Why it’s OK to lose friends in your twenties

Being twenty-something myself, I never actually thought this would happen to me. I always had one really close friend who I thought the world of. Turns out I was wrong to do so. It came to light last year just how toxic this friendship was, I’m very thankful to this day that I ended up letting it go.

Usually, people feel sad and lonely when they notice their pool of friends is getting smaller and smaller as they grow older. But, it’s completely normal to lose friends as you grow older.

When you’re in your twenties, you can no longer just “hang out” with friends carefree, every day like you used to. I mean, you’ve got responsibilities now; you may have a car, a house, a job and have a clearer picture of what you want out of life.

Speaking from experience, as much as it hurts, it’s totally normal for friends to come and go. Here’s why you shouldn’t be too downhearted about it!

You have to deal with family, your job and other concerns first

As you grow older, you begin to become a lot more engaged with your career, saving for a home and/or taking care of your family, and just can’t see many of your friends as much as you used to anymore. It’s 100% normal and to be expected.

Of course, it’s frustrating when the responsibilities of adulthood wash away friendships, but it happens. If you’re lucky though, you can always pick up the phone to your closest friend and catch up. If your friendship is that good, you should be able to catch up after not seeing each other for like a month and still be able to natter away.

You discover some friendships just aren’t worth the effort anymore

Maintaining friendships is hard work. It takes up your time and even sometimes a lot of money. While there are some friendships you cherish and wish to maintain for as long as possible, some just aren’t worth investing in anymore. Not that those friendships you aren’t interested in anymore are necessarily bad—it’s just that you are older now and have outgrown them.

On the surface, it may seem like it’s a bad thing to lose these old friendships, but it’s good. It’s proof that you are growing. If you are not losing some of those old friendships, you may not be growing up.

You start to enjoy different things

As humans, we’re forever changing. But this also means our friends change too, as well as the things that bonded us in the first place. For example, you may have an old friend you loved because she was simple and modest, but who suddenly thinks she’s rich and has developed a taste for the extravagant. You notice it’s awkward for you to spend time with her now because you can’t afford the same restaurants, shopping trips and other expensive hobbies. So you gradually grow apart.

In cases like these, there’s often no malice or definitive parting of the ways. It just happens slowly and it’s good because it allows you to let go and make room for new friends who share similar interests and values.

You realise that some friendships are actually toxic

Have you ever heard the saying “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”? Sometimes you find some friends have problematic mindsets that are only revealed as they grow up. We all know those friends. They always manage to make you do or say things you’d vowed never to do again, like pay for more bloody drinks for them when they’re apparently broke but come out dressed in a new designer dress *ahem*….maybe. Their crazy lifestyle is problematic for you, and they somehow always drag you into it when you are around them.

Although you genuinely care for them, you know they just aren’t good to be around anymore. So you avoid them. That’s a smart move because it protects you from getting into something you’ll regret later.

You end up having a handful of cherished friends you prioritise 🙂

When you get older, you’ve had a chance to evaluate, sift through and settle for true friends who you know will stay no matter what, no matter how circumstances change, no matter how often or not you can see each other. These true friends love you for who you are, not for what you have. And you love them in the same way.

These are the type of friends you are willing to move mountains for. You enjoy their company and they enjoy yours. Your conversations are great and you both give and take as much as the other.

It’s hard to find true friends like these so maybe there are just two, three or maybe four, if you are lucky – but never an entire gang. Don’t be disheartened if you only have a couple. Honestly, I worry sometimes that I can’t count my closest friends on one hand, but that’s not a bad thing. It means that in my forever busy life, I still have plenty of time and love to give them all.

Have you got any experiences of losing close friends? Let me know your stories in the comments.

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30 Comments

  1. February 27, 2018 / 4:28 pm

    This is a wonderful and encouraging article. I too have lost friends along the way. But what i have realized for myself is that I have now so much more fun with the few friends I have, because they share the same interests and bring meaning and happiness to my life. Thank you, Sophie!

    • February 27, 2018 / 4:31 pm

      It feels such a shame to lose them at the time but the reality is it’s more often than not for the best. I’m glad you’re having an amazing time with the new friends you have made!

  2. February 27, 2018 / 4:29 pm

    Oh I’ll definitely be sharing this with my audience! I write for twenty-somethings as well and of course, I also am a twenty-something 🙂 So, I notice people hanging onto friendships for these wrong reasons a lot. This is a great time in life to discover who your true friends are, and who’s really worth your time! Doesn’t make you a failure or bad friend if you have to cut some people loose.

    • February 27, 2018 / 4:32 pm

      Aww thanks so much! Definitely, I see a lot of that too, there’s no need to hang around with people for the wrong reasons anymore, it’s a waste of valuable time 🙂 Totally agree with you hun!

  3. February 27, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    This is so true! As I get older and my friends live on the other side of the country it’s hard to keep the friendship alive. Your post made me feel a little better about that. Thank you!

    • February 27, 2018 / 7:08 pm

      It’s so tough but honestly it’s only natural ☺️ I live further away from all my close friends now but as long as both parties are happy to make effort it works!

  4. February 27, 2018 / 6:04 pm

    One thing i’ve learned in my twenties about frienships is that not only (as the cliché goes) you know the true friends in your darkets hour, but also when the friendship is real, if you don’t talk to each other for months because of different engagements you can still carry on where you last left and without blaming each other and it feels like no time has passed. Those are the best friendships! And also, if you feel like you need to try too hard, or like you’re actually the only one who’s trying – just let go. It’s not worth it. As with romantic relationships – you don’t need to chase for love when it’s right.

