5 Ways To Embrace Ending Friendships and Relationships

“Celebrate endings, for they precede new beginnings.” ~Jonathan Lockwood Huie

One day when I was a kid, my best friend and I decided that we were going to bury a time capsule in the backyard. We gathered an old shoebox, some glitter and paint, and then spent the whole afternoon decorating this box that was the symbol of our best friend status for life.

We filled it with some of our favorite items and pictures and then wandered around the yard in order to scope out the perfect location to bury our sacred box. We dug what we thought was a deep hole, placed the box inside, and covered it up.

We made a pact to dig the box up together in five years.

Not even five days passed before we were sprinting toward our special spot to dig up our friendship, only to discover someone had beaten us to it. As it turns out, my brother and his friend were watching from behind a tree as we buried the box a few days prior. Curiosity got the best of them.

Unpredictable circumstances altered the outcome of our time capsule, just like growing up and having different interests altered the outcome of our friendship.

Where did my childhood friend and I go wrong? We were supposed to be best friends for life. Life I say!

Or maybe we didn’t go wrong. Maybe friendships and intimate relationships come with an expiration date of sorts.

I’ve had many friendships I thought would last my whole life, but life surprised me, as it often does. As I look back, each friend or relationship that I’ve had made perfect sense for me that time in my life.

I believe people are brought together for each person’s maximum spiritual growth. When the growth is done, it’s time to move on.

That spiritual growth could take two minutes, two weeks, two months, two years, or a lifetime. Either way, when the time comes, the most powerful thing we can do is allow ourselves to move on and trust that everything is happening exactly as it should.

Sometimes outside circumstances seemingly force our relationships to shift and move apart; other times it’s a decision you consciously make to walk away. However it happens, below are some ways you can move through changing relationships in the most positive and powerful way possible:

1. Don’t be afraid to move on.

As you learn and grow, so do your friendships and relationships. I really noticed this when I started committing to a spiritual practice every day. My circle of friends completely shifted. This is nothing to fear.

It’s not a “good” or “bad’ thing, but it’s important to understand that throughout our lives, people are going to fall away. And who knows, they might be back, but all you do know now is that you’ve learned all that you can from each other at this time.

When relationships and/or friendships end or shift, there is nothing to fear. Whether or not you realize it, everything always works out the way it’s meant to.

2. Take responsibility.

If the breakup was messy, or the friendship ended in a not so positive way, take responsibility for it. When you get to the point where you no longer blame someone else for how you feel, miraculous shifts occur.

I often turn to my inner guide, the voice for love within me, and ask, “What is the spiritual lesson here?” Your power is always hidden behind the people and circumstance that disturb you the most.

As some of my recent friendships evolved and fell away, I’ve discovered areas within myself that needed to be healed. The purpose of the relationship or the friendship was to show me those areas. Relationships can be amazing tools that catapult us to another level of peace and love.

3. Trust that you always have everyone you need.

This tiny idea can bring massive amounts of peace to your day. What if you woke up every morning knowing that every person you needed that day would be brought to you?

I try and start my day with this idea because I immediately stop trying to control my reality, and instead, trust in my inner guidance a whole lot more.

There is no one missing from this moment whom you need right now. If you’re sitting in a chair with no other bodies around, that’s because in this moment, your soul does not need anyone else to learn from.

4. Get ready for new friendships and relationships.

When you create the space for friendships and relationships that are not working to fall away, get ready, because new people who are more in-line with what your soul most needs to learn are on their way! This only becomes a fearful process when you forget that you’re always guided and that everything happens for you, not to you.

5. Release your guilt.

As I got more and more committed to praying, connecting to my true self, and meditating, I felt deep in my heart it was time for me to make some shifts in my outer world. That decision involved moving across the entire country, far away from family and all my friends.

At first, a few of my close friends couldn’t understand why I was leaving, and for a brief moment I felt guilty about it. But I had to follow my path and trust that new people and experiences were on their way.

Other people may not understand why you’re making the decision to move on, but that doesn’t matter. You can’t control what other people think. Always trust your heart and never feel guilty for it.

No matter what, remember that every encounter is holy. Every person is a reflection of you. As you change, move, and grow, the reflections around you also change. Embrace them!

There is no need to fearfully cling to relationships and friendships that are not working anymore. Rather, get excited about the new ones that are surely on their way. All changes are helpful.

About Amanda Christian

Amanda is a registered yoga teacher with a passion for wandering in the forest, teaching outdoor yoga, mountain biking and drawing mandalas. She lives for campfire conversations and dark starry skies. Over on her website, she has free yoga classes, travel ideas, and guides to getting creative! Follow her adventures on Instagram @amandaoutside and YouTube @amandaoutside.

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  • Pea

    Thanks. This is really helpful to me right now 🙂 I broke up around a month ago and I still have troubles facing some memories in the past with my ex.

  • Kerri

    This is right on to what I’m going through now. I’m just about a year into my relationship with my boyfriend and it seems like none of my friends want to see me anymore. My beau and are are only a few years older than our friends but in your twenties you change and grow a lot and it just seems that are friends are still in the party/hang out all the time phase, where my boyfriend and I are more relaxed and ready for the next step phase. Not that there’s anything wrong with both of the phases but they just don’t seem to mesh well together. So, I’ve lost some friends, and I’m okay with that. People change and once they hit the stage I’m in they want to be friends again, but till then I’m excited for the future and what it has to bring.

