Let’s face it, you don’t go through life without friendship drama. I don’t care who you are — you can preach about how you don’t attract it, ask for it, or tolerate it. It will still find you, because humans have feelings, we get hurt, and none of us are robots who can simply dismiss hurtful behavior by walking away and never thinking of it again, even when we know it’s not the best thing for us.
We learn at a very young age that we feel happier when we are accepted and have a sense of belonging.
And then we learn how much it can hurt when someone we trust has replaced us or doesn’t want to be friends any longer.
On the flip side, we’ve all been in a place where we want to cut a friend loose. Maybe they are too needy, talk about your other friends too much, or upset you in some way you just can’t get past.
Ending a friendship can be just as hard as ending a romantic relationship. You mourn; you want to know why; you feel like a part of you is missing.
I had a friendship end a few years ago — it was a 30-year friendship, and I was the one who got dumped. My best girl from high school divorced, started dating again, and decided to stay in a physically abusive relationship. When I voiced my concerns, she wanted nothing to do with me. That was two years ago, and we haven’t talked since, despite my efforts.
It hurt. I felt like she chose him over me, and I’ve wondered so many times if I should have just kept my mouth shut. Maybe we will reconnect, and maybe the friendship is done. I don’t know.
What I do know is that friendships change and sometimes end, throughout our lives despite our tolerance for drama or boundaries. There are friends who leave us, and it’s horrible. And there are just those who just… fade away. And that’s okay.
These past few months, I’ve lost touch with someone I called a close friend. It was almost as if we had a silent agreement that we signed saying we were done. I don’t need to ask why we aren’t talking and why we don’t get together any longer. That doesn’t mean the pull to do it isn’t there, I’m just saying I don’t need to have answers.
Different phases in our lives call for different people. It can feel like a loose end that you have the urge to tie, but there are definitely times when you don’t want to take the time to figure it out. If that’s the case, I say go with it.
There are friendships worth working out. There are people who deserve to be ghosted because they shouldn’t be gifted with your energy one more time. And there are times when it is more than fine to just let the friendship fade and let it end on a soft note without questions, reasons, or needing closure.
There doesn’t have to be a blowout or hard feelings. You don’t have to work through it if you don’t want to. And you can certainly leave the door open for a later date to rekindle.
So many times in my life, I stayed in a friendship or relationship just because I thought I should. There was no hard evidence they were a horrible person; I’d just grown out of them and thought sticking around was the right thing to do, all the while looking for an excuse to end it. I’m sure others have felt the same way about me. The thought of that makes me cringe.
Growing apart from someone is reason enough to shift gears and walk away. I’m not justifying ignoring someone or hurting them on purpose. But I’m realizing with my friendships now, as a middle-aged woman, there are times when it’s okay to let it fizzle without a long, drawn-out process to end it.
Lots of things in life have a cycle, and sometimes the healthiest thing to do is let a friendship end — even if you don’t have a solid reason. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want someone hanging onto me because they feel like they should. I’d rather move on and leave that path open for someone who wants to be there.
And I don’t always need a big finale to go down in order to move forward.
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