How to Get Over a Friendship Breakup

Why do friends break up? How do I learn how to get over a friendship breakup? How can I tell if a friendship is over? How long does it take to heal from a friend breakup? What are the signs that a friendship is over? If you are looking for answers to these questions and more, this article is for you.

Hi, I am Katie Lister, a practicing Registered Nurse and the founder of Growth Gals. I lead personal development groups and communities and coach women to become the best versions of themselves. GG provides women with a safe space to come together to learn and get support from other like-minded women. At GG, we discuss mental and reproductive health, emotional intelligence, close friendship breakups, and other topics.

In this article, I will provide you with all the information you need to learn how to get over friendship breakups and live a happy and fulfilling life.

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

How to Get Over a Friendship Breakup – The Steps to Take

Friendships start because of shared life stages (school or work), shared interests, or proximity (neighbors). Friendships grow deeper from these encounters and become more personal. Growing apart from friends can be caused by different reasons, including significant life changes like caring for elderly parents, children, relocation, or divorce occur, not all friendships can survive. Sometimes, friendships end due to falling out or disagreements due to betrayal, among other reasons.

Whatever the reason, when a friendship ends, it can sometimes be more painful than a breakup with a romantic partner or the end of romantic relationships. A good friend, bestie, or BFF (best friend forever) is the person we turn to for emotional support, even during a romantic breakup. If one of you ends the relationship, how do you accept that the friendship is over?

Acceptance

The first step toward healing is acceptance. You might feel guilty and beat yourself up over the broken friendship. You will replay the scenario in your mind wondering whether there was anything you could have done to be a better friend or prevent the friendship break. Wallowing over the breakup can prevent you from accepting what the reality is. This can affect your self-esteem, especially if the friend ended the friendship.

Understand that there is nothing you can do to change someone else’s mind. You will feel a profound sense of loss and emptiness after the end of the friendship, but you have to accept it and try to move forward, one day at a time.

Reconnect with other friends

When you have a best friend, other friendships often take a back seat as you pour your time and energy into the relationship. When dealing with the loss of a friendship, you need to reconnect with old friends to take your mind off the lost friendship. Disconnect from the former friend, avoid mutual friends who remind you of them, and also spend more time with family. Surrounding yourself with loved ones will help take your mind off the breakup and focus on your present relationships.

-how-to-get-over-a-friendship-breakup- (1)

Talk to someone

Talking to a trusted friend who is not a mutual friend or a family member can help you see things from another perspective. When going through a hard time, we do not look at things objectively. A third party can look at the situation and advise without bias. If you do not have someone to talk to, seek therapy from a licensed therapist who will help you find ways to cope.

Get Closure

Getting closure makes letting go of friends easier and guards your emotional health. If you cannot meet with your ex-friend for a face-to-face conversation, other ways to get closure can include:

  • Writing a private letter telling your former friend goodbye and including all the bad, good, and in-between moments you experienced in the friendship
  • If it was your fault and they are hostile, apologizing via a text message or an email will suffice
  • Figuring out what you intend to say to your friends if anyone asks you about them or what to say to them if you run into them. Will you be cold, cheerful, professional, calm, or friendly?
  • Holding a memorial for your friendship by burning incense or lighting a candle to the friendship that was

How Long Does It Take to Get Over a Friendship Breakup?

Healing from a friendship breakup is not a one-size-fits-all experience. A lost friendship hurts, and you may grieve the lost friendship almost like you would a death. Research shows that grieving is personal. How long it takes entirely depends on an individual. Some people can take weeks to go through the grief process, including denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance, while others can take months to heal.

As mentioned, a friendship breakup takes you through the five stages of grief, and the effects can also last for a longer time if you don’t make an effort to heal. The amount of time it takes depends on different factors such as the strength of the broken bond, the reasons for the breakup, and your personal resilience.

How to Heal from a Friend Breakup

Healing from a lost friendship can take time and patience, especially if this was a long-term relationship. Here are some tips on how to recover from a friendship breakup in a healthy way.

