One of the most underrated breakups is friendship breakups. Nobody talks about how breaking up with your best friend can hurt this much, and sometimes, even worse than breaking up with a partner! As we progress through our twenties and thirties, many of us are going to find ourselves at a crossroads with our best friend(s) and contemplate whether is it time to move on from the friendship.
Whether you and your best friend are no longer in sync and not sure what to do, or you’ve just recently been “dumped”, I got you covered on how to move on from your friendship breakup.
I’m thinking of breaking up with my best friend. What should I do?
Figure out your why. Why are you considering dumping your best friend? Is it because of her actions or lack of it? Is it because her personality changed over the past few months? Is it because she did something to offend you? By figuring out your why, it’s easier for you to solidify and justify your reasoning to cut your friend off. It lessens the chances of you running back to your best friend when times are tough because your reason why can often serve as a reminder for you not to return, especially if they are a toxic or bad friend.
I broke up with my childhood best friend when I realized she prioritized her new boyfriend over me. She would bail last minute on plans, or would passively listen to me for 5 minutes because dominating the hour-long call with details about her boyfriend.
Has it been a consistent battle or is it one time? Like a romantic relationship, friends can find themselves in disagreement and arguments. Are you throwing away five years of friendship because of a one-off argument or are you throwing away five years of friendship because you’ve realized she forgets your birthday every year? Trust me, it’s not worth throwing away a friendship if it’s easy to fix a one-off argument!
Accept that this can be a permanent loss. Unlike romantic relationships, friendships are harder to repair. I highly encourage everyone to think it over and be absolutely sure you are ready to end the friendship because once that conversation takes place, there’s no going back!
Recognize that you might be losing more than a friend. If you share your best friend with a group of friends, recognize that some of your other friends may not support your decision and side with your best friend. You also have to recognize that if you are coming from a big circle of friends, cutting a mutual friend off can result in tension or missed events.
I had a friend that I later found out was trash-talking me behind my back from day 1 and was trying to turn all the girls against me in our circle of friends. Luckily, those girls came to me privately and shared what was happening and realized that she has been talking behind all of our backs. Collectively, we ended up cutting the friendship with her and although we shared mutual friends in the circle, she ended up missing out on a lot of events when she couldn’t face the consequences of her actions.
Respect your friend. Respect your friend and offer them closure as to why you want to end the friendship. No one wants to be left wondering for the rest of their lives what happened. Have the conversation privately and in person, if possible.
My best friend just broke up with me. Now what?
Grieve! It’s okay to grieve and take the time to process what has happened. A friendship breakup is just as painful as a romantic breakup.
Recognize that these things happen. Sometimes, two people just don’t mesh as they used to and several things can contribute to that such as different stages in their lives, or perhaps, different political views.
Work on yourself. If you received feedback from your ex-best friend that she felt you didn’t listen much throughout the friendship, start to improve your listening skills. Or if she commented that you always forget birthdays and events, make a better effort to jot these dates down.
Improve the friendship around you. Just like finding a new partner, when you’re ready for a new best friend, improve the current friendships around you! Or, get out and start meeting new people again.
Friendship isn’t measured by the amount of time but it’s measured by the quality!