You want there to be a reason. A concrete reason as to why you no longer feel the way you once did about your best friend, the person you grew up with and have been close with for forever. A reason would make it easier. It would make you feel less guilty. It would make the dissolution less strange and painful.
But sometimes there isn’t one. Sometimes you grow apart from your best friend and there really isn’t a good reason as to why. It might be completely one-sided too, which makes you feel even worse. You’re drifting away and they still feel like nothing’s changed. You wonder if you’re a cold-hearted jerk for throwing away years of friendship. People are really invested in this idea of time being the ultimate marker for closeness and I think it’s sort of BS. “We’ve been friends just for so long, you know?” Yeah, so what? You’ve been friends for years and now you’ve grown apart. Do you keep it going, do you force the connection, just because it’s been going on for so long? If anything, keeping a friend around just because you’ve known them for so long seems more heartbreaking than just ending it. You’ll just always be reminded of how close you USED to be and how everything’s now changed and you’re not sure why. To me, that seems more painful than just cutting the friendship off.
Sometimes you just grow apart from people. You get older, your personality matures or devolves, and all of a sudden you find yourself not having a whole lot in common with someone you once did. This is just a casualty of growing up. For some reason, “growing apart” is the hardest thing to come to terms with. You wish you could just get into an explosive fight with your best friend and use that as a scapegoat. The reality, however, is that you will always love and care about them. You just don’t necessarily feel the need to have them in your life anymore. The catch up phone calls are becoming forced, you’re grasping at straws trying to come up with conversation topics. They live in a different state and aren’t involved in the day-to-day of your life which makes things difficult. You begin to dread these catch up sessions because not only do they take forever but there’s this underlying tension you are both trying so hard to avoid. The more you try to pretend the friendship is the same, the more obvious it becomes that it’s changed.
There’s no easy solution for this. What do you do? Do you call them up and say, “Look, I love you and always will but I feel like have nothing to say to you anymore?” You can’t do that! Can you?
Or do you just let it slowly die? You ignore their phone calls and then finally you put the nail in the coffin by being in the same city as them and “forgetting” to see them. That’ll let them know that it’s officially over.
I don’t know. You wish you could just be honest with each other but that’s hard, But you know what? Lying is hard too! It might even be harder than telling the truth. If you grow apart from someone, can you just be real about it? Can you ever tell them how you really feel?
Maybe. Regardless of how you choose to have the friendship end, it’s over. And sometimes that realization is harder to come to terms with than anything else.