Live Through This

Breakup Breakdown

A guide to navigating the end of a friendship.

Illustration by Cynthia

Ending a romantic relationship is never easy. But it does have one thing going for it: There’s a template for the end of love, and a generally agreed upon script. Someone breaks up with someone else, and it’s understood that you two are no longer going to be spending time together, telling secrets, texting each other gross jokes, and all the other beautiful things that come with being connected to someone else that you like. Yes, that hurts, but it is of the Rookie staff’s QUITE PROFESSIONAL opinion that there’s another type of breakup that is even harder: the friend split.

Sometimes a relationship between you and a friend, a relationship that you took for granted would last for the rest of your lives, starts to change. It takes on a new shape, and that shape is not so pleasing. Maybe you’re being inconsiderate of each other, fighting, or just growing apart—but you can tell something’s off, and probably not going to be back “on” again anytime soon. How do you navigate the waning parts of a close friendship gracefully and with as few hurt feelings on all sides as possible? Hell, how do you even know when it’s actually OVER? I mean, it’s not like you can use the old “I hope we can still be friends” line with your actual soon-to-be-ex-friend.

As it happens, a good portion of us here at Rookie, like most other human people, have experienced lots of different kinds of friendship breakups throughout our lives and are happy to share our perspectives on them with you, because you’ve always got a friend in us, of course. Here’s what we’ve learned so far:

1. Ch-ch-changes ain’t so strange.

Change is natural, of course, and often for the best. But sometimes friends can feel left behind when you start doing newer things that don’t necessarily include or interest them. Friends who are scared of the way you’re changing might try to make you feel bad by saying things to you along the lines of “You’ve changed,” like that is a monstrous thing that you are intentionally doing to be a dick to them, or that you’re not as genuinely you anymore.

You know what, though? Life is about doing all kinds of different stuff, especially as a teenager. Who would want to stay the same forever? I mean, do these people not realize that they also, in fact, are not wearing the same corduroy overalls that they did in preschool, or are not still obsessed with the Wiggles? People grow up, man, and they continue to do so for basically as long as they are alive. Growing doesn’t make you “inauthentic”—it means you’re healthy. You should be encouraged, not criticized, especially by your close friends, while you’re transforming and growing and exploring new things. Friends who are less than understanding about this are being kind of selfish, because they like you just the way you are and want you to stay that way. While I feel for them in this situation too, they are not being supportive of you, and that’s not cool.

A big exception to this rule is if a friend is trying to express honest concern about new situations that involve things they’re worried might be damaging to you, like drug use or crazy sex or that new cult you’ve joined. Even then, though, if you feel that what you are doing is safe and OK, you have every right to respectfully and calmly (even and especially if that’s not how you were approached by this person) tell them that while you appreciate where they’re coming from and that they care for you, you are going to continue to make your own decisions.

Of course, someone’s criticizing you for changing is not always going to be some sort of mini-intervention about your choices with regard to substances or sexuality, which are the two most common things about which a concerned (or, you know, “concerned”) party will be judgmental. Sometimes people are just trying to fence you in by being condescending about your new tastes or friends or whatever else have you. Tavi can relate: “In the fall, I was trying to keep a very special friendship afloat, even though I felt us changing into different people. Since the beginning of the falling-out she’d been doing a weird hostile thing, passive-aggressively insulting my newer tastes and interests, which I realized when I finally confronted her about it was way more about the fact that these tastes and interests were shared with new people in my life who I was hanging out with more than I was with her. To be fair, she also didn’t make an effort to hang out with me, though that could’ve been because she assumed I wasn’t interested. But she had new people in her life as well…and it wasn’t about her personality, it was just that we had had time together to grow and learn and stuff and then we became different people and each had to feel comfortable following where that was taking us. Maybe we’ll find each other again, or maybe we can just stay on good terms and be thankful for the strength of the friendship we had.”

This experience is really common among the Rookie staffers, and I’m sure that many of you have been or are going through something similar too, because YOU ARE US AND WE ARE YOU AND SO ON. If you’re trying to maintain the friendship, the most effective way to go about it is to address it openly, like Tavi did. Let your pal know that although you may care about different things now, you are still invested in your relationship, and then follow that conversation up by actually acting like it.

