Many times, society argues that women’s friendships aren’t real because they do not last. For one, it isn’t true but also, the truth is that all friendships have an expiry date. It is just how it works for some of us. Whether be it male friendships that have a fallout, or women friendships that reach their timeline.
Arguably, the most heartbreaking thing on this planet for women is a friendship breakup. If you have never had one, count yourself as one of God’s favourite creations because you have simply lived one of the most amazing lives ever, and please know I am green with envy.
It is very easy to make ‘chomies’ with anyone who resonates with your energy and/or wit. Keeping that relationship going often requires certain things from each other in a friendship setting, and when those expectations aren’t met, things can get to a dangerous stage very fast. No matter how many years you’ve been besties, sometimes even the longest friendships can come to an end (especially if they become toxic). And while you may not have been romantically involved, this doesn’t mean that the termination of your friendship doesn’t hurt like hell. I would even rank it above a terrible period pain; and please, know that cramps hurt like crazy.
The heartache often doesn’t really come from the fact that this friendship ended. In most cases, it is how it ends, and most importantly, it is the fact that you most likely saw yourself with this person your entire life. I mean, in friendships that exceed five years, you often have experienced your friend in most seasons, if not all, that could possibly bring you even closer. Because we rely on our friends for emotional support most of the time and the role friendships can play in our overall mental and emotional health, when they end, it’s a big shift. Many people wonder how they’ll be able to cope without the support of that friendship.
Some friendships are said to end because of numerous reasons. Sometimes, you outgrow each other because your priorities change, and sometimes, you simply end the friendship because it has either become toxic, or something major happened that you simply can’t get past. Like betrayal for instance. When it comes to situations like betrayal, a boundary has been crossed in the relationship, and due to the pain of that betrayal, it becomes very challenging to see how trust can be regained. However, when you are in the position to end the friendship, it is important to take note that you owe it to your relationship to break it off, even if you’re not in a good place with the person. As such, if you’re distancing yourself from a friend whom you’d normally text or see every day, you definitely owe them an explanation for your (lack of) action.
Whatever pushes you to cut things off, if you simply don’t feel good about yourself or your friendship when you’re together, that’s reason enough to go your separate ways. As much as it hurts, I am a big advocate for ending things which do not bring you any happiness. And if it is a friendship, you gotta let it go as well, sis. When you are ready to tell the person, make sure that you have entirely made up your mind, and you are not leaving any room for a backspin. In that pursuit, you need to make sure you are as clear and as gentle as possible.
But before you do all that, you need not necessarily get into the nitty-gritty of something your friend said on a Wednesday morning three months ago, but make sure they can walk away from the conversation with a definite understanding of why you broke things off.
* Frieda Mukufa’s lifestyle section in the New Era newspaper concentrates on women-related issues and parenting. She also specialises in editing research proposals, proofreading as well as content- creation.