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Everyone talks about breakups and heartbreak, but we rarely see people talking about their friendship breakups, which can honestly be much harder than the end of a romantic relationship. Friendships are often a lot more tight-knit and emotionally intimate. The dynamics of a friendship are different than that of a romantic interest, and often harder to deal with after a rough breakup. The harsh reality is that we all go through friendship breakups, so why not embrace them and talk about them?

Friendships can end for multiple reasons: Sometimes you’re just not compatible with one another, sometimes you can reach your end limit with a person, you can grow apart, you can experience change or life pulling you in different directions, or sometimes you can feel betrayed. Regardless of the reason, we all end up in the disheartening era, reminiscing about our memories of a person we may have once called our best friend. We are here to tell you that although it will be hard and terrifying, you’ll get through it. Here are a few things that can help you in your journey to heal your heartbreak.

Acknowledge your pain

It’s important to understand that grief is common and your feelings are normal and valid! You’re not silly or overdramatic for feeling upset over the end of your friendship. Friendships require a certain level of connection and emotional bond, and losing any relationship in your life that represents a personal connection will be challenging. This doesn’t mean it was the wrong decision to end things and move on, it’s simply human nature.

Practice self-care

As repetitive and annoying as it may seem, self-care is your new best friend. Now that you’re going through a rough time, it’s your job to take care of yourself! I know that you may feel depressed and lazy, but this is not the time to neglect personal hygiene or self-care routines. In general, make sure to keep on top of your activities in daily life. Even just completing your basic routine, for now, is enough. As long as you’re trying your best, you’ll be ok! You can also try taking on new activities and exercises as doing so can be a wonderful way to distract yourself and reset your mind and body after your heartbreak and most importantly can create a healthy outlet of recovery for yourself.

Communicate

Another healthy outlet can be talking to someone. Just simply telling family or friends (or anyone for that matter) can help release bottled-up emotions. By talking about things that bother you, you can try to figure out what emotions you’re holding onto and what is holding you back from moving on. You can even communicate with your ex-friend to gain closure and contentment from your decision to part ways.

Relate and reflect

Two crucial things you can do for yourself are to find relatable content for your situation and reflect on your situation. By reading or watching stories that are relatable to yours, you can hasten your healing process by understanding that you’re not alone and by seeing that others have healed and moved on from the same situation you find yourself in. If you can reflect on your friendship, you can begin to see what went wrong and identify the issues that occurred whether they were on your end or your ex-friend’s. Once you identify what the issues were, you can learn from and watch for those instances and change your actions in the future. Reflecting and trying to understand what went wrong can also help you watch out for red flags in others. Whatever the lesson, there is always something to learn from each heartbreak.

Check in on yourself

Your emotional health is particularly important and even platonic breakups can cause your mental health to decline. If you find yourself becoming too depressed or heartbroken, it’s important to acknowledge these thoughts and act on them. You can seek help for your mental health through third parties like friends or therapists depending on the severity of your emotional health. If you’re being proactive about your mental state, you can increase the speed and efficiency of your grieving process and protect yourself from further damage.

You’re going to be okay. Everyone works in their own time and process; you can’t compare yourself to others. The key is to take life one step at a time, distract yourself with the simple things, and focus on your everyday pleasures whether that be enjoying a tub full of ice cream, watching your favourite movie, treating yourself to a self-care day, or going out with your friends for the night. Life will continue to go on around you and sometimes you can stop for a while to recover, but in the end, we’re all in it together for the long ride.

Mina Sehri

U Ottawa '23

Mina is in her fourth year of Joint Honours in Political Science and History with Co-op. She hopes to pursue a career in law! She is a huge raptors fan and loves going for car rides or reading to unwind. She loves to travel and hopes to see the world one day.
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