Thursday, 8 September 2016

Friendship Breakups.


Something I thought I'd have grown out of by this point in my life is the break up of friendships. I had always been promised that "the friends you make in high school will be your friends for life" only to later be told that no, actually it's your uni friends who are going to be there forever. Either way, I wasn't prepared to be the wrong side of 25 and still worrying about whether X, Y or Z was still my bestie.

I've had all sorts of friendship breakups - the slow drift apart, the confusing 'what did I do wrong?' panic, the passive aggressive texts and angry door-slamming kind. They all suck. In fact I would say that most of my friendship breakups have affected me more than any kind of romantic split. When you're best friends with someone you can't even imagine a scenario where they're no longer in your life - it's just not an option. But it happens - and for me at least it happens fairly regularly.

My high school friends were great. There was a group of around ten of us that were extremely close in the last couple of years, and I loved feeling part of an actual squad (lol calm down T-Swift). We weren't the 'coolest' girls in school but we had a lot of fun and I never felt lonely. Except I was right at the beginning of my struggle with anxiety, and I found myself refusing every invite I got. I felt so self-conscious; I didn't have the money to go on nights out, I didn't have cool clothes like they did and I certainly wasn't as pretty and slim as they were. So I said no.

But as I've mentioned before, if you don't go to things people stop inviting you. And they did. Suddenly I was hyper aware of every Myspace (lol) photo that didn't include me, every in-joke that I didn't get and how my phone wasn't exactly ringing off the hook. When school ended a few of us were off to the same uni, and we all made promises to keep in touch regardless. Within a month I no longer spoke to any of them, just an occasional wave if I saw any of them on campus. There was no animosity and there was no hate there, but they do all still keep in touch without me, and seeing the Facebook photos of their meet ups and engagement parties does make me wonder what could have been.

This is what prom looked like in 2007.
Pixelated just in case!
At uni, I made my best friend on the very first night. This is so unlike me, I'm usually not one to put myself out there but we were in a flat of 6 girls and only two of us had turned up by that point so fate kind of intervened. By the time the fire alarm went off at 1am that first night and her first question to me was "What shoes are you going to wear?!" I knew we were off to a flying start.

The whole first year of uni we were inseparable. We took the same classes and ensured we were in the same tutorials, we texted each other from literally across the hall and we shared many drunken nights having the time of our lives. So when it was time to find somewhere to live in second year it was obvious we'd be living together. We got a tiny little flat and moved in, thinking this year was going to be just as much fun as the first. Spoiler alert: it wasn't.

I honestly to this day don't know what I did to make her hate me so much, but it was clear she did. She became very good friends with another of our friends, and on the very rare occasion I was invited to his flat to hang out they would sit behind me and whisper about me while my back was turned. They openly mocked me in Facebook statuses that all our friends knew were about me. She started spending 5 or 6 nights a week out of the flat with her other friends, and it was clear she had started finding me dull and tedious to be around. She took money out of the joint account we'd set up to pay bills and used it to go on more nights out without me - I ended up having to get an overdraft to pay her half of the rent. I was miserable, I had no idea what I'd done and I just felt horrible. She eventually told me she was moving out early (I wasn't surprised) and things ended on a really shit note. It's sad because she was responsible for getting me and Blair together and I would have loved for her to be at our wedding but oh well. I hope she's really happy and genuinely do wish her the best because she was one of the most important people in my life, and I do miss her.


The last breakup I'm going to talk about was just full on nuts. After the disaster of the tiny flat and the ex-best friend, I moved in with Amy (who is still one of my best friends today) and another girl who happened to own the flat we lived in. Things started off awesome and we were always laughing, but after a while I realised it was going wrong. I'd pissed them off by having Blair round at the flat too often and by getting into the awful habit of leaving him there while I was working nights in the club we all had jobs at. (Side note: DO NOT DO THIS. Regardless of how trustworthy your other half is it's not at all fair on your flatmates, it really makes things awkward and it's just not worth it!) Anyway they sat me down and told me it wasn't on, which was totally fair - and I thought things were sorted. Another spoiler alert: they were not.

