One thing that I believe a lot of us don’t really think about is that friendships can change many times over our lifetimes. They will fluctuate and move over time based on the stage of life that we are in. Now don’t get me wrong, there are always those friends that you will be lifelong friends with. The ones you don’t see for a few years and then you get together for dinner and it is like you never spent time apart. The rest of your friends will and I would argue should fluctuate throughout your life. Its healthy to gain new friendships and move on from some old ones that might not be as good for you.
Life Changes Bring Friend Changes
There can be some pretty big changes at certain times of life that your friend groups will really change, graduating high school, graduating college, getting married, having kids amongst other events that often can radically change our relationships. You will simply be in a different spot than some of the friends you have and you will naturally start to grow apart and that’s ok. We need to be ok with growing apart from some of our friends just like we need to be ok with gaining new ones. For some of us that might be a lot harder than it sounds, and you might think to yourself that you don’t want to change friends and that it is too much work to find new ones.
Your New Best Friend Could Be Right Around The Corner
If you really think about it though, your new best friend might be right around the corner. They might be just waiting to meet you and looking for someone just like you to be in their life. If you just hold tight to old friendships that are not as life giving as they once were, and you keep trying to make something work that isn’t you might just miss out on new opportunities for friends that challenge you!
The most important thing to do is recognize when friendships are no longer life giving and affirming to your life. It’s a natural thing and happens regularly if you let it. It isn’t about getting things out of your friend it’s just about knowing when it’s not good for you or them anymore. When your lives have grown apart enough to know that you need to invest in a new or budding relationship and let the old one become less of a priority. I am definitely ok with keeping in touch with people and connecting from time to time to keep some kind of connection with them but know when it is time to turn your priorities elsewhere. If you watch for it you will see it. That certainly doesn’t mean it is easy to let go of old friendships but in the end it is healthy for both of you.
Always Be On The Lookout!
The second thing you can be doing is to always be on the lookout for new friends. I know many people who just have their group of people they spend time with and they never step outside of it. They jealously guard their group of friends from outsiders and are not on the lookout for new connections and relationships. The problem is that when one of your group has unexpected life changes, like a job that requires them to relocate, or a new baby and no one else in the group has a baby, then you find yourself growing apart from the friend with no other prospects nearby.
Don’t Just Live Your Life in A Bubble of Friends
Don’t be a person who lives like this, welcome new people in and enjoy the diversity of a friend group that is constantly changing and growing. Look for that person that might be your new best friend and make a connection with them. Foster relationships wherever you go and you will not struggle when a good friend suddenly picks up and moves across the country. You will have the support of the other friends you are creating and you will be able to pick up and increase your connection with them as needed. Remember, its ok for different seasons in life to mean different friendships and its ok to always be looking for new people to connect with. With 7+ billion people on this earth you should be able to find a few good ones!