My Hardest Breakup Wasn’t With A Guy — It Was With My Best Friend

My best friend and I spent nearly our whole lives being inseparable from one another, but at one point, things between us started to turn sour. We weren’t agreeing on anything, and our lives were taking drastically different paths. After one final blowout, over a decade of friendship was over. Breaking up with a significant other might be painful, but this is why I’d take it any day over the agony of losing my best friend:

  1. A bond was broken. It’s usually only once in a lifetime that you find a forever friend. People come and go from my life all the time. It is easy to accept these shorter relationships because I know they had a purpose or a lesson to teach. Losing the one person who I thought would always be there is much harder to wrap my head around. I don’t know if I’ll ever have a bond like that with another person again.
  2. I was in serious denial. Even though it was made very clear that the friendship was over, I still felt like if I needed her, she’d be there. I thought if something major happened and I called, she would pick up, and vice versa. I attempted this once and was proven wrong.
  3. I had no one to vent to. My best friend was that one person who I could talk to about anything without judgment. She’d been there for me through breakups, work issues, and everything else I’d ever needed to talk about. She always took my side even when I was wrong. I tried to talk to my mom and my boyfriend about how I was feeling, but it wasn’t the same.
  4. I lost more than a friend. During college winter breaks, we started a new holiday tradition where I’d join her family on Christmas Eve for dinner and she’d come over the following morning for breakfast with my family. We grew up together. Her younger brothers were like my younger brothers. Her parents were like my step-parents. She became my sister. I wasn’t just losing her — I was losing a whole family.
  5. We were a package deal. We drove across the states more than once to visit each other. Our friends and family knew all about how inseparable we were. No matter where I go, there’s a memory of us or someone asking about what happened.
  6. Time doesn’t heal all wounds. She was with me through the happiest moments of my life and the hardest. When you lose someone or go through a breakup, the pain lessens and you learn to move on over time. It’s different when you lose a best friend. My whole life is filled with memories of her, and no matter what I do, I can’t erase her from my mind.
  7. Replacing her was impossible. With boyfriends, you go into the relationship knowing that there’s a chance things will end eventually. It may hurt for a while after a breakup, but you know you’ll eventually be able to find a new guy. I may develop more close friendships, but no one can ever replace my best friend. All the inside jokes and life experiences will only ever be things I can share with her.
  8. My future looks different. After college we both found serious boyfriends and became a four-person dream team. I always had these visions that we’d be by each other’s side when we got married. We’d have babies at the same time who would also be besties, and buy houses in the same neighborhood. As unrealistic as those ideas may have been, it kills me to know they’re no longer even a remote possibility.
  9. I lost a big part of my identity. Growing up together meant that we shared almost all the same memories. My father died a few days before my 16th birthday, and she held my hand through it all and even spoke on my behalf at the funeral. Her family threw me a birthday party at their house a few days later. It was always the two of us against the world. When I lost her, I had to force myself to learn who I was without her. It was like seeing myself as a totally different person.
  10. She will never be my ex. I will never refer to her as my ex-best friend. I still care about her and wish nothing but the best for her. She’ll always hold a special place in my heart, and I’ll forever cherish all the wonderful memories we made. Even though things ended badly and we no longer talk, she’ll always have that special place in my heart and life as my best friend.
Writer, athlete, explorer, animal lover.