Friendship Ending Was More Devastating Than Romantic Break-Up

Breaking Up With My BFF Was Harder Than Breaking Up With My First Love

Two female friends arguing at home
Scary Mommy and Fabrice LEROUGE/Getty

Making mom friends is not as easy as it may seem. You have to push yourself out of your comfort zone and go on playdates and actually make an effort to make mom friends, but also in turn make potential best friends for your kids. When my daughter was a little over a year old, I met a mom friend over a Facebook mom group. She had two kids — a daughter my daughter’s age and an infant. Within minutes of meeting her, I knew we were going to be best friends for what I thought would be forever. As an adult, that sounds so cheesy, but I had really been yearning for that best friend where both of us were in the same motherhood phases of our lives, sharing similar interests. Even our husbands hit it off, which was a plus!

She was new to the area, so I quickly integrated her into my small group of my mom friends. She fit right into our group and got along with everyone. It felt like I had finally found the missing piece to my mom squad. Despite the close group of moms that we were as a whole, I felt a much deeper connection with this new bestie of mine given our similar interests — and our kids’ bonds were amazing too.

We were inseparable. We signed up our daughters to play on the same sporting team and planned almost everything together. I invited her over for the holidays with my family, and she even established a relationship with my sister and nephews. She became part of my family, and I was happy to welcome her in. We spent almost every other weekend with each other and always talked about what our next plans were for the following weekend. We called each other best friends and constantly expressed our gratitude to one another.

And then … something changed.

I started noticing a trend — she would distance herself each year around the holidays. The texts weren’t coming in as much, and I felt in my gut that something was off, but I continued to reach out and blamed the holiday busyness for her distance. Then, a few months after the holidays, we were back on like nothing happened. This became an annual occurrence.

I always wondered why she went dark during this time, but I never pushed it. Part of me didn’t want to nag her, but maybe I also didn’t want to realize that our season of friendship was coming to an end — I wasn’t ready.

But she continued to distance herself more and more. She got closer to my other mom friends in our small group. I welcomed it, but did find it odd that there was this sudden falling out. Had I done something?

The texts were becoming less and less. There were many awkward situations where I felt she had made some inappropriate comments, and I finally decided to face her and ask her what was happening. I texted her to see if something was up, and she responded with, “We were all good, friend.” She was just too busy, she told me, but because social media is so in our face, I knew she was hanging out with our other friends. Apparently, she was too busy for me.

I explained in more detail in a separate text that I felt that she was off, and if I did something I would like to know so we could repair our friendship. She responded quickly and said again that we were all good. She appreciated my friendship. But my gut was telling me that our season was over. I knew she was not going to be honest, and her behavior leading up to this conversation was the writing on the wall that this was the end.

I texted her a few more times after that, and she was very short in her responses. That’s when I decided to stop texting altogether. I can’t force a relationship; a relationship takes two. You’re never too busy to send a quick text, so there’s got to be more to the story. It’s been almost a year since I last received a message or call from her.  I guess my gut feeling was right. Our friendship ended without a reason. How could that be?

I have no answers to why, and I probably won’t ever know. This BFF breakup hurts me more than any romantic breakup I ever had. I’m still hurt about it, because not only am I mourning the end of my relationship with my best friend, but so are my kids. Months went by where my kids continued to ask me where their best friends were, and all I could say was “They’re just busy, maybe next time.” Every time we passed by their house or we saw their family car, my daughter would ask about them.

I prayed that my daughter would just forget, and that I wouldn’t have to explain to her that sometimes you meet people in your life for a season to teach you something and then the relationship is gone. How do I explain why we’re no longer friends? How can I make this a teaching moment for her?

I decided that I had to let go and stop questioning why our friendship ended. That was what I hoped for, but we still both hung out with the same friends. Eventually I would see her again for birthday parties and holiday events. I thought she might stop going to these group events, but she didn’t. The hardest day after the last time we spoke was seeing her again at a friend’s birthday party, acting like nothing had happened. My usual social butterfly persona was hurt and I really didn’t say much to anyone and used every excuse to chase my kids around the birthday party so I wouldn’t be left alone with her.

My daughter asked me why her former bestie was able to make it to the party we were at but hadn’t shown up for her birthday months before. That hurt me so much. What do I tell my daughter? Not only was I trying to hold back the tears of sadness I felt for these unanswered questions and the loss of my friend, I also had to be there for my child who was feeling this way too. I didn’t know how to be there for her.

In this season of my life, losing a best friend and having my kids lose theirs at the same time is more painful than any other relationship loss I’ve experienced. When we get together as a group and I look over and see her act like nothing has happened, it hurts so much. I integrated her into my family and friends. I cared for her deeply, and it hurts to pretend that everything is okay.

Unlike an ex-boyfriend, I will continue to see my ex best friend for the years to come with no explanation for what happened to “us.” I considered not attending these friend gatherings to avoid these feelings and my children’s feelings, but then I would be giving up on all my friendships that have actually lasted, as well as my children’s relationships. So, before every gathering, I give myself a pep talk.

I deserve to have friends that will stick by me. I deserve open communication if our friendship is hitting a rough patch. That’s what friends do — we see past our differences and support each other, no matter what. Maybe that is the life lesson I teach my daughter. Some people come into our lives for a season and for a reason.

So, though I will hold onto the memories we created, I’ll let go of the hope of new ones. As I type this, I cry, but I also find it therapeutic to write out my feelings … feelings that I have been holding in since my best friend and I broke up for no reason.