The myth of Best Friends Forever (aka BFF) can be difficult to live up to. Movies and television shows would have us believe in highly unrealistic, uncomplicated, and forever lasting friendships despite the differences of the women involved. These narratives show that friendship can somehow transcend all else. The honest and painful truth is that friendships, even close friendships, can crumble and fall apart over time.
My best friend and I had been friends for years and then one day she stopped returning my calls. She ignored my messages. She never returned my texts. She lived out of state at this point so I had no way of reaching her to confront the silence. Months passed and I slowly began to realize that my best friend had stopped being my best friend. In fact, she had stopped being my friend altogether. The worst part was that I didn't know why.
One of the things that bothered me most about the silence between us is that I felt I had to be silent about my hurt. I didn't want to gossip, not to mention, I felt it was almost too trivial to bring up.
One day I did mention it though. I causally told the story of our friendship and the hurt I harbored to a few blogging friends who have no connection to her.
To my surprise, they didn't think it was trivial! The group of us spent the better part of two hours discussing female friendships and the loss of once-close friends. We realized how devastating these broken relationships were and how it's important to talk about them so we can move on.
“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art … it has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.” —C.S. Lewis
Female relationships are rich and complex. They're different from the friendships we have with our husbands. Both girls and older women, believers and non-believers, struggle with bouts of envy, betrayal of confidences, disputes, and resentment that sometimes lasts for years.
Women are a talkative bunch. My former friend and I could talk about almost anything for hours on end. We could spend days together on end and never run out of things to talk about. Why, then, is it so difficult for us to air out our grievances with one another? Where did this silence come from?
While I would like to tell you that my once close friend and I are now reunited and are tighter than ever that's simply not the truth. I've grieved for our friendship and now I have had to move on. I refuse to let my past hurt keep me from meaningful friendships with other women.
Just like how I had my heart broken before I was married and still I gave my husband a chance and laid my vulnerable heart on the line.
I'm ever so glad I did too!
I am not an expert on relationships but coming from a "been there, done that" stand point I'm here to say to those of you who have been hurt and there's no chance for reconciliation right now — pray, grieve, let it go, and embrace others. It may be difficult to do but it's so much rewarding than holding on to that pain you feel.