There is no shortage of songs, movies and television shows depicting the difficulties of romantic breakups. But when it comes to navigating the end of a friendship, it can feel like you’re on our own.
The truth is, heart-wrenching, gut-twisting breakups are not limited to romance. Although many friendships outlast romantic relationships, but there’s no rule that says they’re forever. While at times the cause may be blatantly clear, mutually agreed upon, and beneficial, more often than not, the rift can seem sudden and painful.
Consider the following three reasons it may be time for a friend break-up (and why that’s totally ok):
1. Mismatched expectations
Here’s but one common example: not long ago, you and your friend were both single. But now they’re married with a kid. And suddenly you’re the only one trying to make plans. It feels one-sided, and you get why, but that doesn’t make it feel any better. And your friend doesn’t seem to understand why this new arrangement would cause you to bat an eye.
While some friendships do indeed weather inevitable life changes, if you don’t feel comfortable expressing how you feel in a friendship, an eventual kaput is likely. Sometimes what it comes down to is that if you can’t adjust your expectations of your bud’s time/energy, it may be time to move on — without shame or regret.
2. Give and take
We’ve all had that friend who seems to take way more than they give — sort of like an energy vampire that drains you physically, mentally, and emotionally. Every conversation seems to be focused on them and their problems. You may constantly have to give advice, yet they never seem to listen. Plus, they’re not the most reliable.
If you can’t count on them when it counts, that’s an issue. The same friends are often poor listeners, failing to reciprocate when you happen to share your problems. And on the flip side, you know you’ve got trouble when something good happens to you and they fail to be happy for you. Not okay.
3. It’s a fight
Constantly fighting is exhausting — no matter what kind of relationship we’re talking about. Who wants to be around someone they’re always in disagreement with? Resentment accumulates fast and stays strong, even if we don’t like to admit it. If your friend seems more of a frenemy, and you’ve got a strange feeling they actually hate you (or you hate them), listen to that.
And if they go so far as to insult you, or pull rank on you, do your best to spot the imbalanced/abusive dynamic and walk away before it gets worse. Never feed a troll. Yes, unfortunately, our friends sometimes turn to trolls.
Bottom line: if any of the above sounds familiar, remember that friendships, like most (if not all) other things in life, do come to an end. It’s more than okay to let that happen, and move onto new people better-suited to you, who will bring fresh, new, inspiring energy to your life!