For every friendship, there comes a time where hard decisions must be made. Is it time to say goodbye and go your separate ways? Deciding when it’s time to end a relationship is never easy, especially if you've shared some good times and meaningful conversations together. And this is especially true in friendships.
Perhaps you’re the one causing the relationship to falter or perhaps you are the one who’s been on the receiving end of sharp criticism, lies and manipulation - either way, seeking a solution is essential for boosting self-esteem and taking back authority over your life.
You haven’t been feeling as close to your friend anymore, you haven’t heard from them in weeks and months, and sometimes it just seems easier not to tell them about what’s going on in your life. This might be an indication that it’s time to end the friendship.
Starting to experience a steady stream of negative emotions can be a sign that the relationship isn’t working. You may feel self-conscious, lonely, frustrated and oblivious to what their intentions are. When that feeling never goes away, your heart might eventually tell you that it’s time to move on and find closure.
At first, the idea of saying goodbye to someone who once meant so much to you can be overwhelming. You hold on to the hope that things will get better and ignore signs that the friendship has taken an unhealthy turn. Withdrawal is natural but you should also be on the lookout for patterns of manipulation and toxicity that could be dragging you down.
If you’re stifled or unable to be honest with your friend any longer, it’s time to reflect on why that may be. Have they said something or done something to make you question them? Do you feel guilty or judged every time you express yourself to them? If so, try expressing your feelings in non-confrontational language and see how they respond.
It’s also important to remember that part of being a good friend is taking a leap of faith sometimes and allowing others to do the same. If your friend keeps bringing up ways for you to change, it might be because they don’t feel comfortable with who you are. If this is the case, talk it out and communicate your points clearly. If no resolution comes of it, that’s another sign that it is time for you to move on.
At the same time, it can be incredibly difficult to leave a friendship that has become a part of your identity - the memories and experiences you share are part of what makes you “you”. Letting go of a person is never easy, yet you need to accept it as a constructive step forward instead of a failure. Evaluate what aspects of your identity are strong without that person and think seriously about moving towards a healthier relationship.
Sometimes a break or even a complete separation is all that's needed to gain clarity. That might seem like an obvious solution, but when it's a dear friend we're talking about, it can be hard to take that step. If a break is out of the question, be honest with yourselves and look within to identify what needs to be changed.
Just like in any other relationship, it takes two people to make a successful friendship. We enter into relationships with high hopes, of how a perfect friendship should be, but life can get in the way with its unexpected events. Realising it's time to take a step back due to changing energies and circumstances doesn't have to be seen as a personal failure.
Honouring your feelings and reflecting on what works best for your happiness is all that matters. So if you feel the need to move on and end the friendship, don't hesitate. Follow your intuition and let your lightbulb moment show you the way.