Signs Your Friendship is Ending

When a Breakup is Inevitable

Some friendships last a lifetime while others may burn out after just a few years or even months. How do you know when your friendship is about to end? Here are a few signs that may mean your friend is trying to pull away from you, or is ready to end your relationship, along with tips on how you can try to prevent it.

Frequent Arguments

Frequent arguments often mean that tension has built up to the point where you are no longer giving each other the benefit of the doubt. Instead, you may be reading into their actions and assuming things about their motivation. Arguments become more common when:

  • Your friend has not forgiven you for a past wrong.
  • You might have hurt your friend's feelings without realizing it, and he or she is taking it out on you by arguing.
  • You are growing apart.

To get a handle on things, ask your friend to sit down with you in a neutral setting and have a heart-to-heart conversation. You could start by saying, "It seems we have been arguing a lot. How can we make things better?" Talk things out until you get to the root of the issue.

Avoiding Conflict

Avoiding Conflict
Sometimes a friend pulls away rather than communicates. Ghislain & Marie David de Lossy/Getty Images

It might seem counterintuitive, but when you don't care enough about your friendship to work out your differences, it could mean you and your friend have mentally given up on your friendship and are ready to move on.

Before you let the friendship lapse, however, try taking a break from it. A break might be short (just a few days) or longer, depending on how things have changed in your relationship. With a break, you're able to get some distance from your friendship so you can decide if you want to continue with it or break up.


Guy Friends Talking
Two guys talking out their friendship issues. Digital Vision/Getty Images

Even if you are not arguing, frequent misunderstandings mean that something is amiss in the way you communicate. If you and a friend are constantly getting plans mixed up or forgetting about standing friendship dates, for example, it may mean your friendship has taken a back burner in place of other things in your life.

To get some focus back on your friendship, change your current method of talking with your friend. If you rely on text message, for example, pick up the phone and call instead. If your friend has been distracted while you chat on the phone, try email. Sometimes just communicating in a different way can help you and your friend to get back on the same page.

No Time to Get Together

Too Busy
Being too busy isn't an excuse for canceling on your friend. Tim Robberts/Getty Images

Being too busy for your friendship can be a temporary thing (new job or relationship, for example), or it may mean that something else has begun to take priority over your friendship. Like any relationship, friends need to put effort into making the friendship work. If one or both of you can't find time to respond to emails, talk on the phone, or get together, your friendship may be about to end.

To prevent a break up, try scheduling things far enough in advance that you and your pal will not have anything else on the calendar. If you do this and your friend repeatedly cancels on you, your friend may just want to move on from you and you'll have no choice but to accept it. If this happens, remember that not every friendship is meant to last forever, but that's okay. Enjoy the friendship for what it brings, no matter how long it was in your life.

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