If you’re above the age of about fourteen and you’ve found yourself succumbing to the chaotic lovely mess that is love, you’re probably also totally savvy to the soul crushing, snot running, heart breaking concept of a breakup, too- but what about the breakup that dare not speak it’s name? It’s 2015, I’m not talking about LGBT relations; I’m taking about the dreaded friend break up.
Less common than it’s romantically charged counterpart but possibly even less fun, friend breakups can happen to the best of us (especially those who fall in like-you-a-heckload with their friends quickly). They’re tough, they’re underestimated by many and really, they have more in common than a traditional breakup than you may think- see below for nitty gritties, and a handy guide detailing how to deal.
You thought you’d love each other forever. They were the one that you called when your partner was being a douchecanoe, you were always down for icecream when their exams went horribly wrong and you have a million blissful memories that you wouldn’t change for the world. Because being friends with someone can seem like less commitment and serious business than dating, you might have just taken for granted that you’d be in each other’s lives forever- until you weren’t.
It really seriously hurts, dammit, and no one understands! As I’ve not so subtly inferred before, a lot of people don’t take this shit seriously until it happens to them. You might have broken it off screaming and crying, you might have drifted apart slowly but deliberately. You might have been the breakee or the breaker, you might be dealing with sunshine rainbows forgetting they exist or by spreading rumors and having a solid insta-stalk every half hour. No matter what the situation, you’ll probably feel like everyone think’s you’re a giant loser taking the whole thing too seriously. You most certainly are not; get on google, suss out “friend breakup”and embrace the tribe of sisters you are now a part of.
The friend zone. Chances are, you and your former best bud shared a few of the same pals. When dealing with a friend break-up, it’s best to follow the same basic rules as with a regular split. Don’t make your friends feel like they have to pick sides, no matter how tempting it may seem (they’ll probably pick the person who’s not being neurotic and begging them to pick their side!). Don’t obsess over the sitch with your mutual friends; you might not be on the same page, which will be really awkward, and if they’re not in the thick of it you could be making them super bored/uncomfortable/frustrated.
It’s not you, it’s them! *unless it is you. At the end of the day, there’s a reason you fell apart. It might not make sense to you right now, but it will one day when you have a friend that you might not have had otherwise, who is the absolute perfect fit for you. Deep down, you know who’s in the wrong- if it was them, then you deserve happiness and wholeness, and they don’t deserve your worry. If it was something you did, then you still absolutely deserve said happiness and wholeness- maybe take this as an opportunity to think about your relationships with people, and use it as a lesson.
Talk it out, or not. As with an intimate estrangement, where to go from here is completely unique to your circumstance. Maybe you need to take a deep breath, pick up the phone and give them a call, or meet for coffee to work out where you stand. Maybe you need to take some time, have a break and consider if you’d like to get back together. Maybe you need to embrace the fact that you had a good thing, that will never be the same, and leave it and move on.
My advice? Have a chat with your mum- I’d bet my bottom dollar she’s been there, and bet my last ten cents that she knows enough about this friendship to give you her honest opinion. Eat chocolate ice cream in bed while watching soppy friendship movies and crying. Blast some T-Swift Bad Blood, get these feelings out of your system and make room in your life for the kind of friend who will never break your heart. You’ll be okay.