The Myth of the BFF

by Darcy Sturges

Friendship is awesome. I hope that every reader can relate, that every reader currently has friends—a best friend, even (besides BUST, I mean). There’s a strong mythos around best friends as well. Throughout TV and film female friendship is core, unshakable thing in a sea of bad boyfriends, family drama, children, health scares, and careers. Yet the curtain is starting to lift, showing that friendship is like any other relationship: there are problems and sometimes it takes a lot of work.

In 8th grade my best friend, Liz, stopped talking to me. We didn’t go to the same school, but we did attend the same church and often had sleep-overs on the weekend. One week she wasn’t at church, but her mother was. Weeks went by and I got worried. I talked to my parents (so they could talk to her mom, I was a shy kid), called her home, wrote her letters and emails. Nothing. For the next four years I sent her a card at least every Christmas and on her birthday and I never got a response. While I can, in hindsight, see that perhaps her ending our friendship was more about leaving religion than leaving me, per se, this breakup was traumatic and sent me into a depression. I thought it was all my fault, and I also thought that I was alone.

But I’m not alone. Many, many women have experienced the pain of a close friendship ending. That’s what Just Between Us, an anthology by edited by Natalie Kon-yu and members of her writing group, is about. According to an article by the Guardian, Just Between Us started when Kon-yu talked with her writing group about her recent friend break-up and found that almost every woman in the group had experienced the end of a friendship as well. In contrast to my adolescent experience, these women have written about adult friendships ending all why wondering why women don’t communicate to each other about problems their friendships may have. If you can talk about everything under the sun; shouldn’t that include your friendship?

What experiences have you had with friendships? Any advice you have about strengthening current friendships or moving past dissolved ones?

Image via The Guardian

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