However, there are times when it’s just not going to work out, which is totally OK too, even if it’s really hard at first. Maybe you just don’t have anything in common anymore, you know? Have a respectful conversation with your friend about this. If you’re feeling it, he or she is too. Tell them that it’s not anything they did, or you did, to spite the other party; it’s just that things ain’t the same. As Anaheed says, “It’s GOOD to change and grow, and that means your friendships will also change, and sometimes change = the end of friendships.” This doesn’t mean that you won’t treasure the time you spent together, nor does it void the friendship you DID have with this person and how great that was, when it was. It just means that not all friendships are meant to last forever, and now you can explore new relationships without feeling bad about moving gently away from one that just didn’t work for you two anymore.

I also want to note that, obviously, you and your friend don’t have to be the exact same person with the exact same interests in order to have an awesome relationship. My best friend from high school, who is still one of my favorite people ever, never really had much in common with me besides our huge love for each other and videos of cats being weird on the internet. For example, she only listens to what she calls “GANGSTA RAP” and pokes fun at “that Smiths shit” that I’m into. But we’re able to show each other lots of fun things that maybe we wouldn’t have come across if we hung out exclusively with people who were cultural clones of ourselves. Having friends that are different from you is just as important as having ones that are similar, as long as they accept you wholly and vice versa.

2. “Don’t you know that you’re toxic?”

The fact of the matter is, not all friendships are going to end with your both amicably agreeing that you’re growing in different directions. Sometime there’ll be an issue of people actually being horrid to you, by lying, insulting you, spreading rumors, or otherwise being a complete booger.

A Rookie writer who was disrespected by a longtime best friend says the friendship started to get shaky when the following happened: “[She] didn’t stand up for me when her boyfriend said something offensive about my identity. I was so deeply hurt because we were like Laverne and Shirley in high school and college. I just woke up one day and realized, WOW, she takes and doesn’t give. She was really competitive with me and always said I was ‘type A’ and OCD because I was so ambitious about grades and work. She’d cut me down publicly—she’d ask me what score I made on tests and not tell me hers, for example. I just realized that my values are different—I’m a ride-or-die kind of betch and she is all about looking out for number one.” After a few years, our writer and her friend are cool again, but only because she put a stop to what was happening in their relationship at the time. A few others among us have been able to rekindle great friendships with ex-best-friends just because we refused to participate in the friendship when doing so wasn’t healthy. Our writer did a tough thing, but it was the right one, and now she and her friend are able to hang again in a positive way.

Sometimes, though, you’re going to be want to be done with somebody for keeps. My most significant friend breakup happened when someone I considered my best friend for years, who worked with me, went to school with me, and was with me every day outside of those things, started to gradually reveal that she was using me for gross social-climbing purposes, among other things. Although that appeared to be the case with almost all of her other friends too, every last one of whom she’d trash-talk behind their backs, this person was so charming and awesome-seeming that I figured what we had was, you know, DIFFERENT. It was a classic case of my insisting to everyone who saw her mean side, “YOU JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND HER.” Of course, it was me who didn’t understand: An important and true life rule is that if someone is intensely negative about his or her other friends behind their backs, but is ultra-lovely and sweet to them to their faces, he or she is doing the exact same thing to you. This was the case with my ex-friend, who started flaking on all of our plans unless she needed something from me, at which point she’d send a barrage of super-affectionate texts/tweets/Facebook messages that would also oh-so-casually ask me to help her out with something, naturally. After this went on for about a month, I tried to see her in person and, when that failed, called her to explain that she was really hurting me, but she refused to address my feelings. She still reaches out in some remote way like texting or the internet at least once a week, even though I haven’t really spoken to her in over a year. She still even asks me for things sometimes! She acts like her shitty behavior never happened, which of course makes it even shittier. I have no plans to respond. I don’t think she reads Rookie, but even if she does, she might not recognize that I’m talking about her here—that’s how oblivious she is to other people’s feelings. It really sucks, because I loved her so much, as did all my other friends, but I didn’t feel comfortable maintaining such a blatantly one-sided friendship.

