How To Move On From A Friendship Breakup, According To A Clinical Psychologist

Whether you had an irreparable argument or you two simply grew apart, friendship breakups utterly suck. When a friendship ends, it can feel like you're alone in this experience, but it's actually more common than you think. In some cases, friendship breakups can feel worse than those with your romantic partner, especially if they've been in your life for a long period of time. Though it's a different type of relationship than you have with a partner, it still stings and feels like a piece of you is missing.


What's more, there's a significant dynamic difference between your relationship with your friends and one with your partner. The two of you have a history together that your romantic partner doesn't understand. They play a different role in your life, one that only a friend can fill, which makes the breakup even more difficult to deal with. Fortunately, there is a solution to handling the end of a friendship. Clinical psychologist Dr. Carolina Estevez of Infinite Recovery in Austin, Texas, exclusively shares with Glam her advice on how to move on from a breakup with a friend

Acknowledge and validate your feelings

Because friendship breakups aren't as commonly discussed as romantic ones, you might feel embarrassed about grieving, but losing a friend can be just as devastating — and it's okay to be upset when it happens. "It is important to acknowledge and validate the grief, sadness, anger or hurt you are experiencing over the end of a friendship," Dr. Carolina Estevez explains in an exclusive chat with Glam. "Allow yourself to cry, grieve, and express your emotions without feeling guilty or ashamed." This might mean taking time to yourself to process your loss — whatever works best for you.


Journaling is an excellent way to process your feelings as well, though you might need to pick the right journaling style for you. It gives you a place to write down all the emotions you've been experiencing, which gives you the chance to look at them from a more objective headspace. The greatest part of journaling is that you don't have to worry about feeling judged, as it's for your eyes only.

Take accountability or your actions

When we go through a friendship breakup, it's easy to place all the blame on the other person, but Dr. Carolina Estevez explains the importance of taking accountability for your own actions. "Even if the other person was responsible for the breakup of the friendship, take some time to reflect on how you may have contributed to the situation so that you can avoid similar issues in future friendships," she exclusively tells Glam. 


Perhaps you neglected to prioritize the friendship after your friend expressed their feelings of abandonment, or maybe you broke the trust the two of you shared. Whatever the reason may be, take a moment to recognize the mistakes you made. One of the best ways to do this is by creating a list of possible choices that led to the end of the friendship. As Estevez explains, by understanding the actions you made throughout the relationship, you can ensure you don't make the same mistakes in other friendships.

Turn to your support system

As a friendship ends, you might feel alone in the situation, which is why it's important to turn to your support system during this time. Believe it or not, they may have experienced a similar situation and can offer advice others cannot. "Seek support from others who understand what you're going through," Dr. Carolina Estevez exclusively adds. "Talking with friends or professionals about what happened in your former friendship can help give you insight into yourself and provide validation for how difficult it is to move on."


This isn't to say people that haven't experienced a friendship breakup aren't helpful — any type of support is beneficial during this time. That being said, don't be afraid to reach out if you're feeling like you can't handle the end of a friendship alone. That's what a support system is for — to support you, no matter the type of relationship that's come to an end.

Hang out with other friends

While you're grieving the end of a friendship, it's important not to neglect the other friends in your life. Now is the time to make new memories with a new group of people, even if it seems impossible to replace the memories you've already made. "Create new routines and habits that don't involve your former friend. Doing activities with other people can help you transition into a new stage of life, so try to find hobbies or activities that will occupy your time in a positive way," Dr. Carolina Estevez exclusively explains to Glam.


For instance, you and your former best friend had a lunch date every Wednesday. Now, you and your new group of friends have weekly brunch dates instead. Or, perhaps, you join an amateur sports team together. There are endless possibilities of activities you can do that don't involve or remind you of the friendship you lost; all you have to do is find them.

Practice forgiveness

Lastly, practicing forgiveness is a crucial step in moving on from a friendship breakup. This means not only forgiving your former friend but also yourself after you've recognized actions that may have led to the breakup, according to Dr. Carolina Estevez. "It is important to forgive yourself for any mistakes you made during the friendship, as well as forgiving your former friend for anything they may have done wrong and letting go of any resentment or anger towards them," she exclusively tells us. Doing so will help you move forward after the friendship ends. 


It can be difficult forgiving a friend, especially if they are the one that initiated the breakup. You may feel a lot of resentment towards them, but holding on to that anger does nothing but prolong the grieving process. This doesn't mean you have to forgive them right away, but the sooner you do, the sooner you'll be able to move on from the end of your friendship.