Friendship breakups: we need to talk about it
Platonic breakups are important and not talked about enough, and they hurt just as much as romantic breakups.

Life is full of different types of breakups. From your first middle school boyfriend you dated for two weeks to your high school best friend who slowly drifted away after promising to be BFFs for life, we’re constantly changing. Change is perfectly normal because we are meant to explore and outgrow certain people. But what if you are not ready to move on?

Friendship breakups are very painful to go through and often not talked about because they’re overshadowed by romantic breakups. Mass media, through movies, music, and books, showcases failing romantic relationships and the grieving process, but we’re at a shortage when it comes to depicting friendship breakups. It has been a common belief that relationships and romantic partners come and go just like seasons, but what about friends? 

Friendship breakups hurt as much as relationship breakups because of certain factors including the significance of the connection and the time invested into these friendships. These breakups can feel worse than relationship breakups because it can be awkward and hard to move on. You can often predict when a romantic relationship will come to an end, but it can be very unexpected when your best friend with whom you’ve been through thick and thin then becomes a stranger. 

There are three main reasons why friendship breakups can hurt more than romantic relationships. These reasons are a lack of closure, the longevity and depth of the friendship, and the perceived betrayal of trust. These factors, among various others, can intensify the emotional impact of friendship breakups and contribute to the heightened sense of hurt and loss compared to some romantic relationships.

A lack of closure from friendship breakups is messy and confusing. It lacks the formality of closure because there are different types of platonic breakups, many of which involve someone drifting apart slowly, which doesn’t give the person who is getting broken up with any closure. This absence of closure or clear reasons for the end of the friendship can leave individuals feeling confused and unable to process or move on from the loss.

Another aspect that makes friendship breakups hurt more is the amount of effort and time you put into the friendship. Friendships can span a significant portion of an individual’s life and can sometimes last longer than romantic relationships. When you’re heartbroken by a romantic partner, who’s there for you? Your best friends. However, what if you have a breakup with your best friend—then who do you go to? The depth of shared experiences, memories, and the investment of time and emotions can make a friendship breakup feel like losing a part of oneself or a substantial portion of one’s history.

Feeling betrayed is natural after your best friend breaks up with you because the trust that was built for many years is washed away after a breakup text. In friendships, there are expectations of trust and loyalty, which you don’t expect them to break because it feels like they should be by your side. This perceived betrayal can lead to feelings of deep disappointment and emotional pain.

Friendship breakups are painful and hurt as much as—or more than—romantic relationships in certain situations. Yet, no matter how hard it gets, there are always new friends to meet. With the right self-care routines, the heartache of the will heal. You shouldn’t forget about the fun memories or delete any photos because, after enough time, you’ll be able to look back at the good times. 

My favourite quote to reflect on this comes from the show BoJack Horseman: “I think there are people that help you become the person that you end up being, and you can be grateful for them, even if they were never meant to be in your life forever.” This quote is super helpful because friendships are meant to be fun. You shouldn’t be sad that it ended, but happy that it happened because it made you the person you are today. Friends will change at every stage of your life, so you should enjoy every moment. 

Staff Writer (Volume 50) — Karissa is a fourth-year student pursuing a Specialist in the Digital Enterprise Management program. When she's not studying marketing, you can catch her at the gym doing yoga or hanging out with her friends playing poker. Karissa loves writing about movies, music, and anything that she's passionate about. She can talk about horror movies and heavy metal music all day! She also enjoys baking, reading, and fashion.


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