When friendships fall apart... II

... why does it happen and what can I do?

Friendships can falter because of natural changes in time and status.

My good friend and I did not have a fight. We did not have a disagreement. We didn’t particularly change our personalities and reject each other.

What happened, was we grew up. We gained other responsibilities and our lives shifted to new priorities. It happened naturally, and these were not bad changes: I’m talking about getting married, finding a job, having babies.

Where I used to have an hour to write to her, now I spend that hour folding the washing, or tidying up toys, or occasionally chilling out.

And as our responsibilities and priorities have changed, so have our relationships. She used to be in my intimate space. Now my husband and my children are. Time and energy means people who are closer in distance to me fill my personal space now.

No relationship survives in one space for the entire life of the relationship. It can move from one to the other. Often, it has to.

A typical teenage pattern is having a best friend type buddy who you do everything with. But then, hat buddy finds a girlfriend or boyfriend before you do, and all of a sudden they don’t have time for you any more!

That’s hard to take... but it’s a natural shift.

Natural shifts can hurt a lot. Just because they are natural doesn’t mean you might not feel it strongly. But understanding the four spaces can help us see that a friendship might not be dissolving – rather, just moving to a more appropriate space for now.

If you can give your friend the permission to do that, and enjoy the new status of the relationship, you will both be happier.