Advice, Lifestyle

It’s time for platonic breakups to be acknowledged

I lost a friend recently.

By “lose a friend,” I mean I lost a close friendship, and by recently, I mean two weekends ago, even though it’s felt as if I’ve been struggling with this loss for months now.

We often talk about the heart-wrenching aftermath of a romantic breakup, and we normalize the grief that comes with that. But I want to focus that light on something a little different but still just as important — let’s allow ourselves to feel hurt after we lose a friend.

Smaran Ramidi / DFP Staff

Because here’s the thing. As someone who has gone through both romantic and platonic breakups, I’ve realized the reason a breakup with your significant other hurts so much is because you’re essentially losing that bond you had. Yes, you were more than friends, but the kisses and the dates weren’t the only things that gave it meaning — it was the connection that you two shared that’s now lost.

That’s the most painful part of it all — the loss of that friendship — and I think we need to start talking about that. We need to start normalizing conversations about platonic breakups.

It’s okay to grieve and go through those five stages. It’s okay to feel lost and alone and scared. I don’t know what my future is going to look like without this friend. I’m walking down this unknown path, and to be honest, it kind of terrifies me.

Realistically, this entire semester has felt slightly off. I don’t know why, but this bump in the road is messing me up even more.

I’m trying my best to focus on school, as well as my friends and family so I can be reminded everyday of the good things in my life. But I’m also trying to allow myself to drown in my feelings and think about this loss. This type of forgiveness is something I haven’t granted myself often enough.

I always feel like I have to get back up and push away these emotions — otherwise, how else am I going to move on? But the first step to moving forward is to see the problem as it is and acknowledge that it’s hurting you.

Time will heal everything. I’m a strong believer of that, and I know this situation will not be any different. But until then, I have to remember to be gentle with myself. Things aren’t going the way I planned, and if my academics or social life suffer because of it, at least I have that reminder that it isn’t all my fault.

If you’ve gone through something similar or are currently in the midst of it, I’m extending all my love to you. We might feel like we’re isolated, but we’re not. It’s only because no one truly talks about these kinds of things.

We need to start acknowledging every type of pain.

Now, I didn’t write this article for sympathy or pity. That’s not my end goal. I wrote it because writing has always been my outlet to heal, and I hope that my words and experiences will comfort someone else who may feel just as lost and in the dark as I do.

I know that, in the future, I’ll be doing something random, and I’ll be hit with that hurtful feeling of nostalgia because for whatever reason, it reminds me of that friend I used to have. I did see us being together for a long, long time, but reality came in and brushed those visions all into a dark, forgotten corner.

That inevitable knowledge will hurt. But I have to believe it’s all part of something bigger. I don’t believe in fate nor destiny but I do believe in myself, and if this is where I end up, then I will put my trust in that.

After all, I’ve always been there for myself, even when no one else was. This is just a small obstacle in my way.

I won’t let it break me.

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