  • Brittany

    As I was reading this post I felt so connected to it, being that I am going down my own spiritual journey and finding friendships ending, but new ones with like minds beginning! I get to the end of the article to see who wrote it…and of course Amanda did!!!! I get your weds soul workouts every weds and just love you and love what you have to say! I feel like I connect to what you are saying ALWAYS! It’s amazing and thank you for that! Xo

  • RisaRoo

    I needed this today. Thank you!

  • kd12

    wonderful essay, Amanda! thank you.
    i’ve begun to notice that ending a relationship is often like the movement of a cloud past the sun. initially, it seems so cloudy, so hard to figure out why things aren’t working anymore, and then the shift happens. The view gets brighter; there’s more clarity. I’m finally reaching that place in my life where the old goodbyes are creating space for the new hellos…it is very exciting:-)


  • Wow, what an easy recipe to justify running roughshod over the people in your life, guilt free!

    “Trust your heart. If it says ‘f&ck them over’, then do it.” That’s some real ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ wisdom, right there. Thanks for posting that. What a handy guide for the truly self centered…

  • Alexey Sunly

    Friendships end when we stop being friends to other people, and if you choose to stop being a friend to someone, all you need to do is to take responsibility for it, everything else you said is rationalization. Some people might find that useful in the short term, but, in the long run, it makes no difference, because if you need to rationalized your choices to yourself, it means you are making the wrong ones.

  • Razwana

    Love this, Amanda. The whole ‘you can choose your friends’ seems a little cruel if the friendship eventually dies. But it’s all about perspective – did it ‘die’ or simply served it’s purpose?

    A word of caution though – especially for long-term friends where the friendship is now rocky. As someone who has had a friend where the rocky patch hit almost-break-up level, perhaps a total end to the friendship is not the answer; but a break away from each other is.

    Friendships, like any relationship, are to be cultivated – through rough times and smooth.

  • NB

    How is recognising that sometimes things need to end, suddenly become ‘f&cking people over’? That’s not what the writer says at all. Even if you’re a good person, relationships can still end. A little more love in your heart please.

  • Ute (expatsincebirth)

    This is a very important topic. To let go if you’re growing apart from your friend, if you don’t have that much in common anymore or if you simply realize that this friendship is not “healthy” anymore requires a great amount of maturity and self esteem.

  • Amanda

    You are so welcome Brittany!!! xxx

  • growthguided

    Thank you Amanda,
    I really think that nailed it with the the focus on guilt. It is like we owe people something, or at least our heads say that. When you can let go of the guilt and know your motives are in line with something more powerful and constructive changes begin to shift.

  • Michele

    The only thing I’d like to add to this for consideration … understanding that things change and everyone has the right to their freedom, in relationships and otherwise … when you do decide to end a relationship, please do it with honesty, respect and without causing harm to the other person, particularly if they have not intentionally harmed you and they are still invested in the relationship with you. It’s all fine to say “don’t feel guilty” for moving on, but … these peoples’ feelings and well-being are at stake and we each have a responsibility to “do no harm” to any one of us. In my case, my best-est friend for 25 years, my sister, suddenly and with no discussion about it stopped making or returning phone calls and e-mails. The few times she did “accidentally” pick up the phone when I called her at work, she immediately hurried me off the phone, with no love left in her voice for me, told me to call her back and then never took my return call … and on the cycle of her shunning me went. People we say we love deserve, at least, the truth and maybe even a second chance From this, I have learned how NOT to treat people – not that I didn’t already know this before but, having now experienced this kind of unkindness and disrespect first-hand, it is emblazoned on me. I offer you this and ask that you not emblazon this kind of emotional pain on anyone in your “moving on.” Thank you.

  • Neha

    Wonderful writing Amanda! Thank you for posting… it was something I could completely relate to. Just one line to add: “Its’ okay if people move away from your life; they always will… your destiny is not tied to anyone. It doesn’t mean that they were bad, it means that their role in your life is over.”

  • Elynne

    I understand every word that has been written here and have worked on successfully handling the natural endings of relationships for many years now. Living it can be a different story, however, when a parent is involved ~~ especially when the relationship in question is with a 92 year-old parent who has always been negative in spirit, emotionally demanding, abusive toward me when I was growing up, and continues to lay on the guilt when she isn’t “put first” by me, her “incredibly self-centered” 68 year-old daughter who can never do enough to please her.

    There is no doubt that I’m happiest when I keep my distance from her, but aren’t we supposed to love and honor our parents? I have spent my life walking on eggs whenever I’m around her (never knowing what might “set her off”) and prefer to keep my distance; yet she is now old and alone and continues to remind me about how everyone she knows is dead and all she has is me, her only child that she “nearly died bringing into this world.”

    I have a wonderful husband and a great life away from her, but she is not happy for me and has never been proud of my accomplishments. She would prefer that I drop the life that I have created for myself and move back with her, now that my father is deceased ~~ or, better yet (from her point of view,) she would prefer to move in with my husband and me (which would destroy my marriage.) I call her at least once a week (she never calls me although she received all of the money when my Dad died) and we visit her as often as we can, although it’s 4+ hours on the road for each visit. Although she still drives, we live too far for her to drive the distance to visit us.

    I feel sorry for her but cannot allow her to turn me back into the child that she could boss around, and that’s what she wants. She is independent and healthy, lives alone because she “doesn’t want to live in a retirement community with old people,” and she will probably out-live me, Bless Her Heart!

