Have You Outgrown Your Friends?

If you’re wondering this, you’ve outgrown them.

Photo by Duy Pham on Unsplash

I had my fair share of challenges with friendships growing up. I had a group of friends that stopped being my friends — an entire group — when I was 14. During this time, I was going through something at home that they couldn’t understand.

At that time, I spent an entire summer break by myself. I was sad that I lost my friends. I was mad that I trusted them so much. I was distraught over it. From that point forward, I decided to only be loyal to myself.

I had another childhood friend I then became very close to. We are still close to this day. She welcomed me into her group. I had known some of the girls before but never spent much time with them. They welcomed me with open arms. While I didn’t feel like I was an official member of the group, I was happy. A year or two later, I would meet friends and be part of a group that would last for the next 20 years.

As I’m nearing 40, I can count the remaining childhood friends on one hand. As I’ve aged, I’ve changed. I spend most of my time with my husband and children. Without the cliche, they complete me. My husband gave me the ability to trust again. Prior to meeting him, I had a boyfriend that dated me for financial reasons. It took me awhile to learn to trust again.

Over the years, some of my friendships have suffered. I say some because there are stragglers from my childhood group of friends. I see these people occasionally and we are able to pick up right where we left off. However the group I had for 20+ years — well it’s dissolved.

I don’t know if it’s them or me. I’m betting on me since they all seem to be close. I don’t have the same interests anymore. I can’t seem to make conversation. While I still care about them, I can’t get myself to make plans.

Maybe it’s better to leave childhood friends where they belong — in the past. Maybe as we age, we’re meant to make new friends.

I don’t know if that’s true. The few childhood friends I still have mean so much to me. I know things about them, as they do about me, that tie us together. I’ve been there for their weddings and the births of their children.

Wondering if I have changed drastically to lose my friendships, I asked one of these friends her thoughts. She said I had most certainly changed but that on the inside, I was the same person. Sweet and compassionate.

I realized then that while I prefer hiking to a night out drinking, comfortable clothing to restrictive, and having friends over rather than going out, I’m still the same person. I still put others before myself.

As I get older, I am becoming more selective of who I consider a friend. I find that I would rather have 4 quarters than 100 pennies. — Steve Maraboli

The above quote resonates with me. I have lost many friends over the years but I am content with the ones that remain. I am picky about who I choose to spend my time with. I ask myself questions about a person’s character and values before deciding to befriend them. As you age, you realize the finality of life and would rather spend your time in this world with people you value.

I look for the following traits in a friend.

Loyalty

If we’ve been friends 20+ years but you are ready to drop our friendship with a text, it shows how much you valued it to begin with. With trust issues I’ve had in the past, I am loyal to my friends and expect the same in return. Loyalty and trust go hand in hand.

Passion

What are you passionate about? What drives you? What gets you out of bed every morning? There’s got to be something. Going out for dinner with friends will only take you so far, you need to make memories with them. I want a friend that is passionate about something. I want to hear her passion. Does she run marathons? Does she hike long distances? Is she preparing for a challenge of some sort? Does she spend most of her time focused on an idea she wants to turn into a business?

You’ve got to have passion about something. I want that in a friend.

Informality

I want to be able to show up to your house in my pajamas. I want you to feel free to come by in yours. There should be no formality with good friends.

The best friendships come from being comfortable with each other. If you can be yourself and don’t receive judgement, you’ve found your group.

I have good friends in town and we spend our Sundays cooking meals for each other. We’ve been doing this on and off for about a year now. We drop meals outside each others doors. We take in each other’s children when they are sick and we’re working from home. We rely on each other to feed each other’s pets when the others are away. We support each other and are there for one another. These two women have shown me that I can trust new friends. I met them later in life and have grown very close to them.

Good Character

I like to surround myself with good people. People that will give you the shirt of their back. I will in turn do the same. Good character is important in any type of relationship and a quality I look for in friendships.

By surrounding yourself with good people, it makes you a better person. The better their character, the betters yours will be.

In the short time we have on Earth, I want to spend my time with people that are worth it. I want to be the person they find worth their time as well. This is the reason I am selective about my friendships.

Once you find someone that you click with, who’s honest, trustworthy and loyal, who makes you a better person, go out of your way to befriend him or her. Hold on to the friendship. Life is too short for people that are not worth your time so fill it with the ones who are.

Written by

Indian American. Mama. Wife. VP of Product. I write about personal growth, life lessons, parenting and love.

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