There is a theory (propagated by Sex and the City) that says it takes approximately half the time one was in a relationship to get over said relationship. By that logic, I will be fully recovered in…three years. A strange claim coming from someone who has never been in a “serious relationship”? Allow me to explain.
I am in the midst of the most difficult break-up of my life. I was dumped by my best friend. The person whose shoulder I normally cry on is now the person causing the pain. No one talks about friendship break-ups. This leads me to believe they are rare. Sure, friendships fade, we lose touch. I don’t cry every time some one “unfriends” me on Facebook, chances are I don’t even notice. But when someone you love cuts you out of their life- someone who knows your secrets, dreams and fears-how can you not feel heartbroken?
Cosmo (how much respect am I losing by referencing this rag?) says the number two reason people break up is cheating. Perhaps this is where our problem lies.We never had an exclusive best friendship. She was always my best friend- from college. Throughout the four years (and three years post college) we both maintained best friends- from home. Maybe this feeling of not being the one and only, the best best, is the cause of our ultimate demise. Was she my best friend soul mate? No. She wasn’t. (That’s Miranda.) I’ve always believed in having several best friends. A saving grace. A break-up with one of my best friends is difficult enough. The pain of a falling out with my one-and-only, best of the best, soulmate, is unimaginable.
In a romantic relationship, you consider that possibility. That someday one of you will wake up and say “Um, I’m over this.” In a friendship, do we ever consider that? My best friend has held my hair back as I’ve puked and I knew she still loved me. She saw my face red and puffy from tears, laughed with me to the point of almost peeing our pants, witnessed horrible decisions with no judgments, cheered me on through bouts of self-doubt, held my hand at the ER. We have seen each other at our best and worst. Did the worse out way the best? Was that the deal breaker? With a best friend does one ever think “Does this have any future?” or “Where is this going?”. You never consider a future with your best friend, you take it for granted.
The third reason people break up, again, according to
the worst source ever Cosmo, is because someone lied about something and trust was difficult to regain. I did lie to her once. I remember it vividly because the reason I lied was because I was judging myself. Does that diffuse the lie? As someone looking on the situation older and wiser eyes, I would say yes, somewhat. What was the lie, you wonder? I lied to her about loosing my virginity. A thing that was not exactly any of her business and in every way my own secret to choose to tell. But when she asked, I lied. I told her I hadn’t when in fact I had. A month later I would end up telling her the truth, when I was finally comfortable with it myself. The fact that I had not trusted her did cause a rift in our friendship that took some fixing. In my eyes, I repaired the trust without much difficulty. Now, I look back on that lie and wonder if it was the beginning of the end, an unraveling that began years before the ultimate demise.
I will likely never know exactly what went wrong. We haven’t spoken to each other in over six months, aside from painfully awkward “hellos” at the gatherings of mutual friends. I tried to save the friendship once by confronting her, talking things out and it worked for a while. Then she stopped returning my calls. Again. That was the last straw: ”Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me” goes the cliché. I live in New York, I’m no fool. ”Time heals all wounds” goes another cliché. In three years I won’t give it a second thought. Until that time comes, I will avoid two things:
- Thinking thoughts of “If my best friend doesn’t love me, who will?”
- Reading Cosmo articles along the lines of How to Get Over A Break-up or Break-Up Survival Guide. Let me amend that to: Avoid reading any Cosmo article ever. At age 26, I think that’s a good choice to make.
Have you experienced a friendship break-up? Any words of advice? I’d love to hear about it!