As we grow older and the dynamic of our life changes, it seems so do our relationships. You often hear people say their marriage didn’t work out because they grew apart-can that be true with friendships as well? We have these different phases of friends that come throughout our lifetime that either fizzle out or you become thick as thieves. Some you know are just there for a good time, while others a long time. It’s those “forever” friends that can be painful to admit may have run their course. I have had the same best friend since I was five years old; something that is a rarity amongst my age group. We joined forces in Kindergarten and we have yet to leave each other’s side nearly 30 years later. The irony is, this isn’t the friend that I see the most often or even speak to weekly, but we have a mutual understanding that no matter how much time passes we are available day or night. Her family morphed into my own and the experiences we have undergone together have made our connection unbreakable. Over my formative years, my circle of friends grew. The one quality they all had in common, none of them were surface friends- they are all part of this core group as I was never one for a bunch of acquaintances. As you can imagine it was difficult to come to a realization that some of these friendships have served their purpose and were no longer what I imagined they would always be. As with most friendships, things change once people move, get married, have children, etc. It truly becomes difficult to juggle the everyday demands and stay present in your friendships.
So, how do you know when friends have reached a “use-by” date? These 4 things will help you re-think if you are both are really that busy or you just don’t have any desire to maintain this friendship anymore.
Your conversations seem understimulating or one-sided.
“Hey, what are you doing?” may have been okay when you were in high school. Now, you may be building an empire and she is raising a soccer team, so a phone call is expected to have some depth and purpose. Also, both people should have equal an amount of talking time because it is draining feeling like someone’s unpaid therapist instead of their friend.
There was not one pivotal moment your friendship took a turn.
Our priorities, mindset, and loyalty change as we grow so there doesn’t have to be a groundbreaking fight that caused you and your bestie to become astray.
They no longer add value to your life.
Sometimes we outgrow each out spiritually- this is huge for me because I need people to pick me up not bring me down.
You’re done putting in more than they’re putting out.
Friendships may be the succulents of plants; pretty self-sustainable & will survive if you don’t water as often as needed, but they still need to be nurtured to some extent.
Friendships need consistency, vulnerability, and positivity. Although you may be able to go a certain amount of time without talking it is important to maintain some kind of consistency. If you want to get back on track, schedule monthly dinner dates or check-in calls. Also, if you are still holding back and putting up a façade that life is great even when you have seen better days, is that a true bond? You should be able to be raw and ask for support if needed. Furthermore, these friendships must have an element of positivity and feel-good moments. Make sure your friends build you up and you do the same for them. There is nothing better than a pep talk from one of your pals that leaves you feeling like you can take on the world!