You did it! You found your best friend. Within the first few moments of getting to know each other, you knew your friendship was going to last forever. You connect with each other and resonate on a frequency that only a few may ever reach. You know what makes them laugh. They know what makes you cry. In the future, you won’t be just friends, but godmothers, maids of honor, sisters, and trusted confidantes.
Everyone talks about navigating romantic break-ups, but what about platonic break-ups? tweet
Then it happens – the promises you made to each other begin to fall apart. You laugh less, you seem to bump heads more, and things just aren’t the same anymore. Your friendship slowly deteriorates, and for some reason, that’s okay. Everyone talks about navigating romantic break-ups, but what about platonic break-ups?
Throughout our lives, we are surrounded by friends who come into our lives, bring us comfort, and teach us new things. Despite our efforts, some friendships do not last, and in order to keep moving forward, it’s healthy to have a method to navigate broken friendships. Here are the first few steps:
Accept that Some People are Lessons
One of life’s hardest lessons to learn is that some people are lessons. Although it may be difficult to come to terms with, the reality is that most people in our lives are temporary. In the time that they’re with us, they teach us many things about ourselves, and about the world around us. Every person serves a purpose, and it’s up to you on how you will implement what they’ve taught you, moving forward.
Sometimes we know, in the moment, what the lessons are and sometimes we don’t know until long after. tweet
One method that is helpful in accepting people as lessons is to take the time to question and evaluate what you’ve learned during a friendship. What did this friendship teach me about navigating conflict? What do I want out of my friendships moving forward, and how can I express that? Are the boundaries that I’ve established healthy?
Sometimes we know, in the moment, what the lessons are and sometimes we don’t know until long after. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to build off of what we’ve learned from both the good, and the bad.
Here are five ways to survive a best friend break-up.
Learn to Forgive. If It’s Necessary, Learn to Forget Too
Forgiveness is both one of the toughest, and one of the most rewarding acts to practice. It requires a lot of work to forgive someone who has hurt, disrespected, or wronged you. Despite the difficulty in practicing it, forgiveness should be an act to aspire towards. It’s essential for inner peace, and allowing oneself to move on, and establish new relationships.
“. . . and let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” [Quran 24:22]
The importance of forgiveness is also stressed throughout the Quran. Not only does seeking and granting forgiveness amongst each other humble our egos, but it strengthens our consciousness of Allah SWT, and makes it easier to ask Him for forgiveness as well.
Take Time to Care for Yourself
In trying to salvage relationships, or attempting to kindle ones that are on their way to falling apart, we often neglect our mental and physical health. Every interaction we have, conversation we take in, and difficulty we subject ourselves to has an impact on us. After a friendship has ended, especially one that was near and dear to our hearts, it’s important to step back and take time to heal.
One of the first steps of taking time to care for yourself is allowing yourself to grieve. It’s not uncommon to feel sadness after the end of a friendship. Taking a moment to grieve gives you the space you will need to clear out any bad feelings, and make room for healing.
In times of difficulty, a solid support group of family members, mentors, friends, and other close individuals, remind us of our worth and the value we bring to the world. tweet
The next step of caring for yourself is to practice self-care and get back to doing the things you love. Although self-care doesn’t look the same for everyone, activities such as journaling, meditation, de-cluttering your living space, going on walks, practicing clean and healthy eating, and taking yourself out on dates are common ways to begin listening to, and caring for your body.
One of the final steps is to surround yourself with a support group. Although it may not seem like it at times, especially after the end of a close friendship, there are people all around you who care for you and your well-being. In times of difficulty, a solid support group of family members, mentors, friends, and other close individuals, remind us of our worth and the value we bring to the world.
Allow Yourself to Build Connections Again
After having such a close relationship go sour, some people develop defense mechanisms and feel hesitant to build deep connections with others again. Everyone has boundaries that they establish in relationships, but sometimes, previous pain and trauma leads to the establishment of stringent boundaries that impede upon future relationships. Wanting to seclude yourself for a while is normal, but permanently forbidding yourself from building close relationships with others is damaging in the long run.
Humans are social creatures and require interactions with others to survive. The ability to connect, resonate, and empathize with those around us is essential for our growth and our well-being. A healthy balance of solitude and meaningful interactions with friends should be something to strive towards. A method to building deep connections again is to reevaluate the boundaries you currently have, and remind yourself that one friendship does not define all of your future friendships.
Make Sure Your Heart is Sound
There is moving on from a friendship, and there is assuring yourself that you’ve had closure from a friendship. The difference between the two lies in finality – closure means that you have assessed and accepted what’s happened, you’ve taken the time to grieve, and you’ve started looking towards the future.
At the end of the day, no one wants to see a genuine friendship fall apart, or a close friend grow distant. tweet
Like self-care, closure does not look the same for everyone. Some like to have a final conversation and make sure they end a friendship on good terms, while others like to silently reflect on what went wrong, what they learned, and how they will better themselves in the future. The way you go about having closure is up to you, and what makes you feel comfortable, but the most important thing of all is to make sure that your heart is sound.
At the end of the day, no one wants to see a genuine friendship fall apart, or a close friend grow distant. Whatever the case may be, life moves on, and where one friendship ends, many others are waiting to begin.