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How to Get Over a Friendship That Has Ended

Some friends stick by you through thick and thin, while others come and go. 

"Not all friendships, even very good ones, last forever," asserts Irene S. Levine, PhD, a psychologist in Westchester County, New York, and a co-creator of the Friendship Rules newsletter.

However, not every friendship ends in a traumatic split; occasionally, people simply grow apart. According to Dr. Levine, who wrote the book Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup With Your Best Friend on the subject, "It's far more likely that they end because one or both friends are no longer invested in keeping up the friendship."

And Levine and others say that's entirely natural and healthy. Learn more about the reasons why friendships break and how to tell when to let go here.

Reasons Friendships Fail

Consider what causes friendships to form in the first place. According to Suzanne Degges-White, PhD, a professor and the head of the school of counseling and higher education at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, "friendships typically begin due to one of three things: shared interests, shared life stage, or proximity."

According to Dr. Degges-White, that is the spark that starts the friendship, and from there, a chosen few friendships develop deeper and more intimately.

Friendships frequently suffer during times of change, such as moving, starting a new career, looking after children or an elderly parent, or going through a divorce, according to the Mayo Clinic. There is a higher possibility that the friendship will last if there is a stronger bond.

However, if it's absent, the friendship

How to Know When to Let a Friendship Fade

According to Levine, friendships are typically less serious partnerships than others like marriage. Typically, neither vows nor documentation are necessary. So it's simple to cut ties if it's not working for you.

How do you know when to call it quits? All relationships experience ups and downs, but Levine argues that there is no need to maintain a friendship if it is persistently unfulfilling and unrewarding.

If you choose to break up with the friend, don't be too hard on yourself. According to Degges-White, "it takes time and energy to be able to maintain a healthy reciprocal relationship, and the responsibilities of life rarely support trying to maintain more than a handful of healthy and meaningful close friendships."

Levine advises thinking about the reasons behind what's occurring if you sense a close buddy is drifting away and you don't want it to happen. Are there any ways you could be a better friend? Can you ask your friend why your friendship is deteriorating?

Try to listen well, advises Levine. If the person has other priorities at work or home, for example, you can learn that distance has nothing to do with you. Honest communication might offer a road for reviving the friendship.

Friendgevity: Making and Keeping the Friends Who Enhance and Even Extend Your Life is one of more than 50 books written by Fairfield County, Connecticut-based sociologist and relationship coach Jan Yager, PhD.

Losing a friendship can be a difficult and painful experience. Here are six tips to help you navigate the process of getting over a friendship that has ended:

  1. Allow yourself to grieve: Just like the end of a romantic relationship, the loss of a friendship can be a significant loss in your life. Give yourself permission to feel the emotions that come with it, such as sadness, anger, or disappointment. Allow yourself time to grieve and process your feelings.

  2. Accept the reality: Acknowledge that the friendship is over and that it may not be possible to repair or reconcile it. Denying or clinging to false hope can prolong the healing process. Acceptance allows you to move forward and focus on yourself.

  3. Reflect on the reasons: Take some time to reflect on the reasons why the friendship ended. It could be due to a conflict, growing apart, or changes in both of your lives. Understanding the underlying factors can provide you with closure and help you learn from the experience.

  4. Surround yourself with support: Seek comfort and support from other friends, family members, or a support group. Talking about your feelings and experiences with people who care about you can be incredibly healing. They can offer perspective, advice, and a listening ear during this challenging time.

  5. Focus on self-care: Engage in activities that promote your well-being and self-care. Take care of your physical, mental, and emotional health. Exercise regularly, eat nutritious meals, practice relaxation techniques, and engage in hobbies or activities that bring you joy. Taking care of yourself will help you rebuild your strength and resilience.

  6. Embrace new opportunities: While it's important to process your feelings, it's also crucial to move forward. Be open to new friendships and opportunities that come your way. Join clubs, volunteer, or participate in activities where you can meet new people who share similar interests. Building new connections can help fill the void left by the ended friendship and enrich your life.

Remember, healing from the loss of a friendship takes time, and everyone's journey is unique. Be patient with yourself, practice self-compassion, and trust that you will grow stronger from this experience. 

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