Breaking up with a friend

Do you feel like you are losing a friend? Maybe they stopped calling and you feel them pulling away. The impact of an ending friendship tends to be trivialized by many, but that doesn't make it hurt any less.

You and your best friend have always been really close. When you were kids, you would get up to crazy tricks, you would laugh together for hours and you would fight too, but you always knew it was temporary: that’s what having a best friend is all about! You thought you’d grow up together, have children at the same time, be neighbors and that you would look back fondly on all those memories in the end.

But your friend calls you less often since you’ve had children, she seems to be taking her distance and it makes you sad to realize that you don’t have as many things in common anymore and that your dreams have taken different paths. Despite your efforts, that bond you had just isn’t as strong and you are starting to understand that you may have to close the door to a relationship that really mattered to you.

The end of a friendship

We don’t say « breaking up with a friend » for nothing: when long friendships end for various reasons, we really have to go through all the emotions one experiences during a breakup and the pain we may feel can even be likened to mourning in a way. It’s therefore totally normal that we need to take some time to go through all these emotions and learn to accept the natural progression of things before we can move on. Don’t be ashamed of feeling affected and don’t hesitate to talk about your feelings with your loved ones or even write your thoughts down in a diary, as it will help you make sense of things with time.

Many new moms say that when they started their family, they felt very isolated because they were the first of their friends to have a child and their friends didn’t really understand their new reality and started pulling away. If that’s what is happening to you, we invite you to join a group of future moms on our discussion forums or to explore the friendship section where you can find moms that live in your area and who are looking to make new friends just like you.

I’ve had to break up with a friend. It hurt so much that I cut myself off from the world for a long time.

I had to end a friendship and it still hurts sometimes. When I was 12, I met my soul mate and we became best friends right away. It lasted until I was 24 years old…I think it’s worse than a broken heart because I feel like heartache ends one day, but with friendship, that other half, your soul mate, you’ve lost forever.

Friendship is so close to love. It’s everything a love relationship is in fact, save for the sexual intimacy. When a friendship ends or changes, that can really hurt.

Why does it hurt so much?

Like Denise Bombardier said so well: « When a woman is friends with another woman, she never thinks that relationship will end, but as soon as she falls in love, she’s afraid it will end. All women are like that. » She’s not wrong in the sense that we really do get carried away by irrational emotions when in love, which may make it seem more temporary because of that level of passion that we put into it. In our friendships, however, we generally have the luxury of choosing our friends according to our values and interests, so we don’t really expect to see an end to such a perfect match. But a great friendship that develops healthily can generate just as much passion as love can. The person to whom we entrust all our deepest secrets, hopes and disappointments and who has always been there to offer a shoulder, listen and support us, can sometimes appear to us as a natural extension of ourselves, and if that person disappears, you can really start to feel a bit lost without them.

Moving on

It may take you weeks, or even months before you feel your pain lessening at the thought of this lost friendship. It was a big part of your life and probably lasted a long time. You will forever cherish the memory in your heart, but you will learn to move on as you make new friends and expand your social network. You never know what surprises life will bring you and your paths may cross again someday, but the important thing is to remember all the beautiful moments you shared and never forget that each person that crosses our path teaches us something that will help us move forward no matter how long they stay in our life.

Image de Mariem Melainine

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