What To Do When Your Friendship is Changing

two friends leaning on a tree. friendship image

It’s a beautiful thing when a friendship is blossoming. You experience the highs of falling in love, feeling a greater sense of belonging and are able to extol the goodness of the universe, or maybe that’s just me. But friendships are beautiful. Close friendships are incomparable.

There comes a time in most friendships when the tide changes and the communication, time spent and bond diminishes or slowly dies down. These times are always difficult; one of the friends usually experience feelings of hurt and rejection while the other might just experience a natural changing of the tides.

I remember a particular friend I had in college, my best friend. We were close. She knew all there was to know about me and I felt understood and cherished. During the summers or school breaks, we would be in sporadic contact and as the years went by, months would go by before I heard from her. Well, that was troubling for me. As my definition of friendship included constant contact, if there was none, that meant we were not truly friends.

I could not understand how someone else could hold a different understanding of friendships. After all, what best friend goes even one whole day without contact, and she wasn’t in Iraq, fighting a War? I was livid at times, questioning her whereabouts and why we weren’t in contact. I behaved this way until it became a burden to call me and I knew it. I so desperately wanted the friendship to remain the same that I couldn’t just allow it t die like that.

It wasn’t until my most recent new friendship began to slow down that I came to the realization that we were hitting another one of those friendship patches, but this time it was okay.

Here are a few lessons that made it all okay:

This is my life and my experience. If I don’t own it, no one else will.  Every experience in life happens to grow us up and help us to solidify the character traits that will benefit us in the next phase of life. Night is as necessary for things to rest an regenerate as is day. Every thing has value and the cycle of life often requires the dying of one thing for other things to be born. Embrace that reality and expect the thing that is waiting for you.

The Universe is abundant and I do not have to worry about loss. 
No matter what, the universe always provides. Whether it is a new friend or the rekindling of an old friendship, when you need it, it will be provided for you. For years, I held on to the fear that I would be alone and that these were just signals that I wasn’t valued.

I am value whether someone else sees me or not.  Taking full ownership of my value whether people chose to stay or leave was an important breakthrough for me. Once I was able to hold a constant view of myself as valuable, I was able to appreciate that a new friendship didn’t make me any more worthy and the loss of one didn’t make me any less. Friendships like all things in life, have seasons and honoring the changing seasons is one way to come to peace with the ending of any relationship.

My perception of the world is my responsibility. I can choose to see things differently. The changing of the seasons is neither bad nor good but for its own purpose and the fulfillment of its purpose. How I interpret the event makes it either painful or acceptable for me. Altering the way that you view an event dulls the impact of the emotions attached to it. If the loss of a friendship can be seen as a necessary clearing out to create space for something else that would better serve you, it can be held as a positive occurrence. Appreciating that the friendship served its purpose and you have been better for it also helps to honor the relationship.

I can now rest better knowing that whatever form it will take, it was there when I needed it and when it needed me and that’s enough.

How do you manage the changes in your friendships or relationships?

photo credit: CaptPiper via photopin cc

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