If you had told me that we would only see each other a handful of times a year, I would probably have assumed the friendship had failed. It wasn’t until my late twenties I understood that sometimes old friendships evolve like plants whose roots outgrow their pots: they are still alive, still growing, but they need more space to survive.

Natasha Lunn, speaking about a friendship where at its heyday the author spent time with someone almost every day, Conversations on Love

Have your relationships with your friends evolved?

I know mine have.

I have the same three besties for 40 years. We have not resided in the same spot since 1986, yet we text each other almost daily, but if we see one another once a year it’s a win.

I have NYC friends who at one point in my life I saw on a daily basis, but have evolved into a once a month outing and a few sporadic texts throughout the month.

I have neighbors who I stop to chat with a few times a week, gym friends that I will stand at the water fountain and bs with after spin class, volunteers friends who are lovely to catch up with before our shift. My tea society friends who I value the time I get to spend with them. I have my book clubbers, and my writing buddies. I don’t ever see these people socially outside of the appointed spots. I can’t imagine any of these relationships evolving into anything else, but who knows…

Everything changes. Sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. And sometimes just because things have to change. Our physical appearance changes with time, our opinions change, we learn and we grow. It makes sense that our relationships will change as time goes on. What we needed before we no longer need now, and we now need other things in order to get on with life.

I no longer need a bunch of Mom friends to help me navigate parenting a child through NYC public schools. I do need writing friends who can help me write better and write more. Our priorities change, so do our friend group and how we spend our time. Circle of life so to speak.

Have your friendships evolved over the years? How so? Do you ever long for a friendship that has passed you by?

Discuss

27 thoughts on “Evolution of Friendships

  1. I’m pretty sure that every friendship I have ever had has changed in some way, some of them more profoundly than others. I will sometimes wonder what has happened to this or that person, but as for longing- I don’t think so. At any given time my friends circle is very small to begin with and as you note mine tend to be associated with where I am at that point in my life. The small number of friends who I spent the most time with, or might call really close friends long ago are the ones that I diverged from ideologically the most as I’ve moved through adulthood. I find that interesting in many ways, knowing how I have evolved and in that chose to be the one to move away from the relationship.

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  2. Absolutely. I have one really close friend from high school but she lives 4 hours away so we rarely see each other. We do check in at least once a month though. The other friends I have are mainly because they were my husband’s friends first. I think I have more blog friends than I do IRL friends. Introvert you know?

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  3. I am more selective in whom I call a friend. I may have several acquaintances, even some who used to be what I may have called a friend at one time, who maintain some sort of a loosely defined form of friendship. But true friendship, with open dialogue and mutual respect and, most importantly (to me) is a two-way street (give and take is equal) – that has changed significantly in my life over the child-raising years. I therefore have less friends but more acquaintances.

    You didn’t differentiate between online or in-person. I make a distinction but consider each equally important to my social life.

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    1. Since I mainly communicate with my closest friends via text, I don’t distinguish between the two. I think I’ve seen so many catfishing things that I think there should be a differentiation….like you need to know someone is truly real

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  4. Most of my friendships have evolved to facebook and text friends. I’m too far away from my Kentucky friends for in person and my local friends I used to see once a month either aren’t gathering anymore or aren’t inviting me.

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    1. Don’t take it personally. A lot of social interactions have changed since the lockdowns. Many people find it easier just to stay home even though most restrictions have been lifted. It is scary how easily our behaviors are controlled and/or altered without us even realizing it.

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  5. That is a wonderful quote. My perspective on friendship has shifted. I wish I had made this change sooner because someone I used to be friends with died this year, leaving me with regret. I appreciate how you view friendship. I am really fortunate to have three good local friends, former coworkers whom I see on occasion, two classmates who live states away whom I adore, and blogging friends online who fulfill me in ways I never imagined. ❤️

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  6. I have a best friend from college who I stayed with when I visited my mom. We may not see each other every year or talk on the phone, but we’re always there for each other. When together we pick up without missing a beat. I have a close friend from the swim mom days who I talk to every few days on the phone plus a friend in Santa Barbara who we because couple friends as newlyweds. We talk every week and see each other several times a year. Most of my “mom friends” have dropped by the wayside because I moved. I cherish my small handful of true friends.

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  7. I’m a classic military brat; growing up, I moved every few years, so I was never able to maintain lasting friendships. As a result, I’m very independent and don’t really feel that I’m missing out on much. My closest friends are all long-distance (irony alert!), and many are fellow bloggers. I guess in that regard the nature of my friendships has evolved, at least from those fleeting childhood ones.

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  8. Friendships change, grow, and wither. The woman who I chose as my maid of honor is no longer part of my life (that she moved made the “break-up” easier, but that wasn’t the reason). In many ways, I wish making new friends as we get older was easier since I feel that I’m a different person than I was when I met my longer term friends. Like Mark mentioned in his comment, several of the people I now consider my closest friends are fellow bloggers that I’ve been lucky enough to meet in real life.

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  9. Friendships have come and gone over the years for a variety of reasons. When I was younger and single, I spent more time socializing with friends. Now it’s more sporadic and activity-based (not going to bars!). I thinks there’s more depth in communication, even if it’s infrequent.

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  10. I have many of the same friends plus many new ones, but I spend most of my time talking with them via text (mostly), and phone, occasionally. We see each other but rarely for long periods of time. I’m fine with it since I’m generally introverted and prefer communicating this way. However, when I do see them I’m genuinely happy to be with them. 🙂

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  11. My friendships are always evolving. I think you said it best about the “mom” friends. People come and go as needed, kind of like a train stop (did I discuss this train stop theory before?). Anywho, yes.

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    1. Yes! You need certain people at certain times to get you through…but when the commonality ends, the friendship withers. Happens all the time with workplace friendships

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