Losing a friend can be hard but you might be better off without them

By Gabrielle Cellucci
October 2, 2019

Credit: Gabrielle Cellucci
Credit: Gabrielle Cellucci

     (Editor’s Note: Names have been changed in this story to preserve their privacy) 

     Friends are the people we go to for pretty much everything: support, advice and simply some good times together. However, not all friendships are meant to last forever. 

     We, as human beings, naturally crave companionship. We first start to make friends as children through play-dates that our parents set up for us. As we grow older, friendships become more valuable because we trust people with our thoughts and secrets. 

     Though our friendships are valued, unfortunately, not all the friendships we establish in our lives are meant to last. In my opinion, the primary reasons friendships end is because people drift apart from one another due to distance, education, careers, etc. Though it is sad to lose a friend due to drifting apart, it hurts a lot more to lose a friend by having an argument and hurting them, whether on purpose or by accident. 

     I hurt a friend and unfortunately, it cost my friendship with this person to come to an end. I never meant to hurt my former friend and I apologized for what I did but, sometimes apologies are not enough to mend a broken bond. For the sake of the story, let’s call this person by the name Tabitha. 

     Tabitha and I met halfway through the first semester of my freshman year of college. We met through mutual friends and the more we hung out together as a group, the closer Tabitha and I became. I trusted her and Tabitha trusted me. 

     After Tabitha and I exchanged phone numbers, we texted each other about everything from crushes to relationship problems to school work to clubs we wanted to be a part of in school. We auditioned for the school musical together, had a Christmas movie night together with all our friends, texted each other over the entire duration of winter break, even discussing the potential of being roommates for our sophomore year. 

     And that’s where our problem begins.

     I was the last one to join the friend group, so Tabitha and the other girls had already made plans to be roommates. However, one day while we were eating dinner together, the other girls start to mention getting a 6-person suite for sophomore year. In my mind, I believed this included me. 

     After this night, I would constantly ask the other girls when we would meet up and discuss more about rooming together. No ever corrected me or told me otherwise and I was very vocal about it, so what was I supposed to think? 

     I was left to believe that I would be a roommate with this group for a few weeks. Every time I would ask about getting together to discuss applying to be roommates, they would tell me we’ll get together and not worry too much about it. 

     One night, I got a text from Tabitha asking for me to come to a late-night meeting to talk about rooming with the girls and her for next year. I was relieved because I’m a person who likes to have everything planned out as soon as possible. However, the conversation they planned to have with me was not what I was expecting at all. 

     When I got there, they told me that they were still getting a six-person suite, but I was not going to be the sixth roommate. The sixth person was going to be another girl (let’s call her Reagan), whom I have never been told about prior to this meeting. They, Tabitha mostly, continued to explain to me that they had this planned out since the previous semester before they met me, but I was hurt. I had other friends who had asked me to be their roommate, but I told them that I already had a group to live with. By the time Tabitha and the other girls told me about Reagan, my other friends already found people to room with them because I waited too long to give them a definite answer.

An empty bench. Credit by Gabrielle Cellucci

    So many questions were racing through my mind. If they knew from the beginning that Reagan was going to be their sixth roommate, why not tell me sooner. Why not correct me from the beginning? Why let me think that I would be their roommate for weeks if that was never the case? 

    Tabitha said it was because they did not know how to tell me without hurting my feelings. Whether that was true or not, I did not know. All I knew was that I felt betrayed. 

     As the days passed, my anger kept increasing. I felt as though I could not go to them and tell them how I was feeling because they were the ones to make me feel this. I kept all my emotions bottled up until I exploded. 

     Being betrayed by my friends plus having teachers constantly handing out final assignments plus now having to figure out who I was going to have as a roommate for the sophomore year equals me having a mental breakdown in the middle of the hallway of my dorm building. Two of my friends outside of that friend group came to check on me and I told them everything while pouring out all the emotions that I had kept bottled up for the past few days. 

