Monday Notes: 3 Lessons from a BFF Breakup

I usually can’t write about something, unless I’m completely over it. That’s why I have about 6,000 notes related to breaking up with my bff and no posts about it. Ever since June, I’d try to begin my thoughts. Each time, I produced nothing.

But this time, I’m doing it.

We were friends for a decade and a half. Fifteen years is a long time. We’d friended our way through childbirth, divorce and international relocations. If you’ve been friends with someone for this long, then you know the laughs, tears, secrets, and experiences that can accumulate. There are too many to count.

That’s why breaking up was difficult. I felt its dissipation at least three years ago, but I thought it would pass. I figured if I gently expressed my new journey to her then, she would understand and join me. That’s not reality. Everyone cannot walk beside you on your path. Everyone is not supposed to.

And you know what? I’ve learned that it’s okay if they don’t. Equally important, I’ve become a little more conscious about who I am in friendships and what I want in those relationships:

I want to be the person’s friend, not her therapist. Friends listen to one another during their times of need. I get it. However, if all our phone calls include me listening to you and your problems, then that’s not a friendship. That’s a therapy session. Asking me to be your part-time counselor is not fair to me or you. Also, I’ve discovered that my tolerance level is low when it comes to this. Some people find this cold and unfeeling, but it’s quite the opposite. I empathize deeply. I take whatever you’ve revealed to me and literally feel your emotion. When it’s traumatic, it weighs heavy. Until I learn to let go of others’ issues, I need my friends to seek therapy, instead.

I want my friends to grow. Is this fair to say? You all know I’m always seeking growth, physically, spiritually, academically, whatever. If you’ve known me for any length of time, then I’m probably not the same person you first met. I hope this doesn’t sound like I’m saying I want a friend who is a mirror image of me. I don’t. But if we’re friends, then I want to know that you care about your own well-being and that maybe, you and I will help one another get there. Here’s the tricky part. Growth begins with self-reflection. And self-reflection requires looking in the mirror and being honest with oneself. I’ve learned the hard way that I can’t make someone self-reflect.

I want my friends to be non-judgmental. For real. I’ve been singing the non-judgment song for about four years. Now, I’m not perfect. Sometimes I still screenshot the occasional text to a mutual friend and wonder “what in the world is wrong with her?” But not always good people. Other people’s business is not often the topic of my own conversations. That’s because I’m too busy doing #2 ^^^ self-reflecting and growing. If the purpose of you reaching out to me is to discuss when someone else is going to get her life together, then you and I probably don’t need to connect that often.

Over the years, I’ve gained and lost quite a few girlfriends. The main reason is because I’d never thought twice about who the person was when we met. It was more like, you like eating out and partying? Me too. Let’s get together and do that, and then we became friends. The end of those friendships forced me to process how or why we became close. I’ve determined the answer is usually rooted in the energy surrounding me at the time. But I’ll save that discussion for another day.

For now, I’m wondering, have you ever broken up with a friend? Did it bother you? Have you thought about what you want in a friendship? Do you have long-lasting friendships? If so, how’d that happen?

 

 

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117 thoughts on “Monday Notes: 3 Lessons from a BFF Breakup

  1. I think that any type of grown-up relationship must be temporary if it is not fulfilling you or is mostly one-sided. I have few friends but they are much “better” than those I had when I was younger; I learn and develop and have fun and can be open and honest with them. As a kid I hung around with the kids who happened to live in my small town. I’d have preferred other friends but there was no one else close. As I’ve grown emotionally and spiritually, I have eased away from people I used to consider friends. I see now that there was never really a true connection with them – again, they were “there” through activities or proximity, and not that they are “bad” people or abusive, but my limited time is needed for others who bring me new ideas, growth opportunities, laughter and for whom I hopefully am doing the same.

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    1. That’s a nice thought that I agree with. The relationship has to be temporary if needs are being fulfilled, whatever those needs are. That last part is also something I’ve been exploring. It’s difficult to explain sometime that a person doesn’t have to be “bad” or have done something “horrible” in order to leave them alone. Sometimes it’s just a matter of growth.

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  2. Some BFF breakups have been harder than BF breakups, but few things were meant to last forever and you know when it’s time. If I am not always going to be the same person, how can I expect a friendship to be static or keep unfolding like an endless treasure chest. Still, I love deeply and feel grateful for every BFF, ex or not. One is always more than enough for me though, and fortunately the spot has always been filled.

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    1. “If I am not always going to be the same person, how can I expect a friendship to be static or keep unfolding like an endless treasure chest.”
      EXACTLY!!! That’s exactly what I’ve come to believe. Either people are going to grow with you, which for a friendship it’s much harder to do than a romantic relationship or marriage, or people are going to grow apart. It’s totally natural.

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    1. Awww…since I posted this a few weeks ago, I’ve found losing friends is a common theme. I hope you’ll shed some of the pessimism though. What I’ve learned is that some people will stay, and those who are meant to kinda come in a provide a lesson, well, they do just that.

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  3. Reblogged this on mind JO business and commented:
    Support “REBLOG” Sunday Ep.30: No friendship is perfect. And not all friendships are easy. But the one thing no friendship should be is unhealthy. Knowing when to cut the cord on an unhealthy friendship isn’t easy – most of us have been there! Kathy shares 3 lessons she learned from her own BFF breakup. Maybe there’s a lesson in there for YOU. Enjoy!

