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Shedding Friendships

I feel like I’m much better at making friends than I am at keeping them. I find that I go through phases where I shed many of my friendships, like a snake shedding its skin. I feel like I outgrow them, or maybe I just outgrow my patience to deal with them.

The history of my social life could be summarized as “long periods of forming new friendships, interspersed with quick periods of rapidly breaking off many of those same relationships.” Sometimes it’s geographical, like when we moved an hour away when I was in 3rd grade, or when I moved to NC from PA after college, or when I moved back to PA 5 years later. Sometimes it’s based more on lifestyle changes, like when I dropped out of college and lost touch with my college buddies, or when I went back to college and lost touch with my stoner friends.

In pretty much all of these scenarios, it never feels like a conscious choice, it just sort of happens. I’m not great at keeping in touch, but even when I make an effort it often feels one-sided, so I end up stopping. Or we just drift apart because we’re different people.


I bring this up now because it feels like another shedding stage is about to begin. I’m not moving geographically, but I can feel myself drifting away from an established group of friends. What makes it sting a little more is that these friends have already survived a few rounds of shedding. One of them I’ve known since high school. One of them would have been the best man at my wedding if it had occurred a few months ago, but now we don’t even talk because I spoke up to try to warn him about the woman he was dating.

I’m not sure if I’m sad about potentially losing these friendships, or if I’m just sad because I’m realizing how different I am from this group of people. Either way, I’m sad.

Does anyone else feel like they shed old friendships like I do?

Thanks for reading. I’d add a picture of one of my animals, but Kinja isn’t cooperating (shocking!) and it’s after 2am here. I’ll probably look at any replies in the morning, but mostly I just wanted to vent a little.

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