The landlord-flatmate started bitching to her mum about us. Her mum then decided to get involved in what had started off as just an innocent tiff. Her mum is one of those people I can't even think about without feeling a burning rage in my soul, just fyi. She decided to write up a 'contract' (lolol printed off of Word, so legal and binding) that gave us a cleaning rota and had her friend come round to conduct WEEKLY inspections. She told me that despite paying for a room I couldn't have Blair at the flat AT ALL (landlord-flatmate could have her girlfriend round every day though). It got so tense in the flat that Amy and I would hide in our rooms if we heard the other girl coming and sneak out to get food (and maybe even dare to watch the Sky tv we were paying for) only when we knew she was at work. I had recently had a bit of a shit time and had started taking anti-depressants, while Amy was practically losing her hair from the stress, but one week this girl just decided she didn't want to do her job on the cleaning rota, and her absolute bitch of a mother had a go at us for not doing it for her because she was 'stressed'. We started looking for flats the next day, so we already had a headstart when landlord-flatmate spat out the longest sentence she'd graced us with in weeks: "This clearly isn't working, I want you to move out and you'll have your notice in writing in the morning". (OH and her mum then decided to rip me off of £100 of my deposit because she's a silly little witch who can't help but bully teenage girls!) I was glad to be out of there.

Source: Explosm.net

Nowadays I do still worry. I worry because I don't live near either of my best friends - one is 400 miles away which is hardly convenient (sort yourself out Fereuse) while the other is all busy and important doing science stuff. I worry that these big life changes have impacted on our friendships irreparably. Sometimes you wonder if you have much in common anymore, or if you're a burden to them. However I feel like I've learnt a lot from my breakups, so here's five tips for dealing with them:

  1. Communicate. Almost all of these situations could have been fixed or at least improved if I'd reached out and communicated with the other person. You might feel like you're bothering them but it's the only way you'll get any answers.
  2. Make an effort. If you feel like you're drifting away from the people you care about, remember it's a two-way street. I let my high school friends drift away when they stopped inviting me places - I could've made way more of an effort to invite them out somewhere within my budget.
  3. Don't get petty. Resist the urge to get one last dig in, even though you probably know exactly what buttons to push. It might briefly make you feel better but in the long run it makes everything messy and it leaves you with no chance of getting your friendship back.
  4. Try not to obsess. It's not going to do you any good to pick apart everything you've said or done in an attempt to work out what went wrong. Sometimes these things just happen, and people move on. Yes it hurts, but you might never know what caused it - you need to be okay with that.
  5. Be good to yourself. Friendship breakups are just as tough as romantic ones. You need time to heal after losing anyone who was that important to you. Allow yourself some 'me' time and allow yourself to be sad for a while; regardless of what anyone says it's not stupid to feel that way. But remember this is just another door opening, and you're now able to spend your time finding the friends who are just perfect for you.
Have any of you guys had friendship breakups? How did you deal with them?

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7 comments

  1. I'm sorry you've had to deal with all this on top of your anxiety - friendship breakups suck. It's good that you've been able to learn from the experience though ♥

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    1. We all go through them, anxiety or not, sadly! But I do try and see the lesson in everything :) xx

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  2. I'm so gutted you had such a crappy uni experience with mates, it happens to a lot of us I'm afraid :(

    Mel ★ www.meleaglestone.co.uk

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    1. It does make me sad that people who were so important to me aren't in my life anymore, but on the other hand I met my husband at uni so it wasn't all bad! Xx

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  3. Love this post!! I can relate so so much to it. Sometimes the breakup of a friendship can be a great thing and you weren't supposed to stay friends forever, you make room for better relationships and you can be much happier from it! all the love xoxo shannon-marie.co.uk

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    1. Thank you :) I think you're right, people don't have to be in your life forever to teach you something, and everything you do learn goes towards better future relationships. It's all a learning process! Xx

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  4. Wow, such a huge subject. I'm so sorry that you've gone through all that with good friends. I've drifted apart from lots of people, but I've never really had a very best friend as such so it's never been an issue. I think that not having many friends has its advantages. I've got lots of 'mates' who I've kept in touch with for years, and I'm happy with that. If I'm honest, I get on better with my dog than most people ;)
    Nat.x

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