December 20, 2010 / 0 COMMENTS
When The Breakup is with a Friend
We usually only have one romantic partner at a time, but in theory we can have an unlimited number of friends. This can lead us to feel like we "should" keep all of the friends we have.
A recent study showed that our number of CLOSE friends remains about the same over time and that about half of them will rotate in and out over any 7 year period. So we make new friends and/or some friends get closer to us over time while others move apart. It's a normal part of life.
Some friendships are unfortunately toxic and need to be dissolved. But sometimes a friend is in a place or moving in a direction where you can't join them. The phrase "we just grew apart" can apply to friendships as well as love affairs.
You may have heard the saying, "People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime". A lot of us make the mistake of thinking that only our "lifetime" friendships are real or have true value. But just like romantic relationships and marriages, a friendship which eventually leads to the two of you growing apart can still be still be valuable. Just because it ends or transitions to a relationship in which you're less close does not mean that the relationship didn't have meaning for you and for them.
And just because you don't talk to someone as much doesn't mean that you don't care about them or you can't honor the connection. As with ex romantic partners, you can still love friends and wish them the best, even though the right choice may be to end most, or even all, communication with them.
Finally, the end of the friendship can be experienced as a real loss, and deserves to be treated as such. Give yourself time and space to heal and be especially kind to yourself, just as you would after a breakup.