If you didn’t know, there’s such a thing as seasonal friendships. And when they come to an end, it could make you mourn like you lost a loved one to the cold hands of death. This is especially true with friends you thought would stay in their lives forever and they’d stay in yours too.
As a result, you’d get too attached that detaching becomes an issue. Honestly, there’s no sure way to determine if a friendship would last forever. Of course, you can see the signs. However, life could happen and the friendship would come to an end faster than you imagined. When that happens, ending that “single-season” friendship can be hurtful. In fact, most people claim that friendship breakups hurt more than romantic ones.
But it’s important to find emotional closure when that happens. That way, you’ll find the courage to move on and into better friendships. Here are several tips and strategies for coping with the end of a seasonal friendship and finding acceptance amidst the transition.
Understand the Seasonal Nature of Some Friendships
The first step to dealing with these types of friendships is to recognize that they naturally have a seasonal nature. More importantly, they often serve a specific purpose. Such relationships are tied to a specific purpose and it’s only natural that they’d fizzle out or come to an end when that purpose has been fulfilled. A good example of seasonal friendships is the friendships you form in secondary school
For instance, if you formed a friendship bond with a clique of friends in secondary school, you’ll most likely no longer be friends after graduation. Sometimes, it’s because most of your secondary school friends might relocate to another city with their family or because of University.
But majorly, it’s because the season for that friendship had come to an end and you all have to move on to other things. Once you understand, recognize, and accept this dynamic, you can let go of your attachment to the friendship in order to welcome whatever new possibilities may come as your lives change.
Give Yourself Permission to Feel Loss and Adjustment
While you might feel the urge to bottle up your emotions and grief that comes with the end of seasonal friendships, you shouldn’t. Instead, you should acknowledge the sense of loss and grief that may arise. Feel the waves as they hit you but don’t run away from them.
Cry if you have to. But don’t bottle up your emotions. Abandonment issues may arise, leaving you feeling vulnerable and hurt. Allow yourself permission to go through this process of adjustment.
It is okay to take the time to heal and remember all of the positive experiences shared with this person during your friendship season. Besides, the end of the friendship doesn’t mean you’ll become enemies. You can root for them from afar.
Manage The Emotional Pain with Self-care Practices
When seasonal friendships end, the shift emotionally can be painful and overwhelming. Connecting with your other friends and family for support is essential, but there are also some self-care practices you can use to manage the anguish and let go.
Start by setting boundaries around how much time you’ll spend missing this person or going over past conversations in your head. Additionally, taking up physical activities such as yoga or jogging may help reduce stress levels and put you back on track. Swimming could help too.
Evaluate All that You’ve Gained from Your Seasonal Friendship
Once you’ve decided to move on and let go of the friendship, it’s important to acknowledge all that you gained from it. Looking back fondly and showing gratitude for the period these seasonal friendships lasted can be a helpful step in acceptance.
Reflecting on what you’ve learned or conflicts that were resolved can help provide closure. Asking yourself how they impacted your life in a positive way can also help shift your mindset and perspectives. After all, it’s just the end of a friendship, it’s not the end of the world. Acknowledging their role in furthering your growth is essential to finding peace and moving forward with closure.
That’s a great way to stay positive through it all. Do not feel like you’ll lose a huge chunk of yourself. That’ll only stall your healing. See their departure as a chance to explore who you are without them.
Identify New Goals in Your Life Post-Closure
After you’ve taken the steps to find inner peace, it’s important to shift your focus and create new goals. Take some time to visualize your aspirational future and identify any positive sources that can join you on your journey.
Whether they’re old friends, colleagues, or simply fellow participants of a specific hobby – connecting with positive people can help provide new perspectives on old issues while also providing an outlet for fun and inspiration.
Seasonal friendships are a part of our lives. As a result, friendship breakups are bound to happen. But that doesn’t mean you should become sworn enemies. Sometimes, you’ll get the chance to officially end the friendship. Other times, they’ll ghost you without a word. And when you try to reach out, they just won’t be responsive and that’ll hurt so much.
Rather than get angry at them and cause a scene, brace yourself and start to move on. That way, you’ll embrace newer opportunities for friendships and be happy. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t open up in your next friendship to avoid heartbreak. Just keep an open mind and learn to recognize when a friendship is coming to an end so you can quickly move on.