When Friendship Dies


Four months ago, I broke up with my best friend of 13 years.

It was a necessary separation, but that doesn’t mean it hurts any less. For most of my formative adult years, she was the person I trusted with all my joys and my misgivings. As tough as it was at times, we managed to stay close through the turmoil and transformation of our twenties. My relationships with men came and went, but she was the consistent when everything else fell apart.

Now, as I finally accept that nothing can last forever, not even friendships, I also admit that it sucks. I am the one who, in the end, made the final decision to cut ties. While it was the correct choice, it hurt. The person who initiates the change never walks away unscathed—not if they give a damn. The worst part is that I feel like perhaps she never understood me at all, not like I thought she would after all that time.

It’s just as hard to give up on a friendship that isn’t working as it is to give up on a romantic relationship. We shared countless memories. She knows more about me than anyone else in my life. It wasn’t a healthy situation, but damn do I miss her sometimes. I don’t have a substitute for the place she held in my life for so many years.

There’s an empty spot in my heart where she used to be and it’s tender as hell sometimes.

I think about reaching out, but then I wonder what it would accomplish. Nothing will change. I already tried to adjust our dynamic and it failed miserably. Maybe we’ve known each other too long to shake things up at this point. If she can’t see me in a different light than she has for so long, I don’t know what I can do. She doesn’t understand who I am now, and while I can accept that, I can no longer tolerate it.

It’s tough knowing that she’s hurt too, and that she doesn’t understand what happened between us. Unfortunately, if she doesn’t get it in the first place, there’s not much that I can do to remedy the problem. I tried to explain my side of the scenario. She could not, or would not, hear me.

At some point, when something isn’t working, you must let it die a natural death.

I have no one else to fill that space in my life at the moment, and that’s okay. I need to mourn the end of our friendship the way I would that of an important love. It was, in a way, the great romance of my adult life thus far. I still catch myself thinking that I need to tell her something or share news with her. Though I miss her terribly, at the same time I know beyond doubt that I did the right thing.

Maybe she’ll never understand, but I hope that she is happy. I wish her nothing but the best for her life, wherever it may take her. I choose to believe that she does the same for me.