Goodbyes Are Not Forever… How To Cope With A Friendship Breakup

It can be said that a friendship breakup can be harder than an actual relationship breakup. Friendships are possibly the most important type of bond anyone can have. So when these end, it can understandably be heart-breaking. 

Sometimes friends may come and go rather quickly, and those deeper bonds may not have been entirely formed. Yet sometimes, profound friendships that have lasted many years can also come to an end. Each of these scenarios can be difficult, however it is always important to know that sometimes it can be for the best, depending on you and your situation. 

Take the stage of life that many of us (students) are in right now. Many of us will have strong groups of friends from our hometowns that we have left behind when we made the huge move to University. This doesn’t mean saying goodbye to these friends though. If a friend is truly there for you, and both sides continue to make the effort to keep the bond going, even though you may not see each other as much, these friendships do not have to end. 

However, naturally communication can falter, and the friendships may grow apart. Everyone will have experienced this at some stage of their life. A good way to cope without old friends, similarly to after a break-up, can be to focus on yourself and to try new things. Taking up a new hobby is a great distraction and also a perfect way to meet new people and make new friends.

You may then begin to trust and rely on your new mates and the bonds that’ll be formed. Many people even say that their strongest ties are those made during their uni days. 

Of course, there will always be the lovely memories of you and your old friends; try keeping up photos or looking through old memories to remember the good times. Make sure that you stay amicable, do not talk ill of a friend who you simply grew apart from, as no one really wants a friendship to end on bad or nasty terms. Never rule out a meet-up again either. It could be 2 months or even 2 years down the line, but sometimes if the bond is truly strong enough, then it’ll feel like nothing has changed. 

It is natural to grow apart from friends, but at the same time it can be sensible to not jump to any conclusions. Whilst a friendship may not feel as strong anymore, this could just be a low in your friendship journey. Give everything time and stay patient. If something is destined to work, then it’ll appear back in your life when you’re least expecting it. 

Although, sometimes friendships coming to an end can actually be a positive to your life without you even realising it. Some friendships can be toxic, especially those that are so deeply rooted into your past. Letting each other go may help you develop as a person and you may realise that you and your friend may not have been as compatible as you thought, and you may have even been holding each other back. 

Ultimately in life you will grow apart from friends, and it is important to accept that you will undergo many ‘goodbyes’ in life. With experience, the pain can get easier, and you will learn what works best for you and how best to cope. Never think that you are alone though. Of course, take some time for yourself to heal, but also surround yourself with family, other friends, or try a new experience like volunteering. 

Everyone copes differently, so don’t worry if one thing works for someone else but not for you, or if you’re taking longer to heal than others. There is no race. Make sure people are aware of how you’re feeling, and if you’re struggling. Know your own self-worth. Remember, it is not your fault that it’s time to say goodbye. During these tough times, you might even find yourself surrounded with your true acquaintances, who want to be there in your life to help you through.

Lauren Woodley