People say the hardest thing in life is to lose the one you love. What these people forgot to mention is who that person is. A spouse, a friend, a family member — all these are fine candidates for a loved one, but who makes the cut? Or do they all fall under the same umbrella?
Despite our differing backgrounds, most of us can agree that losing a family member would be a tough burden to handle. That leaves us with romantic partners and friends.
One could say that sorting through a breakup would trump the loss of a friend. Friends come and go, but the love of your life is intended to be with you forever.
I’d like to respectfully disagree with this statement.
While a breakup is never easy to handle, losing a friend shouldn’t be discounted. For me, falling out with a friend takes the cake.
Breaking up is a sudden action. It happens in one swift motion, similar to ripping off a Band-Aid. Except in this case, the Band-Aid creates a wound instead of healing it. One would know when broken up with. Whether through phone call, in person, or God forbid, text or even Facebook message — there’s no doubt that the relationship is over.
Broken friendships, however, take a more interesting path to disaster.
A friendship can go months, even years, without any sort of turbulence. Each friend can go about living life, possibly in different places. As time passes, they are unaware that their friendship is falling apart, until they wake up and realize that they haven’t spoken to their best friend in four years.
After a few minutes surfing through their ex-best friend’s Facebook page with statuses featuring someone new as their best friend, they realize their friendship is broken beyond repair.
This is because of the idea that friends are expendable. We’re socialized to believe that it’s necessary to have multiple friends. If one friend is busy, we move onto the next one. If one friend isn’t interested in seeing the movie you are, you’ll find one who does — different friends for different situations. This idea perpetuates that it’s easy to make friends and replace them.
While it’s easy to make acquaintances that fit from occasion to occasion, friends who impact you as strongly as great loves are hard to come by. Friends shouldn’t be used as temporary objects, replaced whenever a new, cooler model comes along. Because what if we did that with love? How far would we go if we threw away every great love because it was inconvenient or we wanted to know if something better was going to come along?
There’s a saying that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If we have everything you need in one or two friends, why are we so eager to expand our friendship to everyone we come in contact with? Four thousand Facebook acquaintances amount to nothing if none of them have your back.
I believe the words “best friend” should equate the word “love” in the sense that they should be saved for the people who really mean the most to you, not thrown around like everyday slang. Friendships should be cherished just as much as relationships, because in the end, who other than your best friend is going to be there to pick up the pieces of a broken heart when you’re too weak to do so?
When it comes to a fallout or a breakup, both are bound to happen at least once in our lifetimes. But like fighting for love, we should fight for our friendships as well.
Strong friendships have to be invested in; we shouldn’t just let nature take its path, burning bridges and estranging friends. No matter how hectic our lives may be, we should spend as much time with friends as we do dating.
Losing a love is just as painful as losing a friend; both make an impact on your life and both should be dealt with seriously.
While the idea of loved ones varies from person to person, to me, friends rank just as high on that list as anyone else. They shouldn’t be taken for granted.
Keep your relationships close, but keep your friendships even closer.
Ask JASON PHAM about his best friend at firstname.lastname@example.org.