Just over a month ago, my best friend broke off our friendship of 6 years. It was around the same time Barry and I started falling apart. As you can imagine, it was a tumultuous period – losing my best friend and my boyfriend at the same time was pretty shit. Now that some time has passed, I am starting to realise that perhaps it was for the better.
The last message Lauren sent me was this:
You’re probably thinking what could have prompted such a reaction? It must’ve been something serious? Here’s the thing: I didn’t think the friendship breaking event was a big deal.
It all started with certain members of our friendship group not pulling their weight in terms of contributions. When Lauren hosted pre-drinks at her flat, they would show up empty handed. When we organised dinners, they would never bother to phone the restaurant to make the booking. When we went to places, they hardly ever offered to drive. As such, Lauren thought they weren’t good friends and needed to be called out for being free-loaders.
I, on the other hand, didn’t think the free-loading was such a big deal. Certainly not something I would break years of friendships over. Friendship should never be a tit-for-tat kind of thing, and we certainly should not be keeping a log book of everything everyone’s done so that we can do a side by side comparison at the end of the year to see who’s contributed the least.
I thought it was rather insulting of her to say I only have 2 good friends. Lauren and I use different metrics to measure friendship. She places value on tangible things whereas I place more value on the intangibles, such as: good conversation, entertainment and the general ability to get along. To me, those things are far more important than a few packets of chips, bottles of wine or tanks of petrol.
Lauren is extremely hard headed and once her mind is made up about something, it’s impossible to change it. In a way, I am also very stubborn. I didn’t see why I needed to choose a side on an issue that had nothing to do with me. And so, Lauren couldn’t understand why I couldn’t be on her side. That was what ultimately broke our friendship.
My life hasn’t changed too much since the break up. I am still enjoying my time and spending them with my friends. I realise now I have much more in common with these bunch of people than Lauren. I don’t have to worry about choosing a restaurant that’s vegetarian friendly, gluten free and lactose free. I don’t have to worry about people fading early because they can’t drink or they have a headache, or some other excuse.
Yes, I lost a dear friend. But life goes on. I am making new ones and creating new memories that are just as good. I am making space for better things to fall into place and I am perfectly okay with that.