Finding great friendships the older you get seems to be more difficult than finding a job or good pair of jeans! But, do you ever look back and remember the friends you let go of? The friends that were present for your biggest life events. Or, the friends that would have done anything for you, and vice versa. The ones you woke up one day to realize you barely even know anymore.
These friendships were beautiful and worth holding on to. But, you look back and don’t even realize how you lost them. Well, I’m spilling my secrets about what I’ve learned from these situations.
If you consciously made the decision to no longer have these friends in your life, this article is not for you. If you’ve found new beautiful friendships and don’t regret losing old friends, this article is not for you. This article is for all of the people who have lost beautiful friendships who never intended to.
Here are some things I’ve learned from lost friendships.
Sometimes, You Actually Were the Problem
Oh boy, admitting that you were the problem in any relationships is hard. I’ve come to realize now that I wasn’t that good of a friend to people who deserved better and that, in some situations, I was the problem.
Honestly, it’s easy to make excuses about friendships that don’t work out. They were toxic*, you tell yourself. Or, you say that you just grew apart. TRUE friends, those ones that saw you at your lowest point and still stood by you, those friends know how to grow with you through life. Even if you find yourself on a different path from them, that’s no reason to throw a great friendship out the window.
*Please don’t be mistaken though. Some people are truly toxic and don’t deserve to take up space in your life.
It Will Always Feel Like Something’s Missing
I love my life and what I’ve been able to accomplish. But, all of my best memories involve certain groups of fantastic friends that I, sadly, barely speak to these days. I’m sure you can relate to some degree.
I find myself looking through old pictures and wishing time could go backwards, constantly feeling like something is missing from my life.
My tip for when you’re starting to feel that longing feeling for an old friend is to REACH OUT TO THEM. In that exact moment you think of them. Pick up your phone and shoot them a quick text. Something as simple as “Hey. I miss you and was just thinking about that time we [enter moment here]” will be perfect.
Don’t Pick Someone New or Temporary Over Someone Permanent
It’s embarrassing the number of times I picked a temporary friendship or relationship over a long-term friendship. I’ve done this multiple times to my best friend in the entire world (yes, I still call her that, and always will, even though we don’t speak or see each other very much now).
New or temporary friendships or relationships are fun and exciting. But, don’t use that as an excuse to forget about old friends that have been and will be there for you long term.
As a note, it’s completely fine to grow and meet new people. It’s highly encouraged, actually! But, remember who always had your back to begin with.
Always Keep Your Heart Open to Old Friends
My biggest piece of advice is to never completely close the door on old friends (unless the door really needs to be closed and dead bolted shut!)
I don’t know if it’s just because I have a positive outlook on life, but I truly believe anyone can come back in to your life at some point. So, keep the door to that friendship open and you never know what could happen!
Missing old friendships is natural. But, I hope that you are able to realize the great friendships you have (if you’re super lucky to still have them) and never want to lose. Or, I hope you find peace in knowing that you’re not the only one who has lost great friends.
A challenge I have for you is this – call or message an old friend. If you’re a little nervous to do that, consider sending them a handwritten card (or use Punkpost!)
Be brave and bold and just put yourself out there. Life is too short not to reach out to someone you wish was still in your life. After all, you never know who might come back!