If a person is doing things to you that a true friend wouldn’t, tell them straight-up that their behavior is unfair. It’s hard to do this without making the other person defensive, so try to express yourself as honestly as you can while still keeping their feelings in mind, even though they haven’t exactly been extending you the same courtesy. Remember, too, that this person might have NO IDEA that they’ve been making you feel bad! So get together in person or give them a call, and put it out there. I highly recommend that you don’t choose to address this online, where your tone can be misunderstood or you can say not-so-nice things to each other more easily. Instead, tell your friend out loud how much they mean to you—even if you would prefer to save face by pretending that you don’t actually care that much about what’s been happening—and then that you think they might not realize it, but they’ve been making you feel bad. If you give them the benefit of the doubt, your friend will be much more willing to speak with you without blowing up or closing themselves off. If they are genuinely apologetic and don’t brush you off or try to shift the blame, accept that, and see how things go in the future. If they aren’t open with you during this talk, or don’t change the way they treat you afterwards, it’s time to make a tough but essential decision: Cut this wack person out of your life! You just deserve so much better.

“Don’t let guilt hold you back,” says Rachael. “My group held on to a toxic friend for far too long—then she viciously backstabbed one of the nicest girls in the group. It might make you feel like a jerk to break up with someone who needs friends, but if that person can’t be a friend back, it’s not worth it.”

Page

1 2

53 Comments

  • Fortune_Goddess April 11th, 2012 3:17 PM

    About a year ago, I had to break up with my best friend who I had been close to for only about six months. I did it in a kind way (I thought so) by slowly saying I didn’t want to do things or not hanging out as much or not being as enthusiastic with her as usual. I couldn’t be her friend right then. She was much too dependent on me and I couldn’t deal with it. Even now, it hurts me and makes me feel so guilty. I feel like I did the wrong thing, maybe. We’re friends again now, but she has another best friend. Did I do that right? A lot of people at school hated me for a while and I didn’t have very many friends for a while after that because everyone liked my ex-friend so much that they thought I was a heartless bitch for doing that to her. I was actually told that I was a heartless bitch several times. Maybe it wasn’t the right thing to do but it needed to be done. I still feel so guilty about it, though. Maybe I was a bitch. I just know that I cried over it a lot and I hated myself a lot for it. I still do. I’m terribly sorry for it and I feel like a terrible person.

    • Anaheed April 11th, 2012 3:20 PM

      I don’t think there’s anything heartless or “wrong” about what you did. What’s the alternative? Continuing to be best friends with someone you don’t want to be around, pretending that you do? And letting her drain you of energy? The fact that you asked this question proves that you are far from heartless, anyway.

      • Fortune_Goddess April 11th, 2012 3:23 PM

        Thank you. She was just so completely loved by the entire grade that people assumed that I had made it happen completely, that it was totally one-sided.

    • Emmie April 11th, 2012 4:54 PM

      there are some things that you have to do.. having a sucky friend who you don’t really like is worse than having an uncomfortable “break-up.” I think it’s important to realize that your needs and stuff matter also.

  • havefun April 11th, 2012 3:30 PM

    I really love Cynthia’s artwork. Is there a blog or a website that she has where we can look at it? Thanks. (:

  • tinklebot5000 April 11th, 2012 3:33 PM

    AHHH!!! Thank you for writing this! This was so helpful and relevant to my liiiiife. There were some great tips in there <3

  • Maddy April 11th, 2012 3:34 PM

    ack, I didn’t read the whole article (skimmed some) but it was definitely honest and relatable. I sort of starting splitting with my best friend probably in 8th grade. Last year I really didn’t like her because she hung out with mean people and would jokingly make fun of my lunchbox or my academic enthusiasm. Now she occasionally sends me FB messages saying hi, and I felt compelled to add her back into my “Close friends” list even though I haven’t seen her in ages. I really, really love her family though, and I spent wonderful summers with them. I wish we could go back, if just for the summers (like last year) to how we were. We don’t have much in common in interests, but we can just coexist well, like sisters. I don’t think she’ll invite me on vacation again this year. Even if she does, I’m not sure what I’ll say. I might feel guilty for “mooching” or I might reconnect for a few warm days. Is that even possible?

