Suffering from the Peter Pan syndrome of not wanting to grow up and keeping all your good friends close is normal. However, there’s a reason why Peter’s in Neverland and we’re here on planet Earth. Reality beckons, and as painful as it is, we will lose friends along the way—even those whom we thought would never leave our sides. So, sometimes your best friend isn’t your best friend anymore.
From your high school buddy to a college roommate, to desk mate at your first job, to your next-door neighbor whom you’ve known your whole life, we all have that special friend who has been through it all with us.
They have held our hand through everything: deaths in the family, graduations, breakups, first house parties, and every major milestone that comes along.
Then one of you moves away or goes on a soul-searching retreat to India and comes back transformed. The calls get fewer and farther between. You stop updating one another and sense a wedge between you. [Read: When your best friend ignores you suddenly – The whys and ways to fix it]
Of course, you should never turn a blind eye. The first thing you should do is to work on the friendship. This is one relationship worth fighting for, so be sure to give it everything you’ve got before calling it.
If all else fails, you need to step out of the denial zone and accept when it is time to break up with your BFF.
It may seem impossible at first, but you will get over it more quickly than you might think. To help, here are 14 signs that your best friend isn’t your best friend anymore.
Like looking after a house plant, friendships take effort, care, and love if you want to keep them alive. A sign that you’re drifting apart is not meeting up as often as you should.
Sure, reality gets in the way and you’re both busy, but if you can’t make time for each other, then that’s your first warning sign.
Live in different cities? In different countries? On different planets? There’s always video call. If you can’t make time for that, either—Houston, we have a problem. [Read: The real reason why friends drift away and why you can’t do anything about it]
You don’t have to physically be together to stay best friends. Chatting doesn’t necessarily have to happen over Sunday brunch. There is a myriad of ways to keep in touch. From text messaging to social media to phone calls to emails to video calls, whew!
You are spoiled for choice when it comes to forms of communication. If you don’t chat anymore, it’s not because you can’t, but rather, because you don’t want to.
All it takes is a simple text to catch up with your best friend. Whether it’s a quick hello during your lunch break or a super long 3 AM phone session, keeping the lines of communication open is very important. If that’s not in place, how can you call each other best friends?
Didn’t know she was taking that work trip to Mexico? Had no idea he was dating someone new?
Once Facebook, or other people for that matter, start informing you of your best friend’s life events, you know you have a major problem.
Best friends are supposed to be amazing secret-keepers, but once your special someone blabs your problems to others, you can scratch them off the “best friend” list.
The same goes for you. If you find yourself participating in petty gossip with others, and sharing private conversations between you and your BFF, you’re certainly in the wrong and your best friend is probably not your best friend anymore.
Friends are supposed to be happy for one another. Whether your BFF moved away, made new friends, bought a new car, found a hot lover, or got promoted way above you, once you start feeling jealous and resentful, you can take it as a sign that the friendship is on the rocks.
Sure, feeling jealous is normal, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting more than what you have, but if you resent your BFF for succeeding in areas where you don’t, they are your nemesis and no longer your best buddy. [Read: 25 secret signs of a jealous friend and how to calmly deal with their envy]
There’s nothing wrong with a little friendly competition between you two, as it’ll push you to be better.
However, you should be able to tell when it gets out of hand. When you’re always trying to one-up each other or prove that you’re better, that’s where the problem lies.
Once you take pleasure in watching your friend fail, you can chalk it up as a red flag in your friendship. BFFs are supposed to be each other’s cheerleaders, regardless of the situation.
It doesn’t count if you put on a front and wish them all the best for their interview, but secretly feel pleased when they don’t get the job. That clearly shows they’re not your best friend!
It’s fine if you don’t live in the same area, but it is a problem if you do and your best friend plans a night out without you. Many people have experienced this before.
Some friends tried to cover it up by saying it wasn’t really your thing, so she didn’t bother inviting you out. Once you start yearning to have fun without each other, you know that you have a problem. [Read: The clearest signs you’re growing apart but you don’t realize it]
Just like any relationship, conflicts shouldn’t be left to fester. It is important to resolve conflict and drama as soon as possible to avoid major scarring.
However, if you leave things unsaid and don’t work on fixing things, the wound will fester, get infected, and eventually ruin every aspect of your friendship.
There’s nothing wrong with having friends outside of your usual social circle. In fact, having different groups of friends is encouraged. You have your hiking buddies, your drinking buddies, your college buddies, and so on.
