Dear Barb—BFNFs

Dear Barb:

Hi, I have had a friend since grade school.  Through the years we have had a lot of fun and did a lot of things together.  Now that we are in our late twenties, our relationship doesn’t feel the same anymore.  For example, when I text Jasmine she takes forever to answer me, sometimes she doesn’t even answer.  When we do finally get together, she seems uninterested in our conversation.  I sometimes feel like she is just getting together with me so I will stop bugging her.  Often when we have plans and she cancels, I see her out with other people.  She seems to have a whole new group of friends and has lost interest in continuing a relationship with me. 

When I ask her if she is angry, or if I did something to her, she casually says no and changes the subject.  To be honest when we do hang out, it’s not fun, but more tense and it seems we are both anxious to leave or move on to other things.  I still really like her and when we reminisce about our past, we have a lot of laughs and good memories.  I don’t want to lose our friendship, but it just seems to have changed so much, I don’t even miss her when we don’t see each other for months.  I often hear of people having lifelong friendships and I always thought that’s what we had, but I’m beginning to doubt that now.  Has our relationship run its course?  Should I just move on, or continue trying to maintain something that seems to be dying?  Thanks, Christina.   

Hello Christina:

Thank you for writing.  Relationships are complicated.  Some friendships last a lifetime and others do not, much like marriages, some last and some don’t.  When you have had a friendship for so many years, especially one that began when you were quite young, often there comes a point where the individuals have changed so much, that they no longer have anything in common.  It seems this might be where you and your friend are right now.  Communication is the cornerstone to any relationship, so my suggestion is to have an open and honest discussion with your friend.  If you are sensing hesitancy on her part, you may have to accept that she is ready to move on.  If you still want to maintain the relationship, then you will have to make some adjustments.  You said that when you reminisce you still have a good time together, maybe you could tell her you understand that your lives have changed and you are both in different places, but that you would still like to get together yearly, just to maintain some sort of a relationship.  Who knows, at some point in the future you may find your way back to each other and be able to revive your relationship.  However, it may turn out that this is the way it is meant to be, there isn’t always a specific reason why relationships change, it’s just the way it is.  Thanks again Christina for sharing your story.

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