Why Is ‘BFF’ Not Always Forever?
One of the most important supplements for my health is Vitamin G – Girlfriends! I love investing in mutually supportive relationships with other women—that’s why Lift As You Climb is my motto.
As I shared on a recent podcast episode, I have been blessed with many amazing BFFs (Best Friends Forever) over my six plus decades, who I credit for making me the woman I am today.
But unfortunately, some relationships that I thought were BFFs and would last forever, didn’t. And losing those friendships hurt in a way that was different than the end of a romantic relationship.
When the signs say ‘END OF THE ROAD’ but you try to ignore them…
Truthfully, I was usually the one who got dumped by my ex-BFFs. Maybe it’s because of my naturally optimistic and determined personality… People tease me about being ‘Pollyanna’ and the ‘Chief Cheerleading Officer.’ When things got a little rocky, I thought, if we just try hard enough, if I invest in the relationship, we’re going to get through this.
So maybe I ignored the signs because I thought the challenges were just something we needed to get through. Also, I have a lot of grace for people who are going through difficult times in their own lives, so I give them a couple of free passes. The last thing I want to do is abandon someone when things get rough.
But how do you know when you’re just going through a rough patch in the relationship vs. seeing caution flags that the friendship has run its course?
How can you tell when you need to give your friend a break and when you need to wake up and see that this relationship isn’t a good fit, that it isn’t what you need and deserve?
Even looking back after the fact, it can be hard to answer these questions. Sure, hindsight is 20/20, but it can also be clouded by regret. It’s upsetting when the other person ends things—sometimes in a very cold manner—and one is left asking:
- Why didn’t I see this coming?
- Why didn’t I end it first?
- Why do I still get upset when I think about it, even though time has passed?
Knowing when to stay and when to go
This simply isn’t an easy thing to go through, and I still feel I can get better at managing these rocky moments in friendships, yet I have learned a few things so far:
- Be clear about what I want and expect from the relationship, at least with myself, and hopefully with the other person too
- Know where my boundaries are, and stand by them
- Reflect honestly on the signals that others are sending, hopefully with the help of another friend who has a more objective point of view
- Be willing to have hard conversations when needed, rather than hoping it will all work out ok
What have you learned about managing BFF breakups?
I’d love to hear about your perspective and experiences on this topic.
If you successfully broke up with a BFF, how did you handle it?
- How did you know it was time to end the friendship?
- How did you manage the breakup?
- How did you feel afterward?
If you have been dumped by a BFF, how did you handle it?
- Did you see the signs? Did you ignore them?
- How did you try to make it work?
- Did you feel foolish afterward? How did you work through that?
If you’ve experienced a BFF breakup, you’re not alone! Share your experience in the Lift As You Climb Movement Facebook group where we’re having this conversation with women like you.
You can also download my free Friendship Health Checkup. It will help you objectively evaluate the health of your BFF relationships, and help you identify what you can do to help strengthen the friendship, or if the signs are pointing to a breakup.