BFF break-ups: 10 signs you might be ready to part ways.



“Lots of things can be fixed. Things can be fixed. But many times, relationships between people cannot be fixed, because they should not be fixed. You’re aboard a ship setting sail, and the other person has joined the inland circus, or is boarding a different ship, and you just can’t be with each other anymore. Because you shouldn’t be.”  ― C. JoyBell C.

The ending of a friendship can be heart-breaking… and, let’s be honest, sometimes necessary.

Break-up? Isn’t that a little extreme? Sure, it can be, but what happens when your investment turns sour? What happens when the bond between the two of you morphs into something toxic, gooey and quite possibly fungal? When a friendship goes from something supportive and nurturing (note, I did not say perfect) to a breeding cesspool of contempt, it could be time to part ways.

Nothing lasts forever.

Whether you’ve been friends for three months or thirty years, the breaking up bit is never usually easy and let’s say we’re easily distracted, scared, confused and even a little coward.

In a lot of cases, when the point of no return wraps its dark cape around you and your friend, instead of taking action, we’ll spend a ton of time pumping ourselves up by slandering the hell out of the ex-friend to be. We do this in our minds and to other friends, trying to convince them to join our camp. This cyclical behavior can end up as a heavy backpack of guilt and shame that we end up carrying around on top of all our other shit, but nonetheless it feeds our need to justify the inadequacy we’re feeling about our friend.

In other instances we stick it out. This happens for various reasons… we’re afraid to let go, to be lonely or to lose a digit on our Facebook friend gauge (what will people think?). We’re afraid we’ll miss out on something or we’re scared that the ex-to-be will gather forces against us.

So, in both instances above, instead of anything working out, we end up fighting furiously, crossing ridiculous lines and boundaries making our friend and our selves feel awful in the process. We’ll continue to force a friendship that has deteriorated and instead lose respect for ourselves and the other person…

What do we do?

Breaking up can be the best thing you do for yourself and the other person.

When things go wrong for a long period of time, when a friendship has become unhealthy and destructive, no matter how difficult it is, it could be time to make space for something new and nurturing. This can mean taking a Ross and Rachel or it can mean cutting all ties, severing all strings and parting ways completely.



“Two words. Three vowels. Four constenants. Seven letters. It can either cut you open to the core and leave you in ungodly pain or it can free your soul and lift a tremendous weight off you shoulders. The phrase is: It’s over.” ― Maggi Richard

Sure, some friendships are worth fighting for — sometimes a fight for friendship survival can help us to grow, see ourselves more clearly and to even find peace. But, some for some friendships, it’s better to just throw in the towel.

I’ve certainly had my share of friendship break-ups over the years. Some have happened naturally, some dragged on and on, and some didn’t go down without a hellish fight. But, no matter the how, there seemed to have been some key indicators pointing toward the fork in the road.

I’d like to share them with you…

10 signs it might be time for a BFF break-up:

1. Instead of being supportive and encouraging, the friendship turns critical, judgmental and condescending. This isn’t to say this won’t happen from time to time, but when it happens all-the-time or more often than not, is it really worth it?

2. You feel uncomfortable or tense around the other person. Sure, this is going to happen from time-to-time as well. Sometimes we aren’t going to feel the vibe in general and we just need some space, but again, if it’s happening more often than not, well, you decide. Remember to listen and feel the signals of your physical body — we may lie to ourselves in our minds, but the body never fibs.

3. Conversations become more argumentative than not. Is there anything more annoying or energy-draining than a chat that always turns into some kind of fight or blood-boiling debate?

4. You notice that you’re trash talking the other person to your boyfriend/girlfriend and other friends. And, just think, they are probably doing the same thing to you… niiiiice. Break the cycle, take out the trash and wash your dirty laundry before you hang it outside. No more hitting below the belt!

5. You feel a loss of energy, anger or disappointment after spending time with the other person. People change, we change, the chemistry between us changes. Just because thing’s were for a time doesn’t mean they were meant to be forever.

6. You constantly feel as if the other person brings out the worst in you. Perhaps you are seeing a reflection of the worst parts of yourself, perhaps not. Perhaps you are just at your wits end and exhausted. Perhaps your friend sees nothing but the worst in you.

7. You feel as if the other person’s crisis du jour becomes your problem and you start to live out that bad mood. So, perhaps this isn’t completely their fault, but for me this is a sign that you just can’t handle them or their issues anymore nor do you really want to. It could also mean that the incessant negative energy is all too consuming and toxic.

8. When you aren’t in touch or when you leave the other person, you feel a sense of utter relief. Not to mention, you can’t even muster up the energy for small talk or a text message.

