It’s Not Me, It’s You: Breaking Up With Friends
It’s been 335 days since I broke up with my high school best friend. I’d love to say that the breakup was amicable and we’re still regular friends, but that’s not the case. In fact, it had all the ingredients of a bad breakup: it happened via text message, tempers flared, harsh things were said out of anger, and there was an eruption of years of built up aggression and unspoken grievances.
Despite our explosive ending, however, I’m not upset with her. I would never talk bad about her or spill any of her secrets. I would most definitely be cordial if/when the next time we interact. And, most importantly, I have nothing but respect and well wishes for her in life, love and the pursuit of happiness. And that’s how I knew I was growing up. This wasn’t just an argument or a huge fight between BFFs, it was the dissolution of a friendship that had run its course. And it wouldn’t be the last.
We’d been growing apart for some time and I was casually exploring other close friendships which helped me realize how unhappy I was in our friendship. When my new friends were treating me better than she was. When my new friends were there for me and she wasn’t. When my new friends remembered to do the little things to make me happy that she didn’t. And that’s how I knew it was time for us to see other best friends.
If this is starting to sound too much like a relationship to you, that’s because it is! Friendships and romantic relationships are based largely on the same principles: two people, who typically share common interests, enjoy being around one another and are there to help each other get through the perils of life. That goes double for best friends. This is someone who knows you on the deepest level; probably better than you know yourself. This person has an arsenal of information about you that can be used for either good or evil. This is the person you call early in the morning with good news or late at night with bad news. True friendships; just like serious relationships; should be unwavering, unconditional and mutually beneficial. Anything less than that is a waste of time, despite how long you’ve been (friends) with someone. And that’s how I knew …
Too be completely honest, I was over our best-friendship several months prior to our falling out, but I stayed because I didn’t want to throw away 10 years of friendship. That’s a common mistake most of us make: prolonging a situation that we’ve outgrown or that isn’t good for us because we have “history” with a person. But at some point you have to put your happiness over your history. And that’s how I knew …
Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny.
– Steve Maraboli
Coming into my twenties, I’m realizing that the older I get, the harder life hits me. The obstacles get bigger, the stakes get higher and I have more to lose by staying in a situation that doesn’t serve me. Of all the things I have to deal with, I REFUSE to allow friends be a source of stress in my life.
In the last year, I’ve lost a dozen other friends. Back in high school, I would have been freaking out. I would have been questioning myself, wondering what’s wrong with me? How am I supposed to be voted most popular if I keep losing friends?
But now, I don’t lose sleep over it. Not that I enjoy losing friends; especially those that I’m close to and would do anything for; however, it’s all part of growing up. As we get older, our experiences shape us. I’ve been around the world. I’ve been to hell and back. I’ve been hurt. I’ve been betrayed. I’ve been disappointed. I’ve been loved. I’ve been hated. I’ve been scared. I’ve been fearless. I’ve been on top of the world. I’ve been at the bottom of the barrel, reporting live from the gutter. But, most importantly, I’ve been growing.
I hold my head a little higher. I talk a little bolder. I feel a little deeper. I dream a little bigger. I fly a little higher every single day. And there are some friends who can’t fly with me anymore. There are some friends who are secretly trying to clip my wings. There are some friends who don’t even believe I can fly. There are some friends who fly south for the winter when things get tough. There are some friends who are of a different feather, so we can’t flock together. And those are the friends I wasn’t sad to see go.
Not everyone you lose is a loss.
– The Internet
These days, I don’t fret over losing friends and I’m learning to keep my circle tighter than my schedule. When I want to have thousands of friends, I just log on to Facebook for a while. But in real life, I only need a few. And that’s how I knew …