Why Are Friend Break Ups Always the Most Heart-Breaking?

HBO

Obviously, I’m as upset as everyone else that Samantha isn’t in the SATC reboot And Just Like That… and after the first two episodes aired last night, I haven’t changed my mind.

Samantha was always ahead of the times, donning sexual fluidity and freedom before it was socially acceptable for women to be both successful and horny.

Although I’ll miss her in this new series, the way they wrote her out was actually really believable.

Basically, Samantha is said to have gone to pursue her PR career in London, after Carrie told her that she didn’t need a publicist anymore. Samantha’s pride was hurt and it’s shown that she cut ties with the girls after her move.

Miranda, Charlotte and Carrie are visibly heartbroken when they talk about Samantha. “I always thought the four of us would be friends forever,” Carrie tells Miranda, after learning that no one has heard back from Samantha since she left.

Then there’s this scene, where Carrie sends a thank you message to Samantha (I won’t tell you what for in case you haven’t watched yet), and it shows a slew of messages that Carrie has sent, without a response from Samantha.

“Hey, London Lady. Thinking of you.”

“Walked past La Perla today. Miss you.”

“Hi. Can we talk?”

“Thank you.”

Honestly, it broke my heart. Friendship breakups are the worst. I’d go as far as to say they’re worse than relationship breakups.

We don’t know the whole situation with Carrie and Samantha, a lot is left for us to build out ourselves, but I think that’s what makes it believable. Often in friendship breakups, you don’t get much closure because there is such a complicated history, that it can feel tricky to know where to start.

There might be one thing that pushes you — or your friend — over the edge, but there’s usually a bunch of little things that have built up over the years that lead to the breakup.

I’m recently going through a friendship breakup. It’s complicated and messy and hard and confusing. I think it’s because I’m the one doing the breaking up.

I’ve had minor friendship break-ups before. Dudes I’ve been friends with for years one day telling me they want more, only to completely ghost me when I say a polite no, I’m not into you like that. Countless fizzling outs, you know, when you’re friends with people based on circumstance and then your lives take different paths, or your interests change, or you move to a different state or country and naturally grow apart.

That kind of breakup hurts at first but becomes a pretty normal part of adult life. This current friend breakup is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. It’s f*cking hard.

I’ve been friends with this girl — let’s call her Emily — for seven years. She’s the kind of friend that comes in and takes over your entire life, you know, those friends that you share late-night stories, boyfriends, clothes and even a house with? Yeah, she’s that kind of friend.

Although she’s not my oldest friend, she saw me through one of the most difficult times of my life. If I didn’t have her through my late teens and early twenties, I don’t know what my life would’ve looked like. She dragged me to parties, introduced me to my first love, dressed me up in ridiculous clothes and encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone and try new things.

I saw her as this incredible, enigmatic, intoxicating character and she took me under her wing and made me feel special and wanted.

But there was a dark side to Emily too. She was possessive over me when I’d hang out with other friends. She always felt the need to compete with them, as though she wanted to make it clear that she was my best friend, a cut above the rest, which actually almost ruined one of my oldest and most treasured friendships. She would make it hard for me to say no to her. If I had to choose between outings, she’d punish me for not choosing her. I became isolated from other friends at this time, although I didn’t notice it at the time.

I mentioned that she introduced me to my first love and I think that was actually why we stayed friends for so long. She was friends with him and I loved him so it felt necessary to have her close. She would always make me feel insecure about my relationship with him. As a couple, he and I had our own complications and issues, but that was between us and I was confident in what I felt. She would swoop in and say things like “has he texted you today?” and when I’d say no, or not much (he wasn’t much of a texter, that’s a whole other story), she’d say “weird, he’s texted me like, heaps!”.

She’d also make me feel insecure about how I looked. She once told me I couldn’t wear her clothes anymore because I was “starting to stretch them out of shape”. We weren’t the same size, but the way she said it make me feel huge and gross. She once came into my work with a bunch of friends and called out “Laura, did you know that your dress is see-through?! We can see everything from here!” as though I hadn’t worn it on purpose to feel sexy.

It was all the little digs. The little knocks to my confidence that didn’t feel good, but I could easily brush aside because I wanted her in my corner.

It’s only been recently, as I’ve grown more into myself and my independence, that I began to notice these things and not want to stand for them.

Things have changed for me, I guess. I have a job I love, friends I love and respect, a partner who I adore, a cute apartment and a life totally of my own. I can see Emily’s insecurities being projected onto me in a really damaging way and I don’t want to accept this as a form of friendship anymore.

I’ve tried to have conversations with her about how I feel, but it’s hard because she always manages to shift the narrative and I end up feeling sorry for her. I don’t know how to be blunt with her, to tell her the things she needs to hear from me in order to understand why I’m not replying to her texts anymore.

Right now, I’m sitting on three texts from her that I haven’t even opened. I feel a bit like Samantha right now. I don’t know what to say. She’s been one of my best friends and one of my biggest weaknesses for so long now, that I don’t know how to break free.

I know that one day, maybe soon, I’ll find the right words to say to her. I’d really like to sit her down and communicate openly with her about my version of things, and I’d like to her listen and be open to learning, maybe even evolving. I’m sure it won’t go exactly as I’d like, but I know I need to be honest. There is nothing more cowardly than ghosting.

I just need time, and maybe Samantha does too.

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