Friendship between women is different from friendship between men… It is my women friends that keep the starch in my spine and without them, I don’t know where I would be.
Whenever you break up with a significant other, there are understood rules of decorum in how you are allowed to act and grieve. Your options include, but aren’t limited to, crying profusely, becoming promiscuous and sex the pain away, jumping into a new relationship, cutting your hair/change your appearance, running your credit card bill up, substance abusing the pain away, partying away, moving and traveling to find yourself, writing blogs/poetry/songs, bettering yourself also known as glowing up, eating ice cream, picking up new hobbies, and your friends are there to support you while you mourn the demise of your relationship and move forward. But what do you do when your friendship breakup is with one of your best friends?
There is a paucity of guidelines on how to cope with a friend breakup, which can be just as traumatic if not more traumatic than a romantic breakup. I’ve cried my fair share of tears over men, but when I’ve had to experience the loss of a best friend, a person who was part of my backbone, I’ve never known how to express my feelings and as a result, they have always turned into a cold, metallic bitterness.
Part of the reason why it’s hard to express how I feel (and the fact that there are slim resources on how to cope) is because we live in a society that lionizes romantic relationships over everything. Also, as a woman, we are taught to ascribe our worth to our relationship status, so the end of a romantic partnership more or less might mean we have no intrinsic worth.
My female best friends and I are platonic, I’m heterosexual, but we did share our hopes, dreams, fears, darkest secrets, laughter, advice, goals, accomplishments, and failures with each other. We did meet each others’ families, we shared birthdays together, we met each other’s romantic interests and hated them when the situation ended, and we bared our souls. I’ve shared a bed with my friends, cuddled with them, given them money, fed them, and taken care of them, and they have done the same for me and more. My best friends are the people who have seen me my authentic self and have loved me despite of my flaws, something I’ve only experienced with two men.
I’ve had a few friendship breakups that cracked my heart because these were friendships that I fought for; there was one friendship breakup that happened 2 years ago. I used to have random dreams about the person because she was someone I loved with all of my heart (I even applied for a job to stay in the area because she didn’t want me to leave her) and I admired her so much; I just got over that and her betrayal 6 months ago. I’m going to be 30 this year and I’ve finally come to the realization that my friends are the true love of my life, and any relationship I have with a man is just supplementary.
2016 to now have been filled with transitions; I’ve gained new friends and lost some of those same friends. Those losses didn’t hurt me because they were square pegs that I was attempting to fit into a round hole. They were terrible fits, they did not get me, they didn’t care too much about me, and they were not good for me. I don’t know how to cope when my round peg is lost or becomes too big or too small to fit into the space I’ve carved for them in my life.
The loss of a relationship with someone you had intimacy with can leave a very dull ache in your chest. I know this current breakup is for the best, because that person was unapologetically wrong, and I know I have other best friends, and I will make new friends. I refuse to fight for a man or a woman who won’t fight for me. But I wish there was a how-to-guide on how to move forward when your spine loses one of its vertebrae.