  • Guest

    For me this post is spot on. I broke up with a girlfriend yesterday as honest and kind way i could, i felt i needed to consentrate on my self some of the time as i dont do it properly yet , so it realy is a case of its me not you :-S . i dont feel it is the wrong desision but i do feel awful that she is so sad.. this post may have to be printed and stuck to my wall for a while Thanks

  • John P

    For me this post is spot on. I broke up with a girlfriend yesterday as honest and kind way i could, i felt i needed to consentrate on my self some of the time as i dont do it properly yet , so it realy is a case of its me not you :-S . i dont feel it is the wrong desision but i do feel awful that she is so sad.. this post may have to be printed and stuck to my wall for a while Thanks tiny buddah

  • Kate

    Thank you for this. Could not be posted at a better time.
    Interestingly, I just happened to start yoga and meditation just as social tensions and anxiety surrounding long standing friendships were beginning to arise – it was very instinctual.

  • Denise Dare

    Amanda, you’re awesome.

    I totally appreciate these authentic (and sometimes easily forgotten) sentiments. 🙂

    Over the course of my life, I’ve definitely realized that we need to consciously choose the people with whom we share our time…and that relationships evolve, and sometimes become extinct, over the years.

    Reminding ourselves that it’s totally okay to let go is so key.

    Thanks for this gracious reminder!

    p.s. Your site is super fun & so lovely…totally dig what you’re doin’. 🙂

  • Lisa

    Really appreciate this article–thanks!

  • Amanda

    Thanks Denise! you’re awesome too 😉

  • rachel g

    I really appreciate you and this article. Thank you.

  • lv2terp

    Beautiful insight, tips, and perspective! I love #3, that is a GREAT way to look at it! 🙂

  • anon

    How do you really decide to end the friendship? If you have felt that they have wronged you but felt a big compassion towards them because they were a big part of your life… should you keep them or let them go? Guess I’m lost. I feel it would benefit for me to move on but my soul still tells me that I care about them.

  • ali

    This was really interesting for me to read! I find letting go of people very difficult and am struggling now to make a decision about a particular friend. This gave me some food for thought, in particular it shone a light on the fear I am feeling about possibly letting go and some guilt I have about old friendships I have let go, guilt I’d never even questioned! Perhaps now I can work on the guilt and on the fear and the right course of action for me will become easier to see. I do agree with some of the comments about being mindful of people’s feelings, and also I like to think my relationships are as much about what I can give as what I can gain. Thank you Amanda.

  • MAC

    Michele I am sorry for your pain.

    I really don’t understand the cruelness of people at times. Right now I’m trying to be
    strong and force myself to accept a friendship that is more or less over (not by my choice) with someone who was so dear to me and meant so much. It flipping hurts like hell and the way he’s acting towards me is not cool at all. I never thought this would happen, even more so of how he’s treated me. Makes me think he never truly cared for me the way I did for him.

    Why shit on me or play a game and make it worse when I am hurting? It’s been a daily process of emotions, one minute I feel strong, next minute I am bursting into tears. I keep telling myself it’s his loss but right now it feels like MY loss and boy does it kill me inside.

    It isn’t easy to go through and it certainly has taken a bite out of my self esteem but life goes on and I hope someday I can look back and remember all the good he brought into my life and smile.

  • MAC

    I think if you still feel a connection to someone, don’t throw in the towel. Just give them space and hope someday when they are more together, they’ll reach out to you again.


    Thank you for sharing these thoughts. The entire piece rang true to me. Especially, “No matter what, remember that every encounter is holy. Every person is a reflection of you. As you change, move, and grow, the reflections around you also change.”
    Well stated.

  • RandyH

    Well said, Alexey…

  • Kelsey Mullen

    I think the universe brought me this article for a reason today, just like how you say the universe brings you the people you need to learn from/with at any given time. I’ve been meaning to catch up on MONTHS of Tiny Buddha, and the timing of opening this particular piece with what’s going on in the lives of my boyfriend and I and some friendships that are ending is simply uncanny. Thank you for this insight – it’s very helpful!

  • Trinity

    Wow! You rock!

  • Trinity

    There are no truer words than this.

  • Trinity

    I understand it’s hard and I pray you are in a much better state of mind now. Sending you love, peace and light. Your joy is happening now and you will see it soon if you haven’t already, just focus on God.

  • Alright!

