Because breaking up with a significant other isn't hard enough, sometimes you have to break up with your best friend, too. Similar to the end of a relationship, a friendship can run its course, things can get complicated, and before you know it, you and your best friend are on completely different pages about everything. That’s usually why people end up having more than one best friend throughout their lives; because some people don’t evolve at the same speed or in the same direction.
I’ve had a few best friends in my life who have come and gone. Although my “ultimate” best friend, as I guess we would call her, has been a part of my life since I was 10, and is more realistically family at this point. That being said, I’ve had other people whom I’d qualify as best or at least very, very close friends, and I had to stop talking to and eventually break up with a couple of them because that were the type of people I don't need in my life — and vice versa. And there’s nothing wrong with that; people change.
If you’re finding that your relationship with your best friend isn’t what it used to be, then it might be time to say adieu. Here are 11 signs it’s OK to stop talking to a best friend.
1. When The Only Thing You Have In Common Is The Past
While it’s really comfortable to have someone who knew you back in the day, through all your awkward phases and firsts of this and that, if that’s all you have, it can feel silly to stay best friends. Sure, the past is always fun to talk about, but your friendship should be about the past, the present, and the future.
2. When They Spend More Time Being Jealous About Your Success Than Happy For You
Friends are supposed to be happy for you whenever anything awesome happens. Yes, a bit of jealousy is sometimes expected, especially if one person’s life is on the upswing, while the other’s isn’t. But first and foremost should always be happiness for your friends. If you’re not getting that from your best friend or able to give that to them, then it’s time to reevaluate things.
3. When Your Playful Bickering Has Become Arguments
I have been bickering with my best friend since we were kids, which is totally normal behavior when you see someone so much. But I’ve also had friendships where there were fights about things that are so pointless and meaningless that I’ve wondered how the hell I ever became friends with someone whom I might not even be able to stand in the first place.
4. When You Realize You’re The Only One Making An Effort
Friendships are a two-way street. If you’re the only one calling or texting to make plans, then that’s not fair. After a while of always being the one making the effort, it can feel like maybe your best friend is trying to phase you out. Or even worse, ghost you.
5. When It’s Clear That They No Longer Respect You
When it comes to any relationship, platonic or romantic, respect is necessary. You can’t be friends with someone you don’t respect or who doesn’t respect you. I mean, why would you even want to?
6. When They Criticize Instead Of Critique
There’s a huge difference between an honest critique meant to provide a productive dialogue and straight-up criticism that does nothing but hurt you. A real best friend knows how to soften the blow when you need a wake-up call; not insult you to the point of tears.
7. When You Feel Obligated To Hang Out With Them Instead Of Excited
I think we’ve all had those friends or acquaintances that we feel obligated to see. It happens. But when it comes to your best friend, it’s a problem. Your best friend is a supposed to be a source of comfort and fun, not someone who forces you to come up with excuses on a regular basis to avoid them.
8. When They Judge Your Life Choices Instead Of Providing A Healthy Discourse
We all mess up and we all make mistakes. A best friend who is good for you will want to talk about those mistakes in an open and friendly manner that’s not meant to insult. A best friend whom you no longer need in your life is just going to judge you to no end until you feel even worse about the mistake that you made.
9. When You Realize You Only Hear From Them When No One Else Is Around
I understand that priorities change as we get older; people get married, have kids, and all the rest of it. But true best friends manage to keep the friendship going and never make the other one feel like they’re at the bottom of the list of priorities.
10. When They Accuse You Of Changing (But In A Negative Way)
If you’ve been best friends with someone for a decade or even five years, there’s a good chance that you’re both going to change. No one is the person they were at 15 when they’re 25, just like no one is the person they were at 25 when they’re 35. It’s called maturity and growing up.
But, while this is the case, people don’t always change and mature at the same rate, so sometimes you find yourself in completely different places and your best friend doesn’t approve, which is fine! But if they think you’ve changed for the worst, simply because you’ve just, well, changed in general, then move on. You can’t argue that one, because you’ll never agree.
11. When You Find Yourself Wondering Why You’re Even Still Friends
It’s in those moments, the ones where you’ve just been criticized or you feel like you only have the past in common or you’re racking your brain to figure out what excuse you’ll use next to avoid your best friend, that it’s very likely you’ll find yourself wondering why you even bother anymore. If that isn’t a reason enough to be OK with ending things with your best friend for good, then I’m not sure what is.
You don’t have to be friends with someone forever, and just like a romantic relationship, sometimes it’s better to end things while they’re not totally miserable so that way the good memories stay in tact.
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