So last week I shared the tumultuous story of when I broke-up with my best friend a few years ago! Well, you know there are always two sides to a story and my best friend has her own take on our big fallout!
A few days ago, she shared her side of things on her blog and today, I’d like to share it with you all! Yep! She’s a blogger too! See below for the other side of our break-up!:
BFF’s…Not So Much: A Response!!
Recently, one of my best friends published a blog post discussing a difficult time period in our friendship (Click here for the original post). Her and I have always been close; more like sisters than best friends. Her family was my family and vice versa. As we grew older and matured our friendship took a turn. Prior to this turn we were indeed inseparable. When my parents would ground me, her house was the only escape from captivity allowed; no phone, no television, but I could go over to my best friend’s house (Note to self: My kids will never have this luxury. Grounded means you stay at home with no privileges). Upon graduation from high school, we knew we would be going our separate ways. She would be heading to college in Ohio and I would be traveling to the Dirty South in Atlanta. Although we would be miles apart, we vowed to stay best friends, which we did.
Now, this is where our friendship began to take a turn. During the last few months of high school, I embarked on my first serious relationship. I was introduced to…let’s call him “Jay”, by my best friend through the guy she was dating at the time. Jay was everything my 18 year old self could have ever desired in a boyfriend. As Jay and I began our dating journey it was clear to me he was going to be around for a little while. We were pretty much inseparable. My phone was glued to my ear and my pager (yes, I said pager!!) was stuck to my hip anticipating his calls and pages.
As I went off to start my first year of college everything was pretty normal. I made new friends, experienced life away from home and began to develop my own sense of self. I kept in contact with my best friend through email, phone calls, etc. Jay and I however, were another story. Actually, our story ended. Distance was too much so we decided it was best to part ways. Understandably so, I was devastated, but my best friend was right there to listen as I cried my eyes out.
Fast forward a few months to Thanksgiving. I was back home with my family and friends. It felt good to be around loved ones after being away from home for the first time. I immediately called my best friend and scheduled some best friend time. We talked about college life, all the new people we had met and activities we were involved in. I also explained to her my reconciliation with Jay and how we decided to work through this distance. Now how we would do that, I had no idea. I was in ATL and he was back home. Neither of us were buying plane tickets or driving to and from to see one another, but we decided to stick with it.
Fast forward a few more months to Spring Break. During this break from school I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. While in the hospital ICU, I spent much of my time resting. I had occasional visitors. Jay would even come by and hang out for a few hours each day. I was released from the hospital after about a week and spent another few days at home before returning to school in ATL. It was at this point I decided to transfer back home and complete school.
After moving back home, my relationship with Jay became more and more serious, much to the chagrin of my parents. They thought it was too much too soon for such a young person (I was only 19). In hindsight, our relationship was an emotional roller coaster filled with love, laughter, tears, fights, makeups and breakups. Thankfully, my best friend was there through it all…or so I thought. See, the closer I became with Jay, the further apart my friendship grew with my best friend. She would come home and I would tell her I was busy with Jay. She would call and I couldn’t talk because again, I was with him. I slowly pushed her out to make more room for him. Eventually she stopped calling. It was apparent to her that he was more important to me. When she decided the friendship was over I didn’t understand. I knew she was upset, but I didn’t offer much in terms of understanding. I figured she just didn’t understand the position I was in. Maybe she didn’t know what it was like to be “in love”. Perhaps she wasn’t understanding the feeling of being so consumed by “love” that you want to spend every moment you can with them. My rationale at the time was if she didn’t understand than I can’t make her understand. She will get it one day, but until then I’m happy in my “love bubble”!
Those 5 years spent in the “love bubble” proved to be much more than I had anticipated. After the veil was removed from my eyes and I broke up with Jay, I went through several years of rediscovery. There were so many lessons to be learned about love, relationships and friendships. As I stepped outside of the bubble and back into reality, I learned through conversations with friends that during those 5 years I was behaving so uncharacteristically. I also learned some crucial wisdom nuggets from friends who weren’t afraid to hurt my feelings by telling me the truth.
Wisdom Nugget #1: It’s important to have balance in relationships. You cannot shut out friends and family for the person you are dating and expect the relationships to remain healthy. Somewhere along the line those who were by your side before you began dating will realize they deserve to be treated better. It’s important to nurture both old and new relationships. A healthy relationship exists when old and new relationships co-exist as one.
Wisdom Nugget#2: Do not shut yourself off from the world. Isolating yourself from friends and family makes it impossible to heed the advice or counsel of others. Isolation renders you defensive, always having to explain your actions and defenseless against the unhealthy aspects of your relationship. Always remain open and receptive to the counsel of loved ones because they only have your best interest at heart *Proverbs 15:22*
Wisdom Nugget #3: Real, true love mirrored after God does not hurt. The kind of love God expects us to share with others, whether romantic or platonic, does not hurt. There is no pain involved – physical, emotional, etc. The love we share and the love we give should glorify God in every way. The people around you should not be negatively impacted by the love you have or the love you are establishing with another person.
The relationship woes I endured with my best friend and with Jay were monumental years. Those years taught me much about love, friendship and life. While I thought what I shared with Jay was “love”, as I matured I learned it was quite the opposite. I’m happy my best friend is so forgiving and patient and kind because I was a wreck before and after my break up. It took time, but we slowly repaired the broken pieces. From her I learned much about friendship, to which I am thankful for.
So with that said, here are a few words of advice: Be patient in love. Truly get to know the other person. Understand one another’s imperfections. Don’t shut out your friends and family for new found love; they are the ones who will have your back from beginning to end. Real, true and healthy love multiplies. Real, true and healthy love is spread from person to person. The love you and the person you are dating should positively impact others. Love doesn’t hurt. It won’t hurt you or the people around you. It will only bring about joy, happiness and more love. That’s the kind of love God wants for us all!!