    It’s hard to decipher exactly what happened on his end. He would always “seem” to come out on top. I fell in love with him when I was 17. At 18 he had children on the way by another girl… and I was accepted into college. He wasn’t going toward the same things I was, but he was my Baby!!! He would make scenes for the whole world to see.. giving me flowers just because, buying me cards, small gifts, showing me attention, telling me I was beautiful. But at such an early age, he like myself were immature to love. Well he actually proposed to the girl at 19 and they were engaged to be married. I had pretty much accepted the fact that he would never be mine being that he was taken now. One day he contacted me and asked me how I had been doing. He had the nerve to even ask me was he doing the right thing. I told him everything would work out perfect and that I loved him and he was making the right decision. It wasn’t that I didn’t feel he was doing the right thing… but my heart knew that it was only for his children’s sake. He asked me if I was in love with him.. I’m the type that doesn’t want to interfere with God or anyone’s relationship so I told him no and that he should marry her. I never thought it would hurt so bad.. but when I hung up the phone it did. Well he didn’t marry her and in the next year or so I came in contact with him again. Well this time was different. We were actually going to date this time. He had taken me out and within that night I had fallen in love all over again. Well from then out our relationship went from great to beautiful. We had began to spend every day together. We had a lot of good times for the first few months. Then things got rough.. he began to stop coming by as much because of car trouble and he stopped being the boyfriend he first was. I loved him but he had changed. Once he had lost his mind I still stayed trying to be there he in the mix of all of this had to pay child support ($512) a month so he couldn’t afford to not work… but guess what! So in the mix of this he didn’t have money to pay rent.. he didn’t have money to buy food nor pay bills..but he was still my Baby and I wanted to help because he would get back on his feet after awhile.I had and still have faith in him to this day because he’s overall a good person.he tries to be what everyone else’s hopes for him is and instead of him just being himself..he isn’t. Well to make this long story short I’m writing this to every woman going through it with herself right now. A man is a bonus in life. He’s not supposed to degrade you, belittle you, use you and please don’t let him abuse you. He is not the God you serve no matter what you believe. This man did everything in his power to break me down. He had nothing…and I have him everything and more. I’m 22 now and he is the same. We actually broke up over 20 times because I was neglected… feeling disrespected…used and broken. I mean.. we would go to church and this man would even leave me sitting alone even though I was trying to help him heal his hurt he was causing mine. They say for every man there is one woman that will make them change. You won’t believe how I did this… but I know that even through all that is happening right now he will never forget me. We actually officially called it quits this past Thursday after 3 years of him killing my self esteem and taking me for granted. I can honestly say I didn’t see this coming the way it did…but he broke my heart in a million pieces. He actually went back to his children’s mother.. everyone is saying he just needs someone else to use. He has nothing and will accept any handout and if he can help it by her taking him off childsupport then that’s what he’s going to do because he needs an easy way out. Well I’m here to say that this time I’m not going to give up on myself. It hurt to see her and him “being a family” but what could I expect from a person who has nothing. We’re on two different paths… but I would’ve given anything to make us work. This boy would become a man but he had no faith. He was going to marry me for weeks ago. Even though he couldn’t afford the ring I still was going to say I do. Money was no problem to me but he wasn’t secure within himself nor US after all we had built. I was getting nowhere… but believe me I dodged a bullet. The baby mama is exactly that. I say that because no matter what anyone says this man is in love with me. He posted pics on social websites and even went as far as to post one about me. He can have that. He can have everything… even his shine. People can laugh at me people can admire them but I will never degrade myself and put myself in a situation because he never thought about what if ? Now I am free and I’m ready for change. Ask yourself reader…is it worth it? Am I ready to change? If he ever reads this I would just like him to know that no matter what I loved him.. believe me he put me through a lot more than what I’ve written. Scares, lies, cheating, his families manipulation.. things I didn’t deserve. I have learned that there is no pain in true love because I never could’ve hurt him like this. As a woman I snapped out of love to help him get on his feet. He didn’t want to because he’d gotten comfortable. Well I hope he’s comfortable now and forever. Believe me the one that did it to you is going to miss you. YOU NEVER MISS YOUR WATER UNTIL YOUR WELL RUNS DRY. YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU HAD UNTIL ITS GONE. I promise you the one who said those two lines told absolutely no lie. EVERYTHING AND I MEAN EVERYTHING is going to be alright.. cry scream shout … whatever you have to do but give yourself love. Love YOURSELF ! The hurt will fade. The next person will be the love of your life and he/ she is going to love your awesome ass!! You’re worthy of so much more and better.

  • mscandelaria

    100%true I’m learning now appreciate what I did have , be grateful its still hard

  • Guest

    I agree. I debated for a long time before I ended unhealthy friendships. The friends I let go had extremely difficult time understanding that I have moved on. I still receive the occasional texts. I gave them the benefit of doubt at one point and let them in my life again only to realize that their unhealthy behavior hasn’t changed one bit. Who am I kidding? I take full responsibility for staying in unhealthy friendships. I made that dreadful choice of letting go but I have no regrets whatsoever. I have grown since then and found my inner peace.

  • jpo321

    Let’s sum up: Screw ’em!

  • doitforit

    kd12 Beautiful explanation!

  • Hannah

    Thank you for this post. As I have dealt intensively with some deep spiritual issues, moved to a new apartment, started exercising and lost weight, and changed my job, virtually all of my my closest friends have distanced themselves from me and I have also distanced myself from some people. It did hurt but as you wrote, new people are appearing in my life. I am still very much in the middle of what seems like a huge relational transition, and it’s uncomfortable but also exciting. I can see I am growing.

  • Dando

    Well said Michelle. Over 30 years ago now, my best friend of over 10 years stopped contacting me. When I managed to contact her she was cold and disinterested. I was a stranger. I was so upset that when I put down the phone, I burst into tears. I realised that I had been a stranger to her for some 2 years prior to that moment but I had no idea until then. I was still invested in our friendship so the end came as the greatest shock. Even today, 30 years later I mourn for that friendship and have no idea what I did to her for her to want to shut me out. I have learned that we don’t know anyone as well as we think we do. It isn’t easy to move on when people do this. We all have to move on but it isn’t easy. I will never forget our friendship nor will I forget her voice the last time we spoke.

