LOSING A FRIEND - AND WHAT IT MEANS
Break-ups hurt. The heartbreak you feel over ending a relationship is excruciating. There are countless songs about love stories gone wrong. Another heartbreak, which is even more severe but rarely talked about or romanticised is the heartbreak you suffer from breaking up with a friend, especially a close one. And this heartbreak hurts at least as much as a the one from a romantic relationship.
Why does it hurt so much?
Our friends know everything about us, the good, the bad the ugly. The most embarrassing stories and our most vulnerable attributes. Still, it’s something we rarely talk about, but I really want to talk about it today. Even if you haven’t lost your bestie, still with friendship which were fading you can feel this way.
Losing a friend doesn’t necessarily mean they broke up with you, it can also be the other way around – maybe they did you wrong and you decided to end it. Either way, you’re in pain.
But it’s like a relationship: you gotta speak up when there is imbalance, you gotta speak up, when you think you get mistreated or the mutual respect is fading, maybe you are done with how it goes and you just let it run out kinda. And maybe one day, you or the other person decides to end this bond. No matter what happened, or maybe didn’t even happen, if it was something you did or the other person, either way, you are in pain. You grieve and it fucking sucks.
I ended the friendship with my then bestie of six years when I was around 24 or 25. We were so close, insanely close, we could understand each other without talking just looking at each other, we would think alike, hang out every day. Once I got into a relationship and was not there for him 100% of the time anymore, the vibe fell into a weird place. Expectation of his side were too much, he simply couldn’t „control“ me in a way that he did before. Not that he was controlling but I would always jump and have his back, so anything for him because this was just like I was and I couldn’t fight the constant dominance, so at one point, I put myself first - and that was kind of the end of it. I won’t get into it too deep but I was kinda over it in a way that I didn’t want to focus all my energy on explaining, discussing or fighting. And we both knew. Still it felt like a break up.
Even though, I called it quits to protect myself, I still had a hard time getting over him as one important part of my life just crackled and was gone. Yes, there is a hole, kind of an empty space but still, for me it was the right move.
Getting over a friend is as hard as a romantic break up. You still get the occasional texts, trying to sort things out, you do the stalking once in a while, you think about it a lot, you have dreams about the situation and so on. Your heart aches. And all the getting over tips are very similar though. Get busy, go out, take your time, breathe, try new things, write your feelings down and so on. We truly think, those friendship breakups are just equally shitty.
That being said, no matter what happened, you can only focus on yourself in these situations. You are not responsible for other people’s reactions or how they treat the news. Obviously, you shouldn’t hurt anybody intentionally. You are only responsible for yourself - that you can control. And your emotions obviously.
It’s okay to lose friends along the way. And it’s okay to be hurting big time. It’s okay to take your time to get over it. It’s okay to be without a best friend for awhile as well.
It’s okay if you don’t want to be friends anymore.
Accept that there might be no closure.
If you decide it was the right move for you, then it is.
People change, people outgrow each other. And that’s fine. Don’t worry, you have to re-calibrate yourself - just like after a romantic breakup. It takes a while to get over a friendship. Maybe friendships are on a level where they bounce back and grow stronger again or get a never expected comeback. Maybe you go on a break for a few months, years or even decades. Also accept that you maybe you never re-connect. And that this was just it - the end. It’s also okay. You can make new friends throughout all your life. That’s the beauty.