Oh, Jillian, I have been in your shoes — not with Evelyn but with others. My heart goes out to you. I assume you are much younger than me and all I can say is your experience is not unique when it comes to friendships that are rooted in youth. I can’t think of one person over the age of 40 who hasn’t experienced something similar. I know that does nothing to ease your pain, but I hope it helps you realize that these types of relationship changes are not unusual and are often inevitable. How wonderful if we could stay friends with our besties from high school and college! We could just progress through life supporting and loving one another through the good and bad times. Unfortunately, life isn’t like that or, at least, it rarely is like that. We grow, we change, we evolve and usually at different speeds and in different directions.
My advice is, don’t hold on tight to this relationship. It may be time to move on. Not easy, I know, but probably necessary. I was one who often held on too tight for too long to many relationships, and that was a sign of my neediness, not of the strength of the friendships.
Learning to let go and let life change is a sign of maturity and acceptance. What served us well at 18 no longer serves us well at 25 or 30 or 40. Letting go was one of my most difficult lessons. A dead relationship is no different than a dead body — after a while, it starts to stink.
Maybe it is time to let this friendship disappear like the setting sun. Appreciate it for what it was and all it provided, acknowledging that you have changed, she has changed, life has changed, and it is time to move on. Nothing good can come from holding a corpse tightly.
I had a similar experience with some co-workers that I considered to be my best friends. When my now husband met them, he was shocked I considered them to be my friends much less best friends. Maybe your fiance has insight that you don’t have because you are unable to see beyond the past.
I am glad that my story prompted you to think and write about your situation. And, I hope, no matter if you decide to hold tightly to this friendship or allow it to float away on the winds of change, that you find peace in your decision. Maybe, just maybe, it is time to go out and find your new best friend.
Wishing the best for you,