How to move on after losing your best friend

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C’mon. Admit it. We’ve all lost close friends. There isn’t always a why or how it happens. Sometimes, it just does, and all we can do is accept it and move on. Best friends, who you know, are supposed to stick through thick and thin with you. Well, we all know life isn’t all poppies and sprinkles and rainbow unicorns. After losing said best friend recently, I have reached an epiphany – I’m better off without her. Funnily enough, I thought I was a better person with her.

After hearing about my other good friend’s story about how she has this flaky friend, I’ve been motivated to write this piece. To help the poor souls out there who are lost and left hanging high and dry.

Let’s be very honest here. It’s not an easy process. Regardless of whether you loathe that said best friend or love that said best friend. It’s never easy. To lose someone you had seen as a constant is a massive shakeup. But you know, people are like ever-changing. As the saying goes, ‘change is the only constant’. I guess people are like clay in that regard, molded by their circumstances and the people around them.

  1. Admit to yourself it is over

Stop romanticizing the idea that someday, sometime soon your friendship is going to be repaired. Stop trying to push it to the furthest corner of your consciousness where you’d never be reminded of it. Stop trying to think that it can be fixed. If it can, you probably wouldn’t be reading this right now. Admit to yourself that maybe it is time you have given up. If you’re the only one that is making an effort to keep it going, give up. Friendship is a two-way street.

  1. Consider the possibility that you’re better off

Use the opportunity to find yourself. Find the person inside you without said best friend. Sometimes friendships end because you are both functioning on different wavelengths. People on different wavelengths can never get along. You can attempt to, but you’ll probably never be happy. Be yourself, yourself with him/her. You might like yourself better. Use this opportunity to reflect, reflect on who you want to be, and what you want to achieve.

  1. Find new friends

Find people who share similar interests. You never know what will be in store for you. New friends can help you forget the pain of losing your best friend. Knowing you’re not alone, and that you have the support that you can fall back on is one of the best feeling ever. You know that you are appreciated by others and that it doesn’t mean that you’re alone from here onwards.

  1. Stop talking about him/her

We all know this. By having his/her name on the tip of your tongue doesn’t help. All you’re doing is reminiscing the past. Don’t even mention how much you hate him/her. The opposite of love isn’t to hate. It’s apathy. To show that you hate him/her doesn’t reflect that you’ve gotten over him/her. Give yourself time to recover. By mentioning him/her all the time, is only going to make matters worse. It is like rubbing salt on a wound that is trying to recover.

  1. Write a letter

Or a message to him/her. Explain to them what went wrong. Get some closure. Don’t leave that question in your mind unanswered. Get answers, and get closure. Only then, can you truly, truly move on.

  1. But trust that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

Even if happy futures without your bestie sounds impossible right now, trust us, it can happen. You’re going to have so many more incredible people in your life someday. The hard part is believing that will happen, and powering through every single day until it does.

  1. Resist the urge to fix the friendship right away.

It’s possible that whatever issue came between you two will blow over soon and you’ll be friends again. But in order to get to that point, you might need a little time and space before you’re both ready to be friends again. Distance from whatever went down can help give you clarity — and re-evaluate if Friendship Round Two is something you even want.

  1. Clue in your mutual friends.

It’s worth being like, “Hey, Haley and I aren’t really close right now.” That way, they’ll know not to ask both of you to hang out at the same time and can help you avoid awkward moments.

  1. But DON’T drag your mutual friends into the fight.

While it might be tempting to unload your feelings and let them know what really went down between you and your former bestie, it’s not worth it. Gossip has a nasty way of getting out, even if you trust your friends 300 percent. (Someone could always overhear you or accidentally send a screenshot of your mean text to the wrong person.) This is when you FaceTime your camp best friend or your old neighbor who moved to Florida and vent away. If you trash talk your ex-BFF to your shared group of friends, you put them in a really awkward position. You don’t want to make them choose between the two of you.

10. Figure out a game plan.

There’s a party this weekend that you’re dying to go to, but you know she’ll be there, too. What do you do? All you need is one good friend by your side to survive. Make it through the night by leaning on that friend when you need to, but resist the urge to throw shade at your former friend. Starting drama just reflects badly on you. Instead, offer her a polite “hi” and keep moving.

  1. Pay attention to your emotions

. During these one-on-one hang-outs, take stock of how you’re feeling. Are you happy to be there? You might come to find that you’re outgrowing the friend group and want to pursue different friendships. That’s a hard realization to swallow all at once, but leaving behind a situation that’s not working anymore can ultimately be the most liberating feeling of all.

  1. Talk it out.

A conversation (or two or three or 10) with your mom, sibling, or friend (as long as that friend isn’t your ex-friend’s other bestie) can lift a huge weight off your chest. If you feel like you can’t open up to the people in your life about your friend breakup, or the sadness is deeper than what you can handle on your own, it’s totally normal and healthy to turn to a school counselor or a therapist.

  1. Expand your circle.

If you have all your friends in common with your ex-best friend, it might be hard at first to hang out altogether. Consider broadening your social circle. It doesn’t have to be a big awkward thing. You know that girl you always message when you forget to write down the history homework? Ask if she wants to grab ice cream together after school. This doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to your old friends, but when you’re having a hard time, sometimes finding new trusted friends can help a lot.

  1. Try something new.

Boredom breeds sadness. Train for a 5K, pick up an after-school job, volunteer, finally launch that beauty channel on YouTube, get a jump on scholarship applications. Staying busy will help you get through missing your former bestie and the drama surrounding your fight. And if you happen to meet your new bestie at field hockey practice, all the better.

  1. Consider whether your friendship is worth saving.

Is this a friendship you might one day want to salvage, once you’ve both had space from each other and time to get over the fight? Or is this friend toxic? Figure it out here.

  1. Live your life.

You can’t halt everything. You might have been planning to sit in rocking chairs, sipping lemonade with your bestie when you’re 100 years old. It’s sad to let those dreams go. But when you move on from a friendship that isn’t working anymore, you’re also giving yourself space to find a rock-solid, amazeballs friendship that’s even better. Bring on those rocking chairs.

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12 comments on “How to move on after losing your best friend”

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