Relationships

11 Great Reader Comments on Friendship

On Friendship

Trick question: What’s better than Oprah? (Answer: Oprah and Gayle.) Because friends make everything better. Here are 11 comments that made me cry multiple times while putting this post together…

On traditions:

“I started a tradition of celebrating ‘friendiversaries’ when we hit big milestones – five years of friendship, 10 years, 15, 20, 25. It’s incredible to think that sometimes these people have been in your life for decades. We’ll decide on something – a picnic, a spa treatment, an overnight trip – and have quality one-on-one time without kids, partners, pets, etc. Highly encourage others to start up the tradition!” — Cindy

“My mom held a weekly soup night all through the winters. All our friends at school had a standing invitation. She invested in a few crockpots and would cook two different types of soup and put out bread. Sometimes four people would show up and sometimes 30, but our friends absolutely loved it. I’m almost thirty now and anytime I run into an old high school friend, they’ll say without fail, ‘Remember Soup Night? Man, that was the best!'” — Anna

On Friendship

On friendship through the years:

“As a kid and teen, I was a real steamroller. I’ll never forget my best friend calling me out for my failures to listen. We took a long walk and she told me how much she wanted to trust that she could talk to me and I’d really listen, and she asked me to change. Ten years later, I still think of that conversation as one of the most loving gestures anyone has made to me (and I told her husband it’s the kind of love he could look forward to forever, in my toast on her wedding night). It’s a huge investment to ask someone you love to love you better, and then to stick around while they learn to do it. That lifelong friend has formed my world.” — M.M.

“Last year, my four- and five-year-olds asked me how I met their ‘Auntie Kate.’ It struck me that I’d been asked so many times about how I met my husband, but never about one of the great friends of my life. It brought me to tears to pause and think about the importance and mutuality of our actions in those first moments of friendship, and what that’s meant over the last 16 years.” — Candice

On breakups (and reunions):

“Friendships are love stories that have complexities, as well. My childhood friend and I remained close for decades, going to college together, having boyfriends who were roommates, then living in neighboring neighborhoods — until we had a falling out in our late 20s. There was silence for a long time — through major milestones: weddings, children. I often felt a void; I would see things I knew she would love or appreciate, but I came to accept that our friendship was part of my past. Then one night, my husband encouraged me to have some ‘me’ time. I was walking aimlessly in Manhattan, with no destination, and suddenly found my old friend on a corner, both of us looking at each other in disbelief. We hugged. We exchanged phone numbers. Later she texted me, saying she’d love to catch up over coffee. Coffee turned into hours of talking through everything from wedding planning to labor contractions to pre-K applications. She’s a piece of home I can’t find anywhere else.” — Lorraine

On being there through hard times:

“At a very scary time in my life, I was quite ill and navigating the healthcare system, and I broke down talking to one of my girlfriends. We were sitting cross-legged facing each other at either ends of the couch and she crawled towards me, held my face in her hands and said, ‘I won’t let you leave me.’ I had a husband and family, but knowing my friend was there for me helped me so much. I knew I was loved.” — Robin

“When I was getting divorced and my world was falling apart, my best girlfriend said, ‘Let’s buy a house and move in together! Let’s raise our kids as siblings. We’ll take turns doing laundry and cooking. We’ll do yoga together every night.’ It was just a fantasy for so many reasons, but at that moment it was PERFECT. It made me realize I had a ‘wife’ and I always would, one that could not and would not divorce me. Female friendships are critical before, during and after the ‘happily ever after.’” — Erika

On making friends:

“My four-year-old is basically a professional friend-maker. She will walk up to any kid at a playground and say ‘Do you want to be my friend?’ It’s almost always a yes, and within five minutes they’re happily playing. Here’s the kicker: When it’s time to leave, she’ll find the kid’s relevant grownup and ASK FOR THEIR NUMBER. So often we avoid connecting with people because we don’t want to seem overenthusiastic or ‘weird,’ but what’s more flattering than having someone say they think you’re great and would like to meet again? Friendship starts with friendliness, not coolness.” — Sophia

“My young adult son has developmental disabilities that are difficult to describe, but in a phrase: he’s the most joyful, thoughtful, friendly ’12-year-old’ in a 25-year-old body! We can be at a mall, or in the hardware store, and out of nowhere, someone waves, smiles or shouts with a surprised look of pleasure at spotting him! Wallace grins and gives them an excited ‘Hey!’ right back. When I ask, ‘Who was that?’ It’s almost always the same answer: ‘My friend!’ After all these years of chance encounters with ‘friends’ everywhere we go, I’ve concluded that absolutely everyone he rubs shoulders with truly is his friend.” — Jo

On friend love:

“One time I was trying to access our mutual credit card account online and I couldn’t log in because my husband set up all the passwords. One of the security questions was ‘Who is your best friend?’ After trying EVERY GUY HE’D EVER BEEN A GROOMSMAN FOR IN THE HISTORY OF WEDDINGS, I found myself unreasonably annoyed and shot him a text that said ‘FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHO IS YOUR BEST FRIEND.’ Ten seconds later my phone buzzed with the exact answer I needed. ‘Megan,’ it said. (Me.) Well played, husband. Well. Played.” — Megan

“I think the world of my best friend. And I think it’s significant that we’re bound by nothing except choosing each other over and over and over again. I love her not because I’m expected to — I want to. And I want to do it well.” — Kendra

On Friendship

Do you have any stories or advice you’d add? As always, we’d love to hear.

P.S. An ode to female friendship and 15 funny reader comments.

  1. Charlie says...

    Wow – Michelle, you are not alone in this experience. I’ve experienced this too and know a few other (wonderful) people who have as well. It can be so painful to loose a friend: I find myself asking why, wasn’t I good enough? But you are awesome! Your feelings make perfect sense and are totally normal. Accept them + hold them kindly. :)

  2. Alex says...

    My mom just turned 60 this year and we threw her a surprise party. It was a great night–my mom is very social and has a ton of friends who came out to celebrate, so of course it ended up being an emotional night. She got a little tipsy and confessed to me how devastated she was when I left for college. I’m 33 now and this was news to me, so I told her she did a good job hiding it. She squeezed my arm and said, “how could I not be, you were my best friend.” It filled me up and broke my heart at the same time.

  3. Mikayla says...

    I left my religion recently and assumed, naively, that I would have to leave all the relationships associated with it behind as well. I was a crappy friend – I didn’t even tell all these people I loved why I wasn’t coming around or answering their texts. Then a few months ago one of these friends sent a Hail Mary: “I’m having a baby and I would love for you to come to my shower.” I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW SHE WAS PREGNANT.

    I realized that just because my life had drastically changed, these people were important enough in my life to give them a chance. I had just assumed rejection and never given them a chance! I went to the shower and stayed obnoxiously long trying to work up the courage to explain this to her. After I did (very clumsily), she just said, “OK.” Now she has a beautiful baby boy and we have plans to go out for margaritas in a few weeks.

  4. Katherine says...

    I’m 55 and my daughter is 19 — we are going on a girl’s getaway this weekend with a friend of both of ours who is in her 30s. I’m very close to my daughter but this mutual friend Rachel is true gift to both of us. This post reminded me how incredibly lucky we are to have her in our lives!

  5. El says...

    What a lovely post. This is such a gentle and pure corner of the internet!
    My partner and I have just spent three years of slow graft in London creating a brilliant community of people I really value, and it hasn’t always been easy. I am someone who takes a long time to feel really comfortable with people, though once you’re in with me you are IN!

    But now we are in the middle of a move to NYC in a few months and I am BRICKING it, and also trying to trust that we’ve done this before. I read some quote a few weeks ago about how when you are standing on a packed tube, the likelihood is that a high proportion of the people around you are bloody fantastic. Am trying to make thinking like that a habit :–)

  6. Love this post so much and definitely stealing the idea about friend anniversaries! I have several long-term friendships that I cherish but none that live geographically close to me :( I’d love to do a COJ meetup, anyone in San Jose, California that’s interested??

    • Asia says...

      One of the (many) things I love about the COJ comment section is seeing your comments! It’s always the best surprise! This post made me think of you and smile. Thank you for introducing me to COJ all those years ago ❤️ Anyone in the San Jose area would be lucky to have you as a friend.

  7. Emi says...

    My sisters are very close. I am close with them as well, but I live on the other side of the world and they have husbands who are best friends and children who adore each other. So they are really close.

    One day when while visiting, I was chatting with my then three year old niece. We were discussing our family tree and I was explaining to her that I was her mother’s sister. Then, when I told her that her other aunt was her mother’s sister as well, her eyes widened and she was taken aback. After a few second she finally squealed “That’s soooo nice, cause they’re best friends!”

  8. Hopeless_ Freindmatic says...

    I was SUPER sad and jealous while beginning to read this article and comments, because I do not have any friends really at the age of 35 and felt hopeless that I would never get the connection that I’ve desiring since I could remember. I’ve been ‘grieving’ someone who I thought wanted to be my friend and initiated getting my phone number, but nothing, sighs….this person had just the personality that resonated with me and I always thought she was so witty and different. While I began to read more of the comments, hooe suddenly swelled within! I am favoriting this article as this was the hope that I needed, and maybe a Godsend:)

    • Hopeless_ Freindmantic says...

      Excuse the typos! Auto correction is not beeing consistent on this Droid lol!

    • charlie says...

      Good luck with your search! I think it’s so difficult to make friends as an adult (actually, COJ has an article on this). It’s beautiful that some folks have friends from college and childhood, but for many of us who have moved or other reasons, it’s tough! I live in DC and am very social but struggled for 7 years to find true friends. (And I”m not a weirdo or anything :)). I ended up trying bumblebff – an app for making friends and met some lovely women who were having the same issue. Your soulsisters are out there: don’t give up hope!

  9. Leah says...

    My best friend has been the other love of my life (besides my husband). Now that I’m in my thirties I’ve come to realize the rarity and spectacularity of our friendship, it’s a friendship akin to those found in storybooks. She’s been my sounding board, biggest support, my own personal comedian and has centred me for over 15 years. I’ve always said I’m so lucky to have found two soul mates in this world.

  10. Megan says...

    I make friends easily and quickly, and my husband makes fun of me for having too many friends (he can count his “best friends” on one hand, while I’d need a few extra hands to count mine). My group of college best friends was (and still is!) large, about 10 women, and I always struggled with making sure nobody felt left out of group activities, meaning I got less quality time with each person. I envied the closeness of another, smaller group of girls — four — that everyone knew were BFFs and did everything together. It seemed so easy and special!

    Years later, in grad school I quickly befriended three other women and was overjoyed to be part of a BFF foursome everyone recognized, but you know what? I missed out on so many other friendships that first year because I was completely fixated on making this small group feel closer! My second year I made a real effort to branch out and it made ALL the difference… My grad school “best friends” rival my college girls in number now, and I love each one so much!

  11. Nicole says...

    This post, like much of Cup of Jo’s posts, is just so wholesome & pure :) I’ve been reading your blog since before you were married, Joanna, & over the years, you’ve begun to feel like a friend to me. I’m excited to “see you” by reading your posts daily. And whenever I want to share something insightful that I read, I’ll tell my husband or best friend, “This is what Joanna said today…” as if we had just met for coffee, hahah. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way about your blog! Thank you for always being there.

    • Charlotte Bennett says...

      I think there are loads of us who do just that, all over the world! I certainly do!

  12. Emily says...

    I am SO grateful for my incredible friends, and for family who also feel like best friends. I would love to read a post on friend breakups, though. I’ve gone through my fair share of them, often with new-ish friends who have quickly become best friends, and always find them mystifying and so, so painful. I had a really awful friend breakup with the girl who I thought was my Best Friend after a childhood of what I described above. We had so much in common, had the best time together, could be honest and real and work through conflict… and I was so confused and hurt when she suddenly moved on from me, with no explanation. I think it hurts more because unlike a romantic breakup, you kind of expect friends to always be in your life, especially friends who you’ve shared so many intimate and personal things with. I counted on her, and when she left, it left a big hole that took a while to fill. Also unlike a relationship, friendship breakups so often rely on ghosting; even in a years-long, super significant friendship there is rarely a clear conversation severing the relationship and giving reasons why. I’m working on accepting the many modalities of friendship– old friends who I can count on but don’t feel so close to day to day, super close, newish work friends, my boyfriend and partner, etc. and loving and appreciating each for what they are, but sometimes still feel sad that I’m missing (and have always missed) that lasting best, best friend.

