Even the very best of friends need space.
A few years ago, I decided to move in with a good girlfriend of mine. It was the worst thing to happen to our friendship.
Before I knew it, we were living together, working in the same building, and spending all of our time tucked in each other’s pockets. I woke up, walked into the kitchen to make a cup of tea, and she was there. I came out of the shower, she was there. When I finished a tiring day at work, she was waiting for me to catch the bus home before we sat and ate dinner together.
After she’d broken up with her boyfriend, she’d lean on me and we became incredibly close. Moving in together seemed to make perfect sense. But as the weeks turned into months, we forgot to unglue ourselves. She’d turned into my shadow and I felt like I was back at school, except I was in my early twenties. Without me realising it, we’d developed a toxic friendship; one that was no longer fun or healthy.
In case you missed it, break up registries are a thing. This is what they look like:
Like a jealous boyfriend, she got offended if I spent any time with other friends, and expected to be invited everywhere I went. She was depending on me too much. I felt guilty, as if I always needed to give an explanation or excuse if I’d made other plans. It was draining, uncomfortable and made me begin to dread hanging out with her.
“But you two used to be so close. What happened?” another friend said to me on the phone one day.
“It’s just too much. I feel trapped. I want to move out,” I confessed.
And then it came; my passport out of the friendship prison.
I was offered a job abroad. A few weeks later, we hugged goodbye at the airport. It was the goodbye that saved our friendship.