You Don't Miss The Friend You Broke Up With, You Miss The Time You Wasted

by Gigi Engle

Losing a friend is really hard. In fact, I’d venture to say that ending a friendship is actually more difficult than ending a romantic relationship.

In a romantic relationship, the stakes are always present. The breakup was always possible. But friendships are supposed to be forever -- at least, that's what the movies and books say. And we’re taught how to deal with heartbreak when it comes to romance, but we’re never coached on coping with the dissolution of a friendship.

Friend breakups are so much harder than "real" breakups.

When you lose a boyfriend or a girlfriend, you're expected to talk about it and cry about it. People will feel bad for you. They will comfort you.

But you can’t talk about losing a best friend. No one seems to understand that. If a friendship ends, the pain of recovery is yours alone to shoulder.

Friendships take years to develop. It takes years to trust someone else completely. And this can all be destroyed in seconds.

We’re supposed to act like we don’t care. We’re supposed to say things like, “Well, we don’t hang out anymore. That friendship was toxic for my life. I’m better off.”

We’re not allowed to mourn. We’re not given the go-ahead to lie around in the darkness of our rooms, crying and watching rom-coms.

But a best friend knows you on such a different level than an SO ever will. Your BFF knows everything about you and sees through everything. And when that person disappears, we’re just supposed to move on from it without a word.

Sure, people say that friends come and go. You go on Instagram to find hundreds of posts that say this. “Letting go of friends will make you stronger,” they promise.

But what about the time you wasted on that friendship? You can never get that back. What about the ties you broke with other friends by leaving this one? How can you mend those breaks? How can you repair those ruptures?

You’re not supposed to feel poorly about those lost times; you’re just supposed to act like they didn’t exist. And if you do feel poorly about them, you feel foolish. You feel stupid.

You feel like the world’s biggest moron for every “adorable” selfie the two of you took together, for every time someone called him or her your “better half," for every time you called him or her crying.

You wish you could just make all of those times disappear. You wish you could have those hours, days, months and years back. You wish you weren’t such a colossal fool.

Whenever someone asks where your former best friend is, it feels like daggers in your heart. And that's not even the pain that comes from missing that person's company; it's from the AWKWARDNESS of having to deal with his or her departure from your life.

You don’t even miss the friend you broke up with; you miss the TIME you wasted.

You feel chills up your spine when you think about how this was the one person you always used to count on. You can’t help but look back on all the time you spent nurturing that friendship and feel a burning anger in the pit on your belly.

All of it was such a waste of time!

Every year, your friend group dwindles. You once had such a robust group, and now the people you once used to depend on are just people you used to know (cue Gotye).

Your BEST FRIEND is just someone you used to know.

You find yourself leaving town on your birthday because you aren’t even sure who to invite. You don’t even know who would show up.

And it’s so embarrassing to have to tell your loved ones that, once again, you’ve lost another close friend.

You have to explain to everyone that another one of your friendships has ended. Your family judges you. Your other friends judge you.

They point out that they’ve had the same friends for 10 or 20 years. They’ve had the same friends FOREVER. And yet here you are, another friend down and nothing to show for it. It’s so f*cking embarrassing.

You are a puddle of shame. You brought around your best friend all the time. You considered him or her family. You really put all your eggs in that basket -- only to have them broken. It’s a pattern you tend to repeat.

You don’t value the lessons your BFF taught you; you count the lessons you gave away.

What was all that time and effort for? Every night out, every long conversation and every secret the two of you exchanged feels like an epic misuse of your valued and time-limited self.

How could you possibly have ever been such good friends with this person? You shared so much of yourself for literally no reason.

Another best friend bites the dust. Another piece of your life’s puzzle slips away in the blink of an eye.

You can’t look at the past and convince yourself to embrace the lessons you’ve learned. You can’t glean anything from it. You can’t make sense of it.

You just can’t help but seethe over the fact that you gave so much of yourself to someone who ended up letting you down.

You keep trying to ignore the fact that you’re the common denominator.

The thing is, you’re the one who keeps losing these friends. You’re in every single one of these breakups in your circle of friends.

You can’t help but feel very aware that there must be something wrong with you. You try to ignore it. You try to blame the other person for every little thing you can think of. This is surely your ex-BFF's fault, not yours.

You’re the one putting in the time. You’re the one getting close to these people, only to see everything go up in flames.

Do you have bad judgment when it comes to friends, or is it that your friends are eventually seeing you for the wretch you are?

You don’t want to waste any more time with other people.

Eventually, after too many breakups and too many destroyed friendships, you begin to pull away from other friendships. None of them seem worth it any longer. You have given too much. You've lost too much.

You accept that your friend group is dwindling so much that it's virtually nonexistent. You realize you have to accept and love yourself. You have to start to enjoy your own company. You stop depending on other people as much.

You stop getting attached. Because the one truth you’ve really learned about people is that they always leave.