  13. Le says...

    I read posts about people reaching out to their depressed friends and not giving up, and I admire them and feel ashamed. I have a close friend who has been struggling with situational depression, and after wading through it for a while with her, I need some distance. How best to navigate friendship with someone who is depressed, support the people who are most burdened, and also take care of yourself and what you need?

    • charlie says...

      Find ways to limit your time, but still make time. Let her know you love her and support her. Depression can make people feel isolated, alone, and worthless. not having people when you need them most can magnify these feelings and be devastating. You don’t need to give until it’s effecting you negatively, but do give what you can to let her know she is loved, not alone, and that you’re here for her. And read up online about how to talk to someone with depression: it’s not fixable, reminding her that her life is good isn’t helpful. Just listen, validate her feelings, and remind her that it will get better. Good luck!

  14. M says...

    Robin’s quote just made me tear up.

  15. nora says...

    When I was pregnant with my son, I would chat with a women in my prenatal yoga class. One night after class we were talking and walking and realized we lived down the block from each other. We bonded over missing wine and a love of fake meat. Our 5 year old boys are now best friends, like absolute, can’t live without each other best friends and we feel so lucky to pretty much all see each other whenever we feel like it (the husbands are also part of this great friend group). A few weeks ago, my grandma died and I was heartbroken. I texted said friend, asking if she could come over for a farewell tequila shot to my abuelita. She showed up 5 minutes later with soyrizo in her hand.

  16. Jo says...

    When I began this (heart-warming, eye-opening, thought-provoking!!) post while eating lunch, I was SO taken back. I was eating noodles, got to the paragraph that begins “my young adult son has developmental disabilities…” and I perked up because MY son does and I thought I was finding someone like me. Well, little did I realize, it was MY old comment! haha… I choked on my noodles, laughed out loud, then burst into tears at the words written, reminding me what a blessing he is (even in his 24/7 often overwhelming-ness) Thank you CoJ! This had me teary yesterday, even before I got to the comments, and wow, these comments have it all!… and I returned today to be sure I didn’t miss out on anything new, and I wasn’t disappointed! What a beautiful community here AND, I totally love seeing how many are trying to meet up IRL!!… I hope each of you get to!!
    xx

    • Leah says...

      This comment made my day Jo. What a wonderful experience to have your words shared with this lovely community!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Jo!!! Sending all the love to you and your sweet son. Wish we could all beam ourselves there to eat noddles together and chat for hours :)

  17. Deb says...

    LOVED this :-). I’m fortunate to have wonderful friends but unfortunate that they are not particularly geographically close to me and if I could change one thing about my life it would be this. Friends are everything :-).

  18. My best friend and I celebrate 30 years of friendship later this year. We are godmothers to each other’s children, she was my bridesmaid, she is my other sister.

    My actual sister ghosted me two years ago (in the aftermath of our mum’s death) and while that is incredible painful, I am so thankful to have my friend.

    There was an early comment where someone wrote about thanking their friend for choosing her and continuing to do so every day … this is what I will be telling my friend today.

    I love this CofJ community!

  19. Emily says...

    We rented a home in Vermont for our 15 year anniversary with two couples who are dear friends. When we arrived our friends sat us down and played a video they had made. It was a collection of videos and memories of our wedding day, us as a couple and how we have impacted lives, and friends’ recollections of memories. They had reached out to our network of family and friends and asked people to submit videos, stories, words-then they created a video collection with music and photos from our wedding day plus these beautiful videos of friends from all corners of our lives talking about us. It ended with a video they secretly captured of our 11 year old son. I sobbed at the kindness and beauty my friends displayed in making sure we felt supported and celebrated in our marriage and individually. It was the most meaningful thing that has ever been given to me.

  20. I was dumped (on my birthday, double ouch) last year by my best friend and it devastated me. Part of the pain was feeling like I was totally alone- romantic breakups are so often talked about but friend breakups rarely come up! What helped was having a distant acquaintance reach out to say the same thing had happened to her. Just the brief text commiseration was a balm. This thread did much the same, thank you all! Friend breakups are so brutal.

  21. Moriah says...

    It’s been so helpful to read all of these comments about friend breakups. I think all of my loved ones are tired of hearing about how much I miss my best friend. I deleted all the pictures of me with old boyfriends but I can’t get myself to get rid of any old pictures with my ex-best friend Heather. I want to talk to her all the time, but I have to respect her boundaries which includes no longer speaking to me. It’s so hard and painful. Worse than any dumb guy who ever broke my heart.

  22. Michelle says...

    I am reading these with tears in my eyes. Three years ago my best friend, the girl I imagined I’d be sitting on a rocking chair next to, ghosted me. After a big move, a baby and another big move I have felt a massive void in my life. She was my maid of honor, my sister, my therapist, my go to party in a person. I went through two years of therapy to “get over her” and have felt like that part of my life has been resolved except deep down there has always been this feeling that I have that feels maybe like I’m not really over it. Maybe that’s true but I just realized that any anger that I still have about it is not because she ghosted me but because she was fitting that role in my life and I didn’t make the time or space for other people to be “BFF #2,3 etc”. I’m frustrated with myself – almost like an ex-girlfriend would be after dating a shitty partner for X amount of years because it sort of feels like those years were wasted on them instead of a more quality person. GAH! Clearly I am still sorting out my emotions but thank you for being here and bringing up these lovely/hard/life topics.

    • Moriah says...

      Michelle, I totally relate! Currently in therapy working on the loss of a friendship. I feel like it’s been harder to recover from than any breakup. Solidarity sister. We will find more good friends!

    • Hannah says...

      I lost my best friend about a year ago. We were roommates and it reached a point where she would walk out of a room if I entered it. I still don’t fully understand why she wouldn’t communicate her actual feelings to me. About six months ago I realized I was experiencing grief and told my partner it felt like someone had died. I’m FINALLY starting therapy to process the loss. Moriah, it’s also been worse for me than any break up I’ve ever had. I moved to a new city 6 months ago, and it’s been so hard because of how often I want to tell my ex-best friend about EVERYTHING — “do you know this band I just saw? I thought of you when __ happened the other day! When are you going to come visit? I can’t wait to show you ALL THE THINGS!” I’ve definitely prioritized communicating better with my partner, the new friends I’m making, and old friends I’d been distant with the past couple years. I still can’t decide if I’ll ever try to reconnect with her. I think the main part standing in the way is that I’m not sure of everything that I contributed to the falling out. Hoping that therapy will help.

    • Moriah says...

      Hannah, I’m so sorry to hear about what you are going through! Unless someone has experienced I don’t think they understand how deeply the loss affects you. I’ve been writing a lot of poetry to work out my feelings about it. My friend did reach out to me at one point wanting to talk about why weren’t close, and I turned her down out because I was feeling so hurt I didn’t think it would be a productive conversation. I still stand by my decision, but my therapist helped me draft a text to her apologizing for not taking that opportunity. She responded kindly, but I still don’t know if we’ll ever be as close as we once were. I have to respect her boundaries in not wanting to talk. I wish you peace and understanding on your journey through this!

    • Michelle says...

      Moriah, THANK YOU. I believe that we WILL find some good people. My old therapist said to me that this person served me in that point of my life and it was just the end of our story. After that discussion it became very clear to me that I had grown in one direction and her in the other. What I believe made her ghost me was that I changed our narrative. I had finally held her accountable for her actions and before I would just excuse her negligence as being a free spirit. It’s still shocking that the one time in 9 years I called her out on shitty behavior was all it took for her to bail. The good thing is I’ve gone from having dreams about slapping her to now having dreams where I just walk past her on the street and smile…but keep on walking. PROGRESS!

      As I navigate this adult friend making (plus as a mom) territory I find myself feeling so self conscious! It’s already a weird dynamic but then add in the worry that maybe whatever the reason your friend bailed on you is “shining through” with a new acquaintance. It’s exhausting. HA!

      COJ Team – I remember last year you posted something on how to make new friends as an adult and I remember all the commenters were creating meetups IRL. I feel like anyone that is a COJ reader would be an A+ friend in my book and you should totally create a friend making app – kind of like the Peanut one for moms.

      Hannah – it gets better and therapy is wonderful if even just to vent.

  23. Ashley Prillaman says...

    Ugh the husband thing made me cry darn it.

  24. Lee says...

    I loved reading this post. Nearly all the quotes resonated with me in some way. My girlfriends are some of the most important people in my life. I don’t know where I would be without them. My very best friend and I call each other every day. And no one even calls anymore! And we always answer the phone even if we can’t really talk. The thought of losing her at some point in my life makes me sad. I forwarded this post to her.

  25. Katie says...

    On friends:
    Joanna, one time not long ago I thought I saw you across the street in New York City and my impulse was to raise my hand in an emphatic wave and call out, “Jo!”

    And then I realized, I don’t actually know you. You would have no idea who I was! But for a split second I forgot that we weren’t actual friends! (It wasn’t you, by the way.)

    You, your contributors, and your readers have built a community that feels like sitting in one of our living rooms drinking wine, eating cheese, and talking about life, as real friends do. Female friendship is pure magic and some days I truly survive on it. I’m thankful for my real and virtual communities of wonderful girlfriends.

    PS. I agree with other comments about CoJ meet ups! Which of our type-A NYCers wants to organize that? :)

    PPS. Sending love and hugs to anyone feeling lonely and in need of a friend. <3

    • HH says...

      This. 100%, Katie.

      I cannot even count how many times I’ve come to Cup of Jo (in the past 8 years!!) in search of a particular article and sometimes even a comment I’ve read in search of comfort, familiarity and community. I never leave the page feeling unfulfilled.

      I am fortunate to have quite a few very good friends, whom I can call on for anything, but there’s something about having this blog and this community at my finger tips, at pretty much any time, when I want to feel connected to something and someone(s) larger.

      Truly amazed, and ever so thankful to you, Jo, and all who contribute both in articles and comments, for making this world feel so vast yet so intimate.

      xoxo

  26. A few weeks ago I was headed to a friend’s house for the afternoon. On the way over I was thinking about all of my current life stresses (my sister recently lost her boyfriend in a car crash, new responsibilities at work were overwhelming me), and by the time I arrived I was in tears. I walked right into her house and said “Don’t be alarmed but I’m crying!” We made tea and talked through everything and played with her baby and did crafts. I was so comforted by the fact that I knew I could walk right into her house sobbing and land in open arms. It didn’t make everything right, but it did make it easier.

    • CEW says...

      Sending you all my positive vibes. Life is hard.. it’s good to have those sorts of friends. Take care.

  27. Renee says...

    This was such a beautiful post!
    My husband and I left Brooklyn three years ago and moved to a new city where we didn’t know a soul. We found out that we were expecting our first baby on the same day. We asked everyone we knew to connect us with their sister’s husband’s cousin, etc. and threw ourselves into the strange and uncharted world of making new adult friends. While there were many days I wanted to just stay home and Facetime my sister, 3 years later I am beyond grateful for the brave moments where I asked for the cool girl in yoga class’s phone number or invited a mom who made me laugh at the playground over for coffee.
    I just gave birth to our second baby last month, and the community we have built here has shown up for us in such beautiful ways; bringing dinner, taking our toddler on playdates, or stopping by unannounced to do the dishes and drop off lunch. We truly have created our ‘village’ and can’t imagine raising our babies without their support!
    It can feel scary and certainly uncomfortable to put yourself out there as the ‘new kid’ in town, but I am here to tell you it is so worth it.

    • india says...

      Renee, you’ve inspired me to ask my pilates teacher out on a “friend date”. She so cool and when I met her a few months ago I was like, ‘wow, she would make a great friend’ but even after the first “step” of following each other on instagram we’re still only “pilates friends” instead of actual real life friends haha. So tomorrow after class I’m going to ask her if she wants to get coffee one day soon. I’ve written it down and put it out into the universe so I have to do it now!! Wish me luck :)

  28. sydney burniston says...

    You are phenomenal! You’re situation sounds very challenging. Keep doing your best :)

  29. Allyson says...

    I always tell my longest, closest friends that I love them. They’re the ones who star in my best college stories. They’re the ones I call with big news. They’re both hundreds and hundreds of miles away, but when we text or call or finally get to see each other I make sure I say “I love you Shan” or “I love you Grant.”

