You know how they say it’s hard to find your soulmate? Well, I did. She was my best friend. We’ve known each other since we were kids and even decided to go to the same college together because we didn’t want to separate. But then once we got there, things changed drastically. She started dating a boyfriend she barely even knew, and he cheated on her twice. She’s my responsibility, so I tried to get her to stay away from him. She told me to back off because she wanted him back… and everything went downhill from there.
Before him, I was always her caretaker and my opinion always mattered to her. We didn’t always get along, but we always had each other’s backs. When we fought, it remained between us and no one interfered. Things are different now. She’s blindly in love and tells her boyfriend everything, every detail of her life. He interferes between us. He has told me that I’m in between them, that I control her, that I’m jealous of her, and that I’ve been nothing but a bad friend to her. He also told me he knows her better than I do.
The worst part is that she agrees with him. Her exact words were, “I’m in a way glad he told you. Someone had to make you understand. Maybe the way he put it was wrong, but he’s right.” It hurts to even write this. I’ve never been a bad friend. We’re trying to work it out, but I can’t forget what she said… but I need her back in my life. What should I do?
I’m so sorry you’re going through this. Losing a best friend is so incredibly hard, especially when it involves a third person. It’s hard to know what to do when you want someone in your life, but you’re still so mad at them and feeling so hurt because of what they did. There are a lot of confusing questions involved, and your emotions make things even more tough. I totally get where you’re coming from!
I want to be honest with you: it sounds like your BFF had some things she wanted to say to you, and used her relationship and boyfriend to say them. Maybe your best friend did feel a little suffocated by your friendship. This happens all the time when two people have been so close for such a long time – someone, at some point, starts to feel trapped. It’s not necessarily something you did wrong… sometimes people just crave change in their life. Your BFF may not have known how to express that, so she complained to her boyfriend and he did it for her. Or, she may not have even realized she felt that way until she realized there was life outside of your friendship – which is why things changed so drastically so quickly.
While her boyfriend was definitely rude and didn’t need to word things the way he did, maybe it’s true – maybe you did need to hear some of those things. Hear me out! The only reason I’m saying this is because you said “she was my responsibility.” That isn’t really true, and also not fair to her. She is your friend – not someone you control. And you are her friend – not her caretaker. Friendship isn’t about telling someone what’s best for them. It’s about helping and giving advice and guiding, but also about letting that person grow and accepting them for who they are.
Maybe her boyfriend really is bad (he kind of sounds like he is), and in that case, it’s great that you tried to get her away from him. But at the end of the day, her relationship is her decision, not yours. So while I understand that it hurts very much when she doesn’t listen to your opinion, it’s also something you have to respect. One of the toughest things about a friendship is watching that person do things you know are bad for them, and having to be there for them even when they won’t listen to you. This doesn’t mean she doesn’t value your opinion – it means she needs to figure things out on her own.
It sounds like you’re blaming this entire fight on her new relationship, which might not be totally fair. Yes, this is what started everything, but if that’s how she was really feeling, this would have happened at some point. As her friend, you have to learn how to accept her relationship and how and when to be honest with her.
An uncomfortable truth about getting older is that, eventually, people start to value their romantic relationships over their platonic ones. It’s natural for someone to get into a relationship and become closer to their significant other. It can hurt like hell, but it happens. You have every right to feel left out, sad, and a little angry. But instead of directing that towards her, you have to go out and live your own life. Of course you can be honest with her and tell her you miss being such a big part of her life. You can say that and still be friends!
I suggest you find your own life outside of her. This doesn’t mean you give up the fight to be her friend. If she is very important to you, you guys will make your friendship work. You don’t have to forget what she said – but if you want to be BFFs again, you do have to forgive her and learn to move past it. If you can’t, that’s okay, but then you need to let her go. See what I’m saying? Figure out what you want to do, and in the meantime, find yourself some new friends in your new college. It might sting without her, but you will be okay. Promise.
What’s on your mind? Heather can help! Send her your question at firstname.lastname@example.org