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    1. I have broken up with a friend, actually. More than one. A couple of friends the friendship fizzled because of relocating to a different state. I was fourteen at the time, so I didn’t think much about it afterwards. Fast forward to now, she reached out to me via email. I was ecstatic. She said she was coming to California soon. However, I haven’t heard from her since. I began to wonder if she really missed our friendship or wanted something more. I recently reconnected with a friend from high school through social media. She, too said she missed me and was also coming to California soon for a visit. Again, I was ecstatic. Yet, again, I haven’t heard from her since that initial reconnection. So, I wonder.
      There are three people in my life I call my close friends. Just like seasons change, so do friendships. Sometimes you have to take a break from certain friendships. Certain people are certain types of friends in your life. You can’t ask your drinking friend to help you move and become mad when they don’t. Just as you can’t expect the friend that has helped you move time and time again (with no questions asked) to loan you money. Know what people you have in your life and what they offer. I have a different relationship with each of these three close friends in my life. I want a friend to lift me up when I’m down, I need a friend to hold me up when I’ve fallen and I like having a friend help me to live my life happy being me with no regrets.🎵 that’s what friends are for 😉

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      1. Thanks for reading and commenting Cherie! I love, love, love how you say, “Certain people are certain types of friends in your life.” I think we do tend to forget why we became friends with someone, try to conflate the types of friendships or create something that isn’t there, and then get mad when the person doesn’t do what we want, which wasn’t what the friendship was predicated on in the first place!

        I also like what you’ve described as a friend, mainly because it’s so clear. I think all any of us can do is to be clear about what we’d like and attract those people into our lives.

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  4. I value friendship and have lost at least 2 to 3 meaningful ones. It is never easy and it feels like a heartache of pic romantic proportions. I am learning that any toxicity prohibits growth. Keep your heart pure and move forward.

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  5. Fifteen years is a long time. I’ve read somewhere (probably here on wp) that some people are meant to be a part of our lives only temporarily. I don’t know if 15 years qualifies as temporary though.

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  6. I love this! It hurts when friendships ends. Ive lost two. One to death and with the other I just put it as, we dont lose friends we learn who our real ones are. As an adult its much harder to find a real friend and we may also outgrow childhood friends.

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    1. I can imagine that losing a friend to death is far more difficult because it’s not something that either person chose. I’ve started to rethink how I feel about the phrase “real friends.” I’m beginning to think that you just attract people at the level of where you are and if that changes, then so does the relationship, and possibly the friend. I do think it’s a little harder to develop adult friendships. I guess because you have to actually make time and do stuff, as opposed to when you’re young and free lol

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  7. Oh my… how this registered with me. I am a big believer of seasonal friendships as well as long term ones.  Similar to you, I’m not a fan of friendships that mimic therapy sessions…unless its mutual.  And unfortunately, thats not usually the case.  I’ve had friendships with people who were so self-involved that sometimes I ignore their calls. They couldnt even tell you issues that i was dealing with because they rarely ask about me. Or when I do offer updates on ny life, they offer no substancial acknowledgement or feedback.

    The growth thing is big to me. I have experienced someone’s lack of growth impact our friendship, actually. An inability to communicate effectively or respond to conflict in a healthy manner is a big reflection of growth (or lack thereof).  I also get bored when someone doesnt challenge me intellectually. But I do find value in all of ny friendships so I still find suitable “lanes” for all of my friends.

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    1. “And unfortunately, that’s not usually the case” is what I’ve just recently realized. There are few times when I need to rant on and on about someone or something, so usually my friendships are strictly about companionship and simply relating to one another.

      I’m glad to see I’m not alone about ‘growth’! It’s so important, I think. I’m not sure how any relationship lasts if one person grows (in any way) and the other does not. I totally agree about the intellectual part too. If we cannot hold a conversation about anything substantial, then it probably will not last long, no matter who you are.

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  8. I’ve broken up and reestablished friendships. It is a very interesting and heartbreaking experience. I am still finding my path with it. This post definitely resonates with me and makes me think about certain decisions I’ve made as far as friendships so thank you for this.

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  9. Hi Sista Garland, as my better half addresses you….lol. It is so refreshing to see that I am not alone in this issue. I often wondered why as soon as I got into the deep and meaningful part of a friendship, I become the THERAPIST. You have no idea how many times I have tried to explain to girlfriends that regardless how wise they thought I was, I had my own set of issues. It got to the point that I hated picking up my phone. Looking back, when I did answer the phone it was like the movie Hear No Evil, See No Evil starring Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor. I said all of that to say, I love that self reflection was one of your indicators of growth. Great story.

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    1. Ha! You can call me Kathy, if you want, but it’s up to you lol Omgoodness, based on all of the comments, I guess not. I was a little surprised at how much this touched people.

      As far as being a therapist…exactly girl! I never told anyone what you just said, but always in my mind, I was thinking that very thing, “I have my own stuff to deal with!” But I would listen anyway. Totally understand about not wanting to pick up the phone.

      You went waaaay back on that movie reference, huh? lol I remember the title, but not the actual movie.

      Thanks for stopping by, reading and commenting! And welcome to the blogosphere 😉

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  10. Dr. Garland I forgot to mention that the term “friend” gets thrown around too easily today. Social media is the culprit but we as people mislabel things so often. We have to justify being angry when anger is a human emotion, we say we love things but we really don’t, we call people friends without ever having the pleasure of meeting someone, we say things are the best ever without trying everything in said category etc. Imagery is also to blame. And I’ll use myself as an example. People might say they like me but that’s due to my online status or image but they might not like the person Tareau.

