Changing Friendship? What to Do When You’re Growing Apart

Hipster Couple Of Girlfriends In Disinterest Moment With MobileTwo girls who loved being outside, we spent the entire summer together exploring the neigborhood when I moved in down the street. We were friends from the start — until one of us got a summer job and we drifted apart.

If you’re wondering how your once-close friendship grew distant and how you can rekindle it, check out these five tips for handling a changing friendship.

Remember what drew you to your friend

The first thing you can do is remind yourself what drew you and your friend together in the first place. What is the thing that you like most about your friend? Is it her sense of humor? Do you share similar interests?

For me and my friend, we both had a dry sense of humor and took interest in each other. Recounting how we met helped me reconnect with her heart and who she is as a person.

Share how you are feeling with your friend

We also had an honest conversation about how we were both feeling. People are not mind readers! Your perspective may not be your friend’s perspective, and vice versa.

If you sense your friendship is growing apart, you should share how you are feeling. It’s better to push past fear or pride than to watch a friendship fade. Besides, your friend may be feeling the same way, and you two can work on the friendship together.

Be intentional about pursuing the friendship

Once everything is out in the open, you should be intentional about pursuing the friendship. I realized that I had put my friend on the back burner, so I decided to refocus and make our friendship more of a priority. I became intentional by asking her questions about her day, complimenting her and making myself more available to her.

Healthy friendships cannot be left to chance. Become intentional about maintaining a great relationship with your friend.

Plan some time together

An important part of being intentional is plannning some time together. This is the only way to build a lasting bond. If you don’t spend time with each other — even if it’s just on FaceTime — how will you know what’s going on in your friend’s world?

Maybe the friendship isn’t growing apart, but you just haven’t spent enough time enjoying each other. When I felt a distance in my friendship, I made a point to spend the whole day with my friend.

Know when to let go graciously

Unfortunately, sometimes friendships grow apart, and the only thing we can do is accept it. We all change and grow as people.

Some friendships are seasonal. A friend and I grew apart once we were no longer involved with the same activity. I realized it was for the best, as we had little in common outside of the one activity we were both involved in.

If you and your friend have grown so far apart that there is little common ground, you should be honest about it, let the friendship go and wish your once-close friend the best. Do this without bitterness, being thankful for the good times you had together. That way you’ll be at a good place when the door for a new friendship opens up.

Originally published May 25, 2016.

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