We never anticipate that the business of life can drive a wedge into our friendship just as easily as it does our romantic partnerships.
Shifts in relationships due to life transitions (such as relocating, career changes, losing touch, new relationships or even conflicts) are natural and necessary, but the difficulty comes when you don’t know if you should fight to keep the friendship or just part ways. Allie Marie Smith from Darling Magazine offers tips to help you ‘navigate the ever-changing dynamics of friendships’:
- Evaluate your friendship
Does the relationship make you happy or sad? Does it suck the life out of you? Is it beneficial or toxic? You can start by writing down a list of the pros and cons of the friendship and ask objective people (such as mentors or counsellors) for second opinions.
- Time-out vs. break-up
There are often zero chances of being friends after a break-up, but close friendships have the potential to end well if done with caution. Don’t ghost your friend! Give your friendship time to breathe and acknowledge that you’re both headed in different directions. You never know when or if your paths may cross again.
- Do not lose touch
Your friend has been a part of your life, so show your appreciation by caring and acknowledging those special moments, such as birthdays. People drift apart due to geography, marriage and having families. Should you still want to invest in your friendship, don’t hold a grudge and do your part.
- Know your limits
According to anthropologist and psychologist, Robin Dunbar, a human being can only closely associate with about five people (good friends and family members) and form meaningful friendships with 15 (people you confide in and turn to for sympathy). Perhaps it’s time to audit your Facebook Friends and be realistic about your capacity for true friendship.