Dealing with the Devastation of a Friend Breakup ...


Dealing with the Devastation of a Friend Breakup ...
Dealing with the Devastation of a Friend Breakup ...

The loss of a friendship is even more devastating than the loss of a girlfriend or boyfriend, I think, especially if you're breaking up with an incredibly close friend. Friends get you on a different level than lovers. They provide you with different things, they nurture you in different ways, and you need them for different reasons. Breaking up with a friend, or having a friend break up with you, can keep you down and depressed for a long time. Dealing with that loss hurts because you feel like a piece of yourself is missing, but I think – I hope – that the advice here will help you.

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Think about Why You Broke up

You need to do this because you need to own it. Myriad things can break up a friendship, such as a move, a natural drift, or a lie. Some wounds simply cannot be mended, but some can. Understanding why you're drifting apart and owning your part are both necessary to try mending fences, but even if you can't, knowing the whys and wherefores of your breakup will ultimately help you cope.


Feel Your Feelings

A friendship break up really is like any other kind. You need to take time to feel your feelings. Process, think, grieve. Trust me, the grieving part is important. In fact...


Grieve, Seriously

You will feel absolute grief. Why not? An integral part of your life is now gone. Someone on whom you depended is no longer part of your life. Why wouldn't you grieve?


Don't Cyberstalk

This is important. You'll be tempted, even more tempted than you are after a romantic breakup, because you know all of your friend's online hotspots, you know about the secret Instagram, the Tumblr, the Twitter she only uses to rant. Steer clear of those spaces for the time being. Give your friend some space and give yourself some space too.


Don't Talk Crap

This is tempting, too. We always want to trash people who hurt us, especially if we don't think we did anything wrong. Don't stoop to that, though, even if your friend talks about you. Why? Because it's an angry response, for one thing, and you probably don't mean the things you say. For another thing, it's disingenuous. I mean, this was your friend. You shared things. You were part of each other's lives. Even if things end on a sour note, don't smear all those memories.

Famous Quotes

Happiness depends upon ourselves.


Try for Closure

Because everyone wants it.


But Accept It if You Don't Get It

Not everyone gets closure, though. If you don't, accept that as your closure. The end is just the end, and that's what you have to accept.


Don't Get Obsessive

Replaying your last fight, your last conversation, or the series of events that led to your breakup is tempting, but try to resist it. Go over it once or twice if need be, especially if you want to try to fix your friendship, but after that, let it go. You can't change what happened. You can only learn from it.


Remember, but Don't Wallow

Nostalgia is a beautiful thing. It has the power to heal you when you're hurting. Feel free to look at photos, home movies, letters, and even text messages that feature your friendship, just don't overdo it. Don't spend entire evenings sitting in piles of pictures, crying your eyes out.


Really, Don't Wallow

There's a huge difference between grieving and wallowing. You can't let your life stop, no matter how sad you are. Gradually, you have to give your heart what it needs to heal.


Turn to Your Family

Surrounding yourself with love and laughter will help you move on better than anything. Start by reaching out to your family, whether it's your biological fam or your logical one – the one you chose yourself.


Lean on Your Other Friends

That's what friends are for – and it's why friendship breakups can be even more devastating than romantic ones. Your friends are there for you when you're down. Take them up on the offer.


But Don't Ask Your Other Friends to Choose Sides

Never. This is a big no-no. Don't do this. Let mutual friends make their own decisions


Be Honest, Though

If you feel like you uncomfortable hearing or talking about your former friend, let mutual friends and acquaintances know up front. Make it clear, however, that you are not asking them to choose sides.


Avoid Your Friend-spots for a While

Not forever, just for a while. All the places the two of you used to go don't have to be off limits for the rest of time, but you'll be glad you gave yourself a breather. Right after your breakup, the memories are just too fresh to risk going to those places. Besides ...


Explore Some New Places

Now you can explore new favorite spots! Check out new clubs, bars, and restaurants, new bike paths and parks, new bookstores and cafes – you get the idea.


Make New Friends While You're at It

No one can replace your ex-friend. That's not why you should go out and meet new people. However, surrounding yourself with positivity and opening yourself up can be so helpful. There's a void to fill and fresh blood can fill it.


Learn from Your Mistakes

As you go forward with new friendships, try to remember what happened with your last one. This is, again, why it's so important to understand the reasons behind your breakup.


Do Something for Yourself

Anything. Buy a new book. Take a bath. Pick up a new hobby. Do something new with your hair. Just do something solely for yourself.


Write a Letter

If you're dealing with anger, write a letter to your friend. Be as honest, open, and even angry as you want. When you're done writing your letter? Burn it.


Move on

And then move on. If you're able to salvage your friendship, that brings on a whole new set of tasks. If not, then the rest of your life is waiting.

What's the worst friendship breakup you ever experienced?

Feedback Junction

Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

My friendship breakup caused my depression in 2015. We've been friends for about 15 years and even considered each other as sisters. We talked every single day, sometimes more than once a day. I'd been feeling some type of way about her for a while. I felt like she wasn't being a good friend to me the past couple of years so I decided to let her know. I was brutally honest with her and after that I don't know what went wrong. A week after the message she deleted me off every social media account of hers and I never heard from her again. We had one mural friend and she took my former best friends side. I must say that seeing them having fun without me and doing things we planned to do together hurt me so much. It's been almost year since the fall out and after several visit to a therapist I think I'm finally in a "healing" phase. Don't get me wrong it still hurts, just not as much as before. It just takes time. I'm trying to move on with my life without someone who, for a very long time, was the center of my life. It's extremely difficult but it's possible. Good luck to all!

Thank you, I really needed this

I don't ask for much in a friendship only that to earn a good friend is to be a good one . I'm really good friends with a few residents at my hospital and I was speaking to one about the other, about how well he's doing and I'm proud of him happy for him . We're leaving for the day I stop pass her room to say goodnight she says to me . " I don't want to hear about how well Scott is doing at the pediatric hospital anymore, I got screwed when I went there . I said first of all don't speak to me that way secondly you will not tell me not to speak of someone I'm happy and proud to know . Jealousy and insecurity are two things that will consume your soul if you allow it. So I've pulled back from her and I'm sure she sees I've changed . I don't need another " adult" telling me NOT to be friends with anther adult because of their own insecurities no thank you ....

It's been two years and I still miss my best friend. She and her husband chose sides when I went through my divorce.

Em if u feel like thrashing that person of ahead u letting off steam afterall so far as it doesn't become a habit!

Thank you for writing this article. I'm currently going through the heartbreak of losing a friend. It's been a month and a half now and I miss him every single day. I was the one who broke it off, but there was no other choice to be made. Losing a close friend feels like a death. I mourn, cry, and grieve all the time. I know I have to go through this and that it will get better, even though nobody will ever replace place in my life.

Idk it put "I valued our friendship" twice in what I wrote lol

This is right on time for me. I love the idea of writing a letter and then burning it.

My best friend stole money from me then literally had a freak out. Idk what was going on with her. I haven't spoken to her since then and all of this is true! I valued our friendship and I thought that we would be best friends for a long time. I valued our friendship and it's hard to just forget about it. It hurt for awhile and it still sucks, but it's getting better! Great article!!

Thank you for writing this article I am going though one now the hard part is that I don't know what I did wrong I bet we just grow A part because we bother we starting college she help me with anything I miss her like hell

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