NAVIGATING THROUGH A FREINDSHIP BREAK UP.

Nothing hurts more than the end of once a good friendship.

“It was fun whist it lasted.” Someone once told me.

The memories of a once good friendship sometimes can hurt even when healing is perfected. You think about it and you start to ask so many questions. You go through different and complex phases of all the emotions that point to grief.

Friendship break up is hard, maybe harder if it is with the opposite sex. It becomes more complicated than it was meant to be. Of such friendships, I have had my share. But now, anytime I look back, I realized that often the root cause of such pattern in my life had to do with mutual boundaries not defined clearly.

Friendship with the opposite sex or even same sex can take quite a lot of forms as the friendship evolves and when not managed well with all honesty and understanding can lead to one of the most drenching heart aching experience in relationships .

Whilst in some past times I just let some friendships die, for most part of my late twenties, when I started embarking on intentional living and growing into a more better human being, I resolved to finding a better and peaceful way of saying my goodbyes.

I have learnt over the years to take time and grief the loss of a friendship at my own pace. I have also learnt that it is necessary and important to let wounds heal before you touch them. I didn’t know that then, and so I kept going back and forth into the same toxic pattern of wanting to save almost every dying friendship. I felt the responsibility to save a dying friendship rested heavily on my shoulders and my ability to do so validated me as a person who was good at human relationships.

Sometimes good friendships for many reasons have to come to an end, and irrespective of the things you’ve built, something as overlooking as distance, or subtle as misunderstanding could break you apart.

And when a friendship breaks, it doesn’t need to be intimate as a romantic relationship, the hurt and pain feel nothing close to different.

The following is a conversation that transpired between myself and a friend after going back and forth for two years on something we both agreed at the end wasn’t for us.
Let’s pretend Red is the name of my friend

16 May, 2021
Dear Red,

I figured this is a good time to send this letter. I am in a very good place in my life and I am glad I am finally finding my path to the healing and closure I have desperately wanted for many years in my relationship with you as a friend.

But most importantly, I am glad there has been unraveling of whatever lesson I needed to learn as well as whatever forgiveness I needed to have most importantly for myself.

I have been at peace with myself about the outcome of events, and in my heart are no grudges or hate, no significant or overwhelming regrets, and
no grandiose disappointments but the knowing that sometimes things never go well with some people even if they may have begun well and that is okay.
We tried but whatever it was, it was bigger than us, and if i am supposed to talk for myself, honestly it was huge and heavy for me.

And having said all this, I still feel the need to clarify some parts of my last conversation with you. I did come to love you, but not for once did I ever want to be in a committed relationship or get intimate with you. Because that wasn’t the love I wanted to give, I just wanted to love you strongly as a friend whilst it was still devoid of any kind of intimacy and that was all I wanted from you, the sharing and prioritizing of that kind of love. And that was why I wanted the same level things I felt I was giving, I wanted the same priority and commitment, the same level of energy and concern, the same room and space in my heart I had created for you, I wanted to be on your list, and I wanted it to be as natural as possible without the feeling of putting so much energy to be there, I have always wanted to be very close to you, hear from you very consistently and all that and because I didn’t feel that it was given to me, I began to find myself asking all the time which only complicated things.

But everything is in the past now where it belongs.

People only can give what they have, and that is what I have come to know and whilst in some previous times I have really hurt deeply because I couldn’t get that or experience that from you, I have come to embrace the power in letting go of one’s expectation when it hasn’t been met. It is the holding on with desperation and the false belief that we may have it, maybe if we keep asking, or the subtle belief of our entitlement to something we keep asking, the lie we tell ourselves that we deserve it too because we are giving, that is what brings all the pain.

I figured my relationship with you may also have been better if it had some kind of spoken boundaries.

This is all I have to say after some months of reflection and moving away from the chaos that existed in the center of this friendship.

Red, should our path ever have to cross anywhere again, or run to each other somehow, I hope you remember that although
we may not be friends but what we will never be to each other is an enemy and we will treat each other with kindness and respect and if it’s possible a dose of love as someone we both used to know.
I still have any gift you bought for me. I will always keep it well and treasured.

I wish you the best of life especially in your thirties phase, congratulations, you’ve made it even though you are only beginning. I hope Life is kind to you.

And as your father’s first anniversary of his passing approaches, I wish you and your family the warmth and peace.

Josephine.

Reply

Hello Josie,

Thank you for your email. I am very happy with the progress you are making and equally happy to know you are in a good place.

I am trying to grow and be a better person. To try and be more sensitive to friends and people in my life. Despite how different we are, there is also room to learn from the other side and you always did make some salient points.

And we may not be friends in the classical definition of the word, but we are far from being enemies as well. And after everything we have been through, there isalways gonna be a spot in my heart reserved for you.

Thank you for the kind wishes, I hope all is going on well with you and the family. Continue to be you and stay lovely.

Take Care,

Red.

Sometimes something makes me miss some dead friendships, a chuckle, or a particular meal, a particular date, a song etc
But I smile and tell myself

“It was fun whilst it lasted”.

And as I write these words, I let myself embrace the grief in my own heart as I remember my little brother who would have been 29years today.

Grief is the unspoken language of love. The evidence that we have genuinely risk our hearts open to receive both the burden and joy that comes with loving another human being.

In the end… I hope our last words will be

“ It was fun whilst it lasted”.

And to Jim Pearce Nyame Nketiah,
I carry you in my heart always.

Devotedly,
A friend and a sister

Jo Nketiah

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