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  11. Deep post Kathy. There was only one breakup I had when I was a teenager (we were so close I was devastated when she began hanging out with a new “bestie”) Maybe this is partially the reason why I don’t make friends easily, never have, but when I do they are typically lifelong friendships. Three of them go back to when we were kids, the fourth one passed away, and the fifth one I met about 15 years ago. I trust my life in the hands of these individuals and our relationships aren’t perfect but I think that’s the beauty. We accept one another as we are, speak truth when it needs to be spoken and alternate carrying the load. No matter how much time passes we can always pick up where we left off as though time hasn’t passed.

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  12. I want to be the person’s friend, not her therapist- That is one of the hardest qualities to find in a friend. When people get comfortable, sometimes it’s no stopping that train. It stresses you out. Then,they start calling you with all these problems, and it isn’t reciprocated when needed.

    I want my friends to grow- This one is difficult too. We all change/evolve with time. Some for the better. Unfortunately not all. You know, I’m glad I ran across this post Sista Garland. I had to shake a couple of people too. Thank you for this.

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    1. Yeah. It’s tough. I’ve come to find out that people think it’s the norm to unload on someone else repeatedly. Not me Dave! Like you said, it starts to stress ME out. This relationship taught me that those types of conversations really just transfer the other person’s negative energy to you (sometimes, if you allow it to).

      I’m glad you read it and commented too!

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      1. It was an extremely relatable post. With all that goes on in the world, one should not have to worry about those who are supposed to be close to you. If anything, you should be able to take solace in one another.

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  13. What a great post. I’ve never thought about breaking up with a BFF. I’ve held on and stayed loyal for years and years. I’ve lost touch or slowly faded away from some close friends because of the same reasons you wrote about. But, if they call or e-mail….sigh….I’m always there. But, I completely see why breaking up is a good idea with some that are all about themselves and never want to hear about us and our lives. Thank you for posting this. Maybe I should break up with someone? Hmm…something to think about. Girl, maybe you should write a book on this, I bet I had to scroll down 5 minutes through these comments just to comment! I think you’re onto something here Doll. Good work! Hugs!

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    1. HEY LENNON!!! I don’t think it’s a bad thing if you don’t think it’s a bad thing. I’ve read your posts about you and your friends and it seems like you have some really great relationships.

      I literally laughed out loud about you scrolling all the way to comment lol A book, huh? The Unhappy FRIEND? I’ll have to think about that one. Thanks for reading and commenting…virtual hug right back to you.

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  14. I can totally relate to this post. I’ve lost a lot friends, but it’s okay. Like you said, “Everyone cannot walk beside you on your path. Everyone is not supposed to.” There’s a journey you want to see yourself go on, and not everyone meant to go with. Awesome post!

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    1. Thanks Pam! I don’t if it’s age or what. I used to get kind of bent out of shape about it, but now I’m more like, hmmm…it must’ve been time for that to come to an end, then I reflect on the great parts and move on best I can.

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  15. Thanks for sharing. Great post as usual. I had a similar experience. “Friends” (not bffs) during high school, I listened patiently to her woes and chose to excuse her close-mindedness and some of her bigoted remarks against those not part of her culture (due her upbringing). Everything was about her. My first encounter with a narcissist. After graduation when we parted ways, she only kept in touch when she needed something and I pointed it out to her with examples. It was the best breakup ever because I learned that being real friends is about compatibility, reciprocity …not the #of years put it.

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    1. I thought I’d answered this already…hmmm. I know you’re not saying this about you and your friend, but what you’ve said here reminds me of what I’d discovered about myself. She and I were friends partially because we HAD similar (what I’d call now) “mean girl” personalities. Once I shed that, it’s almost like I saw her in a new way. It’s an amazing thing really.

      Absolutely agree about reciprocity, etc. And thanks for reading and commenting!

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  16. This past year I noticed friends had broken up with me. I left a job to move onto something that would build me, not kill me. Oh, the judgement; what about your Pension?!! I’ve seen a lot of teachers die way before pension time. I didn’t want to go that route. I was then ignored. That’s when I realized I didn’t miss them. They never knew me. I am growing more and meeting new folks all of the time now. This time I pay attention to them; to compatibility. This article has been on my mind for a long time too. Thanks for writing it.

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    1. Thanks Liz! I wrote something else about “It’s your journey; there’s no explanation required” which you probably can relate to too. It sounds like you had to make some difficult decisions that are meant for yourself and in letting go, you allowed for something and someone else to enter. Kudos! and thanks for the tweet!

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  17. I enjoyed reading everyone’s comments to the post. Great post by the way. I read it yesterday but am just getting on to comment. Friendship is a touchy subject for me since being burned by people who I put in that category. Now I am reluctant to even call many people friends. I put people in categories: coworker, church member, sorority sister, writing associate. This fear of calling people “friend” isn’t always well-received. A friend from work attended my birthday party a couple years ago. I kept introducing her as my co-worker and she was like, “If you call me your coworker one more time…” I felt bad because I do consider us more than coworkers because we share a lot of personal things with one another. But, when I had that same relationship with a person at work some years before, they showed me that they were NOT my friend.

    Anyway, I am grateful for the friendships I’ve had in my life for many, many years as well as recent friendships that have come in recent years. I’m also grateful that it’s never too late to learn to be a good friend too.

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    1. HEEEY LA Jefferson! I almost called you by your gov’t name lol So glad you commented and thanks! I definitely understand what you’re saying about not calling everyone a friend. I guess in my own way that’s what I’m doing too, because really it’s more important how you treat someone, as opposed to the title they hold. All those titles start to hold too much expectation. I like what you say at the end, and I guess that’s part of my point in reflecting too. It really is never too late to be a good friend, and I suppose you have to go through a few relationships to really know what that means for yourself and the people you choose to interact with.