  • missblack April 11th, 2012 3:37 PM

    Agh this is so true! I love these sort of articles.
    My bestest friend and I have been friends since ffith grade and up until a couple of years ago we were, like, superclose, and then we got kind of different from each other and we got different friends and we like never hung out, and I thought for sure we’d never be good friends ever again – BUT THEN we started hanging out again and, like, even though we have totally different interests and we don’t even hang out that much we’re still really good friends because, well, because. It’s like she’s family, you know, because you love your family even if (and perhaps because) you’re all totally different people.

    Little&Trivial

  • Narita April 11th, 2012 3:46 PM

    I used to be really close with a friend until we got into a fight in which we both told eachother to die. Due circumstances that we both were in, that was a really bad thing to say. A few weeks ago, I.tried to get back in touch with him. This is what he said: “I don’t need you anymore. I’ve got friends now and I’m quitting antidepressants soon. Bye.”

    I think he’s a, pardon, asshole. But I still miss him.

  • emilybelle April 11th, 2012 3:56 PM

    Last year, I had my 1$T eVr r3aL Bf * and it really took a toll on the longest best friendship I’d ever had. Everything just sort of blew up and to this day, we haven’t had a very honest conversation about what happened. I’ve apologized of course, but she really seems to have moved on, and now I’m bestfriendless… I miss my #1 :(

    • shelley July 11th, 2012 6:25 PM

      exactly the same as me! I was always the single friend who was there whenever, and at first I struggled getting the balance right once I had a bf, and now I’ve lost my two incredible best friends.

  • deemary April 11th, 2012 4:02 PM

    i was the dumpee in eighth grade myself, and unfortunately six years later i’m still in the process of being ok with messing up. if there’s anything i wish i could tell myself back then is to completely avoid internalizing the opinions of friends who made the mistake of becoming bullies. its really important to distinguish former friends from people who want to let you go with a lot more pain than necessary. thank the stars i found my current best friends. they show worthiness of my very special company. also, small groups of friends are ideal in high school but branch out after graduation! sometimes best friends get boyfriends or turn 21 before you!!!!

  • s_rose April 11th, 2012 4:26 PM

    I’ve been at both ends and I’ve founded both suck. I started drifting away from a friend whom I had been friends with for about ten years and I think she felt it too but didn’t have anyone else she was close with to turn to. I felt I was a bad person by not wanting to be friends with her so I drifted slowly away. I wish I explained what was happening rather than just silently shutting her out of my life since I know how it feels. It made me extremely happy when I saw she had made new friends at university.

  • poppunkgurrrlx April 11th, 2012 4:34 PM

    thanks for this article! I really needed to hear the part about moving on. stop trying to be friends with people who don’t want to be friends with you. make friends with new people, or realize your old friends were the best ones and stick with them :)

  • KinuKinu April 11th, 2012 4:40 PM

    SO PERFECT…..even though I have 0 friends at the moment this might come in handy ONE day-hopefully.Ok,I sound incredibly desperate but seriously this is amazing.THANK YOU

  • A Fox In The Snow April 11th, 2012 4:52 PM

    Thank you so much Rookie, it’s like this article is adressed to me! I have been friends with this boy for like, whole my life, but the last year I noticed he ignored me and didn’t like me anymore, but then other days we were super close again. Well, the point was that he was making me terribly unhappy. He wasn’t a good friend: he made me feel bad about myself, he said rude things about others and so forth. And it seemed impossible to dump him because sometimes we did normal to each other again and we had the same circle of friends.
    But then one day we had a little fight about something and we never made up. That was ten months ago.
    We still don’t talk to each other and it’s not always simple because I still see him everyday and he’s being super annoying and rolls his eyes whenever I say something. But I am finally able to be happy and like myself!

    I want to say that when you notice you’re not feeling good because of a bad friend, don’t wait to dump (or have a good talk) with him or her. It gets so much better afterwards!!!!!!! Not perfect, but definitely better. I promise.

    So, sorry for writing this long comment, but I just NEEDED to write this down.

