How to Deal With Growing Apart From a Friend

Taking time to discuss why the distance exists could help you grow closer to a friend.
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Friendships come in all shapes and sizes -- you can catch up with some every few months, while others are more intimate. No matter the closeness, it can be painful when you and a friend start growing apart. While you may not be able to stop the drift, there may still be a chance to get closer to an old pal again.

1 Evaluating the Friendship

Some friendships can stand the test of time, while others crumble after months or years. If you are growing apart from a friend, this can be the time to evaluate why it is happening -- and if bridging the gap is worth the time and effort. People may develop new interests and grow apart naturally, according to PBS Kids. In that case, you and your friend may no longer have enough in common to pursue a close friendship. In other cases, a disagreement may have started a gap. Consider if the friendship made you feel better -- or if you feel happier and relieved now that the two of you are growing apart.

2 Talking It Out

If a disagreement could have created the void, ask your friend to meet with you in private. If you were hurt, you might say, "It hurts me when you talk about my problems with other friends, because I don't understand why we can't talk in confidence," according to PBS Kids. If you were the offender, you might say, "I feel awful about the way I treated you in front of my boyfriend. I am sorry for hurting you," according to the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley. Your apology should focus on how you were at fault -- and that your friend is not to blame. Reactions can vary -- your friend may not accept your apology, or you may be able to get past this hurdle and resume a close friendship.

3 Mending the Rift

Sometimes, other responsibilities in life can keep you from getting in touch with the friend. If that is the case, you may want to make it a priority to pick up the phone and schedule a day out doing your favorite activities together, according to psychotherapist Barton Goldsmith, writing for the "Psychology Today" website. Surprising your friend with a thoughtful gift can also reinvigorate a friendship that is growing apart.

4 Moving On

In some cases, no amount of effort you put into resolving a gap in a friendship will be enough. Your friend may be too preoccupied with other life circumstances -- or no longer interested in having a friendship with you. If your friend is interested in seeing you only when she needs it, but otherwise cancels plans or leaves phone calls unanswered when you need help, it may be a sign that it is time to pursue new friendships, according to WebMD.

Candice Coleman worked in the public school system as a middle school and high school substitute teacher. In addition to teaching, she is also a tutor for high school and college students.