Signs You’re Drifting From Your Friend, And That’s Okay

As much as we all like to label our friends as our “best friend forever” when we’re younger, the reality of it is that as you grow up, you’re going to drift apart from some of your friends.

Some people come into your lives at a certain time and then drift out of it. There doesn’t need to be a dramatic fight or an epic conclusion to it; you change as your age, and if you don’t grow in the same way, you grow apart.

Is There A Reason Friends Drift?

three women looking into ball of string lights
Photo Credit: Pexels / Ali Panzani
Photo Credit: Pexels / Ali Panzani

The simplest answer would probably be “no.” If you and your friend simply drift away from each other without any sort of fight or catalyst, it’s going to be hard to lock down a specific reason as to why it’s happened.

That’s Not To Say You Can’t Drift Back

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Photo Credit: Pexels
Photo Credit: Pexels

There might not be a clear reason why you drifted apart, but that also means that there’s a chance you could mend the friendship or come back to each other if there wasn’t a painful breaking point. If you didn’t burn any bridges, there’s still a door to possibly walk through later.

You’ll Make New Friends—Really, You Will

two women on rooftop sunny day
Photo Credit: Pexels
Photo Credit: Pexels

There are plenty of situations in your life where you’re going to meet people or form friendships because you see them frequently. Your friendships from high school might not withstand everyone separating post-graduation, but that’s okay because you’ll make new friendships in college or at your job.

Proximity Could Be A Reason You Drift

woman smiling at friend at school
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Jhudel Baguoi
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Jhudel Baguoi

Or lack of proximity, rather. If you’re a person who needs a clear answer as to why your friendship is coming to an end, think about how it started. Do you have a lot of shared interests and motivations with someone, or did you form a friendship because you sat beside each other in class in grade 9 and then saw them practically every day for four years?

It Comes With Age, Too

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Photo Credit: Pexels
Photo Credit: Pexels

The older you get, the more you’re going to realize that you’re not interested in putting in the effort for someone who doesn’t do the same. Life is busy, and you’ll want to use what little free time you do have to spend time around people who make you happy.

People Don’t Always Change In The Same Way

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Photo Credit: Unsplash / Priscilla Du Preez
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Priscilla Du Preez

As you age, you’re going to grow and change as people too, and not everyone changes in the same ways. Your friendships are still a relationship in your life, and lots of relationships don’t work out because two people took different paths in life and grew in different ways.

Seeing The Signs

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Photo Credit: Pexels / Elijah O’Donnell
Photo Credit: Pexels / Elijah O’Donnell

You might not be ready to admit it, but if you feel like you’re starting to drift from a friend, there are a few telltale signs that you can take note of.

You Aren’t Communicating As Often

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Photo Credit: Pexels
Photo Credit: Pexels

You don’t hang out as often, the calls aren’t as frequent, and it takes thee to five business days for either of you to return a text message, even if the response is a simple one.

You Feel Drained After Seeing Them

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Photo Credit: Pexels / Andrew Neel
Photo Credit: Pexels / Andrew Neel

Rather than feeling happy or relaxed after spending time with them, you leave feeling uncomfortable and tired. You feel drained because you’re trying to put in more effort than you should.

One Of You Almost Always Cancels

woman in restaurant eating alone
Photo Credit: Pexels
Photo Credit: Pexels

When you actually do manage to make a plan to see each other, it never seems to happen on the first try. One of you always ends up canceling for some reason, because you’re not making the friendship a priority.

You Censor Yourself Around Them

two women seated on bench talking
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Trung Thanh
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Trung Thanh

A friend is supposed to be someone who you trust, who you can discuss your problems or feelings with without fear of being judged. Lately, though, you’ve been feeling like you need to watch what you say around them. You’re not comfortable discussing certain topics or issues with them.

Your Circle Of Friends Has Changed

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Photo Credit: Unsplash / Matheus Ferrero
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Matheus Ferrero

You might have shifted circles and are trying to hold on to that one friendship from the previous group, but it’s becoming harder and harder to understand why you’re doing it.

You’re Having A Lot Of Moments Of Miscommunication

two women in track uniforms seated talking
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Andrea Tummons
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Andrea Tummons

Not only are you not talking to each other as frequently, but it feels like you’ve been having a lot of misunderstandings or moments where you don’t see eye-to-eye on things.

You Have Nothing In Common

friends standing holding hands
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Darya Skuratovich
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Darya Skuratovich

It’s normal for friends to have hobbies or interests that aren’t the same, but you can’t build a friendship on nothing. You’re realizing that you don’t really have any shared interests, so how are you supposed to build on that?

They’re No Longer The First Person You Call

woman talking on phone
Photo Credit: Pexels
Photo Credit: Pexels

If something big happens in your life, you want to share that with the people you’re closest to. While they might once have been the first person you’d call about that promotion you’re going for at work, now you might not even remember to tell them until you’ve been in the role for two months.

Everything Is Based On Nostalgia

little boy and girl walking on road black and white
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Annie Spratt
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Annie Spratt

You continue to meet up with each other or keep in touch because you’ve known each other for a long time, but your friendship isn’t progressing. Your relationship is rooted in the fact that you’re old friends.

Knowing When To Let It Go

friends seated in chairs watching sunset
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Harli Marten
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Harli Marten

Acknowledging that a friendship isn’t what it used to be is not going to be an easy realization, but sometimes, it’s a necessary one. You have to be able to recognize when something isn’t worth the effort you’re putting into it.

Not Every Friendship Needs To Be Forever

two women pinkies interlocked
Photo Credit: Unsplash
Photo Credit: Unsplash

We do a lot of things in our lives out of obligation, because we feel like we’ve committed time to them or invested in something, but friendships shouldn’t be one of those things.

You Don’t Have To Feel Guilty

woman seated on hill watching sunset
Photo Credit: Pexels
Photo Credit: Pexels

Not everything that you do needs to be based on the idea that it’s going to last forever, or that a decision you make today is permanent. It’s okay to realize that a friendship worked for both people at a certain time or moment in life but doesn’t anymore.

It Only Works If You Both Want It Too

two women seated leaning on each other
Photo Credit: Pexels / Harrison Haines
Photo Credit: Pexels / Harrison Haines

The reality is that unless both of you are fully committed to making your friendship work, it’s not going to last. You have to decide how much effort you want to put into something and decide if that friendship adds value to your life, or if it just adds stress.