Thought Catalog
March 16, 2017

You’re Not Required To Stay Friends With Someone Forever

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What is the issue?
Drew Wilson

Break ups are extraordinarily difficult. No one is denying that.

You cry and wallow and, if you’re the one who got dumped, might even fall into a pit of temporary self-loathing.

But here’s the thing about break ups, there’s some understanding to them. We get them. We know what to expect – even if that expectation is still painful. Romantic partnerships begin with the knowledge that one of two things will happen: you’re together forever or you break up.

When you want to break up with a friend, there’s nothing clear-cut about it. It’s murky water, a vague path that you have no idea how to walk down.

But friendships, like any relationship, can reach an end point. Be it a mutual parting of ways due to distance or growing apart, or something more serious, like a betrayal, some friends will not be friends ’til the end.

That’s okay.

It’s okay to let go of a friend if it’s better that way. It’s okay to discontinue a relationship (no matter how long it has existed) if this person consistently hurts you or brings you down. It’s okay to put yourself first and decide what’s healthiest for YOU.

Some people are in our lives for a specific amount of time and that doesn’t make them less valuable. It just means you’re onto a new chapter. It means you’re redefining who you are and what you want, and you’re allowed to decide it doesn’t include that other person.

If a ‘friend’ causes you more pain than joy, pay attention to that.

Would you put up with this in a romantic relationship? Would you hang on if someone ceased to make you happy? Listen. Listen to your heart. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not right.

I know that it’s awkward and uncomfortable. Discontinuing a friendship can feel like the ultimate betrayal — sometimes much more so than breaking up with a significant other. It’s going to be weird and there’s no perfect way to do it. Someone is probably going to walk away with hurt feelings. It’s unfortunate. And crappy.

But you are not required to stay friends forever. Not if, down deep, you know it’s better to walk away.

You’re allowed to walk away. TC mark

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