Friendship Break-Ups Hurt: 8 Tips To Handle Losing A Friend

Last Update on April 6, 2023 : Published on October 15, 2022
how to handle losing friendship

One of the most inspiring relationships we have is the one with our friends. Our friends are the people we choose to spend time with, and they are the ones we willingly call our family. Our friends can be our worst critics and the loudest cheerleaders when we need them to be. However, not all friendships can last forever.

Friendship breakups are real and can hurt worse than any other separation. Speaking from experience, losing a friend with whom you’ve spent your most memorable years can be emotionally distressing. Friendships are one of the most important relationships we form in our lives, and losing the connection you’ve nurtured for decades can leave you floundering.

Many different reasons can cause you to pull the plug on your friendship. Whatever your reasons for calling it quits, the separation can hurt. Below, I’ve listed 8 tips to help you handle losing a friend.

Let’s take a look at them, along with the reasons why you may lose your friends as you grow older.

Reasons Why Your Friendship May End

Friends are not just the supportive shoulder we need to lean on during tough social situations or just a company to hang out with; friends offer motivation, encouragement, and emotional support just like any close family member does. This is one of the reasons why the end of a friendship can hurt more. The heartbreak is real.

Here are some common reasons why you may lose your friends and end a friendship:

1. You’ve Let The Friendship Fizzle

When you first formed the friendship, the intention was innocent and most of those intentions are based on common interests or beliefs, but as you grow older, the interests and beliefs may change. Friends don’t demand you to change but, as time goes on, friendships based on common interests may just fizzle out.

2. You’ve Had A Fight

It’s not uncommon for friends to get into arguments and fight; fights are important in every relationship but, when a fight is left unresolved, it can cause a gap between friends, causing one or all involved to call it quits.

Everyone has a different opinion and view on different issues and when one person can’t see or agree to disagree on those issues, conflicts can rise. Similarly, if one friend betrays the other, even then a friendship is less likely to survive.

Also Read: Types Of Toxic Friends You Need To Look Out For!

3. There’s A Distance Now

As we grow older, we begin our own life pursuits. Some are aligned with our friends’ but others are different. In such scenarios, the distance between friends is common, which complicates things. I’m not just talking about emotional distance, either. We need to account for physical distance too.

Moving to a new city, starting a new job, or other reasons that put a distance between friends can also be one of the reasons why a friendship may end with separation.

4. Expectations Have Changed

Not all friendships are the same. Some friendships are more than just acquaintances, while others are more than family. This changes things as well. When acquaintances leave, it doesn’t hurt much, but when friends leave, well I don’t need to tell you how much can it hurt.

No relationship – yes, even friendships – is without expectations. So when a friend fails to meet the set expectations, it can create tension that can’t dissipate with time. And when expectations clash, it can be hard to save the connection.

How To Handle Losing A Friend?

Here are some tips to help you deal with losing a friend:

1. Accept The Hurt:

Understand that the heartbreak and grief that follows the end of a friendship are normal. The pain is as valid as pain from any other separation. It’s time that you accept that hurt. The good times you shared with your friend are gone, so let yourself mourn the loss. It’s OK to feel whatever you’re feeling.

2. Prioritize Self-Care:

It might seem easy to shut yourself from everyone else and mope alone, but it won’t help. So get up and prioritize self-care. Don’t neglect yourself or your needs. Even if going through your normal routine hurts, don’t give in. Try to find a healthy distraction to make yourself feel better. Go out for dinner, watch a movie, or just play some music.

3. Don’t Dwell On Your Thoughts:

Thoughts are likely to arise whenever you miss your friend but avoid dwelling on them more than necessary. Avoid scrolling through old texts, looking through pictures, and stalking their social media – no matter how much you want to do so. The point is moving on, so if it helps, delete their pictures and texts and distract yourself from doing anything you’ll regret.

4. Get Moving:

Exercising can be a good distraction too. Not only exercising will keep you physically fit, but it will also allow you to care for your mental and emotional health. Join a gym or a yoga class, but get moving. Exercise has been proven to do wonders for your physical as well as mental well-being too, so make use of it!

5. Reach Out To Someone:

If you feel that you’re letting yourself down and moping more than usual, then it’s OK to reach out to someone and talk about what’s bothering you. It could be your parents, your siblings, or even a therapist. Seek support when you find yourself ruminating on memories and can’t seem to bring yourself out of your funk. Talking about your friendship break-up can help.

6. Find New Friends:

It’s not easy to give up the memories of your ex-best friend and find new friends, but it doesn’t hurt to try, right? You can try to meet new people with the same interests or new people with different interests. The idea is to go out and make new friends. Maybe none of the people you meet will become your friends, but at least you’ll be meeting others. Get back into the social game!

7. Determine Why You Broke Up:

I know I just told you to avoid dwelling on the negative, however, this is an important step. Determining the reason for your friendship break-up will help you understand where and what went wrong. This could help you understand your boundaries and see where you need to work on.

8. Check In With Your Emotions:

Losing a friend to separation can involve feelings of grief, too. When you lose a friend with whom you’ve spent decades suddenly leaves or when you decide to end a decades-long friendship, it can put you in emotional disarray, giving way to thoughts of self-harm and suicide. If your emotions are turbulent, and you can’t seem to control them, then it is recommended you seek professional help. Letting loneliness fester can turn into depression.

Author Note:

Friends and friendships are an important part of our growth and mental development. Losing a friend can hurt, just like any break-up can. Some friendships are meant to last forever, but others might not be so lucky. If you’ve lost a friendship, then it’s OK to feel grief, loneliness, and heartache, but it’s not OK to let these feelings fester.

Some years ago, I lost a friendship just like this and back then, I had no one to tell me that it was OK. It’s OK to lose a friend when they prevent your growth. It’s OK to grieve the loss. Or that it’s OK to reflect on the good memories, and not dwell on the negative.

Now, I understand that despite your wishes, some things are out of your control. This lesson did teach me one more thing; no matter how much I miss my former friend, I’ll always have new friends to lean on. Meeting new friends does not mean that you’re disrespecting the old memories; it means you’re giving way to making new ones.

I hope the tips to handle losing a friend in this article will help you deal with losing friends. For more, you can write to us at or DM us on social media.

You can also share your stories and tips to deal with a friendship break-up in the comments below.

Take Care!

Next Read:

10+ Signs You Have Emotionally Draining Friends 

How To Ask A Friend If They Are OK When They Are Not

Why Can’t I Make Friends? What Is The Impact Of Having No Friends On Our Mental Health?

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