Breaking up with your significant other is always going to be hard, but breaking up with a friend can be one of the hardest emotional struggles to face.
Sometimes I wonder if I am incapable of having large amounts of friends. I blame it on my strange affinity for being cuddled up alone with a good book, but I can’t help but wonder if maybe there is something wrong with me. I see all of these people with dozens of best friends from elementary school, and yet I cannot seem to wrap my head around having that many true friends.
Do not get me wrong; I have my share of best friends, but only about two or three. I value quality, not quantity. Habitually, I undergo something short of “cleaning out the friend closet”.
Before I began my first year of college, I decided whether or not I should “break up” with some of my high school friends. As a freshman transitioning from high school to college, there are a lot of changes and new decisions to be made. Some friendships that exhausted me with drama needed to be dulled down in their intensity.
As you continue to grow and meet new people, evaluate how you expend yourself between friends. If you are questioning a relationship and foresee a possible friend break-up in your future, consider asking yourself these questions:
Does your friend constantly make you feel guilty?
In high school, it was easy to make those inseparable friends with whom you shared everything. As they inhaled, you exhaled for them as two parts of one machine. These kinds of relationships, while appearing harmless, can sometimes be destructive.
In the transition to college life, it is pertinent to branch out and try new things. As you take on new classes, get a taste for different clubs and scope out the cute new guys and gals, it becomes harder to balance those demanding friends that have survived from high school days.
If your friend is the type that calls you every day, demands that you hang out and do every waking thing together and goes as far as to making the same class schedules, then maybe it is time to take a break. After all, is college not partly about meeting new people? You should not feel guilty for wanting to do something new on your own.
I am not saying being close with your BFF is wrong, but rather you need to feel confident in the friendship to know that flexibility and the occasional distance can be a good thing.
Do they carry too much drama?
If you are a drama-lover, then maybe this is not your slice of cake, but I for one am a no-drama zone. I live for simple pleasures and like to get my drama from books and TV.
It’s one thing to be dragged into drama by other people, but if your friend continuously creates drama to spice up their life then maybe they have not yet matured at the same pace as you. You must decide whether these spectacles are things you don’t mind being associated with or whether they require too much of your energy to be a part of.
Do you see yourself being surrounded by them in the future?
I ask myself this question a lot. Do I continuously see myself wanting to be around this person and the things they bring to my life? When we enter college, our “future” suddenly kicks into high gear and is speeding towards us. As students, we need to be prepared for this speedy fortune. Do you see yourself making time to meet up with them in the future or making the sacrifices any friend would for a close bestie?
If the answer is yes, remain hopeful that the issue vexing your relationship will work itself out.
Are you a priority in their life?
Maybe it’s just me, but I view friendships similarly to how I view relationships with my family. I am there when ever my friends need me and would do almost anything to help them.
If your friend tends to take, take, take but does not put back into the relationship, then they are not considering you a true friend. You are simply someone they use and place their issues on. Although everyone is different, your friend should be there for you and make you some sort of a priority as you would for him or her.
Are they hypocritical when it comes to you making friends?
I have been a part of the whole “that is my BFF, do not call her your BFF” trend, but as I’ve grown, I realized it is silly to expect that your best friend is going to be friends with only you.
Your relationship needs to be strong enough to withstand newcomers. If they can’t handle seeing you occasionally hanging out with someone else while they themselves have a handful of their own friends, then something is wrong.
The transition to college from high school is very different. While it is nice to have those good friends on your side as you enter this new adventure, you probably don’t need your entire graduating class. You need a few close BFFs who understand this milestone and don’t demand too much of you. The “forever friends” are the ones who are there for you and respect you, but do not bring you down in the process.
If it seems that you have begun to outgrow a friend and are desperately trying to hold onto what you used to have, then figure out if any of these red flags apply to you. Personally, I have come to find that time is extremely helpful. If you are considering breaking up with a friend, talk to them and let them know how you are feeling. Let them know what is working and what is not. You can still be there for them, but you are also giving yourself the chance to take a step back.
Let them know you want to relax from each other and then use that time to let the distance grow, and see how it goes from there. Let yourself mature as time passes. Maybe the next time you get together, you’ll find that the time apart has given you more time to experience things, which gives you more stories to tell.
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