It is more than likely that at some point in your life you will have made friends that you eventually drifted away from. There might not have been a huge fight but perhaps you might have gone through a significant life event or felt like at one point in your life you just really *got each other” but don’t anymore?
Life always does that funny thing of standing still for no one and I guess we all work at different paces.
For some of us things fall into place a lot quicker than it does for others but that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a right or a wrong way. Does that mean you should let go of friends who are too far ahead or even far behind you?
I think the first and main thing you need to ask yourself is – Do you enjoy your time with them? I have friends that are complete polar opposites to me but when we get together we can discuss different ideas and respect each others views. Others are just a real laugh and even though we might not discuss something meaningful during out time together, I go home feeling uplifted.
Do I think you should cut out these people? Absolutely not. When I think of these friends, they remind me of good times and have helped me grow as a person. Let’s face it, how boring would life be if we were friends with complete clones of ourselves. Besides, as much as I am a serious person, sometimes I just want to escape and do something that will take my mind off of life’s mundanity.
If you’re questioning your friendships and wondering whether you should continue working at them because you’re at different stages in life then here are my tips:
Don’t take it personally – just because things have changed in your lives and you might be doing different things, it doesn’t mean your friendship means any less. Life just has an annoying habit of getting in the way. If you haven’t heard from someone in a while then check in on them and find out what’s going on. It’s more than likely that they will appreciate a ‘thinking of you’ message if they’ve got a lot on their plate.
Downgrade don’t dissolve – Friendships don’t have to be all or nothing. This is so, so important to remember as a fully functioning adult; so there’s no reason to resort to a “break-up”. Most of us don’t need an out of a relationship as much as we may need to give ourselves permission to let the bond change from a level 10 to a level 5. There is value in having companions of all levels of intimacy, even those who only connect on a surface level. Sometimes we just want to make small talk and other times you want to talk to someone who will really understand you and connect with you on a more meaningful level. Besides, it’s entirely possibly that a year or two from now, you and your pal will ramp up to level 10 again. Friendship should be flexible.
Work at it – We all know that friendship doesn’t work if you don’t put any effort into it. If you’re finding that your friendship is waning then plan some special days and fun activities, taking into consideration what you both might enjoy. Perhaps take up something new together or even take it in turns to try out something you’ve always wanted to do!
There’s no manual for adult-ing and let’s face it, it can be really frickin’ hard. There are no rules to friendships but I always believe that people come into your life for a reason. Even if you need time to be alone and to recuperate from people, check in on them from time to time because even if you barely speak now, you once shared some pretty cool memories together.
Do you stay friends with people when you have nothing in common anymore?