Times Friendships Come to an End

Common Events That Cause a Friendship Breakup

It's always sad when a friendship ends. Sometimes it's a surprise to one or both parties, and other times you can see it coming. Perhaps you've had a falling out and you know the relationship will never be the same, or maybe you and a friend have started drifting apart and you know that eventually you won't be in touch at all.

There are times when the end of a friendship is more likely. This depends on the friends involved, of course, as well as the circumstances behind each relationship. However, if you're experiencing some of the following in your friendship, you might want to take a step further in nurturing your relationship. These are times when a breakup is more likely.

When One of You Marries or Has a Baby

Babies and Friends
Having a baby can change a friendship. Image: m_bartosch / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Friends should be able to come along with us during big life changes, but sometimes it just doesn't happen that way. A friend who marries might seek out other couples as friends over their existing pals. A new mom may find more comfort from hanging out with others who recently had a child.

This is normal, after all, you tend to seek out people who support your current life status, but if you fail to keep in touch with a friend, your friendship will probably come to an end. Friends that end this way can find their way back together eventually, but it's rare.

When One of You Moves Away

Friends that have moved away. Image from Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Even with social networking, keeping in touch with a friend from far away doesn't replace the closeness of seeing them face-to-face. When a friend moves away they'll make other friends in their new city and as a result won't have as much time for their old pals. It's a proven fact that you can only have so many friends successfully in your life at one time.

After a Series of Small Misunderstandings

Couples Fighting
Friends who have a lot of little fights may be headed toward a breakup. Image courtesy of Michal Marcol / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you and a friend are having some communication issues, it generally means one or both of you are not paying enough attention to the relationship. Perhaps you're already checked out of it, or maybe you've been harboring some resentment over an argument that never totally got resolved.

Another cause is that maybe one of you pushes for your way, and the other obliges reluctantly. This behavior can build up over time so that one friend will try and avoid the other one after a while. As a result, you won't be paying attention to things and your friendship, and the give and take that comes with it, will suffer.

After a Big Blow Up

Bad Temper
Major blow ups usually mean that the friendship is in a very fragile state. Tooga/Getty Images

Big fights can actually make two friends closer, but you have to work through them properly. Even more important is that you don't ignore a fight, or wimp out when it comes to stating your opinions so you can get past it.

Too often people avoid conflict in an effort to "get along" with a friend, but what they're really doing is pushing off their negative feelings about something that has happened. This means you'll never be able to totally work through the conflict and that little seed of irritation will grow bigger and bigger until you'll have another argument, this one much larger than if you would have just talked it through to begin with.

During Times of Great Loss or Great Triumph

Friendship often end when you're grieving and need your friends the most. Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The common element between the highs and lows of life is vulnerability. When you're grieving, going through a divorce, or experiencing loss in some way, your heart is open. Your longing for what was and what might have been leaves your emotions exposed, and you need friends to give you a safe place to express your sorrow and help you heal.

By contrast, when you've achieved something great, you have an overwhelming sense of joy that you want to share with your friends. Very often, accomplishments come after years of effort, and when you finally reach these goals, you want your friend there to help you celebrate and to acknowledge the hard work you've put in.

If your friends aren't around for either of these types of situations, or even if you feel they really don't understand why you might feel differently about your life after this, your friendship may end.

What would you do differently with a friendship that ended? Share your thoughts with us.

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