04 May 2021

Recovering from the end of friendship

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Words by Rosewell.

Like old homes or Jenga, things that fall apart do so slowly at first--then immediately. Until finally, once all is done, said and not said, we look back with all the wisdom of hindsight, wondering to ourselves; how did we get here?

Friendships fall apart for many reasons – from vastly different goals, to moving countries, a new job, to changing values. Or, you may simply no longer have so much in common. The spontaneous catch ups which once fell into easy conversation become awkward silences filled by observations about the weather.

When a friendship ends, sometimes the end is clear-cut. Lines are drawn, boundaries are set, and for the most part, everyone knows where they stand. Sometimes the conversation ends one day and fails to begin again. Sometimes the end is unclear, and there is a lot of second guessing.

Regardless of the ending, a falling out between friends is never easy. Creating and maintaining deep friendships requires immense time and effort. A close friend knows everything, from your deepest insecurities to the location of that mole. Losing a friendship can also mean the loss of unmade plans, a confidant, the feeling of deeply knowing someone, a social circle, and all the things that make a great friendship, well, great.

When this happens, it’s normal to feel a deep sense of loss. It’s normal to feel self-critical, confused, guilty, hurt, or even a little grateful.

It’s important to take the time for a moment of self-intimacy, to connect with yourself, to acknowledge and sit with those feelings. Inevitability, you will grow to see that you will continue to share deep friendships, to love and be loved, in the space that grows from absence. Just like things that fall apart, rebuilding happens slowly at first, then all at once.


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