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  18. I’ve been broken up with by 3 friends. The funny thing is that after years have passed they want to come back. I don’t do take backs. If I’ve ever let you into my life and shared with you and then you break up with me consider it permanent. No hard feelings. It’s that God has moved you out of my life for something bigger and better. I don’t hate them. I understand that there is a reason and a season. Great post sis!

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    1. Thanks Tikeetha! I totally agree. There was one friend who I tried to mend things with, but the issue that broke us apart in the first place kept nagging at me. It’s kind of like an ex…you’re an ex for a reason lol

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  19. Kathy, I feel for you over the break-up with your best friend. This can be as tough as breaking up a with a partner…I’ve had friendships that have moved on and away for various reasons and which I’ve accepted. When younger I had a massive blow-out with my best friends who were sisters. I was heart-broken, sick with sadness…it really did feel like the end of the world. We made up a year later but that fight was always there I felt.

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    1. Aw man! You broke up with two people at one time??? That probably was rough. Yes, thanks for understanding. It was the weirdest situation. I didn’t know if I should say something, not say something, let her know exactly how I felt. In a way it was like a romantic relationship, but not because you know you’d always tell a significant other exactly what the issue is. I’d just mentioned in a comment that I can’t see how you would mend the relationship because it’s kind of like an ex, but I’m glad you and your friends figured out a way.

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      1. Regarding the mending of a relationship after a break-up I do think it is never the same and I’ve never felt that 100% trust or sharing as before. We are still in contact and meet up however, since then I have a couple of wonderful friends whom I’m in contact with on a daily basis – a bff if you like, although we never say that.

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  20. I’ve been told all my life by my mother I have to high expectations when it comes to relationships, because I expect the same things as you dear Katherin.
    If I notice my connections and me are just sending Christmas-cards, but didn’t spend anytime during that year…well, I make the suggestion to make an effort to connect more, or just stop sending those cards. Being brutally honest, my list to send Christmas-cards decreased. That hurt a lot the first year, but now I think ‘so be it’.
    Maybe it is an age thing, although I never enjoyed ‘shallow’ friendships…I’ve been told I take things to seriously…but hey, for a good party or good laugh I am always in, at the same time I also like to talk about serious things with that same person.
    There was a time I had a friend I would go shop with, a friend for deep meaningful conversations, a friend to go to movies with, etc. But somehow, that doesn’t work either for me.
    So, maybe I don’t have many friendships, but the ones I do have; I will go through fire for these people and the important thing for me…they will do that for me too.
    I noticed that I love to talk with various people in this Blog-land, and it’s easier because it is more distant I guess, to just chit-chat. However, I’ve noticed that people like yourself, I follow more regularly…because I feel the connection is more balanced. More about laughing together AND also ‘being real’ with each other.
    Again great post Katherin, respect for posting it after all !
    XxX

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    1. Patty, you must have had a wonderful mother! I also believe in reciprocity. If I only see you once a year and never hear from you the rest of the time, then I feel the same as you. Either I can do more, or I can let it go. At some point, I think we all have to come to the “so be it” point; otherwise, we’ll be stuck lamenting every friendship gone awry.

      I can relate to everything you’re saying here. People have told me the same thing, “You’re too serious.” But really and truly, when it’s time to have fun, I’m there! Also, the part about different friends for different occasions. I used to do that too, but now, it’s like whatever.

      Yes to BEING REAL! I think that’s the key to every relationship, authenticity. Thanks so much Patty! I appreciate it 🙂

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      1. To be honest…I used to think so a large part of my life. Now I understand my mother inspired me to not become like her. It was hard to discover, she isn’t that beautiful and then to deal with that knowledge. It took me 44 years…
        Authenticity…yes, I love that word 🙂

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  21. Interesting and timely! We could be friends for real, Sis! My bff of 20 years and I broke up nearly nine years ago — just as Senator Obama was about to become President Obama. I looked in the mirror one day and realized that I had grown a great deal, and we didn’t fit anymore. I’m also close to cutting another friend loose because of the free therapy sessions masked as a “just checking on you” call. Either I’m going to bill her or cut it off.It’s exhausting — especially when it’s one-sided. 😀 Great post!

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  22. Unfortunately, this can happen whether we want it to or not. Sometimes there is a misunderstanding or a breach that cannot be mended. Other times drift occurs. Over time, we make choices, react to what life brings our way, and gradually become different people. The memory of a genuine friendship can and should be cherished. ❤

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  23. Reading this made me feel a little bit better. I always wanted to talk to someone about breaking up with a good friend but I always felt really embarressed and childish about it because of how things ended. I broke up with my best friend from college. We had a lot of problems in our relationship but the tipping point was that she couldn’t get along with my boyfriend. It sounds silly I know and if I could go back in time I definetly would’ve broken up with him earlier but I was young and he was my first boyfriend. It took us a full year to get over being angry at each other and we’re casual on Facebook now. I think about it a lot though because even though we’re casual with each other I don’t think we can go back to being best friends again.

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    1. I understand girl. I was hesitant to write about it because I’m 43 and thought who even concerns themselves about this stuff when they’re in their 40s, but I mean relationships are relationships no matter one’s age. Glad it could help some, even if it’s to show you’re not alone 😉 and I understand about the effects. Things can sometimes never be the same.

