As a child or even teen, you swear you’ll be best friends with your BFF forever, and it honestly feels that way at the time. But then life happens, and you find yourself growing apart from friends. You go your separate ways, create different goals, and have different lifestyles.
Even though you thought your friendship would stand the test of time, sometimes it’s your financial journey that pulls you apart. If you aren’t on the same page, there can be resentment, jealousy, or just a feeling that things aren’t what they used to be. And you might be feeling like it's time to shift your circle of influence.
This article addresses the signs to look out for and how to deal with growing apart from friends.
Signs you are growing apart from friends
Each friendship is different and will feel different when it’s ending, but here are a few signs to look out for if you think you are drifting apart from friends.
They can’t relate to you wanting to save
If you’re saving up for a big goal or just life, but your friends are spenders, they may make fun of your desire to save. They may call you names, make fun of you, or just tell you to live life or that you ‘can’t take it with you.’ People often do this when they can’t buckle down themselves.
Maybe they are jealous of your ability to set goals and take steps to achieve them. They could also be jealous of the fact that you have money to save. If they live paycheck-to-paycheck or constantly increase their lifestyle when they get a raise, they won’t understand what you’re doing.
They call you stingy
Remember, when people call you a name, it’s usually a judgment of themselves. If your friends call you stingy, it’s likely because they too want to be smart and put money away for future goals or emergencies, but they can’t.
You know how much restraint it takes to save money rather than spend it, but you found a way to do it, and your friends haven’t yet, so they call you names to make themselves feel better about their inadequacies.
They don’t take your goals seriously
Even if you’ve talked to your friends until you’re blue in the face about your goals, they probably won’t take you seriously. Why? Because it doesn’t align with what they want right now, and what they want is to have fun.
If your goals get in the way of them having fun, they will poke fun at them or not listen to your goals. They will downplay them in the hopes that you’ll give up and have fun with them rather than saving for your goals. This is a common reason for growing apart from friends.
You don’t enjoy hanging out
You may find yourself regretting hanging out with your friends when your financial goals don’t align. It’s exhausting to listen to others poke fun at you or always to have to defend your decisions.
When you hang out with like-minded friends, you don’t have to make tough choices all the time. You’re all on the same page and don’t have to decide between maintaining a friendship and meeting your financial goals.
You don’t talk much anymore
If you start having fewer things in common with your friends, you’ll naturally begin to talk less. At first, you may find yourself reaching out more often so you don’t lose that connection, but that gets exhausting too.
When you stop reaching out, you may find that communication stops altogether. When you aren’t putting in the effort because you want to protect yourself, the truth comes out, and you realize the friendship was one-sided anyway.
How to deal when you’re drifting apart from friends
This isn’t to say that it’s easy to lose friends. It’s hard. It hurts your heart, and it can even make you feel lonely. Here are a few top ways to deal with drifting apart from friends.
1. Find friends with similar interests
Just because you’re losing touch with one group of friends doesn’t mean you can’t find others. Put yourself out there - join groups that interest you and get with people who have similar interests as you.
Social media, such as Meetup.com and other social groups, make it easy to meet new people. It may feel awkward at first, but once you realize how much easier it is to be with people who think like you, it won’t feel so hard.
2. Recognize that growing apart from friends is natural (and healthy)
Everyone should be free to be who they are. For you, that means being financially smart and possibly even frugal. For your childhood friends, it may mean something else. They may enjoy extravagant trips, shopping, and hanging out at bars.
Neither lifestyle is better than the other. Everyone should be free to be who they want to be. Don’t hold regrets or anger - wish your friends well and honor that you all need to go your separate ways.
3. Don’t expect your friends to want your life
Just because you made certain financial decisions in life doesn’t mean your friend wants to too. You may feel like ‘if he/she would just do what I’m doing, they’d be good.’ They may not be, though.
Everyone has to do what speaks to them. What you feel is right may not be what they think is correct, and that’s okay. Everyone can have their own life. You choose your path and let them choose theirs - if you meet in the middle great, if not, it wasn’t meant to be, but you have the memories to cherish.
4. Grieving is okay when growing apart from friends
Grieving the loss of a friendship is just like mourning the loss of a boyfriend/girlfriend or spouse. Your friend(s) were once a big part of your life. It’s okay to grieve what you lost.
This means they were special to you and you’ll miss what you had. Eventually, the pain lessens, and you’ll figure out how to move forward, but let yourself feel the feelings.
5. It’s okay to wish them well
You don’t have to be angry or regret your friendship. You also don’t have to wish ill upon them. Yes, you might feel disappointed or let down by your friends but you can respond positively.
Instead, take the higher road and wish them well - tell your friend how much they meant to you and that you genuinely wish them well in their life. Just because you are drifting apart from friends doesn't mean you don't still care for them.
Stay true to your financial journey while growing apart from friends
Your financial journey will have many ups and downs, both financially and emotionally. Your family and friends may be on the same page, and they may not. What’s important for you is to stay true to your thoughts and desires.
Don’t change your financial journey because it doesn’t fit in with others’ ideals. You choose what works for you, and if your friends fit in the picture, great - if not, it’s okay to move on and see what else life brings to you in its place.
Yes, it isn't easy to find yourself drifting apart from friends, but you can find a circle of influence that aligns with your financial goals and lifestyle!