There are breakups, and then there are friendship breakups. While losing the love and comfort of an S.O. stings, having a best friend become an ex-best friend can cause you even more emotional turmoil than the former. Regardless of how it happened, dealing with a friendship breakup often takes just as much — if not more — time to heal from than the ending of a romantic relationship.
Once you’ve been separated from your ex-best friend for a while, it’s natural to think about them every so often and wonder what they’re up to or if they think of you as well. And, as with any kind of breakup, you might even feel the urge to reach back out and try reconnecting with them. According to Irene S. Levine, Ph.D., a psychologist, friendship expert, and producer of The Friendship Blog, this might be a good idea — as long as you fully understand the reason why the fallout happened. “If you think that the friendship ended because of a misunderstanding or disappointment that can be cleared up, why not give it a try?” she tells Bustle. “Best friends have a long shared history that can’t be easily replaced. They usually had an ease of communication that allowed them to click in the first place.”
If you want to try making amends or just want to reconnect with them after a long time apart, here are 10 texts to send to your ex-best friend that’ll help break the ice.
“Sorry if this is weird, but ‘The Spins’ just played on shuffle in my car and I thought of you. I really hope you’re doing well.”
If you and your ex-bestie connected over something like music or movies, hearing or seeing those can definitely bring up feelings. This is an easy launching pad for a chance to reconnect.
“Hi, [name]. I know I messed up, and there’s a lot I want to apologize for. If you’d be open to it, I’d love the chance to meet up and talk.”
As Levine mentioned, if you know why the friendship ended and you feel like you want to make amends, offer your ex-friend that gesture. Even if they say no, they’ll at least understand that you take responsibility for your actions.
“I just saw a mini poodle who looked JUST like your Charlie and I had to do a double take. It’s been so long, how are you guys?”
If it’s been a while since you’ve connected with your ex-best friend, bringing up something that reminded you of them can offer a chance to start again. Involving something as simple as their furry family member shows that you still care.
“I know you might not want to hear from me, but I just wanted to say that I still have so much admiration for you and I really hope you’re happy.”
If you know that trying to become friends again would cross their boundaries, consider sending a short but meaningful text to let them know you will always be rooting for them.
“Just noticed your job update on LinkedIn — you got the promotion at work! I just wanted to say congrats, and that I’m so proud of you and happy to see you doing well.”
It can be difficult to stay connected on social platforms when you and your best friend have a falling out, but it doesn’t hurt to let them know that you’re happy they’re thriving. Who knows, maybe a congratulatory text will lead to a celebratory drink.
“Hi. I really do miss you and just wanted you to know that.”
Especially if your friendship breakup was fresh, telling your ex-best friend that you feel their void in your life might be what they need to hear to know you want to make things right.
“I heard about your engagement recently, and I’m so thrilled for you! I’d love to catch up sometime and hear all about it.”
Seeing former friends reach milestones that you’re not a part of can sting, but it’s never too late to try and reconnect so you can share in the joy with them.
“We’ve been through so much together, and I hate that we don’t talk anymore. Can we fix that?”
If you and your bestie recently broke up, reaching out sooner rather than later might give you the chance to salvage your connection.
“Hi, [name]. An old Facebook memory of us popped up today and it definitely made me tear up. I really miss and love you a lot.”
Social media often shares reminders of the past — which could offer the perfect excuse to reach out to an ex-best friend. If you don’t have much animosity between you, send them an old photo and see if they’re open to grabbing coffee.
Trying to rekindle a broken friendship can be tricky, and sometimes rejection is inevitable. While it can really hurt, friendship and relationship expert Melanie Ross Mills says not to take it personally. “Until you are given a reason, let it go and move on to the next. Sometimes we can forget that rejection is protection when we are putting ourselves out there and taking a risk. It is not easy when ex-friends do not reciprocate. This is when I encourage people to go where they are wanted and appreciated.”
Dr. Melanie Ross Mills, friendship and relationship expert