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Losing Friends In Your 20s Is Normal

“Friends forever” is a phrase lots of us use throughout our lives. And it is so great to have the same friend or friends with you throughout every stage of your life. But, those friendships are rare.

Unfortunately, it’s much more common for friendships to change throughout your lifetime, especially during your twenties. That’s normal!

As we’ve spoken about time and time again here at GenTwenty, your twenties are a time for growing and changing, and sometimes people can grow apart, whether that’s because of something happening or just happening naturally.

It’s normal to be upset about losing friends. It’s also normal to wonder why or how it happened. But know that losing friends in your twenties is normal. It happens to everyone (or at least almost everyone) and there are some natural, common reasons as to why it happens.

Losing Friends In Your 20s is Normal

We’re Busier

Think about it: during high school or college, everyone is basically on the same or a similar schedule. Plus you have summers to yourself to do what you want! It is so much easier to make plans to see each other when you have the same things going on and similar schedules.

As you progress through your twenties, that changes. Some friends are in grad school whereas others are working full time. Some friends are taking a gap year whereas others are juggling more than one job. Some friends are settling down and getting married whereas others are living it up every weekend.

Your twenties are about discovering who you are and doing what you enjoy — and that’s not the same for everyone. It can make it hard to get schedules to sync and find time to get together.

Priorities Change

Of course you have your besties. But you may be close to different friends for different things. There may be that friend you can always convince to travel with you at the last minute.

There’s the friend you know you can always go to for honest advice. Or the friend you swap dating horrid stories with. Sometimes friendships rely on situations, like those three examples and more.

When one friend’s situation changes and they now have different priorities, the things you used to do and talk about all the time may not be the same anymore. This is natural as people progress through their twenties and have new things in their lives they’re prioritizing.

Families Are Starting

Your twenties are that time where some of your friends are still going out and partying every other, and some are settling down, getting married, and starting a family. Especially as you enter into your later twenties, friendships can change when friends (or even you!) are starting a family.

Like I mentioned above, priorities change, and there’s no bigger priority than your children (if you choose to have them).

You can’t just go out on a Friday night anymore and spend all hours dancing on a bar with your girlfriends. You have bigger responsibilities now.

You’re Not Glued To Your Phone 24/7

And if you are, you may not be using it to call or text people. When you have a lot of free time and are bored, we tend to be on our phones more for entertainment. And our phones are a great way to connect us to others.

But when we’re not on our phones as much — whether it be because there is a lot going on in our life, we are focusing on being present in real life, or whatever reason — that means we’re not talking to our friends as much.

Some friends will be going through this too and understand and be cool with the fact that they hear from you here and there. Others may not be.

Conflicts Arise

No one wants to lose a friend on bad terms, but sometimes that’s the case. Disagreements happen, and if two people are in two different parts of their lives and can’t see eye to eye, or can’t compromise, that’s another reason friendships can end in your twenties.

We’ve seen all around us the past couple of years relationships of all kind ending due to religious, political, cultural, or social reason. As we discover who we really are in our twenties, and discover what our beliefs are, you may have friends with differing opinions.

And if you can still be friends despite that, that’s great! But sometimes, people cannot.

You Care Less

This is one is super blunt, I know. But as you get older, you care less and less about things you once cared about a lot.

I’m not saying that as you get older you care less about your friends at all, but you may start to care less about things that once bonded you and a friend. You may also start to care less about what other people think of you.

The FOMO you once had may now be gone. And it may be hard for you to deal with friends that care too much about things you’re now over.

You Realize Having A Few Good Friends Are Better Than Having Lots

Think of high school and college. The more friends you had, the bigger your “squad” was, the more cool and popular you likely were. You learn that’s not the case as you progress in your twenties.

You want real friends, the ones who are there for you through the thick and the thin, not just the fun. You’d rather have a couple of close friends you can call when you need extra support and know they’ll be there for you than the friends you used to call to go out with as a pack.

You Learn Not Every Friendship Is Meant To Last

We change. People change. Sometimes those changes don’t mesh anymore. And as our twenties are one of the biggest decades for change, it makes sense that this is the time where you may feel like you’re losing more friends than in the past.

You also start to see who is really there for you, and who isn’t. You’re not the same person at 20 that you were at 16, and you’re not the same person at 29 that you were at 25.

It is possible to grow out of a friendship. It’s normal and it’s okay if that does happen.

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.


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