9. You feel bullied or manipulated and are fearful to disappoint the other person. Enough said.

10. You feel as if you can’t share your joy and happiness with the other person. For fear of him/her raining on your parade or sprinkling unnecessary worry, jealousy or grief on your vegan cupcakes.




By identifying if the friendships we have are meaningful or if they are just an obligatory unhealthy habit, and deciding to do something about it, we take a step toward creating a bit more positive space in our lives — for me, for you and for everyone around us.

If the friendship or relationship has run it’s course, it’s time to come clean, be clear and honest.



Have you ever broken up with a friend?

How did you know it was over? What steps did you take to break-up? What worked and what didn’t? Share your experiences in the comments.



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{Peace Out, Friend.}



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Tanya Lee Markul
Co-Founder and Chief Editor of Rebelle Society (you are here). She’s convinced that she once swam the depths of the deepest ocean and in the next round, grew over two hundred feet tall. In this life, she’s a vulnerable creation in process. She has a Bachelor of Science in Journalism & a Master’s in Business. In 2009, surrendering to the good fight within, she became a certified teacher of yoga. Now a full-time devoted student to the sacred art of self-discovery and creative expression, she spends her days on her yoga mat, in wellness experimentation and tilling the fertile soil of Rebelle Society, sharing bouts of black sheepish rebellion, self-acceptance and the beauty of darkness and well-being. Tanya is the creator of and She is also the co-founder and Wellness Alchemist at Rebelle Wellness. Get to know her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and at Sign-up for her free, weekly Newsie and contact her via email:


  • Zoe commented on August 29, 2013 Reply
    Just experienced number 8. The only thing that hurt with the break-up was my ‘uber’ ego, but the sense of relief was worth it.
    • Tanya Lee Markul
      tanya lee markul commented on August 29, 2013 Reply
      Yesss – keep going with that sense of relief sista. ;-) xoxo
  • Scot commented on August 29, 2013 Reply
    Auspicious advice….Namaste.
  • Tron commented on August 29, 2013 Reply
    For over a month I desperately tried to keep a friendship and felt like cutting the social network ties would be so dramatic and final but the night I did, I woke up the next morning feeling the greatest sense of freedom and peace. I used to think that it said something awful about ones character if I didn’t salvage all friendships, but in the last five years I gave myself permission to throw a match to the bridges that were decaying. There is a reason Shiva destroys. Even wildfires are necessary for the forest. So I’m pretty glad to read this article.
    • Tanya Lee Markul
      tanya lee markul commented on August 29, 2013 Reply
      “Even wildfires are necessary for the forest.” —– thank you. A beautiful way of expressing letting go of what no longer serves us so that we can manifest the potentiality of what does. :-)
  • Polly commented on August 29, 2013 Reply
    Ugh, I’m experiencing all of these signs with a family member. We used to be so close and now that her son and I are divorced, the relationship just feels toxic. The problem with cutting ties completely? She is the only family who lives close and she has a great relationship with my child. I do my best to minimize our time together, which works UNTIL THE HOLIDAYS. :p
  • JBeez commented on August 30, 2013 Reply
    Ever since my parents died seven years ago, I have discovered who my friends are–and aren’t. Though it feels very lonely, I know I’m better off surrounding myself only with people whom I can truly trust, though they now number few. I even cut a brand-new friendship short when I realized she truly did not understand, nor did she try to fathom, what I’d been through and the issues I was left with. Maybe I needed a therapist more than a friend, but it wasn’t the right fit for so many reasons, and when it got ugly, I got out. I can tell the difference between helpful advice and flat-out criticism, and after one particularly brutal series of comments on my life choices, she was blocked, defriended, and deleted. Never looked back. It was harsh at the time, but it taught me to be more discerning about with whom I should share my most intimate thoughts and secrets.
    • Tanya Lee Markul
      tanya lee markul commented on September 3, 2013 Reply
      It’s a tough lesson to learn – I’ve certainly been there. It can be so painful and confusing, but at the end of the day, if it’s just not working anymore, action can be taken to alleviate unnecessary pain AND it doesn’t mean there aren’t others out there who want to and are willing to support you and be supported. Wishing you the very best.
  • Asifa commented on August 30, 2013 Reply
    Have dealt with this a few times. Each time was a very different experience. Sometimes I held on feeling guilty and feeling like a bad friend, sometimes I was the one fighting for the friendship, often we just drifted apart. There is sadness in remembering what was and yet you know that this friendship no longer works. Given that we evolve and grow through our lifetime, it makes sense that those around us may no longer fit in. I have always been amazed at those people that seem to keep the same set of close friends from childhood into adulthood. I made a pact with myself a few months ago to only spend time with people that either nurture me, inspire me &/or whose company I enjoy. Life is too short for anything else. There is kindness in setting each other free.
    • Tanya Lee Markul
      tanya lee markul commented on September 3, 2013 Reply
      Beautifully said and I love that pact — seems very healthy to me and BRAVE. I think a lot of us fall into a comfort zone and want to stay away from the ‘effort’ it is perceived to take to either break it off or find a new friend, but through my personal experience, the exit route has always been worth it. Thanks for being here.
  • RM303 commented on September 17, 2013 Reply
    I left a friendship 4 years ago and literally moved out of the city. It became suffocating. I still think of her as my sister. I still miss her. But when the bad times outweigh the good times, when you cannot make a decision without her approval, when you become so interconnected you feel trapped, it’s time to let go. I now have some amazing people in my life I did not know even 3 years ago. They are supportive and trustworthy and only see the best in me, and I do the same for them. There is no judgement, only kindness and love and support. I have let many people go….to me true friendship is about setting someone free and letting them come and go in your life at will. And sometimes you have to make more effort…and that’s ok.
    • Merel van Haastert commented on March 26, 2014 Reply
      I’ve had the same sort of experiences with friendships. I’ve had to let go of many too. It just happens. Like you I will find my flok of people as well as I believe in those values true friendship holds. We have much to give.
  • Someone commented on December 15, 2013 Reply
    Great article, just what I needed today. I chose to politely and as kindly as possible, end a friendship recently. In our situation, numbers 5 and 7 were the main problems. She really isn’t a mean or manipulative person at all. But, she’s very needy and self-absorbed, and I just couldn’t handle being her free therapist anymore. Especially since she had stopped making any time for us to spend just hanging out and enjoying each other’s company. I spent hours listening to her chatter about her problems on the phone, but she never had time for a lunch date or anything like that. She didn’t take it well when I sent a note ending the friendship (I didn’t want to get sucked into what I knew would not be a good conversation over the phone). I really am losing faith in anybody’s ability to be a friend long term anymore. And that’s not a foreign concept in human history. My parents have people they’ve been friends with for 40 years or more.
  • AS4 commented on January 31, 2014 Reply
    I wish I had found this article a year ago, it could have saved me some time and hurt. I thought that my friendship with my former best friend was unique and special. I literally thought of her like my little sister. In retrospect the friendship developed too quickly and after about a year started to become unhealthy. 7 – drama of the day was becoming tiresome and was followed constantly by 3. For my part, I tried to talk these issues through in a calm manner but was met with stubborn unwillingness. From there I experienced 1 and 9 again and again, eventually culminating in 10 where I did not want to share anything positive in my life because I knew it would be dumped on. The friendship was not reciprocal; I worked my ass off to try and save it to no avail. I thought how could something that started off so well possibly end so badly? Silly me. Even now 6 months later when I run into her I still feel tense, uncomfortable, and hurt. I am hoping that this will fade eventually. While I still care about her and still think of her as my little (estranged) sister I know now that if ever this friendship is to be rekindled there must be mutual respect and without that it is not worth my time and energy.