  • Finnegan Von Kleinenschlaffel

    I’ve got problems with this, because by this logic, we should be friends with every person in the world. We’re not, but is that our fault or others’ fault?
    Everything is ultimately rationalization of some degree, and people do it so much they don’t know what is truth and what is dross. Agreed.

  • It’s not anybody’s fault if you are not friends with everyone. It’s a choice you’ve made, either consciously or not.

  • N

    Thank you x

  • LaTrice Dowe

    I had to end my twenty two year friendship with my ex-best friend today, and honestly, it is difficult because he has no IDEA on how much pain and HELL that he has put me through! Five years ago, I made a HUGE mistake, by loaning him some money-since he didn’t have a job at that time. As a best friend, I was trying my best to help him get through the most difficult times in his life. I did ask for my money back, and unfortunately, my plan back fired on me! My ex-best friend had the NERVE to accuse me of bringing him down, and I was constantly nit picking at everything he was doing. PLEASE!

    My ex-best friend’s “girlfriend” was extremely insecure-not to mention threatened by my presence because her boyfriend was best friends with the opposite sex. I didn’t interfere in their relationship, I stayed out of their business-despite the fact that their relationship issues were broadcast on Facebook for the whole entire universe to sound off. Besides, it wasn’t my fault that the girlfriend was insecure and JEALOUS!!

    I was called EVERY name in the book, and worse of all, I was labelled a coward! I kept asking him to leave me alone, and to have a good life without me in it. I’m NOT expecting an apology anytime soon, so my ex-best friend might as well shove it.

    After that stunt today, I lost a lot of respect towards my ex-best friend, because he doesn’t respect me as a human being! Friendships shouldn’t have to be worked on, and I don’t see the point on me focusing on my friendship with someone who considers me as the “c” word. His behavior is atrocious and unacceptable, and nobody has time to deal with high school drama. Both him and his stupid “girlfriend” need to grow up, take care of their children, and stop broadcasting their dirty laundry on Facebook. I deserve to be treated with respect, and just because I refuse to be my ex-best friend’s “punching bag,” it doesn’t that I should continue to tolerate it.

  • Josephine Scurry

    I have a similar set up. Deciding that my mother was nothing but toxic meant I could choose to continue allowing her to demoralise and dismiss me or have no contact. I have chosen no contact. It is very very difficult to go against all the ‘honour your parents’, ‘she is your mother’ ‘oh it’s a shame’ I hear all the time. But I am recovering from shame, guilt and growing in a better way now.
    She has a young husband, she is cared for.
    The last time I walked into a room (family gathering) she walked out. I think the message was clear.
    I bless her on her path and let her go with love.

  • Running-grace

    I’d love to hear some feedback on this. I’ve got a long time friend, of 15 years. We’ve been through a lot together, and we’re very often each other’s “first phone call” in a time of crisis. However, a few times over the years, I’ve said to him, “I really just want to hang out with you more often…go for coffee, or a walk, or lunch…” and it’s either met with, “Yeah….sure, me too…” which never pans out…or a response of, “I’m really busy lately…” which usually sounds like an empty excuse. As well, a few years ago, I made it clear, “You’re a close friend of mine and I want to see you, face to face…” Nothing changed. A month ago we were supposed to meet for lunch, I was shocked that he was free/agreed. Two hours before, I get a text saying, “I’ve been called into work.” Fair enough, on one hand. On the other, who makes a lunch date with a friend when they’re on call? And secondly…he never rescheduled. A different friend suggested to me that my “bad friend” in question, has already been told by me of what I want from our relationship, more than once, and either consciously or subconsciously, has made it clear that I’m not a priority. I want to get past my negative feelings about this…but I simply don’t know how.

  • IBikeNYC

    Everything I needed to hear, beautifully put!

    I feel like you gave me a spare tire and now I can put it on the car and continue on my way 😀

  • disqus_XSIPKS8dcN

    I’m a 16 year old girl, and my friend of over 8 years decided to change schools to a better, selective school. I also had the opportunity for another school, but I had declined.We’re both intelligent girls, and she’s my closest friend ever.

    The day she told me she wouldn’t be coming back to our school the next year, it was recess, and I burst out crying. I was so sad, angry, upset and frustrated. She decided to tell us (we’re a group of three) when everything was final, which explained her unexplained absences in the previous few weeks, when we had thought she was sick, she was at her interview and orientation.

    She didn’t say anything, I know she cried a little, and eventually hugged me, but I couldn’t help it and ran off into the bathrooms and cried like a loner in a cubicle. I didn’t want anyone seeing me crying, I didn’t want my optimistic, charismatic image of a reliable person to be shattered. I don’t know if that was the right thing to do or not, but it’s what I did.

    Anyway, after that, every encounter we had, or every joke we laughed at, seemed bittersweet to me. All I could see was the inevitable empty seat beside me in class and lunch, and the weird pang of loneliness. I never wanted to overreact or cause a drama, Im supposed to be the person who solves other people’s problems!

    I cried a few times in my room, by myself, convincing myself I was letting out the steam and I would feel better after Id had a good cry. But I didnt. I still felt sad. I mean, I wasn’t thinking about her all the time or anything, but whenever something came up that’s all I could think of. She had been one of the reasons I didnt transfer to another school, and now she was leaving, because I hadn’t been enough to make her stay.

