There’s a lot of different kinds of heartbreaks in this world, but one of the least talked about is the friendship breakup. Just as painful, if not more, leaving a friend behind can be a terrible experience. But, it can also be cleansing. Being in your twenties is your time to figure life out. What you want, and what you don’t want. You figure out how you want to be treated, and ultimately how you treat other people. At only 23, I know I have a lifetime to go in figuring things out, but even in the last year I have started to find a better understanding of myself. From past experiences, I have learned the hard way of how to get over a friendship breakup.
Make new friends –
Easier said than done, trust me I know. But like any other ex, there’s “plenty of fish in the sea.” There’s a reason your friendship broke off and there’s a million other people out there who share the same interests. Join a new yoga class, or go sit with your coffee without your phone. The people you meet might even turn out to be a better friend then you had before. It’s a chance worth taking. Putting yourself out there is scary. Do it.
Delete ALL of their social media –
When I say all of it, I mean all of it. You don’t need to know what they’re doing every hour on the hour. It’s torture seeing their name because then you know you want to look. Take away the temptation and rip off the bandaid. Stat.
Be cautiously open –
I’m all for mending relationships – until you give me a reason not to. Leaving behind a 17 year friendship is not something I wanted to give up easily and if she had approached me to mend the relationship, or had been willing to speak to me when I reached out, I probably would have been open to the idea. Giving them another opportunity isn’t a bad idea. Giving them 3 or 4 is.
Let yourself experience the pain –
I think one of my biggest downfalls was that I let myself bottle my anger for a long time. I didn’t get closure, I was quite literally “ghosted” by someone I had been friends with for almost the entirety of my life. With no explanation, we never got the chance to talk it out. At the time, I didn’t know how to react. I reached out to her multiple times, offering if she wanted to talk, I was totally ready and able, but she did not want to. Over the year, I have come to the realization that I did absolutely nothing wrong. I did everything I was “supposed” to do to try and reach out, but sometimes you just can’t understand people, and that’s okay. After that, I took the time to think about the kind of people I was surrounding myself with. If they were making me feel this badly, why would I want to be friends with them?
Take time for self care –
I am a huge believer in the benefits of self care. It’s not just about pampering yourself and letting yourself relax for an hour or two (although that’s important too). It’s about taking the time to readjust your mindset. Being comfortable in your own skin is a scary, but necessary process. However you need to do that, whether it’s taking a class to learn a new skill, working out, meditating, or even just going out in public alone, find what works for you and do it. You’ll learn a thing or two about yourself along the way.
There’s a lot of hard truths that come out when you break up with someone. But like the cliche says, “there’s a reason for everything.” People come in and out of our lives for a purpose. Sometimes we can’t see that purpose for a long time, but it’s there. And sometimes, you just need a little help patching up that wound. Just remember to always take care of yourself first.