Worse Than a Breakup: The Truth About Ending Friendships

My whole life people have prepared me for ending romantic relationships. They’d say things like “you never know who will be your forever person,” or “if he takes away your happiness, leave him.” No one ever said, “hey, sometimes you might make a friend that you have to cut out of your life for your own mental health.” Is it just me who was shocked by this reality? I had a best friend in college. Everyone told me that you’d meet your closest most amazing friends in college. So the day I had to cut her out of my life hit me harder than any breakup I’d experienced.

We were your typical best friends; we’d do everything together. We became so close we even finished each other’s sentences (not sandwiches). We were the perfect duo. When one of us was stuck in bed sobbing over an overwhelming amount of homework, the other one was right there with a caramel latte and annoying smile to pull the other right up. 

I remember getting up at 4 a.m. on a busy school day to help her with a photo project that just had to be done in the dark. But for some reason not the evening dark, the absolute dreadful morning dark. (She was an art student.) It was the same thing to me, and I laughed at her and she laughed at my complaints. It was special, and we both knew they weren’t actual complaints; we’d do anything for one another. 

It’s hard to say when we started to fall apart. Was it moving in together? The day I let her drive my car to work, when  it got a flat tire and it became a massive argument? When we both found our own boyfriends and stopped spending as much time together? 

No one expected our friendship to end. Not even us. 

Perhaps, looking back on our friendship, an outsider could say we were in a relationship just as deep (if not deeper) than a romantic one. It would make sense. While our relationship was completely platonic, it was riddled with our vulnerabilities and emotions. 

The day I removed her from my life broke me more than anything. It’s taken me years to recover, and sometimes I don’t think I have. I spent months where I would cry just thinking of her. I spent more months being angry and hating everything about how we turned out. I spent hours holding my phone wondering if I should text her. To this day, my heart still hurts knowing we aren’t in each other’s lives anymore. And I still hope that maybe one day, just maybe, we can be friends again. 

You’re probably still asking whyWhy did this seemingly wonderful friendship come to an end? 

Well, like many sour marriages or toxic long-term relationships, at some point, we just started to become mean to each other. Something happened, and suddenly there was a lot of anger. And us both being quite similar, it became passive-aggressive. When I started to realize we were pushing each other away I tried so hard to reconcile, to put the pieces back together, apologize for my mistakes, and offer my hand in friendship again. 

For a while, things started to go back to normal. We both apologized, shook hands, and from what I thought, moved forward. But somewhere along the line, in our twists of anger, a bond of trust was broken. And perhaps it was just our immaturity that wasn’t able to fix it. 

Honestly, sometimes I regret ending our friendship. But after a year or two of distrusting each other, and me hearing some cruel things she said behind my back, I realized that our friendship would never return to its once glorious state. 

The truth is, sometimes wonderful things can turn on you, especially if you are not careful to nurture it. And when it’s gone, you may realize it was the best thing you ever had. 

In life people prepare you to lose a romantic partner, you see it in movies all the time, everyone seems to be getting with a new boy or girl every weekend in high school, and people usually have multiple ex’s throughout life they talk about. But no one ever really talks about losing their best friend. Because aren’t best friends always supposed to be there?

In all honesty, I think our friendship ended because no one taught us how to be friends. No one told us that in true deep friendships you have the power to hurt each other just as if you were in a romantic relationship. Trust may be impossible to rebuild, and the only thing one can do for the well-being of their heart is to move on alone.

So take my story of two young college friends, who let anger and immaturity take away what could have been a lifelong friendship, and remember the truth: ending a friendship may break your heart, but sometimes it’s the best thing to do for your own mental health. And just like letting go of an ex, you may find better things moving forward. 

Written by: Seairra G

Instagram: @sea.irra

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Written by Collin Rothschild

September 17, 2021

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