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October 18, 2010

Best Friend Breakup

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/best_friend_breakup_20100924/

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Serena and Blair fight like animals, but love each other long time.

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Dear Yenta,

I’m starting to realize that a friend I’ve become very close with over the past year may not be the friend I had hoped she could be. We’ve been able to talk to each other about our troubles, and have had lots of fun shooting the sh*t, but I fear that the times she has hurt or disappointed me are now clouding over the good. While I believe I’ve been loyal and supportive…in the past year, she has pursued relationships with two people I was interested in/involved with, lied to me, broken plans, neglected to include me in important group events, and all-in-all seems to be unable to understand how her actions might make me feel.

I feel a bit stupid that I ever thought she would help me in a time of need, and a bit pathetic that I am so hurt she did not. She says she “needs” me and I’m her “best” friend, but I feel very blah about the whole thing. Do you think it’s worth it to try to give her another chance or would it be better to just cut my losses?

- Out of Love With My BFF

Dear OOLWMBFF,

If it doesn’t float, why get in a boat? It hurts to lose a friend, but wasn’t that boat sinking anyways? There is a fine line between love spats and deep dark divides that are not meant to be bridged. That doesn’t mean, though, that the actual moment and act of separating doesn’t break your heart a little, whether it be a slight separation or a full on divorce.

Give her another chance at what? Hurting you? The truth is, friend annulment happens. It hurts, it sucks, it feels weird, but sometimes moving on from those that cause you regular pain is a necessary part of growing older. This doesn’t mean you two are through, it means that for now this relationship is not serving you and it might be best to put all that love and positive energy towards someone who supplies a more regular return rate.

We all develop patterns early on, often patterns that involve loving people who don’t love us back, not the way we want to be loved. (See this kooky 1970′s self-help book, Scripts People Live by Claude Steiner) If your friend’s words say one thing, and her actions another, you have every right to re-evaluate and possibly walk away to protect your own heart. Or, you can just slightly withdraw, lower the intensity of the friendship. The only rule is that you do everything with love, attempting to communicate, so as not to cause undue pain.

How did you get yourself in this situation? What does it mean that she “needs” you so badly, and you hardly even like her? Use this conundrum to learn so you can pick kinder friends in the future.

As my grandmother’s nurse says, “If on first glance you see someone and want to be their friend, turn in the other direction.” Sometimes we need to unlearn scripts in order to find people who are good for us, following new instincts rather than those that taught us how to join a clique in Middle School.

In the end you get to decide when to withdraw your bet. Especially, if you have done all you can to communicate and your communication yielded very little ownership or understanding on your friend’s end. Friendship is a two way street.

Just remember, in the words of my mother, “Where you cut one branch off, another grows.”

For help with future friendships read:
The Smart Girl’s Guide to True Friendship

Or, try Melody Beattie’s Codependent No More and/or attending a CODA meeting, ie, Codependents Anonymous.

Ask Yenta an anonymous question!  Send an e-mail via www.send-email.org to merissag[at]gmail[dot]com.

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