Ever thought about breaking up with your best friend but the thought was more unbearable than believable? Been there. Any breakup with another person is difficult to get through but a breakup with a best friend, can potentially be earth-shattering; if not a very large pill to swallow.
I had a best friend, let’s call her, June, whom I shared almost 15 years of friendship with. Our relationship was built slowly and gradually, experience by excursion. After we hit our first year, we were inseparable, forever, or so we thought. We frequented the same activities together, smoking pot after class, over consuming $5 Domino’s Pizza days, and venturing out in our town looking for “the party.” We were both rebels, in our own rights, demanding to live only within the frequencies we created. We planned our weddings, without intended’s, we managed how we would become millionaires, tycoons in our respective industries and travel the world, together. Now 10 years later, our lives do not resemble those dreams and desires we once curated.
As you get older, you notice small shifts within yourself. That taco spot is no longer the healthiest choice for your ‘one a day’ meal, that extra shot of tequila won’t cure but encourage your hangover in the morning, and that girl/boyfriend’s 3-day late text message reply, doesn’t even warrant a response. You begin to care about your very existence, your influences, your choices and how you choose to value your time. You recognize that life is to be enjoyed, and if you have any part in making it so, (you definitely do) then you should make it a point to ensure that all areas, including relationships, are in alignment with the being you are today.
After a few years into our friendship, I decided to embark on my own journey and move over 600 miles away to New York City. It was exciting, scary, eye opening, and life changing. I acquired a plant-based regime, I tapered down my alcoholic use, and I evaluated all my relationships; predominantly with June. During this transition, I was noticing those small shifts within myself. I was in a new world, surrounded by all things thought-provoking and improved. My resilience grew stronger, my awareness raised to new heights and my aptitude for an enjoyable life began to shape. I changed. Growth is what this is called and with it, my relationship with June began to diminish. We tried to keep in touch, but the time difference was vast enough to separate us. Although low, my love and support for her were still aflame, and her small efforts were just enough to keep me hanging on. In retrospect, as I flourished in other dynamics, I began to realign with what I required out of my friendships.
Small shifts turned into big time awareness. I took my rose-colored shades off and began to actively review my relationship with June. What I found; I wasn’t particularly happy about. A lot of our excursions had to be planned by me. My big wins seemed smaller and smaller to her, including my new blissful union; marriage. My time was not appreciated or reciprocated and most of all, my family and other friends felt depleted of my attention, because it was all going to June. I would defend her to others. Notating why she wasn’t a “people” person or why she had never really had interest in meeting my family, friends, my husband and actively displayed the choice to not do so. I would say “Oh, that’s just how she is.” Or “She’s just not that into that.” Excuse after excuse I made in support of her, not realizing that I was not receiving the same. All the dreams and desires we once brewed together fell flat on the ground and flat on my heart. I was, by no means, a victim to an assailant, but the connection between us was just no longer there.
My wake-up call was coming to the realization that I had grown into all the things she didn’t care to be a part of or show interest in. We had grown in different directions.
This was evidence, that the time was ‘now’ to break up with my best friend.
Heartbroken, confused, scared and curious as to how I can do this. I remembered what I initially promised to myself during this journey; “You matter, your needs matter, and you deserve proper and supportive relationships.” Even though our calls grew further and further apart by months, I needed to have this conversation with June and wanted to complete it with a kind and loving heart. I requested to meet up with her, as by then she had moved to my city, to share my perspective and she opted to text instead. Go figure. I granted her wish and texted her how I felt. I cried, I revised, and I sent. What happened after that text was the best feeling that I had felt in months; peace. I had been battling over this relationship for a couple of years, not clearly seeing my life without her, until I had too. The peace was filled with sureness, a spiritual lift and a confidence in being proud that I had stood up for myself, for my needs and for my wishes. I had a voice. This was powerful.
Breaking up with your best friend hurts worse than a romantic breakup because you lose the one person you knew you could always turn to. You are forced to look at life without them and you are faced with the reality that all the memories, fun times and hard times have all concluded to this very moment. Lovers come and go but best friends are given the title for a reason, as they are profoundly impossible to replicate. On the other hand, life is full of lessons of development and evolution, and if the lesson must come from breaking up with your best friend, then take it, preserve the good, extend gratitude for the not so good and move forward to the next level of awareness.
You will be okay. You are okay. You’ve done great. Keep growing.