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  24. Here goes a comment possibly as long as a Darryl (or is it Tarreau?) one 😂…

    Great post Kathy! Well done in finding the courage to be true to you. We are all ultimately on an individual spiritual journey and are not going to necessarily remain on the same paths where we formed a friendship. I think it is only natural that sometimes we need to let go of friendships that no longer reflect our changed values, views of the world or relationship we have with ourselves. To remain in a friendship and go against what our intuition or cold hard facts of conversations and behaviours are telling us would be compromising on integrity and authenticity, and would also be a disservice to the other person whose growth may require the friendship to end, even if it isn’t them doing the ending. I have an extreme experience of a  childhood friendship that became very dark and toxic (although in hindsight I see similar dynamics in the 11year old (me) and 15 year old (her, when we met) and the 26 / 30 year olds when I quite literally escaped that friendship. The strength and courage it took to do that has shaped me and the kind of friendships I’ve since made; for the most part, they have been enriching and allowed room for growth, respect of boundaries, genuine care and love etc…the ones that haven’t, I’ve not hesitated to walk away from. Finally, I also don’t seek or assign exclusivity in a friendship and will never call one person a best friend…all my friends are the best people I’ve met 😊

    p.s. you’re a great friend x

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    1. lol now Mek…I thought you and Darryl made up lol

      Thanks for this comment! I nodded all the way through, but then again…why wouldn’t I 😉 lol There’s so much here that I say yes to. I especially agree that “to remain in a friendship and go against what our intuition is telling us would be compromising on integrity…” YES! I also like the fact that you’ve mentioned the other person. Sometimes it’s best for both people, whether the other person realizes it or not. I also like the part at the end about not assigning exclusivity in friendships. Maybe I’ll expound on that later, but I’ve been thinking that we give these names to all relationships as if we’re supposed to act differently in one versus another. But you know if you were in trouble and I could help, then wouldn’t I act the same whether “best” was in front of it or “husband” or whatever? Okay. Like I said, I’ll wait for another day to write about that.

      You’re a great friend too! If I was on my phone, I’d insert a million emojis 😉

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      1. Me and Darryl are good (I think). I just wanted to send the message that my sense of humour will not be censored 😂

        Totally agree on titles – I would help out any of my friends if they were in need or celebrate any of their wins equally- those who don’t inspire that reaction are called aquaintences haha. Sometimes aquaintences (is that how it’s spelt?) do become friends though. I’m on my phone do here goes: 💕🐝🌻🌹✌🎉🌞🌈

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  25. Great topic and I like your criteria for how you relate to a BFF. I guess there is a distinction between BFFs and ” just friends”. We are drawn to people for various reasons and some friends come into your life and all is good for the time you’re friends and when time comes to move on, you move on. In those kind of relationships, my experience is that you just drift apart but you may still treasure the relationship you had. For me a BFF is an holistic relationship that needs investment from both parties and because of that, I’d limit the number of such deep relationships. I have two such relationships like this which have spanned decades and we’ve each grown, each switch roles from time to time and we’ve given each other space. If we don’t hear from each other for a while, we don’t sweat it.

    But on your point of breaking up, I once had a Best friend for about 8 years and like a marriage, the break up was really hard before and after. I like to go by chemistry with people but I also agree with you, that it is important to have an idea ahead of what you are looking for. If you do, the chemistry thing happens spontaneously.

    Thank you for hosting this interesting topic. Chevvy.

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    1. “Investment from both parties” I like that description. I call it reciprocity. As I think through this more (by having these conversations in an open forum), I think that’s what it boils down to. There didn’t seem to be reciprocity, or investment from both parties. I’m sure she’d agree on my part too. Sometimes it’s okay to be off balance like that, as you’ve shown here. It happens. I agree too that when it’s time to move on, then you move on.

      Thanks to you for commenting Chevvy 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s my pleasure Kathy, glad I could contribute to the conversation. Reciprocity is exactly it. I’d probably add the criteria of treating each other as equals, maybe not all the time but like a see-saw that balances out. The thought occurred to me that when you look back, do you still call that person your BFF for the time the relationship lasted? In my case, it was a betrayal that broke up the relationship. Looking back after all the hurt and pain, I’d still say that in those eight years we both had the best time in our lives together but it needed distance of time and healing for me to be able to admit that now.
        It would be interesting to explore the topic of virtual friendships since that’s where we find ourselves in the blogosphere.
        It’s way past my bedtime so I’m saying good night from Southside.😀

        Liked by 1 person

  26. Hi, Kathy. You bring up a very interesting topic. I think that maybe it’s a natural part of life for some friendships to fade away. It happens for a variety of reasons. A good thing is when new friendships form. I’ve lost friendships over the years. But I’ve also made a bunch of new friends in the last ten years, something I’m really glad has happened. I’ll add that having a nice number of friends is an important thing. It helps us be happier people.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with this. A funny thing happened as I was going through this experience, I became A LOT closer to a WP blogger. She and I talk about 3-4xs per week via chat tool. At first I thought it was a strange thing that it should evolve right then, but now, it’s like we’ve known each other for years.

