It’s something no one talks about or tells you about until you are agonizing over a friendship that you have heartbreakingly realized has long since fizzled out. Whether speaking of your high school social circle, college besties, partner, or a dear friend you met as an adult—sometimes it causes more struggle and strife to try to maintain a broken friendship. It’s ok to grow apart and to allow your friendship to change or simply come to an end.
You Don’t Owe Your Friend Anything
One of the challenges of letting a friendship go is that you may feel as if your shared history is too valuable or intertwined that you can’t imagine living your life without your bestie. However, even if they helped you through your greatest of life challenges, you don’t owe anyone your friendship—and a true friend would never ask you to stick it out, out of a sense of obligation.
Talk Openly About It And Try To Set Boundaries
Depending on the friend this may be easier said than done, or downright impossible to achieve—but at least try. Talk about the ways in which your friendship has changed, your common ground has shifted, or the different direction each of your lives has taken. For example, they are married, and you are single. You have kids and they don’t. They are still into the hobby you once had in common, but you aren’t. Your values or life priorities have shifted. Or you sincerely don’t seem to have anything in common anymore. See if there is a way to set boundaries around topics of contention, and agree to spend more time on the things (although fewer) that you still have in common.
The truth is, not all friendships will stand the test of time—and it’s ok to grow apart. In fact, it is human nature to do just that. It is always better to lovingly let someone go while you still love and respect one another than allow things to go strained, or end in a big blowout.