What I Learned About Friendship After Not Speaking To My Best Friend For A Year

This, ladies and gentleman, is a story about friendship lost, and friendship rekindled. This story revolves around two best friends, who previously had achieved the perfect harmony of napping, getting drunk and hating everybody else, who were then divided by - shock horror - a boy. Yes, as much as we’ve all screeched ‘NEVER LET A BOY COME BETWEEN U AND UR FREN’, sometimes it does happen, and the outcome is shit. But fear not, avid readers - this story has a happy ending, and I’m about to share it with you.

Before we get into the thick of things, here’s a little background. Oh what, you thought I wasn’t going to give you the gossip? I know a good 80% of you came here for the deets, so here’s a little summary of what went down:

My friend had been mates with my ex-boyfriend long before we got together, and they remained friends after we broke up. My ex then slept with one of my best friend’s other friends (who I have a history of drunkenly arguing with, FYI), nobody told me, and I freaked out when my ex casually dropped it into conversation months and months later. I was already seeing Keiran by this point, but I’d also still gone on holiday with my ex, so as with most break-ups in our twenties, there were crossovers and upsets and messy situations that nobody came out of a winner. It’s happened to countless best friends before and I’m sure it will happen to countless more, but I’m glad to report that we now routinely roll our eyes at how ludicrous the whole blow-up was.

At the time, I was so overcome with feeling betrayed that I did what I always do when I’m not sure how to process my emotions: I sent some angry texts, got lost in my rage, and cut the situation dead because I didn’t want to deal with it anymore. I didn’t want to hear any other perspectives, I didn’t want to consider my own part in what had happened, and I certainly didn’t want to address the possibility that I wasn’t the only one who had been wronged.

To me, my best friend had put my ex and her other friend above me, wanting to protect their privacy over sharing information that would have obviously been upsetting. And that was it for me - betrayal of the highest order, a trauma so severe it would undoubtedly shatter the ages. Like a Greek Goddess of the grandest tragedy, composers would write operas about how cruelly I had been mistreated, and how I had unsurprisingly perished from the unbearable pain and isolation.

 

Photography: Michaela Tornaritis

Jumper - H&M

Trousers - Topshop

Bag - X Nihilo*

Sunglasses - Topshop

Boots - H&M

Earrings - Jane Koenig*

 

Apart from, of course, I eventually calmed down and realised that she'd had been put in an impossible position. No matter what she did, somebody was going to be upset, and at the time I had already moved on and was seeing someone else, so from her perspective, I was probably doing okay.

With the clarity of hindsight I can see that it was none of my fucking business who my ex-boyfriend was sleeping with - even more so because I was already sleeping with someone else - but more often than not logic doesn’t come into the emotions of a break-up, especially when you’re calling it quits with your first love and trying to make sense of what it means to be you without them. It’s a shit-storm of intensity, the kind of episode of feeling that causes your heartbeat to reach Usain-Bolt-speeds as soon '1 New Message' appears. Normal rules do not apply - the post-break-up zone is a free-for-all, and unfortunately, some of our favourite people often get caught up in the middle.

Arguing with your friends in your twenties is a strange arrangement. The pettiness and energy for confrontation of your teens has been lost, but you still feel smarted by being left out or not being prioritised. We try and pretend that we’ve reached a level of maturity which enables us to let friendships go without hard-feelings, but in reality, we’re absolutely fuming and sending screenshots to our other friends for entirely biased back-up. And we hold grudges like a motherfucker. My friend and I didn’t speak for well over a year, declining invites to social events if the other was attending and refusing to wish each other Happy Birthday, no matter how close we came to sending passive aggressive Facebook messages. We continued to live our lives as if the other didn’t exist, although I would routinely ask Keiran for status updates as to how happy she was and if she seemed like she missed me (needy 4 eva).

Then one day, we met for a drink with one of our other best friends and that was that. We got pissed, exchanged emotional apologies in a bar toilet and started rebuilding our friendship.

WHAT I'M WEARING

Fast forward however long and we start every morning with a text and end most weeks with a McDonald’s and nap session. What felt so severe then now feels so silly, and the truth that we lost so much valuable time because of something so insignificant is cause for much drunken speculation. Any time we get pissed and somebody else is present, they’re subjected to the “so can you believe that we fell out and didn’t speak for ages?” saga, complete with reenactments and philosophical contemplations as to why it all went wrong and how we could have acted differently.

And I understand why I was so fiercely upset back then - I was in the midst of my first ever break up, tailing off one relationship and already engaging in another, contending with uni and work and blogging and who evEN AM I?! The circumstances of my life at the time amplified every ounce of emotion I was experiencing, and instead of trying to understand that, I cut the conflict off.

Out of stubbornness, I refused for a long time to try and heal it. But as the months passed and my feelings assuaged, I realised that, honestly, I just missed her. Whilst every other part of my life had moved on, I was still holding onto this hurt because I didn’t want to swallow my pride and admit that I'd been a dick. There were questionable actions involved on all sides, but it was me who had effectively deaded the relationship and refused to ever consider its revival.

Last Wednesday saw me celebrating my birthday and officially entering my mid-twenties. Friends are starting to move cities, buy dogs with their partners and shape their lives; big things are happening, and do you know what? It’s not worth missing out on those moments for the sake of an argument, the crux of which nobody gives a shit about anymore. Being “right” (whether you actually are or not is often up for debate) does not always make you happy, but it can make you lonely. We all mess up, we’re all, at times, complete bell ends, but sometimes we just have to forgive, forget, and move on. Life is too short and too unpredictable to feed off tired bitterness, especially when you could be napping next to each other at 3:30pm on a Sunday and demanding your boyfriend awake you both with a hot cup of tea.

Best friendships in your twenties - they can be intense, they can be unwavering, but they’re worth hanging on to. My heart is certainly fuller for having mine back. And if there’s someone you wish you could reconnect with, then bite the bullet and extend the olive branch. Is it really worth waiting any longer?

Until next time lovelies x


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