Split Decision

When your best bud sends you a postcard from Splitsville…

Girls often say, “Boyfriends come and go; best friends last forever.”  Yet, sadly, that’s not always the case. BFF breakups are not all that uncommon. And the heartache can be even more painful than any BF breakup. 

Take Carrie and Jess, both 15. They’ve been BFFs for eons, sharing inside jokes, sleepovers, a similar fashion sense and an intense desire for fudge. Even with opposite personalities (Jess is the moody, wild child; Carrie the quiet girl with a sense of humor) they’ve always had a weird “we’re solid pals” telepathy, able to tell what the other is thinking before she even says it.

The BFF Blowout

On a recent Sunday afternoon, Carrie and Jess go to a BBQ. When Jess wants to leave, Carrie tells her she’s staying because her crush Matt is there. Jess storms off. Carrie figures this will blow over like other fights, but it doesn’t. The next day, Jess slams her locker and tells Carrie she hates her.
Carrie tries to apologize and smooth things over, but Jess won’t listen. Jess tells Carrie she never wants to talk to her again. Carrie is devastated but feels she has no choice other than to move on…without her BFF.

Carrie tries to make new friends. She gets psyched about hanging with a new group but then misses Jess so much that it sucks the fun out of everything. With no one to turn to, Carrie isolates herself, sitting alone at lunch and avoiding Jess. Carrie is afraid of trusting another BFF, so she shuts herself out.

Be Your Own Best Friend

If you’ve been in Carrie’s situation, you know how awful it feels to be left in the dust by a BFF. But you can be your own worst enemy when there’s a lot of negative chatter going on inside your head. We have some get-on-with-it tactics to combat those lost-BFF blues.

You may think, “Part of me is missing.”
The real deal #1 “I am a whole person with my own ideas and passions.”
It may feel like you’ve lost not only your BFF, but a part of yourself. Even if you and your ex-BFF finished each other’s sentences, your cleverness, creativity and other killer qualities come from inside of you—not her.

While it can be hard to pick yourself up after being dissed by a bud, you can feel whole again. Make a list of your best characteristics, and realize that no one can ever steal those away. Refer to your list as often as necessary.

You may think, “I don’t trust other girls anymore.  I never want another BFF.”
The real deal #2 “I need time to feel sad. Then, I can make new friends.”
Friendships during this time of your life can be the most intense you’ll ever experience. That’s why it’s totally normal to feel sad, so take time to grieve the loss. 
Just don’t make the mistake of completely closing yourself off to the idea of making new friends, or wallowing in misery too long. As for those trust issues, forgiving your ex-BFF, even if you don’t talk to her anymore, is the best thing you can do for yourself.

You may think, “She was a true friend.”
The real deal #3 “A true friend would not treat me with total disregard.”
Even if your bud felt justified in ending the friendship, she could have done it in a way that was sensitive to your feelings. If you’ve never had a guy friend, now is a good time to snag one. Guy friends can be extremely loyal, and their here-and-now attitudes can help you stay in the moment, not in the past. 

When you do feel ready for a new best girl friend, stay alert so you can feel confident your new friend is a keeper. If she’s volatile, puts you down or insists on having her way, she’s not a good candidate for best friend material.
You may think, “It’s all my fault.”
The real deal #4 “It was her choice.”
If a BFF isn’t willing to work out a conflict, chances are the breakup has everything to do with her, not you. It’s about how she handles problems, whether from jealousy, insecurity or even deep-seated personal stuff. 

Let the pain out by talking about the loss with someone you trust. And remember, there are tons of girls (and guys) searching for a wonderful, caring BFF who would never turn on her heels and walk away. Hey, that’s you!

By Lindsay Woolman
8/27/2008 6:50:00 PM