    • Meg says...

      I am a big “I love you” person too! I think it came from my parents who would tell myself and my siblings multiple times a day that we were loved. And for some friends who I know it makes a little uncomfortable I occasionally follow it up with “and I don’t need you to say anything in response, I just want you to know that I love you” which always seems to make it a little less weird for them.

  30. Cindy says...

    I’m 51 and have never had close friendships that lasted. I’ve made friends over the years but they fizzled out when life changes happened: kids went to school, divorces, new boyfriends, new jobs, etc. So after a few years of close friendship, it would end, and I would miss it so very much.
    I suppose I was meant not to have a best friend since I grew up watching my mom live her life in solitary, raising her kids without any girlfriends at all. But I so long for a best friend.
    I did meet 3 women in my community a year and half ago and we do things together on a semi-routine basis but they all have kids the same age (while mine are grown), they have been in each others circle for years (while I am the newbie), and one is an absolute control freak. I love spending time with 2 of the women and can see them in my life years from now but the other one…not so much. I’m past the point of letting others dictate how I should be or what I should do and I think the friendship between her and I is doomed. We have a trip planned to Nashville in a few weeks and I am dreading every single minute of it because of her.
    I am so sad because I am truly missing that best friend relationship. Anyone near the Frankfort IL area that wants to get coffee and chat?

    • allegra says...

      When you know you have no interest in being friends with a person in a group setting then you have nothing to lose by politely standing your ground with her. Let her figure it out. The other two may be grateful who knows?

    • Ms. Cindy, I feel as you do (even though I am significantly younger). I’ve never had “best” friends, or the kind of relationships that last for decades (then again I’ve only been alive for 3). I grew up in a military family and when you move every 3 years, you get used to not have the continuous best friend you’ve known since kindergarten. I watched my mom never have those girlfriends either and I’ve always found this to be normal. I am consistently happier on my own but when things are particularly difficult with my husband and our marriage, or when I bursting with exciting news and desperately need to tell someone and have someone else be excited with me… I don’t have anyone, and I feel even lonelier. Maybe some of us weren’t meant to have best friends but to be able touch multiple people’s lives and, maybe more importantly, have multiple people touch OUR life.

      With that said, I live in the Nashville area and do hope that you have a wonderful trip to my city!! It has so much to offer and is a lot of fun, even being by yourself (which I am 99% of the time). We may not be of the same generation or anywhere close in age but if you’d like to have coffee while you are here, I would love to!

    • Darcy says...

      Don’t feel badly, Cindy. It’s a modern day, national shortcoming. No one knows how to be friends the way they did during our parents’ generation, and no one cares enough to try. It matters so much more to be busy. (“Imagine all the people who will think I’m important!” )

      Nothing to be done. Just keep your expectations low and try to live by example.

  31. Anne says...

    Friends are hard. I love people but I can never seem to let anyone all the way in. I feel like it takes me years to get comfortable with someone and am in awe of people that can just jump in and get close to people right away. It’s like that saying, “yes, we are open but the door is very heavy.” This is me! It’s taken years to get comfortable with the fact that this is how I am and that it’s ok.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      “yes, we are open but the door is very heavy” = that’s such a great way to describe yourself. i think you sound like an amazing person who is worth the wait!

    • ana says...

      That is a great saying – thanks for sharing :)

    • Caroline says...

      This is a great saying! Unfortunately I’m the same, it takes me forever to open up. And I think many people lack the patience to wait for the door to completely open, and give up on you before anything can develop.

    • Em says...

      Your post made my heart skip a beat Anne. I’ve just looked around myself lately and noticed… Noone. I’ve got a wonderful husband and beautiful daughter but no close friends. And it’s lonely. I’ve decided lately to practice letting people in, your metaphor of the heavy door is going to stay with me. Thank you x

  32. Ashley Koehn says...

    My younger sister has been my best friend since day 1.
    Growing up, when we’d get in a fight, our mom would make us sit in a room until we shared 5 affirmations about one another, and they could NOT be based on physical looks. Our mom called it “forced love,” but I honestly think it gave us the greatest base of friendship. Brilliant right? We’re now in our 30’s and giggle that we’re going to make our future kids and cousins do the same thing.

    I honestly haven’t gone a single day in the last 35 years without talking with Angela in some capacity and am crying typing this because I feel so SO lucky.

    • Em says...

      My mom made my twin sis (best friend, too, for 39 years!) and me hug and kiss to make up, which always embarrassed and grossed us out to no end! But I love this idea of instead giving five affirmations, not based on looks. I’m stealing that if I am ever able to have a sibling for my daughter! Wouldn’t be a bad thing to try with my husb., either, when we have an argument. Thanks, Ashley!

  33. Amanda says...

    I moved to a new city a couple of years ago, and I have been so moved by the sweetness of making new friends in my 30s. It’s hard, and it takes a certain vulnerability to ask a semi-stranger to spend time with you, so much like dating in a way! But I’ve experienced so many great moments of realization that someone is now a REAL friend – like when you can make last-minute plans for homemade dinner in your sweatpants on a Sunday night, or see a movie with them and their mom, or when you’re sick and they check in, or when they sheepishly share that they stalked your entire family on Facebook to learn the names of your 5 siblings LOL. Finding you’re at ease enough with someone to just BE, without trying to be cool. Little sparks of magic I’m truly grateful for.

  34. Jen says...

    “Are you one of the four?” had me in tears. Since 2nd grade I’ve been 1 of 4 friends who have been through thick and thin together. 22 years later, we live in different places and circles of life, but when we get together it’s just like old times. We all have spouses and children now so our get togethers are LOUD. But it is so much fun!

  35. Rachel says...

    I lost one of my best friends this month. And I’m pretty fucking pissed that there isn’t another word, a more powerful and transformative word, to use to describe our best friends, our chosen families. When I tell people I lost one of my best friends it doesn’t encapsulate that she was part of the creation of me and she was supposed to be there at the end of me. Before my friend passed, she wrote the following, “You are truly my soul mates too. It’s funny, while I look far into my future, I hope [husband’s name] is there, but what I truly envision is us all sitting around together with white hair (probably smoking weed because of all our ailments) talking about the past and the next activity we’re going to do together that day.” She was an amazing teacher and at her funeral, her students referred to our group of friends as “the four.” “Are you one of the four?” they would say. These four beautiful women are such a part of me that I feel absolute pride in who they are as human beings and I feel proud of myself for having parts of them inside me. Pure and messy and painful love. When someone who isn’t blood chooses to love you- well that’s everything.

    • annie says...

      i’m so so sorry for your loss of one of ‘the four.’ this sounds like an incredible friendship. and i agree–there should be that one word to sum up the friends who choose to make you their family. there’s nothing like that love. XO

  36. Megan Rowlinson says...

    I love the idea of friendiversaries. I just texted my 2 best friends with this idea because our 10 year is coming up. We focus so much on celebrating love anniversaries, but being friends with someone is just as an important milestone to celebrate. Life would be a lot harder without my 2 best friends. They have been there for me through the lowest of the lows and celebrated with me on wonderful moments in my life. Wilmington, DE

  37. Lauren says...

    So beautiful that she left them with such a gift <3

  38. Katie says...

    This post brought tears to my eyes. My husband is in academia, and so we have moved quite a bit for jobs. As an adult with small children and a job of my own, I have found it so hard to make friends. In fact, my husband and I have begun to notice a pattern. About a year into a new home (when we’ve “settled” after the frenzy of moves and school changes and new jobs), I get really, really sad. He reminds how long it took to find the good friends I’ve had in other places we’ve lived, that I’m likable, and that, if I can be patient, it’ll happen. That buoys me for a bit. And then, about two years in, it sort of does happen. I make a good friend or a small group of friends. But I’m still the new girl and that friend is still a new friend. And then we usually move again.

    We’re currently in a good spot; we have stable jobs that we like and are living in a small town that may well be our forever home. I know that the only way to make an old friend is to make a new friend. But man, am I ready for an old friend.

    • Emma says...

      <3 <3 <3 "But man, am I ready for an old friend"

      Katie, that speaks to me. My parents were foreign correspondents while I was growing up, and I moved around a fair amount as a kid. Then, for high school, I attended a K-12 private school in Brooklyn where the majority of the class had known each other their whole lives, and I was the new kid, trying to find my place.

      Then, after college, I moved to a new city.

      Everywhere I have ever gone, I have always had to make new friends. In some ways it's wonderful – I love meeting new people and being open to new experiences – but in other ways, I feel like I'll never be anyone's "someone" because …. well, they have old friends! It's my deepest fear, and biggest insecurity. I remember when the #NoNewFriends and #Squad hashtags became a thing, each time I saw one I'd get a little stomach drop, like I'd never fully be part of an OG Squad. I worry I will never shake this feeling.

    • E says...

      “I know that the only way to make an old friend is to make a new friend.”

      “I feel like I’ll never be anyone’s “someone” because …. well, they have old friends!”

      Katie! Emma! These comments! They could have been written right from my own heart, but it wouldn’t have been as eloquent. I know what you mean, profoundly. There’s a unique vulnerability required to trying to make friends when you’re not just expanding upon a network of already-close relationships, but building from the ground up. When you’re not able to approach potential new friends with the comforting context of a package deal, but are just offering up yourself – armor-free. I see you, and you both seem like you would make such lovely, deep, interesting, insightful old friends. x

    • E says...

      Katie, as someone who had to leave her “old friends” behind when making a major lifestyle change some years back, I deeply relate to feeling “ready for an old friend”. It feels sometimes like I am surrounded by people who have had the same friends for 5+ years, and how do you tell someone that you lost all your friendships when you left an abusive relationship and gave up drugs (as a working professional, you don’t). Instead, I look like an antisocial snob or social leper and that makes it even harder to make friends because people automatically assume there is something wrong with me.

      I really relate, even though we’re in different circumstances. Sending you a hug.

    • anne says...

      Aw Katie, I feel the same :( My husband is in academics too and when I tell people how many times I’ve moved they always ask “Navy?” No… academics :/ Anyway, I have been here in San Diego for almost two years now and I almost cried earlier today just in sadness at having had to say goodbye to so many good friends and at not having made those “old” friends here yet. It gets so much harder as you get older too. <3

    • Nicole says...

      Katie, Emma, E, and Anne – there are people who, no matter how many old friends they have, are always looking for more new-to-become-old friends! I know because I am one such person. My husband is not — his best friends are the guys he grew up with, plus one or two from college. He laughs at me when I gush about “new friends” because he “doesn’t need more friends!” but somehow I always DO!

      I make and keep friends from all stages of life — seriously, I just can’t quit people I like — and now that I’m a new-ish mom, I’m LOVING making new mom friends. I find them everywhere: mom-and-baby groups, local Facebook groups, playgrounds, friends-of-friends, etc.

      All this to say, there ARE people out there for you to find who would love to know you. If you’re in the Boston area, it could be me! Let me know :-)

    • Emma says...

      “When you’re not able to approach potential new friends with the comforting context of a package deal, but are just offering up yourself – armor-free. ”

      AHHH, E! This is so true. It really is an extra vulnerability to bring to the table. Thank you for the beautiful comment.

      And to Nicole: me too! I absolutely love meeting new people and make new friends easily – moving a lot forces this skill on you, haha. But it can still be lonely and scary in the beginning, putting yourself out into the world with an open heart!

      Love to all of you!

  39. Fernanda Abreu says...

    Thank you so much for this! I needed it so much, and I did not even know it. I’m an introvert and I have a one-year-old baby, working full time. And still I deal with depression and with ADD without medicines because of breastfeeding. I’m so exhausted that I just do not want to see or talk to anyone. This post brought tears to my eyes. And I just sent messages to my best friends saying how much I love them and I miss them. Thank you CoJTeam. You are phenomenal <3

  40. Rikki says...

    I had a best friend ghost me – it was devastating and confusing. It’s been about ten years now and I’m still just as confused as ever. I sometimes still text her on her birthday and send Christmas cards, but nothing has come out of it in ten years and I don’t know if it ever will. I’ll still be here if she decides to come back!

    • Lisa G says...

      That’s awful I’m so sorry. Ghosting can have such devastating consequences I don’t think people realise.

