For many of us, our romantic partners are our best friends.
But that’s not always the case.
After all, where do you go when you have a break up with a romantic partner, to vent and process everything that happened?
A dating and relationship coach can help, but there’s really nothing like the ear of your best friend.
But what happens when you have a falling out with your best friend?
One so big that you both decide it would be best to move on from each other?
In some ways, this can weigh even heavier than a romantic breakup, and can be even more complicated.
Most of the self help writing out there around breakups focuses on romantic partners, but let’s talk about best friend breakups today.
Most of us recognize that it’s unlikely we’ll marry the first person we go on a date with.
Sure, you hear stories about people falling madly in love with their high school sweetheart and staying together their entire lives, but those are a lot less common.
For the majority of us, we’ll have several romantic partners before we find “the one” – and that’s if we even decide that monogamy is the right option for us.
You meet someone, you fall in love, you start to intertwine your lives with each other, you realize you’re not as compatible as you thought, maybe you end up fighting a lot, and you break up.
This is a natural cycle when it comes to exploring in a new relationship, and it’s not a bad thing.
Of course, you can also grow apart.
You, your partner, or both, discover that you didn’t want what you thought you wanted, and you part ways.
This is also natural.
Breakups happen, and most of us understand that.
But friend breakups can happen too.
We assume our friends will be lifelong, and sometimes they are.
But they might not be.
We look at relationships ending like they’re just a fact of life, but we don’t think of friendships that way.
By pivoting your thought process to looking at friendships as relationships that take work to maintain, you can not only understand that friend breakups can happen, you’ll also be aware of what it takes to keep your good friends close.
It might be that you both served a purpose in each other’s life and got everything you need out of it.
And now, it’s time for both of you to move on to something that’s a better fit for where you’re in life at the moment.
But as nice as that might sound, you still need to process a friend breakup when it does happen.
1. Be Honest With Your Friend
When you have a close friend with whom you have an issue, it’s tempting to just taper off the relationship.
After all, you have plenty of friends, right?
But if you take this approach, a few things happen.
First of all, you’ll leave your friend wondering what happened.
Ghosting, ignoring, or otherwise cutting them out without explanation will either leave them stumbling to figure out what happened, or assuming you’re a jerk (or a harsher word).
As well, this might cause undue drama in your friend group if you have mutual friends – and, lacking explanation, it’ll make you look like the bad guy.
Finally, if your friend honestly doesn’t know why you want to move away from your friendship with them, it robs them of the chance to do better and salvage something.
No, it’s much better to openly address your issues.
You owe to yourself, and to your friend.
Perhaps it’s an issue with letting go of the expectations your friend has of you, or perhaps you need to set healthier boundaries.
Perhaps your friend encourages you to indulge in some bad habits you’d rather leave behind.
Whatever the reason, your friend deserves to know.
Even if you’re committed to ending the friendship instead of working on it, being honest with your friend can help them improve their own habits going forward.
It can also help give you closure.
On the other hand…
2. Understand You Might Need To Create Your Own Closure
Closure can feel great after a tumultuous time.
It symbolizes fully accepting the fact that what once was no longer is, giving you the opportunity to move toward what will be.
In the ideal scenario, closure comes from working through an issue with all parties involved, coming to an understanding in the end and moving forward with a newer, healthier dynamic.
That might not happen.
This is sometimes the case with romantic breakups, but it’s even more common with friendship breakups.
After all, there are plenty of reasons why romantic relationships end that aren’t anybody’s fault, per se.
Perhaps you’re not sexually compatible, or you’re from two different and incompatible religious or spiritual backgrounds, or one of you comes to realize you prefer a different gender, or one of you wants kids but the other doesn’t.
These can all be deal breakers in romantic relationships, but they aren’t usually when it comes to friendships.
Instead, friendship breakups tend to revolve around betrayals, personality clashes, or other, much deeper arguments.
With emotions high in situations like this, it’s understandable that calm, open discussion might not be possible.
You might be able to have such a conversation years down the road, but in many cases, you might have to forgive at a distance.
3. Allow Yourself To Grieve
A friend breakup is rough.
But because we aren’t conditioned to view it as such, to a lot of people it might just seem like no big deal.
However, it’s important to acknowledge that this process hurts, and it’s going to hurt for a while.
Be gentle and kind with yourself, and understand that it might be as difficult – in some ways, worse – than a romantic breakup.
Spend some time journaling or meditating on what happened, and understand that grieving a loss is a process that can sometimes take a lot of time to resolve.
Explain this to the people in your life who care about you, and that you need some kindness and compassion to process this grief.
Book Your Appointment With Evelina Hovich Today
At the end of the day, sometimes relationships have served their course and it’s healthiest for all parties to move on.
But that doesn’t mean it’s an easy process.
Are you struggling with a friend breakup and need some support to process your emotions?
If so, I’m Evelina Hovich, and I can help.
Strong friendships are an important part of manifesting the life of your dreams.
If you feel like you’re lacking there, let’s take a look at the emotional barriers causing this issue, and how we can break through them to manifest the life of your dreams.