      Liked by 2 people

  27. I can definitely relate to this. My college bestie of 7 years is no longer my bestie. I felt it and knew the breakup would happen before my birthday and when I read the cryptic birthday card. We had the conversation 2 months later. I can’t say I cared more about the friendship, but we were on different wavelengths and heading in different directions as in terms of personal growth. Eventually, I moved on from the conversation, mourned the friendship, focused on my growth and other friendships that challenged and inspired me. She came back. She missed what we had. She expressed she made a mistake and wanted to “fix” our friendship. I can’t say that I’m open to giving her my time or energy like I used too. Sometimes, I feel nostalgic. Unfortunately, to me, repairing is difficult because it won’t ever be the same and I can still see the cracks….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a good point Merline! I think a lot of us know, suspect, feel when the relationship is going left or downward, but we don’t know exactly what to do. Once we figure out what to do, it is important to “mourn the friendship/relationship” as a part of letting it go, I think. It’s also important to know when to allow the person back in or not. Just like a romantic relationship, becoming friends again isn’t always the best solution, especially if you see cracks lol

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Great post, KE. I’m a Scorpio Introvert, so the few friends I have are ones I enjoy being with and can have deep conversations about life with. I hate superficiality and gossip, and any friendship I’ve had where those turned out to be the main ingredients went by the wayside. “Oh, woe is me” people drain me… I’m a helper type and slip easily into a codependent role. It’s hard to rescue myself from their drama, but if they complain and do nothing about their situation, it is essential to my well-being to let go.

    Liked by 3 people

  29. Great post! I can very much relate to it. My high school bestie is no longer my bestie… we still keep in touch, but it’s definitely a different relationship after we turned 28… I got married and she broke up with her longtime boyfriend. We went in opposite directions and I felt that she didn’t want to be close to me because she didn’t want to be reminded that her relationship failed whereas mine flourished. I miss our friendship, but I’m willing to accept that we’ve grown apart. I can’t force her to talk to me and I’m not going to go chase her down to be my friend either. In the meantime, I’ve made other friendships and bonds, but nothing like what I had with her and it took me a long time to accept that. I know it’s ok to. It have a bestie….but I’d be lying if I say I didn’t long for another relationship like that….

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Life as Mrs A, yes it’s really hard when you break up with someone who you’ve been close with. Friends are very special people, I feel, and I don’t like all this chat about fluidity and moving on. I just feel that makes light of something that was really special at the time. I think a good friend encompasses many qualities and I think the important thing is that you are there for each other. A good friend can be a counsellor (to a degree. You don’t always want to be offloading on her/him), but it’s therapeutic to be able to bounce ideas/problems off someone you can trust and who can trust you. I think that is the overall ingredient/quality: to be able to trust and be there for each other when you’re having fun and also when you are not. A friend who doesn’t want to know when you’re in a bad place (and vice versa) is not a friend in my book.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Absolutely Life as Mrs A! Friendships are a many splendoured thing and mean different things to different people. It’s just like the word ‘love’ – ask 100 people what it means to them and it is surprising how many different answers you’ll get. You would think it would be the same for everyone! So it is with friendships.
        It’s good to know that you have come to an arrangement with your friend which means that the friendship is not on the same level anymore, but you appreciate each other enough to still have some contact. as long as you’re both happy, that’s all that matters.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree on this one Marie lol

        Friends ARE special people. But fluidity is a part of the natural order of things. Nothing lasts forever. Change is always a part of life. Consequently, one of the opposites of fluidity is stagnation, and that, in my opinion is not very healthy. While I’m not saying that we should just say, “Oh well! Another one bites the dust,” I do not think we should mourn change for long periods of time.

        Again, I do think a good friend can be a counselor, SOMETIMES, as Darryl pointed out. And I hope I haven’t given the impression that I don’t want to hear anyone’s bad feelings. What I’m saying is I don’t want to continue to participate in conversations with friends who, as you’ve said, “offload” on me, especially if it’s year after year.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I don’t think we need to agree to disagree at all on this Kathy. Unless you’re going to write an essay, or you are gifted and can cover all the points you want to make in a couple of paragraphs there will always be a lot unsaid.
        I agree with what you say, and as for fluidity, when I said that, I meant I didn’t like it because I like to think that friendships are for ‘keeps’. I like to think that. But I also understand that things can and do change for all sorts of reasons and I’m well aware of that. I would hate to think that a long-standing friendship rested precariously on ‘fluidity’ and necessary change. Sure things do change, and unfortunately for me, a couple of what I assumed would be bff did not work out that way. But had they done, I would be incredibly happy about it. I wouldn’t be thinking, gosh we’ve been friends for twenty years, it’s about time the friendship ended. If you’re married (which is a type of friendship I believe – it is other things as well) would you be happy for it to end after say 10 years in the interests of ‘fluidity’ and change, because your husband/wife has changed: mentally and physically? No, I think you would want to work at the relationship because it meant much to you. And I feel this is how friendships are for me. This is not to say it is the same for everyone, because having read the thread of comments here, it is obvious that there are many and varied views of what friendships mean to different people.
        To address your second point, no-one wants to hear friend’s problems day in and day out and especially if it is one sided. One person doing all the listening and the other doing all the off-loading, but I do think (for me personally) I would be there for a friend as long as they needed me. It is flattering in a good friendship when someone appreciates you enough to take you into their confidence. So perhaps this is where we might agree to disagree.
        Fortunately I have never had a friend who has off-loaded year after year.
        But if I found myself in that position, then I would look at each case and decide whether I needed to be that friend or not as the case may be.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Thanks Mrs. A. Part of what you’ve mentioned here is what I’m saying. Sometimes people just grow apart and there are several different reasons that might happen. I’m glad to see you’ve bonded with others, who perhaps have values aligned with yours. I think that happens too. Anywho, I hope also, if you want another bestie, then you’ll find one 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Several people journey with us through life. Some remain with us for our entire lifetime; others stay for several years; still more for a short time to show us a new direction. I celebrate and am thankful for those close friends who are no longer in my life because we chose different paths.

