Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Can I tell you something The BFF Breakup

Recently I shared my frustrations with making friends as an adult, but what I didn't share with you was a big reason why making friends was such a scary thought to me. That story is called The BFF Breakup.

If you've never experienced a break up with a friend, you may not realize that it can be just a difficult as a breakup with a boyfriend/girlfriend. Friendship among women shape who we are and remind us who we are. We are there for each other to fill emotional gaps and when it's no longer there the history shared is painful to remember and consider replacing. I know; I've been there.

We met through our then boyfriends, and while we were each developing the relationship with our boys, we developed a friendship. At first she was "The Boyfriend's Best Friend's Girlfriend" and so was I. The four of us did everything together. We definitely had our issues: I was (and still am) incredibly shy and not great at small talk and she didn't let people in easily. Over time though, we grew close because we were very much alike. Common interests such as design, DIY, and makeup made it a bit easier on us, and the list of things we wanted to do together grew long. Pretty soon instead of being the tag-along to our boyfriends' hang-outs, the boys were making plans based on us spending time together. KJB and I got engaged and married, and she was there to inspire me along the way. They got engaged soon after and I had just started doing wedding projects for clients. When she asked me to help her out on their big day, I was thrilled. 

Things changed though when she broke up with her fiancé and called off the wedding. He was, of course, heartbroken, and I'm sure she was too. But when I reached out to her to show her support, she let me know that she no longer needed me either. I was shocked and hurt, because I thought we had something stronger than just a connection through our partners. Over the six years we had known each other, she had become my best friend and someone I genuinely cared for. We never verbally shared our feelings with each other, but I think thought we both knew.

Our sudden group of three felt a bit strange. I didn’t want to intrude on guy time but I didn’t want to sit at home on Friday night, either. Most of the time, I just sat through discussions on sports, beer, and food, contributing little to the conversation and feeling like a drag. While missing the fourth side of our square, I couldn’t help but question why I wasn’t good enough, cool enough, supportive enough, funny enough, or friendly enough to keep around. 

I'm not sure that I have great advice on how to get over a BFF breakup but there are a few things I do suggest...

-Don't hold back the tears.
It's okay to cry it out. You're going to feel lonely and maybe embarrassed - just like the end to any relationship. Don't feel ashamed for feeling sad.

-Figure out a way to say good-bye.
If your breakup was like mine, you didn't really have an ending or a chance to say whatever you wanted to say. So write a letter to your former friend and write out exactly how your relationship impacted you. Then put it in a mailbox without an address. You'll feel good for writing out your feelings and sending them out into the world.

-Consider the next time you might see her.
If you live close to each other or have mutual friends, there's a chance you could run into each other. Think of a couple of topics you could use for small talk if you need to. And keep in mind, it will probably be just as awkward for her. By putting on a smile and asking about her hobbies, you're acknowledging the fact that you had history and it meant something to you.

-Cut ties.
For me, it was painful to see my former BFF out with new girlfriends and taking on new adventures. It resurfaced those feelings of not being enough. In order to get over the hurt, I had to remove her from my social media, so I unfriended her on Facebook and unfollowed her Instagram. This may seem drastic and possibly immature but by doing so, I felt better about my own healing process.

-Keep praying for her.
No subtext needed for this one. She needs prayers just like you do and you prayer for people you love. 

And lastly, if you are having those horrible "not enough" feelings, I encourage you to visit this post by Annie Downs, as she has some amazing words of encouragement.