mardi 15 septembre 2009

On "outgrowing" friends

From The Simple Dollar blog, a reader's question that echoes how I feel these days. It seems like there are friends who I used to be very close to who I now have trouble relating to. I know it's probably because my own lifestyle has changed in some ways over the past two years. What I like about Trent's response is "Some of your friends will just drift away. Other ones – the better ones, actually – will want to know what’s going on."

My husband and I have been noticing for awhile now that we’re outgrowing our friends. We are married and own our home, and are thinking about having kids in the next few years. Most of our friends still live with their parents, and are more focused on buying expensive toys (new vehicles, electronics, etc.) than they are about focusing on their future.

Is there a way we can politely bow out of these relationships, without causing many hurt feelings? [...]
- Jessica

Just gradually slow down the interactions over time. Instead of doing something with them every week, scale it back to every two weeks or every month. That will leave you with the free time you need to build up new friends and new interests.

As for looking for people in your area, start with your interests. Visit businesses that sell products connected to your interests and see if they facilitate any groups. Get involved in any community groups and organizations connected to your interests.

Some of your friends will just drift away. Other ones – the better ones, actually – will want to know what’s going on. Be honest. Tell them you feel like there’s a gulf between what’s happening in your life and what’s happening in their life.

You’ll be surprised how flexible truly good friends can be. My best friend became my best friend when I was single. He stuck around while I seriously dated Sarah, married her, and had two young kids – he’s still single and he still stops in all the time. My kids think he’s the cat’s banana.

As for the rest? If they drift away, it’s not that big of a deal. Some friends exit stage left to make room for the new ones entering stage right.

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