We hate to admit it, but sometimes friendships just don’t work out. As twenty-somethings, we face a lot of life changes, and whether we’re moving across the country or entering a serious relationship, it can be difficult to maintain friendships. When college ends and the requisites for friendship are no longer simply living down the hall or sharing a math class, we discover what we truly want—and need—from our relationships, and might be surprised to realize that some have run their course.
Breaking up with a friend is hard to do, but sometimes it’s for the best.
Is It Time? First, you need to decide if the friendship in question has reached its expiration date. Consider these questions: Do you two still have things in common? Is a friendship with this person taking more than it is giving? Do you dread the work that it takes to maintain the friendship? The answers to these questions will show you how you really feel.
How to Do It? This is going to be a difficult conversation to have, but it’s more considerate—and concrete—than fading away from a friend. As with breaking up a romantic relationship, you do not want to go on the offensive. Try and point out that giving each other more space is mutually beneficial and the reasons your friendship isn’t working. More likely than not, they’ve noticed the same things.
The Aftermath. There may be situations where you will cross paths or have their Facebook status crop up on your feed (unless you go the whole nine yards and unfriend) and you’ll need to be prepared. It will be awkward at first, but time heals all wounds. Ending a friendship does not mean you can’t remain on friendly terms with the person; make your usual small-talk and move on. If she didn’t take the break-up well and is dragging your name through the dirt, maintain your position and don’t get petty.
We know this is a difficult time, like any kind of break-up. We wish you the best!