When you bought those matching friendship bracelets, you two thought it was going to be forever. Well, best friends forever don’t always mean forever. No matter what the relationship problems and solutions are when there’s a breakup, it can rock your world. Friendship breakups are usually harder to take than romantic relationships since they’re long-term relationships that have been nurtured through years of friendship.
How to Heal and Move on After a Friendship Breakup
Friendships are relationships of trust, support, and honesty, qualities that many of us struggle to find in romantic relationships, which is what makes them so valuable. With a friendship breakup, it’s a breakup. And now you need to deal with the grieving process of losing someone you thought would be next to you till the end.
Accept your feelings and give yourself time to grieve
You just lost one of your closest and longest relationships. It’s normal to be upset. You’re going through a breakup. What’s important is you give yourself time and space to grieve the relationship. Don’t rush it. Grieving isn’t a race. Sit with your emotions and allow them to exist.
Remind yourself not all relationships are “forever”
While we all wish friendships were a forever deal, they’re not. You may have expected your friend always to be a part of your life, but people change and grow with time. Not all relationships are novels; some are short films or a poem. Acknowledge that this person wasn’t necessarily supposed to be in your life forever.
Don’t point fingers
It’s so easy to play the blame game and put all the responsibility on your friend for the breakup. But that isn’t the mature thing to do. While your friend did play a role, it’s important not to get sucked into blaming them for everything. By doing so, you’re allowing yourself to develop resentment and anger towards them rather than processing your feelings and moving forward.
Accept you’ll never truly “move on”
Okay, this may come as a bit of a surprise. Yes, the title is ‘how to heal and move on,’ but you never really move on from a breakup. With time, the feelings subside, and it’s not so painful, but there will be a small hole in your life that won’t be filled. You’ll probably miss the small things about your friendship, and that’s normal. Moving on doesn’t mean erasing those memories from your life.
Talk about it with your support system
Don’t be afraid to talk about what happened with your support system. You’re going through a breakup, and just because it wasn’t romantic doesn’t mean it wasn’t an important relationship in your life. Whether you choose to speak to your therapist, friend, or family member, express how you feel, what happened, and the role you both played in the situation. Relationship problems and solutions go hand-in-hand, but you can only move on if you gain closure.
Be realistic about your role in the breakup
Work through relationship problems and solutions, you need to do some serious self-reflection. No, but really. You’re gonna need to look at your role in the breakup. I know, who wants to look at their possible faults, right? Lame. But if you want to grow and understand what happened, you need to look in the mirror and see where you may have gone wrong. Because it takes two to tango. If you truly want closure, then you need to acknowledge the role you played.
Cut the communication
If you two have decided to part ways, then part ways. This isn’t meant as a sign of disrespect or the middle finger. It’s just like any other breakup. If you two decided to no longer be friends, then make the conscious decision to cut the communication. You need to move on and that’s not going to happen if you’re creeping their social media. Cut the contact and give yourself time to grieve.
Reflect on the lessons you've learned
You lost a friend. It happens. But it would be a real shame if you didn’t learn something from the situation. Reflect on what you’ve learned from the friendship ending and what you would do differently in the future. Use this situation to grow as a person.
We all have our fair share of relationship problems and solutions, but what’s important is you grow and learn from them. Friendship breakups are hard to experience, but hopefully, these tips will help you heal.