    • February 27, 2018 / 7:09 pm

      Totally agree! I couldn’t have summed it up better myself hun ☺️ Ive tried too hard for too many people in my life and it’s draining!

  5. February 27, 2018 / 7:53 pm

    Friends will come and go and sometimes you have to go ahead and move on. If any friend makes you uncomfortable and/or results in a toxic relationship, they should be dropped immediately. Remember- there is never a shortage of people to meet. You can always find and make new friends.

  6. February 28, 2018 / 12:37 am

    This post is exact mirror of what I have and am currently going through! I love the quote “You are the average of the 5 people you spend your time with” it is so true.

    • sophiieschoice
      February 28, 2018 / 8:01 am

      So true and I hope you get through it hun 🙂 just remember, some aren’t worth it and are toxic. Step back from the friendship and evaluate it before you carry on

  7. February 28, 2018 / 4:27 pm

    Totally agree with all of this. I’ve let go of some friendships because the people I really do care about also care about me and share so many more things in common than some of the other friends I had made.

    • March 1, 2018 / 9:15 am

      I think we have to let go of toxic friendships especially if you’re not getting back what you put in! Glad you’ve found some other friends you have more in common with 🙂

  8. March 1, 2018 / 9:26 am

    This an amazing post about losing friendships! I’ve lost quite around 2/3 friends in the past few friends even though we were so close. But I’ve learnt to let go and am kind of glad some of those friendships are over as I don’t think it would have worked out. Your closest friends are the ones who are there for your ups and downs, and those are the people I’m trying to stick with. Loved this post 🙂 x

    amerzwithlove.com

    • March 1, 2018 / 10:33 am

      I’m glad you loved it and I’m glad you got through yours 🙂 you’re right, the best ones stick around through thick and thin!

  9. March 1, 2018 / 10:05 am

    I loved this article. Your writing style is amazing and the topic is so honest and clear. I lost some of my closest friends after I moved to another city. Since they promised me to stay in touch, I was very sad about „breaking up“ with them. Eventually, I‘ve noticed that it is okay to let go of them, since I grew older myself and realised that some friendships are not meant to last a lifetime.
    Thanks for writing about such a sensitive topic, because I think that there are people out there who just have to realise that losing friends is not necessairily a bad thing.
    xx Hilal

    • March 1, 2018 / 10:34 am

      Aww I’m so glad you loved my blog! Always so nice to hear 🙂 Aww bless you, it’s so sad to lose them but it’s usually for the best. xx

  10. March 1, 2018 / 10:33 am

    This is such a great post, some really good points. I’ve definitely lost a lot of my friends and it is sad but I’ve come to the point that I’ve let go because I felt like the only one making any effort!- https://sophiehearts.net x

    • March 1, 2018 / 10:37 am

      Thanks hun! It is sad but sometimes it’s best to let go 🙂 x

  11. March 1, 2018 / 12:22 pm

    I 100% agree with this! I wrote a post very similar actually and I talked about how friends come and go and you just have to learn to accept it. Some people make the effort more than others and I’ve just learnt to accept that 🙂

    http://www.laurenannbeauty.com

    • March 1, 2018 / 1:23 pm

      Will check it out! 🙂 it’s so true though.

  12. March 1, 2018 / 2:35 pm

    This post is very true! It’s nice to know everyone else goes through it too. Xx

  13. March 1, 2018 / 4:26 pm

    It’s always been difficult for me to pose friends, I have a weird obsession with making sure people don’t hate or dislike me, so it really bothers me when I’m not on good terms with someone. I’ve had to cut out a lot of toxic people from my life and I’m healthier for it, even though it was hard at the time. Great post x

  14. March 1, 2018 / 4:36 pm

    I love how honest this is! I went to uni in UK and now that I’m back in Gibraltar there’s only a handful of uni friends I keep in contact with, which is sad but it takes a lot of energy to keep up with everyone. You know you have a friend for life when you can go a few weeks without seeing each other/speaking and it still being the same – low maintenance friends are great! x

    G

    http://www.teawithgi.com

    • March 1, 2018 / 4:44 pm

      Thanks hun! I like to wear my heart on my sleeve when I blog haha so glad it comes across that way! Love low maintenance friends 🙂 they’re the best!

  15. March 2, 2018 / 12:39 am

    I resonate with this post very much. It seems harder to make friends and to keep friends as we age since we all have other priorities and different goals in life. I’ve just started with my first full time job last year, and I realized how I just don’t have as much energy to meet up with friends as I did compared to when I was still in college. But I think we’ll all reach that point where we understand each other and not force it anymore. Thanks for this, Sophie!

    http://helloannajo.blogspot.com

    • March 2, 2018 / 9:31 am

      I’m glad you relate hun! Congrats on your first full time job 🙂 I think we all come to terms with it at some point, so don’t worry 🙂

  16. March 8, 2018 / 11:25 pm

    I’ve been meaning to read this since I saw you post it on instagtam. But everything you’ve said is so true! I’m going through this now. As moving to Sheffield has really put strain on some friendships. I’ve found I’ve lost some friendships but got closer to others.

    Navigation friendships in your mid twenties is definitely more difficult, but hopefully it’ll get better!

    • March 13, 2018 / 1:17 pm

      It’s such a funny one though, isn’t it! Friends come and go but it’s the true ones that stick around no matter what. Glad that you’ve grown closer to some of yours despite your move hun! x

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