Beth Books Read

The One About Friends

At the suggestion of my bloggy sister Charlotte, I just finished a fantastic book on friendship, called Best Friends Forever. It’s an in depth look at female friendships and relationships and how many of them don’t truly last forever. The book really touches on how to cope when you go through a friend breakup. It helps you identify the kinds of relationships in your life and what kind of friend you are and also how to be a better friend and to navigate the waters of friendship as you go through life. It’s truly a fantastic read and one that I’ve been needing in my life for quite some time to be perfectly honest.

I touched a bit on friendship in an earlier blog post this summer. I talked about the reason, season and lifetime relationships that we have and that I’m thankful to have lifetime relationships in my life, but that I still occasionally wonder what went wrong in some of the other ones. Here’s a little history I haven’t really talked about much before.  About four years ago I went through a pretty nasty friend breakup and it left me reeling for a really long time. I found myself pretty closed off to the idea of letting someone in my inner circle like that again. Eventually though I did. I connected with someone on a deeper level and it was wonderful and amazing until it suddenly wasn’t. Earlier this year I went through the same thing with this new person that I went through four years ago. And I found myself wondering how could this have happened to me again?

Well, the book really helps explain why these things happen. The author talks about how in reality, friendships are not the way they are portrayed on TV and in the movies. Life is not The Babysitters Club, the Friends women, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, or Sex in the City. Friendships will come and go and ebb and flow. Some of us are lucky enough to have friendships that do stick and last through the years and the changes we go through and as I’ve said before, I do have a couple of those special people in my life and I am beyond thankful that I do. But the majority of our friendships are going to eventually end. It’s part of growing. It doesn’t mean anything is wrong with any of us. In many cases, it is sometimes for the best when some of these friendships end. It doesn’t mean it might not still hurt when it happens, but you might see in the end you’re better off.

Another awesome thing about the book is that the author interviewed tons of different women who took a survey on friendship that she had put together and she used many of their real life examples so it was easier to relate to in many situations. I also appreciated that she talked to women of a variety of ages, some even as old as 70. Friendship can be difficult at any age. I know I have struggled at many different points in my life from my childhood to my 30s, so it’s comforting to know I’m not alone in that.

I will say if you read this book it is a little dated as it is about ten years old, so when the author talks about social media and friendships, social media wasn’t anything like it is now. I think social media has actually complicated friendship a bit more than it’s helped. It is definitely helpful for maintaining long distance relationships, but I think it can also do a lot of harm, but that would take a whole separate post for another day

All that aside, I really found this book valuable. The insights the author provides, the examples, and just overall feeling validated in my struggles with friendship really made this one of the best books I’ve read this year. I strongly recommend it, even if you have amazing friendships, I think anyone can get something out of it.

It’s also helped me take a good look at myself and the type of person I want to be and the type of people I want to have around me. I’m not anti-friends. I’m definitely still guarded having gone through friend breakups so close together, but I’m still open to meeting new people and forming new relationships. I’m also inspired to go to some friends I’ve lost touch with and reaching out to reconnect. I haven’t been perfect either. I’m not without fault as well in some relationships. I can try to be a better friend too. After all isn’t that what part of my shine for 2019 is all about? Being a light to others?

To those who have stood by me through thick and thin, I appreciate and love you more than words. And to those I’ve lost for one reason or another, I still love you. I still thank you for your place in my life and you will always have a place in my heart. A friend shared this on Facebook the other day and I thought it would be a good place to end this post. I’m grateful for any and all who have been in my life journey.

Further Reading:

Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with a Best Friend by Irene S. Levine

The Friends We Keep – My Pixie Blog

On Female Friendships – My 30 Something Adventures

The Intricacy of Friendship – The Inbetween is Mine

 

6 thoughts on “The One About Friends

  1. I just got goosebumps reading this, Beth. Obviously I can relate to this so very much. I also think it really sucks to lose two really powerful friendships so close together (and yes, within 4 years is close). Sometimes it’s not about the friendships themselves, but about our place in them. The whole square peg, round hole. Like in another life, you could have had quite a ride! But maybe now circumstances are so different, and it’s too difficult to meet each other’s needs. I liked that part about the book a lot. And also the woman who accidentally emailed someone much older than her, and how they started an odd friendship. Typically we stay friends with women in our age group, because we understand and go through similar things in life, but it’s nice to branch out from that and befriend people because there is a shared commonality there. I always think about this woman I used to work with when I was working in the city. She was about 30 years my senior and just this spunky wild woman–I just loved everything about her. She lost her battle with cancer, but I truly think that we were in each other’s lives for a reason, and even know, I sometimes ask “What would Roberta do?” 🙂

    I’m glad you enjoyed this book, too. I just finished it too, and though there were some outdated social media references (IS ANYONE USING MYSPACE ANYMORE??) there was a lot to really learn from–especially WHY some friends just grow apart. Also I love that quote at the end–I firmly believe that myself.

  2. Thank you for sharing this with us Beth, I can understand how difficult losing a friend after 4 years was for you. Then letting someone else in and having the same thing happen must be quite a painful experience.

    This book sounds really good and I’d like to read it. I think female friendships can be complex at times and couldn’t agree more with your thoughts on social media complicating things. For me it is an easy way to stay up to date with friends far away but it brings with it some negatives and can be tricky.

    FB in particular has highlighted how fake some friendships are. When someone tells you how awful a friend has been to them and how they are drained and tired of the drama, then days later they are #havingthebestday and #blessed spending time with that same friend. I don’t get that and I’m sure others can relate. It makes one reevaluate those friendships. I’m more than just someone to tag on FB you know what I mean? It has made me ask myself if I’m being invited to things to make the photo contain more people or because I’m genuinely seeing as a good friend. Some people collect friends like a hobby and life is too short to just be a number.

  3. Great post! I’ve definitely have some friend drama and lost friends and a lot of it was around the same time – within a few years of each other – so that was a really tough time. I’m glad for the friends that I do have, though, and I try and stay in touch with them as much as possible. Some are definitely closer than others, but that happens. It’s fine to have different types of friends.

    -Lauren

  4. I need to read this book. Thanks for alerting me to it. Girlfriends are a huge part of my life so I want to understand women better to keep those relationships alive. (I know how to deal with male-friends.)

  5. I’m intrigued and definitely would like to read this book. It’s true, friendships ebb and flow and I don’t really have a problem with that… but I do often wonder about the people that completely disappeared from my friendship circle. It’s hard for me to let go 😉

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