When Friends Grow Apart: Navigating the Painful Process of Ending a Friendship
Friendship is one of life’s greatest treasures. It provides companionship, support, and the opportunity for shared experiences. But what happens when a once-close friendship begins to drift apart? When friends grow apart, it’s a painful experience that can leave us feeling lost, confused, and alone. In this article, we’ll explore the difficult process of ending a friendship and provide guidance for navigating this challenging time. Whether you’re ending the friendship or being left behind, we’ll discuss the emotions, communication strategies, and self-care practices that can help you move forward and heal. We’re sharing the tools you need when friends grow apart. So if you’re struggling with experiencing when friends grow apart, join us as we delve into the complex world of navigating the end of a relationship that once brought joy and connection.
You know it will hurt, but you also know the friendship is over. Probably you both know, but nobody wants to say it out loud. Your heart maybe wants to believe that you can change it, but you know in your mind that you can`t. Maybe you went through a big fight you can`t move on to or grow apart. Maybe life happened to you, and they weren`t there for you. Whatever it is, you know that you need to let it go, but how?
At one point, maybe you were close. Maybe you were even best friends for a period of time. Always there for each other. But something happened. Along the path of friendship, something took a turn, and everything changed. Whether it was for the better or worse is still to be determined.
What if, when you were good friends, you were dodging the person you were and morphed into a mold of what you thought you should be? What if you were so insecure with who you were that you became the version you wanted to be, leaving behind everything that holds you back?
When Friendship Grows Apart
But, everything catches up to you eventually… doesn`t it? Wouldn`t that would mean that the other person never really knew you at all? Then your friendship is not an actual friendship, is it?
What does friendship mean to you?
Friendship is a bond between individuals that is built on mutual trust, respect, and shared experiences. It is a voluntary relationship that is not defined by blood, family ties, or romantic love. Friends offer companionship, support, and a sense of belonging that can be vital to our mental and emotional well-being. In a true friendship, both individuals feel seen and heard and can rely on each other during both good times and bad. They celebrate each other’s accomplishments, comfort each other during difficult times, and provide a safe space to share their thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment. Ultimately, friendship is about creating a meaningful connection with another person that brings joy, support, and a sense of community to our lives.
An end of relationship.
This is the experience that I am writing about. Something I went through and am going through now. I changed. In-person, anyways. In my mind, I was always the same. My biggest fear has always been being alone. When someone wanted to be friends with me, I guess I jumped at the opportunity. I have never felt good enough to have friendships or good people who genuinely care. I`ve never really had it. Through high school, I was a loner. I was a nice person, and people were nice to me, but I sort of just floated by on my own. In my head, I knew what it was. Nobody could disappoint or hurt me if I didn`t attach myself to anyone. For 19 years, I have been let down. Over and over again. Constantly led to believe one thing when it was something else in reality. Always given false hope and falling into it every single time.
So, I live with a fence around me. All the time. For some reason, with this friendship, a gate appeared in my fence. Maybe I had thought I had found someone who would accept me as me. I quickly felt inadequate with who I was. I felt I had nothing to offer. And as time went on, I felt more and more useless. I never came to a place where I felt like I was good enough to be in that friendship.
Time passed, and I started paying more attention to my mental health and getting help. I went through it with just my husband. Trying medications, going to psychiatrists, many doctor appointments, and finally, the diagnosis, and then the follow-ups. It has been a steady stream of appointments. And then, it`s learning how to manage motherhood WITH the diagnosis and understanding that it wasn`t my fault. And even that, it ISN`T a fault, but just how I am.
So, if accepting my diagnosis, and learning to live life with it, is a good thing, which I would think it is, then it would be time to let go of those who don`t, wouldn`t it? It would be time to let go of people whom I can`t be myself around. Being myself is a part of acceptance.
How the end of a friendship has changed me?
Learning that I don`t have anything to be sorry for. Learning my triggers and even learning it is okay to eliminate some things from my life if they aren`t good for my mental health. So, if the friendship isn`t serving a positive outlook on life or acceptance of myself, and I constantly feel inadequate, then it`s time to let it go, don`t you think?
Knowing when a friendship is over can be a difficult and painful process, but some signs may indicate that the relationship has ended. Here are some indicators that a friendship may be over:
- Lack of communication: If you find that you and your friend are communicating less frequently or intimately than before, this may be a sign that the friendship is no longer a priority for you or both of you.
- Change in values or interests: As people grow and change, their values and interests may shift. If you find that you and your friend no longer share the same values or interests, it may be more difficult to maintain a strong connection.
- Negative interactions: If you and your friend have begun to engage in negative interactions, such as arguments, passive-aggressive behavior, or criticizing each other, it may be a sign that the friendship has become toxic.
- Lack of effort: If one person consistently puts in more effort to maintain the friendship than the other, it may be a sign that the relationship has become unbalanced and is no longer sustainable.
- Feeling drained or unsupported: If you find that you feel drained or unsupported after spending time with your friend, it may be a sign that the relationship is no longer fulfilling or nourishing for you.
If you notice these signs in your friendship, it may be time to reassess the relationship and consider whether it is still healthy and beneficial for both parties. While ending a friendship can be painful, it is important to prioritize your own well-being and surround yourself with people who lift you up and support your growth.
How to acknowledge the end of relationship?
Acknowledging and moving on from the end of a relationship, whether it is a friendship or romantic relationship, can be a challenging and emotional process. Here are some steps you can take to help you move forward:
- Allow yourself to feel your emotions: It’s important to acknowledge and validate them, whether it’s sadness, anger, or a sense of loss. Take time to process your feelings and allow yourself to grieve the end of the relationship.
- Reflect on the relationship: Reflect on what you learned from the relationship and the positive experiences you shared with the other person. This can help you find closure and perspective.
- Practice self-care: Take care of yourself by engaging in activities that bring you joy and help you feel grounded. This could be spending time with loved ones, practicing mindfulness, exercising, or indulging in hobbies you enjoy.
- Connect with others: Surround yourself with supportive friends and family who can provide emotional support and help you through this difficult time.
- Focus on personal growth: Use this experience as an opportunity for personal growth and self-reflection. Identify areas of your life that you want to improve and set goals for yourself.
- Let go: It’s important to let go of the past and focus on the present and future. This may involve forgiving the other person and yourself and recognizing that sometimes relationships end, and that’s okay.
Love always, natasha
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Thanks for sharing this. I’m going through a tough time with a friend and readin this has actually helped me realise how much I WANT to fix it.
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Melodie Michelle Wood
*drama caused esp by women
Melodie Michelle Wood
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Sometimes it’s best for you and your life to walk away from things that do more harm than good. I love that you open up and have these conversations because so many of us deal with these things.
So true. I’m very much a believer in friendships can be for certain seasons of our lives.
I love this post. It’s so true. It’s totally ok to say goodbye to friendships! Also, I love the font on this!