Practice self-care

When healing from the heartbreak of a lost friendship, taking care of yourself might be the last thing you feel like doing. However, you can find healing by doing the things that bring you joy. Extend yourself some compassion, the same way you would a friend in a similar situation.

Take care of your physical health by exercising, eating healthily, and getting enough sleep. Your mental health also matters, so you must filter your content. Read self-help books and avoid ruminating or overthinking the situation by practicing meditation or guided imagery with a licensed therapist.

Take a social media break

You had much in common with your former friend, including friends on social media. Every time you log into your social media platforms, you are likely to see your friend’s photos or comments on mutual friends’ posts. This can make healing even harder. To completely heal, consider taking a social media break, mute or unfollow the ex-friend, or even consider blocking them. The less you see them, the better it is for your grieving process.

Find more on how to end a friendship here. 

Expand your social circle

It’s unfair to expect anyone to be like your former friend. So, there is no point in trying to replace them. Instead, forge new friendships while keeping an open mind. Join new friend groups and take time away from your mutual friends, who may feel pressured to choose sides. Try new things you are passionate about and use them to occupy your time and mind. The more people you meet, the more you expand your social circles, make new friends, and create new memories.

Figure out what went wrong

It is natural to ruminate after platonic breakups, especially if your friend ended the relationship without an explanation. It would help if you accepted what happened. Remind yourself of who you are and your values when it comes to friendships. Part of healing is figuring out what went wrong and avoiding the same pitfall in future friendships.

How to Rebuild Your Social Circle After a Friendship Breakup

Part of learning how to get over a friendship breakup is learning how to rebuild your social circle after the fact. Humans are social beings and need people for support, bonding, and a sense of belonging. Making new friends might feel like the last thing you desire after the heartbreak of losing a close friend, but it is the one thing you actually need to move on.

According to research, our social circles start to decline at the age of 25. Making friends becomes more difficult as the friends we had start relocating, creating new jobs, getting married, etc. Here are a few tips on how to rebuild your social circles:

Download apps

Use the numerous online apps to create a new friend network with people searching for platonic friendships.

Volunteer at community organizations

Volunteer at community organizations like religious institutions, wellness spaces, or cultural centers where you can meet new like-minded people and create lasting friendships.

Take up a new hobby

After a breakup, try spending time on a new hobby. It could be anything you have interest in, like a book club or cooking classes. While at it, you get to meet people with similar interests, stay busy, and learn something new.

Join a fitness group 

Joining workout classes or outdoor activities is a great way to meet like-minded people and improve your well-being. Physical exercise releases endorphins, or feel-good hormones, which are mood boosters and stress reducers.

Be approachable

Be open and approachable. Smile, show interest, and listen actively to others. Small changes in body language make a big difference in how people receive you.

How Growth Gals Can Help After a Friendship Breakup

Our mission is to inspire women to reach their full potential and exceed their expectations. We aim to create positive change by giving women the tools and resources to discover their true selves and pursue their passions. Growth Gals helps women overcome obstacles like friendship breakups, connect with others who share similar experiences, and live a healthy and authentic life.

At Growth Gals, you get a chance to connect with fellow women who share similar values and experiences. You can subscribe to the Growth Gals newsletter to access helpful guides and resources and learn more about how we can help you live your best life post friendship breakup.

GG-how-to-get-over-a-friendship-breakup

 

Conclusion

When navigating the stress and pain of a lost friendship, it helps if you are ready to accept it and move on. Try to figure out what happened for the sake of future friendships, but don’t dwell on the situation for too long. Practice self-care and self-compassion by joining supportive networks like Growth Gals, and pick up new hobbies or volunteer in organizations. All these are opportunities that can lead to new friendships.

Scroll to Top
Weekly Newsletter

Stay Inspired by Growth Gals

Sign Up for Personal Growth Tips, Free Tools, and Relatable Advice! 

We promise no nonsense or spam :)