Breaking Up with a Friend

Friendships are tricky. Sometimes we grow into them and sometimes we grow out of them. Sometimes we give more than we get and sometimes we get more than we give. It’s a bit of a doozy.

We live in the age of what I believe to be “over friendism” meaning that to me, the line between acquaintances and friends has become increasingly blurred. The dictionary tells me that a “friend” is, “a person who you like and enjoy being with.” While Urban Dictionary tells me that a “friend” is, “some one who knows you but loves you anyway.”

And, maybe it’s a mix of both.

remove friend

Being a friend, a real friend, is a big dealio. It means making sacrifices – time, love, and energy. Being a friend is not always easy. It’s really not. It can be work, a balancing act, just like being part of a couple can be. It’s a relationship, and that’s where friendship deviates from just being an acquaintance for me.

Recently, I have been thinking about when it’s time to let go of a friendship.

I have always been reluctant to see someone as a friend until I am really sure of it, and I think some of that has to do with the fact that when I accept someone as my friend, I consider them as having a pretty major role in my life. By this, I mean – I get invested.

I see my friends as the leading roles in the Broadway adaptation of my life. They are the people that I trust and the people who I would do anything for. I don’t want to “fire” any of  them from their role.

In fact, I feel really guilty when I decide to end a friendship – incredibly so. Every part of me thinks how horrible I am for giving up on the person while the other part of me argues that whatever the person has done or has continued to do is really lame.

I sound like middle management.

Honestly though, when is it time to end a friendship? Is it when the friendship becomes more bad than good? Or is when both people just decide to quit?

I guess what I am getting at is, letting go of a friend can be as tough as breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend. You remember all the good things about the person and you want to forgive them, and then you remember your reasons for letting go. It’s an internal war of forgive them versus forget them.

It seems that letting go or being let go is always the risk you assume when you let someone in. The middle ground between being a doormat and putting up with bad friend behavior is gray area, and letting go is a decision that only you are qualified to make.


11 thoughts on “Breaking Up with a Friend

  1. producthoochie July 9, 2014 / 10:06 am

    I have read that friends are supposed to come and go. Some will stay the duration of a lifetime but some are just meant to be friends for a certain point in your life. Look at those times and the people involved with fondness. With social media, it is easier to keep up with those that don’t really play a major role. It is your decision whether or not to include them in your life or how much they can see. I’m probably about 10 years older than you. As you get older, you will find friendship in places you did not expect. My work colleagues and I are like family- we do a lot together and are involved in ways that you wouldn’t normally think colleagues are. My sister and I are very close. My best friend for 15 years and I don’t speak daily BUT it’s like we know when one needs the other. My husband is my absolute confidante- I trust him with my heart and soul. You will find friends that last a lifetime and some that won’t. As you and they change, you may find that you are no longer friendship material. It is okay to let go or go fade away. Just remember to appreciate what you learn from each friend you encounter in your life.

    • nyrmirez July 9, 2014 / 1:49 pm

      You are absolutely correct! As one gets older you find friendships in places you wouldn’t normally expect and the people that are closest to you understand that friendships are a give and take.

      • producthoochie July 9, 2014 / 5:49 pm

        To add, I recently decided to not keep in touch with a “friend” who is selfish. I couldn’t take how self absorbed she was and how negative I was when dealing with her. We both evolved and I really believe it’s for the best.

    • Sam July 10, 2014 / 11:50 am

      This was so positive! You’re right. You should appreciate the good times you have with each friend that comes into your life. It’s really the best way to think about it versus on focusing on all the bad stuff!

  2. Nailmattic July 9, 2014 / 11:17 am

    Wow this post touched me today, I think about this too and have and many times where I needed to end a friendship or something has ended one with me w/o explanation. I think everything like this has an expiration a date.

    • Sam July 10, 2014 / 11:52 am

      I think that there are very few people who are meant to stay in our lives forever. We change so much that it’s rare to find two people who grow in and together in the same way.

  3. jacheree July 9, 2014 / 1:23 pm

    I hear you! I’ve only ever had to aggressively cut off one friendship. It was difficult and messy and full of drama, but that is exactly why I cut it off. It was bringing more stress into my life than it should. Another time I let a friendship fizzle out and I felt bad because I knew my friend cared more about the friendship than I did. It’s a tough thing!

    • Sam July 10, 2014 / 11:52 am

      It is tough! Whenever people’s feelings are involved, things are going to be complicated. Humans are fickle beings. ;)

  4. budziak July 10, 2014 / 3:46 pm

    I had a pretty big falling out with one of my closest friends, she just went down the wrong path and I felt like I was getting sucked in to it. I completely cut ties with her and while I miss her, I know I miss the person she used to be, we’re both different now. Honestly, if she wanted to reach out to me, she still could but that’s just not how it goes. Sometimes you just have to cut the negativity out of your life, you can’t be blamed for taking care of yourself.

    I have a few really close friends, these are the people that no matter how far they live, I know I will still be keeping in touch with and fly to see them, or have them fly to visit me. Everyone else (especially on Facebook) are acquaintances, we may have been close friends at one time or another but I’m not sure I would go as far as to say they’re my friends. That said, if any of them needed help, I would definitely try to help as much as I can.

  5. Alex Crispino July 10, 2014 / 9:51 pm

    Love love love this post and have experienced what you’re describing a couple of times. Like you, I do sometimes feel guilty when I decide to end a friendship. But if you aren’t benefiting from the relationship anymore, then it’s time. It’s healthier for you. Great post!

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