    Liked by 3 people

  31. Firstly, I love your honesty; it makes me feel like you’re probably a great friend who gives more chances than people probably deserve. And what you said reminds me a lot of myself.

    Anywho, I did break up with a friend who I’d known half my life. I only wrote the break up email because my boyfriend at the time said it’s only right since we’d been friends for so long and she’d probably worry not hearing from me after awhile. I mentioned that I’m still here for her but I just can’t associate myself with many of her choices. It was hard at the time but I realized we’re not who we were at 13. I don’t even miss her or wonder what she’s up to which is confirmation that I did the right thing.

    As for other friendships that served their time, I just kinda slowly walked backwards out of the room.

    Thanks for this 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kelley! I’d like to believe that I am and that situations like these have actually made me an even better friend.

      So you wrote an actual email explaining things to the person? That’s interesting and I’ve wondered if those are the types of things that are necessary. Ultimately, it’s like a romantic relationship, and you wouldn’t leave that person hanging and wondering. Definitely think not missing someone’s presence is an indication that you’ve (we’ve) made the right decision. Thank YOU for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, the ex bf suggested the break up note since she really showed no signs of wanting to end the friendship. I didn’t think it was necessary because she had stopped initiating conversations, but I said lemme just get it all out there so there’s no confusion.

        I know for sure certain relationships make one a better friend because they’re more aware of what they want and can’t deal with anymore.

        Liked by 1 person

  32. Great post and great questions.

    I really like your point about not being a therapist. I can identify with this dynamic as well. One of my close relationships devolved into this – and I felt as if MY needs were crowded out. There was no room for me in the relationship. All of our conversations had the same structure: introduce the problem, me address the problem, and then that was the end of it. Like you, I thought it would pass – so I kept exposing myself to it.

    I took a several-month-long “break” from this relationship. Recently, I told my friend about how this bothered me and she was apologetic, and seems to be working on it. I felt that the time away may have sent a message and got her to regain her senses a bit – that I am a person, and should be treated as such.

    I have lost close friendships. The first friendship I lost was when I started high school – because my BFF decided he was now too cool to be hanging with me. His desire for popularity was being frustrated by me – so we had to part ways. It hurt because not only did I lose a friend, but I gained an enemy – because he started bad mouthing me, etc.

    I do have a lifelong friend – me and my boy have been cool for 10+ years. He has changed and I have changed over time – but we are still friends because we are open and honest with each other.

    What do I want in a friendship? A vibe – that unconscious, unspoken connection where you just “get” the person. I want someone who is willing to be my therapist SOMETIMES. I want someone who trusts me enough to open up to me like I am a therapist, SOMETIMES. I want someone who will call me on my BS and not sugarcoat stuff with me.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Darryl! That structure you’ve described is all to familiar. Now add several years and you get my point, I hope. Your 10+ friendship is great to hear about. Growth and honesty are important no matter what.

      So the last part is EXACTLY what I’m saying. I can tell when I’m not vibing with someone. One way for sure is if I’m speaking words, and the other person is looking at me like I’m speaking Tagalog. The other part is also EXACTLY what I’m saying. All friendships require these parts, SOMETIMES, but when it’s the ongoing theme, then ya know. I’m gonna have to part ways.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely! I applaud you for knowing when to sever ties! Those phony vibes drive me wild. That is something I struggle with. Do you think the decision to stay in relationships like this tie into our self-image/way we were raised? I feel that sometimes we do not think we can do better, sometimes we think that is what a relationship is, and sometimes we think we deserve to be treated like that.

        Off topic point: I would love to hear your take on platonic relationships with members of the opposite or same sex (if heterosexual or homosexual, respectively) – what they mean, what they don’t mean, and whether they are problematic for monogamous relations, etc.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I know you weren’t asking me, but yes, I think staying in friendships that aren’t healthy has a lot to do with self image, relationships that have been modelled to us, and unresolved ‘stuff’ that we keep encountering over and over till we address the issues. Both people in a friendship are getting something out of it, even if only subconsciously and not necessarily in their best interest.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I agree with Mek’s answer (10000 hrs). I would also add that we always attract at the level of where we are at the time. For example, the friend and I had a lot in common, including the issues we carried. Once I began working on myself, that caused a shift, not only in where I was vibrationally, but also where our relationship was. So really we really cannot do “better” until we choose to be better/different versions of ourselves.

        (I’m going to answer the other part of this w/my and my hubby’s lifelong debate) For the longest time, I believed that women and men can be just friends. My husband has disagreed for just as long. He’s always tried to tell me that men never want to be “just friends.” Once FB rolled around, I saw what he meant. Men inboxed me several times with historical memories of our friendships and propositions. It had been like 10-15 years since I’d seen some of these people. So, in a way, I think my hubby is kinda right. On the other hand, I currently have at least two friends who are men, who I really consider friends. I guess my answer is yes and no lol It just maybe depends on the two people and the situation.

        I think the only time they can be problematic for monogamous relations is if the person allows it to be. I mean, I’ve learned that we all have choices, so to pretend as if you just stumbled into inappropriate land with someone doesn’t make sense.

        Hope I didn’t ramble.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Hi Dr. Garland! Nah, you didn’t ramble. I agree that we cannot do better in relationships until we improve our relationship with ourselves.

        Thank you for addressing my point about platonic relations. I agree with what your husband said. I think that when men say they are “just friends”, they are actually saying “the stars have not aligned for us to be together yet, soooo being a friend is the next best thing”. I’ll be completely honest: all of the lady “friends” that I have ever had I was low-key interested in. The friendship was a means to a greater end. That being stated, I can totally believe that that you have two male friends that are just friends in your eyes … but I would be interested in how those two males, deep down, would categorize the relationship =D lol.

