By Angela Hatcher, Opinion Editor
My best friend from home and I got in a blowout fight over winter break because she found out that I got coffee with her ex-boyfriend at school (completely platonically). It’s a really messy situation; they broke up last spring, and she accused him of things I know he didn’t really do (or at least, not to the degree she’s been telling everyone). I was friends with him too when they were together, and I knew he was struggling at school so I offered to meet up and talk. I knew my friend would be mad if she found out so I kept it from her, but of course she found out.
We haven’t talked since January, and I feel bad for hurting her feelings, but I didn’t do anything to intentionally spite her. I miss talking to her, but I also think she’s being irrationally angry about this — we just talked at the library over coffee, and I haven’t seen him since. Should I reach out to her or wait for her to come to me?
Kinda sad but mostly over it
Dear Kinda sad but mostly over it,
This situation has more layers than a cake, an onion and Shrek combined. I’m going to just do a deep dive here and break my thoughts down into three parts: my interpretation of said friend’s reaction, what I think of it and what I think you should do from here.
As I’ve said before, I’m a pretty cool sloth. It takes a lot to really get under my skin. Most of the time I just hang around in a tree in a constant state of chill and look at the world from my branch.
But I have to admit, if I saw my best friend talking to my ex-boyfriend in any setting without context, I would be fucking pissed and I’d probably fall right out of my tree onto my ass.
There are several reasons why I get where your friend is coming from. The break-up is still probably very fresh in her mind. There’s clearly something that went on between them that has deeply affected her. You’re her best friend. The lingering concept of “Girl Code.”
And while I understand her reaction and can sympathize with your friend’s anger, I think it’s bullshit because of one 12-letter word: circumstance. The circumstances of this entire situation are pretty unique: you were friends with The Ex for about as long as your BFF. He was struggling in school.
It’s not like you were sexing him up for weeks over text and sending him snaps of you with that crap-tastic dog filter that every basic uses. You reached out to him from a place of genuine concern. You reached out to him as a friend.
Again, without context, I can understand your friend’s initial anger. And the only thing I can really comment on here is that you didn’t tell her and that’s probably why she’s most angry.
I can almost guarantee that your friend would be a lot less upset if you had been honest with her about reaching out to her ex and getting coffee with him. You would’ve been able to explain yourself, explain your reasoning, with minimal blow-up fighting. I’ve found that in life, it’s always best to simply be honest. Even if it’s harder, even if the truth tastes like acid on your tongue — honesty is the best policy, all the time, no exceptions.
And she’s your best friend. You should have given her some kind of courtesy warning or simple heads up text about what was going on. Not that she needs a full-fledged explanation as to why, but so she knows that you’ve got nothing to hide.
But you can’t turn back the hands of time so now you have to deal with the mess before you.
If I know a thing or two about friend feuds – and I think I do – I can tell you that everything is going to work itself out.
There’s no reason why something like this should be friendship-ending. She’s upset now, semi-understandably so. But there’s no reason you two can’t work through this. You clearly want to and despite your friend’s anger, I’m sure she does too – friendships are made to be resilient and withstand conflicts like this.
Look at Tia and Tamara. Lucy and Ethel. Daphne and Velma. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.
You think these iconic female duos don’t have their fair share of problems? Of course they do. But they worked through them and came out on top. Fighting over petty shit like this does nothing.
She’s had about three months to think about all this, to take the facts, let them sink in and process. If her hissy fit isn’t over yet, then give her more time to cool off, but don’t hesitate to reach out to her. Best friends are best friends.
Even after I fight with my two best friends for a week, stop talking to them and hang on to my petty anger, I always know – deep down – that if I really need anything, he and she are only a phone call away.
Give your friend a ring. You two need to talk about this kind of stuff. Even if it’s hard.