5 True Stories Of Best Friend Breakups

Illustrated by Norah Stone.
Sure, you probably aren't surprised that you no longer keep up with your middle school bestie — you're not alone — but by the time you're an adult, it's not crazy to assume that you and your friends are in it to win it. The sad truth is that friend breakups are very, very real.

Whether the rift is mutual or one-sided, dealing with the loss of a friendship can be hard, even if it's just a matter of two people realizing they don't have much in common anymore. And sometimes, friend breakups can be more hurtful than romantic splits. As Rebecca Traister posits in her 2016 book All The Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation, "As women live more of our adult lives unmarried, we become ourselves not necessarily in tandem with a man or within a traditional family structure, but instead alongside other women: our friends."

So why don't we give the same amount of attention to platonic breakups as we do romantic ones? And why aren't we talking about these experiences more?

Whisper, an app that aggregates anonymous secrets, found that when friend breakups were discussed, the secrets often mentioned "relationships," "boyfriend," "love," and "sex." Of course, citing these as the sole reasons for female friend breakups is both stereotypical and reductive. In truth, what causes friendships to fall apart is oftentimes much more complicated and nuanced — and isn't always connected to romantic relationships or sex.

To paint a clearer picture of friend breakups, we asked five women to talk about theirs. A handful of stories may not be able to show the full scope, but hopefully, they'll provide a little insight into an oft-overlooked adult experience.
1 of 5
Julie, 24

How old were you?
"18"

What happened?
"She ghosted. Stopped answering texts and phone calls, avoided me, even had her friend who I had never met break up with me for her (OVER TEXT). Everyone at our high school ended up finding out, and it was obviously because she had become popular. Her ending our relationship made me even LESS cool and then we both went off to college."

Do you still talk?
"Fuck no. She apologized a year or two later, and I accepted her apology, but I ended up with some pretty severe trust issues and just never really got over the humiliation."
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2 of 5
Michaela, 26

How old were you?
"23"

What happened?
"My friend started to 'ghost' and then totally stopped talking to me after a rough relationship ended. She took my other close friend with her and when I occasionally saw them out, or was invited to something by a mutual friend, they almost completely ignored me. They never mentioned their reasoning, and never showed remorse anytime I saw them out randomly. We don't talk anymore and I'm still really hurt by it."

Do you still talk?
"No"
3 of 5
Maria, 26

How old were you?
"23"

What happened?
"We were roommates, and she 'forgot' to send in two months of our rent, resulting in our eviction from our apartment. When I confronted her and asked her WTF happened, she turned around and told me that she knew she was in trouble financially and was having trouble paying rent, but didn't ask me for help, even when I asked her if she needed it. I was obviously pissed about the eviction, but the fact that she didn't feel like she could trust me to talk to me is what hurt the most."

Do you still talk?
"Nope. Things were so awkward after the eviction — I mean, I paid my rent, and homegirl got me kicked out of a home I'd paid for — that as soon as we moved out I fully stopped talking to her."
4 of 5
Hannah, 23

How old were you?
"19"

What happened?
"She was my best friend in the entire world; we spent every waking moment together. But she was also heavily involved in a church that I didn't fit in with, which I became really involved with because she was there. She would say things like, 'I don't want to go to heaven without you,' and 'I don't want to spend eternity without you' meaning I had to become a Christian. But I wasn't super religious, and she would have an emotional breakdown anytime I slept with a guy. I think the church was putting the responsibility on her to convert others to Christianity, and it was an unfair expectation. She ended up moving to another college and completely cut me off; she stopped responding to my texts and my calls. I think she thought we had an unhealthy co-dependent relationship, and instead of having an honest conversation about it, she completely cut me off."

Do you still talk to them?
"We talk occasionally and it always ends with one of us feeling really shitty."
5 of 5
Lea, 24

How old were you?
"19"

What happened?
"This is a little intense. My best friends died in an accident while traveling the world when I was 19. It was a week after that accident that a mutual friend texted me, saying she doesn't want to be friends anymore. I was madly disappointed because I've always been there when she needed me."

Do you still talk?
"I still talk to her because I know where she was coming from, but we never became real friends again. Her whole life she had to deal with losing loved ones and so she thought it would be easier to literally love no one. My answer to her message was: 'I'm very sad and disappointed and I won't fight for this friendship right now. But I still love you and I hope you will change your mind.'"
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