5 Reasons Why Friendship Breakups Hurt More Than Relationship Breakups
One of the purest forms of relationship that I think one can experience is that of friendship. People can come and go but it is your friends that make life worth living; without them, it’s as if you’re just surviving. No matter who you are or how successful you are, there is no way you can replace the friendships in your life. I guess that’s why they say that friends are your chosen family. And that I think is universally true.
I’ve never been one to share or express what I feel. I’m the kind that will keep her troubles, her conflicts, even things that are bothersome to herself. And that means I’m not the easiest person to be friends with. This is why the fact that I do not have a lot of friends, doesn’t come as a surprise to me or people who know me. However, I do have a group of friends that I cherish. They’ve been there for me over the years and gone through every imaginable ups and downs.
But like everything that comes with an expiry date, so did my friendship with one of my best friends. We had been together for around 8 years and in the past few months, things were not going smoothly for us. I mean, I cried on my birthday because of her but that didn’t seem to matter to her. Though I tried holding on to it after that and had almost fixed it when I realised that in all our years of friendship it was just me that was fixing and mending things. It felt like I was the only one who cared so much about what’s going to be of our friendship that I didn’t even realise when she started taking our friendship for granted. Now, I’m not going to lie by saying that it was all her fault. It takes two to tango, right? So, I was also to be blamed for it as well.
Also Read: Sex/Life On Netflix Isn’t Perfect. But Here Are 5 Things It Got Right About Female Pleasure, Marriage And Friendship
Why? Well, because I hardly ever expressed what I was feeling. But then again in my defence, on the rare occasions that I used to express myself, she would understand for a while before doing the exact same thing again. And just like that, we were back to square one. It was what it was. Ironically enough, it was her behaviour on her birthday that did it for me and I decided I didn’t want to be a part of this friendship anymore. I realised that for so many years, I’ve been saving what we shared at the cost of my self-respect and she didn’t seem to care about or mind it.
As I read this, I know that it is her who is coming off as the bad person. And as much as I want to protect her (yes, even now) and say that this is not all that is to her, a part of me knows that this is the majority of who she was. When I decided to let go of the friendship, I cried my way back home. People often tend to think that it is easy for the person who broke it off but trust me, that’s isn’t always the case. I’ve never liked losing relationships, which may be why I give so much of myself that I hardly have anything left for me, and I’m okay with that. I’m okay with that because I know what it feels like to lose someone you love. But there comes a point when one should stop, and I had reached my point which is why I refused to hold on to something that was already too broken to fix. Honestly, sometimes I wish that our friendship would have ended gradually, then it would hurt less, wouldn’t it?
I know, I can’t be the only one who has ever faced a friendship breakup. We all have at one point or the other, for good or for bad have gone through friendship breakups. But we hardly ever talk about it. In fact, we have movies, series, songs, etc. talking about and expressing what romantic relationship breakups feel like, but I’ve never come across movies portraying friendship breakups. I believe that is because you really can’t sum up what it feels like to lose a friend. It is because, universally, we all know that friendship breakups hurt as much if not more than romantic relationship breakups.
Don’t believe me? Well, I have 5 reasons why I think friendship breakups hurt as much if not more than romantic relationship breakups:
1. You lose on emotional intimacy
Friendships are all about emotional intimacy. The emotional relationship you share with your best friend is not the same as the one you share with your romantic partner or anyone else in your life. Which is why when you lose a best friend, you lose someone you can connect to emotionally, and trust me, you never find the same level of intimacy with another person, no matter how close he/she is.
2. You lose a part of yourself
A best friend that knows you inside out, that understands every mood change, that has seen you at your best, and at your worst, inevitably becomes a part of you. And so when you go through a friendship break up with them, you lose a piece of yourself that in turn changes you forever.
3. It makes it very difficult to trust anyone
Imagine having trusted a person for years and they are the ones who end up betraying you in one way or another. Do you really think you could trust someone else easily? I don’t think so. Having gone through a friendship break up myself I can tell you one thing for sure, you not only have issues trusting someone new, but you also start doubting the other friends you’ve had.
4. You start doubting yourself
When you break up with your best friend, the one thing that comes along with all the grief and pain is self-doubt – especially when you’re older. You’ve been with someone for years and so you’d like to believe that you know what they are capable of, but when you’re going through the breakup, you realise that you didn’t know the person as well as you thought. You start doubting how capable you are of assessing others that you let in your life. And honestly, that really hinders your self-image.
5. You don’t have anyone to talk to
For me, personally, my best friend was the first person I would go to when something went my way or didn’t, when I achieved something or didn’t, etc. In other words, she was my go-to person for any and everything. But when I lost her, I didn’t just feel like I had nobody else, I knew that I had nobody else. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have other friends who are as close to me as she was, but the bond, the friendship that I shared with her, none of my other friends can replace that place. Which is why, when you go through a friendship break you are left with no one to share what you’re feeling.
I don’t know, having written this, I feel light. Ever since I broke up with my best friend, I really didn’t express myself to anyone and I don’t think that it is because I’m inexpressive to begin with. But I think it is because we’re never taught to talk about or rant about how we feel when a friendship ends. We all go through friendship breakups – sometimes it is gradual and other times it is forced – but we all do go through it but we rarely ever talk about it. One of the reasons for that could be because it really gets very difficult to talk about how much it hurts to lose a friend. There are so many emotions at play that the person who goes through the breakup doesn’t even know what to feel at times. And I think that is exactly what makes friendship breakups hurt more than romantic relationship breakups.