Posted: May 19, 2013 12:00 PM
 
Whether you’ve been BFFs since junior high or became fast friends at the PTA bake sale, it’s never easy when a friendship sours. Sometimes you know exactly what went wrong and just can’t make it right — other times you are left with questions. When adult female friendships end, how do you cope?

Our girlfriends boost our spirits when we're down, raise their glasses when we celebrate and hold us up when we experience loss. There is a special kind of bond with a female friend you just won't find with the man who shares your toothpaste (sorry, honey). When our friendships are good they add so much to our daily lives, but when they go bad it can be devastating.

Women's friendships are powerful

It doesn't matter what draws us together as friends — the bond we share is strong. Researchers at UCLA studied stress in women and concluded that rather than the typical fight or flight response, women have a tend and befriend response to stress in their lives. We tend to be more socially connected to each other than our male counterparts.

When something goes wrong

I look back and remember the good times — the fun, the sharing and the love. When I think about my friend, it's always with happiness. Then I send her a prayer and good vibes and move on with my day.

How many of your female friendships have you kept up indefinitely? Many friendships have a life cycle, a certain time when they will naturally fizzle. That fun mom you sit with on the soccer sidelines may not easily transfer to a coffee date friend when the soccer season ends. Your BFF at the office is there for you every day 9 to 5, but if you transferred to a different office would it stay the same? When these types of friendships die, it often seems to be a natural progression.

Sometimes there isn't just one specific reason that a friendship ends — it just does. Some women find it difficult to maintain long-distance friendships with childhood friends, or to nurture friendships with childless friends once their baby arrives. Blogger Natalie of Mommy of a Monster and Twins remembers a time when she lost a friend who was close to her. "Sometimes friendships end for no reason at all," Natalie shares. "And while it hurts like hell that she's no longer part of my life, I look back and remember the good times — the fun, the sharing and the love. When I think about my friend, it's always with happiness. Then I send her a prayer and good vibes and move on with my day," she adds.

Moving forward

If your friendship ended in a heated way — hurt feelings, name calling or other nastiness — moving forward will be tough for a while. If you still travel in the same circles, it's likely you will still see your former friend. One mom we spoke to found it helpful to write a letter to her former friend, wishing her the best while acknowledging that the friendship had meant something to her. While the letter was never answered, just writing and sending it brought a sense of closure.

Lose a friend? Find another one, because female friendships are important.

More girlfriend time

Plan a day of shopping with your girlfriends
3 Reasons why you should phone a friend today
Host a wine-tasting for your friends

Topics: