I vividly remember that scene in Sex and the City where the women are at brunch, talking about the idea of soulmates and vow that they will be OK if they don’t find one (in the form of a guy), because they will be each others’ soulmates. That scene gave me chills. It truly summed up the importance of female friendships and the vital role they play in our lives.
When you find a friendship that just feels so easy and comfortable and keeps you laughing, it’s so hard to think of her ever not being around to share heartfelt moments and crazy adventures. But the reality is that sometimes things change without warning. Your lives take different directions and the place you saved for each other gets filled up by new jobs, new boyfriends, new cities, new friends suddenly you’re wondering how this person was ever a part of your group texts let alone your soulmate. No friendship crumbles quite the same, but here are the 8 stages of how they usually fall apart.
1. You go from 2 million random calls a day to phone tag central.
Used to be you couldn’t walk one block without calling her to keep you company. Any random thought that went through your mind warranted an immediate phone call and she would never not pick up. But gradually, your lives start to change. Maybe one of you gets a new job with demanding 24/7 hours or has a new boyfriend whose apartment is becoming more like a permanent residence. Whatever the cause, you once felt like your schedules were synchronized to the max and now, you’re on two totally different wavelengths.
Instead of your regular “good night” text, it’s a hurried “so sorry I missed you!” that doesn’t get answered until the very end of the day, because of your chaotic, opposite schedules. Then, when you do finally connect, you forgot what you were going to tell her anyway.
2. TFW you see her diss you on Facebook.
You see in your newsfeed that she went to get fro-yo at your secret spot—with someone else. Your immediate thought is, “WTF?” The thing is, though, you guys hadn’t been there together in months, because every time you tried to plan a date it was as if you were basically trying to coordinate plans with, like, Michelle Obama. And then you realize that you’ve been to that fro-yo spot recently with your other friends. You just didn’t put it on Facebook.
In fact, the last time you were even there with your supposed BFF was before she met her new boyfriend, before the new job…seriously when was the last time you guys were there together? You literally have to squeeze your eyes tight and concentrate really hard to get that visual. Causing that initial pang of anger to morph into sadness.
3. You do what you can to remind her of the “good ol’ days.”
A memory pops up on TimeHop of a crazy, wine-fueled night that spawned endless inside jokes between you guys. So, you text her, hoping it will magically bring things back to old times. Instead, all you get back is a “LOL” or “OMG.” Full stop. Not even a “how are you?” or half-hearted “Let’s make plans soon!” And then, your face flushes with embarrassment because she clearly did not get even a flicker of nostalgia from the text. Truth be told, you were fine being in denial and not having to face up close that things are pretty much doomed. But, her flat, cold response tells you everything you need to know. And you regret sending that text. Guess it just should have stayed in the past.
4. Making plans is on you.
When you guys do bump into each other or exchange the random text, you try and do what you can to keep the momentum going by asking her what her schedule is like so you can get together. Her replies include, “Well, you’re the busy one,” or “Yep, miss you too!” Non-committal responses which basically reinforces the stone cold truth: She’s moving on.
5. Oh, wait. It’s not just her, though.
Then, it hits you that you’re moving on too, right? Come on now. If it’s this much of a struggle to make plans, and you haven’t exactly been sitting at home pining away for your long-lost friendship, then asking her to get together is just a formality so you don’t come off as a total bitch.
6. You have to bite your tongue around mutual friends.
It’s weird when you discover that just because you guys aren’t as close that the same isn’t true for other friends you have in common. In fact, it’s awkward because it’s not like you had a public falling out. So, whenever your pretty-much-former friend comes up, you find yourself conveniently bowing out of the convo to check your texts. Look, you can’t be the bad guy who talks shit. Because it will blow up in your face.
7. She’s moved or gotten a new job or new BF! And you had no clue.
One of those mutual friends tells you that your totally-former friend just got a huge job opportunity. Or you look at the calendar and remember it’s her birthday. And it’s truly an internal struggle. Do you reach out? Would she want to hear from you? Will you mind if she doesn’t respond (or responds but not the way you expect?)
8. You’re not going to bother reaching out rn—and it’s totally cool.
You realize that you are simply in new phases of your lives that just don’t intersect. All good. That’s how life works. You have new friends that fit in better with your schedule and priorities. It doesn’t mean that you won’t reconnect at some point. And maybe then, you’ll be more in sync, and be able to show up for one another again.