Mar 10, 2023Liked by Nneka Julia

God be knowing exactly what you need when you need it, because this has been the theme of my day…and I did not plan it lol.

I feel like I have lost so many friendships over time—some by choice and others due to circumstances out of anyone’s control. I wish more people talked about the grief that comes with lost friendships, and how the circumstances greatly affect what that grief feels like…and that despite what “they” say, losing friendships doesn’t necessarily get easier as you get older.

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is to be friends with people who like you AND want to be friends with you. I spent a lot of my years before thirty pining after friendships with people who, I realize now, never wanted to be friends with me. I probably spent just as much time in friendships where the other person didn’t really like who I am, & instead of paying attention to the signs, I always thought it was me.

I’ve also learned that communication, as cliché as it sounds, really is key. It sets the foundation for there to be mutual understanding and can alleviate so many hardships that come along with navigating relationships through life’s phases.

I feel like I’ve said so much, but it still doesn’t seem like enough lol. Thank you for this, can’t wait to read more responses.

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Mar 10, 2023Liked by Nneka Julia

Friendship breakups for me have been the hardest lately especially because when they've happened, it's been abrupt and silence has been levied as a means of communicating said breakup.

I've learned that I am more than the missteps I've made in friendships. That I am not inherently a bad person because I've been careless or cannot be a certain thing to a person at a certain time. I've learned that I am someone who needs clear and honest truth, no matter how bitter. A "no" will always be better than an unanswered text. And even with that, I've learned that people do not owe me the presumed decency of a conversation or exit interview if you will.

I've also learned to honor the friendships I've lost. For the tenderness, kinship, and time spent making memories. To allow myself to mourn what could have been.

Mostly, as an ongoing walk with grief, it has also taught me to expand my heart a bit. To allow for what I need, am willing to ask for and can give of myself in new connections.

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Mar 10, 2023Liked by Nneka Julia

love this! my mom once said to me to have a friend you must be one...

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Love that quote from Emerson.

I believe there's a season for everything, and that includes friendships and romantic relationships. It doesn't make it hurt any less though.

Also love the distinctions between different kinds of friendships. Sometimes it could be that we expect something from a type of friendship that we haven't communicated. Companionship friendships are even more special because all it requires to blossom is just the fact that it's you, and this makes the break up even worse.

I've learnt to be honest about my feelings, recognise seasons for what they are, and try to show up the best way I can during each phase.

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Friends come and go! There are seasons for intimate relationships the same goes for platonic friendships. I have learned to embrace what was and what is to come from a far with ex-friends. Not all friendships are meant to be there for all the different version of yourself. But one thing I know for sure losing a friend is much worst then losing an intimate partner. It is important that the friends you keep are willing to grow with you as you do for them, mutual respect, and a connectedness that shows the work you put in each other.

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I've learned....that it's not my fault.

People have the freedom to choose who they engage with and when to stop it. However, that stop broke my 20 year old heart in college. I had no way to tell exactly what I did to make them no longer want to be my friend. I had done all of the "right" things including apologizing just for the sake of it. Nothing seemed to work and my heart continued to break. I felt so lost because the "friendship" my mother told me would be "life long" had now ended.

Now, as professional 25 year old (LOL), I'm learning that stop was one of the best things that could have happened to me. I grew as a woman and recognized the strength in myself. As I look back on this memory I now see and understand the elements of Tenderness and Truth that forged our friendship but definitely dwindled out towards the end. I take this lesson and apply it to my new friendships with wonderment and grace. Wonderment for new adventures and community; and grace for my "still learning" moments.

Thank you so much for this amazing read. I often times think of this friendship break up and have no where to put my feelings outside of my diary. Thank you for giving our community space to be seen, heard, and felt. 🤎

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i’ve learned that even in truth and tenderness, not everyone is ready to receive nor open to change...which will require them to consciously make the decision & effort to alter their life.

so, not everyone was meant to continue the journey with me. they were there to serve the purpose i needed them for at that moment in time. and for no absolute reason, the literally fell off and i never heard from them again.

i was confused, hurt, and tried to keep the friendship(s) going but, found it very one-sided and exhausting. when i stopped resisting their absence from my life, life got easier and i continued to elevate.

this has changed my perspective now regarding friendships. for as long as they are in my life, i value them with everything i’ve got...until they aren’t here anymore. the memories shared carry me to my next dimension. practicing detachment has been a beautiful learning experience and frees me from trying to exert control; allowing space for me to trust the Universe (my God).

