will also always carry that lost friendship with you. It may not take up all of your heart like it does at first, but it will take part of it.

And that, I think, is something no one ever talks about and that I wish we could--and would.

What do you do when someone you are friends with decides your friendship is over? How do you deal with it?

For me, it took tears--and time. (A lot of time, in some cases.)

How about you?


Jordan said...

Great post! Really. Everything you said is 100 % true.

I agree with you, it does take lots of engery, tears, and time. But what I really try to do it surround myself with people that I know love me. Losing a friend is probably one of the worst feelings in the world. And, this way, I feel like I can see what friends truly care about me.

Another thing that I think about is trying to tell a friend that you guys are just not alike anymore, that is also SUPER hard to do.

You want the friendship to last, you want it to be the best thing that there is, but as much as you try, you guys just aren't what you used to be, you've grown, and gone your seperate ways. Would you rather be in a friendship that is totally falling apart, no matter how hard you tried to fix it, or would you rather stop the pain and end it? Thats a choice that many people have trouble with.

I think that ending a friendship is just as hard as having someone end a friendship with you. No matter what, however it happens, losing a friend is hard.


Sara Hantz said...

I agree when friendships end it's so hard and can stay with you for life. Awesome post!

Elizabeth Scott said...

Thank you Jordan, for your thoughtful comments, and I agree, ending a friendship is just as awful as having one end on you. As you say, no matter how it happens, it's hard.

And Sarah, ITA--it really does stay with you, doesn't it?

Wendy Toliver said...

I totally agree with you, Elizabeth. Friendship breakups, whether initiated by you or the friend, do stay with you for a very long time, maybe even forever. It's hard to let someone into your life, sharing your hopes, aspirations, secrets. And then something happens, or maybe nothing really profound happens, but you part ways, and you're left wondering if you could go back in time and do something differently, would you? Anyway, thanks for sharing this thoughtful post.

Alyson Noel said...

GREAT post--and this sort of thing definitely doesn't end after high school--though it never gets any easier . . .

Amanda Ashby said...

Elizabeth - great post! Most of my lost friendships have been ones that have faded away and naturally run their course but I've been dumped by a good friend not once but twice.

The first time it happened I was shocked and devastated, and then delighted when she came back into my life a few years later.

The second time it happened, I was disappointed and sad but not really surprised.

Melissa Walker said...

YES. I still have a big sore spot from a friendship lost. Just read THE MYTH OF YOU AND ME by Leah Stewart (great friend-losing book) and cried a lot. It still feels fresh, but it's been years.