Going Through A Friendship Break Up? We've Got You Covered
Friends are such a big part of your life at university and it can be really difficult when your relationship with a good friend breaks down.
For many people it can be a lot more difficult to deal with than a romantic relationship breaking down.
When you move into your student apartment you’ll be leaving behind good friends at home and you’ll make new friends in university and in your new town.
We’re here to help break down the widely held view that a friendship break up is not the same as a romantic breakup.
They can often be a lot harder to deal with, especially if you have fallen out with a BFF you were close to and trusted.
It could be that you have decided to end the friendship, or the other person has.
Either way, it is never easy when a friendship ends, so how should you attempt to deal with it and move on to the next chapter in your life?
All will be revealed within our post!
Understanding A Friendship Break Up
All relationships evolve and change over time, your friendships are no different.
Sometimes, there is no rhyme nor reason as to why a friendship has ended, other times it can be caused by a big event, a falling out or argument that is too difficult to overcome.
Other times, a friendship will just fizzle out, or you’ll be on pleasant terms with someone but not as close as you once were.
Some friendships just don’t last for whatever reason, whether you want them to or not.
Every person changes as they leave school, go to university and start a career.
People move away from home and have completely different lives to each other – it is completely natural.
Friendships might breakdown for a wide range of reasons, including:
- A big argument.
- A misunderstanding that leads to confusion.
- A perception of betrayal by one party.
- New friendships and friendship groups.
- No reason at all.
Indicators You Should End A Friendship
There are times where a friendship has turned toxic, or at least is not a situation which is good for your own mental health and well-being.
This can be difficult to come to terms with, but it is important to understand what is happening and what to look out for.
One of the biggest signs is that you are always anxious about meeting up with certain friends and you always worry about what they think about you and what they will say to you.
You are always the person to make the plans and put all the effort into the friendship with very little coming back the other way.
Quite often you’ll find that your friend cancels plans or doesn’t turn up, and when you do get together it is often mentally draining to be around them.
In terms of a toxic friendship in particular there are some tell-tale signs:
- Your connection is not what it once was.
- The friend makes you feel worse about yourself rather than better as they once did when you first became friends.
- Where you felt confident that you could talk to them about anything, they now don’t keep your secrets safe.
- You’ve discovered that they talk badly about you behind your back.
- Whenever you are around them, they belittle you and make fun of you, causing you to feel embarrassed and ashamed.
- When you attempt to set some boundaries to protect you, they get angry and push back at you.
- They lie to you all the time, about both trivial and important things.
Tips For Getting Over A Friendship Break Up
Here are a few tips we would like to put forward that might help you get over a breakdown in communication with your bestie and the end of a friendship:
1. Sit With Your Pain
Acknowledging the pain and grief of a broken friendship is completely natural and normal.
In the same way as we grieve romantic relationships, a friendship break up is real and as valid as the emotions you would feel in other relationship breakdowns.
Sit and grieve, you will hurt, whether you were the person instigating the breakup or not.
Allow your emotions to come out and sit with them for as long as you need!
2. Practice Self Care
In these situations, there is sometimes a need to sit and mope around all day, stay in bed covered in blankets and watch weepy films, but don’t do this for too long.
It might be tough, but practice self-care and make sure you get up and shower, wash your hair, continue your skin care regime and get dressed.
Continue to read, play music, go for walks, and all the things that bring you enjoyment and keep your mental health well balanced.
You may be missing your friend, but you should still ensure you’re looking after yourself.
3. Don’t Get Lost In Your Thoughts
It is easy to get lost in your thoughts and to start going over old thoughts, looking at old messages between you and your friend, finding photos of the good times and reminiscing on the memories shared.
Remember, It is completely ok to delete these things if you think it will help you move on with your life after this difficult period.
There are no hard and fast rules, every person is different.
If you struggle to overcome emotions and keep going over old thoughts, you do need to find a way to break that cycle and not get caught up in it all.
4. Don’t Force It
You might want to find closure to the whole friendship break up as soon as possible, but it can take a different amount of time for every person.
Everyone is different, so it is important to understand that it might take you a while to understand what has happened.
You might also find that it comes in waves and just when you feel ok, then the feelings hit you again, that is completely fine.
5. Stay Active
Exercise is always vital for our physical and mental health, but it can be even more important during a friendship break up when you are struggling mentally.
Go out for a run if this is something you usually would do anyway, stick to your fitness regime.
If you are looking for something new, join a gym, go to a yoga class, and think of ways to help reduce any low, depressive thoughts.
6. Eat Healthy
Alongside exercise, making sure you continue to eat a balanced, healthy diet will also help your mental health as well as your physical health.
You should always try to eat breakfast, and have plenty of fruit and vegetables in your diet.
These early days after a friendship break up are really hard and it would be easy to reach for the sugary snacks and drinks, the junk food that makes us feel good in the short-term but sluggish in the long-term.
7. Talk, talk, talk
Talking is the best thing you can do when going through a break up of any kind.
This could be your other friends, a parent or relative, or any person you trust.
It is best to get out your feelings to others and to talk through everything that happened.
It might be that the other person was a toxic friend, or that you recognised toxic traits in you and that’s why the relationship ended.
Talking through everything will help to unload, to work out what went wrong and why, and to help you move forward.
8. Manage Your Social Media
If you need to unfollow the friend you have fallen out with, block them, or just post certain things to a select group of friends, there is a reason why this function exists.
It may feel cathartic in the moment to post on social media about how you’ve been wronged and how this other person is toxic, but it won’t do you any favours in the long-term.
So, try your best to stay mature and refrain from posting on social media about the friendship break up.
9. Check Your Emotional Health
If you are really struggling with the breakdown of a platonic relationship, please seek out professional mental health assistance.
A friendship break up can cause a massive amount of grief and sadness that could lead to depression.
Your university will have measures in place and provide you access to mental health counsellors and advice, and you should also speak to your GP as soon as possible if your wellbeing has taken a hit.
Talk therapy and medication is available and could be the remedy you need.
10. Work Out How To Deal With Mutual Friends
This can be one of the most awkward parts of a friendship break up, especially if you have a solid group of friends that you shared.
It’s always best to keep things simple when people ask what’s happening, you could just say that you no longer spend time together.
Keeping drama to a minimum might be difficult, but it will be important for both of you in the future.
If you can stay civil, do so, but beyond that just stick to your own plans with friends and move forward without drama.
If you have suffered through a friendship break up, or you have helped another friend come to terms with a lost relationship, let us know what worked for you.
It is always best to surround yourself with positive people, to speak about your pain and to grieve in the same way you need to when breaking up with a romantic partner.
When a good friend plays such a big and constant presence in your life it is hard to comprehend life without them, but we must move on and do what’s best for our mental health and our own personal needs.
Are you wondering how you can be a better student? Take a read of our post with 8 tips and tricks.