Eurgh, relationship break-ups. Awkwardly bumping into them at parties, watching them get close to someone else, questioning where it all went wrong - the aftermath is rarely fun.
But I'm not talking about romantic relationships. I'm talking about mate breakups.
I've had a few very close freindships over the years that have broken down for some reason - mutual drifting apart or furious recriminations about perceived (and actual) slights, I've run the full gamut.
Have I always acted well? No. But am I a bad person to be mates with? No. I hope.
So, what is it then? I think that at different points in your life, you are attracted to different things in people, and they are to you. Plus, y'know, circumstance plays a part. Maybe once you're out of a context, you risk a friendship collapse. Once you and your childhood friend bonded over firsts - now you're in your late twenties, you don't have the same bonds. Also, part of it is inexplicable.
I believe it takes very special people to understand you throughout all the you that you have been, that you are, and that you may be in the future, and to sustain that throughout. I'm lucky to have plenty of those people in my life too - people I would drop anything for if they needed, and I believe they would for me.
I'm not sure if it would be different if I were a man. Men's friendships with each other seem, kind of more straightforward than women's. Less likely to get to the point of heady entanglement and emotive wrangling a woman will have with her girlfriends. But you'll have to ask a guy that.
However, the fact still stands you don't really get the same sympathy breaking up with a pal as you would with a partner. Rarely will someone take you out to get over your friend break-up or suggest a night in with a film and pizza.
There is a perceived feeling that friendship love is not as deep as romantic love. But I'd disagree. The heady feelings of finding someone you click with, the nights where you buy each other dinner because the other one hasn't been paid yet, the crying over nightmarish bosses or shattered dreams along the way - it's all the same. It's just minus the sex (generally, at least for me).
Whatever may have led to their end, each of these relationships - from the uni best friend who lived next door to me in halls, to the good-time party girl who I used to share raucous Sundays with - have taught me something and enriched my life for the time that we were inseparable from each other. And maybe it's fairer that way. After all, none of us have time to squeeze in people we can't find time for in our lives anymore.