Sad Truth: To Become Yourself You Have To Break Up With A Few Friends

by Lauren Martin

They say breaking up is hard because when it’s all said and done, it’s like losing a friend.

That’s the part that hurts the most.

Not the lack of sex or the dissipation of romance, but the end of a friendship.

So what about when you’re just breaking up with a friend? People don’t think of it often, but friends break up just as regularly as couples do.

We choose our friends more carefully, however, than those we try and have romantic relationships with, so we assume they will last longer.

We assume sex is the reason romantic relationships end. But friends grow apart just as easily as couples.

Friends, like lovers, have to fight for it. And sometimes, they also have to let go. You have to admit it’s not working anymore, and as much as you love them, maybe you’re not meant to be together forever.

When a friendship ends, it feels like a death. It’s as heavy and damaging as any breakup. But it’s also just as necessary.

Not every relationship you enter will work out.

You don’t think it’s weird when couples break up, so why put any shame on friends breaking up? It’s just as natural and inevitable.

Because when we change, so do our friendships

We change, we mature, we grow in different directions. As we get older, our passions narrow and, inevitably, so do our friendships.

We lose common ground with those with whom we once had everything in common.

We begin to see the world differently and thus, each other. If you no longer have anything in common, anything to enjoy together, what's the point?

Because friendships aren’t your only relationships to worry about

Your work, your family and your romances are all relationships you now juggle.

We’re not kids anymore whose sole world revolves around our friendships and the drama in them.

We have too much drama in our millions of other relationships to deal with that kind of drama.

So when it starts to happen, sometimes it’s just easier to cut it off than cut down on everything else.

Because you can’t grow with someone attached to you

You can’t move if you’re always stopping for others. You can’t become the person you’re trying to be if you’re trying to be everyone’s friend.

There’s no reward in trying to hold on to friendships that don't give you anything.

You don’t want to look back and wish you stopped trying to hold on to a friendship instead of yourself.

Because you’re too busy to keep friendships that aren't worth your time

It’s a sad reality, but there’s just less time for friendships as we get older. We have passions and drive outside of hanging out with our best friends.

Obviously, you should make room in your life to enjoy the presence of good people, but if your friendship feels more like a strain than a relaxing release, it’s not a healthy way to spend your limited free time.

Because being alone is better than being with someone who doesn’t get you

When we were younger, we avoided being alone. We didn’t want time with our thoughts. We made friends to avoid that certain type of hell.

Now, we cherish alone time. We yearn for moments when we can be completely at peace with ourselves and our own thoughts.

If we’re going to give up that alone time for someone, he or she should never make us regret it.

Because your interests control your friends more than your situation

No longer are we friends because of proximity. We don’t forge connections because we attend the same school, class or parties.

We are developed – we have passions and interests, and those trump availability.

Those friends we made back in college or high school don’t nurture and feed us the way we yearn to be fed now.

We want friends who get excited and passionate about the same things.

Because you don’t need a lot of friends to have self-worth

Your popularity no longer rides on how many friends surround you. You are as confident standing alone as you are in a group.

You don’t want friends to feel better; you want friends who make you better.

If they aren’t doing that, then they aren’t adding to your character. Your self-worth is already determined; your friends don’t have to be.

Because you’re trying to live up to your own expectations, not your friends'

Holding on to friendships that aren’t working is like trying to hold on to a bad part of yourself that you need to let go.

In order to make yourself better, you have to face the ugly parts, even if that means the ugly people you’ve kept attached to you for too long.

There’s nothing wrong with cutting ties if it means making room for a better you.