A week ago I wrote a blog about the biological phases our bodies go through during a breakup, and it had me thinking about a friendship breakup I experienced about a year ago with someone I had considered to be my hashtag “best friend forever”.
We met each other through mutual friends and became super close years later. At the time we were both going through low points in our lives. We were both in our late 20’s and felt like misfits navigating the world with no clear direction or sense of purpose. We started a business together and we were learning to work with each other while creating a sustainable friendship. This was both fulfilling and progressive so it worked well at the time. For a year or so we put our money where our mouths were – growing our business while emotionally clinging to each other in unhealthy ways.
Unbeknownst to us; we had created a co-dependent relationship where we both felt safe enough to share our burdens and traumas without judgement.
At the time I was dealing with a lot of resentment towards my mom and she was at a point where she was feeling stuck in a relationship she didn’t want to be in anymore with the father of her child. Our friendship was great whilst we were on the same page. But the dynamic shifted when my pace of ‘’getting out of the funk’’ didn’t match hers.
I got to a place where I wanted to embrace life and be happy again. I got into a new relationship and was spending more time with my partner; I was making new friends and reaching out to old friends I hadn’t talked to in a while, I was working on my relationship with my mom and trying to create a new narrative for myself and in the process, my friend and I spent less and less time together and she knew less about what was going on in my life and vice versa; this was also around the time she broke up with her child’s father and moved out of the home they shared, it was such a difficult time because I felt guilty for being in a happier place in my life while she was experiencing such a big change!
I supported her as best as I could considering…but I think she felt abandoned by me. This was a hard place for both of us to be in and the less we chose to confront the situation the bigger the elephant grew when we were in each other’s space until one day we had a huge blow-up over a stupid laptop charger and even though we both knew that that was not the reason for the blow-up, it was enough reason to end the friendship. To say that running a business together after that was awkward would be an understatement and at some point, we even considered going our separate ways but the business forced us to find ways to be cordial and comfortable with each other once again and for that I am thankful.
One year later and we’re finally in a good place where we can work together, laugh with each other again and be free in each other’s spaces. It is a work in progress and I believe that a new kind of friendship is slowly brewing. This made me realize that sometimes we may need to let go of a friendship for a significant amount of time so that we can both grow in the ways that the spirit leads us. Ultimately our paths might circle back to one another.
Here are 7 signs that suggest it may be time to audit your friendship
- You suppress your feelings to avoid communicating about how the relationship dynamics have changed.
- You have to pretend to be an old version of yourself to hang on to the friendship.
- The friendship is one-sided and you feel drained after spending time with them on the phone and in person.
- You make excuses not to hang out with them because you feel happier and less anxious when they’re not around.
- When you spend your time reminiscing on the good old days because your past is the only shared connection you have left.
- Your approaches to life have become different and you want extremely different things from each other.
- The friendship dynamics have changed and you wouldn’t be friends with them if you met them today.
On the AoS Change Series ; Jamil F. Khan poses the question “do our relationships under the current repertoire of choices we make open themselves up to accommodating the changes we undergo throughout our lives or do they rely on us staying the same or hiding who we really are?”
People are allowed to grow and change as the seasons of their lives unfold, the truth is maybe I was the one holding my friend back and our separation was beneficial to her growth? When change interferes with the friendship that once was and causes it to end, that doesn’t make any of us bad people. In time once we embrace the change and even take accountability for our part in the matter we may find ourselves at peace with forming a new kind of friendship. After all, time is the great healer and as King Solomon so eloquently states;
“To everything, there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born, And a time to die;
A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill, And a time to heal;
A time to break down, And a time to build up;
A time to weep, And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain, And a time to lose;
A time to keep, And a time to throw away;
A time to tear, And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;
A time to love, And a time to hate;
A time of war, And a time of peace.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1-8