What happened when I reconnected with my friends after years of silence

It’s hard to imagine losing a best friend, let alone two simultaneously, over an argument. The three of us had dubbed ourselves the trio as our friendship formed over the years. From moving to different cities to practically becoming family, we had been through it all as we grew up from pre-teens to young adults.

As senior year rolled around, everything was supposed to be falling into place. We were applying to colleges, planning homecoming, and enjoying our final year of high school. A once unbreakable friendship was put to the ultimate test after a cataclysmic falling out took place a few months into the school year. It was painful to watch the friendship slowly diminish because we couldn’t find a way to solve our mutual disagreements. Whether it was a mix of stubbornness, hurt, or general tunnel vision each one of us had at the time – a simple solution didn’t seem to be on the horizon.

It’s a weird feeling when you see someone you once considered a BFF transition into a stranger you hardly know. There’s part of you that misses the close friendship you once had, but there’s also the part of you that’s still hurting from the past. The three of us went on to focus on our separate lives as graduation commenced months later. Over the next four years, I didn’t have any contact with my former BFFs outside of random run-ins, what I heard from mutual friends, and social media musings. Sometimes I would wonder what would have happened if we had worked through our differences. Would we have stayed friends? Would we have chosen this same path? It was hard to tell since there was no ability to take a time machine back to the day of our falling out.

When we first stopped being friends, the idea of having a reunion and rekindling our relationship with one another seemed unlikely. After four long years of distance and a whole lot of time to reevaluate the situation, I nervously decided to try and give our friendship another shot. We met up for dinner like old times and laughed about our memories that we cherished. It was also a time for us to have the long awaited talk we needed to clear any negative tension that was lingering.

I had experienced a dramatic heartbreak that made me realize they had both always been in my corner all along – even if it was with some tough love. They always wanted what was best for me, despite the fact that I couldn’t fully grasp that at the time. Our now 20-something selves had a better and clearer perspective on the situation. We knew we had missed out on so many experiences we could have had together. From prom to college, those were ships that had already sailed. While we may never have a chance to get these milestones back, we wanted to move forward and create new memories together.

After we resolved our differences, we were lucky because we were able to pick up right where we left off. It could have been easy for us to continue not speaking for years and years. Instead, we chose to take a different road leading us to a mended and even stronger friendship. During our time apart, individual experiences helped us develop a better understanding of what we were each going through at the time of the fight. Realizing what you have done wrong and having the courage to face it head on can be one of the most difficult things you can do in life. If you want a shot at repairing broken relationships, it’s a necessary step you need to take. While fixing things overnight isn’t always a guarantee, putting in the effort is a step in a positive direction. You never know what will happen until you try.

I will always be thankful that we were able to salvage our friendship despite that bumps we experienced. Without understanding, time, and the leap of faith to give things one more try, we would have remained strangers rather than calling each other BFFs once again. If there’s one piece of advice I’d give to anyone experiencing a falling out with friends: don’t give up (even if you already have). I know you can’t change the past but there is always a chance to change the future. Friendships have a fair share of good days, bad days, and everything in between. Putting in work is essential to building any lasting relationship with a loved one. If you are able to survive the tough times and have an even better time during the good, it’s safe to say you’ve found a friendship for life.

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