Knowing when a friendship is over can be tremendously difficult. We have an attachment to the people who are most important to us and when we start to drift away from each other, we fail to realize that we no longer have anything in common with one another until it is too late. So how can you tell when a friendship is over?
The first sign is an obvious lack of communication. While most of us are not fortunate enough to live in the same city or state as our closest friends for our entire lives, we are lucky to live in a world where we have any number of ways to keep in touch with one another and ensure that the friendship does not fall by the wayside.
Whether it’s Facebook messaging, Skype calls, regular checking texts or Twitter DMs, we have no excuse not to keep tabs on those we care about. When a year or two has gone by without speaking through any medium, this is a sure sign that a friendship is on life support.
What about those of us who make an effort to contact friends on a regular basis? The easiest way to know whether the friendship has survived is the ease at which the conversation flows. The best friendships are the ones that we can slip in and out of like a comfortable pair of shoes.
We all have friends like these, people that we can call after not speaking for six months and speak to as if no time has passed at all. If this is not what your experience with the person is like, if you find yourself having to make a serious effort to keep the conversation flowing? This means that you have begun to drift away from the person.
If you’re in a situation where you still see the person regularly, knowing when the friendship is over is even more challenging. As people, we tend to grow together or grow apart and when we see each other on a regular basis, it is harder to tell when we’ve grown separately.
When you’re starting to question the durability of the friendship, ask yourself some honest questions. Is the person still someone you look forward to seeing and speaking with? Or have they become someone that you spend time with out of obligation or proximity? If your reasons for spending the time with the person are not directly related to your own enjoyment, the friendship may be over.
Friendships come and go and we tend to know deep down in our gut when they are no longer beneficial to us. Once you’ve started to doubt the continued existence of a friendship, it is time for some serious introspection. Chances are, you already know the answer in your heart of hearts.