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Best Friend Breakup 101

Friendship Breakup By: Katie Lister

February 01, 2024

What is a best friend breakup? Why has my best friend ghosted me? Is it normal for best friends to break up? How do I get my best friend back? If you are in a situation where you just broke up with your best friend, this article is for you.

Hi, my name is Katie Lister, a practicing Registered Nurse and the founder of the Growth Gals. One of the most common topics discussed in Growth Gals is best friend breakups. 

Best-friend breakups can be very painful to bear. This article will tell you all about falling out with your best friend, how to recognize the signs of a breakup, and what to do.

Table of Contents

Katie Lister

Katie Lister

Written by Katie Lister, RN, BScN. An experienced Registered Nurse, Health Coach, Group Facilitator, and Community Leader. Read Katie's Full Author Bio

Are Best Friend Breakups Normal?

Just like a romantic breakup, a best friend breakup is healthy and very normal. When we make friends, we never think about the fact that friendships end. We call each other BFF (best friends forever) and never imagine it could all end. However, not all friendships last forever. You might have met in high school, but you grew up and grew apart.

Losing friends are nothing new. Even musicians have written songs about friendship breakups. An example is Lauren Spencer Smith, who sings about a friend who dumped her without warning. The song, called Best Friend Breakup, is an official music video on YouTube. You can also stream it on Spotify, Deezer, and Apple Music.

What Are The Signs Of A Best Friend Breakup?

A friendship can dissolve slowly, without your knowledge. Here are the signs of a friendship breakup:

Constant disagreements

Constant arguments and disagreements are among the most obvious signs of a fading best friendship. It is a sign of deep issues if you are constantly arguing and can’t seem to agree on anything.

Your friend complains and picks a fight over petty issues every time you hang out. They could be doing this to push you into giving up on the friendship.

They no longer confide in you

When your best friend stops confiding in you and instead goes to one of your mutual friends, it’s a sign of a best friend breakup. 

They don’t invite you out

You go everywhere with your close friend, but lately, they have been avoiding you. If they ask mutual friends out but not you, it is a sign that they are trying to back out of the friendship. If you invite them, they always have an excuse and avoid you. It’s a sign of dissatisfaction or discomfort in the relationship that they are not addressing.

Decrease in Communication

When your friend stops texting or calling you as often as before, it’s a sign they might be trying to break up with you. They might have lost interest. If you text them, they don’t text back or do so in monosyllables. Social psychology states that the key to maintaining a relationship is constant communication. When this communication ceases, the relationship suffers.

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They show no interest in your life

When your best friend no longer seems interested in what is happening in your life, they may be emotionally detached. They may be trying to break up with you. This shift in behavior indicates a decline in emotional investment and empathetic responses, which are important in a healthy friendship.

How Do I Deal With A Best Friend Breakup?

However your friendship ends, it will cause heartbreak. Here are a few ways of how to stop obsessing over a lost friendship and heal.

Allow yourself to grieve

Losing a close friendship is devastating. Allow yourself to feel the loss and grieve the loss. You might feel guilty about it and wonder what you could have done to prevent the breakup. Although it’s not your fault the friendship ended, you need to grieve, heal, and eventually move on, even if not completely.

Link up with other friends

Linking up with other friends and deepening the connection can help you move on from a broken friendship. From these friends, you might feel more socially connected and form a deep friendship with someone else.

Practice self-care and mindfulness

It’s easy to forget to care for yourself when you are sad. One way to heal is self-care. Dress well, get your nails and hair taken care of, etc. Going about your daily activities like before will help you cope with the pain of the breakup. Engage in activities that make you happy. Listen to or play music, paint, dance, or read a book.

Meditation and practicing mindfulness helps quiet your mind and prevent overthinking. Mindful meditation helps you to refocus and be more aware of the present. If you are religious, praying to God will help to ground you.

Exercise

Exercise helps to relieve stress. The body releases the feel-good hormone (dopamine) after a workout. Create a playlist of your favorite songs and go for long nature walks to make you feel good about life.

Join a new friend group

You and your former friend might have belonged to the same social circles, which might feel awkward. Reach out to other people and join a new friend group. It might be strange, but it will feel good to get out of your comfort zone and form new friendships.

Check on your emotional and mental health

Platonic breakups can cause a lot of grief. You will go through the stages of grief- denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The intense sadness you feel after a breakup can lead to clinical depression and suicidal thoughts. Seek mental health if you have a hard time adjusting and feel overwhelmed. If you can’t afford professional help, consider talking to a close friend or family member.

Avoid social media 

Avoid social media for a while until you heal. Social media is full of curated information that will make you feel worse. If you cannot keep away, unfollow your former friend and mute all notifications from social media accounts.

The Effects Of A Best Friend Breakup On Mental Health

A failed friendship can affect your mental health in various ways.

Social Isolation

When a friendship ends, your social life may drastically change. If you share similar social circles, you may have to start avoiding these circles. A broken friendship can cause anxiety when you see your ex-friend. Your mutual friends may feel the need to pick sides, making the situation worse.  Every time you go out, you must keep your fingers crossed and hope you don’t bump into them. Trying to avoid this social circle may force you into loneliness and social isolation.

Clinical Depression

Breakups are very painful and may leave you feeling extremely sad, hopeless, and worthless. If these feelings persist, you are most likely depressed and need to see a professional. You might also feel:

  •   Guilt
  •   Hate for things you love
  •   You cannot sleep or eat
  •   Have low energy levels
  •   Suicidal thoughts

Lack of Motivation

A friendship breakup has a huge impact and can cause insomnia or oversleeping, loss of appetite, exhaustion, or crying bouts. You want to stay in bed and have zero motivation to do anything.

Low self-esteem

When a friendship ends, you wonder what you did to cause it. Most people judge themselves harshly. They feel shame and confusion, especially when the friend does not explain the breakup. All these feelings lead to a loss of self-esteem and a feeling of not being a worthy friend.

Why Therapy Is Important

Therapy is critical after a failed friendship. Here are some of the reasons why:

It helps you adjust

A best friend breakup brings a huge change in your life. You have to adjust to a new life without your friend. Therapy helps you navigate the changes and adjust to your new life.

It helps you process the grief

Although a breakup is not the same as bereavement, you might experience the grief stages, i.e., denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Therapy guides you to process the grief.

It helps you to function

One of the goals of therapy is to help you get back to being as fully functional as you were before the breakup or close.

It offers support

Ideally, you should turn to family or friends for social support. Sometimes, they can’t provide support, maybe because of biases. A therapist provides support and a judgment-free space for you to thrive in.

Growth Gals Can Help After A Best Friend Breakup!

This guide goes out to women striving to become a better version of themselves! Are you looking for a means to self-discovery? Growth Gals is a compassionate and encouraging community of like-minded women who can make a best friend breakup easier to handle and live through.

Follow @growthgals_ on Instagram to stay updated on our journals, coaching, and support groups. Be sure to check out our newsletter for the latest tips and tricks on personal growth. Join us now and start your journey towards self-improvement and healing from a best friend’s breakup!

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Final Thoughts

Breaking up with a best friend is devastating. It comes with numerous changes that may lead to feelings of shame and sadness. Being part of a supportive community like Growth Gals can make the healing process less lonely even as you learn to live without your friend. 

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