Dead Friendships: The Importance of Letting Go

Nothing lasts forever. At some point in your life, you have probably had a BFF that you barely even remember today. It happens. As we grow, we leave things and people behind that no longer align with our journey. It might hurt, it might not but it is a part of life.

At 18 years old, I went through the worst breakup of my life so far. My best friend of 12 years told me he no longer wanted to be friends and it cut me deep. I guess it wasn’t completely out of the blue. We no longer lived in the same country so the strain on our relationship was evident especially with the time difference (I always had to stay up late to never miss our Skype calls which could also explain why my sleeping pattern is now messed up) but I never imagined it would end our friendship. Honestly, I didn’t think our friendship would ever end. 

Our friendship began in Nigeria when I was six. I moved to London when I was ten and although we lost contact, we somehow found each other again, less than three years later, in the same country. It was like fate. For me, this was a sign that if our relationship could survive so many changes at such a young age, we would be unbreakable. So imagine my surprise when my best friend of 12 years, one of the few constants in my life, told me we could no longer be friends.

After this, every relationship in my life became uncertain. I was hurting so I lashed out. I distanced myself from everything and everyone. Cutting people off became a hobby and I felt no remorse. It wasn’t until after my best friend reached out, months later, in an attempt to rekindle our friendship that I realised that he actually did me a favour. He did what I had been scared to do because I had convinced myself that he would be my best friend until the end. I had convinced myself that I needed him. But the truth is, before he broke up with me, our friendship had become a chore. The excitement of missing sleep to catch up was no longer there. The certainty that we would meet up again one day, the way I spoke about him, if I did at all, had changed. Our friendship had felt like dead weight for a while so why was I so reluctant to let go?

I was scared. That’s the honest truth. This is a person who has known me for over 12 years, if he could walk away from me then why should anyone else stay? I also realised that I didn’t want to waste all the time I had invested in our friendship. But staying in a relationship that has clearly expired, be it platonic or romantic, is wasting more time. You’re literally playing yourself. Friendships expire and that is fine. Some expire sooner than others, that’s also fine. There are people who are currently in our lives who will not be there a month, a year or ten years from now. That is a part of life. As we grow up, we naturally grow apart from people whose paths no longer align with ours. Forcing the friendship will only weigh you down and potentially block your blessings.

There was no closure. Till this day, there is no clear reason as to why he felt the need to end our friendship but I realise that I don’t need it. I have learned what needed to be learned. I have love for my ex-best friend. I thank him for having the courage to do what I couldn’t and I will always cherish the memories of our friendship but we grew apart. And although it was painful, it wasn’t the end of my world. It was a part of my journey and I’m still learning.

Stop carrying around dead weight in the form of friendships. Sometimes, you just have to let go.

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