Breakups can be hard, but I don’t just mean romantic breakups. Over the past year and a half, I’ve lost two of my best friends, people who I considered family, who I thought would be there for me no matter what.
One saw the end of an 8-year friendship, from the first day of high school all the way through to college. The other was only a year-long friendship, but equally, if not more, heart-breaking. Both friendships ended on bad terms, and to this day I’m still trying to process things and deal with it. It hurts, but there are ways to get through it. Here are my 6 top tips for dealing with friendship breakups:
1. Give each other space
When it comes to that point when you know there’s no going back, don’t try and force anything. I made the bad decision of letting my emotions get the better of me, and things were said on both sides that could not be taken back. Get some space, and let that space work its magic.
2. Let yourself grieve
Let yourself cry. It really does help relieve all those bottled-up emotions. You need to let yourself really feel what’s happened before you’re able to get over it. Once you come to terms your feelings and let yourself understand that pain instead of bottling it up, you can then begin to move on from it.
3. Don’t cut yourself off
You’re going to have those days where you want to lie in bed and feel sorry for yourself. That’s okay, but don’t isolate yourself or cut yourself off from everyone else. Try and socialize with some other friends. I know that losing friends can open your eyes to other friends you took for granted; it can show you who’s really there for you. You’re never alone, no matter how you might feel.
4. Write a letter
I wrote a letter to the person I broke up with but did not send it. It allowed me express things I still wanted to say, even though I may never even have said them out loud in the real world. I wrote out everything I was thinking, and in doing so I was able to let out all my feelings in a way that was safe for me, and where nobody would judge what I wanted to say or put me down for saying it. Along with expressing myself, it allowed me to sort through my thoughts, gave me a way of being able to look over how I felt.
5. Remove contact
Social media can sometimes be brutal when healing from a breakup. Checking up on what they’re doing or seeing them slowly remove you from posts and albums can hurt, and it will do you no good putting yourself through the pain. Delete them. Block them if you have to. After all, the “unfollow” button exists for a reason.
6. Accept that it may be the end
Sometimes when people break up, timing is a key factor. If the timing of a certain argument was bad, a whole friendship might end, but then sometime in the future, things might be rekindled once you’ve both matured and experienced new things. Sometimes though, you must accept that there is no going back. Don’t try to reconnect with the person based on the good memories you had and your history together. Your past will never be your future, so don’t go back to what your heart is trying to heal from.
Most importantly, give yourself time. You’re stronger than you think, and things won’t always be this hard.