July 14, 2010

Best Friend Breakup

Friendships rarely begin with the idea that they may end. Relationships, yes, definitely. Friendships, no, not so much. Case in point, I have had the same best friend for 30 years. Yes, we have fought. Yes, we have stopped speaking. Yes, we survived life's ups & downs loving each other all the way. I am a friend keeper. People think that I have a ton of BFF's but honestly, I only have a handful. I have friends, sure, but only a few get over the wall.

Unfortunately, throughout my life, one or two that had made it over the wall, had to be tossed back over.

Breaking up is hard to do and friendships are no exception. Women need friendships. We invest more in friendships. We thrive with healthy friendships. We need strong bonds to talk about feelings, bitch about issues, laugh over life. My best friends and I would call it 'Wine & Whine'. We'd get together with a bottle of wine...or two....and laugh or cry our way through what was in our hearts. At the end of the night, everything was alright.

Breaking up with boyfriends isn't easy but we tend to think that it was 'them' not 'us'. Breaking up with friends is worse because we tend to think it was us..'what did I do wrong?' Sometimes we never know the answer. No relationship is perfect and no relationship has a guarantee. So, why, when a friendship ends do we feel like we failed at one of the greatest things we are meant to succeed at? Then I remember the season poem..... Reason, Season, Lifetime ....and realize this is all part of living a full life.

Friendships usually fail for 3 basic reasons; misunderstanding, betrayal or neglect. There isn't one woman on the planet who cannot say a friendship hasn't ended due to one of those reasons. In fact, my most recent EBFF (ex bff) became so due to a misunderstanding. Well, it started as a misunderstanding and ended quite differently, with a lack of caring. *sigh* No need for details, just the fact that it has ended, is enough. However, now that it has ended, I see things that I either didn't see before or just overlooked because of love. Things that make me a better person not being surrounded by. However, because I like to live in my happy place, I will treasure the moments full of laughter and ignore the rest.

I was once accused of having 'high expectations' of my friends. While, my first instinct was to deny & argue that fact, I paused and thought....'Yes! Why shouldn't I? If I had low expectations of my friends, then why have them?' I do have high expectations of my friends. My friends are my family. Plain and simple. I think this is because I was adopted, come from an odd, broken family & while I love them, I've never quite belonged. I belong in my friendships. They are chosen, I am chosen and every flaw is loved. I expect honesty, love, support, guidance, laughter, caring and understanding. A soul refuge. I expect the same level of respect that I bestow onto them and I expect them to expect the same from me.

Trust is HUGE for me. So, when my trust is given (which isn't often), and it gets broken (which also isn't often), I find it very difficult to repair no matter how much I love that person. Many times it never gets repaired and the wall gets built. That's the way trust is with many people, I think. I forgive but I put the offender on sort of a 'probation'. If they continue to hurt, disappoint &/or behave badly, then I know it's time to break up.

I break up with people for the reasons I've listed above but also when they have become 'Energy Vampires'.

Energy Vampires are those friends who, after spending some time with them, you walk away feeling exhausted, emotionally drained and upset. Friends aren't supposed to make you feel badly about yourself. They also aren't supposed to be pretentious narcissists who thinks life revolves around them and only talk about themselves. You tend to leave wondering why you went, you avoid their phone calls and all you can do is bitch about the night you've just had. These toxic people suck the life right out of you. They bring you down to a level you shouldn't be in and most certainly don't belong in. If you want to be a selfish, uncaring bitch than be one by yourself and own it. Just don't be surprised when people don't want to hang out with you and try to avoid you.

Best friend breakups can prove to be some of the worst break ups of your life. Don't let it get you down. Mourn and move on. There are other friendships to be made and current friendships to be treasured. I've always known my core to be the most amazing group of individuals ever. I wouldn't have it any other way. So, to each of you - you know who you are - thank you for being amazing. Through good times, through the recent bad, you've made my life a much richer place to be and how lucky am I? I know things will change & new friendships will be made. Life has a way of doing that. But I will always be your friend and cherish you exactly as you are. Lurve.

If you are going through a best friend breakup, know that you are not alone. Check out this book....Best Friends Forever...to help you through this painful event. You will survive and, who knows, you may make better friendships.

Friendships are relationships of choice...so choose wisely.



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