For years, she was the Anne Perkins to my Leslie Knope, then as if overnight, she became the Cersei Lannister to my Arya Stark.
There are lots of ways that a relationship can deteriorate. Sometimes people just awkwardly grow apart; slowly making less and less plans together, branching out into different social circles, searching for fulfillment in different places and different ways. Sometimes a connection just isn’t strong enough to survive time and distance; that is to say, a sudden change like a big move or a new job bursts a friendship bubble. Then there are wicked betrayals that really tempt you to use those sweet Judo moves you’d learned at summer camp way back when.
No matter how it has happened, losing your best-vina really sucks—suddenly, a support system you’ve had disappears and you feel lost in the lurch. You’ll start to notice all the ways that specific person has radiated warmth and comfort into your life, how confident that friendship made you feel, how much being able to talk to someone who was always on your side—even when they were disagreeing with you—really mattered.
How do you bounce back from something like that?
Well, like this:
1. Do a post-mortem. Mull over what fundamentally made the friendship great and what caused it to end. Learn from your collective mistakes (both yours and hers) and find at least one significant positive takeaway.
2. Don’t obsess over social media, old texts, or drag mutual friends into the aftermath. Just let it go. Unless you’re getting paid by BRAVO or E! or MTV to instigate drama in front of camera crews, you’re probably better of finding something healthy and useful to do with your time.
3. Immediately find one activity to focus all your excess energy on. This is a great time to start a new project, take on some extracurricular classes, pick up a new hobby or start a workout regimen.
4. Invest some time in exploring other human connections. It’s OK to lean on your family and your significant other(s), but understand that they will never be able to take the place of your best-vina. All of our relationships are special and meaningful in their own ways, which is why human connections are always on our minds.
5. Create some new rituals to reinvigorate the spirit. Try to dive deeper into your work. Discover new personal haunts. You will miss your former best-vina a lot and it will take quite a while to forge a new friendship that is just as deep. But if you try to recreate Netflix nights you used to have or visit the same cafe that you used to frequent together, it will keep you from moving on as fast as you could otherwise.
6. If you really need some sure-fire support, you can jump into a few therapy sessions, especially if you were already dealing with a lot or feeling super low before the friendship went sideways. There is no shame in needing someone to talk to and trained professionals can help you deal with a great variety of problems.
My best-vina and I had a pretty sour break-up. She eventually reached out to me, about a year after we’d stopped speaking to one another, and initially I found it to be somewhat cathartic. I think she expected to rekindle things and even though we tried to meet in the middle, deep down I knew it was never going to be the same. As it turns out we weren’t meant to be forever-vinas—it’s OK that it didn’t last because her friendship was a gift nonetheless.
Looking for a new vina to help you through your BFF breakup? Start swiping here.