        Tying all of this back to the content of your post: these “platonic friendships” are the hardest to get over for me, because it isn’t just the end of a friendship, it is the end of a fantasy … the end of the possibility of being together with that woman.

        It sounds like what you and your husband said, and what I have said, are very much in line with a Chris Rock bit from years ago about “platonic friends”. I will paste the link to it at the bottom – not to disagree with what you said about you/women having platonic friends, but to throw in another perspective that is interesting. *Coarse Language, viewer discretion is advised*

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I remember this one lol and yes about the “stars aligned” comment lmao That’s what I was getting at about the decades later men…I’m like really???

        So funny this video also talks about how women do their girlfriends…that’s just how some people are.

        Liked by 1 person

  33. I really loved the part about “I’m your friend not your therapist.” Any relationship should be equal, but friends will take advantage of your kindness and mistake it for weakness. And in return will try and guilt trip you into things. I’m happy you held your ground.

    On a side note we have the mugs and where would you like me to ship it to? If you can email me tareaubarron@gmail.com.

    Liked by 4 people

  34. Kathy I’ve lost count of the bffs I have broken up with. No that’s not strictly true. I have broken up with two best friends and some other friends who I wouldn’t regard as best friends. And it’s been sad. In the second case it took me years to get over it, and the worse thing about it was I still clung on even though it was apparent she had let me go loooooooong ago! I’m afraid I treated the second one like a ‘therapist’ although I wasn’t aware of it at the time, and yes I guess it can be tiresome. It was many years ago when I was very depressed (which I also didn’t realise) and too ill, immature and naïve to know that that might not have been welcome.
    It’s interesting to read about what you feel about ‘therapy’ friendships. I’m not sure I would take that approach although no friend has ever used me as a therapy friend. I would hope I would be compassionate, but then you never know until you are faced with that situation.
    I love your honesty though!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Marie, thanks for your comment.

      You’ve mentioned some characteristics that I think are vital in understanding what I’m saying. You’ve said that “It was many years ago when I was very depressed (which I also didn’t realise) and too ill, immature and naïve to know that that might not have been welcome.” Depression, clinical depression is a serious illness that requires more than a friend’s ear. The way I see it, it requires medical attention, especially if it continues for several years.

      Also, I’ve not called them “therapy friendships.” What I’m saying is if the person requires therapy, then (in my opinion) a friendship is not a replacement for that. Additionally, I really believe you can be compassionate without creating co-dependence. It’s hard not to write from a defensive stance, but I believe I was being compassionate when I said to this person repeatedly, “Hey. I think you need to see a therapist.” To me, that’s what a friend does. Listens and then offers some sort of direction. Who wants to see their friend in pain for years?

      Compassion doesn’t always require staying in someone’s life, but it does seem that we’ve come to believe that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Kathy. Without repeating and going over too much of what you have said, I just want to clarify that at the time I off-loaded on to a friend I was in a bad place. Now years later and with much hindsight, I realise that was not a good thing to do. It has taken me years to realise this, but maybe I’m not one of those people who works quickly to solve a problem. The friend I offloaded on , also did the same with me and we were there for each other, but fortunately for her, her trauma was not as great as mine. Incidentally at the time, I had no idea I was traumatised. I don’t think you do when you are younger. This friend actually came with me to therapy, but we did part ways eventually because of our differing personalities and also she met someone who she eventually married. I therefore became redundant in the friendship. She had been married when I first met her and when she parted from her husband and was going through divorce, I was the shoulder she cried on. And it wasn’t for a few nights either. So I guess people take what they want/need from a friendship and then move on when it no longer suits their purposes.
        I’m sorry if I may have missed parts of what you have written. Perhaps I need to re-read about the part you have in quotes. Sometimes you go off on a tangent, when you’re eager to share your view and miss the point sometimes.
        I disagree with you about compassion, but I think I need to stop here now because this could go on forever! LOL

        Liked by 1 person

  35. I agree with everything, especially with the non-judgemental part. More or less, frienship is about happiness and having somebody to laugh with. Then, it is about having somebody to help carry our heavy hearts… Unfortunately I have broken with many friends. Main reason was Life who took us astray and slowly, but surely we lost touch. And with others we have grown beyond recognition…Very nice post!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks much for this comment. I agree. I understand that it can’t be all unicorns and rainbows. I mean we’re each living life, but if it’s always doom and gloom, then to me that’s an issue as well. Thanks again for adding to this conversation.

      Liked by 1 person

  36. Love this post, K E. I can totally relate to it. I had a breakup with a friend, that I thought I’d grow old with. I remember even saying that to her in an email. We had traveled together, done family things together, I wrote one of the eulogies for her mom’s funeral and the kicker was we used to do journal writing workshops and one of our topics was friendship. She simply couldn’t handle the fact that I got sick, and broke confidence after confidence until I had no trust in her, so we broke up. It was the strangest thing because it wasn’t like we grew apart, we broke up! That being said, I have two friends that I have besties with for close to 40 years. We accept each other as we’ve grown and changed and don’t judge each other’s life styles. I have other best friends that I’ve only known for a year. Like minded women are who I choose to surround myself with these days. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Alexis! Yes. That was the odd part. Well, I guess we slowly grew apart and then broke up and I’d never imagined that I’d ever use those words to describe a friendship ending, but I suppose it’s the years that make it so. “Like-minded women” are the people I’m most interested in right now.

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