How To Move On When Friendships Drift Apart


A friend once said to me that she didn’t understand why people break up, since our significant others are supposed to be our best friends and you wouldn’t just stop being friends with your best friend. This was at least 5 years ago, yet it’s stuck with me. Maybe we do just stop being friends with our best friends, and maybe it’s okay.

How many times have you or someone you know split up with a boyfriend or girlfriend because you simply drifted apart? It happens. Inevitably, people change and are not the same people we knew when we met them however long ago. It’s no one’s fault, and isn’t something we can even control; it’s a natural process of growing up.

And no matter how much we don’t want to admit it, the same thing can happen with friends. I think of the person I was 4 years ago as a junior in high school and am astonished at how different I am today. My priorities, dreams, activities, and even looks have changed dramatically. It only makes sense that the people I surround myself with have changed, too. The past 4 years have been such a formative time in my life and I’ve begun to see the person I’d like to become in my future. I’ve also seen the people who I used to be close with fade into the distance, some because of my loss of contact with them and some because of theirs.

I’m not fighting to bring those people back into the forefront of my life, and am completely okay with the fact that we’ve drifted apart. I don’t see the point of trying to save something that has already died. I know that if I met some of my high school friends today, we wouldn’t be friends. We’re barely similar anymore.

People today seem to be obsessed with the idea of growing old with their high school friends and watching their children become best friends as they grow old and reminisce about their own high school days together. This just doesn’t happen for most people, and it’s okay that it doesn’t. Sure, it’d be lovely to remain as close with your first best friends throughout your whole life, but the odds of that happening are pretty low. I’ll be happy with a Christmas card every year from those people with a quick update on their lives and families.

It’s not wrong to stop caring about what’s going on in your old friends’ lives; it’s natural. And just like a break-up, it will be easier for one person to accept than the other initially. It’s not fair to yourself or the other person to keep pretending and feigning friendship with someone who you haven’t shared an intimate best friend moment with in over a year. The spark of friendship can fade just like a relationship spark.

Moving on is an essential part of growing up. The thought of losing a person who has meant so much to you may hurt. But is the person you fear losing already gone?

featured image – Alexandra Bellink