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How Friendships Change As We Grow Older

Friendships Change

The friendships we carry in our lives are one of the most complex energies around us. They’re an amalgamation of two people’s feelings, emotions, and personalities combined. If built intentionally, they’re a landing pad for support, advice, and love from someone who cares for you unconditionally. Friendships are unlike any other energy in our lives. But, even so, friendships and people change over time. I’m sure we’ve all heard the expression that people/friendships are for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Every person comes into our lives for a reason, but some will be there for a season to learn a specific lesson versus those there for a lifetime—people you’ll be learning from forever. In either case, friendships change as our lives change and as we continue to grow.

A difficulty we naturally face is watching friendships end or change as our lives change. Someone on a path of intentionality, growth, and healing will often outgrow their friendships with people on different journeys. There may be a desire to stay close to people who have been there for so long, but sometimes, it can be best to let someone go when journeys don’t align. There are so many reasons why a friendship may end. This post is here to remind you (even give permission if necessary) that it’s okay to let people go. Whether there becomes an imbalance between the give and take, there is too much physical distance, or you outgrow someone, it’s okay to let friendships end to make room for new ones to enter.

Friendships Change for A Reason, A Season, or A Lifetime.

There are certain people we’ll meet at pinnacle points in our lives: high school, college, our first job, etc. And those people adorn a particular attachment to our lives because we share mutual experiences. They become living memory boxes, encyclopedias for our experiences, confidants, and cheerleaders. We lock away certain affections towards these people because there is so much history. But, as we grow older and our lives change, so do the people we share our friendships with. It’s easy to forget or look aside when things you used to have in common are no longer there because you’re so used to having someone in your life. Or maybe a friend isn’t growing as much as you, and you’re beginning to ignore some red flags about the friendship changing.

People change in positive and negative ways

I think the challenging thing about watching the season of a friendship come to an end is when it’s a friendship you didn’t expect to end. If you’re someone who participates in the Intentional Living lifestyle or values wellness and healing, you’re someone who is on a growth journey. And even though you’ve chosen to prioritize your mental, emotional, and physical health, that doesn’t mean that the people around you have. In my personal experience, most friendships that have ended or I’ve outgrown in my life have been because we’re on such different individual paths. I’ve dedicated my life, and now my business, to living a life of intention.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve realized that having friends, whether they’re for a reason, a season, or a lifetime are all valuable. No matter the category the friend falls under, we’re always learning from the people we surround ourselves with. It’s normal to see values and priorities shift. It’s okay if you decide to end a friendship that’s no longer serving you. Sometimes these great friendships we experience, even if we believe they’re for a lifetime, come and go naturally. It’s okay to outgrow people. Sometimes, while you’re doing the work to grow, they change in ways that aren’t aligned with growth. Cutting the cord doesn’t mean you’re a bad person who doesn’t value friendship. It simply means you’re prioritizing yourself first.

Friendships as we grow older

From my personal experience and the experience of that of my friends, it’s easy to see how the value of friendship changes as you grow older. In high school, you’re more inclined to think the more friends, the better. In college, your network tends to grow even more, surrounding yourself with a plethora of friends. It’s after the college age our perception of friendships change. By this time, we’ve likely already gone through a few difficult friendship breakups and learned some valuable lessons. Now, we’re reaching an age where we can better differentiate between friends, colleagues, and people in our social network. You develop a tight network of friends you trust, support, and love. Beyond that, you’ve got friends and people in different networks of your life, but they’re not your close friends.

As we grow older, our perception of friendship changes. We find more value in fewer people based on far more common denominators we’re looking at now than we ever have before—things like lifestyle, values, jobs, location, intuition, trust, etc. So many factors play into the people who are genuinely there for a lifetime. Friendships are a beautiful thing. They’re a bond and a trust between two people to mutually support, love, and cherish one another without expectation or reserve. It’s okay to outgrow meaningful friendships and hold on to the memories that made them. As we grow older, our friendships change. People enter our lives for reasons or seasons—only a few will enter and stay for a lifetime.

Xo,  lauren

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