Some of our friendships were built to last.
But when we discover that others – ones we thought would go the distance – have expired, it can be a totally soul-crushing experience.
Sometimes you and your friend have simply grown apart; perhaps you’re career minded and they settled down and got the white picket fence. Or maybe you and your former bestie began to bring out the worst in each other as the years unfolded.
Try though as we might to hang on to the crumbs of our former friendships, eventually we have to face the facts: this just isn’t working out for us.
Breaking up is never easy, especially when it’s a relationship you’ve known for decades. And so like all things that come to an end, it’s time to move on.
Here are some of the reasons letting go of a friendship can be a positive move to make in your life.
You’re Not a Terrible Person
Get it out of your head that you’re a monster for not wanting to see this ‘friend’ any more. Unless your pal is living on another planet entirely, chances are they’re finding your meetings pretty strained these days too – in which case you’re both just being polite. There’s something to be said for setting people free, even if it feels awkward right now.
It’ll Free You Up to Make New Friends
If you’re spending your valuable time with friends out of a sense of obligation, you’re minimizing the number of evenings and weekends you have to meet new people, partners or lifelong pals. A dinner date with a friend that feels like an exercise in endurance is not healthy for either of you and is stopping you from doing other things that make you happier.
It’s Because You Care That You’ve Got This Far
This would have ended years ago if you didn’t care at all about your friendship – more than likely you’ve been thinking about calling it quits for some time but stopped yourself because you didn’t want them to get hurt. So it’s testament to your kindness and compassion that you’ve kept the relationship going until now. However, if it’s toxic you need to stop making excuses for your friend and do both of you a favour.
It Means That You’ve Grown Up
Most of our friends are from high school, university, or lived two doors down from you – that’s not exactly a strong basis for shared hobbies, political beliefs, or lifestyles that are compatible when you’re 30 years old. It’s OK to admit that you’ve grown apart from them, or chosen lifestyles that are diametrically opposed. What’s not cool is feeling obligated to attend dinner parties that discuss the merits of Trump and the “problem with those immigrants.”
You Can Finally Start Taking As Well As Giving
The hallmark of toxic friendships is an ability to suck the life out of you without giving anything back in return. So when you’re finally ready to cut this person out of your circle of influence, you’ll be amazed at how good it feels to be surrounded by people who contribute to your friendship as well as taking something from it too.
It Isn’t Necessarily the End
Sometimes our friendships go in cycles, and just because we’re not on the best terms now doesn’t mean we forever need to sever all ties with this person. We live in the era of social media, so drifting apart and not hanging out any more doesn’t mean curtains on your relationship for good. Who knows, in a couple of years you may have a lot more in common or feel ready to reach out again.