Is This What Breaking Up With Your Best Friend Feels Like?

It’s an instant connection. The five-hour bus ride to the city flies by in a second with her by your side. You are bent over laughing about an old tale. She inquisitively asks about your family and what it’s like back home. Then, you willingly listen to her ramble on about hers. You silently proclaim that you think you’ve found a best friend. Someone you can spend hours and hours with—whose stories you’ll never grow tired of hearing. You swear to invest all your time and energy in her life, just as she will in yours. The bond between you two feels limitless. Alas, you wonder if you’ve finally stumbled upon a best friend for life.

A couple months down the line, you wouldn’t say that you’ve drifted from your best friend, you’ve just found someone else to hang out with. Someone else who appreciates the part of you that your best friend doesn’t. It’s the beginning of yet another friendship, and you are given a clean slate. You feel liberated from your old self. You are a different person in a good way. It’s only normal to change over time, isn’t it?

You grow sick of the overly emotional text messages from your old best friend. She grows to become the emotional baggage that you lug to parties and coffee dates with new friends. The burden of having an old best friend takes a toll on you. She is pathetic, you say. Suddenly, seeing her initials on your screen makes you want to roll your eyes as far back into your head as humanly possible. You want the least bit to do with her when she complains and complains and complains about everything that’s wrong in her life and everything that you’re not doing to help her.

Shut up, shut up, shut up!


You don’t care, you don’t care, you don’t care.  

Now all you do is smile and nod. God, you must feel like a hoax! You sacrifice a little bit of your day to spend with her on her birthday because she has no one else to hang out with. She talks and talks and talks. Says that you’re not the same person you used to be, that you’re mean to her sometimes, and that she doesn’t like it when you do this and that and this and that. She never stops speaking until you do the unthinkable: you wonder if you should tell her that she is no longer your best friend. That your connection, once unwavering, has fallen apart. You are convinced that she is no longer worth fighting for, and there is nothing you want to do to mend the broken parts. All you truly desire is to move on.

You shrug off your pride and remain with your head held high. You develop a cold shoulder and drill these shrill thoughts deeper into your mind until it becomes instinctual: you don’t care, you don’t care, you don’t want to care. There comes a point when you ask yourself over and over again if you did something wrong. Is it simply sinful to be the way you are?

Some friends grow apart because they aren’t the right fit for each other. However often you try to convince yourself that you are different from the rest, that you can grow to become the closest of friends with anyone, there might come a point when growing close to the diverse crowd requires you to give up a part of yourself. In order to fit in and to empathize, you disguise some quirks that may be irrelevant to the friendship. Eventually, playing hide-and-seek gets a little tiring. 

Imagine winning a streak at Friday night’s bingo. The odds must be in your favor. You wish it was this easy—that you could be so fortunate to score a best friend for life just as your odds are at playing bingo. Friendship is not an easy concept to master, and I don’t think it will ever be. Over time, you’ll learn to appreciate catching and holding on to a little ray of sunshine that you see in another person. Soon, you’ll realize that many people will, in fact, pour the same amount of light into the real you, just as you will for them. 

By Sonia Wee
Collage by Maria Jia Ling Pitt

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