It Sucks, But It’s True — You’re Going To Lose A Lot Of Friends As You Get Older

Losing friends and ending long-term friendships is never easy at any age, but the older you get, the harder and more brutal these kinds of separations become. Life changes, and as you evolve and change as a person, you’re bound to outgrow certain people too.  Losing long-term friends might be a necessary part of life, but the realities of the fallout can be pretty brutal.

  1. Some of your mutual friends are going to pick a side, and it’s awkward AF. This is especially true when you’ve been friends with someone for a long time. When you have an abundance of mutual friends, each side of the story can cause the people around you to choose sides, which will undoubtedly leave one person feeling pretty alienated. Although it might seem a little childish to behave this way as adults, some things and people truly never leave the playground days.
  2. Your instincts and urges to tell them everything takes a long time to fade away. When something amazing or life altering happens to you, your first natural instinct has always been to tell your friend immediately, and those urges don’t go away easily even when you’ve parted ways. You still feel like you want to reach out, but then you’ll stop yourself and remember that you can’t. It feels painful at first, but over time, not thinking about them will become the more natural habit.
  3. The more you grow, the more you realize how few friends you have left. It’s not just long-term friends that start disappearing, it’s friends in general. One of the hardest part about growing deeper into your adult life is slowly relinquishing the social life you once had. Remember this, though — it’s better to have a handful of a few great friends than an army of average ones.
  4. In some cases, the drama only intensifies after the separation. Let’s face it — friendship endings can get catty AF and sometimes, even when the ending is mutual, shade is still thrown well after the fact. Thankfully, the drama won’t continue forever and soon enough, you’ll only be a memory in each others lives.
  5. You dread the possibility of running into them again. No one likes running into someone they’ve had conflict with, but when it’s someone you’ve shared a better part of your life with in friendship, it’s just as awkward and dreadful as the thought of running into an ex boyfriend. Certain places become landmines of possible run-in explosions and you can’t help but be a bit wary of the possibility of seeing them again before you’re ready and healed.
  6. From time to time, you get caught up in nostalgic memories and feel ALL the feelings. No matter how bad the ending might have been, the fact remains that your friend was a pivotal part of your life journey and even if you can’t stand them now, you’ll have moments and flashbacks to the good times you had together and it can get you worked up from time to time. You’re only human.
  7. It’s hard to rewrite your future life plans without them in it. There were so many things you had planned to do together and so many more milestones in life that you thought you’d both be around for, but the realization that you have to rewrite your plans finally sinks in. Those plans are simply old daydreams now.
  8. Deep down, you know breaking up was for the best. Even if you feel like you miss them so much at times, the fact remains that your friendship just fell apart. You’ve both changed. The damage has been done and breaking away from each other was the right thing to do. Sometimes you have to face the sad reality that some people are only meant to be in your life for a reason or a season, but not a lifetime.
  9. You become very cautious with who you become close with. After a bad fallout with a friend, it can be hard to trust new friends and to add insult to injury, making new friends as an adult isn’t always easy. Everyone has already chosen their close-knit circle and the one you had has faded away from your life. While the excitement of opening new doors with new people is a beautiful thing, it can also be a sad reminder that the life you once had with certain friends is over.
  10. You can’t help but wish them well, even if they don’t deserve it. Once the dust settles and the pain falls further and further from your heart, you’ll eventually breathe a sigh of relief that you’ve survived the loss of your long-term friend. Some friendships aren’t meant to last but they’re necessary to teach you valuable lessons about yourself. The long-term friend you once loved and lost might be a haunting memory in some ways, but eventually you’ll look back on them a little more fondly and hope that they’re doing well… even if they don’t deserve it. As for you, you’ll be just fine. Losing friends as an adult might come with some brutal realities, but you’re always better off in the long run to have loved and lost than to never have experienced their chapter and friendship at all.