  • Emmie April 11th, 2012 4:59 PM

    I remember in jr year my best friend, who i had hung out with exclusively since kindergarten, started making other friends and branching out. I sent her a series of emails being like “i miss you stop hanging out with other people” which are making me cringe thinking about. We’re still best friends and I’ve figured out that just because friends make new friends, it doesn’t mean they’re abandoning meeee. I don’t see her as often cause we go to different schools, but every time we hang out it’s as though no time’s passed since we last saw each other. yay happy endings~

  • mire April 11th, 2012 5:12 PM

    I’m in the middle of trying to decide how to break up with a friend whom I’ve known for 6 years but with whom I have NO affinity whatsoever, no interests in common, nothing at all — however she still considers me a close friend. She’s a great girl but she lacks vitality She’s not even shy, she just likes her telly and her Uni and that’s all. I have loads of energy and opinions on politics and feminism and music and clothes and she’s just too mellow and… well, unlike me. How do you tell someone who’s essentially a good person and loves you like crazy that you don’t want to be their friend any more??

  • SiLK April 11th, 2012 5:14 PM

    Sometimes I think Tavi really does live under my bed. Just mulling over my attempts to move away from a group when I looked on Rookie and presto! Our school could totally do with your help guys! So far we have been submitted to a speech where a lady that supposedly helped celebrities with friendship trouble seemed to drill into us something along the lines of “Don’t have a best friend! It will result in suicide!” Thank you Rookie team!

    • Anaheed April 11th, 2012 5:21 PM

      OMG I would die *without* my best friend.

    • Tavi April 11th, 2012 9:54 PM

      It’s cuz I DO live under your bed.

      Also that’s so weird that celebrities have their own special friendship couples counselors!

  • starcollector April 11th, 2012 5:38 PM

    Thank you thank you thank you Rookie. I really needed this right now, what a perfect time for this article, at the end of the school year. I am one of the only people I know staying home, so I’ll be losing a lot of my friends… because unfortunately it’s often “out-of-sight, out-of-mind” for me when it comes to relationships.

    http://china-lily.blogspot.com/

  • lyss April 11th, 2012 5:40 PM

    After a recent split from my best friend since fourth grade (who friend-dumped me because we’re going to different colleges next year), this really hit home. Beautifully written and so relevant to EVERYTHING EVER.

  • VanyaTheDinosaur April 11th, 2012 5:58 PM

    Pfft~ I FEEL HORRIBLE FOR RECOGNIZING BOTH SONG QUOTES.

  • mayaautumn April 11th, 2012 7:10 PM

    this has been pretty (well,REALLY) helpful, y’know! thankyou much:)

    http://cottonmixblog.blogspot.com

  • taste test April 11th, 2012 7:28 PM

    “…you and your friend don’t have to be the exact same person with the exact same interests in order to have an awesome relationship.” YES. THIS. if I had a dollar for every friend I’ve lost because “we just don’t like the same things!” I’d… um, have a few more dollars. still. it happens a lot and it always makes me sad because most of the time, the relationship is fine and the other person just feels slighted because they can’t discuss all their favorite things.

  • meels April 11th, 2012 8:14 PM

    thanks for a post about this. i had to deal with breaking up with my best friend around the end of last year and i finally cut her off about a month ago. i actually consulted hellogiggles for help which really helped so i’m glad that this topic is being covered more on the internet. we can all help eachother with our experiences. honestly i thought i was the dumper but after reading this i’m thinking i was the dumpee long before and i never got the memo. it sucks when people and circumstances change but so far life has been a lot better without the stress and anxiety of worrying over a broken friendship. thanks for the article =)

  • kitterfly April 11th, 2012 8:22 PM

    I’m so thankful for this article…
    I’ve been trying to build up the courage to break off a really poisonous friendship, and this article… makes me feel like that’s okay, like everything will be alright and I don’t have to maintain something that isn’t good for anyone.

    We’ve never had anything in common, and became friends in the first place because we had mutual friends and were in the same place at the same time. Our entire relationship is based off of very minimal amounts of “history” and nothing else…

    We’re at the same school and have a ton of classes together, and were default best friends for a while because navigating a new environment is TOUGH.

    Lately, though, we’ve been going through SUCH a rough patch… too similar to all the problems we’ve had in the past. We have very different senses of humor, and I’m a very… jokey, goofy person… But my jokes are on the sarcastic side, and she always interprets them as insults.

