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What does it feel like to break up with your best friend?

In some cases it can be more painful than breaking up with a significant other.

Friends and relationships
By VoiceBox ·

Seph (a pen name)

Seph is a current college senior and dog mom of two. While not stressing out over what to do once she graduates, she enjoys baking, gardening, and living vicariously through her Pinterest boards.

The heartbreak of breaking up with your best friend

Two weeks ago, I broke up with my best friend.

Really, she broke up with me, over Discord, at ten in the evening, just as I was wrapping up on my nightly chores.

To put it simply, we broke up because she realized that we were at different points in our lives and that we hadn’t been best friends for quite a while now.

We had met in high school and became close because of our work in the student council together. Our friendship was odd from the start, looking back. While we gossiped about boys and fangirled over music, all the usual things best friends did just wasn’t at the center of our friendship; our academics were. We would obsess over organizing school events and go over each other’s college applications, all of which would be normal, but it was almost always all we talked about.

We spent so much time just bonding over the one thing we had in common that we realized that aside from that and a few small things, we were nothing alike.

I realized this early on when we both started college together, both in the same university, both in the same major. Despite all of these similarities, we branched out into different friend groups, different organizations, different lives. Maybe it was the cynic in me, but I accepted the eventuality that we might drift apart, maybe after college when our similarities would come to an end.

Then the pandemic happened.

With the shift to an online platform for school, our differences became strikingly clear. We had nothing in common, and aside from quick updates on our lives and small talk about movies and music, we only talked about high school— the only common denominator between the two of us.

Recently, Lorde released her new album, and I found myself racing to our Facebook Messenger chat as if it were second nature. Last week, I went on a hike with my family in the mountains, and it reminded me so much of the scenery in Howl’s Moving Castle, a movie we both loved. I itched to take a photo and send it to her before remembering that we were no longer on speaking terms. I don’t want to be dramatic and say that everything reminds me of her, but it does. I didn’t realize how much of an impact she had on my life until I realized how much we just talked about.

Breaking up with your best friend hurts, and I know it does because I listen to sad break-up songs, and the pain hits ten times as hard when it’s your best friend instead of your significant other, at least from my experience. Still, I listen to my Taylor Swift and my Phoebe Bridgers, and my Olivia Rodrigo because it’s how I cope.

It’s too early on in the break-up to say that I’m healing, but I’d like to say that I am, slowly. When I get in my feels, I bake. Since we broke up, I’ve baked two cakes, three dozen cookies, and who-knows-how-many cream puffs, and I don’t know how many more pastries I’m going to bake until I don’t feel the need to run to our messages every time I see or hear something that reminds me of her.

However, I know this: this, too, shall pass. I am grateful for all the years we had spent as friends, and I would be lying if I said that she hadn’t changed my life. I know that one day, this pain will subside, but for now, I’ll listen to my sad songs, bake my favorite pastries, and start my process of healing.

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