1. You started from the same vantage point, but someone has splintered of course.
As with relationships, best friendships are tough in the sense that each person has an ideal vision of how things are going to go; one might think, “we’re going to move to Austin, Texas together, work office jobs during the day but really focus on music at night.” The other person in the duo, however, might have another long-term idea. Maybe they’re not as committed to the music idea, or maybe over time, he or she has simply grown out of that desire.
2. Lingering Lifestyle Logistics
My most recent best friend breakup arose out of natural roommate disagreements. One of my friends, who had a good job, wished to live somewhere a little too far out of my desired price range; not to the point where I legitimately couldn’t afford this new place, but to the point where moving to that area would severely restrict my lifestyle and ability to save. Furthermore, I felt I didn’t need any of the amenities that this specific living situation would’ve provided.
Had I agreed to this living situation I most certainly would’ve spent the whole time resenting him; in fact, I began to resent him for putting me in that position int he first place. Yet, I knew that he was mentally ready to depart from our current living situation, and had I kept him there, he would’ve spent the entire year resenting me. Moreover, I’ve recently realized that he probably had already spent a good portion of the year resenting me, given that I was the primary driver of a living situation that he had grown out of.
3. When There’s Silence, You Feel Like You Need To Say Something
Silence, as we know, is largely wound to intimacy. Couples who are madly in love can go hours in a car ride without saying a word to each other — a silence that, instead of connoting uncomfortableness or awkwardness, actually represents a sort of “next level” tier of love. When extended silence between two people isn’t weird, the relationship is likely incredibly powerful and healthy.
Same goes for best friends. If you suddenly find yourself struggling with things to say — or reverting to small-talk to combat that silence that isn’t so much pleasant as it is deafening — your best friendship is almost certainly entering a recession.
4. Inability To Adapt
A tale as old as time. You used to hang out every second, but now he only hangs out with his new girlfriend Michelle — and when he does, he’s kind of the worst.
No matter who’s more “at fault” here, the key problem here is that the friendship lacks the ability to adapt to major life changes. Best friendships are theoretically supposed to withstand the test of time — and thus, major life changes — so if it can’t handle the fact that Brian now hangs out with Michelle most Saturdays, it was probably nothing more than a conveniently timed BFf — a best friendship fling.
5. Poisonous Dependency
While you guys may “do everything together,” there’s a certain level of self-sufficiency needed for a best friendship to survive and thrive; to break it down into crass economics, a best friendship is an investment you expect a return on — whether this be sheer companionship, intellectual intimacy, or a running partner.
Of course, part of any close friendship is being there for the other person when they’re down, or supporting one in a time of particular need. But if a friendship increasingly seems to lack returns for one party — if it feels more of a parasitic relationship than a symbiotic one — it can be rather paralyzing for both.
Drifting apart from what was once an unbreakable bond can be quite painful in the weeks, months, or years in which it occurs. But over time, hopefully, the wounds will heal. You may never recapture the glory of the old days, but hopefully you’ll still maintain that friend for life. Maybe, you’ll just have to leave an hour earlier to get back home to the fiancee.