    • Nina says...

      I had a soul-mate type best friend ghost me about ten years ago! The only reason we sort of kept in touch is because we are part of the same circle. She suddenly came back in to my life about two years ago. We never talked about it- two very non-confrontational women. But her mom recently thanked me and some other friends for sticking by her when she was having a rough time. I think she might have been going through something and instead of pushing her to let me help her I took it personally and let her drift away. I hope your friend comes back. But I also hope that you find the strength that I didn’t have to push her for an honest discussion.

  41. Gracie says...

    I am always open to meeting new people and making new friends! I have a lifelong best friend for whom there is nothing I wouldn’t do and an amazing group of supportive friends, but I feel there’s always room for more.

    In my experience, most people are open to including people in the group- everyone’s looking for someone. I just reach out, whether it’s asking the new woman in my office for lunch or the girl at my workout studio to coffee. Just go for it! Even if it’s a bit out of your comfort zone for a moment, I’ve ALWAYS found it to be worth it. Even if you don’t become best friends, you made a new connection!

    Best of luck, xx

    • Gracie says...

      ^ Meant to be in reply to E, below <3

  42. Sarah says...

    “Friendship starts with friendliness, not coolness.” I love that! Oh how wise our kiddos can be.

  43. E says...

    An earnest (and embarrassing!) question for all of you beautifully best-befriended women.

    As I come up for air in my mid-twenties and look around at the life I’ve begun building, I see a career in swing, a home I cherish, a nine-year relationship with a boyfriend I adore…and only a few loose ties with a heavy dose of loneliness. It often feels like the barrier to entry for already-formed female friendship circles (“They already have everyone they need!”) is so. darn. high. Especially when you’re starting from scratch.

    So here’s my question: With these wonderful, familial friendships already saturating your days with feelings of connection, belonging, and closeness, do you find that you’re typically interested in new friends? Or are your circles as complete as they seem to be from the outside? Thanks for sharing your friendship love stories above – they’re beautiful (and aspirational) to read. x

    • Dana says...

      I am a lucky woman who made two best friends freshman year of college. But I am always happy to meet new friends especially as my life has evolved and interests changed. I’ve recently noticed that several of my closest friends are women I’ve only met in the last couple years. and one of them I met on instagram! They’re out there- don’t give up. Be the first to reach out, invite people to things…it all takes time.

    • Andrea says...

      There’s ALWAYS room for new friends! Each new person brings something delightfully different and helps me grow in ways I didn’t know I needed to. Mid-twenties is hard! In my mid-thirties I just started “asking people out” – if there was a girl at work who seemed friendly I just asked her out for drinks or a lunchtime walk or whatever. Some became friends, some remained acquaintances. No one turned the invitation down though!

    • J says...

      I’ve always had a hard time with big female friendship circles – I can like every single woman in a group, but not necessarily understand or relate to the common topics they gravitate to together. But I have lots of close individual friends, and I definitely find those are more approachable to start! Find someone with a common interest, and do stuff together. I think there’s so much pressure as an adult to just go on coffee dates and chat, but go for a run (any other kind of exercise!), do some shopping you’ve been meaning to do, etc etc. At least in my experience, really sharing life together is what makes the closest friendships.

    • Hello E, I can relate all to well to what you’re experiencing. We’ve moved a lot, and I was faced with the ” everyone already has a group pf friends already” issue every time we’ve moved to a new place. What I’ve learned is that it takes up to 5 years to make a “friend”, and even that friendship usually don’t have a chance when you must move to another place :(.
      I hear you! Hang in there!

    • Nina says...

      I live in the city I grew up, have a huge family, a career, kids, and lots of friends that I grew up with. I still have room for new close friends. There is room for you.

    • T says...

      I’m always looking for new people. One thing I notice from these comments is how reserved a lot of people are. Because making friends IS a lot like asking someone out, but ask yourself this? So long as they’ve respected your boundaries as replied, when have you ever been upset that someone initiated spending time/getting to know you more? ASK THEM OUT! It’s a compliment. Everyone needs to get over the idea that being earnest and sincere is uncool, you can be cool or you can be friendly, rarely can you be both.

  44. liz says...

    Love these comments.

    Just throwing a potential future post suggestion out there in case you’re interested: “friend breakups” — when do you need one, how to accomplish it when needed, and maybe most importantly, how to get over one that happens to you, etc? This is something that hardly ever gets talked about and extremely difficult to navigate!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes!!!! we would love to write about this. thank you!

    • Lisa G says...

      I’ve been going through this for months and it is so hard. The silence is deafening. Please do a post on this x

    • Lauren E. says...

      Oof… this. I’m 33 and recently went through two incredibly difficult friend breakups. The only silver lining is that it’s made me reexamine existing relationships in my life and value them in very different ways, but man, losing close friends is so, so hard. And it can also feel really isolating – like it’s okay to break up with boyfriends but it’s not okay to choose to end a friendship.

    • W says...

      Thank you for bringing this up. I went through a devastating friend break-up a few years ago, and I still don’t know how to “get over it.” My best friend suffered from mental illness (that emerged out of the blue overnight) that had some really devastating consequences on our friendship for a few years, and as hard as I tried to stick through everything and be her cheerleader, at a certain point, I had a realization that I had completely neglected my own needs and boundaries in the process of being a support system. It is still hard to this day, and it almost felt like grieving a death of a loved one. I sometimes go back and read through our old emails and messages. I don’t think I’ll ever find a friendship like that ever again, now that I’m in my 30’s and busy with my career and boyfriend.

    • liz says...

      Yes! So devastating. I have one friendship that I’ve had since childhood that has been bringing me down for years now but I don’t know how to part with her because we’ve known each other literally most of our lives, our families are friends, we have mutual friends, we live near each other, and on top of it, she’s very clingy to me. Honestly feels more like family than friendship at this point and it drives me crazy. It also feels so dishonest to be hiding all these feelings. Need a friend therapist, seriously!

    • h says...

      I wanted to ask this question yesterday but it was so hard to phrase. You did a much better, more succinct job of it. Please write about this, CoJ!

      I had a BAD breakup with my oldest friend last year and though I still have my best friends that I met in HS/College who I cherish deeply and who’s quality of friendship is hardier and just truer than the one I had with my childhood bff, I’m still totally buckled from letting go of the person who knew me before I was an adult. There’s something devastating about it. Worse, is when I’m around people who knew us both, it feels immature to say that we’ve “broken up” and downright drama stoking to explain why. We were “together” for SO LONG.

    • Lisa says...

      Yes yes! I “broke up” with my best friend from university and it was honestly much harder than the break up with a boyfriend I’d gone through a year before (it was a rough time). I still think about her every now and then, though I don’t miss her like I did before

    • Cynthia says...

      OMG yes. I had a long-term and very close friend distance herself from me a few years ago. I finally made her talk it out with me, and she sort of admitted that she was jealous that I was happy, and that it was too hard for her to be around me. The thing is, I have been going through a really hard time these last few years, and she hasn’t been around to see it! We found ourselves at the same event a year ago, and she ran out the side door early without looking me in the eye. The whole thing has been so deeply hurtful, but I hardly ever see anything written about the process of being rejected by an old friend like this. I would love to see this written about here!

    • Meghan says...

      yes! I broke up with my best friend about four years ago, and I realized a few months later that it was a terrible mistake. We talked, and she forgave me, but we’re not as close as we were before.

    • A says...

      please please write about this soon!

  45. Katie says...

    Re: Breakups. I met my best friend at gym class in 9th grade. She was everything I wasn’t. Athletic, cool, mysterious, clumsy. We clicked over our mutual disdain for most other people. I don’t remember when she met her highschool boyfriend, but he has a jerk and we slowly stopped spending time together.

    We broke up our freshman year of college, I moved away and she stayed in our hometown. I came back to see her and she was a shell of her former self and still with her jerk boyfriend. I was so sad to see this person who wasn’t really alive anymore. The joy was gone. I wrote her a long letter reminding her of all her greatness. After that, we “broke up.”

    The week I graduated, it was December, she reached out to me. She told me she broke up with her boyfriend and that she missed me and wanted to know if we could get to know each other again. OF COURSE! We picked up as if nothing had come between us. We’re still the best of friends, and we’re 39. I absolutely love her.

    A few years ago she told me she still has that letter.

  46. Kelli says...

    I love my best friend so much that I married her husband’s cousin! (That’s not the only reason I married him, of course, but it’s not NOT one of the reasons!) She has been with me through so much, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health. A couple of years ago I got really sick, and subsequently really depressed. It was affecting everything from my marriage to my parenting to my friendships. But this one friend wouldn’t let me go- she continued sending me texts even when I didn’t reply, sent me cards and emails and love, and even crossed the country to visit me in the middle of January, new baby in tow. And as I finally started to recover physically and emotionally, she saw it first, saying to me one day, “Kelli, I see you in there. You’re coming back.” Lizzie darling, if you’re reading this, I love you! (We are both huge COJ fans, obvi!)

  47. Heather says...

    I love these! Especially Megan’s story about the password – the fact that she’s the one he listed as his best friend when no one was looking.

    Also, I’m very intrigued by this Mindy Kaling/BJ Novak GIF – I wish I knew what it was from! It looks like a charming conversation. I love their mutual admiration (even if she’s being sarcastic in this clip).

  48. Lindsey says...

    My best friend and I met when were 11, and we are now 44. Our girls are now second-generation best friends and seeing them love each other has been so special.

  49. Lauren B says...

    Gillette, if you’re reading the comments, I’m thinking of you and missing you a little extra this morning.

    • Amy E. says...

      Lauren, I don’t know you but this comment (of all the many lovely ones so far!) really got the tears rolling. You sound like a wonderful friend. <3

    • Lauren B says...

      Any E. – thank you. Gillette is the one woman I will always feel like a totally inadequate friend to – she is so incredible. Your comment means so much.

  50. Cass says...

    My best friend of over 25 years has been the ICU for over 2 weeks with meningitis. I miss her so much. It’s like suddenly not having an arm. I’m still picking up the phone several times a day to text her. But three days ago, I walked into the hospital room and she gave me the biggest smile and then on Tuesday, she said my name. She’s now dropping the occasional swear words and rolling her eyes at her parents so we know she’s in there. Don’t take those friends for granted!

    • Jess says...

      That’s awful, but I’m sure she’s happy whenever she sees you. When I was 20, I had meningitis (the bacteria-one, not the viral) and was in a hospital for 50 days. It was quite critical (the bacteria got through the meninges and got to my brain, where it proceeded to multiply until I had two cerebral abscesses), but having the people I love with me, my family, my boyfriend, my friends, was everything. It made me want to get better and go home. It gave me the strength I needed. So keep showing up, it will definitely do her heart good. I hope she gets better and that you have each other for the rest of your lives <3

  51. Ainslie says...

    I became instant friends with a girl I met on a study abroad trip–we walked home from class 20 feet away from each other one night, got in the elevator at the dorm, and pushed the same floor button. We were inseparable for 6 months but then we went home, to opposite sides of our home country, and spoke rarely throughout the next 4 years. Fast forward to today, we now live in the same city, work in the same office, take pottery classes together, and take long chatty walks on our lunch hours. We regularly marvel at how crazy it is that we reconnected all these years later and are once again inseparable!

    • cilla says...

      such a nice story

  52. Annie says...

    YES to friendiversaries!! I met one of my best friends on the first day of kindergarten. I only befriended her because I thought she was famous, and she only accepted my friendship because she was afraid of the lunch lady, but now we’re planning a cruise to celebrate turning 30 and having spent 25 of those years as friends. It’s such a good reminder as I get older and struggle to make new friends in the awkwardness of my late 20s that sometimes a gesture as simple as carrying someone’s lunch tray can start a lifelong friendship!

  53. Jen S. says...

    Re: Friend Breakups- My absolute best friend ever broke up with me after her divorce (cleaning house of all types, I suppose), and I was so, so shocked. It was the worst break-up I’ve ever been through. Somehow it is easier to move on to a new romantic relationship after a romantic break-up, but moving on from a friend who decides that after a decade of close friendship, that she has to move on without any explanation or warning, is absolutely devastating. I have had lovely women fill the void in her absence, but the hurt is definitely still there.

