You’ve called them your best friend, maybe even your best friend forever, and you’re still pretty close. But sometimes, you feel like you’ve grown apart. You don’t like what they’re doing, the choices they’re making, the other people they hang out with, or how they treat you. You find that because of these cracks, you’re spending less and less time together, and you have much less in common than you used to.
You make excuses not to see them, or they don’t reach out to make plans with you. Whenever you do see each other, somehow it feels like you’re forcing an intimacy that just isn’t there anymore. You hold onto the nostalgia of the past and tell yourself this person is worth staying in your life, but truly, you don’t really like them all that much anymore.
What do you do?
Sometimes, do nothing
Sometimes, unfortunately, friendships just fizzle out. Even if you and your BFF have sworn to be best friends forever if you don’t both make an effort to stay friends, stay nurturing toward each other and share common interests, your life paths may widen the gap between you. Coming to terms with this, you’ll have to decide if you’re okay with that happening, or if you’d do what it takes to stop it. If you’d rather it fizzle out naturally, then don’t do anything. It’s sad, but sometimes people aren’t supposed to be around for the long haul.
Figure out what went wrong
If you’re feeling annoyed with or antagonistic toward a friend, chances are something big happened, or more often, a bunch of small things that you don’t even remember. Small things break down a friendship the same way they break down a romantic relationship, and if you just ignore them, they only get bigger and more important.
If you want to rekindle your friendship, you’ll have to figure out what’s standing between the two of you: was it something they said or how they were acting when they were going through this-or-that? Are they just consistently selfish? Are you the one who needs to be more flexible? The same problems that plague a relationship often plague long-term friendships.
If something your friend is doing is seriously bothering you, or you know they’re not acting in a healthy way, tell them, in an open, non-accusatory way that their behavior is not okay with you. If your friend is being self-destructive or reckless and you know they can do better, don’t just stand by and watch. And if they’re being judgmental or cruel, stand up to them. It’s a lot harder to stand up to our friends than we think, but it’s better for both of you in the long run.