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on February 21, 2010
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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on October 9, 2009
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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on May 12, 2014
I’m impressed with this book. I debated over it for quite a while, feeling a little silly that I haven’t been able to resolve this issue by myself after all this time, but in the end I decided that years of beating myself up trying to figure out what went wrong with a long-term close friendship wasn’t doing me any good and I might as well see what the author had to say. I’m glad I did… if only to be reassured that this happens all the time, to almost everyone sooner or later, and it’s really more normal than one might imagine.

Interestingly, while offering this line of thinking, the author still manages not to slide too far the other way… she never gives the impression that oh well, friendships breaking off without warning is perfectly normal so you should expect it and not worry about it. She never takes the cavalier attitude that if there’s nothing you can do about it you should just let it roll off your back. There are important lessons to be learned from our failures that can be applied to future friendships.

I still don’t know what happened to my own best-friendship and I will probably never know… I wasn’t expecting to find the exact answer on Page 64 or anything like that… but I feel more at peace with that reality than I did before I started reading this book. No crime has been committed and there’s no blame to be assigned.
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on March 19, 2014
I was really excited to find a book about this "other" type of breakup. I'd never seen one before and I agree that this topic is rarely addressed as being very serious, despite how devastating it can be to lose a bff.
This book just didn't deliver, however. It goes on and on about ways you can lose a friend, types of friendships, etc. The section on how to tell if you are the toxic friend can certainly be useful, but that's about it. There is nothing in here about how to actually get over it. Of course there is no magic cure-all, but a self help type book usually has helpful suggestions, activities, etc. This book did not. It literally gives next to no advice on how to "survive a breakup". It's all about really obvious misc. friendship subjects, and rather drags on.
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on November 14, 2010
I ordered this book out of desperation. I had entered the Depression phase of grieving over the loss of a 17 year friendship without any reason or acknowledgment from my "friend" to help me understand why she opted out. I had even called the doctor about anti-depressants, but was too nervous about becoming hooked on them to keep the appointment. I found this book instead. I cannot begin to put into words how much of a difference it made. Thank you.
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on January 6, 2011
I am struggling with a "broken" friendship right now and this book had many a-ha moments. It helped me realize this happens a lot, and that it can't be all my fault. The many examples helped me to diagnose what might be the fracture in my broken relationship. I did appreciate the author's advice and guidance about when to "reach out" or when to just wait it out. The vivid point that women often don't want to talk about these "break ups" because it might reflect badly on their friendship abilities is something I am definitely experiencing. This was an easy read that flowed well and allowed me to make many text to self connections. I would recommend this book to: help you feel better if you have had a relationship break, guide you in how to be a better friend, and inspire you to reflect on what kind of friend you are and what you want in a friendship. Validating the struggles and helping guide the healing stood out for me when reading.
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on September 23, 2009
This book came at a critical time in my life when I was trying to reconcile with a friend I dumped. Unfortunately, I didn't get forgiven and this book really helped me start on the road towards closure. Even though I was the "dumper" and have kicked myself many times throughout the years, reading Dr. Levine's book was a breath of fresh air. It was very non-judgemental towards anyone who has ever broken off a relationship with a friend for whatever reason, be it petty or justified. Needless to say, I highly recommend this book to anyone who has been dumped by a friend and to anyone who has broken off a friendship. There is a myth of "best friends forever" and knowing that it's just a myth and people change helps me cope with the end of my friendship. Thank you Dr. Levine!
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on January 4, 2015
I was looking for a book that would help me work through my feelings and also help me recognize what was going on in my "ex best friend's" mind and heart. I never really looked at our friendship as being a "season." I put this friend up so high on a pedestal that I completely overcompensated for her shortcomings and made excuses because she "had a good heart." It isn't so much that she didn't have a good heart anymore. She had the same heart, but in it, I did not matter as much anymore. She had moved on to other interests and friends who had those same interests. Our daughters friendship started drifting apart and I felt my child was being swept under the rug while others moved in. In a sense, this is what happened. But, I could not let go of "my" friend even though I knew I had been replaced. I still love her very much. After reading this book, I began to understand that there ARE seasons to friendships and sometimes, letting go is the only way to protect your heart even though it is already broken into a million tiny pieces. Yes, I thought I mattered more. I thought my daughter mattered more. I still feel the pain of knowing that my friend and her daughter moved on, yet this book made me realize that I had done nothing wrong and that my heart was always in the right place. Things may go full circle and they may come back to us one day. But truly, I realized I was a friendship of convenience for her, and pretty soon, I became more of a chore to her than joy. I did not want that for her, for me, for my daughter or for her daughter. Our season had passed. Knowing others have suffered the same realization made it easier for me to begin to move on. I still hurt and feel disappointed, but I understand what happened. This book clarified this for me and gave me a sense of peace and greater understanding. A door may be closed, but a window is open, and I see out of that window with a new set of eyes and a new hope for the future for both my daughter and me.
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on September 1, 2009
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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on September 2, 2009
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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