Minimize Loss - How To Cope When A Friend Takes A Different Life Course


Our 20s and 30s pave the road to significant life changes, and it's all too common for our friends to walk their own paths - away from ours. Many of these life changes naturally come with the territory of fulfilling personal goals, such as moving to a new community, going away to college, pursuing our dream careers, or getting married and starting a family.

This outgrowing of friendships may feel like a gradual, eminent separation, but growing separately as individuals don't foretell such an outcome. With the right mindset, you can maintain a friendship while accepting your individuality as two separate people.

  • Remember what sparked your connection.

Remembering what initially drew you two together is an excellent foundation for maintaining a long-term friendship. Rebonding with your friend can be accomplished by reminiscing on the good times and your histories, such as the good times and life struggles when the two of you were each other's support system. Reflecting on these memories may reassure you still have chemistry despite separate life courses.

  • Rekindle with new memories.

Even though any relationship and friendship are founded on memories, it's essential to keep them alive by making new memories. Staying in touch with your friends can be accomplished by enjoying a new hobby or activity together. Depending on personal responsibilities, spontaneous fun may be easier said than done. Hopefully, planning ahead will ensure you get quality time together without personal obligations getting in the way.

  • Understand your limits.

Finding time is one of many obstacles, including managing the responsibilities of having kids or juggling a tight work schedule. You should also expect that finances will play a factor in the types of activities you'll be able to enjoy together and the frequency of being able to enjoy them.

To avoid misunderstandings and disappointment, it's crucial to discuss what you'll be able to do with your friend and the resources you can put towards those activities. Establishing realistic schedule expectations also helps the two of you develop compromises or alternative solutions (such as a less expensive restaurant or opting for coupons). If one of you is financially better off than the other, working out the logistics of both your incomes shows thoughtfulness to your friend by finding solutions that both of you can afford.

  • Steer clear of social comparisons.

When your friend is at a different life stage, it's easy to subconsciously get caught up in which of you is doing better than the other. If you struggle with insecurity, this may especially cause you to feel like the friend who's falling behind.

Social comparison is self-sabotaging because it diminishes the value of where you're at in life and becomes an obstacle to a genuine friendship. So instead of being overly critical about your perceived lack of success, remember that everyone has their own ups and downs. And unless your friend tells you directly, you can't be entirely sure of the struggles they're going through as well.