8 Signs That You’ve Outgrown Your Friends

June 8, 2011  |  
1 of 9

As nice as it is to have friends, and lots of them, the older you get, the more likely the number of girlfriends you have will decrease substantially. As one of my good friends pointed out, the older you get, the less willing you are to hold onto so-called friendships that breed drama or offer you nothing. But a lot of the time, you still go out of your way to salvage messy relationships for a variety of reasons: you’ve known the individual for a long time, they’ve got issues, they have good intentions, and so on and so forth, when in reality, you need to move forward for sanity’s sake. Some people naturally grow apart, and other friendships just straight up fall apart, either way, you need to know when to let go. Here are some signs to let you know when it might be time to let that friendship you’re single-handedly carrying like baggage run its course. And if any of this sounds like things you do, you might want to check yourself.

You Only Converse Through Facebook
If poking, news feeds and friend requests have taught us anything, it’s that everyone loves Facebook. Some might have an affair with Twitter, but no one completely ditches their Facebook account. But I think the point of using Facebook, or at least way back in the day before grandma and your baby cousin joined in on the fun, was to keep you connected to people. You know, help you reconnect with folks from high school, and long lost homies from undergrad. But lets be clear: you shouldn’t be trying to reconnect with your bestie on Facebook because the two of you have faltering lines of communication. And they definitely shouldn’t hear about all of your ups and downs, and successes and failures, through someone else’s wall post. Yeah, that’s not whatsup. This could be a sign that it’s time for that talk.

They Act Their Shoe Size
Immaturity takes so many forms. It can come in the way you handle small crises, to how you behave when you don’t get your way. A glaring example of immaturity that you, as an adult don’t need in your life, is that friend who lives to be involved in high school-like exploits. Think of the girlfriend who has you in the club trying to keep her from catching a beating cause she likes to run her mouth. The one who expects you to jump in at some point when things inevitably get ugly, even though you only came out to dance, not throw hands. Childish people with both a lack of a filter and the complete shortage of home training can be toxic and definitely a danger to you. Head in the opposite direction boo.

Your Lives Have Become Polar Opposites Thanks to Motherhood
It’s more than natural for the single woman to become the married chick and ultimately leave the late nights and Thirsty Thursdays behind for even later nights but with a side of the dirty diapers of motherhood. But when your conversations only concern her kids, and well, you don’t have any, or she talks to and treats everyone like they are a kid (save the baby talk for the babies ladies!), the opportunities for the both of you to hang out will become less and less–on purpose. Unfortunately, girlfriend has outgrown you this time around.

Indirect Friends: They Tell Everyone But You Their Beef…With You
Not all friendships are squeaky clean. Many go through the ringer, but it’s definitely possible and more important to salvage a friendship that took years to build than to implode over some drama that took a few days to spiral out of control. But open communication is the key to all happy relationships. With that being said, there’s nothing worse than a “friend” who fronts you out on Facebook or tells people you both talk to how unhappy they are with you, trying to make you look like a bad person. And of course, when you confront these individuals for their online hi-jinks, they play crazy or insincerely apologize for a lapse in judgment. Cool, calm and collected homies are essential, not ones that run out and play you to the left because of the smallest disappointments.

They’re Selfish. Point Blank.
We all have our selfish moments. Sometimes you gotta look out for self. But some people make being self-absorbed a 24/7 occupation, and those kind of friends can have you in these streets looking like a fool. Let’s see, there’s the girlfriend who rides with you everywhere, and asks you to bear the burden of finding parking and dodging drunks to go out at night, but won’t spare a dime towards the ever-gaping gas fund. And then there’s the girlfriend who goes out with you every weekend and gets wasted–leaving you to keep her dress down, help them get to the bathroom in time and pretty much play amateur caregiver on what you thought was going to be a fun evening. A friend that consistently thinks about themselves, aka, takers, can be more of a leech than a confidante.

You’re on Different Two Different Wavelengths
Ever tried to touch basis with a crony you haven’t spoken to in a while, and found the convo lacks depth? And by depth I mean, anything other than the continuous back and forth of “So what’s going on?” “Anything else going on?” Those sort of interview-like exchanges prove three things: You’re way out of the loop, you need to hurry up and get off the phone, and that you’ve both changed so much that the things you once thought you had in common are no longer of interest to talk about. When you’re on two different wavelengths, what should be a fun, no-holds barred conversation with a homegirl winds up feeling like a telemarketing call, or a convo with that second cousin once removed you know nothing about.

You Grow Closer–With Other People
I think it’s very well known that in life, we like to pair ourselves with people that are most like us. And a good way to tell that your friendship might be waning is to check out the individuals hanging with the friend you’re having issues with. The people she’s pairing herself with you might not see yourself rolling with. Ever. They like to get caught up in the same drama, go out all night every night and of course,  they agree with every nonsensical thing you both constantly disagreed about. And the same can be said about you. As you get older and homies start dropping off like flies, the people you start associating with outside of childhood friends could be more of what you’re looking for in a long-term friendship. Because it’s no longer about finding friends who like the same simple things, but rolling with folks who have the same goals and character, and won’t fall behind (or hate) as you move up in the world.

When You Need Them, They’re MIA
Convenience friends, as in, folks that only come around when it works for them, might be some of the worst people to have in your circle. Mainly because you put so much trust and confidence in them as a person that when you’re going through your worst, things get even worse cause they don’t show up to have your back. But let them be in need of something, or run out of reasons to neglect you, and they’re back cheesing in your face, trying to get on your good side. Wishy-washy friends are more of a burden than they are a blessing, so do yourself a favor and drop ‘em like a bad habit.

