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In Breakups, Losing A Best Friend Trumps Losing A Boyfriend

The other day someone said that breaking up with a girlfriend is much harder than getting over a guy and I agree.

Recently—don’t judge me—I watched The Women, a chick flick with Meg Ryan (and her odd post-plastic surgery face) and Eva Mendes. The film surrounds Meg’s character whose husband cheats on her and her girlfriends try to guide her through it. In the process, one friend sells her out to the tabloids and leaves their friendship in ruins. Once she realizes her friend’s misstep, Meg says something like “you said someone always betrays the other in a relationship, but this is so much worse.”

In romantic relationships, we’re usually prepared for the union to end. Someone will most likely want out, which is why finding your ‘soul mate’ is such a tumultuous process. Singers and screenwriters wouldn’t have much to say if the hunt for lasting love weren’t so grisly. That said, you’re ready for the end of ‘us,’ and while you’re upset, there’s a bevy of cathartic tools, for example songs like “I will Survive” or flicks like First Wives Club, that can help manage your pain. But ending a friendship with someone whom you thought was your confidante and homie from way back? Now that’s uncharted territory.

From Beaches to Sex & The City, friendship is supposed to conquer all and then you meet the one that shatters all of the chicks flicks in all the world. You meet your Sula. I’m an avid Toni Morrison fan and I must admit that when I read this book, all I took away was ‘it is what it is.’ I slept with your husband—it is what it is. I lied on you in public—it is what it is. You thought we were going to be friends forever—it is what it is.

Still, regardless of how hard I try, when I bring a person into my circle (which isn’t as easy as it used to be) and they disregard my friendship, it hurts. It’s worse than heartbreak because this wasn’t supposed to happen because… we’re friends, right? Then I go over their actions in my head and try my best to figure out how I allowed myself to be in this situation. I attempt to let go of all of my anger and frustration by praying about it, then I go back to ruminating on how it all went wrong. While this all sounds familiar to breaking up with a guy, the entire process lasts twice, if not three or four times, as long… if it ends at all.

Why is that?

Last 5 posts by Hillary Crosley

  • What happens when the breakup is from your man who is (or was) your bestfriend? That’s a tough one!!!! Although romantic relationships are by their nature intimate, knowing someone in the “biblical” sense is not necessarily as intimate as a soulful connection born from close friendship. When the romantic relationship with my (former) best friend ended, what I missed more than anything else about our connection was our friendship that had nothing to do with romance.