I know life is cyclical. I know things change. But I'm in a very strange stage right now, and don't quite know what it means.

I have a few very good friends that I have had for years. Some have moved away, some are here. I have remained close to the ones that have moved away for years.

My life seems to be changing. I have been meeting some very nice people recently (which is good) and making new friends. A lot of you know, once the kids are grown, its not easy to make new friends. But here I find myself with some splendid new people in my life.

But, at the same time, I feel some of my old friendships fading. Its very sad, but I don't feel sorry about it. One friend in particular (who I've been friends with for over 20 years) is a really self centered person, but I've always put up with it, because she's my friend, and I like her. But now, I don't have any patience for her. I'm sad this friendship is ending, but almost relieved. Can you understand that?

Maybe life is like the seasons, and we should just accept the loss of the summer's warmth, the autumn's leaves, the winter's snow and the spring's flowers, and move on.

Maybe people, too, are more fleeting than we know.

What do you think these changes mean?
I recently had a similar experience. My "BFF" of 30 years, we've gone through weddings, childbirth, divorce, job sharing death of parents etc etc, suddenly became someone I really didn't enjoy being with. I thought it was a phase and would change and decided to wait it out. After months and months of discomfort I finally came to the realization that our lives had gone in very different directions and that while I still consider her a dear and beloved friend we are no longer "tight" like we used to be.

It was sad and a bit hard but life is about changes and adapting. Living in the present means going with the flow!!
Yep Ginny, I agree.

How did you handle it with her? Since my friend is out of town, we usually talk on the phone several times a week. She's noticing my "indifference" and asked if I want to end our friendship.

Heck! I don't want to come out and say that! And I certainly don't want to hurt her. I just want to move on.
Well, it was pretty easy. My life is REALLY busy and hectic so I had good reasons for going from talking three times a week to once a month or so. I think she sensed the change as well. We have stayed on very good terms just not "in each others" pocket like we used to be.

I think maybe you just need to back away slowly, tell your friend you have alot going on and don't have the time to talk on the phone. I wouldn't cut off contact, you may find that the friendship renews at some point in the future.

It can be very difficult when change is one sided but you need to do what is best for you.
My daughter is going through the same thing and she is in grade 10. Big change for her, she wishs they were in grade 5 again. Its sad but shows you it never stops.
It is sad when it happens, but it DOES happen. And for many reasons. For one thing, people change throughout the years. It's inevitable. You grow as a person and like different things. You change based on your life experiences and if some people in your life don't have those same experiences, they can move in different directions.

I think you are in a perfectly natural time of change, since your children are recently grown and you just now have more time to focus on yourself, rather than their activities.

I know I have a friend, who I'd been friends with since 8th grade when we met at school, and she was one of the few people I kept in good contact with all the way through college and beyond. She was even a bridesmaid in my wedding 2 years ago. But even then things weren't the same as they had been before and now I haven't spoken with her for over a year...I'm sad about the loss of the old friendship, but not at losing what the friendship had become.
I'm kinda facing the same thing right now. My best friend for 44 years (we met in elementary school and have stayed close since) is going through a lot of changes in her life and she knows that I don't agree with a lot of it. She lives about 90 miles away. We don't talk on the phone much, but do a lot of emailing. The emails have dwindled as her current situation has changed her pretty drastically. I'm sure at some point this bubble will burst and we'll find each other again, but until then, I really don't like her. Sounds harsh, but there's a lot of history in that 44 years!
I hear what you all are saying! Its so sad, but its like a bad relationship (with a man), do you stay because of the past even though its no longer a good relationship? I believe we all know the answer to that! A strong NO!

Its just so odd. People always come and go from our lives. Some stick around longer than others.

I just feel like a new chapter is beginning, which is exciting, and scary at the same time.
I'm in exactly the same situation. I've stayed close with several long distance friends since I moved to AZ in 2002. One woman was my best friend about 15 years ago. We were extremely close when we were young and single. I really don't like the changes I've seen in her over the past 10 years - in fact, if I met her today I wouldn't like her at all. When we're together, she insists on being the center of attention, which just makes me more annoyed and more distant. I find myself wishing that this friendship would just gracefully fade away, but I know she's not going to let it go gracefully. I agree, it's sad, but I don't think it's fair to either one of us if I pretend to like her for the sake of our history.
Friends come and go with me...but still remain in touch. It is my sisters that I have on-again off-again relationships with. Sometimes I am closer to one, then other times closer to another...I have 4 sisters and 3 brothers, and I tend to flip-flop to different ones over the years.

My best friend throughout school and after was an usher at my wedding (my brother was best man).

After the wedding I have seen him twice and I was maried 21 years ago.
The last time, I bumped into him in the parking lot of a local department store.

The other usher at my wedding is now my best friend -- I'm lucky if I get to see him once a month for lunch and also at New Years's Day brunch, which is where I see "all" my other friends.

Joan and I saw a friend a couple of weeks ago -- we needed to go to the mall where she works, so we stopped in.

Joan and I don't have many "in person" friends now. I was ill and pretty much didn't leave the house except for doctor's appointments for maybe 18 months; neither of us have an office or any place to go to work outside the home; we live in suburbia and don't have children. The neighbors we were friendliest with have moved to the ritzy side of town. Another set of neighbors might become friendlier again as their kids are both starting to drive.

Pretty sad, really.

