My First Friend Break Up

friend break up

We seriously used to be like sisters. | Source: Shutterstock

In high school Beth and I were in the same group of friends, an unstoppable combo of girls usually reserved for the pages of young adult books. We had sleepovers on our friend Izzy’s trampoline and hung out on Tessa’s sunroof while blasting Lauryn Hill. We made photo collages and hung out doing stupid stuff (that we wouldn’t want to be caught doing) in strip mall parking lots. Beth and I were inseparable.

So when Beth and I ended up going to the same college, it seemed natural that we’d live together. Why endure the random roomie with halitosis and a penchant for clipping her toenails on my throw pillow? Beth and I would obviously live together. We never argued, never had that competitive dynamic sometimes present in female relationships. And besides, we were FRIENDS, not Siamese-twins. We would build our own separate lives.

It wasn’t until sophomore year that things changed. Without realizing it was happening, we had blended together—I could no longer tell where she ended and I began. If I started wearing suede clogs, Beth bought a pair. If I loved the new Ben Folds album, Beth loved it more. My two best friends from college lived with us then, and they had issues with Beth, to the point that everything—dishes left in the sink, some side comment, the hot senior on the 5th floor—was a fight. Beth kept coming to me, wanting me to defend her when neither person was right. Eventually it was clear: I needed space. Another apartment, another building, another block. I knew our friendship wouldn’t survive another year of living together. But I also knew she’d never forgive me for moving out.

After I told her how I felt we stopped talking. She moved in with another roommate, and I moved in with the two other girls, sealing my fate as The Heinous Traitor Ex-Best-Friend. I reached out several times but she ignored me, still hurt by my decision. Senior year felt like some reality TV divorce—divvying up friends, slinging insults, lots of blaming and avoidance. Why couldn’t she forgive me? How could that one decision erase the five years of friendship that came before?

Five years later, I walked up the stone path to our mutual-friend Izzy’s house, her bridal shower gift in my hands. Beth and I hadn’t spoken, much less seen each other, since those last days of college. I should’ve been over it. By that point I should’ve stopped wondering where she worked or who she was friends with. Why did I still care what she thought of me?

As I stepped into Izzy’s living room, I noticed Beth by the kitchen door. She turned, and for a brief moment she smiled—an easy, all consuming smile, just like the kind I knew from high school. We hugged, but within minutes the pain returned, the feelings as fresh as they’d been before. The rest of the shower we avoided one another.

Two weddings and nearly a year later, we managed to become Facebook friends. Now and then I still look at her page. When I click through those pictures I don’t hurt anymore. I wonder how I ever felt so angry with her. I can’t even remember the things that were said. She’s become like another ex-boyfriend to me, reduced down to just a few photo albums, pictures of someone I loved and lost.

Anna Carey is the author of the Eve trilogy published by HarperCollins. The first book in the series, Eve, was released in October and the sequel, Once, is available now. Follow @annacareybooks on Twitter.

Have you ever broken up with a friend? Which do you think is worse, a friend break up or a romantic break up? Tell us in the comments!


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  • Miranda Morris

    I think losing a friend is worse than losing a boyfriend bc when u lose a friend all those memories will just be history instead of continuing on, and losing a boyfriend you’ll have some memories but not special memories and you’ll hurt for some time but get over it and with a friend you’ll never get over it you may mask your pain but your friend will always be secretly in your heart <3

  • elsa

    dont worry be happy she lost more than u did ull find a new one who will take care about u and love u just the way u are

  • Sara

    When I was in second grade, I met my best friend in the whole wide world. Her name was Brianna. We did everything together and were friends for 7 years (this year)!! 2 years ago, her rich grandfather sent her to a big fancy snooty private school, and I was left to face 7th grade all on my own! We couldn’t really keep in touch, because she wasn’t allowed to have a cell phone. At first, every weekend she would call me on her dad’s phone, and we would get together. As time went on, she made new snooty friends who all hated me, and she got really busy with dance and cheer and hanging out with them, and I was left alone, still waiting for my phone to ring. She recently got an iphone4s along with a waterproof case. I was about to get the same phone, and I REALLY wanted the case, so I showed my parents her facebook pictures of her underwater with her phone (she got a facebook the same time she got her phone). We had to pass quite a few pictures of her and her new friends before getting to the pictures I wanted to show them. Finally, I got the phone, and the case, and I was SO happy! I started texting her like a madman, and asked her why she always told me that she was busy, but she always happened to have time for her prep friends. She told me that they plan very far in advance, so I asked her if we could do something in 5 weeks (I haven’t seen her in over 6 months) and she said maybe, if she wasn’t busy. I got so excited and counted down the days. My parents finally told me that I needed a reality check. By the looks of pictures, and the fact that she NEVER invites me over anymore, they said that they think she’s done with me, and that she’s moved on to her preppy, popular clique. I was upset, but I knew it was true. I texted her and told her that I couldn’t do the 29th. She said she probably couldn’t either because she would’ve probably been busy anyways. She asked me why I cancelled, and I said “I just can’t” and she said “Sara, if you don’t tell me, I’ll never talk to you again!” So I told her that we should stop being friends, because I didn’t want to deal with the heart break and dissapointment anymore. I’m not asking her to spend ALL of her time on me, but a LITTLE attention from my “best friend” would be nice! She wrote back and said “Sorry I can’t help that I’m a teenage girl and I have other friends and I’m busy a lot”. I got really mad at her because she never looks at anyone else’s perspectives. Only hers. I stopped texting her and she texted me later saying “Are you really doing this?” I said “IDK.” She said “Sara, figure it out!” I told her that maybe I didn’t want to. My parents were right, and whether she was able to admit it or not, she has completely pushed me away. She completely dumped me first, but now I look like the bad guy. What do you think?

