How to Survive a Break Up with Your Best Friend

By Josie Brown

shadow of two women arguingGuys come and go. But your relationship with your girlfriend was different. You were supposed to be best friends forever, right? So, how did things go so wrong?

There is something you can do to salvage the relationship—if in fact you want to do so. Even if you’re ready to end the relationship, you have every right to speak your mind before saying so long. In order to honestly assess your role in the break-up—and hers—follow these six don’ts and do’s:

1. Don’t first test out your theory with other friends as to what went wrong.
Agonizing over your differences is a waste of time and energy. By playing the victim, you’re putting others on the spot: whether you ask them to or not, of course they have to “take sides.” And that’s not fair to them.

2. Do talk it out.
Misunderstandings happen. If something was misinterpreted, either by you or by her, there is no better time to clear the air than now: before the relationship is irreparably broken. If you don’t like confrontation, too bad. Suck it up.

3. Don’t expect another friend to play the middle(wo)man.
If you want to get to the root of the problem, the last thing you want to do is intimidate her. Having another friend there immediately puts her on the defensive. The subliminal message is that your mutual friend is there to support you, as opposed to moderating a reconciliation between you. A woman-to-woman face-to-face is the only thing that will clear the air.

4. Do think before you speak.
Start out by saying something heartfelt: perhaps reaffirming why, in the past, you’ve appreciated the relationship. Just saying. “You’ve been a bitch, and I’m not your friend any more…” won’t resolve anything. Instead, be as specific as you can getting the issues on the table. For example, if there are a few memorable incidents in which she was mean, distant, or disrespectful to you, write down your recollection of these.

5. Don’t monopolize the conversation.
A discussion takes two. Extend her the courtesy of listening as she unloads, too. And when she does, don’t interrupt. Instead, wait until she finishes getting off her chest any and all issues that stick in her craw. And when she does stop, take another deep breath before you retort.  Better yet, tell her that you want to think things over, and perhaps revisit the issue tomorrow. That gives you both time to cool down—and to consider each other’s points of view.

6. If it’s over, say goodbye—with respect.
If things can’t be resolved, you both have every right to acknowledge it, and move on. To do so with complete closure, say your peace, and end it peacefully. You never know: there may be a time, later in your life, where this old acquaintance will be worth remembering—and looking up again.

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