Breakups are hard enough, but a break up with a friend can be even worse. But just like relationships, friendships sometimes outgrow each other, and there’s no way to handle it other than ending it gracefully. If you feel as though you have a friendship that is no longer benefiting either of you, then consider that it may be time to put it to an end. Here is a helpful guide on how to break up with a friend.
Realize why this is happening
Like all mature breakups, the best way to approach one is to first realize why you want to end things in the first place. Consider what your friendship has become and why you no longer wish to continue it…Is your friend bringing toxic energy into your life? Have they been putting you in situations that you don’t agree with, are uncomfortable with or brought you harm? Do you just have nothing in common anymore? Did they move away and stop trying? Whatever the reason, once you realize clearly why you are no longer invested in this friendship it’ll be easier to end things smoothly.
Even with platonic relationships, everyone deserves the chance to understand why things are ending. Maybe it was you that realized you no longer felt like this friendship was benefiting you, and if that’s the case, explain that to them. If you feel as though how they’ve been acting is the reason a wedge has come between you, then tell them that. This open and honest conversation can lead to a drive to fix what was broken, and if not, then at least they will know why things are ending and won’t be wondering why they suddenly stopped hearing from you. This goes both ways, you have to also be honest with yourself as to why things are coming to an end, even when it may not be what you want to do.
If you’re the reason why the friendship is ending, simply because you no longer feel like it’s benefiting you, then apologize to them for not talking to them about the situation sooner. If something they did or said is the driving force behind ending things, and you were not upfront with them when it began, then apologize for continuing a friendship that you knew was no longer the same. And if no one did anything particularly terrible that caused the friendship to end, but you just feel like you have drifted apart, then apologize for the fact that your friendship is ending. And that you hope both of you understand why. While this may seem silly, it’s important to acknowledge that at one point, this friendship meant something to you, and no matter what the reason for ending it is, you’re sorry that it’s happening.
Grieve and move on
Once again, like any healthy breakup, it’s important to remember the good times and allow yourself the chance to be sad that you’re losing a friend. Things end all the time, and friendships are some of the hardest to watch go, so give yourself the time to grieve, talk about the old days, but then move on. It’s likely that you’re both in different areas of your life, and the best way to move on from a break up with a friend is to know that another friend will be just around the corner.
Breakups are always tricky, especially when it’s with a friend. But with these tips, you can get clear on why exactly it was no longer working, and still appreciate the great times you had together. It’s vital that you acknowledge the problem, be honest and apologetic about things coming to an end, and remember that it’s normal to grieve the end of a friendship.