Regardless, when feelings begin to fade in any relationship, it can hurt, or be confusing, if you can’t pinpoint an exact moment things went awry. I’m by no means an expert on love or friendship, but seeing as I’ve been through the gamut, here are some tried and true ways to deal with the inevitable end of your most treasured bonds. And know that if something fades and you grow apart, that’s OK—sometimes it happens.
Talk to each other about it.
First things first. If you feel the slow fade in action, talk about it. Maybe your partner or friend doesn’t realise they’ve been distant or they’re taking forever to respond to a text or maybe they’re cancelling plans too often.
If it doesn’t work out, don’t beat yourself up.
Let’s say you’ve tried to talk things out but that didn’t help or maybe even made things worse. Maybe it’s something that you don’t feel you can or should fix. That’s OK. Sometimes it makes the most sense to make it a hard break-up instead of a soft fadeaway. And sometimes, in order to heal, that means de-friending this person on all social media fronts, avoiding the places you might run into them, or ridding yourself of any physical memories you’re holding on to.
. Reach out to new people, too!
On the flip side, if it’s a close friendship you’re losing, reach out to some people you might’ve kept in your acquaintance circle. I know this sounds daunting but sometimes the only way to move on is to gather whatever support you can. Your next new BFF might be at that work meeting you never went to or that party you didn’t go to. Take some chances and put yourself out there for new experiences. You might be surprised at all the things you have in common with your hairdresser, mailman, or barrister!
Give yourself space.
Losing love or a friendship that meant something to you is taxing. Give yourself permission to do nothing. No, really! Spend this time on you, what you love to do, discover who you are. Another person cannot fill you up. You have to do that on your own. Use this time to do that, unapologetically, and you’ll come out of it stronger than before.
Reach out to other friends.
If you’re going through a never-ending, silent break-up, good friends can rescue you from seeing the bottom of an ice cream carton alone or bring you some when you need it!. Friends not only find the humour in situations but they make good shoulders to cry on, too, so even if it’s hard or not in your character to reach out when you’re in need, ask for help, compassion, whatever it is you need. That’s what friends are for, right?
BY STEPHANIE E. HEMEN