Managing Changing Relationships

Our lives are ever-changing and evolving. With new jobs and homes and experiences come new friends, relationships and connections. With all this change happening around us, we can begin to change too and so can the people we surround ourselves with. Most likely, the people you were friends with when you were five are not the same friends you are close with today. Some people do have relationships like this, and if you’re one of them, you are lucky. However, for most of us, we have felt the uncomfortable feelings of drifting apart from people we were once close with. 

Anna Schultz-Black And White Girl From Behind

Sometimes these changes happen drastically. We can experience a fight or a falling out between ourselves and the people we are close to. Sometimes it is more subtle and you don’t even realize it till you’ve gone months without talking to said person. 

If you have a falling out with a friend it is important to recognize why this happened. What was the source of the disagreement? Was it reasonable or unreasonable? Was it something that could have been prevented? Once you find the source, examine the relationship. Is this a person who adds value to my life? Do they contribute positively to my life? Do they match my life goals? Are they someone that can help me achieve the things I want to in life? If the answer is yes to these questions, it is a relationship worth saving. If not, it might be best to let them go. 

If you and a friend drift apart, it is good practice to ask and analyze the relationship as stated above. However, this can be a little trickier. Look at the things you and your friend used to do together: if those aren’t things you enjoy doing, then it might be time to come to terms with the situation. If you aren’t making the relationship a priority and want to make it one, then reevaluate how you could be a better friend or communicate to your friend what you need from them. There is an old saying that goes, “a phone rings both ways.” However, sometimes you might forget that you have to pick up the phone and call also. 

Sometimes there’s just a natural drift apart and that is ok too. We grow and change in so many ways, especially in our youth. Things we want in life can change and that is ok. Experiences and values we have can also change and that’s alright. Just because your friend group changes or your aspirations change does not mean that you are a bad friend, sometimes people just grow in different directions. 

It can sometimes be good to outgrow friends. You might not realize it while you’re in it but maybe you are in a friendship or a relationship that is toxic. Maybe that person doesn’t value you and you don’t realize it. Maybe given the opportunity to try new experiences and grow, you become more in touch with what you need and want out of life. If that is the case, it is great and a perfect example of how spreading yourself out of your comfort zone can be a benefit. 

Whatever your situation is, it is good to do self-checks for yourself. Know what is important to you and surround yourself with people who have similar ideals and goals that positively contribute to your life.