...but I have all of you!!!!
We are here for ya Ron!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Group hug

Who else can you turn to at 2:00 AM, go to your computer log on and odds are you will find SOMEONE here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ron! Do have us!!!!

And we all hearts you and Joan!
You know Ron, we are only a road trip away.......
.....and then we can all be "in person friends" as well! Very Happy Very Happy Laughing Wink

Party at Ron and Joan's on Saturday! BYOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(They are providing Lobster!)
I've been thinking about this off & on today, Deb. It is natural for friendships to ebb & flow like the tides. It seems some friends that we were close to for years, then gradually grow apart and later become close again as the seasons of our lives change. Some friends are only friends while we're in a particular place in our lives.

I still consider my best friend from my youth a good friend, although we rarely see one another or even speak. We do e-mail each other and stay in touch about important events. But, for various reasons, our lives took different paths and we no longer have as much in common as we did when we were younger.

On the other hand, my college roommate and I are still BFFs and are actively involved in one another's lives, despite the fact that we live five hours apart and she's married with four children and I'm single with two wigglebums and two cats. Very Happy

I do have a friend too, that I do still consider a friend in that I would be happy to help her in any way I could. But, I can't stand to be around her any more. She was always self-centered, but I just dealt with it. Now, we're no longer kids (we've been friends since I was 14) and it's just a more & more unattractive quality as you age. Ya know?

Now, my closest "in person" friends are the women in my book club. There are 10 of us and it's the perfect small group of friends. Different ages and different stages of life, but we are all close. We share so much and learn from each other. I enjoy that we are all different and yet so much alike. Does that make sense? Confused

So, yes, things change, people change and friendships come & go. I do think, for whatever reason, we have a harder time leaving a friendship than we do breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend. Not sure why that is, but I find it to be true for most people.
This is a really good thread! I think this is such a universal experience, and a difficult one.

I've been through this a few times. There is a definite grieving period, but then, often a sense of freedom, especially if the friendship has turned truly unhealthy.

My own BF and I have been talking about this a lot, recently, and one conclusion we came to: Our happiest, healthiest friendships are all based on...DOGS! Laughing Mutual love of dogs is a common denominator in most of our current, healthy no wonder forum friendships are so great! Cool

ravenmoonart wrote:
... Our happiest, healthiest friendships are all based on...DOGS! Laughing Mutual love of dogs is a common denominator in most of our current, healthy no wonder forum friendships are so great! Cool

Wow! Can I relate to this! I was downsized from my job about a year and a half ago. The friends I got closest to in over 20 yrs. with that employer are still there but our interests have obviously changed.

My husband whines that with me it's "all dogs all the time" now. Let Me Think About That
My husband whines that with me it's "all dogs all the time" now. Let Me Think About That

And.........what is the problem??? Very Happy
I think people just grow/develope into different directions in life and the friendships seem to fade.

I have one girlfriend that I have known since prep school, she was in my wedding, I was in her and I am godmother to her children, she is with mine too, we were like sisters. We have grown apart now as we live in totally different worlds. But we still occassionally keep in contact and try and see each other a few times a year.

Unfortunately that is life Wink

What does it mean, it means life is always a changing journey with always something different around every corner. Very Happy It makes us grow & bloom as a person Wink
I feel like at any given time, I only have the time and attention span for a few really good friends at a time. Sometimes I'm just closer to some people than others and it shifts back and forth. I've always kind of enjoyed that. I think it keeps relationships fresh and fun and without too much responsibility (in a good way not a lazy way!).
I have some friends that I have lost affection for. It seems to work best just to stop communicating with them. If I don't call, I don't hear from them either. Once in a blue moon we talk, and it seems to work out ok. It helps that very few of these friends live anywhere near me.

ButtersStotch wrote:
I feel like at any given time, I only have the time and attention span for a few really good friends at a time. Sometimes I'm just closer to some people than others and it shifts back and forth. I've always kind of enjoyed that. I think it keeps relationships fresh and fun and without too much responsibility (in a good way not a lazy way!).

Aint that the truth??!!! Twisted Evil Lets NOT EVEN get into the phone

okay, sorry to deviate....that was just an evil necessity.......

I do agree. Relationships do change with time. Some just get put aside for the moment, some go away forever and some are just as durable and strong as the hardest diamond......

I would never be the one to end anything thing permanently. Good friendships are rare and hard to find. No one is perfect and everyone can act perfectly stupid at times....remember, if you liked the person in the first place, there has to be some redeeming quality still left......

besides, you never know what type of pictures they have of you that they could download Shocked
I agree, friends come and go, but I wouldn't "close the door" on anyone. I'm just as good friends with people if I see them once a week or once every 5 years or more- life is too short to hold a grudge just because someone hasn't got time to contact often!
I know some people think it's essential to phone often- but I can't commit to that, so why should I expect it from anyone else? A true friend will understand if you are going through a change, even if it's a wrench for them.

I lost alot of friends when we left school, they all got into heavy relationships and we lost contact, but we all wanted to move on. They all had kids- I'm still not ready for that 14 years later- eeek! Then I made new friends, but they were all younger than me and reacted badly when Greg and I were seeing eachother instead of going out with them every night Rolling Eyes That was 7 years ago, we have maybe 8 close friends now who we see nearly every week, mostly at church. On one hand we have never felt so happy and loved, on the other, we have eachother and a puppy on the way, so could upsticks at any moment as long as we are together!

Move on if you need to- sounds like you just need a little change of direction. AND you will always have the crazy sheepie people! Group hug


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