  54. Lauren says...

    I completely lucked out in life because my sister is truly my best friend. When we were growing up, we fought CONSTANTLY, shared a room, shared a car, shared it all. My mother would always tell us that we’d be friends one day, only to scoff at the suggestion. She was right. NO ONE understands me like Tabitha does. It has taken a lot of work to maintain a friendship that is also blood, but it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.

  55. agnes says...

    I love the soup story, I will absolutely do that when my son is big enough! Hope soup stays popular!

    My best friend is a guy and one thing I love is to dance with him. It’s like a never-ending thing! I hope we still dance when we’re 90. We dream of growing old together, sharing the same house, with our husbands and grand-children. I hope we’re funny old people.

  56. Karen T. says...

    Love this so much–such a timely reminder (as I stress over my flooded basement) to be thankful for all the good in life. I’m so grateful for my two besties–my childhood bestie since 5th grade who I can talk to once a month and pick up from the last conversation as if a day hasn’t passed. And my “adult” bestie (since I was 23, now 44) who I actually DO talk to everyday. I learned the lesson of female friendship from my mom and her neighborhood besties who used to stand in their nighties in our cul de sac and talk endlessly. They stayed friends until she passed from cancer at 59. As a celebration of her life and upon her death, she left them a life insurance policy to buy them all a girls trip to Italy!

  57. Sarah says...

    That was such a beautiful compilation.

  58. Natalie says...

    I have been going through a difficult time with a close girlfriend and I’m having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that the friendship may be over.

    My friend has admitted that she needs therapy but continues to avoid making the step to actually do so, despite consistent support from me. I’ve tried to be proactive about it or just a shoulder for her, unsure of which will help her more.

    About 10 months ago, I started seeing someone and our friendship changed, seemingly forever? She decided before it had happened that I was never available anymore, despite the fact that I only see him on weekends and am often free, even then. I have told her that I love her and miss her and have suggested that we hang out at the weekends more as we don’t seem to have seen much of each other but her response is always non-committal or a comment like ‘you’re always busy’ (I’m not!).

    The hardest part is that we’re housemates! I struggle with the passive aggressiveness that comes from her now, there were so many rules (tell me when you’re staying at his, tell me when you’re coming home, tell me when he’s popping over, tell me when he’s calling and how long you’ll be (he studies during the day and works at night, the only time we can chat is between 9/10pm at night to catch up), even though I don’t know what the convo will be until I pick the phone up). I’ve asked her often if she’d like to join us for dinner or a movie (‘that’s just weird’, has been her answer) as well as asking if she’s around for girl time but nothing seems to be enough.

    How do you let a friendship slowly dissolve when you still have to live together? I miss her but I am exhausted.

    • Andrea says...

      WTF about those rules?!?!? You are both adults and she doesn’t get to unilaterally impose rules around your behavior. I would really reassess (apart from her, way apart from her) whether this is now a friendship or simply a dysfunctional relationship. Real relationships have mutuality and freedom. This one seems to lack those two things and boundaries.

    • ABH says...

      I went through this EXACT situation with my friend/roommate a few years ago. we were roommates in college and for 4 years post college.

      after we turned 25, something inside of her changed drastically. she would exhibit this jealous behavior not only when i was dating someone (gd forbid), but even about a large number of my friends. no plans were ever to her exact liking, and instead of joining, would stay home and not speak to me for weeks at a time. since she refused therapy, we would have to have hours long conversations to get past whatever bump in the road had happened, when she would speak to me at all – often not coming home the nights that i had asked to meet up with her.

      by the end of the 4 years, i was exhausted, and had to finally admit to myself that i wasn’t in a friendship, but an emotionally abusive relationship with her. when i told her i was moving out (6 weeks before our lease ended) she never spoke to me again. a few months later she emailed me to berate me after i requested the money she had owed me, and told me that she hoped my therapist would “help guide me back to her.” this entire situation put me in a dark place, but once i emerged, i realized how much better my life is without her. i haven’t experienced anything like that since, and i’ve never been happier.

      no one has the right to control your life and what you do with it. you should not have to prove to her how available you are for her. just continue living your life as you please, and she will either rejoin you in it, or skulk away until one of you leaves. which may be for the better in the end. GOOD LUCK!

    • Natalie says...

      Thank you SO MUCH for your responses. It feels so good to know that I am not alone in this situation. I have been wracking my brain to try and figure out what I’ve done to hurt her and other than just moving forward in my life, I can’t think what it is.

      I do feel a little resentful of her behaviour, especially in the first 6 months of my relationship (when I think you have a grace period of being a little obsessed with each other. You give up your evenings just to see each other whenever you can until you realise your laundry bin is overflowing and you’ve not made yourself a proper dinner in months). She took all joy out of that experience and when I pointed out I would never do that to her, her response was ‘how could you know that, I’ve never been the one in a relationship while you’ve been single’. Additionally, when I was excited about a new development early on (he’d kissed me for the first time!) and she made some horrible, flippant comment that I called her out on, her reply was simply ‘I don’t see why I should have to pretend to be happy for you all the time’.

      Ultimately, I guess I know that it’s over but we still live together so I expend a lot of energy on trying to be pleasant. Moving out isn’t an option right now and so I guess I have to just stay put and carry on with my life. Such a heartbreak. x

  59. Caroline says...

    These comments are sweet, but also upsetting to me. I have no friends, zero. And I don’t think I’ve ever had a true friend.
    Sure, a few aquaintances from school who I’m happy to see once a year when we all return home for Christmas.
    But every friend I ever had turned out to be what I’d call a “fair weather friend”. People who are friends while it’s convenient because we happen to study or work together etc.
    But none of these friends where there when times were tough. And none of my friendships survived once one of us moved and there was nothing left connecting us on a daily basis.
    I’m now 37, and I don’t see this changing. I have never experienced love and loyalty in friendships the way people describe it here in the comments, and to be honest, I don’t think it’s going to happen for me.
    But I’ve made my peace with this, and I’m ok.

    • Elise says...

      I’m sorry. If it helps, while I’ve had and do have some friendships like the ones here, they all had waxing and waning, depending on what’s going on in our lives, and some just gradually faded away when one or other of us moved apart.

    • Maria says...

      Oh Caroline, my heart just sank for you! Having a friend is the greatest joy. I have 6 friends and many many other friend acquaintances but my 6 friends are my true rocks through the joys and challenges of life. I hope you will experience this type of love!

      And if you want to be my friend, let me know and I’ll leave my details :)

      M.

    • Ashley K says...

      Hi Caroline! Nice meeting you. If you don’t mind me (us) asking, where do you live? I’m in Brooklyn, NY. I’m certain there’s a lady within the Cup of Jo world that would love being your friend. 37? Plenty of time to find lovely and loyal friend.

    • T says...

      If it helps. In therapy I’ve realized I attract and am attracted to people who end up not making the best companions. Maybe there’s a pattern here that could be broken?

      For me, I would form bonds with broken people because I was very helpful to them; when I broke however, they were unwilling and unhelpful to me. When I realized this (very recently) I could see how I had sold myself short, that I had ignored many people who would have made great, mutual friends in order to help the needy. You deserve mutuality, maybe observe your whys and hows and you might be able to try a new tact. Xx

    • Francesca says...

      Caroline, I have a similar story to you. I do have a small handful of friends now, but none of them are particularly close, although I’m grateful for them just the same. As a teenager, there was a time when I had no friends at all due to bullying, so I know what it’s like. Chiming in with Maria, if you want to be my friend, I’ll leave my contact details!

    • Caroline says...

      Thank you for your messages! I did not expect this, and I’m very moved.

      I’m very introverted, and I find it incredibly hard to open up, connect and make new friends.
      Somebody wrote a good comment on here: “the door is open, but it’s very heavy”. That sums it up perfectly. I want to make friends, but I find it so, so hard.

      Fortunately I’m not all alone-alone, I have a wonderful partner who I consider to be my best friend.
      But he’s a guy and I’d love to experience female friendship. True, unconditional, uncompetitive, non-bitchy, platonic friendships.

      I’d love to give friendships another go, though I have no idea how and where to start…
      Oh, and I’d love to connect, but I currently live in Germany, far, far away from the CoJ community (which I assume is mostly in the US).

    • Stefanie says...

      Hi Caroline, where in Germany are you? If you are somewhere near Hamburg, let me know and we can meet for coffee or something. That being said, I think there are lots of different kinds of friendships and also different phases in friendships. I do pick up friends at different stages in life, some stay, some don’t. Some I see often, some rarely. But they all have a place in my heart and I am happy to know or at least have known them.

  60. Mercy says...

    Lorraine’s story has reminded me of my former best friend. It’s been almost 4 years now since we ‘broke up’. Life came in between us. We are both naturally very competitive and in the midst of striving to achieve our goals and life dreams and things not working out as well as we had planned, jealousy creeped in. Followed by little lies here and there. I lashed out bitterly and bailed out of the friendship. I could have handled it differently, that I know for sure. I miss her dearly. I miss being a part of her family and her a part of mine. Her Mama was my 2nd Mama. She has had 2 babies since then and it hurts that I am not a part of their lives. I have broken up with boyfriends before, but none hurt like when our friendship ended. I hope to one day reconnect though.

  61. Sally says...

    Aw god, I’m WAILING.

    My best friend and I are approaching our 20 years friend-iversary (we were friends as little kids, then went to different schools, but then met again as 16 year olds).
    That comment from Kendra about choosing each other is absolutely bang-on for me. I know we will be friends all of our lives, and we love each other so very, very much.
    When I think about everything we’ve been through since the ages of 16 and 34, it blows my mind. We’ve grown up together and there have been moments of utter joy, and moments of deepest despair. I was the one who came to comfort her and her husband when their baby was stillborn, and she was the one who stroked my knee when I sat in her car, having a panic attack, as I practised my eulogy for my dad’s funeral.
    There has been so much, SO MUCH sadness. But also so much love, so many adventures, so much hysterical scream-laughter. Our lives are intertwined so intensely and so beautifully. I feel so incredibly lucky to have her.

    Okay, now I’m REALLY WAILING. Phew.

  62. My best friend became my best friend after I found out that she had come on to my boyfriend while my boyfriend and I were in a very difficult patch (we ended up breaking up). When I learned that she had kissed him, I went to her apartment and asked her if she was in love with him. She was. We both were. But I couldn’t blame her: he was a wonderful, handsome, funny person. In that moment we bonded over our love for this man, the futility of it, and the difficulty of loving people and simply being human.

    Rather than hating her, I instantly forgave her and felt just as sad for her and the state of her marriage (did I mentioned she was married?) as I did for myself and my failing relationship. We came to learn that we had the same taste in everything: music, wine, mountains, clothes, friends, and, of course, men. We are some version of soulmates.

    Whenever I think of the man who broke my heart, I think of the profound joy of the friendship that difficult breakup brought me. Years later I started a blog that is essentially a love letter to her, and is a constant reminder of who we can be for each other if we can be present and vulnerable in difficult times. (www.mydearsabrina.com)

  63. molly says...

    Those were all SO BEAUTIFUL.
    Thank you for sharing! xo

  64. Pam says...

    My best friend and I have been saying for years that we should celebrate our friendversary – this post inspired me, and now we have a weekend booked this fall! Going to cheers to 19 yrs with a staycation, watch Rom coms and do face masks.

  65. Diana says...

    I feel this too. My very best friend became distant in the last few years, apologized for doing so, and so I tried to move past it. I *still* found myself being the only one making phone calls, remembering birthdays, events she had mentioned, etc., and I felt so let down by how one-sided it had all become. I only realized recently that this hurt worse than any romantic breakup I’ve had, but with so much less closure.

  66. Jen says...

    Gah! Can I just be real-life friends with every last one of you warm, wise, thoughtful, caring blog creators and commenters?? I love it here so much!

    • M says...

      True facts! Any Toronto commenters want to grab coffee?

    • Lauren E. says...

      I have so often thought this!! A COJ meetup would be so lovely. I’m in Astoria, Queens if anybody is interested :)

    • Amy says...

      Hey Lauren! I’m also in Astoria! :) Seconding a COJ meetup!

    • Rosie says...

      M.
      ME!!!!! I would love to get coffee

    • C says...

      @M – I’d take you up on that coffee!

    • CG says...

      M, Rosie, C – would love to grab coffee too!

