How to Recognize that You Have Outgrown a Friendship?
When we were children, we thought that friends are forever. As adults, we might see that sometimes we have outgrown a friendship. Breaking up with a friend is not an easy thing especially if we’ve been close with them for a longer period. Sometimes, we don’t need to “break up” with a friend, and we might just need to adjust our relationship in line with our current life situations.
Leaving a Friendship
Leaving a friend can be a painful experience but if you feel unfulfilled and frustrated with a relationship you might need to change certain things or you might need to leave the relationship. Here are signs that you might need to leave a relationship.
Is the Friendship Unfulfilling?
Certain friendships can be completely unfulfilling, or it can be dreadful to the point that you have that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when you make plans to see a friend. Still, for some reason, you can’t stop, and you can’t break up with that friend.
The reason behind it can be the conversations that you have with your friend. It can be about things that you don’t care much about, or it can be about negative and difficult topics.
In those unfulfilling relationships, you might feel like you are doing a lot of emotional labor especially if your friend relies a lot on you to support them while they are repeatedly complaining about job or spouse issues. After a conversation with this type of person, you might feel like you are exhausted. On top of that, you might feel angry or frustrated because you are wasting your time. Unfulfilling friendships are taking away far more than they are giving back to you.
You are all Matured and Grown Now, but are They?
In an ideal situation, a friendship grows with you, and it allows you to be yourself not the old version of yourself. With some friendships, we are an old version of ourselves. Your friend might feel the same. These friendships are full of “Do you remember that time?” conversations. Or your childhood friend is stuck with the same habits, music, people, and places for the past decade, and you have moved on and now you have other things ahead of you. You might feel weird talking about the past times all the time. It is good to catch up with your old friends and have that conversation, but you can’t pretend that things are the same as they were a decade ago.
In those relationships, you can feel like you need to pretend that you are someone else. You can’t talk about your new interests, hobbies, new people and your new life.
Did Either Side Give up on the Friendship Already?
One person can give up on friendship without the other side realizing it because there were no difficult conversations. In this friendship, you can notice that all plans and follow-ups are not happening. If you feel like you should keep a friend, try checking up with them. Maybe they are busy or they have a big change in their lives but they are not willing to discuss this with anyone.
From the other side, you might notice that you are the one not putting in enough effort, and perhaps you are not invested as you were before. Somewhere along the line you simply gave up on the relationship. It might be easier to simply let go or redefine a friendship without having tough conversations. Maybe you can see each other a couple of times a year and that will do.
Sometimes people don’t have anything in common anymore and they naturally outgrow a friendship and both decide to leave a relationship without hurting each other which is completely fine, and a natural part of life. Again, this doesn’t mean that you don’t like each other and that you will never see each other again, but it simply means that you need to redefine the friendship and see each other less often.
Some Friendships are Forever
Some friendships are forever, friends mature and grow together. You probably have a friend that you’ve known for a long time, and you are still very much close. If you don’t, maybe there are friends that you have right now with whom you will be a friend forever.