Friends drift apart when they no longer resonate together.
Friendships end for a variety of reasons. Some friends are meant to be by our side for a life time while others come in for a specific purpose and time period. Like an angel, just when we’re going through a difficult time, a new friend arrives who offers the exact support we need. Once we’re on our feet again, that friend may disappear, leaving space for another to arrive.
Remember as a child having a best friend one month only to change to another the following month? Some children change friends as fast as each week, while others remain friends through the year or the entire time at elementary, junior or high school. It’s an honor to have a friend since childhood still be in your life through the adult years.
As we change and grow and drift apart from friends it can be sad to lose touch with someone we once explored new adventures, shared our deepest secrets, and laughed ourselves silly with. Yet it’s a natural part of life. It takes time and energy to keep a friendship going. As people embark on careers, start families and take on more responsibilities, there isn’t the same amount of time to spend with friends. We become more selective about how we use our precious time.
When Friends Drift Apart Naturally
What we enjoy as children changes through adolescence and adulthood. Someone who was rebellious as a teenager might shift and become over responsible as an adult. Their friends will naturally change as they go through transformations. Unless two friends have the same interests in common or share a deep bond, their interests go elsewhere.
Two people who work together have that as their shared experience. If one or both leave for another job elsewhere, the context changes and therefore the relationship might not have enough glue to hold it together. The same happens for people in any group or organization; once the common interest changes or is lost, there may not be a shared connection.
People actively pursuing a personal or spiritual growth journey tend to let go of old ways of being quickly as they discover more of their authentic self. What once sparked enthusiasm may fizzle out. A different career path, change of home, and new friends are not surprising. There’s nothing good or bad, nor right or wrong about any of this. It’s a simple case of two things not matching or resonating together anymore. This includes friends.
When Friendships End Abruptly
If a friendship suddenly ends, it may not be a simple mismatch. There may be underlying resentment or unresolved issues at hand. One friend may be hurt by the other’s words or actions and decide to end the friendship. Unfortunately, they may be missing out on an opportunity to heal their own old wounds triggered by their friend.
When we are wounded by another, there is usually a deeper wound underneath; otherwise the current experience wouldn’t be so charged. We wouldn’t take it as personally, but would be willing to explore the dynamics that led to the experience. But if our friend’s inappropriate behavior has become a pattern, it may be time to set healthy boundaries and limit or end the friendship.
Is it Time to Let Go of the Friendship
If you’re wondering whether to end a friendship or not, explore the following questions:
- What is healthy about the friendship and what is not healthy?
- What do I enjoy about the friendship and what are the benefits?
- What do I not enjoy about it and what does it cost me?
- If it’s not healthy or functional, what keeps me in it?
- If it’s generally healthy except for one issue, can I resolve it?
- Is this friendship triggering an old wound that needs healing?
If you’ve recently lost a good friend and don’t know why, ask yourself the following:
- Do we really have anything in common or have we grown apart?
- Has either or both of us changed in different directions over time?
- From their perspective, is there anything inappropriate I might have done?
- Has a misunderstanding occurred that could be rectified?
- Is there a lesson or growth opportunity available for me here?
- Do I need closure through a letter or conversation?
Good friends are a source of comfort, support, fun and companionship. Take time to nurture the important ones, explore ways to mend broken friendships, and move one when friends have drifted away permanently.
Do you have any questions or insights into why friends drift apart and friendships end? Please share below.