Why Broken Friendships Hurt More Than A Heartbreak

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This is something that has been on my mind for a really long time. There is no denying that every kind of relationship is fragile and care needs to be taken by all the parties involved to nourish and nurture it. Every relationship takes time and effort and if it is worth it, people will do everything in their capacity to keep it going. When you fall in love, sometimes friendships take a backseat. The new rush of love, the need and want to spend every second with them, the goosebumps, the conversations - it is very easy for all these to topple friendship. But, when the love goes kaput, the very people you turn to for the purpose of healing are your friends. They take you in wholeheartedly and help you get over one of most toughest phases of life. That is the power of friendship! But, who do you turn to when a friendship ends?

While most people would place a relationship high above friendship, they are not wrong in doing so, they do not understand the impact of a broken friendship. See, you can go to your friends to talk about your relationships and partners, but when that friend is no longer there, that void becomes really hard to fill. Even a partner cannot fill it completely.

Let us be honest here. How many of you are still in touch with your school and college mates? How many of you still continue to be good friends with them? If you can still count your school/college best friend as your current best friend, then you indeed are blessed. Most others drop out if touch and you barely see or hear from them. Thankfully, for me, my best friends are still my mates from school and college and they shall always be, but I have also made good friends after them, most of whom are still my close friends, but I've been burned badly too. The pain and the hurt that comes with it is incomparable.

Friends are your comfort zone, the ones you can share anything with. When that comfort zone is taken away, you are left stranded. When a relationship ends, you know that you need to get closure and move on to better things, but with a friendship, the closure seldom comes. I'm the one to believe that you always miss the time you spent with that person, rather than the person itself. You miss who you were with them, you miss the casual banter, you miss the way they treated you and so on. Every time a friendship ends, it feels like the end of an era. No matter the duration of the friendship.

I have been very unlucky in terms of maintaining friendships with the opposite sex. Earlier, most of my closest friends were men and it worked out beautifully for me. I'm a tomboyish person and my take on life is very different from most girls, this helped us cement the friendship. Unfortunately, this is exactly what ended it too. Since I was so different, most of the men thought that they felt something special for me. They call it love, I call it mere fascination or admiration. When such things happen, things get more than awkward and it is impossible to continue the friendship after that. In one instant, you lose your best friend for no fault of yours. The only fault being that you couldn't feel something that they think they felt. It takes a lot of time and self-doubt to come out of something like it. Was it my fault? Did I give a wrong sign somewhere? Should I have gone ahead with it? Did I hurt him? These questions don't make closure easy. It takes years to get over some of these friendships. At times, you never do.

A few years ago, I had to end a friendship. I say "had" because it was needed at any cost. When there are more than two people involved in a friendship and the others get into something they shouldn't have gotten into, it feels like a betrayal. They not only cheated on their own families but also on the very foundation of the friendship. This is something that I couldn't put up with. I walked out that very instant and have never looked back until now. It wasn't easy, I admit. What they did helped me get to closure pretty easily, but not without putting me through a terrible phase. You see, when you are very close to someone, you share every aspect of your life with them. You play with them, laugh with them and go crazy together. When this comes to an abrupt halt for no fault of yours, you feel the intensity of the pain. Sometimes, it doesn't match up to the intensity of a heartbreak, but mostly, it tops it.

Today, even though we do not talk regularly, I cannot imagine a life without my friends. While their presence might not impact you much you think, the absence surely will. The very fact that you no longer have someone to share something eats you from within. It is not like you will not make any other friends in the future, but it is impossible for the friendship to be the same. Maybe bad, maybe better, but never the same.

Cherish your friends, work towards making the friendship stronger, get the frequencies aligned, live, love and laugh together. They are the best antidote for a heartbreak, they are the best antidote for anything under the sun. If they leave, that void can remain unfilled.

More often than not, that is worse than a heartbreak.

16 comments:

  1. Love you for writing this post, Soumya!! You have articulated what so many of us feel.

    I agree that the hurt over the broken friendship is not only about missing the other person. Even though that is a part of it. We also miss the person we were when we were with them.
    We miss the comfort zone and support system we took for granted.

    And then comes all the self doubt -- because I believe that no matter what we project on the outside, or what the reality of the situation is/was, more often than not, our inner critic feels most or atleast some of the blame lies with us.

