Moving On From A One-Sided Breakup
It hard to recover from the loss of a long-time friendship, especially if the breakup was one-sided.
One of my friends “broke up" with me almost a year ago. We had been friends for ten years. In the text message, she said she had been bothered by my inability to show up for her as a friend.
I know and acknowledge the mistakes I made in our friendship and how they hurt her. I had apologized to her years ago. However, I wasn’t willing to apologize for mistakes I hadn’t made, especially when she stated them in an accusatory manner.
I’m finally learning to stand up for myself, especially after growing up in an abusive home, and it’s been difficult trying to establish healthy boundaries with others.
I consulted friends and family regarding her message after the breakup, and they seemed to think she was unreasonable.
Her text message essentially stated all the reasons she thought I had been a bad friend but didn’t offer a chance to discuss these concerns via phone or in person. The message had a very clear “I'm done with this” tone to it.
In all honesty, we were BOTH lacking in effort when it came to our friendship (although she would disagree). I didn’t think it was necessary to “break up” though. I had imagined that the friendship would fade away as some friendships do.
I did reply, but it wasn't in an attempt to repair the friendship or to offer an apology. I simply wanted to tell her what was on my mind. I am definitely past the time in my life when I apologize for making myself a priority.
What I’d like to know is if you think there is anything I should've/could've done differently.
I still occasionally feel sad and imagine we work through what went wrong and remain friends, but I know this possibility exists only in my imagination.
What’s a healthy way to move on from this experience?
Losing a long-term friendship is always tough, especially when the decision to end the friendship has been one-sided.
You realize that you let your friend down in some ways and have taken responsibility for the mistakes you made.
Your friend didn’t handle the breakup in the kindest way, but it sounds like she had made a firm decision to end the friendship. She broke up by text, was accusatory, and didn’t allow you to offer your side of the story. Clearly, she wasn’t leaving the door open for discussion or reconciliation.
But it’s often difficult for people to find the “right way” to end a friendship.
Even after she rebuffed you, you tried to apologize and explain again - without success - so it seems clear that there’s nothing much more you can do but let go of the friendship.
In terms of moving on, it’s normal to feel sad and disappointed when a long-time friendship ends. There are so many reminders of the experiences you shared and the time you spent together. The sadness will likely heal over time as you develop new friendships.
What’s important is that it sounds like you have grown and learned lessons from this friendship that you will carry with you in the future.
Hope this helps.
Irene & Sheryl
P.S. You may also want to read:
It’s especially painful to recover from a one-sided friendship breakup.
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