• Handling Breakups

Wrestling with the end of a friendship

Published: November 24, 2010 | Last Updated: April 18, 2016 By | 4 Replies Continue Reading
The end of a friendship is burned in her memory.


Hi Irene,

I am a college senior having a difficult time getting over a friendship with a girl I’ve known since freshman year. It has been a year since the friendship ended and I am still hung up on it.

We didn’t have much in common aside from our ability to get a good chuckle out of one another. We had minor fall-outs during our 2-year friendship, but always bounced back. I found her during a difficult time at the beginning of college. I felt completely abandoned and alone, and she welcomed me with open arms. I trusted her and felt safe knowing she was my best friend. Sometimes I resented her– she had a lot of money and didn’t have a realistic perspective on life, never having to work too hard for anything.

We dated a pair of boys who were close friends too, and spent loads of time together. The turning point was when the boys, who were in a band, began meeting people who personified the image my friend had always searched for. My boyfriend ended up quitting the band, and my friend and her boyfriend hung out with those people more and more.

One night we were on our way to a party—where she, her boyfriend, and her new friends were—and we got into a minor car accident. When I told her, she didn’t even ask if I was injured. When we arrived, I was already angry about this and immediately saw she had had way too much to drink. My boyfriend pointed out she was dancing inappropriately with a boy she wasn’t dating. Her boyfriend was leaning against a tree outside, seemingly upset. We mentioned what we saw. I know I should have talked to my friend first, but was afraid of making a scene and was already angry with her.

Her boyfriend ran inside to confront her. When I returned to the party, she purposely ran into me as she walked by. I grabbed her shoulder to get her to stop so we could talk. Then, she shoved me across the hallway in front of the other people. I probably shoved her back at some point although I can’t remember for sure. What I remember most was attempting to hold her arms down as she grabbed the sides of my head and screamed in my face. She called me lots of rude names and said no one liked me, and that I needed to leave. She said I ruined her relationship, was a terrible girlfriend, and that she hated me. I ran outside to cry my eyes out.

I’m not an aggressive person so I was shocked and horrified by her physical assault. A couple days later, we met in the park to talk it out, after I wrote her a carefully composed email (to which she didn’t reply) explaining how I couldn’t be a friend with someone who was capable of such things. She ended up repeating the same things she said that night. Those words are burned in my memory.

I pride myself on being a loyal friend. I have watched her go on with her life as if I meant nothing to her. She has all new best friends (not to say I don’t have better and more wonderful friends now). It pains me that I was so disposable—after I confided in her and all the times I was there for her. I don’t trust her and have learned about awful things she said about me before the fight ever happened. I would never want to be friends again but this still eats me alive. Why can’t I get over this?

Thank you,


Dear Mindy,

Even though this happened a year ago, it had to be a very traumatic. You were viciously attacked and it’s hard to forget the words and images of that evening. It’s understandable that you’re left wondering how something so good could have turned so sour. Since you are still at college and have common friends, you must encounter many reminders of your friendship and the evening it ended.

While the relationship was imperfect from the start, you were seeking the comfortable feeling of having a best friend. You were in the same place, at the same time, in similar circumstances so it was easy to overlook personality differences.

Even though you are disappointed, you realize that your friend has different values and can be callous and hardhearted. My advice is not to ruminate over what happened any longer; these are irreconcilable differences. In fact, I hope that writing this letter to me will help you heal. It’s wonderful that you have recouped and made new friends. Try to focus on your last year of school and I’m sure when you graduate, this whole fiasco will be a faint memory. Not every friendship lasts forever.

Hope this helps!
Best, Irene

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Category: How to get over a breakup

Comments (4)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Dear In Love With A Friend,You owe it to yourself and to your fnired to explore your relationship beyound fnireds . . . think of a creative way to tell her that you Love her! Being true to yourself and her about your feelings is the best way to resolve this without it harming your fniredship. Be absolutely honest with her . . . tell her your feelings about HER only . . . if you insult the guy she is currently dating you will only sound like a jealous jerk who didn’t take a chance when you had it years ago . . . focus on her and not him! Tell her she has been your everything for a long time and you just realized it because she is hurting and you’re hurting for her because you love her that much . . . to the point where her pain has become your pain . . . tell her you love her and let the cards fall where they may . . . Good Luck!

  2. Meghan Billick says:

    This is great! I love all my friends =)

  3. Mindy says:

    Thank you so much for responding to my question. And yes, you were right. Just being able to express myself, and hear from someone that no, I’m not crazy for feeling that way, made all the difference in the world. Since, I have had an easier time letting go. I know that is the best thing for me to do, sometimes it’s just hard. Especially in a world where people you want to avoid are always popping up on social networks like Facebook! Your response helped me more than you might realize though, and thank you for that. So much.
    Anonymous- Thank you for your kind words, as well. It’s funny, because even though I came out of this situation feeling awful in many ways, over the course of time, I have grown to appreciate myself and respect myself more. I know I am a good, true, and loyal friend; a person others can always rely on and look to for comfort or advice. It’s very ironic how such a bad situation could lead to many other, wonderful things. And, also, I agree that she probably has some mental instability. I am somewhat familiar with a bit of psychology, and I have wondered if my friend has Borderline Personality Disorder. She carries many of the traits listed for it. Who knows though, I guess it’s not really any of my concern at this point. I just hope she figures herself out someday, and/or gets some help that makes her realize the things she’s done wrong.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Dear Mindy,
    I had a similar situation in a close friendship that ended in which my former friend said some nasty, hurtful, very untrue things about me. Like you, I was a loyal friend, and my values are to try to work things out when there is a rift, but my efforts were rejected. She even accused me of being “high school” because I wrote letters trying to discuss things with her, when really she was being very immature in refusing to speak to me. In any case, I didnt judge her for being high school as in close relationships we sometimes act like children when our buttons are pushed. It’s just a shame when one or both of the parties dont want to become more mature by learning from the hard times in the friendship. In my case, my former friend has serious mental health issues and I am older so I was able to not internalize the things she said, though it did hurt to think she thought things that were so negative, albeit seriously removed from reality. YOur friend also seems to have some emotioanl issues.

    One of my principles in life in situationsl ike this is that I try to do the right thing regardless of my feelings, to be forgiving, loyal, accpeting of warts of other etc. I find that even if I cant walk away without hurt feelings I can at least walk away with a clear conscience that I tried to maintain the friendship and/or do right by the other. As time goes by I hope that you internalize a feeling of integritty that you did this also, and that your expectations of friends serve you better in the future, that they can have faults but not hurt you.

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