A difficult part of growing up is realizing some friendships are not meant to last forever. And most times, you desperately want them to, because one of the saddest things ever is watching a really special friendship disintegrate. To be fair, it’s hard to maintain most relationships as you go to separate colleges, move to different towns, hold stressful jobs, become involved in serious relationships, and even start families. Some friendships will survive ALL of these things. Some will sputter out as soon as you even think about changing your Facebook relationship status from “single” to “in a relationship.”
If you’ve lost a BFF or found yourself drifting apart from one, here is a BIG, virtual hug. First of all, I promise you will be okay. Secondly, I want to point out that these things just naturally happen. They do. It sucks, but don’t beat yourself up if there’s nothing you can do about it; there’s a difference between trying to salvage a friendship and begging to hold on to it. Here are some tell-tale signs your friendship has unfortunately turned toxic:
1. Your texts and phone calls are one-sided
If you’re the only one reaching out (or vice-versa), then something is amiss. Yeah, she could be avoiding you, but chances are you are just not a top priority to her, which isn’t cool. It’s one thing to miss a phone call or a small handful of texts, but to be the one always making plans, or starting conversations isn’t fair.
2. Getting lunch or dinner is now painfully awkward
You know what I mean. You meet up after a few months of not seeing each other. You’re so freaked out that you take too long trying to decide what you want to eat and nervously just go with the Caesar salad. She orders a glass of wine because things are definitely kind of awkward. Whenever the waiter comes by to check on you guys, it’s almost a relief that a third human is within your painful vicinity. Once you finally get past ordering, catching up just feels forced. It’s like you’re getting dinner with a great aunt you never met but heard so much about.
3. You consider a Facebook ‘like’ as a form of affection from her
You posted a funny status about your cat and your friend LIKED it! She didn’t leave any comment, but she took the time to click that little “thumbs up” sign. But then you think about it, and this is the only form of real communication you two have had in months. It’s great that she liked your status and all, but what about a real conversation? Even a half-hearted “lol?”
4. You’re not feeling very much support, like at all
All of us have gone through something relatively life-changing. Graduation, a new job, a new pet, a grandparent’s death, a brother getting married, hell, even a shellac manicure gone wrong. Life happens, and it’s important our friends are there for us, and the other way around. That’s the beauty of having a bestie! You get to drive over to their apartment with some Oreos and peanut butter and cry into their pillows while they make you feel better by blasting “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield. Your best friend isn’t your therapist, but she should be physically present (if possible) if something terrible is going on in your life. You shouldn’t have to face things alone.
5. She’s made a move on your SO
Or perhaps she decided to date your ex when it was clear you had issues with that. This classic girl-code destruction is one way to end a friendship.
6. You only see each other on birthdays
Sometimes, it’s pretty obvious when your bestie wants to see you, as a formality. If you feel like every time (the two times a year) you see each other is equivalent to a check mark on a to-do list, then maybe you should drop the façade.
7. You don’t know anything about each other anymore
This might be one of the saddest signs of all, because to be “best friends” means to know each other like sisters. If you had no idea her parent is sick, or even that she’s been weirdly obsessing over The Sopranos for three months straight, then some kind of barrier was put up.
8. You guys just can’t talk the way you used to
I remember my high-school BFF and I would talk about ALL KINDS of weird things. We had inside jokes only we knew. We confided in each other about embarrassing things, about our family, boys, school; there was nothing off-limits. Now, it would be scandalous if I asked where she bought her shirt.
9. One of you have blatantly put your SO first
When you first start dating someone, it’s natural to want to spend every waking second with them. And I think that’s reasonable in that crazy love kind of way, as well as understandable. Moreover, when you move in with your boyfriend or girlfriend, things get really, really serious, and you can’t help but spend a LOT of your time with them. However, if suggesting some alone time with your friend feels like you’re torturing her, well, that’s not good. And either she snaps out of it, or she doesn’t (you should give her some time though!).
10. You’ve caught her saying some pretty mean things about you
Obviously, gossip is never okay, and it’s really crushing to find out that your friend has betrayed you like that. If it’s a one-time thing, it could be worth it to let it go, but if your friend is making a habit out of putting you down, then you need to get out of that toxic relationship, ASAP.
11. One of you is flaking out ALL the time
I would advocate that it’s normal to flake from time to time (I never said it’s *good* to flake out, since you should always just be honest, or not make plans at all), especially if you’re really stressed out or have a lot going on. If a friend wants to go clubbing downtown and the thought of putting on a bra makes me want to die, I will not hesitate to give her a call and say I’m too sick to go. But flaking should be saved for special occasions. As in, not all the time. If your friend suddenly has the whooping cough every weekend, or her cousin from out of the country is in town all the time, then you should call her out, or simply walk away, because it’s just not worth it.
12. She’s found another
Somehow, this is worse than seeing an ex with a new girlfriend. The sting is far more real, because you never thought you would be replaced. But here you are, scrolling through Facebook, angrily stuffing your face with mini Snickers, and witnessing your bestie with an entirely new group of friends. They even have MATCHING BRACELETS. Ugh. You want to barf. But you’re too sad to barf. So you wonder what you could have done to deserve such betrayal. And this is the part where you need to stop blaming yourself. Just stop it. Let it go. Because soon enough, you’ll meet someone with the same interests as you. And maybe they won’t be your new bestie soul-mate, but maybe they will. Take chances! Don’t let this bestie break-up stop you from having fun with new people.