What are other signs your friendship might not last that you’ve noticed?

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  • SpazZTRoN64

    i have only one friend i can trust.Before 8th grade began i thought my friends became more mature(like the ones from other classes)and that there wouldnt be mayhem in the class like it was for the last 7 YEARS,and i was and still am the biggest victim.I was so wrong,they didnt change at all,acting very childish,showing no remorse and expecting me to calm down and constantly telling me that i am the problem.With not-so-childish friends i can take the mature approach and handle problems easily,but not with guys like this.I can really only blame myself for picking the wrong company,and now im stuck with them.Students cant switch classes.

  • angela

    Well I want to shake some of those same friends off found out that I don’t really like too much friends

  • Pingback: 8 Signs That You Should Say Buh Bye To So Called “Friends” | MommyBlog0627()

  • Annie

    You forgot to mention the friend that only wants to be friends while they're single, the minute they meet a guy, it's C-ya, you don'y hear from them for weeks or months at a time, until things start getting rocky in their "Relationship" one of my so called close friends has done this at least three times. Finally told her, it's unacceptable and that I'm nobody's go to friend, not to call me until she grows up and realizes the meaning of friendship. I have never forsaken my friends to appease a man and never will,It shows a major flaw in character to not value your friendships. In the past few years I've been cleaning house the past few years, and have narrowed it down to my good friends only. No need for energy vampire's to apply… Love and respect yourself and demand the same from others, life is too short for anything else!

  • Mrs. Pancake

    Reading this has made me realize I, now, have almost no friends I can relate to. Most of them just tell me what they're doing and what's happening. Whenever I speak to a friend, it's almost awkward enough to say, "Wow dude, let's talk about something else instead." I feel depressed and empty on the inside as if I don't matter anymore since I was once new and now just getting too old to hang out..

  • royal

    This article is so true, I have a best friend that i grew up with since middle school, she has a kid now…. now she nuts she gets mad cause i do nto want to babysit. I work 5 days a week i have my own life but she cant see that. she complains about how miserable she is and that she cant find a job ectttt.. she always calls me when she wants something.. and then she ghost..wtf

  • just another guy

    Outgrowing your friends is just part of life, I don't talk to most people I went to high school with and I graduated in 2007. All my current friends I met in college and I am pretty sure the same will happen. You will keep in contact with a few but eventually you won't have much in common to talk about. Also when I do decide to settle down, have kids and get married, I will have way too much to do to have a lot of friends. Just how life works.

  • Peridot83

    This article was right on time. Thank you so much. I will be evaluating some "friendships".

  • Laura strait caligiuri

    It’s bases, not basis. So hard to take an article seriously (even a fluff piece like this) when it makes no sense

  • Realizing that you're growing apart is one thing, but you can also talk about it to see if anything changes and the friendship can be salvaged. If nothing changes, then I think it's healthy for you and your friend to go your separate ways. Who knows! Maybe you just needed time apart so that you can grow together in the long run. That's happened to me before.

  • im so going through this right now….

    • Jacara Fatin

      Me too. Its such a harsh reality to have to come to terms with. SMH.

  • nursedred

    Why is it that women will put up with so much from a man but if a girlfriend of yours isn’t perfect then its time to let her go? ive had a friend since i was 11 years old drop me because her new man told her to. Unless that girl.betrayed you or hurt you keep your friends even if yall haven’t spoken in a while don’t have an unfriend talk. You might be shooting yourself in the foot. That friend who dropped me came back 2 years later asking for advise on how to get her life back on track after that guy left her. Yes I helped her because that’s what friends do

    • noone

      I feel the exact same. I have been friends with this one girl since I was 15, we did everything together, she even lived with me for a time. We both had our first children at around the same time, so they have been friends since birth. Then I introduced her to this guy I work with. They got married. Me and him had a falling out so he tells her not to be friends with me. After 15 years together as best friends. She drops me just like that. And won't let her daughter call mine…Needless to say since she hurt my child I won't be taking her back when things go south between them.

      • ROYAL


    • Michele

      I don't recall the article saying to drop a friend because your man told you to. In your case you would be the good friend and this "friend" yours would be categorized as selish amongst other things. She doesn't deserve you.

    • ROYAL


  • myownbff

    Excellent article. I must say, I am blessed to still have a handful of friends from elementary school, a handful from junior high, and 1 from high school that whenever we get together it's as though time has not stopped. We love and encourage one another and enjoy seeing each other happy. We are very upfront with one another, and if we do have a disagreement, it is safe to say that we will go to that said person and not use it as a way to start gossip. I love them to pieces and consider them family. With that said, I'm sad to say that it's my siblings with the exception of some, that were described in the above article:(

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  • BigMitch

    This article is pure bu11$hit. All it does is allow people to look at others and criticize them for petty reasons. At some point you must as an adult, start to look in mirror for the source of and answer to your problems. Like my man Corey Holcolmb said "the problem is YOU"!

    • Yup

      yeah this writer seems like a real PIA high maintenance friend. I think most people know that as we grow friendships at the immature levels change. I don't see it as outgrowing but that we're still friends who took different paths. When I see those old friends I can pick up where we left off.

  • All true

  • Xena Lowery

    I agree there is a friendship I have been trying to shake for a while and the person fits in more than one of the situations. But he's a leech so he's trying to keep me around for his emotional tangents.

  • MissJai

    I understand EXACTLY how u feel. I have no close high school friends!

  • MissRae

    It is better to have a few close friends than a lot of "friends" . Choose them wisely

    • guest

      true. all i need is 3 or 4 to be in my life and i'm a happy camper…. too much friends means too much problems