Breakups are never easy. They’re really fucking hard. It doesn’t matter how long or short the relationship was, if you put any amount of your heart into it, you will be affected. Sometimes you will be more surprised by the way you react to your breakup, and when you’re afraid to be alone with your broken heart, who do you turn to? Usually, it’s one of your besties. Because who else will sit on the phone with you while you cry and tell you that you will be able to keep living and maybe even fall in love again, if not your best friend.
Breakups would definitely be so much harder without our best friends.
After ending a long-term relationship with my son’s father almost three years ago, I put dating in the back of my mind. I really had no desire to be in a relationship ever again. I had begun going through life as if I would remain single forever.
But then at the beginning of this summer, something changed. After a lot of soul searching in the months prior, I came to a huge realization: I’m gay. I had identified as bisexual since high school, but this realization was like a lightbulb going off.
With this new information about myself, I did what every good 30-something-year-old woman does when she wants to date: I signed up for dating apps. I remember excitedly telling my friends that I had done it, and then constantly texting them updates. It was anxiety inducing for sure, but my friends soothed my fears. Not too long after I signed up, I met a woman who I really hit it off with.
I was elated. And my friends were so supportive. They knew it had been years since I was in a relationship, and even longer since I had been in a happy one. My best friend would spend hours on the phone with me while I gushed about how happy I was and how great things were. My other friends all commented on how they had never seen me so happy. They were my personal cheerleading section.
That’s why, when things ended unexpectedly a few months later, I knew exactly who to turn to. I had not anticipated how absolutely gutted I would be; it was my first real relationship as an out and proud woman, so it was hugely significant, but it was more than that. It’s hard to lose someone just as things are really starting to take off. If it hadn’t been for my friends, I wouldn’t have been able to process the breakup.
They offered me so much grace that it blows my mind to think about. My best friend listened for hours as I cried. She even texted me during a concert of her favorite band to make sure I was okay. Any time I texted her in an emotional state, she would not only tell me it was okay to be sad, but talk me through whatever shitty feelings I was having. Every time I said “this isn’t fair,” she’d agree with me. When I told her I just wanted to be sad and not hear her “maybe this means there’s someone better out there” speech, she shut up.
My other close friends have been absolutely amazing as well. They’ve given me a shoulder to cry on, literally and figuratively. They check in on me to see how I’m doing, or send me funny videos and memes to make me smile. When I feel particularly shitty, I know I can message any of them and they will give me the space to have my feelings. Not once have they told me to get over it or move on. Maybe because they all understand how significant this relationship was, they know it’s not something I will immediately bounce back from. Because they were there from the beginning, they know how much I wanted this to work — because they wanted that for me too.
It’s been about a month since the breakup, and there are times when I’m totally fine. But then something will come up — a song or something on social media that reminds me of the relationship — and I’m thrown right back to those raw feelings. All I have to do is pick up the phone and send a text and someone will be on the other end, giving me the space I need to be sad and encouraging me not to keep those feelings bottled up. I literally do not know what I would do without them right now. Every one of them are keeping me from curling up in bed and never getting out.
Sometimes it takes these all difficult moments in our lives to show us who we can count on. When you experience something as devastating as a breakup, the only people who really understand are your best friends. They know your heart, and they know what to say and do to make you feel something. You may not feel better, but at least they can get you to feel less sad.
The best ones will hold your hand and let you pour it all out while they’re running errands at Target. They will stay up an extra hour even though there’s a three hour time difference to make sure you’re okay. When you feel like your heart has been ripped out and is now a gaping hole in your chest, they will be the ones to fill the hole.
Because no one is better than your best friends.