8 Reasons Breaking Up With A Friend Is So Much Harder Than With A Partner
I don't like women. There, I said it. Now, obviously, this is a hyperbole. But the truth is, as a rule, I generally really don't like women. Perhaps a better way to phrase it is that I just don't get on or click with other women very often.
On the magical, rare occasion where I meet and recognize a kindred spirit, a fellow little ball of weirdness also wearing too much mascara, I fall fast and hard into BFF love.
1. If I call you my friend, I'll love you with every fiber of my being.
I'm fiercely loyal, protective and would drop anything to be there to support you. Once you enter my circle of trust, boy oh boy, do I trust you.
My friends know sh*t about me that no boyfriend has ever or will ever know. A true friend is a comrade, a confidante and your partner in crime. We sit and we share with them our innermost thoughts, WhatsApp them our seriously crazy midnight musings and laugh and cry during those 3 am drunken chats.
Our girlfriends see us at our best, funniest, drunkest, lowest and most vulnerable points. And yet, they still choose to love us. The phrase "squad goals" may often be used tongue-in-cheek, but the sentiment behind it is real. All of us want a group of close friends — our very own little girl gang — who we know we can count on no matter what.
2. Boys, on the other hand? I'm in love with a different one each week.
Again, this is a hyperbole. But seriously, although it's certainly not actual love, I do become enamored ridiculously quickly with those of the opposite sex.
I've had five serious boyfriends, and God knows how many dates over the past decade, so it's safe to say that I find it much easier to connect with guys than I do with girls.
I've had my fair share of rejection and have been completely and utterly heartbroken twice, once aged 21 and again aged 25. However, this is where the old adage "the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else" rings true when it comes to lovers.
3. There's no quick-fix for heartbreak.
I'm not suggesting hopping into bed with the first guy who catches your eye across a crowded bar when you're seven drinks down and convinced your dance moves rival Rihanna's is going to mend your broken heart (Hint: It probably won't).
But a lover can be replaced, and eventually when you do meet someone else, the pain, while never truly forgotten, is certainly lessened when you find happiness with your new partner.
4. The reasons for relationships ending are endless.
In my teens, I ended it with someone because I had developed a crush on someone else. This guy was and is a genuinely wonderful guy with whom I remain friends nearly a decade later. There was nothing wrong with him as a person, our relationship had just run its course.
Similarly, I've found myself broken up with for reasons ranging from long distance, not finding me attractive anymore and simply growing apart. Ultimately, there's only room in your life for one lover. And if you end up being just a chapter in someone's story, although it may be sad, it's not indicative of you as a person.
You either break up or you get married. You and that guy just weren't end-game, and that's OK. There's plenty more fish in the sea, and there are more dating apps than you can shake a stick at.
5. Yes, breakups fu*king suck, but you will recover from it.
You will meet someone else, and you will fall in love again.
Friendships don't play by the same numbers game as lovers do. Everyone knows relationships end, and whilst your ego can certainly take a good beating, ultimately there is no shame in being broken up with. And dumping someone doesn't make you a bad person.
Plus it's OK, no ... EXPECTED, to be upset about a relationship ending. But a friendship ending? There are no clear cut rules on how we're supposed to respond to that. Because there isn't a limit to how many friends you can have, when someone decides they no longer want you as one of theirs, it seriously hurts.
6. There's no softening the blow.
There are no puppy dog eyes, head shaking, a sigh followed by a, "It's not you, it's me" because when someone ends a friendship, what they're really saying is, "It's not me, it's most definitely you." Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, but nothing compares to a woman pissed off with a friend.
Therapist Donald Wallach explains that, for women, pain and resentment pile up in their minds. He refers to it as "the stack." And in the stack lies the pain and resentment of the entire relationship.
Like a kettle reaching its boiling point, when a woman decides she wants to end her friendship with you, she will often unleash "the stack," which basically means you have to listen to all the reasons why the person you viewed as a friend thinks you're a sh*tty person.
7. Everything you've ever said or done can, and will, be used against you.
And once someone has explained all the reasons why they think you're a sh*tty person, it's kind of impossible to come back from. As Tracy Vaillancourt, professor at the University of Ottawa School of Psychology, explains, women often use less obvious, yet more complex ways of expressing hostility, meaning a friendship breakup often becomes an ongoing silent, yet vicious battle as both parties engage in things like social exclusion, criticizing appearances and spreading rumors.
How many of us have had a falling out with someone, and then seen a wide variety of thinly-veiled Instagram photos and tweets we know are directed at us (and hands up now ladies, how many of us have done the exact same thing?). An ex-friend not only sticks the knife in, but also revels in twisting it. And they know exactly how to hit you where it hurts.
8. Lovers are like ice cream. Friendship is like sand.
If you drop your 99 Flake ice cream on the floor, it's a pretty sad occasion, right? But you can just go and buy a new one and it will taste just as good. Maybe they'll have run out, and you'll have to wait a little while or even reluctantly try another flavor, but then, BAM. You discover mint chocolate chip and wonder what the hell you were ever doing wasting your time eating vanilla.
But friends? Friends are like grains of sand. Every single grain of sand is completely unique, and once a friendship has slipped through our fingers, there's never any real way of replacing it.
As Carrie Bradshaw once uttered, "Maybe our girlfriends are our soulmates, and guys are just people to have fun with."
Your soulmate rejecting you? Now THAT is the ultimate heartbreak.
This article was originally published on the author's personal blog.