  • Merel van Haastert commented on March 26, 2014 Reply
    Many friendships run their course, longterm sortterm. To me it is recognizung the value of that person brings to you, and what you are able to give through that channel of that friendship. Then it doesn’t matter how long the are there. The love keeps existing. A couple of months ago I had to let go of a friend of 25 years. Before that it had taken me months to realise our friendship had taken a turn. I felt most of the things above, but was fearfull to let her go. I wish I had spoken up sooner, cause she wasn’t able to be truthful with me and started arguing over minor details, and distancing herself from me. When she showed up at my son’s birthday with just a ball, I knew without a doubt what was going on. I am in a very tumoiltuous time of my life. Simply everything is shifting. And for many people that is hard to comprehend as I am moving way past convention. It confronts them with their own issues. Some want to go there, others take a step back. This friend couldn’t go there with me. And that is ok. She gave it her all, and so did I. But she wouldn’t talk to me, made it all my fault. She startedmaking judgements over every part of my life, how I was spending my money, how I was dealing with people, etc. It was just too much for her that I am evolving. And when she started arguing over a cubbard, that was it for me. But she beat me to it. She brutally ended our friendship over an e-mail without addressing the underlying issue, with the simple line: “I would say bye bye and never see you again.” I wrote her that she and I didn’t deserve that, thanked her for all she had been in my life and wished her well. Then I let go. In her wake she also took another of my friends. He has been my friend longer then I knew her, and they met through me. I have gently let go of him too, respecting his choice to be her friend. I should have handeled it differently, but I have no regret that it ended. I am not passing judgement over her choices. She has to walk the roads of her life. And I do mine.
  • Sandy commented on May 29, 2014 Reply
    I love all these stories. My BFF and I have been friends for 34 years. We grew up together through the years and have remained friends. In the past year though, she has started blaming me for stuff -for not being at her daughters (my goddaughters) sweet 16th birthday party, not bringing my kids, who are younger than her only daughter, over to see them. When I was accused of not being at the sweet 16 bday party, I simply told her, I didn’t know about the party and we weren’t invited. She quickly stated, well, Julie didn’t want a party so we didn’t have one! WTH??? She has recently blamed my husband, who works for the same company as her husbands, that its his fault her husband is laid off all the time. Her hubby runs his mouth at work and no one wants to hear his political and Christianity beliefs. That is a social NO NO!! But according to my BFF, my husband needs to be a man and tell his friend (her hubby) that it’s not OK to speak like that at work. My husband has, on several occasions. The General Manager has spoken to her hubby about it. Has basically told him to shut up. He can’t help it. He thinks people want to hear it. The relationship has turned toxic and I know I need to step away, but I’m finding it hard to do in the right way. I’m not a mean person. I need to write a letter, but I need to be sensitive to her. She has been very short with me in the past 11 months when eve we talk. Her hubby had a heart attack last month (he’s OK) but she never called me. She told me about it 3 weeks later at a loaded lunch as i like to call it and when asked why she didn’t call me, she simply replied, given our families history and where the boys work, we didn’t want work to find out about Marvin so Jack would keep him out even longer. Marvin was out for 11 weeks. Implying that my husband (who could care less about them at this time) would go tell Jack about Marvin’s heart attack. SERIOUSLY!! I was so mad i wanted to walk out of the restaurant. I am a very happy person, I have a wonderful life with my husband and our 2 beautiful children. She just plays the victim with everything and I’m done with it. What kind of advice could you give me to end or step back from this relationship. Keep in mind, my family are like their only friends. They have friends, but we are always there!! Thanks, Heavy Heart
  • Donna commented on August 15, 2014 Reply
    oh, my. lightbulb moment. exiting with as much grace as I can muster in case my BFF ever decides to grow into herself as a Woman –
  • Ki'lea commented on August 26, 2014 Reply
    Is it a break up… a break…? I don’t know… because the lines of communication have been shut down; not by me. Somehow, I must be the toxic one… because everyone else is getting to communicate with her. C’est la vie… but it does suck.
  • Free and Happy commented on December 20, 2014 Reply
    I ended two long term friendships this year. Both of these friends entered my life when I was at a very low point, and as long as I felt low, they were happy to be there for me. As the years passed and my grief waned, I began to feel better about myself and life, but these two were only happy when it rained. Both lived in a world fueled by drama and filled with substance abuse, and when I stopped showing up to the pity parties, I became an outcast. If I tried to share good news, the response was inevitably negative. All of our conversations became toxic drains on my sanity. I finally ended both, at separate times, and when the individuals tried to stay in my life by arguing with my exit, I politely but firmly told them I wished nothing but the best for them, but that our friendship had outgrown its purpose. To this day, I still feel a bit of heartache over those losses, but it is nothing compared to the relief of being free from all of the insanity caused by being friends with those two.
  • Katie Haynes commented on December 22, 2014 Reply
    I had a friendship that turned into a relationship- the longest and best relationship I ever had. We broke up and desperately tried to stay friends. We even continued living together. The relationship turned toxic at the end, but I wasn’t ready to let it go. The toxicity followed into the friendship that we tried maintaining after we broke up. We would scream at each other. I would bawl my eyes out. I felt myself getting ripped wide open. I wanted to believe that we could fix things, that we could make things work because she meant so much to me. It took a fist fight to get me to finally walk out without turning back. I moved out mid lease, paid rent while not living there, was taken in by a coworker of mine who let me live with her until I found a place of my own, and I began to put myself back together. I’m so much stronger now, but the impact this had on me is impossible to describe. Reading this post was another reminder for me that I did the right thing. Thank you so much for posting.
  • Wimpy commented on February 14, 2015 Reply
    I’m so glad I found my sotliuon online.
  • liability insurance commented on March 3, 2015 Reply
    Thanks for spending time on the computer (writing) so others don’t have to.

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