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Recent Letter to the ElderWisdomCircle™

FRIENDSHIP: Grown Apart
Letter #: 392415
Category: Friendship

Original Letter

Hi! So, i've been friends with a boy for 6-7 years and have known each other since Kindergarten, but we grew apart these past months. Note, we were really great friends, or at least I thought so. We would do a lot of crazy things together, and go on little adventures, but we moved to different schools, he met other people, probably better people and we stopped talking, coming down to that point of when we would barely say hi recently. Before that we would meet on the street and say hi, maybe make a convo of 2 minutes and then went on diffrent ways. We are neighbors, and before that he would walk me home, but now we barely say hi, as I said before. I don't necessarily need an advice, I just have to know, did I do something wrong? What was the problem? I'm pretty sure I don't have feelings for him, so this can't be a problem, right?

Elder Response

Not being in your shoes, or part of the conversations you've had with your friend, I really can't judge if you did something wrong.  I can say that it's not uncommon for people to grow apart- especially if they have moved or simply found a new set of friends (who may share emerging personal interests). 

Having said that, it's never easy to see a past relationship dissolve into a casual "hi" at best. Even the strongest people may doubt themselves- as you are.  I mean, lots of things JUST HAPPEN as we get older. Can you jot down the factors/forces that may change relationships? Please do so now BEFORE reading so my ideas don't influence yours.

In my mind, these changes can impact relationships-

1. Moving: Out of sight, out of mind PLUS people tend to make new friends where they locate.

2. Love: As people become adults, becoming attracted to another person is a fact of life....and may leave older relationships in the dust, so to speak.

3. Change of focus: People who may have been party animals can change into workaholics given the right job and income. 

To me the glue that holds people together is COMMON interests. That's why - sadly- sometimes best of friends in school simply can't compete with changing life styles, ie: one person gets married while the other chooses to remain single.

Since friendships can be ebb and flow, it's good to keeping working on creating new relationships- again generally around what interests you AND with people who have common values. Now, sometimes it's possible to resurrect past relationships- or at least keep some form of contact- but I think you will grow more as a person if you explore the people around you. How many friends do you need? That's your call, but my experience is that most of us have maybe 3-5 real friends who really understand us. And maintaining these ties often times takes work.....because we are not always on our best behavior (and vice versa). The key to keeping things going is to show sincere interest in the other person .

In closing, you will meet a lot of people in your life. Look for their good qualities, do your best to be kind and supportive, but know that people MAY drift apart, often for reasons that are not always clear.l That doesn't always mean someone was at fault. It just reflects the fact we long for people who meet the needs we have NOW.

Was this helpful? Hope so. Feel free to write back and keep your chin up.

Best Regards,

TwoBitsWorth


    

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