  67. K says...

    There’s a quote by Toni Morrison I rediscovered recently that encapsulates how I feel about my best friends “She is a friend of my mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order. It’s good, you know, when you got a woman who is a friend of your mind.”

  68. Audrey says...

    My best friend wrote me a poem once; all of these comments reminded me of it, so I thought I’d share.

    Wanted: Friendship
    Give me the sunshine and I will
    stuff it into your hands so you can do with it what you will
    and I will lean back,
    let the words wash over me as I shiver the droplets of the sea off like little kisses.
    The sparkling water glints to paint our skin
    as the sand flakes off our mermaid tails
    and we giggle
    in a way that makes our chests ache with happiness.
    Something new that feels older than the stars we cannot
    see above us
    because the sky is the most delighted delightful blue
    I have ever tasted
    and when we braid our hair together
    we chose to be sisters
    and when the world feels closed
    you push open the door, just enough to put your hand out to me
    and I smile, safely, not carefully
    because I know what it is to be wanted
    my presence
    my essence
    and I feel that with you
    the way I never knew I could before.
    Now that I’ve started, I know it will never stop.

  69. Annie says...

    I don’t remember officially meeting my best friend, but apparently she remembers exactly when we met! We were in first grade and it was the first couple days of school. She had a bad experience being bullied on the bus by another girl in our class. Of course she was sad when she got home (Little Meaghan! My heart!) so her mom told her to go into school the next day and just ask someone if they would like to be her friend. So the next day she walked up to ME and asked “Will you be my friend?” And I said “yes ok”. I was incredibly shy so I probably jumped at the chance to have a friend.
    I have no idea what made her choose me but, 25 years of best friendship later, I feel so lucky that she did.

  70. anon says...

    I’d been feeling a bit low already, but after reading this post, I feel even more melancholy. I’ve been tossing the notion of (female) friendship for the last few years. I had some close friends. Some from as far back as high school. But now as an almost 50 year old, I think about the last few remaining from the past five years and how nearly all of them are really no longer my friends. Oh sure, they will text or make a comment on social media once in a blue moon. It usually involves “I miss you!, Let’s meet up!, We have to make a date!” but nothing ever comes of it. Why don’t I reach out, you might ask. Because I did. For so many years I was the one extending invites to come over, to lunch or have coffee, to get the kids together, you name it, I did it. Then I realized that I was doing all the inviting. Then one went through a nasty divorce, I was there to help her and the kids. Another was going through a rough patch between marital issues and other family matters needing her attention. I was there to see her through them. A third went through a parental death and a divorce, I was there, offering up boarding for three weeks at one point. There are a couple others too. Now their lives have settled, with their spouses, their new loves, their lives. The few times I reached out they were busy, “let’s shoot for another date!” So I would reply “sure, you tell me what you have free and we can go from there.” and it would end there. So after a handful of those types of interactions, I pulled back to see if they would reach out, and they haven’t. So that’s pretty much it. I was there for them during some of their hardest moments in adult life. But for the past few years, none of them truly know what I’ve gone through. My best friend is my husband. But unfortunately, I no longer have any best girlfriends. Thankfully I have a few female friends with whom I can mostly confide to, but not like the ones I had before. Maybe one day, but for now, it’s kind of disappointing and sad.

    • T says...

      This is so heartbreakingly true. I also pulled back. And not many of them leaned in. And you know what? I’m just saying to myself, well, ok, I don’t see myself spending time with them in my future. Because I’m not spending more time chasing anyone, I am just too old for chasing. So maybe life will be quieter as I age. And I’ll read more and learn about solitude and the small joys of life that I can furnish my souls with. Because I am not chasing anyone anymore. In the end, they lost a good friend because I know myself and feel right to describe myself as a good person. You are also!!

    • Lorraine says...

      I’m sorry you’re going through this. i can relate on pulling back after making a ton of effort. especially when i’ve gone through tough times, it’s draining to be the only one making effort, and it’s sad and disappointing when others aren’t reciprocating. i sometimes wonder, should i just let the silence grow because i’m tired? or am i supposed to bring this up though i’d feel like a demanding friend? now that i’m so busy with work and family, i have allowed the silences to grow. i do have a few close friends who i’m grateful for, who i feel are very present. i suppose as we grow older, our needs sometimes change, and with that so do our compatibilities? i hope you find more reciprocation in the future. you sound like a true, devoted friend.

  71. Cheryl says...

    A yogi once said about friendship:
    “The relationship that exists between friends is the grandest of human loves. Friendly love is pure, because it is without compulsion. One freely chooses to love his friends; he is not bound by instinct. ”
    Isn’t that so true?

  72. Kim says...

    My best friend became that in kindergarten! Her mother has snapshots of us handing out cupcakes for her birthday when she turned 6. We lost touch sometime around middle school and then became bffs again during college. Right now we are having some growing pains. We’ve taken totally different paths in life and live on opposite coasts right now. I think we both feel a little disconnected, which makes this post timely for me, I should really reach out to her.

  73. Allie says...

    Love this post. Friendships are so important. I’ve been blessed to have close friends from several walks of life, including three women who were my closest friends in high school and still are today. I think female friendships are so powerful and so vital. I am so thankful for mine and how they have helped shape me and still give me confidence. I truly love making new friends but there is something special about those women “who knew you when.”

  74. Caitlin says...

    I have a few girlfriends that I have been friends with since early high school. I can honestly say I have been through everything with these people and somehow, 16 years later, we are still friends helping raise each other’s kids. It takes dedication, hard conversations and a lot of laughter. These people have loved me at my worst and didn’t leave, there is something to be said about that.

  75. Whitney says...

    The one about the husband made me burst into tears. I don’t have any close girlfriends that live nearby. (My sister & best friend from childhood each live a plane ride away.) Sometimes I feel a void, I wish I had a girlfriend I could meet for coffee or hang out with regularly. Then I remember that I wake up next to my best friend every morning and he brings me coffee in bed. I think about him throughout my day. We exchange text messages and silly memes. When he walks through the door every night after work, I see his gorgeous smile and we talk about our days. Every night when the kids are in bed, we sit side by side on the couch joking around and re-watching our favorite sitcoms. I am absolutely blessed to be married to my best friend.

    • Becca says...

      I absolutely could have written this comment! :)

  76. Kensey says...

    I love thinking about best friends everywhere who are sending this link out to their other half to read :)

    • anne says...

      Ha! Just did that before I started on the comments :)

  77. Gracey says...

    I met my best mate on the first day of high school. She was everything I wanted to be: namely – a nerd. 😂 She had these giant glasses which I had aspired to for several years, becoming first name friends with the lady who worked at the optometrist whilst I lamented my stupid 20/20 vision. As luck would have it this nerdy unicorn would be in ALL of my classes. Though I was sure there would be no way she’d be friends with me. WRONG. We became great mates almost immediately. We spent summers in a dance of one week at her house, one week at mine, 2 weeks fighting! Rinse and repeat. We learned boundaries together, asking for help, taking breaks and making up together. We had some real doozies (over what?) over the years but there is something that truly bonds us like sisters.

    Now we are grown ups trotting towards middle age. We have each been to therapy of our own accord and own our own shit, and a nice bonus to that is that our relationship is stronger than ever. I think of us as something stretchy – like elastic, you can pull half each way and for a while the connection thins, but it never breaks. She’s a constant thread through my life that I’m very grateful for.

    Thanks for putting in the work. Love you Min

    • Min says...

      TLG. You work so hard to be a good and true person. Like knicker elastic, I will always snap back to you.

      Ours is the greatest and most dramatic love story of all! 🤓 XX

    • allegra says...

      Ok, now I want the book and the movie : )

  78. Sarah says...

    I’m lucky to have a handful of girlfriends that I can call the sisters I never had. There are so many moments with each of them that I could write about but one is strongly coming to mind. In 2017 I lost a twin pregnancy at 21 weeks. When my world was crashing down, my family and friends carried me through the heartbreak. A couple of days after we came home from the hospital my friend, Ashley, came over to be with me in the evening. I was still in a state of shock; hardly able to speak and shedding many tears. Ashley sat with me that night and let me talk if I wanted and if I didn’t; we would sit in silence and that was okay. I wanted to be surrounded by people but I didn’t want the pressure of having to talk about everything. As we sat, she rubbed my feet; and at moments we both just had tears streaming down our faces. She understood the pain my husband and I were experiencing. In that moment, she was exactly who I needed to be with. Sometimes no words will help a situation but simply sitting with someone who is hurting is the greatest act of friendship. I will always remember that night and the tender way she took care of me.

    • Katie says...

      This made me cry. What a great friends and inspiring me to try and not talk my friends pain away next time.

  79. Adriana says...

    My best friend and I have been friends since we were 10 years old, 27 years ago! We have done everything together, we went to college together, were each other’s maid of honours, and we each have three kids that are continuing the friendship. We even vacation together with our families. It has been an amazing journey with her and I could not imagine my life without her. And our husbands both know that when they die, she and I will move into together! 😁

  80. beth says...

    I am going through a divorce right now, and part of that process entails me reconnecting with the “old me” that got lost in my marriage, including many girlfriends. I am so grateful for my dear friends who have been with me for decades, and have shown up for me now. I am overwhelmed that such amazing women have chosen ME to be friends with – it inspires me and buoys me up every day. Also, I’ve made so many new girlfriends during this process – by being honest and just kind of owning what I’m going through. My soon-to-be ex used to say he had enough friends and didn’t need to meet new ones (including mine -yeah, red flag I know). I am having so much fun meeting new friends, and keeping the old (one is silver and the other gold!)…

  81. alle says...

    I love these stories. . .
    Especially because I’ve been in a breaking up mode with friends who no longer fit me the last few years and I’m missing my ‘friends to be’. Breaking up IS hard to do but it has been an empowering way for me to clear my life of toxic or awkward relationships that won’t change (years invested and pertinent conversations had). There have been several and each time it’s felt like a relief to let go. But I’m in a friendless gap now until new healthy connections come so reading these stories is really uplifting and I can’t wait.

    • E says...

      I love the way you gently accept this phase for yourself as a “friendless gap”. As someone in the midst of a similar gap (although a much longer one, to the tune of almost 9 years – what’s the saying? “Time flies when you have social anxiety?” :) I’d love to hear how you’re planning to seek out these healthy connections.

      Do any of you have experience psyching yourself up to start back at friend-making square one, and braving through small talk acquaintance-ships in the hopes of finding girlfriends that feel like family?

    • alle says...

      Thank you! I plan to be super proactive about asking people I actually sense a kinship with out for lunch. For example one of my work clients seemed like someone I could be friends with and so when our contract was up I asked her out for lunch. She was totally open to it so we’ll see how that goes. I’ve chosen lunch because it’s just easy for both sides to navigate without much thought being that it’s already in a low-key social environment.

      I plan to ask out others from my yoga and ceramics class. I also see women I’d like to meet at my local park when I’m there – there’s a one mile promenade around a small lake where everyone strolls or does their laps – and would love to be able to friend some of them because I know they’re already in my neighborhood but that feels less likely because there are stronger unspoken boundaries in a public place like a park. Anyhoo.

      tl;dr: Be Proactive!

  82. Faith says...

    Lorraine’s comment gave me chills. What a wonderful story and reunion.

  83. K says...

    “It’s a huge investment to ask someone you love to love you better, and then to stick around while they learn to do it.”

    Most beautiful thing I’ve read this week. Thank you!

  84. This post made my heart fall apart a little. My very best friend from high school and beyond has taken a step back over the last few years. It hurts because I had longed for a best friend for years and then the perfect Amanda came into my life. We were just different enough but had the exact same sense of humor, which ive found is key. I wish I could explain how deeply it hurts to be forgotten and to see the other female friends who have taken my place. But she’s conflict avoidant and doesn’t respond well when I try to bring it up. And so we’re drifting apart. Is it weird that I wish I could marry my best friends and then we’d be stuck with doing the hard parts of life together? Anyway, I’m also seeing how so many of my newer friends are stepping up and loving me through this painful “break up”. And that’s helping me survive. They’re doing what I wish she loved “us” enough to do.

    • A says...

