The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Ask any person to name 5 breakups songs and they’ll mention them by memory. Whether it’s “Red” by Taylor Swift or “Someone Like You” by Adele, everyone knows these songs are about romantic fallouts and we rely on music like this to get through a breakup. However, in terms of a friendship breakup, people often feel lonely as they navigate the hurt on their own, and there’s no playlist for that. One of those many people was me.
In 2019, I had a very ugly fallout with a former friend. At the time, it felt like it was the end of the world as I poured my heart into this friendship. It was also my senior year of high school, a time where everyone was holding onto their friends tightly before we went off to college the following year. It broke me seeing everyone have close friends all around them. I can still recall the feeling of loneliness and emptiness I felt during this time as most people just simply told me to either ignore the pain or get over it. Although their intentions were in the right place, their advice was not helpful.
This wasn’t any type of breakup I could easily get over. To me, that friendship was one of the most intimate friendships I’ve ever had in my life (and still is). This girl was my platonic soulmate since my freshman year of high school. Although we had our problems, I always counted on her no matter what.
During this period of my life, I felt so much shame and sadness as I saw myself as a failure for not being able to make things work. I saw myself as the reason it didn’t work out and cried for weeks at a time. I felt so lonely and many people did not know what to say besides, “you’ll meet other people,” or, “don’t think about it.” Looking back, I can see how they were trying to help, and sometimes we don’t know what to tell someone who’s sad over a friendship breakup.
Friendships can be as intimate as relationships, a fact people often ignore. When you are friends with someone, you are vulnerable with your trust and emotions. You let your friends see you cry and laugh and expect them to support you in various periods of life. These people are essentially the family members you get to choose in life. Walking away from them can be as heartbreaking as ending a romantic relationship.
When you are in a romantic relationship with a person, you know that the relationship might end one day and mentally prepare yourself for the moment. But when a friendship ends, it feels like it was unprecedented as we rarely think about the ending or aftermath.
As painful as my friendship breakup was, I am glad that it happened. I learned valuable lessons such as holding myself accountable, while also holding compassion for myself and that it is okay to outgrow people. The most important lesson was that every person who comes into your life is there to teach you something. Whether it is to love or hurt you, these experiences do shape us and make us better individuals. In the end, we all make someone better for somebody else.