Friends grow apart all of the time – and I mean good friends. Friends who were once BFFs, had the friendship bracelets, filled photo albums with pics together, traveled together, went everywhere together – were inseparable. To some degree, it’s understandable that that level of closeness won’t exist forever. People get married. They have children. They have other responsibilities that leave little room for an all-consuming friendship. Even the best of friends can’t have sleepovers every night of their lives, forever. They’re sort of supposed to do that with their, ya know, spouses and things like that.
But some friendships become really distant – strained even – due to some interesting life circumstances. Sometimes, more than the usual business of life and family obligations drives friends apart. As you get older, you start to discover what your values and beliefs are around some pretty major things like money, fidelity, and politics…These are things that didn’t impact your friendships when you were young. You didn’t have concerns like that in high school or college. But when you become adults with homes and families and careers, you can find that, you and your friends differ in some pretty fundamental ways. And some friendships won’t survive those differences. Here are common reasons female friends grow apart.
Different financial situations
You’d like to think that money wouldn’t impact a friendship, but it does in many, many ways. If you have vastly different financial situations, then it can just be hard to see each other as often. You can see each other one-on-one, but, mixing friend groups becomes difficult. Maybe everything your other friends invite you to is something that your childhood friend can’t afford to do, so you’re stuck choosing between seeing new friends, and seeing your old friend. That puts a strain on the friendship.
Many people finally find their politics as adults. You have young political individuals, but you also have many people who don’t really know where they stand on big issues until they get older. And then they can learn that they have very different political views from their friends. It can be hard to feel close to somebody who feels completely differently from you on issues like…wearing masks during pandemics and…women’s right issues.
How you handled married life or how you viewed marriage was never a component to your friendships until you were, well, married! Once you and your friends start to get married, you will start to judge each other based on how you handle your marriages. It just happens. If your friend is unfaithful or mean to her husband, it’s hard for you to look the other way. If a friend takes on a submissive role to a misogynistic husband, it’s hard to look the other way.
Parenting views are another thing that just don’t impact your friendship until you are, yourselves, parents. And then you can have very strong opinions on parenting. You can get into arguments because you judge the other’s parenting style. You can resist having play dates between your kids, when you don’t like the way your friend treats kids.
One is a workaholic
Perhaps both women work, but one is a workaholic – her career is her whole life. She will always put her work before anything else. That can mean canceling on her friend often and at the last minute because something work-related comes up. That can mean missing major events like weddings or baby showers, because of work. If one person prioritizes relationships and family and the other thinks work is more important, it can be hard for the two to stay close.