    And sometimes it takes years/decades to get over this deep set unease in our hearts (if we ever completely get over it at all). And that is because, while we may make other friends, while we may even get on 'friendly' terms with this same person again, it is NEVER EVER THE SAME AGAIN.

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    1. Thank you so much, Shantala. This was on my mind for a really long time.

      Ah that self doubt is s painful too, but then again what's not meant to be is not meant to be.

      I'd never get friendly with the same person again, somehow for me, once someone is out, they are out. I'll never allow them in my life again. It never will be the same anyway.

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  2. I have had my share of heartbreaks with respect to friendship. Infact the impact was so bad that I still take a lot of time opening up to new ones. In wouldnt want tp pin point who was wrong, probably both parties were. But I realise, some relationships are just not meant to be. MOving away is painful, but I guess that is what life is all about

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    1. You said it, Ramya. At times we have no choice but to just move on!

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  3. Most of my school and college friends are in cities far away, and over the years, we have lost touch. But I do have some very close friends from later in life. They are my bedrock, and I cannot imagine my life without them. I’ve had my fair share of heartbreaks too, with some friends turning into foes out of insecurity and competition. In such cases, though, it’s easier to dust yourself off and walk away. But losing close friends is so much harder.

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    1. Insecurity and competition kills any kind of relationship! That's what makes us feel maybe it was never worth it in the first place.

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  4. I have lost so many close friends over the years. Leads you to guilt, sometimes self-doubt and sometimes anger as well especially when there is no closure. In most close friendships when they go kaput, we do really end up with so much unspoken. And then for certain time period, you are scared to dive deep into friendships. Like you, I've had some very close friendships with males. I wasn't a tomboy but I always spoke my mind and had interests in sports, politics etc. And yes, a few times these close friendships can become dicey. But overall, they have been so very enriching. Losing close friends is hard but we must heal and move forward. Love and hugs.

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    1. So much unspoken that it tends to kill you inside. Ditto with me, I spoke on a plethora on topics and men found that fascinating. Beyond that, I honestly doubt their feelings. When such friendships end, it hurts more. The guilt, the loss, it gets hard to take.

      Lots of love to you too, Rachna. Thank you for reaching out.

      Hugs!

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  5. I think most of us can relate to this post, Soumya. I am in touch with my school and college friends. But yes, I do have broken friendships and it hurts a lot more than I ever thought. Recently I wrote a letter to my friend who I am no longer friends with in my journal that is. I felt a lot better after writing it down. Still I wish it was different. Well articulated, Soumya.

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    1. I'm sure most of us can! Oh that must have felt so good, just to get it out of your system. I should do that too at times.

      Thank you so much, Vinitha!

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  6. I’m not good with friendships because I have been burnt too many times. I have very few friends and my best friend is someone I have been with from the first day of school. The others have always used me or hurt me. My engineering college friends left me when my relationship started with S, when I stopped taking the abuse of my then room mate who pretended to be my closest of friends. Sometimes I do regret it thinking what is wrong with me. But then I realise I don’t need friends who only need me to help them with something or be their sounding board and when its my turn, there is nothing in return. Honestly, I’m sceptical about friendships now. Better to be safe than be burnt and hurt.

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    1. I hear you, Naba. I was cynical about friendship too after close friends betrayed me. I was scared to make friends or even step out to meet someone. But with time, I got over it and moved on beautifully. Some friends make life worth living. Others leave with a lesson you shall never forget.

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  7. I was thinking of the friends I have had to go away from and feel so miserable. I still do. I have new friends, but those few who I loved and lost were so dear, they will always have a place in my heart. Maybe it's the senti me who can't let go of some special people, but there are times when remembering our good times makes me feel good. SO, the friends who are with me no more, I carry them in my heart always always!
    Lovely post, SOumya!

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    1. The ones we lost never leave us in a way, Shilpa. That is the saddest part.

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  8. I missed this one but hopped across from you gratitude post and I'm glad I did. You wrote exactly what I went through some time back. And you're absolutely right about there being no closure. What's worse is when you're ghosted by a friend and you keep wondering What did I do? Did I do anything at all? Am I over reacting? Should I leave the person alone? I hate the stupid complications. What makes a friendship comfortable is the fact that is is NOT a romantic relationship and that one shouldn't need to second-guess a friend. But that doesn't happen all the time.

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    1. Hugs Tulika! The uncertainty is what kills you in such situations.

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