     When you are angry, you do not think things through all the way. For me, that meant forgetting that I am a naturally loud person and the walls in my building are thin. Everyone had heard me have a mental breakdown and some of those people knew Tabitha and the other girls, which meant that they knew everything I had said. 

     I had texted and called them multiple times to apologize for what I said, but no one responded to me. When I arrived at dinner that night, I immediately apologized for what I said, but they did not care for my apologies. Tabitha was the first one to speak to me. She told me how all I do is make her feel uncomfortable to the point that she felt as though she was going to have an anxiety attack simply by being around me. “No, I don’t forgive you,” Tabitha said her final words to me. 

     Everyone else kind of took jabs at me. They told me that all I did was bring drama to the group. They told me that they needed a break from me. They told me that we could try to be friends again the following semester. 

     After I went back to my dorm that night, I logged onto Instagram and saw a post from Tabitha. It was a video of her smiling and laughing with a caption that read, “Happy to say I know who my true friends are now and I can’t wait to move onward and upward in my life. Thank u, next.” I knew that post was about me. Yes, I was sad. Yes, I felt as though I deserved this. Yes, I knew my friendship with Tabitha was over as soon as I saw that post. 

    I know that I should have handled the situation better, but we all make mistakes. Unfortunately, those mistakes have consequences and we have to accept the outcome of those mistakes. I am not saying that all the blame should be mine, nor should all the blame belong to Tabitha. I am saying that we both made bad choices that led to the end of the friendship. 

     I am not going to lie, it hurt at first. Seeing my former friends hang out together and no longer being a part of that friend group really made me pity myself. But as I have mentioned before, I had other friends. True friends that helped me move on from my own debacle. Friends who assured me that I am not a bad person because I made a few bad choices. 

     According to “The Ladies Coach,” the best way to move on after a friendship breakup is to validate your feelings, not play the blame game, take time for yourself, write a goodbye letter, not wait for an apology, find support somewhere else, cut all communication, know that you are better off and reflect on what you have learned. 

    Though I never wrote a goodbye letter, I did follow the other steps. I did validate my feelings. At first, I blamed myself and then Tabitha, but I have moved on from the blame game and came to realize that blaming myself or Tabitha would not change anything. I did take time for myself by going home that weekend and spent time with my parents. I did not wait for Tabitha to apologize and I never will. What’s done is done. All I can do now is move forward in my life and try not to make the same mistakes again. Tabitha and I did cut off communication with one another. Even now, when we pass each other in the hallways, we don’t speak to the other. I came to terms that this friendship breakup was a blessing in disguise because I was given a chance to grow as a person and that I don’t need to be liked by everyone, especially those you like to post nasty things about others online. 

     According to “Cosmopolitan,” the seven best ways to overcome a loss of a friend is to not force closure, to give yourself something to look forward to, meet new people, tailor your social media accounts, know what to do around mutual friends, to learn from this experience and accept the fact that friendship may not rekindle. 

     According to “Bustle,” in order to get over breaking up with a friend is to let yourself grieve, set up healthy boundaries, remove reminders, connect with people who make you feel good, try something new, realize this might be the best for both of you and create your own closure.

     While all of this advice is great and practical, you don’t need to follow everything that these Websites are telling you to do and you don’t have to agree with them at all. But these are my takeaways from all of these pieces of advice.

An empty picnic table in the sunset. Credited by Gabrielle Cellucci

     Keep yourself busy. If you’re not busy, then you’re constantly thinking about it. Keeping yourself busy will distract you from the problem and may discover something new about yourself as well. 

     Social media can be dangerous for your mental health at this time. If you’re going through a friendship breakup, seeing your ex-friend posting about how much fun they are having with other people is not going to make you feel any better. Take a break from social media and focus on other things that don’t involve going online. 

     Learn from your mistakes. No one likes being wrong, let alone admitting it. But we can’t always be right either. Accepting the fact that you made a mistake will help heal from losing your friend faster. Understand that you are not entirely to blame for this, but also know that no is flawless. Accept that mistakes were made, learn from those mistakes and try to do better in the future.

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Gabrielle Cellucci

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