Here’s some advice on handling platonic endings and the friend that got away.
– KEYS SOULCARE
Friendships are vital to our wellbeing, yet the importance of platonic intimacy is often downplayed in comparison to romance — especially when it comes to heartbreak. While there are endless amounts of movies, songs, and podcasts about dating and romantic heartbreak, discussions around friendship breakups are not as easily found.
So, what do you do when a friendship bond is broken? If you’re seeking advice after a split, read on — and consider this your quick guide to managing platonic breaks, with compassion and soulcare.
Accept that friendships actually do end.
Despite the modern notion that friendships are forever, that is simply not the case. Learning to accept that friendship endings are common allows us to cope with the loss of a pal—whether it’s over time with distance or a sudden and abrupt break.
By normalizing friendship endings, we become more aware of when it’s time to walk away from a friendship. Rather than staying friends out of fear or obligation, we can let go of an unhealthy dynamic or simply accept that a friendship has run its course.
How do you know when to break up with a friend?
Breaking up is hard to do, but it’s even harder to know if breaking up is the “right” thing. Some soul searching is required, but here’s a checklist to guide you through:
Being around them is difficult. If you find yourself dodging calls or unable to get your friend to reply to a text, it might be a sign to end things. Friendships, like romantic partnerships, require effort—but it should not drain you or leave you feeling like things are one-sided.
You question their loyalty. “Frenemies” or fake friends are usually jealous and competitive. Rather than being supportive, these friends are consistently trying to “win” or embarrass you, which is a sure sign you should consider moving on.
Time is the only reason you’re around. A lot of people stay friends because they have been friends for years. Pals who have seen us through defining moments in our lives can be comforting, but if time is the only reason why you feel obligated to stay, it might be time to let go.
How to Get Over a Friend
Regardless of why a friendship ends, it can shake up our world and leave us feeling sad. (Even if breaking up was the best thing to do.) Giving ourselves room to do these three simple steps can work wonders for post-breakup healing:
1. Let yourself grieve.
Validate your feelings. Don’t feel pressured to seem unbothered or “over it” right from the start. It’s ok to miss someone, even if you’re relieved they’re no longer around. Grieving the loss of what you could have had or thought you knew is perfectly acceptable, so lean into self-compassion and feel all your emotions.
2. Find closure.
If it’s possible to chat with your former pal about the breakup, try and get closure. Discuss where you think things went wrong and ask the questions you might have. If a conversation isn’t possible or safe for you, pull out your journal and light your favorite candle for a letter-writing session. Draft up a goodbye with all your feelings on the page. You can keep the letter for yourself, burn it, or send it, if you’re feeling up to it.
3. Ask for help.
Turning to your trusted group of friends after a breakup is always a go-to in romance, so don’t be afraid to get support when a platonic partner leaves your life. If that isn’t possible, turn to friendship spaces online or even talk to a therapist to offer you additional support and comfort as you navigate your heartbreak.
One last soulful tip? Trust the process. It can be scary when people leave our lives, betray us, or just move on without us, but remembering that we’re on a unique path toward our highest self is a great way to get grounded again. Trust that rejection is just redirection — and everything and everyone left behind us is making room for what’s to come.
Have you experienced platonic heartbreak? What healing practice did you implement to get you through? Share in the comments below!