When my friends ask why I still hang out with my best friend, why I still try so hard to connect to him when he acts like such a jerk to me, I say it’s complicated. It’s really not complicated… not at all actually.
My best friend and I had a great friendship in the beginning, seven years ago. We shared common interests and liked spending time together, and just talking to one another. I learned to depend on him and to trust him. I opened up to him like I’d never thought I could open up to anyone. He didn’t reciprocate. Not saying that he didn’t at all, but he was not as invested as I was… And that’s where it kind of went downhill… when you’re in any relationship, friendship or otherwise, when the give and take is unequal, problems are bound to arise. And that’s exactly what happened.
I became too dependent, and he just wanted space. I respected that, I really did… except, I didn’t know how to let go or give him space. So our friendship quickly went from healthy and fun, to tumultuous in the blink of an eye. There is no isolated incident where this happened, and I’ve come to realize that it was neither of our faults. It was both our faults that we let it carry on so terribly, and it was our faults for staying in the destructive friendship–I couldn’t let go, and he didn’t have the heart to push me away.
It took me a long time to realize that we were growing separately as people, and maybe trying to keep our friendship alive was more detrimental than it was beneficial. Honestly, I’m not fully accepting of this concept yet, I’m taking my time slowly figuring it out. I know I’ve grown a lot, I’ve become much more independent and happier. I don’t really know how he’s doing, but I can guarantee that he’s doing better than when we kept trying to make our friendship work… trying to stay best friends.
I have no doubt that one day, I’m not sure when, we’ll meet up again and talk. We’ll realize how much we needed the time apart (which is fairly easy because he goes to school in California while I’m in New York), and be grateful that we may be able to come back together and form a different type of friendship. Whether it will be as strong or not, that’s up in the air… But I look forward to how it will turn out.
I am eternally grateful for my best friend. He’s helped me grow as a person. He helped me figure out a lot of things, that I may or may not have realized without him in my life. Overall, as dysfunctional as our friendship became, there are so many times that I don’t think I could have possibly moved forward without it my life.
So yeah, maybe the reason why I stick around is a little complicated, but no more so than why anyone sticks around for anything. I saw, and still see, the value of our friendship. However, I’ve reached to the point where I will stick around, but I won’t be sucked into trying to fix it anymore.