You’ve been friends with Sam since you were in diapers. Throughout elementary and middle school, you’ve both been attached to the hip. But suddenly, high school hits. Your class schedules aren’t the same and your once similar interests start to differ. Texts become scarce and hanging out doesn’t seem like it’ll be happening soon. Before you have a chance to take in what’s happening, your best friend is in with a new group and you feel forgotten. You have to choose what direction you want the friendship to go. Either let her go and move on, adjust to being just acquaintances rather than best friends or fight for the friendship to see if it’s salvageable. So, what do you choose?
Initially, you’re thinking of ways to get her back—you want to fight for the friendship. Maybe if you changed your style, interests and hobbies she’ll want to be your friend again. Or you’re thinking back to that one time in 7th grade when you lost her favorite pen, and figure she doesn’t like you anymore because of that. So, you conjure up an idea that apologizing for any of your mistakes will restore the friendship.
But, that’s not what you should do, even if it seems like your only option. Changing yourself or apologizing for things that aren’t worth a second thought undermines your self-worth and your friendship. If you’re looking to bring back the former glory of your friendship with Sam, then find a moment to talk to her. Make it a personal mission to seek her out and express your concerns about the lack of friendship. Consistently find her to speak and make the time to see her outside of school. If the friendship has dwindled because of schedule changes, make the time to see her. And if the interests have changed, put forth the effort to learn about her new pastimes, you may find that you enjoy them too. Chances are, she’ll reciprocate the effort, and the friendship may improve—or it won’t.
You can also accept that things have changed between you and Sam, and embrace that you still have her in your life rather than not at all. There are no hard feelings between either of you and when you do get the chance to talk to her or hang out it’s nothing but warm memories and good laughs. Being her acquaintance doesn’t mean you go above and beyond to see her. Simply text her once a week and hangout once a month – even write a note to yourself so you don’t forget,. You’ll make new friends to fill in the time you used to spend with Sam. Whether the new friendships are better or not, the bond you had with Sam is unique and will always have a spot in your heart.
Or you can let her go and move on. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you cut her out of your life completely, ignore that there was ever a friendship and flash her eyes that could kill. Doing something like this is unbecoming of you and diminishes your character. When moving on, whether you’re hurt or unmoved by what happens, it’s key to remember to stay cordial. Coming in and out of friendships happens in life—there’s no one to blame specifically because it takes 2 people to make it work. If you decide to move on and let the friendship go, wave, smile and ask how Sam is doing if you ever cross paths with her. Not being friends doesn’t prevent you from still caring.
Losing friends is a difficult process you go through when you’re growing up. It happens especially during high school or once you’re out of school and into the world. It’s never only your fault if you and your closest friend drift apart. Interests and schedules change and as a result, you’re not as compatible as you used to be. However, this doesn’t mean that you still can’t care about them and remain polite. Maintaining a level head and looking past your feelings shows how mature you’ve become. Some friends come and go, but they always teach you lessons about yourself and your expectations of others.