I recently celebrated an anniversary. No, not one with my husband or job, but with my longest friend. We met 25 years ago on the bus home from school, and the rest, as they say, was history. We shared a passion for horses and rode together for a number of years. We stayed close all through school, though didn't keep as well in touch as college began. It was horses, funny enough, that brought us back together. It had been several months since I'd spoken with her on a regular basis, but when I was given the opportunity to attend the Preakness, I knew there was only one other person in the world I wanted to share that experience with. This was the beginning of the second phase of our friendship and we grew close all over again.

We were there for each other during failed relationships and the ebbs and flows of navigating our futures. She listened to my giddy stories as I told her about “this boy from work”, and stood by my side on my wedding day as I married him a few years later. Any time I've needed her, she has there for me in an instant, and I for her. She is truly a sole mate of mine.

Funny enough though, this also got me thinking about the painful ends of some friendships I've had in my life. And it is painful, just like any break up is, but one that can be much harder to navigate. There aren't romantic comedies to turn to about how to move on. “Rebound Friends” isn't a term I've ever heard. It's a shame really because the same pain is felt- sometimes even more.

Intellectual relationships can be more complicated and nuanced than physical ones. When you tell your friend you've broken up with a guy, they lament with you and help pull you through it. What is supposed to happen when that go-to person is the break up? Who are you supposed to turn to then?

And as in every ended relationship, you can't help but play over each circumstance and try to figure out what went wrong. With a guy maybe physical compatibility just wasn't there, but with a friend, facing the truth can be scary. Maybe I'm not a good person? Maybe I'm selfish and unlovable? This may sound crazy, but if people choose their friends because they like them, then is “unfriending” them a stamp that they simply don't anymore?

I still grieve over several friendships that are no longer in my life. Sure, I've had friends where we've just drifted apart, but I'm talking break ups here. In each others lives one day and then not the next. Sometimes it was a slow build-up and others in a flash, but they are all difficult to sort through the aftermath of. While not all of them were healthy (in hind-sight I see that I am truly better off), I'm still sad. There were still great memories and moments shared with another person that I might not share with anyone else.

But in the end, like in any relationship, you have to dust yourself off and get back out there. Each person comes into your life for a reason, maybe it's to show you something about yourself (both good and bad), maybe it's so you can help them, or maybe they are the path to your next connection.

You never know what lies at the end of one friendship or where that road may take you. But I will say this: I've heard about plenty of rebounds sticking, maybe yours will turn into a life-long one.

 


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12/19/2016 7:34am

It is obvious when you have a strong relationships this can end painfully. You should be prepared to this from the very beginning.

03/08/2017 2:31am

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Comments are closed.