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Is it normal to fall out of friendships?

It’s completely normal for friendships to change over time. As people grow and evolve, it’s natural that some friendships will grow apart. There are many reasons why friends may drift apart or lose touch, and it rarely means anything is wrong with the friendship. Life circumstances, values, priorities, interests, and personalities all shift through different stages of life. Recognizing when a friendship is no longer nourishing is a normal part of maturing.

Is it normal to lose touch with friends?

Yes, it’s very common to lose touch with friends over time. There are many reasons this can happen:

Life stage changes

As people transition into different life stages, their priorities and availability often change:

  • Going to college or moving to a new city
  • Starting a career or demanding job
  • Getting into a serious relationship or married
  • Having children
  • Caring for aging parents

Major life changes like these can make it hard to stay connected to old friends. Geographic distance and busy schedules get in the way. It’s normal for friendships to fade if they aren’t actively maintained through these transitions.

Differing interests and values

As people mature, their interests, worldviews, and values often shift. Friends who were once very similar may find they no longer have as much in common. Different priorities can cause friends to grow apart:

  • One friend is married with kids, while the other is still single and dating
  • One friend works constantly and has little free time, while the other craves adventure and travel
  • One friend develops a strong political view, while the other is no longer interested in debating issues

When core interests and values no longer align, friendships can fade.

Personality and emotional changes

People’s personalities aren’t fixed – they evolve through life experiences. Friends who got along wonderfully as teenagers may find greater friction in their personalities as adults. Emotional needs can also change over time, impacting friend dynamics.

Is it normal for childhood friendships to end?

Losing touch with childhood friends is incredibly common. Only an estimated two percent of adults stay in contact with friends from elementary school.

Here’s why childhood friendships often fade:

  • Moving to new schools or neighborhoods
  • Developing separate interests and peer groups
  • Childhood memories keeping friends attached after they’ve grown apart

As children grow into teens and young adults, they undergo profound changes. The things that bonded you as kids – proximity, playfulness, lack of responsibilities – are usually no longer enough to sustain friendships into adulthood. Moving onto college or careers typically signals the end for most childhood friendships.

When are growing apart signs visible in a friendship?

There are some common signs that indicate friendships are starting to fade:

Less frequent communication

You text or call each other less often. Communication starts to feel forced or dry when it does happen. Inside jokes and natural banter fade away.

Lack of confiding

You stop sharing intimate details, asking for advice, or confiding in each other about problems. Vulnerability and emotional availability decreases.

No more quality time

You rarely make plans to spend quality time together. Quick catch-ups replace in-depth hangouts focused on connecting.

Differing lifestyles

Your schedules, habits, interests, and priorities no longer match up. You feel out of sync.

Lack of support

You stop relying on each other for practical, emotional, or moral support during hard times. The give-and-take of friendship fades.

Boredom or friction

Interactions feel boring or draining instead of fun and uplifting. You bicker or get on each other’s nerves more easily.


You won’t care much if the friendship fades altogether. You’re indifferent rather than trying to reconnect.

Is drifting apart from friends a bad thing?

Drifting apart is a natural friendship dynamic, not necessarily a bad thing. As you change and evolve, it makes sense to develop new friendships aligned with who you’re becoming.

However, there are a few cases when friendships fading signifies an unhealthy dynamic:

  • One friend cuts others off or withdraws abruptly without communicating why
  • Only one person is putting effort into the friendship
  • The friendship was dependent on substances, unhealthy habits, etc.
  • One person’s growth feels threatening to the other friend
  • There is unresolved tension, conflict, or resentment

In these situations, it may be worth trying to openly communicate, set boundaries, gain closure, or get support. But in general, friends naturally drifting apart is normal and often beneficial.

How do you know when a friendship has run its course?

There are a few key signs a friendship may have run its natural course:

  • You constantly feel annoyed, drained, or bored around this friend
  • Your values and interests have diverged, leaving little common ground
  • This friend brings more stress than joy into your life
  • You find yourself hiding parts of yourself or pretending around them
  • Efforts to reconnect or communicate fall flat
  • You feel relieved about the idea of less contact with this friend

If the friendship feels like more of a chore than a gift, that’s usually a sign it has lapsed its expiration date. It’s okay to let go.

How can you reconnect with an old friend?

If there’s an old friend you miss and want to reconnect with, there are some effective ways to rekindle that bond:

  • Send a handwritten letter, card or postcard sharing warm memories
  • Mail them a small nostalgic gift referencing an inside joke or childhood memory
  • Text or call suggesting getting coffee to catch up
  • Send a Facebook message asking how they’re doing
  • Comment on their social media posts and start a conversation
  • Invite them to a group outing to take the pressure off
  • Plan a visit if you live far away now

The key is to reach out without demanding too much emotional labor from them. Offer low-pressure ways to connect, have fun, and reminisce.

How do you make new friends as an adult?

Making new friends can be challenging for adults, but definitely possible. Here are some tips:

Pursue your interests

Join groups, classes and communities focused on your hobbies, causes or activities you enjoy. You immediately have something in common with other members.

Try new things

Take risks by signing up for a sport, class or club you’ve never tried before. Novel experiences introduce you to new potential friends.

Be a joiner

Join professional associations, volunteer groups, religious organizations, recreational sports leagues, social causes, etc. Get onto mailing lists for local events.

Make the first move

Smile, give compliments and introduce yourself to people you want to get to know better. Offer your number or suggest grabbing coffee.

Follow up

After meeting someone new, make plans to hang out again soon. Don’t let first meetings go nowhere.

Have realistic expectations

Developing close friendships takes time. Focus on building connections vs. forcing best friendship immediately.


As we journey through life, it’s normal for some friendships to fade while new ones emerge. Rather than clinging to forced connections, try to appreciate what shared experiences you had. Be open to making new friends who align with who you are today. Cherish the people who continue growing alongside you. Trust that genuine friendship will enrich your life at every stage, even if the cast of characters rotates.