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Growing Apart From Friends - Everything You Need To Know

Friendship Breakup By: Katie Lister

February 05, 2024

What can I do to stop growing apart from my friends? Is growing apart from friends normal? How do I cope after losing my friends? This article is for you if you are drifting or have drifted apart from your friends.

Hi, I am Katie Lister, a practicing Registered Nurse and the founder of Growth Gals. This is a supportive network where women come together to talk about issues specific to women, like growing apart from friends.

Friendships come and go, but we are never ready for endings. If you are growing apart from friends, this article will tell you all you need to know about losing friends and how to move on.

Table of Contents

Katie Lister

Katie Lister

Written by Katie Lister, RN, BScN. An experienced Registered Nurse, Group Facilitator, Life Coach, and Community Leader. Read Katie's Full Author Bio

Why Do Friends Grow Apart?

Since you were young, you have had friends in every stage of your life. Friends you played with, schoolmates, and workmates. Why did you eventually drift apart with most of them? Here are some of the main reasons why you grow apart from friends.


Disagreements can lead to friends growing apart, and what was once a happy friendship becomes a conflict zone. The disagreements may initially be easy to ignore but grow into full-blown arguments. When the friendship becomes strained, you may grow apart.

Attachment styles

Attachment styles play a role in our adult relationships. The attachment theory states that our earliest relationships with our caregivers set the stage for our later relationships. There are four attachment styles:

  • Secure attachment
  • Avoidant (dismissive): They avoid intimacy
  • Anxious attachment(preoccupied): Mostly clingy and jealous
  • Disorganized attachment: Have a fear of rejection and fear of attachment

Avoidant, anxious, and disorganized attachments are insecure styles and can affect friendships.

Circumstances change

One of the most common reasons a close friendship grows apart is when circumstances change. For example, you spend a lot of time with your best friend in high school. You make a pact to be each other’s BFF (best friends forever).

When you go to college, you both change and find you rarely communicate, and the friendship fizzles out. You grow apart because circumstances have changed, and you are both leading different lives.

Ideals change

We all change over time. The ideals we have at a given time evolve. People change and yearn for different things, a natural part of life. Some friends may fit in with the changes, some may not, which is okay.

Lack of communication

According to a study, differences and disputes can lead to rifts between friends, resulting in decreased communication and potentially ending friendships.

As individuals grow older and develop new opinions, they may be disconnected from their peers’ beliefs. This divergence in thoughts and lack of common ground can cause friends to drift apart.

Signs Of Growing Apart From Friends

Old friendships may end for various reasons. Here are signs that show you are growing apart from a friend:


You have little interest in talking to them

If you have little interest in talking to a once close friend, it’s a sign you are drifting apart. You now have different interests, or you no longer find them as fun to be with as before. When you have a close friendship, you tell each other everything. If this aspect has changed, it means the closeness is gone, or the common reason you were together, like school or work, is gone

Their opinions differ from yours

One of the reasons you became friends in the first place is that you shared similar beliefs and opinions. You can no longer get along when these opinions start shifting in different directions. Spending time with them becomes less of a priority, and you start growing apart.

Conversations become repetitive

Conversations start to feel repetitive. Many friendships have a shared history of events and anecdotes. If you are a group of friends and conversations during get-togethers are about the same things, it signals stagnation. This becomes boring, and the shared history becomes the only glue holding you together.

You feel exhausted afterward

If you feel exhausted whenever you see any of your old friends, that’s a bad sign. Seeing a good friend in a healthy friendship should leave you feeling happy and rejuvenated. In a dying friendship, you feel relieved every time you say goodbye. Feeling drained after seeing a friend is a sign of a dead friendship, and with time, communication dwindles to a stop.

Lack of communication

Silence speaks volumes. When there is a growing silence between friends, it says a lot about the friendship. True friends in healthy relationships keep in regular communication. It might not be every day, but there is an effort from both sides via phone calls or text messages.


Toxic friends can drain your energy. They never take no for an answer, say hurtful things, and constantly disrespect your boundaries. Such friends are self-serving and only show up when they need your help. When you need their support, they are never available. When you start noticing such traits, the friendship will slowly fade out as you avoid their company.

Find out more on letting go of friends here. 

How to Move On After Growing Apart From Friends

No one ever really teaches you how to end a friendship. Moving on after a friendship ends is not easy. It takes a toll on your emotional and mental health. Here are a few expert tips on letting go: 

Allow yourself to grieve

Losing a friendship can be emotionally challenging. Allow yourself to feel and process your emotions, whether sadness, anger, or confusion. It’s important to acknowledge and validate your feelings. 

Reflect on the friendship

Take some time to reflect on the reasons behind losing the friendship. Consider what you have learned from the experience and how it has shaped you. This reflection can help you gain closure and perspective. 

Take a social media break

When you log into your social media platforms, you will see posts from your ex-friend. Take a social media break until you feel ready. If you feel uncomfortable quitting social media because of the ex-friend, you can mute their posts until you heal.

Seek support

Reach out to other friends (but not a mutual friend), family members, or a therapist to share your feelings and seek support. Talking about your emotions provides relief and helps you see things from different angles. When friendships end, you may feel like you let down your friends wondering what you could have done differently. Your self-esteem takes a hit, and therapy can help to rebuild your confidence.

Focus on self-care

Take part in activities that bring you joy. This can include hobbies, exercise, and spending time in nature. You can also try practicing mindfulness and relaxation techniques such as yoga or guided imagery meditation. You can turn to God for spiritual nourishment if you are spiritual or religious. Taking care of your physical and emotional well-being is crucial during this time. 

Practice self-compassion

Show yourself some compassion. You were not at fault, and if you were, forgive yourself. Tell yourself kind things and words of affirmation that you would tell a friend in a similar situation.


Writing is one of the most potent therapies. Write your feelings and thoughts down. In retrospect, reading these thoughts will reveal patterns in your thinking and behavior. Learning these patterns helps you heal and change how you handle future friendships.

Foster new connections

Use this opportunity to meet new people and foster new connections. Join clubs and organizations, or engage in activities that align with your interests. Building new friendships can help fill the void left by the loss and provide new opportunities.

Learn and grow

Use the experience as a chance for personal growth and self-reflection. Consider what you want in future friendships and what you can bring to them. If you were dealing with a toxic friend, use the lessons learned to spot toxic people and avoid them.

Growth Gals Can Help You Make New Friends!

Attention to all the women out there looking to improve themselves! Are you searching for a way to better yourself? Growth Gals is a supportive community of like-minded women who can help when you are growing apart from friends and offer a safe space to foster new friendships.

Follow @growthgals_ on Instagram to stay updated on our goal-setting journals, coaching, and support groups. Be sure to check out our newsletter for the latest tips and tricks on personal growth. Join us now and start your journey towards learning how to cope when you grow apart from friends.

Final Thoughts

Growing apart from friends can happen due to disagreements, shifts in opinions, changes in circumstances, and many other reasons.

When you stop being friends with someone, show yourself some kindness, practice self-care, and care for your well-being. Seek professional help, especially if you have insecure attachment styles. Joining an all-women support network like Growth Gals can go a long way in making the healing process much more bearable. 

Healing takes time, and everyone’s journey is unique. Be patient with yourself and trust that with time, you will be able to move forward and form new meaningful connections.

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