Is it Time to Break Up?


When do you know it’s time to break up with a friend? 

I think many of us have been there before. For one reason or another we grow apart from those we once called friends. Lack of common interest, our lives and kids and husbands get in the way, or there’s a falling out. The relationship becomes one-sided and you feel like you’re just trying too hard without any reciprocity.

I haven’t had much experience with breaking up with people. Boyfriends and friends alike.

I’ve either moved away, gotten another job, etc. It was an easy separation that required no further action. But I’ve always left doors open for reconnection in the future. However after feeling like a friend just isn’t interested anymore, I think I need to do something further.

I’ve been left out, cancelled on, and ignored. But as soon as I forgive and forget I feel like I get sucked in just to get hurt all over again. And admittedly shed a few tears. I thought this was all left back in high school?

So I’m asking now, how do you break up with a friend?

Talking It Out
In the past I’ve had great luck approaching a friend and talking everything out. Sure, it was awkward as heck but I just had to remember that the other person might not even realize something’s going on. So unless the issues are discussed, the real problem might just lie with the fact that I was over-analyzing everything.

However sometimes talking it out can lead to even more gaps in the relationship. The friend didn’t understand where the feelings were coming from or they just didn’t want to make more of an effort in the friendship for whatever reason. So if this doesn’t mend things, it might be time to take more action. Or take no action at all. 

Avoiding Communication
So we’ve tried to talk it out and things just didn’t work. What do we do next? The next step might just be to avoid all communication. The friend might be doing the same thing. Happy Hour plans are no longer made, invitations to parties are forgotten, Facebook statuses and blog posts are ignored.

But this just doesn’t seem like the right thing to do. Discuss together and move on, right? Talk about it, bring up the issues, and come to a mutual and mature decision.

Cutting Out Completely
So talking it out didn’t work and avoiding communication just isn’t the key. Now we have to move forward and face the facts. Both sides aren’t willing to put the effort needed to continue the relationship so it’s time to cut ties completely.

Of course all of this can be done in a civil, respectful fashion. If mutual friends are involved then maybe the relationship gets bumped from friendship to acquaintance. It’s not that bad, right? And the sheer fact that we meet so many people in our lives means that we have to realize that not every friendship will last and stay strong. And sometimes some friendships are only meant to teach us certain things. The friendships that really matter are the one’s that will stick.

So what do you do when a friendship has fallen apart and you just need to end things? 

Disclaimer: If you’re reading this blog post, this post isn’t about you. I’ve already discussed the issues at hand with said friend and we’re working things out for a mutual break.

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  1. Thanks for this advice. We are having issues right now with “family” members that this would completely pertain to. Thanks so much! I will share it!

  2. Oh boy! I went through this about a year ago with a friend I thought would be there with me always. She didnt change, I just realized it was always all about her and I had to move on. I stopped calling bascially, she called once, I didnt pick up and it’s been over a year. I dont think she was surprised. I still think about her, but I know it was a toxic friendship also. Good luck, it’s hard.

  3. you said it right on the last paragraph. definitely time to cut ties completely and accept that it is what it is. facebook is entertaining but could also offend people at the same time. i personally don’t take facebook seriously–keeping score on comments, like, statuses, is all nonsense. it’s JUST facebook.

    spend time with people who “ADD” to your life. this person certainly doesn’t and vice versa.

  4. Thanks ladies! The hardest part is that the friend has been in my life for so long. It just sucks all around 🙁

  5. I’m going through this now too. I went with option 2 but ended up talking with her about it this weekend. I just said that the fact that we were no longer close weighed heavy on my heart but I reconigized that we were in just very different places in our lives and doing different things. She 100%I agreeded and it was nice closure I think for both of us. The bitterness I felt toward her (and i I’m pretty sure she felt toward me) has eased as we agreed that it wasn’t really anything wrong with moving on. We are still “friends” we just don’t make an effort to keep up to the level we had before.

  6. After highschool, I was the only one in my group of friends who went away to college. When I was home on summer and winter breaks I was working Full time at a clothing store at night and full time at a summer camp during the day. I tried to hang out with my highschool friends but they all had their own friends from the local colleges they went to, plus they all had each other. So I started hanging out with coworkers which only made the rift between my highschool friends and I worse. My 21st birthday I had both groups of friends at the same bar, and it was a disaster, my highschool friends were so mean to my coworkers. My highschool friends just up and bailed and they were MY RIDE! I dont remember how it started but one night at the summer carnival in town my BFF from highschool started arguing with me over how i never have time for her anymore. I tried explaining that I worked 2 full time jobs, so I didnt really have time for ANYONE and that I think we just grew up and grew apart. So then her mom happened to see my mom and make some snarky remark and my mom was like really? the girls are in college, let them fight their own battles.

    After that we just avoided all communication with most of the highschool friends. Luckily one girl who I had a falling out with in highschool over prom I always remained semi friendly with and talked to online semi regularly throught college and beyond. We stayed in touch and im now going to be in her wedding party!

  7. Ourfamilyworld says

    It’s so hard when you have problems with friends. Thanks for the advice

  8. Ashleigh Walls says

    Whenever I have broken it up with a friend it always just seemed to fizzle itself out. I am so happy now that I have those who really matter to me and I don’t worry about those friends I use to have. After having my son I am cautious on who I need in my life because I don’t want negative influences or people around him.

  9. Sometimes I come across this issue with blogging friends as well. I feel obligations, but things online are so much harder to communicate than in person. I’m a people pleaser so I don’t want people to be upset with me, but I haven’t quite found the right way to bow out of relationships online. :/

  10. royalegacy says

    The hardest thing is finding an old good friend after so many years, and they want nothing to do with you.

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