      I feel you, Steph. I was about to make a very similar comment. My life long best friend has gone through the process of perfecting her life over the last few years, and I’m clearly not part of her future. I’ve tried to talk about it to get some closure, but she acts like nothing has happened. We used to talk daily even though we live across the country, but now I’m lucky if we connect a couple times a year. What’s worse is that she has stopped being real with me. It really hurts to be given the superficial treatment, and I’m trying my best to not do that to my friends who have stepped into this void.

    • M says...

      I understand. I’m going through this exact thing too. It’s been heartbreaking and near debilitating for me. My heart goes out to you. <3

    • T says...

      +1, every word

    • Steph G says...

      Thank you, A, M, and T! I’m so sorry you have been going through similar experiences…but I also feel so much less lonely. Thank you for being honest.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much for sharing your experiences. i would love to do a larger post on this topic, too. xoxo

    • Emily says...

      Me too. So relieved to know I’m not the only one going through this with a friend.

    • H says...

      I’m so sorry for what you’re going through. My college bestie and I lived in San Francisco together after college and did so many big life milestones together, including celebrating our birthdays every year (we were born the same week, in the same hospital) Then life happened, he moved abroad, I got married. But the tradition continued until the year I was pregnant and couldn’t travel and needed him the most. He just…stopped. He said he’d rather travel elsewhere than come home. It was devastating, not because I really cared about the trip, but because I wanted him to be there. I missed him. And I felt like he didn’t care enough to fight for our friendship. I realized that I’d been putting in 90 and he was doing 10, and it was devastating.

      Letting him go – and letting go of that friendship the way it used to be – has been one of the hardest things I’ve had to do as an adult. He broke my heart and though we still speak, our relationship has never been the same and I don’t think it ever will be. I left my heart in San Francisco, just like the song, but I left it inside a person and he will forever carry around a little piece of wild and free 20’s me, and I will do that for him. So though things look different now, I try to honor at least honor that.

    • ML says...

      Steph, I’ve gone through a divorce & the loss of my parents & still the “breaking up” up my friends without any commitment on their part to talk about it was more painful. Ambiguous loss. It’s the most agonizing feeling. I’m so so sorry for your pain. You sound like a lovely person & a beautiful friend. Xoxo

    • CMC says...

      Hear hear… I met my best friend first year of college, and when I got pregnant (while she was struggling with her partner suddenly not wanting children and all of us getting closer to our 40s) she decided she didn’t want to be that close. We are in a bigger group of friends and I get now the outsider view of her life, which for me it’s a bit harder. So I know that she is with the same partner but I have no idea what the resolution has been, if they will ever try for children, or if she is content in that regard. I just want her to be happy and miss her terribly. She was like another sister to me. I celebrate that we had the best 16 years of friendship and wish that one day she’ll miss me too.

    • Twyla says...

      I know this kind of loss well. One very dear friend that I would have bet anything would be my lifelong friend has in recent years stepped back with no explanation. That was a dream I had to let go. I constantly have to remind myself that it’s not about me and that I deserve friends that WANT to be my friend.

    • Caitlin says...

      Yes, yes, yes. This is so hard. I absolutely feel you on this. Almost 8 years after the start of when one of my best friends started taking a step back, I still feel it deeply. It’s so hard.

    • Eliza says...

      I had one best friend from grade 1 until a few years after high school. She felt like a sister to me (and I have sisters who are also my best friends so I mean this very literally).I don’t know where we went wrong but we started to drift apart just the littlest bit a few years into University as we both made new friends and lived in different cities but we still talked all the time on the phone. We were going to go on a road trip together back to our home town, planned it all out, and I was packed and ready to go but the day she was supposed to pick me up she just didn’t arrive! She didn’t call or text, and she wasn’t answering her phone; I was legitimately worried. I called her mum who called her grandmother who gave me the number of the friends house she was supposed to be staying at the night before. I called her there and she said “I just didn’t want to drive that far for nothing.” with no other explanation. Nothing? Our already planned out trip is nothing? Our friendship is nothing? I am nothing? That was a 15 years ago and it still hurts my heart when I think about it. I’ve made wonderful friends since then but I feel like I never expect permanence from any friendship anymore, besides my literal sisters and sisters-in-law who I am very fortunate to have friendships with.

    • Amanda says...

      O Steph, I feel like you’re writing about me – another conflict-avoiding Amanda. I fell out with my bestie during IVF and although we subsequently made friends again, the connection was gone. It was excruciating, especially as she kept asking why we couldn’t go back to normal – but honestly, I’d look at her and wonder what we’d had in common for two decades. And the worst part, is that we had so much fun and laughter and were so, so close. I miss her and us so much. It hurts to see her now and feel superficial and a bit defensive. And it scares me that I could do that – completely lose that connection. I’m sure your Amanda misses you too.

    • Nigerian Girl says...

      @Steph G: About two years ago, I broke up with a friend because our friendship became very exhausting and retrogressive for me. I didn’t give her any explanation, but after reading your comment and the responses to it, I feel guilty, sad and ashamed. Maybe I should have handled things differently. Maybe I should have sat her down and talked honestly instead of cutting her off completely. My heart goes out to you and anyone else who is going through a friend break up. The pain that comes with the end of a romantic relationship is nothing compared to this. And yes, Joanna, please do a larger post on this topic.

    • Lisa says...

      My best friend since middle school and all through high school and college didn’t even send me a text to say I’m sorry after my dad died. It is just so strange to me that we aren’t really in each others lives anymore. I almost died having my daughter and she has no idea. I have since gone on to make two more very good friends, but when I think of my best friend I still picture her face. I guess that’s nostalgia mostly. But it still breaks my heart.

    • LK says...

      Yes, thank you for this. One of my bridesmaids (my husband’s friend first, and then one of my closest friends) stopped showing up after our wedding. I blamed myself for a few years, but ultimately decided I tried my best and to let it go. She is getting married this year and we will be attending, but it all seems so weird and ambiguous. I am not sure what to think.

    • Judy says...

      Friend breakups are the worst. The other thing, as someone much older, is friend “drift away”. As the children grew up and moved on, the parent friends that I was close to just seemed to drift away. As an introvert, I have found this stage of my life(60s) to be the hardest at making new friends. It is like everyone has their set buddies and doesn’t want to expand the circle at the gym I go to, and, living in a rural area, that is the only place I have to connect. Unfortunately I cannot volunteer any at this point, as we have elderly parents and other family that need weekly help. I joined a local meetup group on FB nearby, but the prospect of facing a large group of people and having to make small talk makes me want to run the other way. Anyone else been through similar, I am grateful for advice. My BF right now is half the country away, and we have never met IRL, as we bonded thru a FB group and keep in touch several times a week. I am so thankful for her, but I want to be a person for someone that I can meet for coffee or help out when they need a hand.

    • Sarz says...

      Steph, thanks for sharing! Your words brought back to mind my own situation, which I’ve been trying to step back from. I met my own best friend around 6 years ago. She’s brilliant, kind, hilarious and humble. I thought those were the qualities everyone would want in a friend, so I was shocked when she told me I was the first *close* friend she’d ever had. (We were 27 at the time.) It turns out that social anxiety had prevented her from being truly vulnerable around anyone, until I came along. I felt incredibly lucky, and sometimes teased her that when “word got out” about her, I’d have to take a number. Around a year ago, my little prophecy turned out to be true. For the first time in her life, she’s flooded with social calls. She’s the most popular person I know, and with good reason! While I’ve been able to enjoy close friendships throughout most of my life, she’s finally able to make up for lost time. I suspect this feeling might be somewhat similar to what a parent must experience when a child is ready to leave home and carve out their own identity; both pride, and a twinge of heartbreak over the inevitability of change. She deserves every great experience out there, but I loved her first.

      Stay strong! And Jo, I do agree that the topic of transitions in friendships could be its own post!

    • L says...

      This struck me. A (literally) lifelong friend who I did everything with suddenly stopped talking to me about 6 years ago (we are 36). I had just gotten through a horrible divorce about a year prior, which she actively supported me though. I didn’t understand. There was no fight, argument, or any disagreement that I could think of. My self-esteem was very low, and I thought maybe I had just asked too much of her? So I pursued her for about a year and then made to devastating decision to just let her go, wishing her all the best. She moved across the country about 4 years ago.
      Two weeks ago, I was shocked to get a message from her asking if we could talk sometime. I was confused but said yes. It turns out, she is in a terribly controlling (abusive) marriage and has been cut off from ALL of her old friends, which I didn’t realize. I was the first she was cut from because my “divorced” status rendered me “a bad influence” by her husband. Suddenly, everything made sense. My heart broke as she apologized, and thanked me for being willing to speak to her. She is in the process of freeing herself and her children from the situation. I will do anything I can for her, although we are on opposite sides of the country. I am excited to get my dear friend back.

    • janee says...

      Ghosting or ‘drifting away’ is a type of dis-functional behavior or at the very least simply immature. If they can not offer you the respect of at least an attempt at an explanation, (because life and emotions are often difficult to verbalize well), then it’s them, not you, sad as that may be. Respect them enough in turn to honor their position and after a brief period of mourning, let it go. You deserve better and you will find it.

  85. Kaitlyn says...

    I love these stories of female friendships, but I can’t relate. My best friends are two men that I met in my first job out of law school. We bonded and formed a “circle of trust” where we could bitch and moan and tell secrets about our lives and career without fear that one of the other would share it (partners excepted, of course). They’re my people. We all left that job within 6 months of each other, and we’re still incredibly close, despite me moving across the country. I literally spend an hour a day texting them, and we have FaceTime dates so I can see their faces (and one’s beautiful baby). I love their partners, and they love mine, but at the end of the day, we’re the glue. I plan trips back to NY (from CA) and plan at least 1 day of just being with them, because it’s as important that I see them as seeing my family.

    I had no idea that I’d find my people at a random job after law school, but I’m so glad I did.

    • Caitlin says...

      Friendly observation:
      Most of these stories don’t specify gender. Your situation sounds just as lovely and relatable as everything else that has been shared!

  86. K says...

    My best friend died of a brain tumor when we were 28.
    I’ve always been the type of person to have just a couple of really good friends at a time rather than a whole clutch of people – I would never be that bride with 13 bridesmaids or something. At a time when another friendship from early childhood was fading, she and I became fast friends when I was feeling pretty adrift in high school. I still cherish how innocent and fun and fresh our friendship was – berry picking and star gazing and driving around listening to the local jazz station, while other teens our age were busy drinking and going to football games. Her parents were wonderful hippies with interesting artist friends, and I spent a lot of time with them. Their home was a cozy hub for good conversation and impromptu dinner parties, and it filled a gap I never knew existed for me.
    She was my north star and she and her wonderful family completely shaped the person I am today. We had always made plans to raise our kids together as “aunties”.
    When she became terminally ill in our 20s, our friendship shifted in a way that I couldn’t ever “right”. The brain surgery changed her in the way that traumatic brain events do; she was angry and scared and at times prickly. At the same time I carried a lot of guilt that my life and plans were moving forward as hers were skidding to a halt. I was planning my wedding when she went into hospice and I remember her asking me if she could still be in the wedding even though at this point she had to be carried to go pee because her legs no longer worked.
    She passed 8 years ago and I still haven’t been able to make a friendship since then. I have tried but I am gun-shy, I think I am scared to lose someone again.

    • RobberSoup says...

      I’m so very sorry for your loss. Your friendship sounds amazing, you are lucky to have had a friend like that. I hope you can find it again.

    • T says...

      Your fear is ensuring you’ve lost everyone, before you’ve even begun. Not choosing, is a choice. Xx

    • Sarah says...

      I relate to missing those “innocent, fun, fresh” things more than anything! We can’t be 5 or 15 again, but however dull I might be sometimes, I miss just going for walks and finding things to look at or put in bouquets, or singing together, or sharing old poems, or making costumes just for fun, or having silly fancy “afternoon teas”, all while also having earnest girl talks too – nobody I know is into that kind of thing, and I don’t want to whine but it seems like so many people are just into drinking and eating out and watching movies and gossiping, and I like those things too but there’s that whole other more real part of me that I feel kind of sad to not act on more. Sometimes I’ll get people singing a bit and it’s hard not to get too excited and start begging to keep going! :) Ah well!

