We have all been there, at one point or another we had to let go of a great friendship. One of those rare ones, where you felt comfortable to call each other at 10 pm. The friend that was there when you needed her, your shoulder to cry on and partner in crime – not literally! One of those friends you thought you would grow old with, laugh with on the porch while sharing stories of your past adventures.
Over the years we have learned that boyfriends come and go. To question our relationships ” Is this really making me happy” and to decode the little cues that tell us a relationships is one-sided and coming to an end. But we have not learned how to detect this in a friendship. It is difficult to let go of a friend that was there for you thru all of that.
I am at the point where I have to accept that one of these friendships has died.
Last summer I planned my relocation back to Germany. As I had kept in touch with my friends while living abroad I was certain I would find my way back in my circle of friends. I have known these friends since High School, we are a group of 7 girls and have met each time I visited Germany the past years. We also stayed in touch via What’sApp and Facetime while I was in the US. I knew – or at least thought I knew – what was going on in their lives, what had changed and where they are now. I thought with today’s technology it had been no issue to stay in touch.
After the first few times of meeting for breakfast, going to the movies and having a Girls Night out I noticed that it just wasn’t the same. Conversations didn’t develop naturally and in many cases stayed on the surface. At times, I felt like I was with strangers – I felt like I couldn’t be me. I thought it was me and that I am not giving these friendships a fair chance or my full attention. That it was maybe due to the fact that I had just relocated and still had a lot on my mind. I wanted these friendships to go back to how they were. I thought to myself that these used to be my best friends. That these are the people I used to go on fun vacations with and that we had mastered challenges together in the past. I didn’t want to admit to myself that I had changed, and so had they.
The following months, I invested more time and effort in meeting with them, staying in touch throughout the week and trying to develop more meaningful conversations. I gave up other things that were important to me to focus on them. But the connection and friendship we used to have just didn’t return. I questioned if it was me that had changed so much, and if the change was a good one, or if I might have lost myself over the past years.
People change and so do friendships
During my 4 years abroad I not only worked full-time, but also finished my MBA, met my now husband and picked up new hobbies. My priorities in life have changed, my opinions, my interests – I simply have changed. And honestly I feel as I have changed for better, and I am happier with myself and my life. My friends from the past also have changed and we just didn’t develop in the same direction. I know now that there are many reasons for people to change, in some cases you outgrow a phase in your life. Sometimes your life just changes, you get married, start a family of your own, relocate for a new job opportunity, or due to time constrains your priorities change.
Change isn’t bad, it’s needed for us to grow and develop!
It’s important to sometimes let go. Yes, at first it will leave you with a big hole, but it also gives you the opportunity to spend time with new people, people with whom you share the same interests, have similar values and maybe more in common.
It’s a lesson I learned.
I am now focusing on cherishing those friendships in that I feel I can be myself.
That still includes some friends from High School, though also friends in the US as well as some new people I just met recently. Overall I focus on spending time with people that I identify the most with and whom I can grow with.