Why Does It Feel Like Your Friends Slip Away as Soon as You Turn 25?

Eloise Sim

I’ve always placed a lot of importance on friendships. Maybe even a bit too much. But to me at least, I’ve always felt like the most successful version of my life is the one that has an amazing group of friends in it.

In my late teens and early twenties, I spent most of my time with my friends. It was all margarita brunches, getting ready for an entire afternoon with bottles of cheap Prosecco and obnoxiously loud tunes, and calling each other at rogue hours of the day for debriefs and wardrobe emergencies, because life was constantly a series of crazy stories and we lived for the drama of it all.

I always thought – I think as we all do – that these moments, these bonding moments that shape who we grow into as adults, mean that we’re bonded for life. I imagined us at 40 at a dinner party with our significant others and our fabulous jobs, telling stories and laughing at the people we once were and the wild choices we once made.

I know that things change, people move away, grow into different people, have relationships and all that, but I guess I scrupulously hoped that our friendships would prevail.

Now that I’m 25, have a serious long-term boyfriend who I share an apartment with, a full-time job and an array of hobbies and passions that I’ve finally figured out how to work into my routine, it’s hit me that my friendships are totally different.

While many of my friends, regardless of age, are in a similar situation to me; living with their partner and working full-time, our friendships don’t feel the same, you know, at their core.

Do you ever meet up with someone you’ve had so much fun with and loved over the years, and then realise that you don’t have anything to talk about? It’s as though the things you used to talk about aren’t a reality in your lives anymore, and then you’re left with barely anything in common.

I’ve definitely experienced this many times in the past year, and I’ve decided that I think it’s okay to have certain friends that suit you during a specific time in your life. Like when you’re young and single and all you want to do is go to parties, dress up and make bad decisions; there are friends you can do that with. But then, once you’re in a relationship and you don’t want to make bad decisions and also need to get up early in the morning for work, those friends and you don’t know how to hang out anymore because all you’ve ever done is party together.

I think the thing that is the most worrying when you experience growing apart with people like this, is the extremely stressful thought that you might, in fact, be becoming boring.

For me, there is no greater insult than being called boring. For a long time, I created drama in my life because I wanted interesting stories to tell. Now, I fantasise about going home and heating up leftover lasagne and watching an episode of something, snuggled up on the couch in my cute apartment with my even cuter boyfriend.

Past friends say things like, “OMG, who even are you?” or, “what happened to Laura?” or, “are you feeling ok sis?” and I’m like yes, I’m just a different version of myself. I’ve grown up, I’m experiencing different things and I love who I’ve become, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get stressed that I’m not the exciting friend anymore.

My opinion of what friendship looks like is way different now, to even what it was a year ago. The friends that I treasure today are the ones that I can meet up with, have a drink or dinner, invite over to my place and when we’re together, we’re still the same.

Those friends that are individuals, that grow up and change on their own, that get into relationships and advance in their career but are still able to talk sh*t with you in the same way that you always have. The friends that time flies by with, the friends that you can rely on to pick up the phone when you need them, pay for your bill when your bank app is down and make just as much effort for you as you do for them. Those are the friends that last.

That’s not to say they’re better than friends of the past. Friendships teach us a lot about ourselves, they can take us out of our comfort zone and introduce us to parts of society that we might not normally find ourselves in.

The memories you make with your friends is something that won’t ever leave you. Even if the memories fade, they’ve left a mark on you, they’re a part of who you’ve become and honestly, I think that’s pretty special.

We all have this Sex and the City fantasy of having an unbreakable group of friends that catch up for brunch every day regardless of their demanding jobs and life choices, but even in the unrealistic fantasy world of TV, that isn’t a thing. After all, Samantha Jones isn’t returning to the reboot.

We don’t need our friendships to define us. I think that if you have one person you can call a friend, that you can call on regardless of time spent apart and feel the same comfort with, then that makes you pretty damn lucky.

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