“And, therein lies the issue – Friends don’t try to trick you, get you on the phone and mind-twist you. And, so I took an ax to a mended fence.”
One of my guilty pleasures are the Real Housewives shows. I started rewatching The Real Housewives of New Jersey recently. I’m on season five now, but the end of season four was really relatable to me. Towards the end of season four, Theresa Guidice and Jacqueline Laurita go through a friendship breakup. They had been friends for many years before, and due to different circumstances, their friendship finally comes to an end by season five. When the friendship ends Jacqueline is just as distraught as if she were going through a breakup with a boyfriend or significant other.
There are scenes from the show when you hear Jacqueline sobbing through her bedroom door, and you can instantly connect to that feeling. Going through a friendship breakup is really hard. It honestly feels very similar to going through a breakup with a significant other. This person has been in your life and by your side for a long time. You used to text her all day, every day. She was the one who would drop everything after you had a fight with your boyfriend to take you out for your favorite food. And, she was your go-to wing-woman at the bar during the single period of your life.
I’ve gone through a number of friendship breakups throughout my life (as you know I went through one recently). As much as they hurt, I’ve learned that some people aren’t meant to be in your life forever. They are only meant to be there for a short amount of time to serve a purpose. Once that purpose is fulfilled, you are meant to part ways. Parting ways isn’t always a clean break. Ending a friendship can be very messy and emotional. I’ve experienced many types of friendship breakups throughout my life. In the end, they always hurt.
Here are a few types of friendship breakups I’ve either experienced firsthand or watched someone else experience and some ways to deal with them:
World War III
Girls can be catty, emotional, and mean. This type of friendship breakup is when all hell breaks loose. Maybe, one friend did something to hurt the other friend like kiss her friend’s boyfriend. Or, maybe one friend initiated the friendship breakup and the other friend took it as a threat and went into defensive mode. Whatever happened to trigger the friendship breakup, now both friends constantly feel defensive when they are around one another. Being in the same room together for a long period of time isn’t safe because there’s a good chance that one of them will pick a fight with her ex-friend. The end of this friendship involves a lot of yelling, talking behind the other girl’s back, and making mutual friends take sides like it’s World War III.
This type of friendship breakup is definitely found more so in high school and middle school when both parties have a lot of learning and growing up to do. Hopefully, a friendship breakup like this won’t happen in your young adult life, but if it does you need to know how to deal with it. This is a very toxic situation for both people to be involved in, and, frankly, it’s very immature of them to act this way.
If you find yourself in a friendship breakup that feels like it’s about to blow up and become a world war, take a step back and be the mature one. Don’t let anything your ex-friend says get to you. If it does bother you what she says, pretend it doesn’t. If anyone over the age of 21 feels she needs to pick on and attack someone she used to be friends with, she’ll only look petty and immature. Be the bigger person, and don’t act like her. Block her on social media, delete her text messages, and do whatever else you need to do in order to be the mature one and not give in to her high school-like drama.
The Mutual Agreement
Friendships end for a number of reasons. Sometimes, one person gets tired of the other person. Sometimes, there’s a misunderstanding that leads to a falling out. Sometimes, two people just aren’t compatible enough to be friends forever. In most occasions, a friendship breakup is initiated by one person and the other person doesn’t always agree. There are rare occasions, although, where both friends know that the friendship has hit an expiration date and that it’s time for them to go their separate ways.
This type of friendship breakup is probably the best-case-scenario. It is the cleanest break out of every type of friendship breakup, but that doesn’t mean that the people involved aren’t sad that the friendship ended. If you and your friend both decide that the friendship has to end, there’s a good chance you’re handling the friendship breakup very maturely. In this situation, you will probably be more likely to be around your ex-friend in a group setting without feeling like you need to talk behind her back or start another world war.
Even when there is a mutual agreement to end a friendship, there can be hard feelings between you and your ex-friend. You may be tempted to express those hard feelings to your mutual friends or others who know her. Please, remember to take the high road. Continue to be mature and responsible for your actions. You don’t want something negative that you said about her getting back to her. Wouldn’t you be upset if you found out she was talking about you behind your back? Your friendship with her is over. Allow yourself to be sad about it for as long as you need to be, but don’t turn that sadness into anger. If you feel like you need to complain about her in order to move on, talk to your mom, your boyfriend or someone else who will DEFINITELY not talk about it to other people. The worst thing that could happen is that a clean break becomes World War III.
Being ghosted by someone in any relationship always feels weird. There are always a lot of loose ends and things left unsaid. I have both been ghosted by ex-friends and have ghosted now ex-friends in order to end a friendship. I don’t think ghosting a friend is necessarily a bad way to end a friendship. I think it avoids all of the messy and often unnecessary drama that often comes out of friendship breakups. Sure, it leaves you wondering why you’re not friends anymore or what could have happened if you ended the friendship another way, but you’re probably better off leaving it open-ended.
I once used ghosting as a way to end a friendship because I was angry with the person. I didn’t mean to end the friendship by ghosting. I was angry about something one night, so I stopped responding to her texts. Since I stopped responding almost two years ago, she never tried to contact me. I guess that was good because we ended up mutually ghosting each other. Being ghosted by someone in order to end a friendship could leave you feeling two different ways: nonchalant about it or angry about it. In my scenario, I was angry about it at first. I felt like she didn’t care about our friendship enough to try to reach out to me and ask if something was wrong. I realized years later that maybe she had felt the same about me.
If one of your friends starts ghosting you and you begin to get angry with her about it, don’t do anything irrational. You can try reaching out to her to ask if something is wrong if you really want to try to save the friendship, but make sure everything you say is cool, calm, and collected. Don’t go into the conversation feeling defensive or angry. Again, handle it maturely. On the flip side, maybe it’s really not worth trying to get answers out of her. If she really cared about the friendship, she would have probably tried to contact you. You’re both probably better off in the end without each other. Let it be.
Friendship breakups are mentally draining. When a friendship ends you feel like you’ve lost a lot. You may miss your ex-friend months or years after the friendship is over. From my experience, I realized that I hardly really miss my ex-friend. I more so miss the things her and I used to do together. If we were really meant to be friends for life, then it would have worked out.
You can also think of it this way – sure, you’re losing one friend, but think of all of the beautiful friendships you will have in the years to come. In the end, maybe you needed to end this friendship in order to find more meaningful, caring friendships.
Hang in there, my Dolls!
Lyrics in header from “This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things” by Taylor Swift.
Sometimes, when a friendship ends the best thing you can do is focus on yourself and your career. To do that, you need to have a good interview for your prospective job position. Learn how in “Ace Your Way Through Your Interview.”