Two friends bumping fists on a city street

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Outgrowing Friends Is Natural; So Is Gaining New Ones

Long-lasting friendships are a major blessing to both parties. Partly because most friendships don’t last. And the grave isn’t always the separator. Rather, as the years progress, it’s common to find yourself outgrowing friends. It’s common to find that your “best friend forever” won’t really last forever.

And that’s okay.

Outgrowing friends is a natural part of life

Your childhood BFF likely won’t be your high school BFF. Your high school BFF likely won’t be your college BFF. And there’s a solid chance your college BFF won’t remain your BFF through all the next seasons of your life either. Which, to be fair, makes sense. 

Outgrowing friends—be it your BFF, a close friend, or someone who’s really more of an acquaintance—isn’t something you do maliciously. It’s something that happens naturally, sometimes despite your best efforts. There are plenty of reasons friendships end, and for them to end quickly (betrayal, for instance). But outgrowing friends isn’t a sudden process. It’s the gradual process of branching onto a different wavelength than your friend as you continue to grow and mature as a person.

This doesn’t mean you were never real friends to begin with. You’re just not the same person you were when you and this friend were closest. Which makes sense. No college student is the same person they were as a high school student, and no high school student is the same person they were as a child. In and out of the classroom, you’ve learned, you’ve developed. You’ve grown into someone else. And oftentimes, this means you’ve grown apart from your friend too, either because they’ve grown in a different direction or because they’ve never grown at all.  

Either way, outgrowing friends isn’t a poor testament about who you are as a friend or as an individual. It’s a natural part of life. Fortunately, so is making new friends. 

Making new friends is a natural part of life too

Outgrowing friends means you’re growing into someone new. That’s a good thing! And it comes with the opportunity to start making new friends. Because just as you’ve gradually branched onto a different wavelength from your old friends, you’re branching onto the same wavelength as other, more likeminded individuals.

The prospect of making new friends can be daunting as it is exciting, but it can also be less complicated than we make it out be. For instance, you don’t need to force yourself to do things you disagree or are uncomfortable with for the sake of “getting out there” and meeting new people. Likeminded people are, as the name implies, alike to you in mind. As such, you’re more likely to meet them doing the things you naturally do, be that frequenting the library or playing pickup basketball.

So, keep being you. Keep learning. Keep developing. Keep growing. Even when that means outgrowing friends.

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