Sometimes friendships end. As we grow older, we begin to change and sometimes we drift away from old friends. This is a normal part of life. For some relationships this ending is a natural progression and is relatively painless. For others, the transition can be more difficult.
Often there are outside factors that make continuing a friendship difficult. These factors may include:
- Changes in life focus
- Differences in expectations
- Differences in interests
- Lack of transportation
- Differences in beliefs
- Change in behaviour
Sometimes these issues can be overcome, but sometimes they can lead to the end of a friendship. Another reason that a friendship may end is that there are problems within the relationship, such as:
- One of you has shared personal information with others
- You are not taking equal responsibility for the relationship
- Lying or dishonesty
- Problems in communication, both in listening and talking
- One or both of you has been engaging in risky or illegal behaviour
- Peer pressure
- Not allowing for personal space
Before deciding to end a friendship, you may want to ask yourself some questions:
- Is there something going on that is influencing your feelings or the way you see things?
- Is the person always like this or is it just a one time thing?
- Is the person going through something that may be making them act differently?
- Do you usually enjoy this relationship?
- How often do you feel hurt by this person?
You may also want to talk to your friend and see if there is any way you can work things out – remember that it’s up to you if you decide to remain friends or to walk away.
If you do decide to end the friendship, it’s normal to feel sad, angry or hurt. You may want to take the time to grieve and miss your friend. You might remember your friendship and think about that friend forever. That is ok. When you’re ready, you’ll be able to meet new friends and start the process all over again.
Separation from friends
Friendships are sometimes affected by things beyond our control – for example, when a friend moves to a new place because a parent’s job has changed or moved. It can be very hard to lose a friend, but remember that it’s possible to stay in touch through:
- Phone calls
- Writing letters
- Occasional visits
Even if you’re not living in the same neighbourhood, friendships can continue for years - some even last a lifetime!
Last checked: March 2010