Friendships are sometimes more intimate relationships than romantic ones. We share so much with our close friends; it’s easy, effortless and we both become a part of one another. So, what happens when we grow up? The friend you’ve maybe known longest is slowly becoming the friend you interact with the least. Is it by choice? Because of schedules clashing? Or is it because one of you has stopped trying? Moved away? Changed in habits?
It’s easy to point fingers and blame another person for all they do wrong or things they maybe do not do at all. I’ve read tons of articles on friendships and sometimes when the writer says two people grow apart and its natural- I disagree. My view is that people don’t just grow apart; they allow themselves to grow apart.
If you don’t see someone for two to three weeks and you miss them, what do you do? Normally, you would find a way to connect and offer a hang out or something of that nature. You reach out and you try to see what plans can be made, if any. So, if you do this, you’ve done your part. You miss your friend; you reached out, and tried to make plans. If you both do hang out and then another two or three weeks go by and you find yourself being the one making plans again, that’s an issue.
Adults don’t need to talk daily in order to validate a friendship- but what we do need is to know that the other party is just as interested in our company as we are in theirs. It’s human nature; we like confirmation that we are desired and wanted. (Obviously this is non-sexual) So, if it turns out that you are always finding yourself making plans and reaching out, maybe try to voice this concern in a non-attacking way. Bring it up in person and laugh about it, but let it be known that they should reach out sometime, or be the one to make the plans.
A person who cares enough about your needs/wants will tune in and take this into consideration if they do care to maintain this friendship. The friends who do not listen or change their ways are not bad people and don’t not care for you, but the reality is, they simply care about themselves more and they don’t find the need to put any extra effort into meeting with you or seeing you. They just wait upon your request to meet up depending on their own schedule and priorities.
Friends like this are hard for people to keep, especially if the person affected is the one who did put in effort and care only to find out through lack of action that it was indeed a one way street. A dead end. A job with no future. And honestly, who wants to stay in those positions?
This doesn’t mean you bash the friend and cut them off with negative thoughts and start talking crap about them. Just distance yourself. It’s evident you prefer the kinds of friendships that are mutual- not forced or entirely based upon your reaching out, so just stop reaching out. Keep those around you who make you feel as good as you make them feel. Friendship is not hard, it’s not tricky, and nothing just falls away without reason. There’s always a reason and sometimes it’s as obvious as “we just need different things” because every person doesn’t have the same needs nor expectations in a friendship and that is perfectly okay.
Figure out yourself and know what you need and that will make it easier for you to hold onto the right relationships and let the loose ones drift away. It’s a choice you have the power to make and you deserve happiness. So make yourself happy!
Distance yourself, if they care, they’ll notice, if they don’t care/notice/reach out then you have your answer as to what place you play in their list of priorities. Neither is a bad discovery because once you distance yourself you’ll be happier and if it turns out you learn they didn’t miss you after all, then you saved yourself from a one sided friendship.