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.