Losing Friends Can Hurt as Much as a Breakup
The bonds of friendship may be even stronger than those of love, and sometimes losing friends is an even bigger heartbreak than a breakup
Throughout your life you will let go of some friendships and make new ones. The same applies to romantic partners. There are endings, but also new beginnings that are equally wonderful and happy.
Something you probably also know is that there are different types of friendships. Your heart can establish an intimate and powerful union with a particular person, to the point that they become a pillar in your day to day life.
This may be even more relevant when it comes to women. According to a study published in the journal Epidemiology and Community Health, family relationships have more impact on the lives and health of men, while for women, the support of their friends greatly improves their physical and emotional well-being.
That’s why in a lot of cases, losing friends due to an argument or some kind of problem can have the same impact as the end of a romantic relationship.
Let’s talk about this a little more.
A friendship, a treasure, a daily support system
You’ll be happy to hear that friendship isn’t just something that’s unique to humans. According to a study published in Time Magazine, researchers have found that chimpanzees, baboons, horses, hyenas, elephants, and dolphins also have a few “best friends.”
The impact of friendship on the emotional world of a person is immense. You also know that not all friendships are created equal, and most likely you can count your true friends on the fingers of one hand.
That’s why you’ve probably experienced the following different dimensions of friendship.
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Friends help care for your health
According to a study conducted at the University of Virginia, when the bond of friendship between two people is genuine and reciprocal, they can begin to experience the same emotions.
- The power of empathy is so strong that it can even be detected by medical tests, such as an MRI for example.
- If you perceive that someone is in danger and your friend is also aware of the situation, they respond in the same way.
- The areas of the brain that are related to fear and threat are activated identically in both friends.
- A friendship is a form of daily reinforcement, an outlet where you can find relief, advice, and comfort. You are able to let go of your problems, alleviate stress and tension, and relax, making your world a little more carefree.
- If you consider the many benefits of a “true” friendship, you also understand the tremendous impact it can have when that person, for whatever reason, departs from your life.
“Breaking up” with your best friend
Having to cut the strong bond of friendship or turn away from that person is usually something that occurs for multiple reasons.
- Sudden changes of interests, betrayals, lies, deceptions, arguments…there are many reasons that can cause you to lose a friend. But the subsequent consequences are something that both of you will experience alike.
- Losing friends forces you to go through the same painful struggle that you do when you break up with a partner.
- You go through a period of anger and denial, not quite understanding how it all really happened.
- After that, you enter the phase of questioning, when you try to find reasons for the end.
- Gradually, you enter the sorrowful phase, which is followed by acceptance.
See: Empty chair syndrome
For a lot of people it’s almost impossible to compare the loss of a friendship with a breakup, but plenty of people have that intense emotional attachment we described above, making it intensely difficult.
Life after losing friends
You know that friends will come and go, taking part of you with them and also helping you grow.
- Losing friends who truly inhabited a special place in your heart will leave an open wound that remains forever.
- Whenever possible, hold onto the good memories you had together. If you focus exclusively on what tore you apart your resentment will only grow, and you’ll even be more reluctant to start new friendships.
- Life teaches you plenty of lessons and you have to learn to accept them. Regardless of what has happened to you, don’t ever close your heart to affection or the opportunity to find new and wonderful friends.
Friendship is the best medicine you can find.