When you’re young, friendships are your whole life. Your friends are your lifeline, they’re irreplaceable, and there’s no reason to think that they’re not going to last forever. Sadly, adult life is not conducive to maintaining friendships. Suddenly, there are so many essential preoccupations taking up your time (careers, family, finances, home ownership, etc) that you find your friendships slowly slipping away. It’s sad, but it’s a fact of life: only the absolute strongest friendships survive. Below, we’ve compiled 8 signs you’re outgrowing your friends.
You rarely call or text anymore
Remember when you’d talk on the phone all the time, just to discuss the minutiae of the day? And what about that group text that was constantly blowing up your phone and cracking you up when you’re having a rough time at work? Now it seems like you only get calls for your birthday or maybe major holidays, if that, and the texting has slowed to a crawl, a digital graveyard of inside jokes and dinner plans half remembered now.
Plans always seem to get cancelled at the last minute
It’s so goddamn frustrating, isn’t it? You used to be free to hang out whenever you wanted, but now just getting together for a quick drink is like organizing an official state visit. Then, just when you think everything is set in stone, suddenly it all falls apart. They’re feeling under the weather, you got called in to work at the last minute, the baby is sick, the car isn’t starting, rain check rain check rain check.
They bring a new friend into the mix
Merging two groups of friends can be very tricky, like introducing a new species into the wild. But there’s always that one friend in your crew who doesn’t seem to understand this, and now all of a sudden Gary from work is crashing your weekly bar trivia night that you guys have been going to since college, and everything is super awkward and Gary doesn’t know any of your old stories and totally fumbles on an easy question about the theme song to BJ and the Bear, and suddenly you feel something new and ugly towards your old friend: resentment.
You develop new taste in entertainment
I nearly had to end a friendship with someone I had been close with since Kindergarten because he passionately defended M. Night Shyamalan’s post-Signs filmography. Luckily we’re still buds to this day, but damn, it was touch-and-go for awhile there.
Those inside jokes just aren’t funny anymore
Did you ever think the day would come when saying the phrase “What if Penny met a dinosaur?” wouldn’t send you and your pals into total hysterics for a good minute or two? Well, to quote The Smiths and their classic number “That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore,” I’ve seen it happen in other people’s lives, and now it’s happening in mine.
You make a major lifestyle change
As you get older and realize that you’re not as immortal as you once thought you were, you start to make some changes. Maybe you quit drinking, or smoking weed, or flirt with becoming a vegetarian. It’s shocking how something like this can drive a wedge through friendships. Overnight you become the guy who can’t hang anymore, and you realize how much friendships revolve around these rituals like getting hammered, and wonder if the friendship would’ve began in the first place if those vices were never there.
You move to a new town
At a certain age, your hometown begins to feel like purgatory. The truly sorry souls act like high school never ended, showing up at house parties full of kids a decade their junior to play beer pong and spin glow sticks as if George W. Bush was still president. No friendship is worth this sort of life, trust me. If you have the chance to make a go for it in a new career in a new town, take that chance.
You’d rather hang out with your significant other
There’s a reason that the hoary old cliché of a romantic relationship ruining a friendship exists: it’s kinda true in its own reductive way. In six days, I will be turning 30, and I’m telling you, if I had to choose between going out and getting hammered with the guys or staying home and watching RuPaul’s Drag Race with my girlfriend, nine times out of ten I would choose the latter option without hesitation. That being said, only sexist idiots think that Yoko broke up The Beatles.