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I have learnt that outgrowing certain friendships is inevitable but does not have to be dramatic or filled with strife. I have learnt that it’s important to acknowledge the friends you grow with because it’s hard to find people who match your growth or your cadence. I have also learnt that losing friendships in adulthood while normal is sometimes more destabilizing when your friendships are your foundation. I have learnt to value long distance friendships and connections forged over time because those are unique and not easy to replicate. I have learnt to grieve friendships and in the process celebrate the end of those same friendships. I have learnt that not everyone values friendship in the same way and understanding those metrics is important when making new friends.

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I like and appreciate the quote from Emerson. I have been navigating and learning so much from friendships in the last several months. I experienced a pretty intense break-up with two friendships at the end of 22 and it has been a journey, to say the least, on figuring out exactly how to feel about it. I think I handled the truth part well... eventually but I was the one who was in need of tenderness. Tenderness that I did not feel I was receiving. When I think back on it now, I do feel I offered it but I may have omitted it a bit during 1 or 2 of the final conversations before our departure. My tenderness seems to dissipate when I'm hurt or angry.

I'm still learning to not be so dependent on friendships that I feel out of flow with myself when they end. I'm also learning that some of the friendships I once had may not work for this new version of myself I'm currently coming into.

Today, I'm thinking of applying a bit more truth and tenderness towards my current friendships.

Thank you for sharing and making friendship lessons a topic. It is one that is so vital but I do not feel it is talked about enough.

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From lost friendship, I’ve learned that as much as much as it’s OK to mourn our former relationships. It’s OK to also choose you. Also, making sure that boundaries are set and the beginning of the relationship. And not everybody can handle YOU, and it is also OK.

Trying to fit into this box to maintain what we call a relationship, is actually not and creates desperation. It is OK to have standards and open to discuss the reason why we should go our separate ways peacefully.

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Lost friendships have taught me that the biggest challenge of maintaining friendships as you get older is that life circumstances can call for relationship dynamics to change. Everyone is evolving and there is a level of adapting to the relationship that has to take place as they adapt and as we adapt.

The original spark that once connected you doesn't really change but you can become overly dependent on the familiarity of mutual circumstances like interests, opinions, convenient schedules, or even trauma bonding. As we grow and evolve as human beings, life experiences, circumstances, milestones, time, and space can cause these bonds to no longer align. Instead of leaning on convenience, be intentional and compassionate about building the foundation of love, effort, and communication.

Communication, from a space of compassion, and free from ego, is the key as it allows you to set clear expectations, avoid assumptions, and come to a mature and mutual understanding.

Our true friendships cultivate the soil for the garden that ends up being our lives. bell hooks states that “Satisfying friendships in which we share mutual love provides a guide for behavior in other relationships, including romantic ones.” This takes intentional work as love is an act of will, and although it can be hard, the communion is worth it.

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Wow currently thinking about my current friendships and reading this and the comments above made a light bulb go off. Navigating friendships breakups can be difficult especially when you feel no one has done anything wrong, it’s just the versions you are now are no longer compatible. And when it’s one of your longest, it’s made me question & go back and forth with myself...but ultimately it’s no one’s fault. Which makes it a little sadder. Whew this adulting ish is....

Thank you for this post and everyone’s comments!

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Ah this was such a timely read. Like many, I'm in that season where I have been evaluating a lot of my friendships and realizing it's time to let go of some. But one thing I've learned to acknowledge is that my feelings are valid despite what the other person intended or did not intend to do. Secondly, I've also learned that its important to tell people what love feels like for you to avoid disappointment. We all have different ideas of what it means to show love and communicating this helps to save friendships. But you also need to know when to walk away.

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Incredibly. relevant. I have often heard it said that when we find ourselves in romantic partnerships we often neglect our friendships, and prioritise one over the other, for me it has been the opposite. With moving, new jobs, a phd degree in the works I have been desperately clamouring for the other side of companionship, from friends, from other women...I need my friends and that has never been more true. Imagine the grief and pain and hurt when you receive a message from one of those few that they do not "want" to see you, or talk to you, when especially like you, I believed that truth and tenderness were pillars in our relationship. "Maybe what she needs is more tenderness.

I know what I need is more truth." incredibly relevant for me to read today.

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