The friend­ship files

How to nav­i­gate a break-up with your BFF

Girlfriend - - CONTENTS -

Cop­ing with a BFF breakup

When you find the Veron­ica to your Betty, you feel like you can take on the world.

But when you have a friend­ship cre­at­ing more dramz than an episode of PLL, it might be time to move on. Nav­i­gat­ing friend­ships can be srsly tricky. We chat­ted to Kim Smith, the founder of Girls Stand­ing Strong, about what to do if it’s time to break up with your BFF – or how to han­dle a friend break­ing up with you.

Time to break up?

If you feel drained after hang­ing out with your friend or it feels like a chore to see them, then it’s prob­a­bly time to let it go. “If you feel sad, lonely or left out with your friend on a reg­u­lar ba­sis, these are not healthy signs,” says Kim. “Healthy friend­ships up­lift us and make us feel good. If you feel like you can’t be your­self, it might be time to con­sider part­ing ways.”

About those bound­aries

If you think your friend­ship can be saved but you want it to change, try set­ting some new bound­aries. It might be awks to have the convo with them, so try to pref­ace it by say­ing that you still want them in your life but you need to take a step back. “You need to de­cide how you want the friend­ship to be,” says Kim. “Per­haps you’re not each other’s ‘go to’ any­more but you still say hi and sit in the same group at school. Or maybe you don’t spend ex­tra time to­gether out­side of school any­more. There are many ways to have a friend­ship, the im­por­tant thing is to work out what works for you both.”

Let it fade

Friend­ships nat­u­rally fade as peo­ple change. Ev­ery­one has friends who they’re no longer close with and it’s not nec­es­sar­ily be­cause any­thing hap­pened to cause it. “It’s nat­u­ral for friend­ships to fade when we are no longer in­ter­ested in the same things, or we meet other peo­ple who we feel a closer con­nec­tion with,” Kim says. “The im­por­tant thing to re­mem­ber is we al­ways have peo­ple com­ing and go­ing in our lives and it’s OK to let a friend­ship go if you feel it fad­ing out.”

Mak­ing it off­ish

This is the equiv­a­lent of end­ing a re­la­tion­ship like you would with a ro­man­tic part­ner. Telling some­one that you no longer want them in your life is so0o0o0o aw­ful. If your friend is in­sis­tent and wants to hang all the time, but you don’t want to, it’s im­por­tant to gen­tly tell them the truth. If the friend­ship was su­per toxic, make sure to also cut all ties on so­cial me­dia. But it’s im­por­tant to keep it as pos­i­tive and re­spect­ful as you can. “Things do change over time and you never know when you might cross paths again,” Kim says. “The nicest way to do things is to be open and clear. It’s al­ways best to talk face-to-face, if you can. Let them know what you are feel­ing and al­ways keep in mind their feel­ings. If you find talk­ing faceto-face too dif­fi­cult, an­other good op­tion is to write a let­ter. Where pos­si­ble, try not to break up over text or on­line as these mes­sages can eas­ily be taken the wrong way.”

Don’t ghost

While it can just feel like the eas­i­est op­tion, re­sist the urge to cut your friend out with­out warn­ing. It al­ways feels crap when your crush goes quiet on you, so don’t do the same to a friend who has put time into you.

“It’s OK to let a friend­ship go if you feel it fad­ing out.”


It could just be that you’ve grown apart and they are hella dis­tant.

Let them go and wish them well. “Chances are you didn’t do any­thing wrong,” says Kim. “You never know what’s go­ing on in the other per­son’s mind. Per­haps they have changed or are go­ing through some­thing that has made them feel dis­tant. We can’t change other peo­ple’s ac­tions, all we can do is ac­cept what has hap­pened and fo­cus on how to lift our­selves up.”


It’s im­por­tant to think about your be­hav­iour in a friend­ship break-up and eval­u­ate if you could’ve done any­thing dif­fer­ently. “Writ­ing in a jour­nal is a great way to process your thoughts and feel­ings and to learn from your ex­pe­ri­ences,” says Kim. “Although it can some­times be hard think­ing back over what hap­pened, it’s a great way to learn so you can use your ex­pe­ri­ences pos­i­tively mov­ing for­ward.”


There are so many cool peo­ple in the world and ‘your peo­ple’ are out there. Maybe you’ve found those peeps al­ready so hold onto them and give them your best self. Not only do they de­serve it but you de­serve to have friends who know the real you. “If you’re not sure how to make new friends, try join­ing an after-school ac­tiv­ity,” says Kim. “This is the best way to open your friend­ship group and find peo­ple with sim­i­lar in­ter­ests.”

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