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A Girl’s Guide to Breaking Up with a Friend

Friendship breakups can be just as devastating as breaking up with a partner, if not more so. Whether you’re on the instigating or receiving end, it just sucks, you know? Friendships end for plenty of reasons – maybe you’re just not compatible even on a platonic level anymore. Maybe it’s been coming but you’ve been clinging to the good times. Maybe one wants more or less than the other. The point is that friendship breakups can often be because of the same reasons as romantic relationship breakups. If you think of it that way, it won’t suck any less, but it could at least make more sense.

Let’s talk grief. It is perfectly, completely normal to mourn the friendship you shared with someone. After all, there had to be good times to keep it going, right? Right. But those good times don’t always outweigh the bad, and that is that. I’ll give you a personal anecdote – I had a friendship for years and years that turned pretty emotionally abusive toward the end. But I clung on and suffered through, because we were best friends for years. I felt like I couldn’t give that up, because I had happy memories and I know things could be good. But ladies, that’s absolutely the wrong mentality. Let go of toxic people without regret and without hesitation. My life was better, and yours will be too. I won’t lie, I was sad that what I thought was a friendship was over. But honestly, sometimes friendships end because one of you being a friend doesn’t mean the other is. One-sided relationships never work, so why would one-sided friendships? Give yourself time to be sad, but then know that your life is going to be better without that person.

Eventually, you’re going to have to accept it all. Have your time being sad, but don’t let it overcome you. Even if you don’t have that friend anymore, whether you decided it to be that way or not, you have others! And hey, if you don’t, you’re in school. Reach out! Join a club, strike up a conversation in class, there’s no real way to go wrong. If you put yourself out there, people will come. Don’t tell yourself it’s impossible, because your beautiful personality will shine through!

Now here comes the weird part. You’ve been through the stages of grief; you’ve given yourself that closure, but what if one of you wants to reach out? Tread carefully. Plenty of people agree that you shouldn’t give romantic relationships a go a second time around, because they failed for a reason, but it’s really up to you if you want to follow that rule with friendships. Please remember, though, if your friendship ended because one or even both of you were toxic for each other, it may not be a good idea to rekindle that friendship. People change, but sometimes that resentment does not. But hey, if you hang out, discuss what went wrong, and decide to give it another go, do it! Just like relationships, sometimes taking a break from a friendship will make it better when you find each other again. 

Kaitlyn is a freshman at Stony Brook University and is majoring in journalism. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, but is definitely warming up to Long Island. Kaitlyn loves fashion, beauty, feminism, cats, and elephants.
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