  • LocalOreo

    Last year, my ex bff and I were just chatting abut sme random stuff when she suddenely said that se was “dumping” me and our other best friend. And just like that she cut off a four-year-old friendship. Well, it really hurt, but I was able to get over it with my other bff whom was dumped by the same person. On a different note, this whole article makes me think of the song Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye

  • Anna

    This reminds me vaguely of my exBFF and I. One blob of a person- though our reason for splitting was different. She fell in love with some guy from her old neighborhood, and she wanted it to be some perfect harlequin romance where it was just them in their own world; when I told her she could do better than some guy who worked at sonic and was going no where fast, she cut me out of her life, started gossiping about me, and still does, though since the guy dumped her and she realized that I was right, she has started getting b*tchy on such a new level that her friends are embarrassed of being around her.

  • gabby

    Just resently me and my best friend steph, who is also my moms step doughter from her frist marrage, got in to a not so nice fight. I ended up haveing to let my best friend go. Although she is still part of the family and i do have to see her that all she is to me nothing more. I wish i could still be friends with her but she put me in a not so pretty place.
    It all started about 5 months ago when steph interdused me to her x lou and i interdused her to my now x bf shawn. After a few days of talking to lou i began to get strong feeling for him and he had the same feeling for me. I no what ur thinking what a bitch how could u do that to ur best friend. But get this while i was geting strong feeling for lou, steph was not only getting stong feeling for shawn but had sex with him while i was still dateing him. CAN U SAY SLUT!!!!
    I had no idea about steph and shawn and felt pretty bad for starting to like lou. I had to tell her that i liked lou the guy who not only she loved but was the father of her miscarged baby. I though it was kinda fishy that when i told steph about me n lou she was very ok with it. Maby too ok with it but i didnt think much more of it.
    After about a month step told me i should go out with lou but i was still with shawn. Me and shawn where haveing alot of fights at this point i wanted to brake up with him wether there was a lou or no lou. Thats when i sugested that she go out with shawn i new they where talking and i could tell that she liked him. So we switched a bf for an x bf me and her where so close that it didnt even bother us when we kissed our guys infront of each other.
    It was all huncky dory untill steph slowly started to hate lou. she was hinting to me that she didnt want me to be with him. she would tell me almost evry day how much of a dick he was to her and that he didnt treat her right. Even though i did some what belive her lou had never been mean to me and although we had disagree ments never a fight. I just ignored what steph was saying cuz i new she was starting to wish she hadnt let me date him. I asked her maney time if she was jelus but she just said no every time.
    I could tell our friendship was going down hill i just didnt want to belive it. Things started getting worse steph was now bashing lou every chance she got at my 17th brithday she slaped him for no reason at all. She hacked his fb and said nasty things to me wanting to make me think it was lou. she told me what her and shawn did when i was still dateing shawn an evil adtempt to make me jelus.
    Despite her anger for me and lou i didnt want to lose her so asking her to be my date to junior prom seemed like a good patch for my broken friend. Me and her instently became closer and had countless sleepovers like we did before all this monbo jumbo. I thought me and steph where good back to being bestties but i was so rong. when junior prom rolled around steph showed up an hour before it was over drunk as hell she couldnt hold her licker and pucked every where it was harrible. I was so imbariused that my date had rewined prom for evreyone.
    I just couldnt forgive her for that, i took her insted of lou and she blow it. Not to mentchin she was still being mean to lou and this time she tryed to make me chose between her and lou. After all the stuff she did to me i just couldnt be her friend anymore i felt bad for her but she brought it on herself. I miss haveing sleepovers and haveing someone to talk to not only when im sad but when i just want talk, i love her and always will but i just cant be her friend.

  • Valuli

    I had a break up whith a friend a year ago. I used make a lot of things for her and she never -ever- said thank you. I cryed a lot ecause of these, but now I realised that it was the best for me. Now I had new friends that – I hate comparing, but – are cuter whith me, than her. Sometimes I talk to her, but it will never be just like an year ago… well, I hope so

  • Zoey

    I definently say a friend break-up is worse, cuz with a boyfriend its not as much sharing and sleepovers and parties and friends last longer, unless its like a marriage break-up then its like equal. Like they say: girls are forever boys are whatever.