The feeling of drifting apart from friends is never a good one, but it inevitably happens to everyone. Life can change in all kinds of directions. Perhaps you no longer work the same job as your friend, no longer live in the same area, or you have made new friends, and other priorities have come up. How do I assess if I am drifting apart from this friend? How do I handle it?

Determine the primary bonding factor to assess if you are drifting apart.Drifting Apart

Say that your main factor from meeting a friend was that you both went to high school together. You no longer do because you are both older. Do you still talk to each other? Has the friendship gotten stronger or remained the same? Or have you naturally drifted apart? If the former, there is likely another bond besides going to the same school that has kept your friendship going. Maybe it is an interest in politics or social trends? If the latter, then more likely than not, going to the same high school is the primary factor that bonded the friendship together. This means you may have little in common with them than you originally realized.

Pay close attention to behaviours from your friends to see if you are drifting apart.

Drifting Apart
Drifting Apart

You finish work. You decide to text or Facebook message a friend to see how they are doing. Did they give you long, detailed responses in 2016 but take forever to respond or give one-word answers in 2019? Did they initiate conversations a lot in 2016 but haven’t at all in 2019? This is likely a sign that you are drifting apart from this friend.
However, if this a friend where you can pick up where you left off no matter what directions you have both gone through in life, which many define as a classic definition of a true friend, then you may have little to worry about. These friends tend to be rare to find, but they are out there. Many people have at least one of these friends. Also, keep in mind that the amount of time it may take to drift apart from a friend may vary depending on your bond with them. Sometimes it can take several years or even less than a year. Therefore, it can take many years after the “slipping away from primary bond” for you to realize if a person is a true friend or not or if there is another bond you didn’t initially notice.
It will be interesting: The Importance Of Friendships

What to do if you know for sure you are drifting apart from your friends.

Drifting Apart

If you are absolutely sure that things are not remotely the same as they were many years ago, you have some options on how to handle this friendship. When losing contact with people, there tend to be two types of these friends. First off, there are the “throw away friendship” examples where you deliberately end things due to negative experiences. Secondly, there are the “just let it drift but keep yourself open to communication” types where you may not contact each other as often as you used to, but you still consider them good people.
Throwing the friendship away abruptly is usually not an answer unless if they are making you feel unhappy, if they have an increasingly rude attitude towards you, or if they have noticeably changed for the worse such as doing drugs. It is most wise to throw away a friendship if there is an obviously increased resentment between both parties.

If a friendship is just naturally drifting away, but there are no noteworthy negative changes with the friend, I would just let it drift away but keep yourself open to communication when they want to talk. You can also limit how often you contact the person. Don’t unfriend them on social media or blank them if you see them in public unless if they are the “throw friendship away” type.

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