    I know I need to figure out a way to just… end it, before we get any more hurt than we already are. We just… aren’t compatible at all, but it’s so hard because of how often we’re pushed together.

    Well, thanks for being my therapist, Rookie.

  • artistrees April 11th, 2012 9:46 PM

    My best friend from high school and I had a giant, awful falling-out the first semester we were in college, and we’ve never recovered from it. I’ve trained myself not to remember we were ever friends because what happened was just so painful. It took me more than four years to realize it, but she was a toxic friend and had been constantly taking advantage of me and making me feel guilty for who I was, so it was all for the best, but I clearly have unresolved issues. This article dredged up a lot of long-hidden emotions and made me realize how angry I still am, a year and a half on, despite the fact that I keep telling myself I’m at peace with everything that happened. Rookie, thanks for jerking me out of denial, because I needed it.

  • andrea April 11th, 2012 10:13 PM

    omg :( i really dont know if you have like a magic ball or whatever but this THIS REALLY REALLY comes in a good time, just perfect timing and i… thank you, for real.
    ps: tearing since point 5, snif, but thanks!

  • intreatment April 11th, 2012 10:26 PM

    This article was super relevant and interesting. I have had so many friendship breakups, and each one was harder than the last. One was so bad that it made me super depressed for years. Have you guys ever considered writing an article about someone who has survived a suicide attempt and is doing better, something similar “The Year of my Eating Disorder” article?

  • Vicky Hellhound April 11th, 2012 10:45 PM

    Yes! Yes to all of this! So far I have been a lurker here and have admired greatly the content provided by you wonderful Rookies. I wish I had you a decade ago before I made every single misstep listed above!

    For those who, like me, have resorted to bullying and are trying to grow strong and be an ally, I highly recommend listening to the Kimya Dawson song “I Will Never Forget”:

    i haven’t forgotten the times that i teased you
    and everyone else pointed at you and laughed
    permanent damage was not my intention
    but i could not foresee the aftermath of my actions

    i was so small
    wanted to grow in the eyes of my enemies
    for awhile i felt tall
    but they knocked me back down now i’m here on my knees

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzQz2U_va6o

    much love and healing to all you rookies going through these incredibly tough experiences. stay strong. you are beautiful. <3

  • Rarity April 12th, 2012 1:37 AM

    ROOKIE ALWAYS HAS THE BEST TIMING. I almost cried while reading this; it is so relevant to my life right now. I’m having the hardest time relating to my “friends” and have considered just not hanging out with them any more. They don’t really see the disconnect, though. I feel horrible because I don’t really LIKE them and being around them has started to irritate me. I’ve been pulling my hair out over this and feeling so lonely. College life hasn’t turned out great for me, but articles like this have been helping. Thank you, Rookie.

  • iloveflohan April 12th, 2012 1:38 AM

    wow this article makes me feel so much better about myself! i had to break up with a group of friends last year after i couldn’t deal with all the gossiping/back stabbing/catty girlness and i definitely felt like a betch for the first few months afterward, but you’re right, it definitely gets easier. now i’ve got new pals who don’t talk crap and we even have stuff in common. for anyone considering a friend breakup, just try and be as nice as possible about it so it won’t be super awks when you see them buying bananas at the grocery store (first hand experience, fyi).

  • Yellie April 12th, 2012 1:46 AM

    This is half of why two years ago i just gave up on friendships
    LOL…i’ll just become a monk or nun or something

  • dianeisnotmyname April 12th, 2012 4:25 AM

    Earlier this year, I had to take a “break” from my friend. Well, actually, it was a mutual break, because she didn’t wan to deal with my problems (understandably) and I didn’t want to deal with someone who wanted to avoid my problems. I was going through a pretty difficult bout of anxiety and depression and she essentially told me that it was my fault, and that “therapy and medication won’t help me”, and that I was making her miserable.
    And, the truth was, I was definitely making her miserable. I was a pretty horrible and selfish friend to her, but at the same time, she wasn’t very supportive, and unloaded all of her feelings on me after avoiding me for the weeks when I needed a friend the most.
    I think people with depression or mental illness might say that one of the hardest parts of dealing with the illness is losing people who were once close to you. I felt abandoned, but I also felt guilty. And helpless. I knew I was being a bad friend, I knew that I needed to change, but I didn’t know how.
    For this, I realized, it was best to take a break. I got my issues sorted out, and I guess we have a happy ending. I’m friends with her again, and it’s pretty much back to normal. We don’t hang out as much as we used to, but we’re more open.

