Advice Column: When to Let Go of a Friendship, and How?

A week ago, someone left this advice request:

“I’m holding on to a friendship that I feel may be worthless. But I’m afraid to admit that it is because we have so many years under our belt. We recently went through a tough situation that ended our friendship for months. And although we’ve rekindled and it’s good now, things aren’t the same. And I believe I’m holding on to my friend because I’m afraid to live my life without em because they’ve been such a huge part of it. And I don’t know if ending our friendship permanetly is the right thing to do. Right now, my friend is no good to my sanity, but how do I know If I should end the friendship, or just fall back, and when/how to do so?”

Friendships are important things that sometimes have to die. 

Once a friendship begins feeling like a dead weight or lacks any benefit into your life, it’s time to let it go. Forcing a friendship is a waste of energy all to avoid letting go. Anything that doesn’t work naturally on its own was not meant to work. This realization can come instantly, or it may take years before it comes to the surface. But once you realize it, you have to go off of your instinct and do what’s best for you. Don’t feel guilt from the time that you and your friend had together. You can experience a good thing more than once. And sometimes, you out grow people and situations. Don’t think that you are forced to stay in place that doesn’t serve you any good. 

As far as what you should do, I think the very first thing to do is communicate. Talk to your friend and describe how you’ve been feeling. Have them listen to you, and you listen to them. Take in their viewpoint, and then make a decision. If you feel that there’s nothing left to build with after that conversation, then close this chapter with no remorse or hard feelings. If you feel there is still hope in the situation, then put your best foot forward and try to mend the situation. But, keep in mind that you can’t be the only one trying. This will only work if BOTH sides are actively involved and participating. Both of you have to equally want this friendship to work. If not, you’ve lost already. I wish you and your friend the best, together or apart. Remember: maturity comes in being able to accept both circumstances. 

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