Film & Telly Thoughts

Let’s Talk About Friendship Breakups During Adulthood

When the words “I wanna forgive you and I wanna forget you” echoed out of my TV screen years ago I felt shocked at the severing of what was painted to be a beautiful, (totally real) friendship right there in front of my eyes. Couldn’t Lauren and Heidi talk it over? Surely there was a way around this whole thing because people don’t actually fall out during adulthood right? Wrong.

Fast forward to now as week by week I watched the undertones of broken communication poke holes into Issa and Molly’s friendship on HBO’s Insecure. Rather than shock, this time I felt a familiar inkling that their icy interactions could easily tip their friendship into unknown territory. The kind that comes to a head in a make or break moment with no guarantee which way it’ll fall.

FORGIVEFORGET

When it comes to friends, I always imagined the ones I made were more or less forever. There’s a phrase that says friends come for a ‘reason, a season or a lifetime’ and although I’d accepted that certain friends from secondary school probably won’t be at my wedding (sorry) I was pretty sure that as far as my close circle went, they all fell into the ‘lifetime’ category.

And then I found myself sitting with one of my oldest friends, both of us in tears, as we acknowledged that over several months our friendship had deteriorated, almost to the point of no return. Neither of us could pinpoint what exactly had set it off but we both knew we were teetering on the edge of the end.

I saw this as Issa and Molly struggled to navigate their new endeavours and I saw this in my own friendship as we found ourselves in a new space failing to communicate exactly how the other fit into our lives.

INSECURE
In my relationships I love to build up and champion my sisters and friends. To laugh, cry and occasionally read each other. Losing any of them would be heartbreaking. But as I’ve grown older I’ve found a renowned appreciation for the sacredness of black friendships, a beautiful kinship that makes living away from my immediate family easier and that brings a deeper sensitivity when these relationships deteriorate.

As I sat with my friend piecing together ways to move forward I realised that there was opportunity to ‘forgive and forget’, but more importantly there was space to rectify a sisterhood that, despite its faults, had and would get me through many tough times. In this same sentiment, I hope the coming season will bring restoration for Issa and Molly. The friendship may not look the same as it has so far, but a new dynamic of a relationship they’ve shared for years surely surpasses the heartbreak of a broken friendship.

2 comments

  1. I actually, genuinely think that friendship break ups might be worse than romantic ones because part of us accepts that a relationship may not work, for whatever reason but friendships are meant to be forever. Losing them can come as a great shock & surprise you know what I mean? It can hurt more

  2. I had a best friend for 20 years. From high school we had been so close and supported each other through some ruff times.
    However, almost two years ago she fell out with me & it broke my heart. I stopped bothering with everyone, I hid away in my house. My extrovert side completely disappeared and the introvert in me took over.

    I have a partner and children who I am close to and who supported me but my heart still broke nonetheless. I was in this friendship for life & I celebrated it daily. I supported her the best way I knew how. I Put her needs before my own at times. I tried to be rational when she was emotional. I told my partner to hold up a second when she would call at 1am upset. She was on a pedi stool I thought she deserved to be on. She was part of me. It’s was always me and her against the world!

    The final messages she sent (before I blocked her for my own sanity) that were full of hatred dismissed everything I though to be true for 20 years.

    I can’t go back, yet I still struggle to move forward & trust my judgement and my love. How can I ever trust that a friend is genuine ever again.

    Friendship breakdowns, almost 2 years later, hurt and confuse so much it’s indescribable. I feel I should just be an introvert and enjoy my own company – but this just isn’t who I am, or is this the new me

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