Outgrowing a Friendship: 4 Ways to Know It’s Time to Move On

It’s hard to resist the desire to be liked by everyone. It’s uncomfortable to know someone doesn’t like you, but you know what’s even more uncomfortable? Trying to make a relationship work with someone that you genuinely do not enjoy spending time with.

Growing and changing is a crucial part of life. Sometimes personal growth means admitting that you’ve begun outgrowing a friendship you’ve had for years.

So how do you know when it’s time to move on? Here are some telltale signs that your friendship is no longer one worth pouring effort into.

1. Seeing Their Social Media Makes You Roll Your Eyes

When you see their latest Instagram post, are you happy to see them thriving, or do you get a pit in your stomach because you’ve been avoiding their texts? Maybe you feel a tinge of jealousy when you see them succeeding.

If their post leaves you feeling uncomfortable or in a funk, your in-person relationship can’t be any better. If you don’t even like seeing them virtually, maybe it’s time to move on.

2. You Dread Your Hangout Sessions

If you drag your feet to get ready for your girl’s night and just wish you could stay home, why are you spending time with this person in the first place?

It seems like such a simple concept, but you should enjoy spending time with your friends. If you don’t feel excited about your upcoming hangout, maybe you shouldn’t be hanging with them at all.

This isn’t high school: it’s not like you have to see people you don’t like every day so you maintain the friendship just to get through the school year. If you don’t like someone, there’s no reason you have to keep seeing them. It’s time to move on to friends you actually look forward to hanging with.

3. You Find Yourself Complaining About Them All the Time

It’s natural to sometimes have a complaint about a friend. We all need to vent every once in a while, and we all slip up and do things that bug someone on occasion. But if you notice that every time they come up in conversation you only have negative things to say, then maybe your friendship has run its course.

If you only talk negatively about them, why would you want to spend time with them? And it’s not fair to your friend to have someone who they trust constantly bashing them behind their back. If they only give you reasons to complain, don’t feel guilty about letting them go.

4. They Never Make Time for You

Friendship is work. It takes time, dedication, commitment, and sacrifice. You also need to learn how to set boundaries. In order to make a friendship work, you have to make each other a priority.

If you feel like they haven’t made you a priority in a long time, it might be time to say goodbye.

You need to be friends with someone who dedicates time to furthering your friendship.

There are instances when it’s not possible for a friend to make you a priority. If they’re going through a hard time, have a big life event coming up, or have a huge project at work, they might need to take a raincheck on girl’s night.

However, it’s all about communication.

There’s a big difference between them texting you and saying “Hey, sorry I’ve been off the grid, I’ve just been struggling lately, and even though I may not text back that often, I love you and want to hang when things get less crazy” and being ghosted or having all your plans rejected.

If they express to you that they’re temporarily having a hard time, you can support them from the sidelines and know that you are valued, you just can’t be the center of attention at the moment.

If you find that you’re the one not making time for your friend, it’s also time to reevaluate your roles in each other’s lives.

Outgrowing a Friendship Isn’t Easy

It’s never easy to say goodbye. It seems that the moment you decide to end a friendship, all you can remember are the good times you’ve had together.

However, if you aren’t connecting in the present, there’s not much hope for a future together. If all you can do is reminisce about the past, you’ll get stuck in old patterns and will rob yourself of the opportunity to grow as an individual.

Outgrowing a friendship isn’t fun, but sometimes, it’s simply the best thing you can do for yourself. You deserve to be with people who inspire and challenge you. You want people who can lift you up, not keep you down.

Don’t waste energy on someone who wouldn’t do the same for you. Think of it this way; when you outgrow your friends, it just means you’re making space to let someone new into your life.

Published in Featured Articles, Life
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Author, Artist, Photographer.

Sarah Margaret is an artist who expresses her love for feminism, equality, and justice through a variety of mediums: photography, filmmaking, poetry, illustration, song, acting, and of course, writing.

She owns Still Poetry Photography, a company that showcases her passion for capturing poetic moments in time. Instead of poetry in motion, she captures visual poetry in fractions of a second, making cherished keepsakes of unforgettable moments.

She is the artist behind the Still Poetry Etsy shop, which houses her illustrations and bespoke, handmade items. She is the author of intricacies are just cracks in the wall, a narrative poetry anthology that follows a young woman discovering herself as she emerges from an abusive relationship.