There is such an emphasis on romantic relationships that nurturing friendships seems to go to the back burner. You can scroll through Facebook and see a million and one articles about how to be single, how to cope with being single or how to spice up your relationship (I’ve written a few). But, we aren’t prompted enough by the idea of how to be a better friend.
I know I hadn’t when I moved into a college apartment with my best friend at the time in 2014. I thought our friendship was stronger than ever. I quickly found out it wasn’t. Our friendship ended with a series of blow out arguments, turmoil, and me ultimately moving out.
This was a terrible event in my life. As much as I’d hate to admit it, it still affects me to this day. But, writing out my thoughts about the situation will hopefully help me and others feel better and move on.
I developed trust issues with my friends.
At the time I didn’t realize it, but I felt like I was going through a break-up. I mean, I was. But when you hear break-up, you think of a romantic couple. I’ve never experienced any kind of break-up until then, so I felt extremely betrayed and hurt. When you’re hurt by someone close to you, it makes sense to feel like you can’t trust anyone. It was like trust was something I couldn’t have with anyone else because the one person I trusted most hurt me.
This is something that takes time to get over. I’m still getting better with trusting people. I would often joke that I was “taking things slow,” but I really was. My best friend, Mariah, knows my embarrassing story of waiting before I called her my best friend. It seems a little strange, but after what I went through, I couldn’t just jump into another best friendship!
I lost other friends.
A big breaking point in our friendship was boys. A combination of jealousy, abandonment and just annoying boyfriends made it impossible to reason with one another. I knew I never wanted to be the friend who let a boy get in between their friendship and I wasn’t going to be friends with anyone who would either. That pushed me away from other people who I thought were going to cause these kinds of problems.
The big thing with this is not comparing your former friend to your current friends. They aren’t the same person. They won’t react the same and hopefully they won’t treat you the same. Also, don’t let boys get in the way of your friendships! If your guy and your friends are not on the same page, one has to go - choose wisely.
I tried to project my problems on my boyfriend.
I think my brain was so soaked up in anxiety, depression and anger I wanted to feel close to someone. At the time, I was living alone and my boyfriend was back in Cleveland. I obviously missed him a lot, but with everything going on, I think I missed him even more. I remember getting into a huge fight with him over marriage. We had been together for 4 years and since I was so sad, maybe being engaged would make me feel better? I don’t know what I was thinking and it’s a little embarrassing to think about now. Neither of us were ready at that time and I knew that.
The point here is don’t project your hurt feelings onto your significant other or anyone else. Your sadness has nothing to do with them. Find other productive ways to deal with your feelings. I got some great counseling through my school, threw myself into homework and doing other activities - I loved like the Sims! And, I apologized to my boyfriend for being a little crazy.
I’ve learned how to be a better best friend.
With all the crap I went through, I can say there is something to be learned from all of this. My best friend and I had problems long before our blowout. We were incapable of solving problems between us the right way. I don’t know why, but that was the case. We could solve outside problems like it was nothing, but if there was something wrong with us, we pushed it aside or stopped talking. That was our biggest downfall.
It doesn’t matter how good of friends you are with someone. Shitty things are bound to happen. You are bound to not agree, fight and hurt each other’s feelings. If you can’t solve the problem together and apologize when you are wrong, you might as well call it quits now. It’s really that simple. You can’t let things go ignored, because they are bound to come out another way.
Talk to your friends honestly. Be good to them. Show them they matter in your life and hold them close. I wouldn’t want anyone to go through what I did. Although I’ve moved on and found more incredible people to call best friends, I do think of the friend I lost and how I can do better at choosing friends and treating them well.
Have you ever lost a best friend?