Best friends forever, we made a pact in the second grade to be besties, butt buddies, soul sisters, and ace boon coons forever. We have shared some of the best moments of our lives together but as of lately, the inside jokes have faded, we barely communicate, and things just are not the same. Happy hours and meet-ups have gotten a tad bit awkward, and the fluidity of conversations just seems to be forced and unnatural. It is true that “people change,” but to think it could happen to the people around you is a hard reality to deal with.
Let’s get this message out of the way first: growing apart from friends is not necessarily a bad thing. As we get older our interests and priorities begin to change. It’s no longer about getting turnt’ up until the sun rose, cramming for that biology class that was impossible to get higher than a C average in, or complaining/talking sh*t about frat boys who probably attempted to date all of you.
What brought you and your friends together in the past may not be a priority anymore and that is what can cause a significant shift in most friendships. This can happen for a variety of reasons that aren’t worth stressing over. Sometimes it’s just the way it is.
The first step is recognizing if it’s time to move on, and here are some signs that can help determine that:
- You have constant misunderstandings
- You can go weeks without talking and it doesn’t bother you.
- Neither one of you seems to make time for one another, nor prioritize the friendship.
- You have nothing in common anymore.
- When something major happens, you don’t rush to call them.
- You don’t feel comfortable around them anymore.
- When you do make an effort it’s just because y’all are “best friends” and you feel an obligation to do so.
If any of those apply to you, then so be it, but don’t fret because growth and change are inevitable. This is the way the cookie crumbles, and if you have a feeling your friendship is changing and is beginning to put a strain on your personal life, here are the next couple of steps you should take:
- Evaluate the friendship and your needs – Think about what you currently need out of the friendship, you may need more out of the friendship then your friend is giving or you may not be able to give all that your friend is giving and it is putting a strain on the relationship. For example if you are living the single life, have a booming career, and are always busy and your friend is settled down in a relationship with a 9-5 job your lifestyles no longer align and that tends to make it hard to nurture the friendship and give each other’s what’s necessary to connect and keep the friendship going.
- Talk to your friend before feelings get involved and people get salty – If you truly cherish the friendship and you feel a disconnect have an honest conversation with your friend, there may be issues going on in their life that you are unaware about that is causing the disconnect. An open and true conversation can clear up any confusion and put your friendship back on the right path or help you see that it is time to place your friend in a different category and move on with minimal stress and healthy understanding. If the conversation does not solve the relationship, don’t get sad because growing apart from people is a part of your life journey.
- Don’t force it & don’t get angry – When one party tries to force and continue a dead relationship feelings of dismay, betrayal, and rejection will arise. This can lead to a whole lot of unnecessary unwanted mess and a complete end to the friendship.
- Grieve – No your homegirl did not die, but you did lose a relationship that was once a vital part of your life and it hurts. Don’t ponder on what could have mended the relationship but remember all of your special moments and how they impacted that phase of your life, cherish those times and keep them near and dear to your heart. Accept that you are different people in different places and it’s totally cool.
- Live Life And Make New Friends – Telling you to just make a new friend doesn’t sound too nice but we all need friends, they make our worlds go round and enrich our lives. Don’t feel guilty for making friends that share your same energy and nurture your soul. Go out there and meet new people or get closer to people who you relate to more at the moment. Different spaces, different places.
- Don’t burn bridges. Stay in touch – After you realize that you and your friend have grown apart that isn’t an okay to delete their number and never talk to them again. There is a reason why you and your friend had a strong connection and that might come about again, just not at the moment. If this is a true friend we advise you to stay in touch and still be available if they are ever in need if you love them this won’t even be questioned.
All in all, this is the part of life that we weren’t really mentally equipped for, those friends forever bracelets didn’t come with a disclaimer on the receipt that says: WARNING YOU MIGHT NOT BE FRIENDS FOREVER, but it is going to be alright if you handle the situation like mature adults.
Let this article do one of two things: 1) Force you to strengthen your relationship with your best friend, or 2) Relieve yourself from a stressful environment. Either way, it’ll all work out.