How I Survived a Breakup With My Best Friend

In the event that my life becomes a best-selling biography (highly unlikely), the thickest chapter will be devoted to the best-friend breakup that significantly rocked my life. But since I only have 1.30 minutes (our data doesn’t lie) to capture your attention, I will keep this brief. Besides, there is a definite possibility that peeling back the layers from this mostly healed wound could bring up old heartbreak that may be better left buried. Let me pause here if I sound a bit melodramatic—I’m okay, really, but emotional scars can take time to mend. Perhaps the most ironic part of this story is that I am the one who initiated the breakup. You see, our friendship had turned toxic. So let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

I was a fairly new mom in a new town, and a newlywed (lots of firsts). Our young family moved to Melbourne in hopes of finding thrilling careers, experiencing cultural diversity, and making friendships with people from all walks of life. And that’s when I met her. She was magazine-cover beautiful, with blonde tresses and clear blue eyes. But beyond the physical, she captured my attention with her animated personality, her enthusiasm, and our shared passion. We were both retail assistants in a high-end designer boutique with dreams of working in fashion someday—her as a photographer, me as a writer.

One day, after another quiet, uneventful shift, I came up with an idea for a new website that she loved. We jumped into it full speed, with nary a business plan or a contract in sight. In our case, the old adage “friends and business don’t mix” rang true. (Except the alarm bells didn’t ring until it was too late.) She pushed for us to turn our website into a company and make it official. She was seven years my junior and willing to take financial risks; I was a mom with a child to feed. To this day, I don’t know if she ever understood my hesitations. She felt betrayed, and I felt trapped. Things got messy until eventually, I had to say, “I think we need to take a break.”

There is something binding about female friendships. They are deep, intimate, cherished connections, and incredibly important. Breaking up with her was probably one of the most devastating moments of my life, but I got through it. It took months (and a few steps), but I’m ready to share it all with you. Here it goes.