Is It Okay to Break Up With a Friend?

Friendship breakups are often painful, bringing up feelings of sadness, grief, and loneliness. It can be especially difficult to let go when a friend has meant a lot to you, but there are ways to end a friendship in a way that’s fair to both parties.

Identify Your Reasons for a Friendship Breakup

If you have a reason for breaking up with your friend, it can help to identify it on paper before getting into a discussion. Doing so allows you to understand your emotions better, and it may also make it easier to discuss your decision with them if they’re open to the idea.

You’ve Grown Apart

If a friendship is no longer healthy for you, it’s important to recognize when it’s time to end it. For example, if your friend never makes time for you, it could be a sign that they’re trying to push you away from them and they don’t have the same level of interest in your life anymore.

They’ve Been Abusive, Emotionally Abused or Manipulative

If you notice that your friend is physically or emotionally abusive or they’re violating your boundaries in some way, it’s time to cut the friendship off cold turkey. That means stopping all contact with them and cutting off their social media accounts. If they try to get in touch with you, it’s also a good idea to mute their social media profiles so you don’t continue to see them.

You’re Giving Too Much to the Relationship

If your friend has been always putting you down or always asking for more in return than they are giving you, it might be a sign that you’re giving too much to your friendship and they aren’t reciprocating. It can be a difficult decision to make, but it’s best to do what’s best for your emotional and physical health.

You’ve Become Overwhelmed with the Relationship

If you find yourself constantly feeling overwhelmed by your relationship with this person, it might be time to start breaking it up. That’s a great way to set yourself up for healthier relationships moving forward, says psychologist Marie Land.

You’ve Become Overwhelmed With the Relationship

If you’ve been spending an inordinate amount of time with this person, it might be a sign that you’re overloaded with them and aren’t able to give them the attention they deserve. Whether this is due to work, family, or other responsibilities, a friend who’s been taking you for granted can leave you feeling worn out and exhausted.

You’re Getting Used to Their Bad Habits

When you’re used to having this friend constantly take you for granted, it’s hard to step back and think of it as a friendship. But it’s also a sign that it’s time to step back and think about how you want to build your relationship going forward.

You’re Having a Hard Time Reconnecting With Your Friend

If the last time you saw this friend was months ago and it hasn’t been since, it might be a sign that you’ve been too invested in this friendship. Whether it’s due to work, family, or other compulsions, it’s important to have healthy boundaries in place as you move on from this person, suggests Land.