  • sedgwick April 12th, 2012 8:19 AM

    so dudes i have a QUESTION!! I have my ‘best friend’ who i used to think i was so in sync
    with – now i just have to avoid her sometimes because i’m getting so annoyed at her and am afraid i might snap and be mean or even start a fight or something. A lot of her characteristics and little habits REALLY irritate me (she always has to be right, competitive with grades, and fond of backhanded compliments etc) HOWEVER at the same time i feel like i’m being unreasonable, disliking her for no reason and being a straight-up moody biiiiitch. Anyway is this normal, like i’m having to deal with people being not perfect? Are you supposed to get annoyed with people you are close to THIS MUCH? What if this happens with everyone i get close with, and end up like this best-friendless, one-woman-show for the rest of my life!?????? help.

  • loveyouforever April 12th, 2012 2:32 PM

    I really loved this article, but I have a problem: I want to make other friends because I don’t like my old group of friends that I hang out with since a year, but in our school it is very difficult to hang out with other groups… How can I make new friends??? (maybe you should write an article about talking to people and meeting people on rookie, haha)

  • folklaura April 13th, 2012 3:13 PM

    Right after graduation this girl who was basically my best friend wrote me on facebook to tell me my whole group of friends was going on a trip but that I couldn’t come and don’t blow this out of proportion or get all crazy. I expected something to make up for it when they got back, but things didn’t even return to “normal,” and they started doing things near by that I wasn’t invited to. I did that clinging thing, and would invite them to my things, and sometimes they would show and act totally normal. It was a new environment for me, and my friends weren’t being honest with me, so I was very confused, hurt, and lonely. I thought if they ONLY KNEW they were hurting me they would change their behavior, but it only gave then ammo to use against me: “you’re stressing us out!” “you’re not fun anymore!” Way too long later, after I’d sort of moved on and began making new friends (which was so hard because I’d internalized everything so much) I met that facebook message girl for lunch because I still thought it would make me feel better about myself to be on good terms. She said something that made me realize she had her sights set on not being close with me anymore, probably from before that letter was sent but at least at that point, and not only was she too cowardly to ever say anything in person, she never even really SAID it at all. Romantic relationships have the necessity of actually breaking up going for them… I hope anyone in the dumper positon reads this article and takes heed. An honest face to face discussion, no matter how scary and painful a prospect, is the best.

  • Shortbuslove April 13th, 2012 5:13 PM

    I had the most painful break up with my best friend three years ago.

    He was a wonderful gay man, 2 years older than me, and we’ve been best friends for 3 years. He had the keys of my apartment, We’d spent every day together, every week end, and every holidays. I knew his all family. We were like one person. Wich is not a very healthy thing when you’re a teenager trying to understand who you really are. (I’m french, sorry for the mistakes)
    But when he had boyfriends, I was jealous and possessiv, it was awful, and he was the same way when I was with other friends. When we were together, it was like I was finally complete, and each time he would leave any place without me, I’d become sad and paranoid, empty.
    So, 3 years ago, I had to spend a week in Berlin with my class, and I had a terrible feeling about it, I thought the bus will crash or something. And we had a fight the day before I leave but we fought very often so I didn’t care much (even if I was upset about it, it was usual) and like a punishment I didn’t give hime any news from my trip. But he had to come pick me up at the bus station for my return, he never did, I had no text, no call. I was all alone with my luggages. I sat on a bench and cry for 2 hours, because I knew it was the end; even though he didn’t tell me.
    I didn’t speak to me or answer my calls or look at me in the hallway for 2 weeks, I thought it was like a punishment but no, I’ve got mail. 20 lines in a email : “our relationship is toxic, blabla, goodbye and be happy”
    I was a mess, and didn’t get up from bed for a month. I cried all the time. 1/2

  • Shortbuslove April 13th, 2012 5:24 PM

    2/2 I had to see him in the hallway, ignoring me, for the following year (I think the worst year of my life). In 3 years, he emailed me, texted me just to say ‘Oh i’m in NY i can’t stop thinking about you’ THANK YOU. Just that. He never ever spoke to me again. Even though I ran into him many times in the streets. It took me, i think 2 years to really get over it. Now, I’m really a loner, I don’t let people get too closer to me. Anyway, that was my hardest break up.