    Which is fine, because I am happy for her, im always ecstatic whenever she has some kind of an achievement, but I don’t want her to forget me, or my friendship, and I hate feeling selfish like that but I share this strange bond with her that I haven’t with anyone else. We’ve made each other better people, and I always find that when she’s hanging out with others, she tries to change herself to “fit in”. I’m scared for her, I don’t want her to be anything different because who she is, is perfect!

    So the last term of the year starts tomorrow, and it’s going to be the last term we spend with each other. We have a camp coming up, and a formal, and all these things that at the beginning of the year I had been super excited about and now I just feel sad.

    My other friend is nice too, but she’s just always caged, she always says she’s busy and never goes out with us anywhere and says her parents don’t let her. Which would be fine if the one time we all got free movietickets she was the first to want to come and did end up watching it with us. That has literally been the only time we hung out, outside of school and visiting each other’s houses. She is nice, but my other friend (who is leaving) was the one who made up for all of that, and that’s why we were all a group of three. I don’t think I can just have her as my only friend.

    Anyway, this is really long, I just needed to let it out. I love my school, a bunch of other kids are leaving as well because our rank has declined in the HSC, but that’s because of the students, the teachers are still the same, and are supportive and brilliant. I’m involved in all these activities like Duke of Edinburgh, debating, and was just recently elected prefect. I get amazing grades, have a fairly nice family. So to anyone else, my life is fine, and yet, I’m ungrateful, sad, and lonely.

    I don’t know, maybe because I’m an only child, I try to diminish the loneliness at home by doing more things with my friends, and now, I just, yeah.

    If anyone did, thanks for reading, I ended up writing a lot, sorry.

  • Swan

    I found this article this morning, when I really needed it. At a difficult time in my life, I’ve been trying to sort things out, get clarity, and move on. Some of my old friends are having trouble understanding this. I needed this message today. Thank you so much.

  • Heather

    The same thing happened to me! My best friend of over ten years suddenly went all cold on me.
    After twenty years, it still hurts. I still don’t know what happened. Did I do something specific or was she just sick of me? I’ll never know.
    Six months after our last contact, I moved house and didn’t give her my new address. At the time, it was an act of defiance, a reaction to the rude way she had spoken to me. In hindsight, however, I realize that I wasn’t walking away from her. The relationship was already over! She had ended it. From her point of view, I had simply taken the hint and cleared off.
    I feel a bit foolish, now, to realize that.
    I was a bit slow on the uptake. But I’m glad, now, that I didn’t grovel or try to find out what was wrong. There was no point.

  • Heather

    Some people aren’t interested in having any long term friendships. I had a gay, male friend for many years. I’ll call him Ian. He was so much fun. We spent so much time together. We both came first in each other’s lives.
    Then, suddenly, he went all nasty. He cut me off. He had other priorities.
    It was only years later that I had a heart to heart with his twin sister. She told me that Ian had a long history of completely ‘thrashing’ one friend until he found someone better. The new friend would completely replace the old one who would be just shoved aside–to hurt and grieve and wonder what went wrong.
    I had been replaced by a gay man, called Simon, who Ian met at a milk bar. Not a wine bar, a milk bar. Who makes friends at a milk bar? Promiscuous, fickle, immature gay men.
    Simon lasted until Ian grew tired of playing with him. Next…….
    Three years after dumping me, Ian invitied me to his 30th birthday party. What a nerve! I knew him well enough to know that I, and others like me, were only invited to bulk up the numbers.
    I told him that I was busy. I wasn’t. I just couldn’t stand the sight of him.

  • booboodafoo

    Some people are just so full of drama. I have always been a friend to the friendless. I am always friends with people who really don’t have any friends. Recently, my friend of 5 years turned 65 and she is really deteriorating mentally as well as physically. Her therapist suggested she go on OK CUPID and try to find a guy to date because that is how the therapist met her fiancé. My friend is disabled with bad knees using a walker and I am trying to figure out why a therapist would set her up for so much disappointment. Anyway, she has talked to countless scammers online and it never seems to work out and she has only met like one guy in person amongst like thirty of them. Recently, one of the scammers asked her to open a bank account and he was going to send her money. I warned her up and down that it was a scam but she kept on saying he was so nice to talk to. Well, long story short the transaction was fraudulent and the bank ended up closing the account on her and she is not allowed to bank with them ever again. Now, she keeps talking to him and she says they have had it out on the phone and have worked on making up. Now, he wants her to open another account and he is going to mail her a check. I am beyond frustrated trying to warn her of these scams and her not listening to me. I finally told her that she will have to learn the hard way because she is not willing to listen to my warnings and does what she wants anyway. I have listened to 4 months of this bullcrap about all these guys like they are so great and how she is in love with them. I have decided I am not willing to listen anymore. I asked her why she would continue talking to these guys even after she found out they were pulling scams? She says they talk so nice to her. I cannot even take it anymore. When friendships cause you nothing but drama and stress it is not even worth it anymore to continue exposing yourself to that person anymore. Every time I talk to her it is like I have to ask questions just to keep the conversation going. It is like being with this friend just sucks the life out of me. I feel bad because she really has nobody that will be there for her and listen to it if I go away. I just feel like I have gone above and beyond for this person and have not received anything in return. I even talked to my therapist so she would go talk to her therapist so they could possibly intervene and help her so she doesn’t get herself into a dangerous situation. I feel like I have done all I can do to try and help but I have to step away to keep my own sanity.

