“Some people we just outgrow. Relationships might end with no real explanation as to why. And when that happens, respect the shift. Honor the growth and understand that not all roots can stay planted in the same soil forever.” ~ Alex Elle
Sometimes the hardest relationships to end aren’t the romantic ones—they’re the ones based in friendship.
It can sometimes be easy to break up with a lover, but how we do break up with a friend?
Sometimes when anger or hurt feelings are involved, ending the friendship seems like the natural course of action—but the most difficult endings seem to happen for no particular reason at all.
Not all friendships are meant to last forever, especially if they stifle our personal growth.
While a relationship with the self is crucial for the whole of our journey, those external relationships that we form with others do have a great significance in our lives, as they mirror the one we have with ourselves.
Who we choose to surround ourselves with says more about how we view ourselves than any words that pass our lips.
The relationships that last decades are only the ones that can change and evolve over time. It’s not that the friendship stays the same, but that both people are growing together.
The hardest aspect of a dissolving friendship is when one person is grows, and the other refuses to move forward. Just like in romantic love, we can choose to either be weighed down by those in our lives or uplifted by them.
This isn’t about deserting someone when they are in need, but it does have to do with making choices that will be the healthiest for ourselves, and sometimes that means walking away from a friendship that we’ve outgrown.
In some cases, we really can’t be BFFs (best friends forever), because forever is a long time, and no one really knows what will happen along the way.
However, those friendships that fulfill certain needs—at specific moments of our lives—are no less worthwhile than the ones that can endure the test of time.
Just because something doesn’t last forever doesn’t mean that it hasn’t fulfilled its purpose.
Separating from a friend who we’ve outgrown can sometimes be a treacherous experience for both individuals, especially if communicating honestly is difficult.
Yet it can be done in such a way that each person (and their life) can eventually be better for it.
At times, this type of dissolution needs to happen slowly—and at other times, it needs to be stated upfront and with conviction. Yet regardless of how it happens, the most important thing to be aware of is why it is occurring.
Relationships we’ve outgrown often no longer feel healthy; they don’t encourage us want to become better people, nor do they really feel like they honor our true selves.
Rather than becoming bitter—or dramatic and discussing one another behind each other’s backs as the friendship breaks down—it’s better just to send love towards the other person and move on in separate directions.
It’s not because this relationship didn’t have value in our journey, but just that it’s time in our life has come to an end.
The worst mistake we sometimes make is wanting to have every relationship last forever, because no one really wants to say goodbye—growth is a hard-earned medal of honor that not all achieve.
Yet, the value of a relationship doesn’t come from duration, but rather from it’s significance.
This was a lesson I had to learn the hard way.
I value the relationships with those who I love very deeply, and I feel truly honored to be able to be a part of so many people’s lives on such an intimate level—so when I realized that one of my long-term relationships was failing, I had no other choice than to simply let go of it.
This person was a wonderful friend while she was in my life, and I have so many memories we shared together—but with time, I realized that just because we’ve always been friends, it doesn’t mean it will always be meant to be so.
At one point, I told her that I couldn’t imagine living my life without her, yet this is a lesson that life has taught me I needed to learn. I can live my life without anyone, but it’s those most healthy and deep relationships that make that sort of choice simply unnecessary.
Just like we should never have to beg for love—we should never have to beg for friendship either.
Either it’s given freely and abundantly, or it’s not given at all. Because just like our romantic relationships, we shouldn’t ever have to convince someone of our worth or value in their life. If they can’t see it for themselves, then it’s a situation that isn’t meant to be.
It was difficult ending this friendship, one that lingered on possibly longer than it should have—but now that the cobwebs have cleared, I can appreciate not only the space that was left by the absence of this person, but the value they had in my journey.
My path would not have taken me where I am today, had it not been for this person in my life. And while I am eternally grateful for our paths having crossed, I no longer have the desire to hold on to a relationship that I have outgrown.
Because the truth is that whether a relationship lasts forever or not, it’s still something we needed to experience.
It was more difficult for me to end a platonic friendship than it was (to some degree) to end romantic ones, but the reality for all of us is that we can’t continue to engage in a situation that doesn’t align with who we truly are.
Sometimes the best way to care for someone is simply from afar.
Author: Kate Rose
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina