When A Friendship Ends, When Love Extinguishes

March 31, 2019
Both love and friendships may end up dying out. But don't worry: find strength in weakness and move forward. 

When a friendship ends and love extinguishes, something dies in you. No one is ready for loss or the breaking of a bond that was once so important.

Your brain is genetically programmed to connect with people. That’s how we survive, learn, and advance throughout our lives.

However, while your brain attaches itself to permanency, you forget an essential truth: that things change and sometimes you have to change, too.

Ending a friendship that has been so fundamental for your life throws you into a time of confusion and sadness.

Friendships are intimate. They build your character, bring you happiness and emotional support. But there are times when unforeseen circumstances or new interests make certain friendships gradually extinguish.

The same thing happens in romantic relationships. Maybe there was betrayal, disappointment, or it could be that, as much as it hurts, love slowly goes out in one of you without understanding why.

In these cases, you have to take a step forward, even if it’s hard, even if the puzzle of your life is broken. Here, we’ll explain how to do this.

negotiating friendship

When a friendship dries up

It may seem strange, but friendship means something different to men and women. This difference doesn’t mean that it’s more important to one gender than the other, though.

It has to do with the effect of friendship. According to a study done by the University College London, friendship has a calming effect for women.

Women consider friendship with other women as a solace, as a way to put problems, stress, and anxiety into perspective. The bond has an intimacy that goes beyond the emotional world.

As for men, they see friendship in a more utilitarian manner: it’s all about doing things together, planning leisure activities, working on professional goals.

For men, they value their family or partner more than their friends. Hence, men find intimacy and deeper closeness with their partners, not their friends.

Maybe that’s why, on average, the personal impact of friendship for women tends to be more intense.

Find out how Friends Share Our Burdens and Increase Our Happiness

How to deal with the end of a friendship

One friendship can’t take the place of another. This is something you need to understand. Letting go of friendship means knowing how to turn the page and move forward.

Each person, each friendship, and each relationship gives you certain things. That’s why you can’t find a new friend who offers you the same as what the other used to. Let people be their authentic selves.

Accept that friendships sometimes dry up and that it’s not a bad thing. People grow, get new interests, and sometimes even decide that they have friends that aren’t offering anything positive to their lives anymore.

There are times when leaving a friendship means growing. The important thing is to stay with the people who really matter.

When love dies out

when a friendship dies

When love dies out, the lungs that gave you air and the wings that made you feel alive in your soul seem to shatter. No one knows why or how, but it happens. Love sometimes disappears sometimes, just like dew disappears in the sun.

When it happens, you cling to hope. “Maybe if I do this or say that it’ll come back,” “Maybe if I change, they’ll love me again…”

These lines of thought aren’t a good idea. They just intensify the cycle of negativity, false hope, and pain.

If love goes out, you have to make that fact clear or insist that your partner is clear about it. It may seem like the end, but this communication is your starting point.

Discover more: 7 Ways to Communicate Better in Your Relationship

How to face the end of love

You don’t get over the end of a romantic relationship in a day. While it’s different for every individual, there also is a sequence of strategies that can help.

Remember always to act with dignity: if you know you’re not being loved, accept the beginning of your grief.

Looking ahead isn’t easy when you’ve left so much behind. But before you feed your longing or your what-if’s, you have to speak in the present:

  • I deserve to take care of myself, watch out for myself, and put my broken pieces back together.
  • I’m going to find support in my family, my friends, in the present where I will make new goals and find new happiness.

Time and your attitude will heal these wounds. Don’t worry, life, with all of its energy and beauty, will fill that hole in your heart again.

  • Badhwar Kapur, N. (1991) Why It Is Wrong to be Always Guided by the Best: Consequentialism and Friendship. Ethics: An International Journal of Social, Political, and Legal Philosophy. Volume 101, Issue 3.
  • Hays, R. (1984) The Development and Maintenance of Friendship. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Volume 1, issue 1.
  • Cable, N.; Bartley, M.; Chandola, T.; Sacker, A. (2013) Friends are equally important to men and women, but family matters more for men's well-being. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. Volume 67, Issue 2.
  • Grunebaum, J. (1993) Friendship, Morality, and Special Obligation. American Philosophical Quarterly. Volume 30, No. 1. Pp. 51-61