Losing Friends in Your 20s and Why it's Okay

Post Updated November 2020

Female friendships, in my experience, are never plain sailing. Primarily throughout sixth form, there were, to put it lightly, difficulties in my friendship group. These so-called 'difficulties' resulted in a meeting between the said group and someone from our school (a meeting I am still salty about because there was no need for it to happen and for school to be involved as we were all adults but that's another story...). But that is beside the point. Since going to university these friendships have drifted quite considerably and stopped as I've reached my twenties and I've realised that's okay.

For some context, there were 9 of us in this group and we had all been best friends since we met in reception. So we're talking about 15 years of friendship here. But as we grew up we began to split apart into 2 sub-groups. It just so happened that the majority of one sub-group went off to uni this year and the other did not, perhaps cementing the split?

University started and everything was fine, or just papered over the cracks fine. We'd all vowed to keep in touch and for a while we did. For my birthday in October friends from home came to visit me and made my birthday such a lovely day. We spoke occasionally and when I came home there were meet-ups if others were back as well.

girl group of friends laughing in summer
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

But as the year progressed, the conversations stopped, the meet-ups were arranged and uni people who were back were often not there or invited and things changed. It became much more of an effort to talk and make conversation. I felt like things became one-sided, it became down to me to start up a conversation, to check up on someone, just to ask how life was going or to make the effort to actually keep in touch and suggest meeting up rather than it being a two-way thing. It came to a point where I decided to just cut people out, whether that's right or wrong, it's what I did. I became fed up of constantly being the person maintaining things and now that I had new flatmates, course-mates and a boyfriend, I didn't want to feel like a nuisance. Plus I had so many new people to juggle that we stopped messaging.

Don't get me wrong I still have friends from back home. Those of us that went to university made such an effort to keep in touch and we saw each other regularly whilst being away and when back at home. These were the types of friendships that I wanted; it didn't feel totally one-sided and that we were friends for the sake of history. We both genuinely wanted to keep in contact so we did and things still work between us and we're all very good friends.

So reaching my twenties resulted in me gaining and losing friends and that's okay. People move in and out of your life constantly and whilst we had so many good years as friends and fond memories, I know that now, whilst we will always be friendly and civil, we will never be as we used to be. As we've all gotten older we've drifted in and out of friendship with the starting of university being the final nail in the coffin. Losing friends and drifting apart doesn't make either of you bad people. Sometimes it's better to lose those where things just weren't quite working in order to make time for those where it does. But most importantly, it's okay to lose friends. It happens.

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2 comments

  1. I went through a very similar experience in sixth form too with my friendship group, so I can totally relate! I've drifted away from and lost a few friends in the past 3 years but I've also realised it's ok and sometimes it is actually necessary. x

    - charlotte / charlottesspace.com

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    Replies
    1. Completely agree - there's no point hanging on either! x

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