Worse Than a Breakup: The Truth About Ending Friendships

Hands holding pinkies

My whole life people have prepared me for ending romantic relationships. They’d say things like “you never know who will be your forever person,” or “if he takes away your happiness, leave him.” No one ever said, “hey, sometimes you might make a friend that you have to cut out of your life for your own mental health.” Is it just me who was shocked by this reality? I had a best friend in college. Everyone told me that you’d meet your closest most amazing friends in college. So the day I had to cut her out of my life hit me harder than any breakup I’d experienced.

We were your typical best friends; we’d do everything together. We became so close we even finished each other’s sentences (not sandwiches). We were the perfect duo. When one of us was stuck in bed sobbing over an overwhelming amount of homework, the other one was right there with a caramel latte and annoying smile to pull the other right up. 

I remember getting up at 4 a.m. on a busy school day to help her with a photo project that just had to be done in the dark. But for some reason not the evening dark, the absolute dreadful morning dark. (She was an art student.) It was the same thing to me, and I laughed at her and she laughed at my complaints. It was special, and we both knew they weren’t actual complaints; we’d do anything for one another. 

It’s hard to say when we started to fall apart. Was it moving in together? The day I let her drive my car to work, when  it got a flat tire and it became a massive argument? When we both found our own boyfriends and stopped spending as much time together? 

No one expected our friendship to end. Not even us. 

Perhaps, looking back on our friendship, an outsider could say we were in a relationship just as deep (if not deeper) than a romantic one. It would make sense. While our relationship was completely platonic, it was riddled with our vulnerabilities and emotions. 

The day I removed her from my life broke me more than anything. It’s taken me years to recover, and sometimes I don’t think I have. I spent months where I would cry just thinking of her. I spent more months being angry and hating everything about how we turned out. I spent hours holding my phone wondering if I should text her. To this day, my heart still hurts knowing we aren’t in each other’s lives anymore. And I still hope that maybe one day, just maybe, we can be friends again. 

You’re probably still asking why. Why did this seemingly wonderful friendship come to an end? 

Well, like many sour marriages or toxic long-term relationships, at some point, we just started to become mean to each other. Something happened, and suddenly there was a lot of anger. And us both being quite similar, it became passive-aggressive. When I started to realize we were pushing each other away I tried so hard to reconcile, to put the pieces back together, apologize for my mistakes, and offer my hand in friendship again. 

For a while, things started to go back to normal. We both apologized, shook hands, and from what I thought, moved forward. But somewhere along the line, in our twists of anger, a bond of trust was broken. And perhaps it was just our immaturity that wasn’t able to fix it. 

Honestly, sometimes I regret ending our friendship. But after a year or two of distrusting each other, and me hearing some cruel things she said behind my back, I realized that our friendship would never return to its once glorious state. 

The truth is, sometimes wonderful things can turn on you, especially if you are not careful to nurture it. And when it’s gone, you may realize it was the best thing you ever had. 

In life people prepare you to lose a romantic partner, you see it in movies all the time, everyone seems to be getting with a new boy or girl every weekend in high school, and people usually have multiple ex’s throughout life they talk about. But no one ever really talks about losing their best friend. Because aren’t best friends always supposed to be there?

In all honesty, I think our friendship ended because no one taught us how to be friends. No one told us that in true deep friendships you have the power to hurt each other just as if you were in a romantic relationship. Trust may be impossible to rebuild, and the only thing one can do for the well-being of their heart is to move on alone.

So take my story of two young college friends, who let anger and immaturity take away what could have been a lifelong friendship, and remember the truth: ending a friendship may break your heart, but sometimes it’s the best thing to do for your own mental health. And just like letting go of an ex, you may find better things moving forward. 

Written by: Seairra G

Instagram: @sea.irra


  • Sarah

    Going through this right now. I’m in college. Freshmen year we met and had so much fun together. I told them everything, we lived in the same hall it was so much fun. But this year they are in sororities except me and they have started to make other friends. I wasn’t prepared to have to find other people. I wanted to start making living plans for next year, and they decided to live together and leave me out of it. I cried telling them how lonely I am and how much I miss them and want to live with them next year and they didn’t care. I still haven’t heard from them since asking if I’m ok or anything. It’s a hard pill for me to swallow that these people that I loved more than anything would hurt me like that. It hurts so much. But I know that I need to move on and find people who appreciate me for who I am.

  • Arfi

    Omg you have no idea how much I can relate to this. I had a very good school friend too. We would always hang out together. Help each other in the odds and figure out all our problems together. 2 months back my family met with a car accident and my mom was gonna be hospitalized for a long time, so my bff offered me to move in to her house with her mom. I guess that’s the cause of our breakup too. She’d use my things but mind if I use hers. She’d never help me out with my work but always ask for help for hers. At time she would just get mad at me and avoid me for no reason, sometimes I’d try to make it up to her and then I got fed up and just left her alone. For 2 months I tried to put up with all of this, all her mood swings and dramas and everything, but then I realised that if it was not working out, maybe it wasn’t meant to be like this. So I moved out, just 3 days back and she with her mom pulled out such a big fight with me that we’re no longer friends.

    I can’t believe our sweet relationship (atleast once upon a time) had to end like this. But everything’s not in our hands and we can’t do anything about that. This article was very relatable to my life story. I hope someday we’d be friends again

  • Huddah

    Ooh it’s not easy to break up with your bestfriend
    I had a bestfriend we used to do everything together . I was depressed for 2years bfr meeting her and when I met her things changed Cz she used to listen to me with no judgment , I would do the same too . I can say I loved (love) her so so much yes we all make mistakes but I was ready to work things out between that I’ve never been with anyone else … she was beautiful, intelligent, beautiful heart and a very strong lady but I don’t even know what happened
    Cz someone called me and said my bestfriend was talking bad about me to her
    I said never I called her and the girl on one call
    Since I didn’t want the girl to lie for my bestfriend but it turned out true yes she did
    I wasn’t even mad and upset I wanted us to talk things over after that and continue our friendship but bfr I knew it she didn’t wanna talk to me anymore till date I feel so sad since she was the only close person I had
    I miss her tbh

  • Lea

    This hits deeply close, she used to call me her sister. Our break up was hard to this day I don’t have and don’t succeed st making friends….. something in me broke and its never been repaired.


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