Friendships are hard to come by as we get older, perhaps because people get caught up in their adulthood responsibilities, and they can only sustain a small circle of meaningful friendships. You will realize that you are not spending as much time as you used to with your friends during your youthful days. Some friendships may grow apart and become cold, and this is just a part of life as people take on different paths. However, you might still make new friends, and some of the existing ones will become stronger. An irrefutable fact is that our social sphere drastically changes as we get older, and this might foster unforeseen emotions and conclusions that might not be necessarily true, more so in regards to the loyalty of friends.
My Friends Don’t Love Me Anymore
Our journey into adulthood and even further is marked by busy living, as new responsibilities emerge. Since the time we have doesn’t increase, the hustle and bustle of life consumes the time we spend with friends, and so on. You might realize that some of your closest friends progressively become busy, and they won’t have as much time as they had for you. While that is understandable, there are other cases where a friend deliberately avoids you for reasons known to them. It could be because of their lifestyle change, social change, or they just feel they’ve outgrown your league. When that happens, the best thing you can do for yourself is to love yourself and move on.
However, there are times when the feeling that our friends no longer love and care about us as they used to is nothing but a false perception. Friendships may change, you may not see your friend as often as you used to while in college, you might not as much as you used to, but that doesn’t mean they love you less, just that busy with other commitments. Individuals with low self-esteem and social anxiety may interpret the ‘distancing’ as decreased affection from their friends. It becomes a matter of mindset and not reality.
Friends on Social Media
Social media has cost many marriages, leave alone friendships. You might write your closest friend a message, only to wait hours or even days for a response that seemingly takes forever. You might think they’re ignoring you, while in the real sense, it could be they’ve not seen it for some reason. It is easy not to see one of several messages that come in simultaneously. In such cases, rather than jumping to conclusions, it is better to give them the benefit of the doubt. Also, don’t relent from reaching out to them. Don’t let unverified assumptions make you feel inadequate and rejected. Keep your head high, doing what a good friend does, being there for your friends, and anticipate the same energy back.
How Can I Know for Sure if My Friends Don’t Love Me as Much as I Love Them?
While the life’s responsibilities up, the age brackets may cost friendships time, some individuals deliberately start distancing themselves for whatever reasons. Someone who used to be a great friend would only pretend to care whenever you meet coincidentally. When it gets to that level, you just know it’s time to move on as it can only get toxic. It is vital to know that their actions have nothing to do with you as long as you never wronged them, and you’ve been loyal. Thinking, “Why my friends don’t care about me?” You know that someone is distancing themselves by avoiding you. You’ll invite them for events, and they won’t show up for no good reason. You will be the one always checking on them, and you can’t remember when they last checked on you, and so on.
It gets to a time where you’re not just speculating, but the evidence of the fading friendship is undeniable. A wrong response would be to blame yourself, thinking there’s something wrong with you or something you could do better to turn the situation around. Yes, you might ask yourself questions, as it is a hurting ordeal, but there’s life to live after that. Before making a final decision to move on, you might want to talk to your friend and get to know whether there’s any problem that can be resolved. If you perceive it to be a dead-end, love yourself enough to move on.
My Best Friend Doesn’t Feel the Same Way about Me
Similar to a romantic relationship, any ‘negative’ treatment from someone you consider your best friend is heartbreaking. A significant change in life can cause the drift, probably they get married, or you get a kid. The nature of your friendship will inevitably change under such huge adjustments. If your friend recently got married, and you’re still single, you don’t expect to spend as much time together as you used to.
The friendship may not die off completely, but the person may always be there for you as a good friend rather than as a best friend. It is important to respect such new boundaries that automatically change things, and this will promote a healthy relationship. With that said, it is essential to know that fading friendships may not always be because your friend no longer loves you, but because of unavoidable circumstances such as marriage coming in.
How to Address the Situation
If the distance is progressively developing between both of you, and you can’t find any good reason for that, then you should go ahead and express your feelings and thoughts to your friend. It calls for honesty and openness. A good friend will also be open to you. Here’s when you get to know whether it about something you did wrong unknowingly, and you get the opportunity to clear it up. It is essential to express yourself in ‘I’ statements as ‘you’ statements may make your friend feel blamed or attacked.
Also, avoid being defensive at all costs. When a friendship doesn’t work, do not beat yourself down. Take it as a learning experience for more meaningful relationships in the future. If you’re the one who was at fault, pick the misfires you made and avoid them in your next friendship. Endeavor to become better by working on yourself, for your sake, and that of those who matter to you.
Moving on might be easier said than done, and you might find yourself drowning in anguish following a failed friendship that you treasured. The fact remains, life has to move on, and you have to hope for better days with loyal friends in the future. In such a case, you can get help from a professional counselor to help you learn and adopt efficient coping strategies. Always hope for better days ahead, and your value is not pegged on people’s acceptance, but what you think of yourself.
Kate has a B.S. in Psychology and M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University and has worked in healthcare since 2017. She primarily treated depression, anxiety, eating disorders, trauma, and grief, as well as identity, relationship and adjustment issues. Her clinical experience has focused on individual and group counseling, emergency counseling and outreach.Read more