The Friendship Breakup

On last week’s post, we discussed “your person,” that important presence in your life, outside of your romantic relationship, that is your closest confident. After the column, we got this email:

“Just wanted to say I loved your post today. It made me sad though because my x-best friend and I used to use the term “my person” and we no longer speak. She was SUCH a big part of my life for SO many years. Have you ever been through a “best friend breakup”? Is this normal for girls our age? I still don’t even get what exactly caused our friendship to go awry and I would like to prevent it from happening again. If you have any advice on how to keep best friends healthy, I’d love to hear it.” -Anonymous

Boy do I understand.

Friend breakups, I think, can be harder than boyfriend breakups. Because in many cases, these friends have been with you longer than any boyfriend. They’ve seen you cry more than boyfriends. They’ve been with you through more trying situations than most boyfriends. They’ve sometimes had more sleepovers than boyfriends. Most importantly, these friends know YOU. Not romantic you, not professional you, they know YOU. The deepest YOU. Especially if you’ve grown with these friends through the years, they know where YOU started, and they know what YOU have become.

So when someone like this suddenly is not there, it can seem almost like a death. A total absence.

I have been through a friend breakup. It was college and we slowly started going different directions. She was at a different school then me and we began pursuing different passions. Our lives slowly became less and less similar. We didn’t have them same friends, we didn’t study the same things anymore, we didn’t run into each other in the hallways like in high school.  Sadly, I think we were both at a point in our lives where we just didn’t know how to handle our emotions or how to handle long-distance friendships. We slowly just fell apart. Like the reader above, we aren’t exactly sure why it happened. It just happened.

I think this is common in girls our age. When you are growing into your own person, becoming your own woman, focusing on your career, your relationships and your path, you just might not see eye to eye anymore. Things like other relationships, distance, and even a financial differences might come in the way of you and “your person.”

I do believe though that it doesn’t always have to happen. I’ve had the same best friend since 6th grade. We have become TOTALLY different people. And boy has life turned us in different directions. But the thing that keeps us together is just our LOVE for each other. I LOVE her. We’ve totally had our rough patches, and our lapses of time between conversations, but her friendship is so important to me that I know it must be a priority.

Now that I’m older, I cherish the friends I have more. I realize that a friendship is just like any other relationship. Like a boyfriend, you most often won’t stick with the same one forever. And like dating, it takes work to make it last. Now that I’m older, I’m more mature.  Just like I want a serious romantic relationship, I want serious friendships, and I’m ready to put in the effort to make them last for a good long while.

So today, let’s work on those friendships. Compliment your friend, show appreciation towards your friend, and let your friend know you hope they stick around for a while.

So do you have a friend breakup? Why did it happen? What a way to keep your friends around?

Let’s talk.

Happy Thursday y’all!

Lauren Schaefer

Lauren Schaefer is a nonprofit event planner, comedy improviser, avid blogger and New York City single lady. She documents her own new journey as a young professional in New York at her blog From the Fifth Floor.

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