Right from the beginning of the latest season's finale, it was clear that something major and sad had happened between the co-workers and pals. "Sometimes you can't explain why things happen, and it did. This happened, and it was a lesson that I need to take and learn from," Jenni said in an interview after we saw her wiping away tears in her eyes at the top of the episode. "I really considered him as family, and maybe that is a huge mistake."
Friendships that span years don't end overnight, most of the time anyway. Experts say that outgrowing shared hobbies like drinking and shopping together or becoming jealous of someone's life changes (or they of yours) can damage a friendship for good. "It's more responsible to admit that you don't think you can maintain intimacy... than to pretend you can't see her because you've suddenly taken up scuba diving," said one report.
Jealousy and miscommunication are more difficult to address with someone who's been in your life for so long — and that's how it comes to an absolute breaking point. "Sadly, many friendships end needlessly because we're afraid to acknowledge conflict. If you notice you're withdrawing from someone who really matters to you, you have to ask yourself why."
In Jeff and Jenni's case, she felt the tension but didn't see the breakup coming. "I feel like I need to, for me, I need to have people in that office that are going to commit to me full-time and have the same objectives that I have," Jeff said to Jenni. "So I guess what I'm trying to say is that I think it's time to move on. I think it's time for you to move on, and I am eternally grateful to you because I would not be here if it weren't for you."
Jenni agreed, later saying it was for the best. "Some people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. I thought it was gonna be a lifetime, but I'm grateful to him for so many things. So it's scary, the future, when you don't know and you've had such a history," she said.
So what happens if you sense a friendship is — or should be — coming to an end?
How you can move on:
Understand if you feel worse after hanging out with them, it's time to move on. Psychology Today said that often people don't understand why a friendship breakup hurts so much, because it's not a partner we're losing. Knowing why it hurts can help you move on. "You know exactly why it hurts so much when you lose a lover, but you tell yourself that a friend leaving you shouldn’t be as painful," PT reported.
The key is trying to accept that it's over.
"No matter what type of relationship it was, that feeling of being unwanted is hard to bear for anyone who has trusted an attachment. It’s also worth noting that the emotional intimacy in a friendship may be just as strong as the intimacy shared with a romantic partner. Acceptance is the key to recovery from the loss. Understand that friendships — just like romantic relationships — can be fleeting. You must also keep in mind that some friendships formed when you were young or in an unstable or impressionable point in your life may not fit you as you evolve and grow over time."
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