  • Sea goddess April 13th, 2012 6:31 PM

    My guy bestfriend and i broke up months ago after being real real bestfriends and it was he who completely changed he got new friends who are just so dumb. And well him leaving me hurt me so bad i couldn’t get used to not talking to him everyday because idk if it may sound wierd but he is the only guy ive truly loved that’s not from my fam. And well my friends told me he always liked me in m.s. , though he never told me. They tell me he stopped talking to me because he knew that i loved him but just like a brother and not in the same way as him….just wanted to share that yeah…

  • MissKnowItAll April 13th, 2012 6:35 PM

    I swear, it really is like Tavi lives under my bed. I faced with a dilemma where my best friend since 3rd grade and I are growing apart. I just don’t see her anymore and when I do, it’s awkward because we have absolutley nothing in common. This made that a lot easier!

  • phoenixfan April 14th, 2012 6:30 AM

    yeah you can at cynthiamerhej.blogspot.com @havefun

  • EmmaAmerica April 15th, 2012 5:12 PM

    Legitimately crying right now reading this… one of a million rookie articles that have made my life easier/make more sense/suck a little less

  • Jakeline April 22nd, 2012 11:08 AM

    I can totally relate to this. I’ve had friendship breakups here and there in high school and middle school, some friends I’ve missed more than others. The ones that have hurt and I’ve missed more are hard to get over, I still obsess on our good times together and what eventually made us grow apart. Thanks for the advice!

  • rhsiad April 24th, 2012 6:20 PM

    thanks for this – i would never usually comment on something like this, but i feel like i have to. it rox

  • carolpd May 12th, 2012 3:50 PM

    I think I’m having a break up with one of my best friends I had been close for SIX YEARS, it’s not easy and I’m pretty much feeling like garbage :(

  • all-art-is-quite-useless May 14th, 2012 5:29 PM

    I think I’m breaking away from my group of best friends ever since I was 9 after beginning to spend more time with another group, and my old group being really weird and possessive over me about it. Part of me wants to remain friends with them because in some ways I still get on with them but another part of me wants to break away completely and move on – I think this comes from being really scared that most of the people I’ve been hanging around with don’t like me. Its probably not true, but I feel really insecure – especially after falling out with my best friends – and afraid that I’ll be rejected. I feel horrible; I keep crying all the time. I’ve never felt so awful. I feel guilty now about a girl we pushed out of our friendship group a few years ago.

    Thank you for this article, like so many on Rookie, its helped me so much.

  • mustard July 6th, 2012 9:15 AM

    Thank you for this. My best friend from all through high school got a boyfriend the summer after we graduated and stopped communicating with me. Most anyone I try to talk to about it thinks I’m just jealous, but that is so not it. She -completely- stopped talking to me. I guess I can’t blame him for that, but that’s just not what friends do. “Sisters before misters” is how it is in my book (at least in regards to people our age), and it’s really hard for me to get close to someone who doesn’t agree.

  • CandyCaneChild July 6th, 2012 5:34 PM

    For someone who didn’t have that many friends in the first place, “losing” my closest friend sucked. Especially when you have no idea what happened and feel replaced a little. I can relate to number 4 a lot.

  • princesskitty July 9th, 2012 2:13 PM

    This was a great read! I have a similar dilemma, as i never really had very many friends either. I have remained friends with people I shouldn’t have because i didn’t think it was possible to make new friends. I also think of all the amazing things that the person has done for me in the past and i feel as though I owe that person my friendship forever.

  • awesomebeans June 15th, 2013 6:53 AM

    This really spoke to me! Thanks for it, I’m kinda in a weird friend breakup and the friend seriously doesn’t get shes hurting me and I know I sound like a jerk when I say she’s changing, but thanks for the great advice, I’ll try and keep it in mind next time I see her hanging out with everyone but me :)