However, best friends are supposed to transcend boundaries between these groups of friends, and always take priority. Once both of you start spending more time with others and less time together, you know that you’re drifting apart. [Confession: Why you shouldn’t make your friend your priority when you’re only an option to them]
You’re fine in group settings, but once you’re alone, you find that you have nothing much to share. It is a problem once you realize that you have fewer things to say to each other, and more time to think about how awkward the silences are.
Every time people receive news, whether good or bad, your best friend is one of the first people you share the news with. A sign that your best friend is no longer your BFF is when you procrastinate telling them what’s going on in your life.
You’d rather share the news with others and only tell your BFF when you remember to *days later* or feel like it. [Read: How to recognize selfish friends and stop them from hurting you]
No one’s asking you to celebrate the day you guys decided to become BFFs. We’re talking about major events like birthdays and holidays.
As someone’s BFF, you should be the forerunner in planning a surprise birthday party, or at the very least be one of the first few to wish them a happy birthday. If you forget once, no one’s going to blame you—but then again, if you make a habit out of it, you need to reevaluate your friendship. [Read: Not wishing someone happy birthday – No big deal or a secret power play?]
Regardless of how long you have known each other, it’s not uncommon for best friends to drift apart. It can be really painful because you probably thought you’d be friends forever.
To be honest, those kinds of friendships are very rare. So, if your best friend isn’t your best friend anymore, you are not alone. [Read: What is a true friend? The 18 key characteristics of real friends]
Here are some reasons that best friends drift apart.
Most people fight when they are in a relationship of any kind. Whether you’re dating someone or you’re best friends, disagreements, fights, and misunderstandings are likely to occur.
That’s not necessarily bad in and of itself. But if the two of you lack the communication skills to work through your conflict effectively, then it can definitely damage your relationship.
You need to resolve things logically, and not give the silent treatment. Because if you do, you will never salvage your friendship.
Life transitions are inevitable. You graduate high school, move away for college or a job, and people’s lives just go in different directions sometimes.
So, let’s say that after high school graduation, one of you moved several states away to go to college and the other one decided to stay in your hometown and get a job.
Those two worlds are very different. It’s likely that you will drift away not only because of the distance, but also because you have less in common now. [Read: How to reconnect with old friends and rebuild lost friendships]
Maybe one of you just graduated college and started a new career as a single person, and the other one got married and stayed in your hometown and had children. Those are two very different lifestyles.
So, the differing lives just cause people to drift away sometimes. The career person doesn’t understand marriage and children. And the person who is married with children doesn’t understand having a career. [Read: Envious friends – 18 signs of friendly envy and what makes them feel it]
Maybe when you were younger, you both liked the same things. Perhaps you were both homebodies and liked chilling out at home and staying in.
But maybe, for whatever reason, one of you decides they like to go out and start partying more. This may even cause them to be more outgoing in general. Then, there would be a disconnect. [Read: Clingy friend – What makes them and 22 easy ways to fix the friendship]
Substance abuse can also lead to a change in personalities too. Excessive drinking and partying will cause the person to become irresponsible and not tend to their friendships either.
Or, even worse, if someone is doing hard drugs like heroin, cocaine, or meth, that can really mess up their brains, get them addicted, and fundamentally change who they are as a person.
Sometimes we don’t really know a person for many years. We might think we do, but then they start doing things that are unacceptable to us. [Read: Why do friends ghost you – why it hurts so fiercely and why they do it]
For example, maybe you found out that your friend who was trying to start a business is really going around scamming money out of people. Once you realize this, you don’t even like the person anymore because you finally have seen that they are a dishonest person.
Some people are natural “givers” and some are natural “takers.” And while givers generally like to give, after a while, they can be resentful that the other person is always taking from them and never giving anything in return. [Read: One-sided friendship – 15 clear signs it’s time to cut them loose]
So, maybe the giver is always the one who is paying for things and letting the taker borrow their things. After a while, it gets old and the giver doesn’t want to do it anymore. [Read: Why a friendship breakup hurts as much as a relationship breakup]
Some people are just plain selfish and don’t care about other people’s needs. So, maybe one of you is the kind who always keeps people waiting on them for an hour because they are late to show up. Those people will get sick of it.
Or, maybe a selfish person is always talking about themselves and making you go do things that they want to do and don’t even care about what you want.
[Read: Bad friends – How to recognize the right time to end a friendship]
If you feel that your best friend is no longer your best friend, it is time to take matters into your own hands and confront the issue. If the situations above apply to you, you and your BFF are probably on your way out; the good news, though, is that even a BFF can become a good friend or trusted acquaintance.
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