People always thought we were twins. Dirty blonde hair, green eyes, and freckles dusted across the bridges of our noses: I don’t think any 10 year olds looked more alike. We did everything together. We were the closest two friends could possibly be. As we grew, we headed into adolescence. We spent late nights giggling over our new crushes, sharing secrets about our cliche first kisses, talking about our dreams, and our far-off passions we were going to pursue. We convinced boys we were twins and laughed at their naivety. We were inseparable: the two best friends. You couldn’t even think one of our names without the other name following involuntarily. Then something changed. A 12 year old friendship evaporated. We went different directions.
Many of us have gone through a similar scenario.
I firmly believe that God makes us go through certain circumstances for a reason. Everything happens for a purpose in the Christian walk. Even going through a best friend break up. Breaking up with a best friend is 100x harder than breaking up with a boyfriend. Ending a friendship is one of the most heart-wrenching, depressing, and confusing experiences someone can go through. I feel like there are a lot of us who have experienced this kind of anguish. That’s why whenever I make a new friend I am intentional and focus completely on loving her and being the kind of friend Christ calls me to be. Here are several ways to avoid a best friend break up.
1. Choose your friends wisely
Choose friends who love you, who want the best for you, and who don’t have ulterior motives. Examine a person’s character. Ask yourself this question: is this a person I would be ok becoming more like? We inevitably take on characteristics of the people we spend the most time with so it’s crucial to chose friends who make you better.
2. Be a good friend
Consider your friend’s feelings. Consider things from her perspective. How would you want to be treated? What can you do to serve her? How can you lift her up and encourage her every day? Once a week I find someway I can serve a friend. That can range from writing an encouraging text to surprising her with her favorite cookie or something little. It doesn’t have to be huge.
3. Be Present
Our generation is really bad about being mentally present. I am largely guilty of having my eyes glued to my iPhone. Whenever you are with your friend, just put your phone on silent. Focus on her and how you can encourage her. This will strengthen your friendship and lead to some really engaging and bonding conversations.
4. Ask Questions
A good rule to live by is that your primary motivation ought to be that you are interested, not interesting. You should ask questions to see how she is doing, to see how you can pray for her, and to see how you can support her. You ought to remember things happening in her life and ask her about them. You have to listen. Listen and remember. The more that you pour into a friendship, the more rewarding it will be.
5. Love her even when it’s hard
We all go through difficult phases in our lives. We all grow and mature. This is especially true from the ages 14-24. Sometimes we walk away from what once meant the most to us. As friends, we must love as Christ loved us, even if our friend is going through a hard time. This is a really tough one. Even when a friend has hurt or rejected us, we have to continue loving her throughout the pain.
Best friend breakups are heartbreaking. Protect your friendships and value them. Love your friends like Christ loves you: sacrificially and selflessly. If you’ve gone through a best-friend break-up, things may not ever be the same. Even after reconciliation, you may never be as close you once were and the inside jokes that you thought forged an unbreakable bond may not be enough. However, I urge you to use that heartbreaking experience to learn a valuable lesson: to loyally value and fiercely protect friendships.