Why do friends drift away

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

How friends can become strangers

You were very close friends
In fact you were more like family members
But as the time passed something happened
You started drifting apart for no obvious reason
And you kept wondering how could this happen?

Unless you are extremely young i am pretty sure that you noticed that close friends sometimes drift apart, become distant and even turn into enemies.

There are very obvious reasons that could let friends drift apart such as moving to another city or country, getting married or going through a serious life style change.

Those reasons however are the obvious ones and you won't have a problem explaining your friend's distance if one of them was the cause.

The reasons i am going to talk about in this article are the less obvious ones. The ones that are not that obvious that they leave you confused.

Why do friends drift away

Here are some reasons that could slowly lower the quality of friendship and force people to drift apart:

  • 1) Reduction of intimacy: In my article How to develop intimacy with friends i said that intimacy can be developed when you share your emotions, secrets, feelings, concerns , fears and everything else with your friends. If you stopped doing so then your relationship with your friends is going to become more and more superficial. Shortly your friend will become more like a stranger since you won't be feeling comfortable around them anymore and so the friendship might slowly fall apart
  • 2) Unresolved conflicts: Do you remember that fight that happened between you and your friend months ago? I know you totally forgot about it but what about your friend? Sometimes such conflicts leave a mark in people's hearts. Some people actually never tell their friends that they feel really bad about something that they did to them. As those feelings keep growing that friend might find it hard to take it anymore and they might decide to drift away. See also Should i tell my friends about my problems?.
  • 3) The rise of jealousy: Even your very close friend can get jealous of you. After all jealousy is a normal human emotion. Now if those feelings of jealousy kept growing in your friend's heart then probably they will not feel that good around you. And when this happens that friend might decide to slowly drift away. See What causes jealousy.
  • 4) Developing different interests: When i talked about friendship psychology i said that common interests is one of the strong factors that binds friends together. Now if for any reason your friend's interest became different than yours then you might find them slowly drifting apart from you
  • 5) Not disclosing vital information: Some people start to experience a change of heart towards their friends but they never speak about it. As those feelings keep growing bigger those people find themselves more and more uncomfortable with the friendship. While those people might seem totally OK from the outside still they might be feeling very hurt from the inside. This is why you might find those people drifting apart all of a sudden

People come and go

What you need to know about life is that it's a normal thing that people come and go.
Yes you should do your best to keep all of your friends but you should also understand that sometimes it's not possible to prevent something like that from happening.

Some friends will drift apart
Some might become strangers
While some others might become enemies.
And life will always go on.

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