Breaking up with a friend is never easy. People come and go, and I truly believe every connection you make with someone else serves a purpose. It could be as simple as you were in need of a good friend, and there they were, helping you through life. But it is also natural to outgrow your friends, and I say that in the most respectful way possible. I am not saying they turned into a crazy person and now it is time to leave them behind. Quite frankly in my experience the ending of my old friendships wasn’t due to a drastic life altering event or blow out, we just simply grew apart. And you have you have to know when it is time to let go.
Very much like romantic relationships, sometimes friends outgrow one another, and you can do everything you can to save said friendship, but in the end going separate ways for a period of time, or all together, may be the best answer. I’ve experienced romantic break-ups and friendship break-ups and the heartbreak is very much the same. I mean this could be your ride of die best friend, but life happens, interests change, and your lives may no longer align. And although saying goodbye is hard, it’s important to be aware of when that time has come.
My first friend breakup was really hard, but as an adult I began to realize that not everyone is meant to be your best friend, so my inner circle of friends who I trust with my life is pretty small. This particular friend although she aligned very much with my ambition for life and drive to achieve our goals, I couldn’t be the friend she needed me to be at that particular time in her life. I was a News Reporter working around 60 hours a week, with a fiancé, and pets at home that needed me too. A lot of my time had to be dedicated to my work and to my family, and I couldn’t be the friend that was always around and free. I often had to reschedule due to work or wanting to sleep, and this particular friend as amazing as they are didn’t quite seem to understand that.
Now, I do take full responsibilities for my short comings in the relationship, because relationships are a two way street. I know I couldn’t be that friend and so it was time to let them go. Not for my sake, but because I did not want to waste their time, because I could not give them what they needed. The conversation still to this day makes me uneasy, but I know it was the best thing for me, and I hope for them too. There’s no ill will or hatred there on either parties, it was just something that was, that had to happen.
From my standpoint I noticed a significant mental health improvement after ending the friendship. Towards the end it became almost toxic, and friendships should never get to that point where they are beyond repair. I am very much the type to give everything I have to people in my life, and it causes me so much anxiety when people are upset with me. I go into I have to fix this mode, and I take it very personally. Ending the friendship as much as this sucks to say, freed me.
It’s important to note, that it is okay to say goodbye to friends. Don’t feel as though you are leaving someone behind because you’re not. Don’t feel guilty for it either. You’re guilt will drive you mad, because in your heart you already know what you have to do. Your friend and yourself are simply on different paths, that may intertwine at a later date, but for the time being, they are divided.
I encourage you to really think evaluate each of your friendships, and ask yourself hard questions like, what benefit they add to your life? I know this may seem mean, or uncomfortable but sometimes it is the only way to progress in life, by surrounding yourself with others who are riding the same wave. You may come back to find that the friendships in your life are worth preserving, protect those at all costs, and remember to remind them how much they mean to you.