Time changes friendships. Small disputes and misunderstandings develop as people and their situations change. In the end, those who thought they were close realize their paths have drifted.
You probably don’t consider the chance that the friendship might end when you initially make a new buddy. But ultimately, some of your pals will leave your life, which is unavoidable. People drift apart for various reasons; not all friendships last a lifetime.
Reasons friendships end include distance, unmet expectations, lack of time, and disapproval by family and friends. Lack of shared interest and betrayal are also other reasons. It’s advisable to be on the lookout for signs of a dying friendship.
This article will provide insight into why some friendships end or why some of your friendships may have ended.
Reasons Why Friendships End
The following are some reasons why most friendships end.
- Lack of Time
Losing contact or not finding time to talk to each other as often as you used to can strain a friendship. You might realize you feel a little busier as you mature into adulthood. Work might consume more of your time.
As time goes by, new commitments come up. For instance, a family may come into the picture. You have to maintain your physical health and allocate time for relatives. All this, combined with your friends’ conflicting schedules, makes it hard to arrange a meetup.
- Lack of Shared Interests
People occasionally develop friendships when doing specific things, like learning or working together. They may discover after a while that they don’t have anything else in common once these circumstances are no longer present.
Other times, they may become close because they have similar hobbies, like sports or video games, but when one or both lose interest in those activities, they grow apart and cannot rekindle their friendship.
Sometimes one individual moves away, making it impossible to meet as often as you used to. As texts and phone calls stop coming in, you realize that it’s been weeks or even months since you last heard from them. Sometimes when this happens, you resume right where they left off when you meet. But other times, you might feel awkward suggesting a meet-up after a long time, so you just let the friendship fizzle out.
- Unmet Expectations
Friendships signify different things to different people. One person may prefer frequent check-ins, whereas the other might prefer occasional communication. While some people seek strong bonds in their friendships, others might choose something more informal.
If two people enter a friendship with differing expectations, one or both may be let down and opt to quit the friendship to form one that better fits their needs.
- Disapproval by Family and Friends
A friendship can end when your friends or partner don’t get along with your friend. The same is true when your family disapproves of the friendship. This could happen for reasons such as the friend could be a drug addict or having poor personal hygiene.
- Poor Conflict Resolution Skills
If you spend a long time with someone, a conflict is bound to arise. Finding someone you always agree with is rare. People may have two competing needs, which can cause resentment or bitter feelings on either side. But most people haven’t been taught healthy ways to communicate in difficult situations. This might cause conflicts and eventually end a friendship.
- Romantic Interest
When friends date and split up, it becomes impossible to maintain a friendship. Similarly, when you want to be romantically involved with your friend but have to watch them date someone else, it can be painful, and some individuals decide to break their connection.
- When the Friendship is One-Sided
A healthy friendship is supposed to enrich your life. But some friendships can feel draining, irritating, or even make you feel bad. A friendship where your efforts to maintain it are not reciprocated can negatively affect your mental well-being.
Sometimes you can feel too betrayed and hurt to continue with a friendship. For instance, when your friend dates your ex, you will feel uncomfortable and might end the friendship. Betrayal can take many forms, including lying, slandering one’s name or failing to show up for them in times of need.
Some people end friendships when they feel disrespected by a friend who doesn’t value their boundaries, energy, time or input.
Signs that a Friendship is Ending
If you notice any of the following signs, just know that your friendship is ending.
There’s no Trust as Before
You no longer feel comfortable confiding in each other, even though you have deep secrets from way back. When it becomes evident that you are holding back something from each other, then know the friendship is dying.
Hanging Out Together Feels Like a Chore
After months of planning, you finally get to spend the day together, but it doesn’t seem like you’re laughing as much as you used to. The excitement of going to the movies or visiting the fashion stores is no longer there.
Communication Becomes One-Sided
You begin to realize that you are the only one who initiates communication with your friend. It becomes your duty to initiate a conversation, and your companion appears content to enjoy that time alone.
You Get the Feeling You’re Being Replaced
Your friend is hanging out with someone new. As a result, they devote more time to that new friendship without making an effort to include you. They may be moving on without you. Some people find it challenging to maintain and make new friends simultaneously.
You Run Out of Things to Talk About
once you’ve finished updating each other on your life, you go silent. Whatever connection you formerly shared that allowed you to discuss everything and anything and find common ground is eroded. Sustaining a conversation becomes an uphill task.
How to End a Friendship
When it becomes apparent that your friendship has hit rock bottom, you can end it in the following ways.
Gradually Fading out
This strategy entails progressively limiting social connection with your friend to allow the friendship to terminate naturally. This is comparable to removing the stitches from clothing instead of tearing it apart.
Gradually fading out is a viable option if the other person is likely to not listen to or accept what you are saying.
Talking it Out
If gradual fadeout fails to work or seems inappropriate, you can look for your friend and discuss the status of your friendship and whether it’s worth keeping.
Taking a Break
There are countless justifications for taking a break. If you want to be vague, you may remark that you will be particularly busy for a few weeks. Decide when you will meet again in the future, or say you will get in touch when you feel ready.
You can then unfollow their social media accounts while you’re away to create some extra distance. It might be a good idea to free up the mental space that this friend formerly occupied to give the friendship a boost.
Be sure to clarify your boundaries and future expectations with one another if you decide to keep the friendship going.
Unfortunately, the reality is not all friendships are meant to last forever. If your friend does not add value to your life, cut off the friendship and look for new ones.
Disagreements and conflicts are bound to occur, but sometimes, it’s not enough reason to terminate a friendship. Remember, in life we never lose friends, we only learn who are the true ones.