Breaking up sucks—and so does moving on from ex’s. And while these topics are well documented in advice columns and we know that Sex & the City and a #revengebody help mend, the conversation surrounding breaking up with friends is fairly muted. At least it was for me during my 20s when this transition period was rough. Even though I was going through so much personal change and figuring out who I wanted to be in life, my circle of friends didn’t evolve. And when I did decide to move on from certain friendships, how was I supposed to handle that type of breakup?
I was clinging onto childhood and college friendships because it was who I was used to spending my time with. I was hanging out with friends who were into different things than me just because it was comfortable.
It took lots of internal struggle and honesty to move on from some of these people. Most importantly, I had to realize that just like relationships with love interests, friends fall out of love too—and that’s OK!
You’re not always going to be into the same things as people you once shared all your secrets with. We all evolve, and it’s important to touch base with yourself and make sure you’re spending time in relationships that feel natural and leave you feeling happy.
I found that investing my time in fewer, more authentic relationships as opposed to a bunch of somewhat fake acquaintances—even when there was no bad blood—made me feel more at ease. No longer did I have the guilt when I bailed on people I didn’t want to hang with, or the weight of having to reach out just to stay in touch.
I still sometimes feel bummed when I think of a friend who I’m no longer close with, but I try to remember that we’re both doing what makes us uniquely happy. I’m hoping that as I continue to mature, I’m able to feel even more confident in leaving friendships that aren’t right anymore.
Has anyone else struggled with ending friendships? How have you handled it? I’d love to know!