Life

6 Signs You’ve Outgrown Your BFF

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Image: Fred Sweet/Shutterstock

Your BFF knows you like nobody else does. She knows all your dreams and most embarrassing secrets and you know hers, too. You’ve spent so much time together over the years that you never imagined a life without her. But no matter how much history you have, lately it feels like you’re growing apart and it doesn’t seem like it will ever better.  Here’s how to know when to let go.

You Have Nothing in Common Anymore

Friendships usually form because you have a common interest or activity, like working at the same place or having a college class together. But when you no longer have the same common interest that brought you together, you might struggle to find things to talk about. People change over time, too: maybe your BFF got really involved in a religion you don’t share or you’ve started volunteering for a political candidate and she votes for the opposite party. Change is a normal part of life, but it doesn’t mean you’ll always find something to talk about to an old friend when one of you has changed in the opposite direction.

You Don’t Approve of Her Lifestyle

Friends grow up and become responsible at different stages. When you’re settled into wanting to get ahead in your career and your idea of a fun weekend involves taking your puppy to the dog park and eating Chinese food while watching Netflix, you will probably be appalled if your friend is still partying every weekend while being content to have Mom & Dad cover the rent.

Neither of You Makes an Effort

When neither you nor your BFF are putting much effort into staying in contact, it’s a pretty good sign that the friendship is fading away on its own. If you aren’t excited to hang out, your texts become more infrequent and you always say “let’s get together soon” but it never happens, you’ve grown apart. Growing apart can feel sad, but it’s nobody’s fault.

You’ve Made New, Stronger Friendships

Making and ending friendships happens all the time, especially in our 20s and 30s when our circumstances change more rapidly than during other periods of our lives. You may have made new friends who relate better to what’s going on in your life now. You never know when and where you’ll meet someone and have that instant spark of friendship, and your other friendships may take a backseat.

She’s a Competitor, Not Your Cheerleader

Life changes a lot in your 20s and 30s. Many people achieve personal or career success, like promotions at work, buying a house or getting engaged. But whenever you have good news to tell your BFF, it seems like she’s jealous rather than happy. She may be viewing your friendship as a competition, particularly if she’s struggling. Soon you find yourself not wanting to call her when something great happens in your life because you doubt she’ll be happy anyway.   

Nostalgia is All You Have Left

You and your BFF have a lot of shared experiences together. But there are only so many times you can reference the same jokes from your sophomore year before it doesn’t bring a laugh anymore. If you’re only friends now because you were in the past, it may be time to move on.

Friendships change over time because people change. Don’t beat yourself up for feeling like you don’t have anything in common anymore with this person who was once a major part of your life. Wish her well, let go of the friendship in peace, and leave the door open for new friendships that are better suited to your current life stage.