Skip to Content

How Friendships Change In Your 20s… And That Is Okay

Our twenties are all about finding ourselves. We are in this time of change, or uncertainty, of discovering new things about ourselves, and of growing. These are all good things, of course. However, they can result in things changing, especially when it comes to friendships.

It’s no secret that growing up can put a strain on relationships. You go from seeing your childhood friends in school every day. You go from living with your college friends in the same dorm building. You then graduate and real life hits you. It’s nearly impossible to maintain the same level of friendship that you once had, and that’s okay.

The friendships that are meant to last will grow with you. However, some won’t. And that is okay too.

6 Ways Friendships Change In Your 20s

1. You learn you don’t need to talk every day. 

Yes, in high school and college, your besties were blowing up your phone, 24/7, talking about anything and everything. That becomes less and less common as we get older.

We are all busy, and likely at work. We cannot be glued to our phones constantly like we once were. We have things to do. We have responsibilities. If you could continue to talk 24/7 every day you would, but it’s just not feasibly possible anymore.

2. You learn it’s more important to be there in rough situations. 

To spin off of the above, as we grow up, we realize that our true friends are the ones who are there for us when we’re going through that rough patch.

They are the ones lifting us up out of it – reminding us that that guy who broke your heart isn’t worth it or that there are better jobs out there that you will kill it at. Your friends in your twenties are more than just people to go out with, they are the people who support you.

3. You learn you may drift.

As we said before, your twenties are all about finding yourself. Unfortunately, that sometimes means that you find out the person you were close with in high school or college is quite different than the person that you have become. That’s okay. People change. We all change. You will likely drift from some friends during this time period.

[click_to_tweet tweet=”How Friendships Change In Your 20s… And That Is Okay” quote=”How Friendships Change In Your 20s… And That Is Okay”]

4. You learn friendships take effort.

But you also learn that they should not take too much effort or be one-sided. If someone is blowing up your phone asking to hang out despite you explaining how you are busy, that can be stressful.

All types of relationships, friendships included, take effort on both sides. You need to be honest and vocal about how you’re feeling, and you also need to respect when your friend does the same with you. In turn, you should not always be the one reaching out, or being reached out to. It works both ways.

5. You learn it’s better to have a few close friends than many casual ones.

There may have been a huge appeal to have tons of besties back in the day (heck, I remember manipulating my MySpace code so I could have a top 16 rather than a top 8 because I had that many best friends). But that is not the case in your twenties.

You quickly learn that it is better to have a few close friends that you can count on, than a ton of people to pick and choose from. You want the real deal.

6. You learn that not all friendships last. 

This happens to everyone. Do not feel bad if a friendship didn’t last, especially if it just happened on its own and wasn’t because of a massive blowout.

We grow up. We change. The people in our lives change. Unfortunately, not everyone is there during every stage of your life.

You are not the same person in your late twenties that you were in your early twenties. It is possible to grow out of a friendship.

Friendships are an important part of survival, especially during difficult times. Now don’t get me wrong from any of the above, by no means am I saying that your friendships shouldn’t work out. I’m simply saying that it is normal if some don’t last. It’s normal not to speak to some of your best friends every single day. And it’s normal to have a core group that you lean on during rough situations.

Trying to balance a full-time job, side-hustles, dating, family obligations, a social life, and friendships is a lot to handle, as well know. And the majority of your friends will understand this, as they are likely going through the same time. But there will be some that won’t.

We change as we get older, that’s no secret. But what many people do not realize, is that relationships change too. It’s normal. It’s nothing to be afraid about. And it is all going to be okay.

About the Author

Michelle Ioannou

Michelle graduated from Fordham University with a Bachelors of Arts '13 and a Master of Arts '14. She's currently working in corporate America with a side of freelance writing. She wants you to learn from her experiences and mistakes so your 20s can be your best decade. When she's not working, she's likely planning her escape to a tropical island.