The Unconscious Uncoupling of Friends and Being the “Other” Woman
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” ~ Anais Nin
That moment when you realize you are no longer the apple in your best friends eye. It feels like you have been stabbed repeatedly in the jugular, reviving images of high school sitting at the non-cool table and a pint of ice cream just won’t do to cleanse the pain.
Some how the worst break-ups for me haven’t been messy romantic tangles befitting a Lifetime movie. I wish. Nope, they have been friends. Women I use to consider soul sisters. Shared my heart and soul with, only to realize it wasn’t reciprocated. People come and go. But best friends are a different story. Best friends are suppose to be there always. Highs and lows it is why they are best friends.
“What happens when you realize you aren’t your best friend’s best friend?”
A friend posted that awhile ago. At the time It spoke to me in that way that every so often a Facebook status stands out, amongst all the drama. I was struggling with the realization that a best friend I had thought highly of, had confided in did not share the same sentiments of best friend. Perhaps like a cheating spouse who ignores signs, I had stopped being blind and started seeing again.
In this instance it was my best friend.
It began with every time we would get together, she would invite her “best friend,” whom she referred to constantly as such, in front of me while I stood on the side lines like an awkward spare to the heir. Yet, I was never invited on their “Adventures.”
It felt like high school all over again. You are cool. You aren’t cool. You are again. My head was spinning and my emotions were just as insane as if I was stuck back in that overzealous hormonal driven drama. It hurt as inside jokes were exchanged, making me feel like I was on a chastity date as the prim and proper chaperone or third wheel to their date.
Despite the hemorrhaging occurring internally, I, like the song says, “Let it go.” I moved on and let them have their sister romance. I attempted to move past the hurt and tried to be as much of a friend as she would allow me to be. Then came the polar vortex. At first it started out slowly, then it hurled in like an arctic blast. The sporadic texting led to unanswered texts for days at a time. It was only if she needed something she would text me back. On social media, while yes a cest pool set to fuel drama, I would see her responding to others comments, but never mine, rarely liking anything I posted anymore. I began to feel like a stalker, every time I hit that button or commented on her social media.
Yes I had definitely missed the signs, because it was my best friend.
Friendships in my opinion are even harder then relationships. The lines get blurred much more easily. While the relationship might mean a lot to you, it doesn’t necessarily mean a lot to them. Breaking up isn’t as defined. Ghosting is more likely to happen then an actual “I am just not that into you.”
I had made excuses for my friend, she was busy, she had a lot going on, which at the time she did. Yet, if I had been in a relationship, I would have addressed the issues or kicked his cheating heart to the curb. I wouldn’t have put up with being an emotional bowling pin only good enough when they deemed necessary.
I realized then that the relationship I held in high esteem was not shared. No matter how many excuses I made for my friend for why she was acting this way, the fact of the matter was, she just was NOT into me anymore.
No rhyme. No reason. No explanation. The chill I felt from her, was worse then the Cold War. It hurt worse then knowing my boyfriend was having a sleep over and it wasn’t with me. I honestly didn’t know what to do.
The truth is, you can’t force someone to be your friend, if you have too, that isn’t friendship. You can’t make them explain why they are acting a certain way either. Some friendships will be held in higher regard on your side or theirs. What makes a true friend, even a best friend, is when it is received equally and is genuine, effortless, and flawless.
People come and go through out life including friends. It sucks. It hurts. It feels like they have committed murder on your soul and made your eyes smaller versions of Niagara falls. But as with life, relationships evolve. Friendships come and go when you need them. You make new friends the same way.
Sometimes you will be that other woman, without realizing it. You have to decide whether you are okay with that, or whether you deserve a friendship with people who are there for you and who invest in you, as much as you are willing to invest in them.
As for my best friend, I am slowly coming to terms with it. There will always be a place for her. We shared so much for so many years, it is heartbreaking to see it fall by the way side. Were we as close as I thought? Apparently not. As much as doors close, they can also remain slightly ajar and perhaps in the future it will open wider leading to a new, hopefully better, relationship. If not, I am incredibly grateful for all the adventures we shared and the lessons she gave me.