Break up with your boyfriend (or significant other) and your friends and family will rally behind you. They’ll offer their sympathies, a shoulder to cry on and help you find your feet again.
But what happens when you break up with your bestie?
Why don’t we talk about best friend breakups and how much they actually hurt? The person you went to for love and support about every little thing in your life is no longer there to turn to.
Before writing this post, I googled ‘bestie breakups’ and it is actually a thing that a lot of people (especially women!), go through. And no – I’m not talking about the old drifter situation, still have as a Facebook acquaintance sort of thing. I’m talking full scale, no longer in contact for whatever reason.
If it is so common, why does it feel so shameful, and sad, and oh so lonely?
I can’t answer that but what I can do is share my own story of a bestie break up and how it hurt a lot more than breaking up with any stupid boy I’ve ever dated. How it has impacted my mental health and how I continue to grieve the loss. I’ve kept this very personal pain inside for the most part of 2 years and now it’s time to move on.
You came into my life when I needed you the most. It was perfect timing for us both. Definitely one of those moments in life when you feel like the Universe has planned it all.
Bestie, you were the lifeline I needed to escape my toxic, harmful relationship. You saved me. Without this strange turn of events, I don’t think our friendship would have ever blossomed. You had just ended a relationship and I needed to end one. You needed a new housemate, I needed somewhere to live.
I remember the day I moved in just like it was yesterday. You single-handedly built my new flat pack bed while I tried to get my head around this big change happening in my life. I was so excited to have a housemate, I felt like a teenager again. We celebrated that night with vegan burgers at our favourite pub.
Although we practically just met, I felt like we’d known each other forever.
As the days went by, we both realised we had more in common than we thought. We shared the same taste in music, our love of poutine and cats. We even shared the same favourite clothing store and had similar upbringings.
You introduced me to Tinder, which we had lots and lots of laughs over. While there were many laughs, there were also lots of tears.
You were always there to comfort me through the good, bad and the ugly and sometimes to even bring me back down to reality.
Life in Unit 10 was great. We cherished a good old deep and meaningful over a cup of tea and our roomie dinner nights at least once a week. You supported me, celebrated my achievements and talked shit with me. You brought me more flowers than any boy ever did.
We danced, we sung, we quoted Simpson’s episodes and Flight Of The Conchords. Often we’d eat way too much, regret it but totally do it again – especially if poutine was involved.
We were bizarrely comfortable talking about life’s taboo topics and only you could buy me a menstrual cup for my birthday without it seeming completely weird.
One night, we were having one of our many conversations from our adjoining bedrooms. You were probably getting ready for bed and I was glued to my computer, battling my way through a Science degree. You said, “Sarah, I think we might be best friends!”.
It made me feel so warm and fuzzy, I was honoured to be your bestie.
You helped me heal, grow and become the best version of myself. You were quite extroverted and me, a seasoned introvert – but we worked well together. You encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone, even convincing me to go an event where the sole purpose was to talk to strangers all night! You taught me about being mindful and compassionate, both of which would help me greatly when you were no longer by my side.
Although we lived together and had even worked together, we were both respectful of the need for space and our own lives.
And then, almost a year to the date we moved in together, things started to change. I noticed that you weren’t as bubbly around me, in fact, you became quite short.
I tried to ignore it, too afraid to question you. Deep down I knew what it was about but I didn’t want to confront you. If I did, it would become reality rather than assumption.
I gave you your space, hoping you might see that things were finally working out with me.
But you didn't.
When I finally had the courage to talk to you about it, you told me you couldn’t be happy for me.
You broke my heart.
I tried to be strong. To be angry and unforgiving. Like your opinion didn’t bother me in the slightest.
I just wanted my bestie back.
Although I don’t fully understand why you felt the way you did, I respect your feelings.
Not a day goes by where I don’t wish you gave us a chance, or to help make an effort to repair the friendship.
While we managed to remain pleasant towards each other until the end, it was hard to ignore the pain and the hurt that lingered in the air.
I often wonder what it would be like to still have you in my life. Would our friendship have lasted? Or would we have drifted apart – both of us finding our separate journeys through life?
The Universe brought us together and I know our friendship ended for a reason too. Maybe you’ve discovered yours, I’m still looking for mine.
I have often blamed myself for the end of our friendship but I’ve also been angry at the part you played in it too.
You used to say to me people came into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
Even though you're no longer in my life, you are still with me in spirit, helping me to heal and move forward in life.
So bestie, this is for you.
Some people come into your life for a season,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.
Thank you for the joy, the laughs and all that you taught me.