Mari Katherine Raftopoulos: Going solo

Thelma and Louise.

Romi and Michelle.

Tom and Jerry.

And Batman and Robin.

Duos such as these come in a package. It is hard to find Tom without Jerry or Thelma without Louise. Like these duos, my best friend and I come in a pair. Jaclyn and MK or MK and Jac. That is how people refer to us together and alone.

MK and Jac.

With family far away and your childhood friends in other colleges, there is an emptiness from these close relationships that needs to be filled during college. For some it is a serious relationship, but for me it is a best friendship.

We go to bed at the same time. Eat at the same time and study at the same time.

She gives my mom a challenge for the number of missed phone calls and messages I get on my phone every day. Other than my mother, she is my best friend, my hairstylist, my fashion designer and my cook.

And I am the same to her.

And because our personalities mesh so well together, we have never gotten in a fight, rarely even in a small argument. And these shared agreements have led us to believe that our friendship is based on honesty.

But a best friendship in college is similar to a relationship. You become so comfortable with that person that a small disagreement doesn't seem worth it to mention. To you it is not that you are being dishonest, just courteous because you don't want this argument to ruin her day, your coffee break in between classes together, or your relationships with other friends.

These small disagreements begin to add up until a larger disagreement comes up and reveals all the hidden problems with the friendship. This is the time when being considered a duo with a best friend goes wrong, when you get in a fight.

As I have mentioned in the past, I am a guy's girl, for the reason that being friends with a guy excludes drama. As boys stay constant with their friendships, girls change their best friends like the four seasons of the year. And a tear over a friend today could be a hug tomorrow.

When I decided to go to Las Vegas this past weekend without my other half, I saw it as a positive break from each other, but she saw it as hurtful. After a letter exchange of point of views and one hello the next morning after our fight, Jac and MK became solo. And we stopped talking and stopped being friends.

Was I being selfish for wanting to do my own thing? Or was it a realistic idea? After feeling guilty for two days for choosing to go to Vegas without her I realized that our idea of our friendships differed. Best friends should complement each other, not limit each other. Individual characters and identities should not become one. And a best friend should understand your good and bad qualities.

My independent upbringing and outlook on life has always influenced my personal relationships. I value my independence and ability to do things on my own. In college, the community creates an atmosphere in which everything is done in a group. It is hard to find alone time, to do things for yourself, things that you enjoy that no one else will. I see this alone time as therapeutic. And having a dependence on a best friend takes advantage of this alone time. Just like all things in life you must prioritize your friendships and find time to go solo.

After returning from our friendship break we came back to find that we needed this separation.

We needed this alone time to find honesty in our friendship.

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