If you’ve ever had the unfortunate experience of losing a friend, you know how it goes. It’s like losing a significant other, except people don’t treat it the same way. If I told everyone on the subway that I just got out of a year-long relationship when I was sobbing to myself over a song that came on shuffle, they would totally get it and tell me I’m “better off without him.” In reality, I was bawling my eyes out over the loss of my relationship with my best friends a few months ago, not a partner. When I told my significant other and my family the deep sadness and loneliness I felt after losing people I cared so much about, they just told me to make more friends, and I’d be fine. I WISH it were that easy.
It took a while, but I finally stopped crying in public places about my ex-friends and found other ways (and people!) to make myself smile. Here’s how you, too, can get over the loss of a friendship.
Allow yourself to be emotional
If the friend you lost was a close one, you are probably going to be upset. You might even cry, too. That’s NORMAL! Allow yourself to feel these strong emotions and identify them. When I’ve lost friends, I’ve noticed that I feel lonely, inadequate, and nostalgic. Identifying my emotions allowed me to appropriately address them to make myself feel better. This is kind of a key to any kind of emotional issue, but it was necessary for getting a handle on myself and how I was feeling.
Decide if the relationship can be salvaged
Sometimes, relationships end, and there isn’t really much you can do to fix it. On the other hand, some friendships can be saved. If the situation is one that might blow over after you both take some time for yourselves, you might be able to jump back in. Discuss what happened with your ex-friend and evaluate if this is a friendship worth saving. Choosing to stay friends with someone can be an amazing thing, but if the relationship was toxic to begin with or if it will lead in that direction, it might be best to just move on.
Try BFF Apps!
When I lost a few friends recently, I had no interest in making new friends, telling myself no one would measure up to them. While time for yourself is good after a BFF breakup, meeting some new people is always a good thing! Apps like Bumble BFF, Tinder Social, and Hey! Vina allow you to meet tons of new people. Go ahead, ask someone out for a drink or to that baseball game you’re dying to go to this summer. It’s way less terrifying than asking someone on a date, you don’t have to deal with the awkward “who’s paying?” scenario, and you can wear sweatpants. I see only wins here. Not sure where to start? Check out our roundup of friend-making apps!
Don’t blame yourself
For a long time, I told myself that there must be something wrong with me because I’ve lost a couple friends in my life. Am I not good enough for them? Am I not fun to be around? Why doesn’t anyone want to stay friends with me!! After a while, I’ve finally started to realize that all I can do is ask my friends how they want to be treated and go from there. Life is a constant cycle of making and losing friends, and the whole Pretty Little Liars, Sex and the City, Golden Girls BFF narrative isn’t always reality. If there’s anything Grace and Frankie has taught me, it’s that it might take awhile to find my soul sister, and that’s okay.
Social media detox
I am the first to admit this was very hard at first, but deactivating my Instagram, deleting my social apps, and just allowing myself to recuperate helped IMMENSELY. First of all, I’d go into a full blown sob-fest every time I saw all my old friends having fun without me, and I just couldn’t bear to see it anymore. Secondly, and actually most importantly, it gave me time to think about myself. I started a few new TV shows (and didn’t feel the need to live-tweet!), mastered my smokey eye, and decluttered basically everything from my apartment. I’m back to the social media world now, but at the time, not seeing what everyone was doing was necessary.
Don’t neglect your other friends
I think I have the tendency to assume that when I lose one friend, I’ve lost everyone and I’m entirely alone. Negative. Just because one or two people aren’t in your life anymore doesn’t nullify all those other friendships you’ve made. Spend time with them, and get to know them better. You never know who will be there for you in this time or who might just become your next bestie. Bonding with other friends in times like these is both essential and a great way to get your mind off of everything else you’re feeling.