Breakups have a lot of carnage. From the mutual friends to family involved, they are never clean or easy for anyone to handle. Then, however, there are the seemingly unrelated casualties of war: your friends.
“A friend in need is a friend indeed”—we’ve all heard that many times before, but never really think about it … till that “need” arises. In that time of need, perhaps a breakup or something else, we are forced to reevaluate our choice and our relationships.
I had the unfortunate, or perhaps fortunate, responsibility of reevaluating my own friendships after a recent breakup. It was a tough breakup for me and I was bitter, sensitive and just plain old sad.
Some of my friends gave me exactly what I needed, while the others didn’t quite match up.
After the breakup, one of my friends immediately hatched a plan to come over with an entire set of the girliest movies in the world, including, but not limited to, Pride and Prejudice (both versions). In addition to that, she arrived on my doorstep with a surprise package of junk food, including some In-N-Out Burgers and some popsicles. While no one could quite match the extravagance and perfection of this gesture, some others managed to just listen to me and call me every day, distracting me by talking about completely unrelated things. Some just said “I love you” and that was all I needed to hear.
On the other hand, one of my (now former) friends made some grave mistakes. The following, as I wrote it out, began to look a bit like a list of things a friend should never do or say post-breakup, so I decided to compile into that very list.
Things a friend should never do or say post-breakup:
- Saying “Are you over it yet? (two days post-breakup, but two weeks isn’t )
- Talking and whining about themselves and about their own relationship history
- Complaining that you weren’t there for at some point in the distant past
- Telling you your relationship wasn’t all that important
- Getting your other friends to gang up against you by spreading gossip behind your back about your breakup; basically pouring salt in my wound
- Saying “Get a grip and get over it” (two days post-breakup. I’m not kidding; this actually happened)
That last one sent me over the edge and when I had moved past being sad, I began to re-evaluate my friendship with this girl. First, I thought about how she wasn’t there for me when I really needed her. She was not a friend in need or indeed. But that’s not the final thought that made me realize I no longer needed her in my life. After thinking about how much it would have been nice to have a friend when I was down, I got some perspective and saw that she was not really a friend to me when things were easy too. She never called me unless she needed something from me and she never visited me in college. She never took the time to get to know my family or really get to know me. Sure, she was fun to party with and we had some mutual friends, but those thin threads couldn’t hold a friendship together. That much needed perspective made me realize just how little we had in common and how little I would miss her if she was no longer in my life.
In the end, the breakup fiasco wasn’t what broke our friendship; it was just the weak foundation that shattered when it was shaken. My best friends in the world can tell me whatever the hell they want during a breakup, but that’s only because they have earned that right and because I am confident that the foundation we have built together cannot be broken … ever.