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Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend Paperback – Bargain Price, September 1, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Levine's first book is a formidable resource for negotiating the ending of women's friendships. The author, a journalist, psychologist and professor at NYU Medical School, affirms that the grief of ending a close friendship can be as potent as that of a dying romantic relationship. But the former rarely garners the same social support as a divorce or romantic breakup. Levine cites studies indicating that women's friendships are more intense than men's, nurtured through shared intimacy and reciprocity. But friendships are not static, she explains—over time, they can wax and wane and end. Levine's seven stages of grief are loosely reminiscent of the Kübler-Ross grief model, but include new elements: Self Blame, Embarrassment and Shame and Relief. Full of hints for being a consistently thoughtful friend, for resuscitating your closest friendship or knowing when to end it, this book is part etiquette guide, part grief manual. Whether your friendship sputtered because of physical distance or your best friend slept with your boyfriend, Levine deftly assures us that although the pain can be strong, the sorrow will pass. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"For anyone who has ever had a friend, but especially for those who've ended close relationships, Irene Levine has written a beautiful guide to recovery and healing. It's a book filled with honest reflections and heartfelt advice." -Jeffrey Zaslow, New York Times bestselling author of The Girls from Ames and co-author of The Last Lecture

"Finally, a book that helps you get through the other type of breakup." -Andrea Lavinthal and Jessica Rozler, authors of Friend or Frenemy?

"The end of a friendship is painful and sad, regardless of the circumstances. Dr. Irene Levine explores this difficult subject with insight and heart, plus a look at the latest research. Her guidance is especially interesting and helpful regarding Facebook and other new developments that are changing the meaning of friendship in today's world." -Florence Isaacs, author of Toxic Friends/True Friends and What Do You Say When...

"Dr. Irene Levine's Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend should be every woman's BFF! Written in a breezy yet thoughtful style and peppered with stories from real-life best friends, this guide shows that female friendships are rich, life-affirming, joyful-but often very complicated too. We women love our friends, but we feel completely alone and confused when those friendships get troubled or even disappear. In her unique self-help guide, Dr Levine gives essential advice and tips for navigating the ups and downs of female friendship. -Joanne Rendell, author of The Professors Wives Club and Crossing Washington Square

A Best Friends Forever explodes the myths about female friendships and is a readable, entertaining survival manual filled with practical advice for girls and women of all ages. The book reminds us that it is the nature of relationships to change over time, and helps us understand and cope with those changes. We don't expect to marry our elementary school sweethearts, and it is equally rare for our best friends from childhood to be there for us forever. This book will help you navigate the choppy waters that complicate friendships, advise you on how to salvage the friendships that can and should be saved, and guide you to move on when necessary.  -Diana Zuckerman, PhD, Psychologist, President, National Research Center for Women & Families

A fractured friendship can be as painful as any other break-up, whether you've been jilted by a friend or been the one to do the jilting. Irene S. Levine understands the complications of friendship-the lulls, the obstacles, and yes, the dissolutions, and offers kind, practical and realistic tools to recover from a break-up and emerge strong, healthy and complete." -Allison Winn Scotch, New York Times bestselling author of Time of My Life

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook TP (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590200403
  • ASIN: B0076TODVU
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,230,102 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 57 people found the following review helpful By merlot on February 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
I stumbled on this book after I found the authors blog. I was having a difficult time with a friendship that had suffered yet another major disappointment. I didn't want to depend on other friends or my mother to help me work it out. This book was perfect. It's written by a therapist who has unique insight into the dynamics of female friendships. She talks about how the dynamics of female relationships but the majority of the book is about what to do when things go bad. It's not at all academic but there are some interesting facts and tips throughout the book for added insight. There are numerous examples and short stories of different types of friendship challenges that remind you how common it is for female friendships to have problems. She offers very objective advice on how to navigate through issues and offers suggestions on when to save a relationship, how to prevent issues as much as possible and what to do if it's best to let a toxic friendship go. She closes by discussing how you can use a bad situation to make better friendship choices in the future. I found this book to be invaluable and much better than trying to discuss my hurtful situation with other friends, my mother or even a therapist. On the surface it could seem like there isn't a need for a book on this topic but for any woman that has had a major issue witha female friend this is a very helpful, unbiased book. I gained a lot of clarity about the relationship that caused me to seek out the book as well as some other female relationships in my life. Ironically, as I was reading the book I began developing a relationship with a new female friend that I have lots in common with and again the insight in this book helped me feel comfortable getting to know this new friend and not feeling distrustful or negative based on my recent situation. I would highly recommend this book to anyone having a struggle with a female friendship.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Happy Reader on October 9, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As the mother of three grown daughters, I can testify that there are few issues that are more important to women than the strength of their friendships. Irene Levine has provided us with a very valuable book that I wish I had had years ago. It explains why our female friendships are so important to us, and when they are worth maintaining--and even more important, when it's okay to let go.

I will give a copy of Dr. Levine's book to each of my daughters as it answers so many of the questions we have mulled over during the past years: "How could she say that?" "How could she do that?" "Should I still go with her family for the weekend anyway?" The book is perfect for women of all ages!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Loftfjeld on September 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
I've been looking for a book like this one for several years now--I had a huge falling out with a friend several years ago, and have been bothered by it ever since. This is the first book I've ever found that actually addresses a friendship breakup as what it is--the breakup of a very close, personal relationship, and akin to a breakup of a romance or even a marriage in terms of how close two women can be and how much they share.

One of the really interesting stories in the book that resonated with me was the story of a single woman and a married mother who had been best friends for a long time, but then had a huge falling out when the married woman forgot the single woman's birthday, her reasoning being that it was an innocent mistake, and she'd been too busy with her child. It's so true that sometimes as we age our priorities shift, and without any malice we end up hurting the friends who have been closest to us. I'm really glad that Irene Levine has taken these kinds of "small" issues head-on, showed how they can create irreparable rifts if they are not treated carefully, and offered some strategies for trying to repair things that have gone wrong.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By FLJerseyBoy on September 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
Thanks to the mixed blessings of email and social networking, a painfully familiar scenario these days plays out like this: a joke or innocent aside is misread, the protest lingers too long in the sender's Inbox, and before you know it there's a full-scale flame war and hurt feelings. Online or in real life, it happens way too often to women a guy cares about: a sister, a girlfriend, a wife, or just a woman *friend* has a falling-out with her best friend.

This devastates the women at both ends of the breakup, and (probably without exception) will spill over into their other relationships as well. She might not say anything to Guy X in her life, but if Guy X is at all awake and observant he'll see the symptoms. Their footprints will be everywhere in her life, like mud tracked in on a light-colored carpet: depression, a short temper, sometimes substance abuse, emotional retreat, and (yeah) even a couple's sex life. You may think you know what she's going through; you may think you can talk or josh her out of her anxiety, fear, anger, and heartache. Don't be too hasty, though -- the operative word there is "think." (You may have noticed that women sometimes think differently from men.)

Dr. Irene S. Levine didn't just make up her observations from personal experience. She surveyed over 1500 women to get their take on the problems and solutions that follow the collapse of personal friendships. If you share the book with a woman in your life who's suffered this experience, not only will she feel less alone for having found good virtual "friends" in Levine and her survey respondents; she'll feel that way for having found a better real friend in *you*.

I had the great good luck to see Levine's book as an advance copy. If you'd like to get a feel for how she might tackle the issues, you might want to visit her "Friendship Blog" ([...]) or see her Friendship Doctor columns at the Huffington Post ([...]
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