Let's call her A. I met A when I moved abroad for college. Not instantly but a semester later. She was the girlfriend of a friend from my college. She was studying the same course as me - but from a different university. Our city was small, houses and colleges were close by so we ended up hanging out a lot. She was not shy by any means… But she wasn't an extrovert either. She was very specific about the kind of people she attached herself to and very calculative about the kind of influence they had. I know that now, but I didn't back then.
The friend of mine she was seeing… Well, he kind of broke up with her. It was a bad break up - they had moved countries together, after all. Looking back, I can confidently say that that's when we started becoming best friends. She confided in me, I opened up about things to her. We slowly became each other's support system in the strange new city where we had no family. We would meet for lunch between classes, grab a smoke break in the evening, go out drinking and make new friends and celebrate every festival together. We had crazy nights and mellow nights. It was just perfect.
This was also the time when I started to loose touch with my friends back home. The time and culture difference and the geographical distance all became too much. I was living my new life with my new friends - and school friends who I thought would be there forever started to fade away. And initially I didn't realize it, but that was a huge blow for me. In response to that, I started to attach myself further to A. I would go over after class to do my homework at her place, get really annoyed when she wouldn't hold up the plans she made with me. I had gone and attached myself to a person who was definitely not in the space for emotional attachments. And when she reached her tipping point… Well, she basically hosted a private intervention for me. And wow. I can't begin to describe how that felt. That moment, I basically felt like she was telling me that I loved her a bit too much. That I needed to take a step back, give her some room. Yeah, I know, I sound like a classic overly attached girlfriend. And even though her reaction felt like a slap in the face, it turned out to be really good for me. That's when I finally started to be comfortable by myself. I didn't need another person to go have a meal with me, I didn't need someone to talk to about every little thought I had. I became much more confident while meeting new people, yet keeping them at arm's distance. Not everyone deserves your all… And that was a lesson I definitely learnt.
A and I still remained friends though. We still went out with friends and shopping - but it was mostly when she initiated it. I had a wall around me now - not a very solid one, but it was there. I left the ball in her court. I was happy spending time with her but not dependant on it. Three years down the road when I was leaving the country, she told me, "I hate this. You're part of my life. You're the closest person to me. That's never going to change."