  • JP

    I knew the author was a involved in Yoga practice before I even read about Amanda Christian. All experiences are holy, there’s no good nor bad, and there’s no discernement. There is something about Yoga practitioners that embrace not only individualism, but isolationism. They turn in on themselves, and it appears that sometime there’s no room for anyone else on THEIR spiritual journey. This was the clincher though, and so typical, “That decision involved moving across the entire country, far away from family and all my friends”…and all her responsability. Orthodox Christianity understands the importance of community in forming our spirituality. Benedict asked his monks to take a vow of STABILITY because he knew that our greatest gifts would be found and confirmed in personal commitment to one’s communty, and not in running on to the next ideal situation. We can become trapped in a false spirituality based on our own pleasures and limited perception.

  • Sounds a bit pretentious to me.

  • Pops

    Well I have had a rough 18 months in the friendship department. Firstly about 18 months ago I went of my best friend of 13 years he hasn’t changed but maybe I have, I did not like the way he talked to me or about other friends with me. I always felt like I was looking for his approval running stuff by him before I made a decision to see weather he agreed or not (unhealthy friendship since we were 13). He introduced me to my boyfriend 2 years ago which he met through his ex partner. He knows my whole family and I have always kept him in the loop. When I returned from 2.5 years of travelling he was good to me put me up on his couch for a month ect…. About 18 months ago I started disliking him. I started feeling bad about my self after I was with him very stressed out and taking it out on my guy. The only way I can explain it was stressed out and grumpy. I decided to take some space anyway I don’t think he even noticed because not like he ever called to see how I was anyway. I went to south america with my husband for a few months travelling around ect… When I got home I had a present for him so called him to come over.. The first remark from his mouth was a negative one that was pretty much the last straw but I still didn’t confront him untill june this year, I couldn’t he is quite confrontational and I could not be bothered. The friendship was over for me 100% and no amount of chatting was going to save it I didn’t want to. I had started hating him to the point he made my blood boil because i felt so guilty about getting rid of him. It was eating away at me. Eventually he started texting my Hub so much he was getting annoyed and told me I had better tell him or he would. I done it by text. It started a lot of drama and he phoned my mum my husband and my best friend who had no idea what had happened because we had also fallen out in April. Look I didn’t set out to hurt him no it wasn’t the nicest way but it was causing me so much stress I had to just bite the bullet. The aftermath has been horrible I’ve lost many friends I have cried and over thought everything but I’m actually starting to feel abit better now day by day. It was a hard thing to do and I know it was not the best way but if I had of sat down and talked to him he would have wormed his way back in as I would feel very guilty about it I didn’t want to hurt him he is just not a nice person at all and i had to look after my self.

  • NYCommuter1 .

    Some people have gotten so angry with me when I have said that this is exactly how I look at relationships. They’re temporary. Some get lucky and have lifelong marriages or friendships. Most of us don’t get that though. I appreciate every relationship for however long they last.

  • Janet Duignan

    My 30+ year friendship with M has just ended. I thought she was withdrawing from me because we have different political ideas. Now I realise, thanks to your article, the contribution I made to the friendship ‘divorce’. Thank you for reminding me about looking for the lessons that can be learned and trusting that all is as it should be. A very useful and wise article. Thank you.

  • Stephen Morley

    This article is vile. You’re the type of person who goes round breaking people’s hearts and don’t give a toss. A friend dumped me a few years ago and although I’ve got many other really good friends I’ve never really got over it. You should be ashamed if yourself.

  • Frances Powell


  • PAD

    Bless didn’t deserve that..I hope by now 3years later the pain has eased.
    I have had to cut an old friend out (without explanation to him) in the past couple of years.
    He showed up one evening at my place while my girlfriend was there(she said before he arrived she couldn’t stay long) He arrived and she hung on and asked for a song from him ..(we all played music)…he obliged and when I joined them on harmonica there was absolutely no acknowledgment from either of them (acknowledgment is nice to do when others join in)…I deduced only later there was a frisson between them..
    .know I sound really petty but it hurt…and my girlfriend and I had a curt exchange over it (well I did anyway).
    Sorry for hijacking your story just need to share the pain of having to exile a friend from my life.
    As for my relationship with my girlfriend…it ended only yesterday after 5years together…her choice..and we ended in a respectful loving way..but also very sad for both.
    But I was never at ease with her in male company as there were other incidents..I’m 68..I know it’s crazy at this age..but I believe we don’t really age inside..

  • PAD

    That was a courageous thing to do…a lot of mothers demand far too much from their children (esp daughters less so sons)
    They forget the choice to have the children was theirs..whatever the circumstance marriage/duty..NONE of that had anything to do with children’s choice..they had none.
    I hope you are still thriving out of that toxic world your mother put you and kept you in…until you got wise to her.

  • PAD

    my girlfriend ended our 5year relationship just really upset her and my last vision of her was her crying…me too feel awful as that was near enough my last sight of her…though there was a later smile as i let her try out my new ebike before we parted…I’m 68..she’s 55 and needs to redirect her life.
    We parted with respect&love…but man it hurts..

  • PAD

    You can duck and dive as much as you like…for the sake of your own well being.
    I’m glad you’re feeling better about it.
    Your ex friend doesn’t deserve loyalty when he badmouthed you or anyone you know for no reason..if he doesn’t know right from wrong that’s his problem. .and definitely not yours.

