You’ve probably noticed that you have fewer friends now than you did in your teens, college years, and early twenties.
Don’t worry – it’s totally normal to lose friends as you get older.
It happens for a variety of reasons, and it doesn’t make you a bad friend!
You may have moved away from your college friends and then fallen out of contact.
When you make friends with people based on proximity, the friendship often changes or breaks down when you no longer see one another on a regular basis.
Perhaps you have had children, and now you can’t relate to your childfree friends – at least, not in quite the same way.
Maybe you’ve chosen to channel your energy into building a career, and suddenly find yourself working so many hours that socializing is no longer a priority.
Fortunately, losing friends isn’t always a bad thing.
In fact, it can change your social life for the better!
Not quite convinced?
Here are five reasons why shedding old friends can actually work out in your favor:
1. You’ll get rid of toxic friendships.
You may lose good friends as you get older, but you will also lose the toxic people who never made you feel uplifted or happy in their company.
You know who they are – those “friends” who whine, complain, never help you out, and even gossip about you behind your back.
There’s no point in holding onto them. You’ll feel better when they’re out of your life!
2. New friends give you a new perspective.
Meeting new people is like adopting a new view on life.
When you make new friends, your interests and tastes might change – and that’s a good thing!
New friends can also introduce you to other people, who in turn can broaden your horizons even further.
3. You have more time to work on yourself.
A common reason we tend to lose friends when we get older is a lack of time.
When you are young and have relatively few responsibilities, it’s easy to go out several nights a week.
However, once you enter the adult world and get a “real job,” you have to make some tough choices when it comes to your evenings and weekends.
Specifically, you need to strike a balance between maintaining a healthy social life and working on your own self-development and hobbies.
A smaller social circle makes it easier to make time for yourself, which in turn benefits your career, intimate relationships, and general wellbeing.
4. When you don’t spend as much time socializing, you can build deeper friendships.
When you have fewer friends, you can put more effort into building meaningful connections with those you see and talk to on a regular basis.
When you are young, having a large friendship group and feeling popular often seems important.
However, as you get older, you learn the value of having a few close friends that you can call on in times of need rather than a loose network of acquaintances.
5. Old friends can keep you stuck in the past.
Old friends are to be treasured, but hanging out with people you have known for many years can keep you stuck in the same old patterns.
For example, let’s say your college buddies always loved going to bars, and they all hold the same views when it comes to politics.
That’s OK – but they aren’t likely to help you try new things!
You might also notice that you fall back into a particular “role” when you are around certain people.
For instance, if you were always the joker among your group of high school friends, you might automatically revert to this role when you’re around them, even if you’ve outgrown that behavior.
The healthiest people manage to hold onto the friendships that nourish them, whilst forming new connections at the same time.
Losing and gaining friends is a normal part of life.
If you feel that your friends don’t quite fit your personality and lifestyle any more, reach out and form some new relationships.
Think of a hobby or interest you would like to pursue, and join a class or group.
It takes courage to make new friends, but it can be done!
If you miss some of your old friends, why not take a few minutes today to drop them a message?
Simply sending a short e-mail or a text message can be enough to rekindle a friendship.
Just remember that they might feel as though they have outgrown the friendship.
If so, don’t take it personally.
Focus on moving forward and making new connections instead.