Walking Away From a Friendship
Most people know what it feels like when you stay in a relationship for too long; you feel mentally and emotionally exhausted. This doesn’t just apply to romantic relationships, sometimes you have to walk away from friendships as well, and those are often more painful because you never really expect them to end. As cliche as it sounds, some people aren’t meant to be in your life forever.
When you are building a friendship you find yourself bonding over experiences, opinions, goals, and interests, but those are all things that can change. As you get older you may view a past experience differently, your opinions on situations may develop over time, your interests may evolve as you get older and continue to discover who you are, and your goals in life may change as you do. If you are able to maintain a friendship through all of this then wonderful! There’s something truly special about lifelong friendships because that’s the family you choose.
However, friendships, just like any other relationship, takes work from all parties. No relationship can last without communication, support, and effort. It’s important to really be present and supportive in each other’s lives, but if you find that your friend is no longer able to fulfill your needs then it is okay to move on with your life.
I don’t recommend rushing to that conclusion. You should first think about what it is that you feel is going wrong in the friendship. Do you no longer feel supported by your friend? Do you feel like you are not treated as a priority? Do you feel like the friendship is and has always been one-sided? Do you feel like you’re constantly being judged or spoken down to? Do you feel mistreated in anyway? These are all valid reasons to walk away from any relationship, but if this is a person who once really mattered to you then maybe you should consider trying to work through it. Confront your friend and tell them what you’re feeling, and if you don’t receive a response that explicitly states that they will work to change how you feel then consider moving on with your life.
My family refers to this as a spring cleaning. Sometimes we grow as individuals and that means we may grow apart from the people we once knew. I won’t pretend like this is an easy thing to do. A friendship breakup can often hurt more than an intimate one, but sometimes you need to walk away from situations that are hurting you and that’s okay.
If you feel as though your friendship is heading in this direction then don’t be afraid to check-in with each other. It’s possible that just as you feel like you are missing something from your friend s/he can be feeling the same. Make an effort to communicate and fix the situation and if that still doesn't work then don’t be afraid to start over. It may be scary, but the worst thing you could ever do is not take care of your heart first.