  87. Sarah says...

    I am single and very close with my best friend and her husband. When she was pregnant with their now 18-mo old, a lot of people – including my therapist – told me that things would change between us. And they were right – things have changed, but not the way I was warned they might. Rather, we are closer than ever, me coming over once a week since Benny was born to make them dinner (which is something I love doing). I love her son more than I dreamed I could, and I am an active part of their family. She hasn’t become “too busy” to ask me about all of my (many) first dates. Friendship takes effort, and it’s worth every bit of it.

  88. Em says...

    My best friend since 3 years old just died suddenly and randomly at 25. We were soulmates more than any romantic relationship I’ve had and I don’t have a single memory of growing up that doesn’t include her. I don’t know how to “life” without her.

    • Jill says...

      Hi Em.
      I hate that this happening to you. I’m so very sorry.
      ((((((((((Hugs))))))))))

    • Oh, this is so sad. I’m sorry.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’m so, so sorry for your tremendous loss, em.

    • Elle says...

      I’m so sorry for your loss… <3

  89. Erika says...

    My dear friend M left me a message on one of your post a couple of weeks ago. I was sitting teary in my bed one Saturday morning, texting about our days, and she sent this message “I left you a love note on the internet this week.” She introduced me to Cup of Jo, so I knew right where to find it. And I checked the most recent post that made me really think . . . there it was.

    M, your note was all the words I needed at that teary moment and more than I could have ever asked for someone to see in me. I read the post on infertility that week hoping deeply that I hadn’t sometime, somehow hurt my friend . To hear I had “Phd-level success” in being your friend was shocking and beautiful. It’s beautiful to be seen in such a way and to share such an intimate and meaningful friendship.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      this is so beautiful xoxoxo

    • Caitlin says...

      This is lovely beyond words and a testament to what a special community this is.

  90. Kate says...

    I went to get coffee and sit for a few minutes today, and I couldn’t help but overhear two women talking. One was clearly crying and at one point her friend said “you don’t have to carry this yourself. Your burden is mine. I am your best friend and I will help you with everything. You are not going to do this alone.” I don’t know what the crisis was, but it was so powerful. I don’t have many close girlfriends myself, but I am so grateful that there are women out there holding up other women.

    • janee says...

      What a beautiful chance encounter.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, how lovely. i remember being so stressed in my twenties about a situation at work and my friend Lina sat across from me and held out her hands and said, “give me your stress, let me take on some of your stress,” and it felt like the most RELIEVING thing in the world. as if i could truly just hand it over. <3

  91. Tara I says...

    Today is my best friend’s 32nd birthday. I remember her 10th birthday, both of us Gemini twins but me a year older. She got roller blades and the new Mary-Kate and Ashley movie that year-Btw they are all on hulu now:-) I remember she called me on her high school boyfriends HOME phone immediately after she lost her virginity. She told my mom to please stop talking on the day of my wedding as she was driving me nuts. Only a best friend could do that. The last two years have been rough. A miscarriage, the end of a marriage, and lots of therapy. I never was alone, because she was there. When my ex cheated, she texted him which now is SO hilarious. I’m pretty sure the knife emoji was used. When I was ready to sell my wedding rings, I took us to the fucking fanciest spa for a couples spa day. During our 90 min massage, they asked how we knew each other, and she responded 3rd grade. Truly the longest and best relationship. Female friendships make the world go around:-)

    P.S. My 70 yr mom has girls weekend once a month with her girlfriends where all men/partners must evacuate the home. The last time I saw her friend Gayle she let me in on a secret girls weekend entails face masks, weekend, copious amounts of carbs, and rolling joints with tin foil, but that I must never tell my mom that I know:-)

  92. Jill says...

    Friendships really are the great love stories of life, and are worth celebrating!

    Just before my wedding, my childhood guy friend – with whom I’ve only grown closer to over the years, told me “not to get pregnant too fast, because I want our kids to have the chance to be friends like we were.” The dual acknowledgment of our goofy past and a shared future meant the world to me. What’s more is knowing that we could make that commitment without being in a romantic relationship. I’m now two months away from meeting my firstborn, and this weekend we celebrated together with pancakes and landed on a good nickname for the in utero baby – Jolliper!

  93. Robin says...

    Can I put in a plug for a CoJ readers retreat?! I’ve been daydreaming about a cabin weekend to mingle my diverse mix of female friends from coast to coast. This community feels like part of that network. Would love to meet some CoJ friends IRL.

    • EliseB says...

      sign me up!

    • Donna says...

      Robin I was just thinking this! Or at least a meet-up by region. I love these ladies!

    • Lauren B says...

      oh my goodness, this sounds incredible!!

    • Michaela says...

      Oh gosh I’m so in. Can we do CoJ personals for friend?? I’m 24, queer, getting married in October, live on the East Coast and am looking for a friend to grow old with! Must be political, care about the environment, help me challenge myself and be okay with me laughing at my own jokes! I’ll always support you and do research for every major life decision with you- plus I’m a great baker! Also open to running buddies- must be slow like me :) Haha!

    • E says...

      Michaela, congratulations! What state do you live in?

      x, Fellow East-Coaster, Baker, Slow Runner

    • Michaela says...

      Haha! @E: I live in Boston but I’m moving to RI in 7 days (!!) How about you?

  94. Beck says...

    So sweet. Made me think of a book I just finished, Firefly Lane. If anyone’s looking for a book on the complexities of a life-long female friendship, it is fantastic!

    • Nicola says...

      O.M.G. I just finished that book too!!! Like last week! So good! I ugly cried at the end!!

    • alle says...

      Yes this is why I enjoyed Snow Flower and the Secret Fan – complex. But irl I want a friend who is NOT complex but just loves and supports me as I do her!

  95. Edwina says...

    My childhood best friend and I are coming up to 30 years in 2020! We live in different states and don’t see each other often, but if anything big happens in either of our lives, there’s no question about who we call. Will definitely have to celebrate with something special next year – what a lovely idea x

  96. Des says...

    Well this broke my heart. At 31 and pregnant with my first child, I find myself with absolutely zero close friends. Some have moved to other towns and life has gotten in the way, some I’ve realised are not healthy relationships and that close bond isn’t good for me. I find myself longing for someone to share things with- be it a funny meme or a bottle of wine (post baby!). I miss the friendships I had as a teenager, but space and time will never let those return to newer friendships. I do long for some kind of female companionship more often than I’d care to admit

    • Corinne says...

      You might check out MOPS in your area. I’ve been that lonely new Mom (in a new place) and it was a lifeline. Meet some very dear friends that way, bonded over the joys and pains of young motherhood.

    • Allie says...

      Never say never. I was fortunate to meet a wonderful circle of new moms when my daughter was born last summer. Fast forward to this year, we all text daily and get together at least once a month, often sans babies. I think new momhood is one of those rare times in adulthood when people are actually looking actively for new friends, and if you are fortunate enough to have maternity leave, time to bond. I would recommend trying to find a new moms group in your area – mine was thru the local JCC.

    • GAL says...

      I agree. I feel like I never learned how to make close friends out of work friends and I’ve missed the boat. And the “new mom friend” thing was a no go because both my kids had health problems that led to non-stop screaming all day, every day. We got kicked out of breast feeding group at 10 days old because no one could hear over my daughter. (They both eventually got better, but not until months after I was back at work full time.) I’m feeling very sad that I have no one I could really turn to in a crisis.

  97. lindsey says...

    I’ve moved to 2 new cities in the last 2 years for my husband’s residency/fellowship and making friends as an adult is so hard. I’ve met 2 girls recently that I hit it off in conservation with, so I gave them my number but haven’t heard from them. Perhaps in the future I need to get their numbers and actually follow up. I have a lot of friends from college and my time in other cities, and I’m trying to maintain those friendships, but I’d like to spend time with others in my own city.

    • Hannah says...

      Yes. I thought a baby would help but it isn’t helping more than initial interactions. I moved when she was 4 months and spend so much time alone as my husband doesn’t come home every nights. Good luck with it!

    • Rosie says...

      This happened to me recently. Three dinners and two lunches where we talked for hours and I had a blast, but then I never heard from her again. I have no idea if I offended her or something. I thought we had really connected. It was such a disappointment to lose a potential friend. It reminds me of being ghosted when I was dating in my 20s, and it’s just as rude.

    • Meredith says...

      Hi Lindsey! My husband and I move frequently too,

      I have found that making female friends as an adult is soooo much like dating! It is totally okay to “text her first” and invite her to plans you’ve made. If she declines and doesn’t offer to do something another time, it is okay to move on and know that it is NOT you, its just that ya’ll aren’t meant to be right now. Sometimes its literally something as simple as logistics that will hinder an otherwise promising friendship. I’ve met plenty of ladies that I enjoyed having lunch with, but our lives just do not overlap without A LOT of work, and friendships are like ponytails and farts, if you have to force it, its probably shit (lol!)

      One way to shortcut the awkward initial stages of developing friendships is to find people that you will have regular, repeat interactions with naturally. Like through a weekly/monthly meetup focused on something you’re interested in. I go to a weekly writers meetup that I found through the Meetup app, and while I am not bosom buddies with anyone I have met there, several of the ladies have gone out to lunch together after and those friendly acquaintance relationships are still valid and important.

      Church can also be a fantastic way to meet new people. I know it’s not for everyone, but I have made some wonderful friends through a weekly small group Bible study. The ladies of the group maintain a fun group text to coordinate the weekly meetings and also ask each other for help (with anything from babysitters to where can I find those Coke Icees) throughout the week. I’m closer with some of the ladies than others, and that’s totally okay.

      Good luck! Hope you find a sweet lady tribe in your new city!

  98. Yes,it'sme. says...

    I love you CJ!

  99. I lived in London for a year in 2012, and when I first moved there my mom was with me to help me settle into my apartment. As moms do, she went off on her own for a while, which I can only suspect was her time to take notes of the building, where the nearest grocery store was, and if the neighborhood gave her a good feeling. When she came back, she told me that she met a girl she thought I’d like. The next day, while getting on a bus, we ran into that girl, so my mom introduced us. I’m pretty sure I gave a half-hearted hello, as daughters do. Thankfully, that girl came up to me later on the bus and said, “Your mom said such nice things about you, and I think we’re going to be friends.” Turns out, both my mom and that girl were right: She not only made London home for me, but we’re still best friends today.

    • I LOVE this matchmaking effort by your mom ::)

  100. Layne Dettor says...

    Love love love this post. I truly think my friends are the best parts of me. Because I’ve developed such deep, emotionally intimate friendships throughout the years it was really hard for me to start calling my boyfriend my best friend. About 2 years in, something big happened and I couldn’t wait to pick up the phone and tell him first. I realized right then and there that Jon was my best friend.

  101. Barb says...

    BRB, need to call my girlfriends and tell them I love them.

    • Elizabeth says...

      Ditto Barb, I literally just had the exact same reaction to all these beautiful comments! :)

  102. Deanna says...

    I moved to NZ at 27 after living in the same house my entire life. I’ve found that when you have a connection with someone, you have to aske for their number and actually follow through on making plans. Worst case scenario, you never meet up again, but at least you tried.

  103. Lillian Chang says...

    Oh this made me feel all warm & fuzzy! It’s like the hip, modern, bite-sized version of Chicken Soup for the Soul (I used to read those ages ago!)

    There’s something about those deep friendships that are just so unique and beautiful and irreplaceable by any other relationship in the world. I’ve known my best friends since middle school – we fell out of touch and reconnected when we were twenty – and we have seen each other through that decade – the breakups, the marriages, the cross-country moves, the kids. They are for sure my chosen family. And it’s true what Erika above said – sometimes I can get so consumed by my role as wife and mother in my day to day life that I forget that my friends are not a part of that equation. They are separate and will always be mine. That’s pretty special.

  104. Anonymous says...

    Love this post! I feel like at a time when other girls were learning how to make and deepen friendships during their teen years, I was taking care of my dying mom. It took me years to realize how to even make new friends. I’ve invested a lot of time and energy into building and sustaining those friendships and it’s been the best thing I’ve done. Of course, sometimes friendships fall apart and it’s hard. And I still worry I’ll end up a lonely teenager without friends. But, my girlfriends have taught me how to be a good friend–like they are to me.

    P.S. Amy Poehler is my neighbor and she’s super-friendly.

    • Noelle says...

      Anonymous, I am very jealous you live by Amy Poehler! It’s always delightful to hear that celebrities you admire are actually nice in real life.