No one enters a friendship with the intentions of it ever dissolving. We have cute little phrases as BFF, homegirl, or even deeper than that we call one another sisters. In reality friendships come and go. We hate to say that, but it’s true. We hate to feel the pain of losing someone we once held so dear or in high regards. I personally believe that the lost of a friendship can hurt as deep or more in depth of emotional pain than that of a romantic relationship. In a long term friendship you could feel almost lost, and you may struggle with not knowing where to begin. Losing a long term friendship that surpasses over a decade can make you feel like your soul has a hole in it. Simply put it hurts.
There are many reasons why a once close friendship now feels like two strangers are forcing a conversation. Life’s changes can take its toll on friends. Life’s transitions in adulthood from graduating from college, the change of a career, relocation, marriage, becoming a mother, and also the introduction of new friends in the circle can have a huge impact on the best of friends. The two of you may have grown into two separate directions from one another lacking the time and interest to invest in a friendship.
A breach of trust can end a friendship. There’s nothing worse than when two once close friends failed at establishing clear boundaries at the beginning of their friendship, and now what has been left to fester has come to a boiling head! We all have personality quirks, but what seemed fun and interesting in the blooming start of the relationship has now become a mere annoyance. Oftentimes opposites attract in friendships, however what attracted you about your friend has now become something that you dread in company. Is it them? Was it you? Who cares! All you know is that the friendship has came to halt, or maybe your friendship has entered it’s final act. Here are a few steps in coping and healing from a friend breakup:
- Take time to grieve from the lost of a friendship. Don’t feel the need to rush the grieving process. If you shared many precious memories, major life experiences, and years together it’s going to take time to heal.
- Don’t rush into “quick fix” rebound friendships to hide from the emotional pain in losing a dear friend.
- Stop the blame game. Also, don’t allow enablers to place the blame game on your former friend. Those who love us and care for us often take our side of the story. However, there’s always three sides to the story as I alway say. There’s her side, your side, and the truth.
- Take ownership on your part for the ending of the relationship. Yes, despite who was officially at fault each one of you played a part of the dissolving of the friendship.
- Try not to gossip about your friend or air dirty laundry on your former friend’s life. This can be a hard one when we are tempted to share “our side of the story,” or venting from the pain from the loss of a friendship. Respect that the two of you most likely share mutual friends and associates. It wouldn’t be in your best interests to put a wedge in those relationships. Also, depending on how close you live in proximity the two of you may run into one another again so don’t do that.
- Respect the love and reverence that your children or family members may have with your former friend. Just because the two of you have ended the relationship for personal issues don’t put your loved ones in the middle.
- Remember the good times. I know when we are emotionally upset we tend to focus on what was lost or who was at fault in the ending of a friendship. You will be able to move forward to more rewarding and healthy friendships by reminiscing on that which was positive from the friendship than what went sour.
- Wish no ill will. Walk and own your peace by not harboring bitterness or hatred for your former friend. We don’t just forgive others for them. We forgive others for our own peace of mind.
- Write down your best qualities of being a friend. Also, be honest with yourself, and write down any negative or toxic behaviors you have as friend. You don’t want enter in any new friendships with those negative behaviors that could impact your new friendships.
- Know your worth in any relationship. Never allow anyone to mistreat you or take advantage of you in the sensitive time of losing a dear friend.
- Be open to new friends. Just like one friendship ended be open to the beginnings of new friends to enter your life to love, care, and enjoy your company.
Remember it takes time to heal and grieve with any loss. If you truly loved one another as friends it’s not going to be easy at first. They say time heals all wounds. Give yourself time to heal following the breakup of a close friend. Own your peace. Do your best to live in peace with others even in departure in love.