I am a huge Brian McKnight fan. The other day I was in my car listening to “Do I Ever Cross Your Mind,” and I wondered, where are all of the friendship break up songs? There are no love songs for the greatest love of all, which I believe is our friendships. I wish Brian McKnight had a song for us.
A few years ago I broke up with a friend and it was the hardest break up I’ve had to date —romantic or otherwise. My heart was broken. We have expectations for friends that go beyond our expectations of our partners, which can make the breakup that much more difficult to process and move on from.
Here is some of what we may experience while navigating a friendship breakup:
Ruminating is when we think about what led to the breakup. We wonder what could have been done or said differently. We spend time picking apart the past, wondering when the issue started and how we got to where we are now.
Reminiscing is when we think about all the good times we had in the friendship. We think about all the fun we used to have. We remember the inside jokes and the special moments shared just between the two of us.
Wishing and Hoping
When we are in this place we wish that things could be different and we hope that things can be repaired. We may not be able to see a way forward, but we haven’t let go of the hope that maybe we’ll find our way back together.
We don’t talk about this one a lot. Just like when we break up with a partner, in a friendship breakup you may stalk your friends online. We want to know where they are and what they’re doing. We’re curious to know how our friend is moving on with their life without us.
A large part of why we feel betrayed is because of the high expectations we have of our friends. We think about the ways we confided in them and were vulnerable with them. When the friendship ends we may feel like the person didn’t honor that relationship.
When you go through a friend breakup, nobody’s showing up at your door with Ben & Jerry’s, but it can be devastating. It is totally normal to have these reactions and feel these feelings.
What I’m Watching
inTreatment (season 4) is a show about the intimate relationship process of therapy from the perspective of the therapist and client. Also, the series provides an intriguing depiction of what therapists may go through personally while caring for others. This is the fourth season of inTreatment, but the first season I’ve watched and is available on HBO.
What I’m Reading
7 Ways to Reset Your Relationship by Jancee Dunn. This article featured in the New York Times offers advice for how couples can emerge from the pandemic with a stronger relationship.
How were you impacted by a friendship breakup?
Did you engage in any of the 5 natural responses listed above?
Did something in this newsletter really speak to you? Leave a comment and let me know. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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