Other Musings

Mourning Platonic Loss

Hello again, everyone! It’s once again time for me to wax poetic about something that’s been bugging me lately: breaking up with a friend.

It sucks. It’s got the potential to be worse than romantic breakups. It’s not (typically) a conclusion one comes to easily or quickly, but I think we all eventually come to a point where we realize we are better off without a certain someone in our lives anymore. But how do we know it’s time to cut those ties?

For me, it has a lot to do with being in tune with my body and following my intuition. I trust my gut more than anyone or anything, and when she tells me that something is not for me, it’s usually in my best interest to listen to her.

When I see this person’s name pop up on my phone or when I refresh Instagram and theirs is the first story or post I see and my heart sinks into my toes, that’s a pretty big indicator that something about this person is not good for me and it’s time to phase them out of my life. If I find myself tensing up at the mere mention of their name, if their presence triggers any kind of negative reaction within me… it’s time for them to go.

And while breakups are never fun, I do think in some cases that they’re very necessary for one’s own growth. Sometimes we have to shed that dead weight that’s holding us back from reaching whatever potential we are capable of reaching.

It sounds cruel to refer to old friends as “dead weight” but when they keep bringing up aspects of your life that you’re trying to put behind you, when they’re keeping you from being your best self… that is the essence of what dead weight is.

And sometimes it’s not even about them holding us back from reaching potential; sometimes we just need to let people go. There are lots of reasons why. We’ve outgrown them. They’ve outgrown us. Neither of us have time for each other or a desire to make time. We’ve lost trust in each other. Lots of reasons. Regardless of what the reasons are, losing friendships suuuuuucks.

And it’s totally okay to feel conflicted about ending a friendship. I don’t see how deciding not to have someone who’s been around you for potentially years could be an easy choice, even if it’s necessary. But you have to put yourself first. Which is more important to you: your mental/emotional well-being or their comfort?

If you really think you’re better without them, you probably are, but it’s totally okay to be sad about it. Take all the time you need to process and grieve this loss. Cry about it, get angry about it, rant about it. And then let it go.

Find comfort in the fact that even though this relationship has run its course, you can still find love and community with others who deserve to have you in their lives. Take the energy you put towards your old friendships and put it towards strengthening your bonds with those you’ve decided to keep close. Put it towards loving yourself while you process the fallout. Eventually that sadness will fade, and you can let yourself focus on supporting relationships that best support you.

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