BY TAHLIA PRITCHARD
Our teen years and our twenties are times of huge changes and emotional growth. We fall in and out of lust and love. We go through stages where everything is sunshine and rainbows and happiness, and we go through stages cursing how unfair life is and debating how long you can stay in bed watching re-runs of Greys Anatomy for, before you have to go out and be a civilised member of the world again.
Break-ups, like hangovers and and exam stress, are another normal part of our young adult lives. There are many times when the sun sets upon another failed relationship or fling, times where we will cry ourselves to sleep, and times where Ben and Jerry’s cookie dough ice-cream is suitable for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We’re used to articles about falling out of love or lust, but what do you do when it’s time to break up with not a significant other, but a friend?
Friendships do come and go: after high school you can eventually lose touch as you move on with your own lives. Sometimes friendships end more abruptly or suddenly. Sometimes they’re just not worth fighting for anymore.
Personally I always had a naive perception that the friendships I made in my twenties would be it: of course I could make new ones, but now we’re all grown and mature adults, there shouldn’t be any reason why a friendship can suddenly fall apart. But in your early twenties you still are going through dramatic changes and periods of growth – whether that be graduating from college and entering the workforce, moving cities or travelling the world. A friendship you made through your mutual love of partying at the start of uni, may not have the substance to flourish as you grow older.
The things with friendships is that it can be more confusing to know when it’s time to give up. Like relationships, you reminisce on the good times. With a friendship you think about the fun nights out you had, the way that person could make you laugh, the rants they listened to, the rants you listened to, the times they’ve helped you out. These memories can make it conflicting to know whether to keep fighting or whether it’s time to stop.
If you’re suspecting it’s time to break up with a friend, here’s a few signs that may help you make your decision.
1) You’re having more worse times than good:
While remembering the good times is enough to convince us to keep fighting, if the last good memory you have of hanging out with them is not even in the same year as it is now, that’s a pretty major warning sign.
2) You have nothing to say to each other anymore:
Awkward silences. You actually don’t care what’s going on with their life and vice-versa. You don’t want to tell them anything because you don’t trust them. Everything is solely about them. All factors that could be friendship terminating stuff.
3) You can no longer rationalise their behaviour to other friends:
In toxic or destructive romances, how many times do we rationalise our partner and their behaviour to our friends? Sometimes we find ourselves doing the same in destructive friendships. For example, in college I had a friend who constantly spread rumours about me. I would be mad, but I’d rationalise it to other people who were wondering why I was still friends with her: “Oh you know, she’s just a bit younger, she hasn’t fully grown out of high school yet…give her time, she’s a good person” I’d say. It took me nearly two years to get out of that toxic environment.
Sometimes there comes a time you get to the point where you’ve been pushed to the limit and you can’t even convince yourself that your friend is a good person anymore, let alone be able to convince others.
4) Your friend makes you feel bad about yourself. Constantly:
You’re having a great day, and one passive aggressive text, tweet or comment can turn it around instantly. You stress to the point it’s bizarre to other people why you’re so worried. You start to dread their presence in your life. You’re no longer laughing with them, you’re closer to being on the verge of tears instead. You feel like you’re trapped in high-school even when you’re not. These aren’t so much warning signs, these are signs to get out ASAP.
5) They don’t agree with you when you say Ryan Gosling is hot.
Well they don’t seem like a very nice person.
Not every relationship or friendship is easy. But if it’s turning into a constant battle or constant work, it may be time to give up. If hanging out with your other friends is nearly not as hard work as hanging out with a destructive friend, then it’s easy to know where your priorities lie. Friends are your second family, except you choose them. Sure it’s not always laughs, rainbows and sunshine, but it definitely shouldn’t be worry, stress, fear or tears. If you’ve reached the point where you’ve openly communicated and things still aren’t changing, it may be time to say goodbye. That’s not to say it won’t hurt – but when the cons outweigh the pros, that’s not way to be spending the supposed ‘best years of your life.’
Article by Tahlia Pritchard who will not be friends with you if you cannot admit Ryan Gosling is ridiculously attractive.