Growing Pains: Getting Real About The Pains of Having Friendships (And Them Changing) As An Adult

When you are a student, making and keeping friends is so easy. In middle school, that basically meant sitting next to someone everyday at lunch to dish on the interaction in the hallway with that boy you’ve had a crush on for a week. In college, this means having a bunch of classes with someone and ranting about the professor’s insane grading system.

Now, enter adulthood. Things are a bit different. First of, you are balancing so much. You are working full time, you’re remembering to pay bills, and maybe you are in a relationship. Sometimes, we become swept up in that, and forget the friends. Or, we simply don’t stay in touch with them or see them as much as you’d like.

The real growing pains, though, is when you begin to grow apart from a best friend. It’s a safe assumption that people change throughout their lives. At 20, we view the world differently then we did at 24. And, a lot happens in a person’s 20’s. You graduate college. You get your wings, and apply for a full time job. You might also fall in love, and get married. I mean, I’m not the same person that I was at 24. I am more responsible, and I’ve grown a lot.

And, that changes you.

With that being said, it also changes your friendships. People don’t often grow at the same rate as each other. This sometimes creates problems. This can be a friend, who after years of being friends, just brings you down. Or, someone who you just don’t have any fun with anymore. Or, sometimes, something happens to destroy your friendship completely.

I’m going to be honest, change sometimes sucks. It causes true pain, sometimes to the point where you are sore to the touch. Losing a friend is perhaps the most painful thing of all. I mean, you don’t expect to lose a friend. Friends are people that you think are going to concrete. I mean, in high school, chances are your girls are the ones who helped you get over that boy that you used to date? You never expect that to go away.

What many don’t realize is that losing a friend is worse than a romantic breakup. In my opinion at least. There might be something that was the catalyst, a big fight or someone sleeping with your boyfriend. Or, you drifted apart. No one talks about the pain — nor deems it to be a thing.

And, it sucks.

How many of you reading this are thinking of someone right now?

I am.

It’s sad to lose someone who you put everything into. To think that they are at the other end of a phone, only you can’t call them for whatever reason.

Sometimes, though this isn’t a permanent thing. Sometimes, years later you can reconnect. Others, not so much.

I firmly believe that the only time in life when a friend’s true colors come out is when you go through something awful. A death. An injury or a breakup. Who is the person who is always there for you? Who calls and checks in? Chances are, they are your true friends.

I will end with an assuring quote from Dr. Seuss: “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” That quote can easily be said about losing a friend, or growing in two different directions.

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