How to Handle Losing a Friendship

Losing a friend can be devastating. It doesn’t matter if you’ve lost your friend due to growing apart, an argument, or someone moving away. You’ll need time to heal after this loss, time to grow, time to thrive, and time to become profound. Eventually you’ll come to appreciate the people in your life and you will make other lasting friendships. Below, I talk about ways to help you through the grieving process.

Your friendship fell apart.

This is one of the most painful and confusing ways of losing a friend. Whether the end came suddenly or the relationship faded over time, you will need to take some time to acknowledge the loss before you can grieve it and move through it. First and foremost, you must survive. Stay healthy and steer clear of dark thoughts. Talk to someone you trust about your experience. Often that can help get you out of your own head and sort through what you really feel. Avoid talking critically about the friend you lost, instead focus your attention on your feelings of hurt. After survival comes healing. But healing can’t come through anger at someone else.

Accept your role in the loss the friendship.

It’s tempting to embrace anger and blame the other person for the end of a friendship. But try to accept what role, even if it was a small one, you might have played in things. Don’t take all of the burden on yourself! That can be a temptation too. Instead, be fair to both of you. Remember the good and the flaws about your friend, and accept the same in yourself. You might have argued, been distant, stood each other up, or simply changed over time. All of these things are natural, and there is no bad guy in this situation. In order to heal, you must accept the situation, warts and all.

Let go of the past.

Often when we lose a friendship, we play moments of that friendship over and over again in our minds. Try not to do this—nothing can change what happened in the past. This loss has happened, it is a part of you. Try to stay present by doing things that you enjoy. Take a walk, cook yourself food, listen to music, have dinner with friends, be creative, meditate… There is no set timeline for the healing process. Be kind to yourself and treat yourself gently while you go through this. In time, you will begin to thrive again.

Your friend moved away.

Losing a friend due to a move often makes us feel powerless and scared. We know that our friendship will change, and we fear it will sputter out completely. Try to accept the new reality and embrace it. Don’t give up on your friend—try to stay in touch. But lower your expectations. You’ll both be busy, learning and growing in new directions. Even if it’s as simple as a text every now and again, you will never regret reaching out. Now you must turn to embracing your new life without the constant, comforting presence of your friend. Again, in time, you will thrive! Even if it doesn’t feel like it right now.

Get out there!

Whether your friend moved away or you did, there are many new things for you to explore. Try new places you’ve never been to before, reconnect with old friends, and be open to making new friends through clubs or volunteering. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t make an instant new best friend. New friendships take time to cultivate. You will never be the same person you were with your friend, but you will learn to thrive on your own.

Survive, heal, grow, thrive—become profound. This experience has changed you, but it has not destroyed you. Remember to take care of yourself throughout this experience and appreciate yourself for the person you are. Your friendship mattered to you, and it will always have a place in your heart. Think of the new, exciting experiences you will have now and be open to meeting new people. In time, the hurt will lessen. Check out the some products I’ve added to inspire, motivate, and support your process, whether you're recovering, surviving, healing, growing, or thriving, at for reminders of your strength and endurance while you go through this difficult time.

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