10 Relatable Quotes To Help You Process The End Of A Valuable Friendship

Medically reviewed by Paige Henry, LMSW, J.D.
Updated June 9, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Friendships can be integral to our happiness and can even have an impact on your health. One study of social relationships and mortality published in PLOS Medicine demonstrated that people with strong friendships had a 50% greater likelihood of survival. Our friends are often the people we rely on most—those we go to when we are in a bind, need advice, or just want to chat. Sometimes, though, you might find yourself in a position where you’ve lost touch with a good friend or decided that ending your friendship is the best course of action. It could be that you and your friend have drifted apart or that they are becoming an unhealthy presence in your life.

Throughout the years, poets, statesmen, novelists, playwrights, and other influential individuals have expounded on the loss of friendship, leaving us with insight relating to the difficulty that can accompany this time in life.

The end of a friendship and quotes to help you feel better

There are many emotions that may come with a friendship ending and they may even seem to conflict. It's important to know that you are not alone in this experience, and reading the following quotes may help you feel a little more validated and supported.

"New friends may be poems but old friends are alphabets. Don't forget the alphabets because you will need them to read the poems." -William Shakespeare

Sometimes, friendships end because one friend chooses to spend their time with other people. If this has happened to you, it could have occurred for a number of reasons, and it does not necessarily mean that they no longer regard you highly or that you were never “true friends.” It could be that other people work with your friend or have more in common with them. Sometimes people have trouble maintaining several relationships at once, so your friend may have distanced themselves unintentionally. While this can be a painful experience, it may help to remember that people make new friends throughout life, and this person is likely not hurting you on purpose.

"It's true: lives do drift apart for no obvious reason. We're all busy people, we can't spend our time simply trying to stay in touch. The test of a friendship is if it can weather these inevitable gaps." -William Boyd

Even close friends can start to move in opposite directions as they make changes in life and grow. Friends can drift apart due to changing interests or physical distance. Sometimes, though, the drifting doesn’t have a discernable cause. For example, two friends may have just been busy with everyday life and no longer had the bandwidth to maintain the relationship. If you’ve drifted apart from a friend, it may help to see this as a sign that you’re both simply moving forward in life. While you may be going in opposite directions, you both might be growing and evolving.

Are you struggling to nurture healthy friendships?

"No one is busy. It all depends on what number you are on their priority list." -Unknown

Growing up means having responsibilities. Both you and your friends may have a job, a family, and other commitments that make nurturing relationships more difficult. However, some friendships end because one person does not make time to reach out and be there for the other. Typically, a friend who is interested in maintaining a friendship will make time for you, even when they’re busy. If a friend of yours has not done this, it may be helpful to focus your attention on those individuals who make you a priority. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to foreclose on the possibility of this friend coming back, but you can focus on what’s best for your mental health in the present moment.  

"Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down." -Oprah Winfrey

Fairweather friends are those who may stick around when you’re thriving but become absent when you’re experiencing difficulty. If you find that a friend is exhibiting this kind of behavior, it may help to set boundaries or even end the friendship. You deserve friends who are there for you no matter what.

"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Friends who have your back and come to your aid when you need support can be invaluable. However, some friends do not exhibit this type of behavior, and this can be hurtful. If this happens to you frequently, you might consider developing closer bonds with those who are there for you when you need them. If you have friends who don’t do this, it may help to re-evaluate those friendships.

"The most painful goodbyes are the ones that are never said and never explained." -Unknown

Sometimes, friendships have a definite end, in which both individuals agree to go their separate ways. However, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, one person ends up cutting off communication without an explanation. It could be that they are going through a challenging time in life or have misinterpreted something that happened in the relationship. Also, some people end friendships without an explanation because they don't want to hurt the other person. However, this can also be hurtful and leave a person feeling abandoned, especially when they regard the other as a close or true friend.

"Sometimes you just have to accept the fact that some people only enter your life as temporary happiness." - Unknown

Some friendships are short-term. A temporary friendship can come and go before it can blossom into a closer connection. These relationships can be hard to understand, but they can also leave you with warm memories. 

"Too many friendships end with, 'We just stopped talking.'" -Unknown

Some friends just drift away. Many don't intend for a conversation with their friend to be their last, but then their life gets busy or they otherwise fail to foster their friendship. However, friendships that have ended for no reason can sometimes be rekindled. If you have a friend you’ve drifted apart from, you might consider reaching back out to them.

"Not friends, not enemies. Just strangers with memories." -Unknown

While friendships sometimes end due to resentment or antagonism, this isn't always the case. Sometimes friendships end amicably. The two people just agree that their relationship no longer serves them. This can be the case if certain elements of a friendship are unhealthy. For example, some friends may drink more than usual when they are together, which can have negative effects on their lives. In a case like this, sometimes agreeing to part ways may be the healthiest option. It’s not that the two friends harbor ill will toward one another; it’s just that they want what’s best for one another.

"'In a relationship' does not mean you should stop talking to your friends.” -Unknown

A common reason many friendships end is the development of a new romantic relationship on the part of one individual. You may have known friends who were close to you but then entered into a relationship and stopped reaching out as often. During the early stages of a relationship, it may be understandable that a friend is more focused on their new partner. However, it can feel hurtful if they have stopped participating in your friendship and you feel as though you’re putting in all of the work.

If this has happened to you, it may help to think that this friend has likely not ended the friendship on purpose. This situation can be hard, but it may give you an opportunity to further develop other friendships or reach out to new people.

Discussing broken friendships with a counselor

If you’re experiencing the loss of a friendship, you may benefit from speaking with a licensed therapist about your loss. The loss of a relationship can present significant challenges, and a licensed therapist may be able to help you process your loss more effectively. If you don’t feel comfortable with traditional in-office therapy, you might consider online therapy, which research has shown to be just as effective as in-office therapy

With online therapy, you can discuss your friendship concerns with a licensed therapist via phone, live chat, or videoconferencing at a time that works for you. 


Friendships can enrich our lives, providing us with support, companionship, and good times. If you’d like help processing the end of a friendship or addressing other challenges, it may help to speak with a licensed counselor, whether in person or online. With online therapy at BetterHelp, you can be matched with a licensed therapist and connect with them from the comfort of your home. With professional guidance and support, you may find that you can work through your feelings and continue to foster healthy, mutually beneficial relationships. Take the first step toward getting support with your friendships and reach out to BetterHelp today.
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