In this blog post I want to talk about my own experiences of friendships drifting apart, mainly during the past year. In June 2020, I finished one chapter of my life which was university, and I started another chapter in September 2020 which was working life. During September 2020 to now, there has been changes in my friendships. I have made new friends as well as strengthened other friendships. However, there have been friends in which I have drifted apart from. I will discuss why I think these friendships have drifted, whether the pandemic has had any impact and what I have learnt from this.
Note that I will mainly focus on friendships drifting since June 2020.
One main reason why some of my friendships have drifted is because we have both moved on to different stages of life. This was also the case since June 2019 as some of my friends from university graduated and started jobs a year earlier than me. Some of my friends are now in different cities and countries to me, which makes it extremely difficult to meet up, and that has contributed to friendships drifting. Furthermore, and this was only something I realised quite recently is that a good number of my friendships were built in the first place because we had something in common. For example, I made friends at university because we were at the same university, and possibly in the same societies/course/accommodation as well. These friendships worked well when I was at university with them, but when we moved into the next chapter of life there wasn’t that university factor anymore that drove our friendship in the first place. This meant that some of my university friendships inevitably drifted.
Another main reason why some of my friendships have drifted is due to busy schedules. I know a lot of people would say that being busy is not an excuse and that you should make the time. However, what I as well as my friends have found is that working life is constantly busy. Even if work itself isn’t busy, there usually will be something else that will cause the schedule to be busy, such as family or social commitments. A busy schedule means that free time is more limited, and therefore prioritising certain things over others is essential. The same applies with friendships, and I (as well as my friends) have had to prioritise certain friendships over others just because there isn’t the time to maintain every single friendship, even though it leads to some friendships drifting apart. As mentioned in the second paragraph, some friendships don’t work as well when you don’t have that thing in common that drove the friendship in the first place anymore, and that is a common reason why these friendships don’t get prioritised going forward.
A natural question is whether the pandemic has had any impact on some of my friendships drifting apart, especially from June 2020 to now. I do think that in some cases it has led to the friendship drifting apart a lot quicker and sooner compared to what it would have done if it wasn’t for the pandemic. This is because the pandemic and the challenge of not being able to see friends face to face made things clearer regarding which friendships I should keep and which friendships will naturally drift. However, the friendships which I have drifted apart from are ones which I think I would have drifted apart from anyway even if it wasn’t for the pandemic. This is because the main reasons why some of my friendships have drifted apart are due to the reasons mentioned in the second and third paragraph, which would have applied regardless of the pandemic.
Upon reflection, something I have learnt from this is that it’s important to not cling on to friendships. It isn’t a great feeling when you are drifting apart from friends that you were very close to in the past, and it can be tempting to try and hold on to these friendships. However, the majority of friendships do fizzle out eventually. I have also tried to cling on to friendships, however I have realised and accepted that it is a lot better to let the friendship naturally fade rather than try to hold on to it.