Picture this: you and a close friend have been tight for years. You share everything – so much so that other people start thinking you’re related. But then, it happens. IT. And IT might start slowly, inch by inch. You notice your friend not returning your calls or texts right away. Her Instagram feed starts showing her at parties or events with other people and she didn’t invite you. She doesn’t wait for you at “your spot” before lunch anymore. Little things, at first. Then, bigger things you can’t ignore anymore.
Your friend has moved on and it really hurts.
So what should you do? No doubt, you’re upset and confused and feeling lonely. You might even feel like a part of yourself is missing. It’s easy to become angry. It’s also very easy to blame her and make everything her fault. While that might make us feel good temporarily, there are better ways to react––better for our hearts and minds in the long run.
- Acknowledge your feelings. Don’t ignore them or hide them. Journal about how this tough change in your life is affecting you. Talk to a trusted sibling, or another friend or family member.
- If possible, talk to your friend. She might tell you that she wants some time apart. She might even say she’s found some new people she gets along with better at this time.
- Let her go. If you do get the chance to talk, wish her well. Remain thankful for the good times you’ve shared. This is very painful, but how does it make you look? It makes you look mature, kind, and caring.
- If she purposely ignores you, (we’ve seen this happen) then remain kind. Don’t talk about her behind her back or break any confidences she’s shared with you. Still, let her go in your heart, but realize this probably has more to do with her than you. Again, you’re staying mature, kind, and caring.
What’s next? Hold onto these two things:
- There are some friends you’ll make very early on in life who will be close to you for your entire lifetime.
- There are other friends who will add fun, happiness, and memories to your life for a specific time period. And that’s fine. An elementary school pal. A senior year friend. A college roommate…and so on. These shorter friendships aren’t any less real or special. They fit inside a certain place in time and remain there…forever.
Here are some ways to bring the happy back:
- Explore some new friendships. Are there a few girls you hang with, but don’t know very well? If you’ve been spending tons of time with one person, you might have been missing out on some other great peeps!
- Do something nice for others. Performing acts of kindness and helping others is one of the best ways to fight hurt and loneliness. Volunteer somewhere. Help someone who is struggling with a school subject you’re a pro at. Teens who drive––offer to take your younger sibling and some of his/her friends to the movies. Help your parents. Spend extra time with your pets. It’s proven that giving and sharing helps to make our hearts feel good! Even lonely hearts.
Have any of you experienced the loss of a special friendship? We’d love to hear how you got through it.