Break-ups suck. There’s no two ways about it. You put all of your baggage out on display and then suddenly, without warning, you have to pack it all up again.
The only good thing about romantic break ups is that there’s a bunch of stuff there to help you cope: chocolate, Bon Iver, rom-coms, alcohol and most importantly, your friends. But when the break up becomes more platonic, how do you go about it? Is it even still called a break-up? Are you allowed to break out the wine? When is the right time to call the quits?
Friendship break-ups are so confusing, for many reasons, here are a few:
You don’t have any pals to lean on
Your best friends are your support. They’re like the Osher Günsberg of your life; always there for a heart to heart and at the ready to give their opinion of your various romantic suitors. When you break up with your significant other, they’re ready with the tissues and the customary ‘they weren’t good enough for you’. Or, they will tell your ex that they did not receive a rose and they can kindly fuck-off from the mansion now.
When your friends are the first people that you turn to when life takes a wrong turn, it’s pretty devastating when those friends are at the heart of your trauma. It’s kind of like if Matty J turned to Osher for support, staring up at him with his huge goddamn eyes, and then Osher suddenly snatched the roses out of his hands, ripped off the petals and threw them into the gaggle of girls and started taking each of them on single dates himself. Let’s face it, Osher is so desperate for a Logie at this point that this isn’t that far out of the realm of possibility. Bachie analogies aside, you’re walking this one alone, kid.
Pics that make you feel like you’ve been punched in the tit (or the heart)
I’m one of those people who struggle to resist taking a photo of my breakfast most mornings. When your friends are people that go through milestones with you, like travelling or graduating, it’s hard not to feel a pang in your chest when you see the photos documented on your camera role. It’s even more painful to get that gnarly FOMO when it’s plastered on social media or when Facebook reminds you of ‘this day five years ago’ when you were obviously a different person with different people in your life. But hey, that’s the 21st century baby!
Don’t worry though, there’s a nugget of positivity buried in there. There’s no doubt your phone has been screaming for a clean out (and probably an update, no judgement here fam). Maybe it’s time to delete the pictures that cause you pain. However, make sure you back up the photos on your computer because A) These experiences helped make you who you are. I guarantee you’ll regret deleting your graduation photos when you’re 45 and B) Maybe it’s time to cultivate a new Instagram aesthetic. Start fresh with a new colour scheme, vibe and buds. C) If you guys become pals again, it’d be pretty fucking awkward not to have those photos somewhere. The conversation might go like this: “Oh, remember that hilarious photo of you hooking up with that old dude at schoolies? You know, that time you shat the bed? Let me see if I can find it.”*Scrolls manically through 5 years of photos only to realise that you have deleted every single memory that the two of you share and they are staring over your shoulder having the same realisation. *
It’s new, uncharted territory
It’s pretty easy to let your sense of self become intertwined with who you were hanging out with,especially if your friends are people who you respect, love and look up to. It’s a part of true friendship to admire and wish for qualities that you value in your friends. But when your friends turn from friend to foe, it really makes you doubt yourself and your values. How did I not see this happening? Am I a bad judge of character? Am I just a massive dickhead? It’s time to actually do you, boo. Not just what you say when you don’t agree with someone’s taste in boning partner. I mean take some time, go on a walk without headphones and think about who you are. What qualities do you like about yourself? Where do you want to end up? Could you ever pull off bangs?
BUT HEY, it’s not all doom and gloom! Here are three things to remember if you’re going through a friendship breakup:
There will always be people there for you
It might be hard to believe, but there are people who care about you outside of your immediate friendship group. Your family, your colleagues, a taxi driver who asks you why you’re crying. People are generally kind, caring and generous. If you ask for help, chances are you will receive it.
Focus on the bigger picture
It sucks now, but these things do happen for a reason. There’s no point putting all of your energy into fixing relationships with people who don’t want to bother with you. No matter how lonely and isolated you feel, sometimes it’s just not worth it. You will make more friends, and they will be there for you.
Let the negativity go
Everyone has issues and problems that they need to deal with. Don’t be harsh or mean, even if that’s what you’ve been up against. Be kind and release negativity. Remember that not everyone shares the same level of empathy that you do. Be the change you want to see and all that jazz.
Image: Mean Girls
Laura is a 21-year-old Italian grandmother who likes coffee, going to bed early and snapchat filters. Follow her on Instagram @laurajmasia.