  • PAD

    I hope you did step away and saved your sanity..
    are there any social services with access to the police?(there is crime occuring) If yes let them take over.
    Good wishes

  • Josephine Scurry

    Thank you. Haven’t set eyes on my mother for over two years now no I breather easier. She turned on my youngest daughter, her youngest grandchild who cried and cried, but she walked away too… I’m just fine…. and it got easier.. I just got on with my life and found I could… peace to you

  • PAD

    Good for you and for your daughter who walked away..

    Sounds like your decisions have been the right ones.
    The changing your mother needs to do may come from elsewhere..other intervention..
    You have correctly seen that as no longer your problem (never was)
    Best wishes and thanks for your response!
    Was looking at that site to glean some help in coping with a very recent (2days ago) breakup of a 5year relationship..learned a lot by reading various comments…also learned that it’s OK to be sad..I’m feeling good bit better about everything now..I did make a decision to be OK with my ex-partner on parting really helped…

  • PAD

    Have you heard of a group called ACA..or ACOA.?
    It’s for those affected by alcohol and/or major dysfunction in families.
    I’ve just started to attend and find it very useful to meet and share with others..there is full backup regarding literature, workshops (non compulsory).
    Just showing up is ok..
    Best wishes

  • Tori

    I want to talk about what happened to me, because i don’t understand how to feel.
    I was with a beautiful man for one and a half years. A part of me didn’t mind settling down, but spiritually I was unsettled- deep down I was looking for my life partner. I didn’t realise my fantasise and desires were in fact signals of the man I would end up with. I hid those feelings, told myself they were superficial and tried to be happy with the man I was with. Deep down I was crushing on other men, but never left the man I was with for them. Throughout the relationship I loved him very much- I still do, but it was missing that deep knowing that you see in strong and unwavering marriages. I was motherly to him as well, which I didn’t think was a problem, but it was. I didn’t see him as fully fledged man, or a god. It felt spiritually unequal.

    A month ago, I came into contact with a friend of mine from two years ago. We were not romantic but it took very little time for us to realise that we were paired to spend the rest of our lives with each other, When I realised this, I broke off my other relationship. I didn’t want to hide or lie, and in one way I felt like I was given no choice.

    I also didn’t have a choice but to let everything the man and I shared go. Everything. HIM. His family, our time, our comfort, his friends, our trust. I didn’t want to let it all go at the start, I wanted to keep in contact so he knew that I cared about him and valued what we had, but when he contacted me he experienced a lot of pain. He was emotionally dependent, and I told him we should stop contacting each other to heal.

    I was so guilty.
    I felt like I abandoned a child.
    I was never the sort of person to abandon anyone. Not even people who did hurt me.
    This was worse as the man I was seeing loves me very much and hardly hurt me (at least unintentionally). He was so good to me, and I always felt like I owed him, even with my efforts I felt like it wasn’t enough.

    When I ended the relationship, I couldn’t tell him it was because my life partner came to me and that it was final. This wasn’t a mad love fest where surging emotions made me change my mind. This felt unavoidable and preplanned. A little bit scary too. I have never felt the universe pull me so much on a path. My mother passed away a few years ago and I didn’t get any signs from her. I felt alone, and I was skeptical of everything. But I saw and felt mum’s presence when my life partner was around- I was never so sure in my life. Mother marked him in a few ways. I didn’t feel hormonal, but at peace.

    I told the man I was with that my life changed. I told him that I was on this path and that I did encounter someone with that special connection I thought was missing in our relationship, but that I was alone and healing from this breakup. I most certainly did not cheat on him, and ended our relationship abruptly because I didn’t want to cheat, or have feelings and hold on to him. I wanted to be as fair as possible. I told him that we both needed to heal before we could talk again (that is if he even wants to have anything to do with me), and that if he did decide to talk to me I couldn’t be open with restarting the relationship.

    Even though I felt the Universe put me where I am, even though I took a few weeks to myself, and that my life partner is here now, and I am doubtless, something hasn’t left me.

    When I ended the other relationship, I felt like a woman having an abortion. I never had one, but I felt maternally responsible- like I killed and abandoned a child. The relationship had a potential future, but i was concerned and unsettled by it. When I think of the love and trust and our smugness I feel like the relationship was still beautiful and I feel evil; I feel like I killed a living creature, who didn’t deserve to die. I feel like I killed a part of him, possible me too?

    I know the man I stopped the relationship with needs a lot of spiritual change and development. I know our time and the ending of the relationship has forced him to undergo change, and yet I feel awful. I thought I did it the right way, yet I have such strong feelings about it all. I love the man, but not the way I love my life partner. It feels cruel to leave one man for another, and to never talk to someone again. Though, if he is happy, I have no right to disturb his peace, even if its just a hello, and how are you. That hurts. Do I want to have my cake and eat it? I wouldn’t say that. I’m not expecting our friendship to come back. I sincerely care about him and would help and support him no matter what- thats something about me that would never change. It doesn’t matter.

    Why are my feelings so disturbing? Older people tell me this is all normal… and yet they say moving on helps… I feel so shallow just to do that, to be happy with another man, while he feels so broken and alone. The guilt has settled, but its not gone. Im a bit baffled.

  • Mona

    This was so impactful for me to read! I fear rejection and now I’m going to remind myself that people come and go for a reason. If I keep on holding on to people who don’t belong in my inner circle, I’ll be blocking time spent with those who are meant to be there.