What to do When Your Friend Group Breaks Up
posted on September 20, 2019 | by Caitlyn Campbell
Edna Buchman once said that “friends are the family we choose for ourselves.” It’s become a bit of a cliché quote, but that’s only because it’s true. We choose our friends for a multitude of reasons, and they become vitally important to our wellbeing. However, what happens when your friend group breaks up? Where does that leave you, and what do you do?
It can seem really strange to grieve when no one has physically died. Some people might consider it overdramatic. But it’s not. When your friend group breaks up, you’ve lost something very special. These were people you relied on, sought out for advice, a laugh, or a hug. They were your emotional support system, and losing that can be devastating. The first thing you have to do is allow yourself to grieve for your loss. What you had, what you cherished about your friends and their friendship has died, and it’s perfectly okay to mourn.
YOU LOOK FOR THE WHY
After grieving, you can start looking for the why. Friends usually don’t just up and disappear without cause, and figuring out why your friend group broke up can start to help you find closure. Is it because you all simply got busy and fell out of touch? Was there an argument that never fully got resolved? When you drill down to try and figure out what happened, you also confront your emotions and can work on figuring out how you feel.
YOU ACCEPT THE NEW REALITY
Like any loss, you have to learn to live in this new reality. There will most definitely be times you reach for your phone going to text your friend group chat, only to remember that the chat no longer exists. It can be really hard, especially if you don’t have other close friends to talk to. It’s important to remember, though, that just because you feel sad or lost, or on your own, doesn’t mean you’ll always feel like that. You are going to be able to make new friends – promise!
YOU START MAKING NEW FRIENDS
It can be really hard to make new friends in your thirties. Most of the friends I have, I met in high school or university, but that option is no longer available. Since you spend so much time there, one of the easiest places to start making friends is at work.
Wherever you work, I’m sure there’s at least one person you hit it off with. Invite that person out for lunch so you can get to know them better, and make a point of talking to them at the office regularly. Once you start having regular conversations and lunch more often, try meeting up with them outside of work.
Another great way to meet new friends is to take a class. There are so many different options these days. Pick one that encourages conversation like a cooking class or a language class. You can start to meet new people who are interested in at least one of the things you are (because you’re in the same class, so that has to mean something). It’s a great way to start building new friendships.
YOU INVEST IN THE OTHER FRIENDS YOU HAVE
Most likely the friend group that broke up wasn’t your only group of friends. Now is a good time to turn to your other friends – the ones you might not have been as close to – and start investing more of your time and energy into those relationships. You’ll start to realize part of the reason you weren’t as close with these other friends, isn’t because you like them less, it’s simply because you didn’t have the time to invest in them.
YOU REMAIN POSITIVE
Friendships break and fall apart. It’s an unfortunate thing that happens in life, and it happens to all of us at some point or another. It’s never easy, but it’s something we all endure. Once you go through all of the steps above, the only thing left to do is to remain positive. Cherish the memories you have from your friends because they helped you become the person you are today, and learn from any mistakes you might have made. Then, show the world your smiling face because positivity breeds positivity, and people always want to be around the person who acknowledges the bad things that happen, but continues to always see the good.
It can be devastating to lose your friends when your friend group breaks apart. It’s hard to imagine a reality where you’re no longer friends with those you were closest with. But unfortunately these things happen, and oftentimes there’s nothing you can do but endure and come out the other side. The most important thing to remember is that you will.
Have you ever gone through a friend break up in your 30s? How did you recover and move on?