Friendships are some of life’s greatest gifts, especially because they surround you with people who understand
you and stand by you through good times as well as tough times. Good friendships fill us with warmth and a
sense of well-being.

However, just like any other human relationship, friendships are also fraught with conflicts and setbacks, especially as the years go by and you get more mature. When you and your friends start drifting apart, your relationship starts deteriorating and it suddenly leaves you feeling all alone, isolated and helpless.

Why does friendship change?

Changes in your life can drive a wedge between you and your friends, especially when you don’t have several common things to share. Here are some common situations that cause a friendship to change –

  • Relocating to a different place
  • Starting a new relationship
  • Having extremely busy lives
  • Changing interests, hobbies and opinions

While it’s tough to deal with any changing relationship, it’s quite possible to cope with the changes and make things work.

How to cope with a changing friend- ship?

While a change is hard, it’s also an eventuality that is bound to happen. When your friendship changes, you might end up feeling hurt, lost, jealous, angry or simply alone. Here’s how to cope and make your friendship pull through –

1. Get some time out

Taking some time out is a reasonable thing to do when things are changing. Your friendship could also use some space. Use this time to understand what you want from your friendship and also to take up some activities that’ll take your mind off things for a while. It’s quite important to understand what you’re looking for and whether the relationship is worth saving.

2. Set expectations with your friend

Talking things out in an honest and straightforward manner is the solution for most problems. Reach out to your friend and talk things through. Listen to what they have to say and make them feel heard, don’t just listen for the sake of responding. Once you’ve expressed yourselves, start setting your expectations. Ask questions such as –

  • What is it that you expect from your friend and what are you offering in return?
  • Why does this relationship matter to you?
  • Why do you enjoy each other’s company?

3. Meet new friends

Find a way to meet new people and build new friendships. It’s quite important to cultivate strong, positive relationships with people who share common interests. Get together with these new friends and pursue activities that you enjoy together. This will help you broaden your social circle and maintain your emotional health.

4. Stay positive but realistic

While it’s easy to lay the blame on your friends, it’s not going to help you cope. Focus on what you truly enjoy about your friendship and concentrate on those strengths to stay positive about your friendship. Things always have a chance of getting better and your friendship can eventually improve. However, don’t go overboard and stay realistic, acknowledging both the good and the bad facts.

When is it time to let go of a friendship?

Friendships are some of the most wonderful relationships we form during our lives. However, if a friendship has run its course, then you need to let go and move on. If you’ve tried to reconnect with your friends and exhausted all possible options of making things work, then it’s time to move on and focus on other relationships in your life.

Change is never easy, but if your friendship has truly run its course, then move on to other healthier relationships. Moving on doesn’t mean you completely forget about the good moments. Treasure the fond memories and cherish the good times. People come into your life for a reason and just be grateful that you had your friends when you needed them.

Ritika Tiwari
Freelance Writer/ Blogger/ Content Strategist