Written by Kelle Salle
Image by @latto777
Changes in friendships are a part of life but it is hard to comprehend that friends you had a few years ago may not even be in your close circle anymore. In my teens and early 20’s, I always thought the friendships I made would stand the test of time, but it wasn’t until I experienced Saturn Return in my late 20’s that I was propelled to evaluate my friendship group and make a few changes.
Whether you believe in Saturn Return or not, a study in 2016 found that many people’s friendship pools start to decrease around the age of 25. As you navigate your 20’s, you start to become more aware of what you want in life and this includes what you want from personal relationships. Nothing can prepare you for outgrowing a friendship, especially if the friend in question is your best friend.
Figuring out whether or not you’ve outgrown your best friend is a difficult process, but if you suspect that your friendship isn’t what it once used to be, you owe it to yourself to have a period of reflection. Remember the quote ‘people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime’? We all grow as we navigate adulthood and outgrowing your best friend could be the universe’s way of telling you that your friendship is no longer serving you.
If you think you may have outgrown your best friend, keep reading because Creative Arts Psychotherapist, Blogger and Content Creator Freda Nomo has shared a few signs to look out for as well as some insight on whether a broken friendship can be rekindled.
Having different priorities
Adulthood is full of transitions. We become independent individuals who may eventually get married or have children and we may also experience other milestones in life such as moving to another city or country or changing careers. It takes a lot of time to adjust to major changes in life and as a result, friendships may take a back seat and you might find yourself communicating with your best friend less frequently.
Lots of arguments
Although arguments can actually strengthen relationships (due to conflict resolution), frequent arguments that are often left unresolved can lead to resentment and issues that wreak more havoc.
Feeling like you can’t be yourself around them
This is a major sign that your friendship may be coming to an end. People grow and change but if you feel yourself becoming self-conscious or even shrinking yourself around your best friend, it’s time to let the friendship go.
Too much drama
If your interactions with your best friend are heightened by chaos, pettiness and drama, then this is definitely a sign that your friendship may have run its course. Interactions that are less than pleasant will always leave you feeling stressed, anxious and drained.
You feel drained whenever you spend time with them
You should always enjoy spending time with your best friend but if you find yourself exhausted or drained after meeting up with them, then it’s definitely time to re-evaluate your friendship as this is a sign that the friendship is causing you stress. This may also be a sign that the friendship has become one-sided.
The friendship feels one-sided
One-sided friendships can cause a lot of hurt, confusion and resentment. You may find that most conversations you have with your best friend always revolve around them and they don’t seem to take an interest in you and what’s going on in your life. If you can’t count on your friends to be there for you when you need them, chances are you’re in a one-sided friendship.
Can a broken friendship be rekindled when one or both parties have outgrown each other?
Is it possible to move forward?
A broken friendship can be rekindled if one or both parties have outgrown each other, especially if different life priorities are the reason why you’ve drifted apart. It may be beneficial to have a conversation around scheduling time to enjoy each other’s company. Another way to stay in touch is to have video calls whenever possible.
If the friendship came to an end due to conflict, arguments or disagreements, then it might be difficult for it to be rekindled. There may be an opportunity to rekindle the friendship if both parties are willing to put in the work to make amends. If things are really tense between you and your best friend, you might want to consider having a mediator (ideally from the same friendship group) to put things in perspective.
When it comes to conflict, having a conversation and actively listening to one another will help resolve things between you and your best friend. Boundaries are also necessary if one or both parties outgrew each other due to feeling drained or being surrounded by constant drama. Outgrowing or parting ways with your best friend can feel similar to a break up. If you would like to rekindle your relationship with your best friend, it’s important to voice your needs and be honest about how you would like to move forward in the friendship.