Do we outgrow our friends?

Over the last couple of years it has concerned me hugely, why or how it came to be that my relationship with my best friend of several decades had come to change.  Is this normal? Is this a thing?

A best friend is to be treasured.  She is the one who you trust above all others- she gets you and you get her right?

And so it was with me and my bestie over many years until it wasn’t.  At some point in time we stop getting each other and it troubled me.

We met at work when I was 19 and she 21. Looking back, we just seemed to click even though we were quite different.  She was quite the social butterfly, enjoying partying, staying out late even on a weekday she was enjoying her youth.  While I on the other hand had not long met the man who was to become my husband.  Looking back, we didn’t have that much in common but we still really clicked;  our differences gave us something to talk about.  She continued to party her way through life, whilst I was mixing working with study, engagement, marriage and later motherhood.  Still our friendship remained strong.

Fast forward several years, I get divorce and my friend has a child of her own.  Our relationship flourishes.  We holidayed with the kids a few times, bitched about our exes and other things,  but sometime thereafter, things changed and it’s really hard to pin it down.

It’s so easy to fall into a rut of work/home, home/work and it can become comfy.  On a Friday evening when the youngsters in the office are planning their nights out, you find yourself relieved that this is no longer your life and you look forward to a nice dinner, wine and the sofa….and you talk yourself into this being the life you have chosen.

That was me for a while until I realised that life is way too short to spend it on the sofa, I wanted to do stuff, travel, fine dine, visit places of interest and be spontaneous.  We once nipped over to Nice for lunch and we promised ourselves that we would do stuff like this again.  Its not happened.  Truth is, I was bored of doing nothing.  When your colleagues ask you on a Monday, how was your weekend? I really wanted to have something interesting to say.

Problem was, I would have to do all of these interesting things alone as my bestie wasn’t ready to rise from the couch. I started to regret that I had kept my circle of friends so small and had allowed myself to become reliant on just one friend.

I think I realised how much things had changed when I took my first holiday alone.  It was 2 years ago and I had been dating someone for around 2 years.  He was burdened  down with baggage so couldn’t come with me and as I sit here, I can’t even recall why there had been no discussion with my friend as to why she couldn’t come.   I love to travel and there was no way I could allow being alone, stop me from doing stuff.  So right there, in my mid 40s, I took my first trip abroad alone.   Minitrix no mates chose Puerto Rico, on her birthday  and business class. 

It was great, I had the time of my life and I realised that I am amazing company! The experience grew me in confidence and independence and recognition that friendships, just like any other relationship, are bound to change over the years, and change is not necessarily a bad thing.  If it wasn’t for her inertia, I would never have had the courage to travel alone, or to make new friends, which I have done by joining  meetup groups which I mentioned in a previous blog http://meetup .

You know when you are in a relationship with a guy, and you start to go off him; you start to see his faults and all the things in the past which were once adorable or cute, become irritating and intolerable.  You know when once you used to get excited about receiving his WhatsApp message to then thinking ” for fuck sake, what now”?  Those  are some of the feelings I have experienced  with my friend.  We just drifted- she is no longer the person I go to for advice, or share details of my life.  Job interviews, dates etc, are things which I bring up during the course of a conversation, as opposed to when it actually happens.  

So seriously have I taken this, that I’ve even done a (tiny) bit of research and stumbled upon an article about outgrowing friendships, which asked:

Do you have friends who always stay the same? And do you also have friends who always grow and develop themselves? Both can be good friends, but the former will seem like a stranger to you one day.  You need to surround yourself with people who are constantly pushing themselves for better.

OMG!!!! This article was speaking to me directly on every level.

Just because  your friendship may change it really doesn’t have to be a big deal, I see that now. You can still be friends -just different than before.

Be forty, fabulous and fumbling xxx

Author: minitrix

I started this blog because being in my 40s is by far my best decade - it is that transitional stage between being young and old where I feel grown up without feeling old. My only child is now an adult which means I have regained my freedom, and I have experienced almost everything that life tends to throw your way, which in theory means that my judgement going forward, will be on point. However, as this is a period of transition there are stumbles and fumbles along the way but that's ok. I look forward to sharing the highs and lows of glorious middle age with you xx

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