friendship

Photo Credit: Sayantoni Palchoudhuri

 

“How to Survive a Breakup”

“Getting Over an Ex in 5 Simple Steps”

“10 Things You Should NEVER Do After A Breakup”

Over the last few years, I’ve read more issues of Cosmopolitan than I can count, and I’ve read more self help books than I care to admit – “He’s Just Not That Into You” got me through some pretty tough times. So I know those 5 steps, and I know, hopefully, what not to do after getting dumped (hovering around your ex boyfriend’s house after school being the #1 thing to avoid, in my opinion).

7 years of dating is bound to make one a bit cynical, and I’ve always approached my romantic relationships with a sense of foreboding- I mean, what are the chances you “end up” with the first, second or even third guy you date? Pretty slim, I’d say from personal experience. But that’s okay- because each time shit hit the fan with a boyfriend, I had friends to pick up the pieces, with the help of some greasy Chinese food and Gloria Gaynor.

What happens though, when the one who breaks up with you is one of those very few people who knew how to put your pieces back together in just the right way? What do you do when the person who dumps you is the one who held your hand through all the heartbreaks, real or imagined? Who do you turn to when that friend you thought you’d grow old with decides she’s just not that into you?

When you lose a boyfriend, there are books you can read, movies you can watch and songs you can listen to that seem to know exactly what you’re going through.  You’ll find the one in the end.  You’ll feel better eventually; all you need is a rebound and a makeover (?). It wasn’t really ‘love’ to begin with, they all say.

Unfortunately though, in this case, it seems rom coms and Adele don’t have the answers. Losing a friend is like a punch to the stomach and the pain never really goes away. Losing a friend and not knowing why hurts even more. You can’t convince yourself it wasn’t true love, because of course it was. You’ve seen each other through so many of your firsts, you’ve seen boyfriends come and go, you’ve shared conversations about your future- the kind of conversations you can only have with your best friend, punctuated with that naive optimism you only possess in high school and you feel like you have so long to go before you “grow up”. It was love.

And then, before you know it, you actually do grow up- you’re working, studying, moving out of home- it’s okay though, because you took it for granted you’d be there for each other through all these big changes- the ones you’d talked about during all those after school sleepovers with endless bottles of fizzy drinks and packets of chips.

But no matter how hard you try, sometimes life gets in the way- and a year later you’re unexpectedly making polite, yet awkward small talk with that same friend who is now a complete stranger. You’re then forced to accept lovers aren’t the only ones who leave- friends do too, and it hurts just as much, if not more- but just like you eventually got over that guy you thought was the one, you’ll get over this too.

You will survive.