Forever Isn’t Always Forever.
Best friends forever (BFFs): they are the friend you trust, the one you share your darkest secrets with, and the person who is never too old for a sleepover. You probably shared a heart necklace—one split in half to show that even the notion of being separated was like heartbreak. Worn as a badge of honor, that necklace, like your best friend, was one of the pinnacles of childhood.
We spend our youth making best friends, but in adulthood, is it really sustainable and realistic to get along with the same people we played Polly Pockets with when we were seven? While for some lucky people, that is the case, for the rest of us, it’s not true. And it’s time to stop beating ourselves up about the best friendships lost over the years.
There is a lot of shame surrounding friend breakups, but it’s impossible to assume that everyone will stay together through all stages of life. More often than not, we drift apart from our childhood or even high school BFFs. But just because old friendships don’t last, doesn’t mean they’re any less valuable—it just means there are new, exciting friendships on the horizon.
Pop culture has also played a big part in convincing people to stay friends much longer than may be healthy. Television often emphasizes having one, true best friend—from Jessica Day and Cece Parekh in “New Girl” to JD and Turk from “Scrubs.” While these friendships exemplify the rewarding and positive aspects of BFF relationships, we have to face the fact that sometimes these friendships don’t work out. How long is forever, really? In the day and age of instant gratification, having a best friend or confidant (even if it’s only for a short period) is something to be commended.
We’ve all been guilty of trying to make a bad thing work. It can be hard to decipher if someone is going through a rough patch where they need extra support or if the friendship is over. While maintaining a BFF takes constant time and effort, feeling stuck in a friendship just because you have a shared past, doesn’t mean you have to suffer through a shared future.
Sometimes taking a step back from the intensity of being best friends can provide clarity for the relationship. There are some best friendships I’ve had where I started to feel bad about myself after hanging out with them, even though they proclaimed our BFF status, they were no longer treating me like one. If you are not approaching each other with love and kindness, it might be time to reevaluate the friendship. You can still cherish the memories you’ve had together without feeling guilt-driven to create new ones. Forever isn’t always forever. Best friends can last fondly in your memory forever, even if you’ve both moved on.
If you feel like it’s time to leave a friendship, there are ways to release your former BFF with love. Learn more about letting go of old friendships here.
Sarah Spoljaric is a California girl through and through. She has a BA in World History from one of the top 10 greenest campuses in the world; The University of California, Merced and is a Content Curator for the visual travel app Trepic. She has a background in museum curating, loves reading women’s travel journals and is in search of the perfect IPA. She’s passionate about exploring this beautiful world that ethically-produced goods help to protect. Say hi on Instagram!