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No one prepares you for falling out with your friends in your Twenties. Boyfriends come and go, family members fade away, but girlfriends are there forever right? Wrong. Friends that are meant the constant in your life are unfortunately no more permanent than your pink hair phase. Friends change, you fall out, they move away and quite frankly, your twenties are the time when you cull. So why, in the so called ‘best years’ of your life are you having a friendship exodus?
This is why.
Your tolerance lowers
The friend who was always poncing money from you in your late teens, didn’t seem like too much of a problem. Now that you have bills and train fares to pay, it’s a different story. No longer can you afford to be someones cash cow. The friend who only calls when she wants something? Same story. Most people reach their Twenties with a clear view of who they are, what they can tolerate and what they cannot. After all, you have to. Because how can you go into the workplace, start a business or deal with a mortgage advisor if you’re not even ready to deal with your friends? Some behaviour you can live with and some you can’t. And not everyone will make the cut.
The facade crumbles
When someone moves to Uni or a new City, they often use it as an opportunity to reinvent themselves. Unfortunately, while you can change your style and your hair colour quite easily, the deep rooted behaviours that live within cannot be challenged so easily. Throughout the first few years of a friendship you may notice this from one of your ‘new’ friends.
Perhaps there was the odd lie here or there, or an irrational meltdown over something insignificant. You’ll pass them off as ‘quirks’ and laugh about them the next day. But the unease won’t leave. As your friendship develops, the cracks get bigger. The odd lie will turn into a constant stream, the first world tantrums will become a daily occurrence. Until eventually the facade crumbles completely and you realise that the person you thought you knew, you actually didn’t.
And ain’t nobody got time for that.
You’re meetups with friends were once a standard and the gaps in between, filled with endless texts, calls and MSN chats. Once you get proper jobs and disperse across the country, the amount of times you see them becomes fewer and far in between. Your weekly drinks become monthly, Birthdays become harder to plan. By the time you’ve finished work, commuted home, cooked and cleaned, you’re not in the mood to brush your teeth, let alone anything else.
Gatherings where once, every person on the list had to be confirmed, are now attended by ‘whoever’s free’. Some friends will just fade into the esther at this point, never to attend again and well, that’s okay. Because you’re just so freaking, busy anyway.
There was once a time where you wouldn’t have taken a shit without telling your friends about it first. Now, you get most of your life updates from Facebook and Instagram. New homes, babies and engagements are all celebrated with a ‘Like’ and a promise to be there for the Wedding/Baby Shower/ Housewarming while secretly you sweat at the thought of spending time with people you don’t really have anything in common with anymore.
The internet is probably not to blame for the demise of our friendships, it just enables us to cling on that bit longer.
Just like babies or kids in high school, everyone develops at different paces. As one friend gets married another runs off to travel the world. Unfortunately, with every good fortune comes a nastier one; jealousy. This will be the number one reason that your friendships fail. People get far too worried in their twenties about what everyone else is doing like who got engaged first or who has the best job title. The most successful then become victim to snidey comments and friends they’ve known for years who no longer seem to be happy for them, while the ones who deem themselves unsuccessful try to cover it up with snidey comments and Facebook posts telling everyone how ‘amazing’ their life is. Unfortunately, the only way to get out of this is to leave them behind. Jealously is a nasty poison and one that can rarely be contained.
The few, true friends you find will understand that your success in no way diminishes their own and will be happy for you whatever you achieve.
Your happiness becomes a priority
When your girl group spans 20 there has to be a lot of compromise. You take turns deciding where to go, what to eat and who gets to wear your new red dress. But as you get older and start to make compromises in other places of your life, your happiness becomes more of a priority. You don’t feel bad turning down the fourth Sunday lunch in a row because you want some time to yourself, or switching off your Whatsapp while you’re at the gym. Some friends cannot handle this and will want you in their lives twenty four seven and therein, lies the 6th cut to your friendships.
You find new friends
There’s room in your life for as many friends as you can handle, but at different stages in your life you will naturally gravitate towards different groups of friends. Your ride and dies, will always be there for you when you want to get drunk, but as you move through your twenties you may also appreciate friends who you can stay in with or who are interested in your career. Babies unleash a further set, ones who understand what you mean when you say you haven’t slept in 72 hours and can barely string a sentence together.
Friends will come and go and as sad as it can be, it’s often a necessary readjustment. People grow apart or change and it can be difficult to realign to the people who knew the girl you once was. But as one door closes another opens, often to make way for new friends who you never even realised you needed.
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Beth is a Writer and Digital Marketer who founded The Full Agenda as a place to talk about the things that kept her and her friends up at night. Currently working as a Marketing consultant to various SMEs she is a big fan of the startup market and loves technology, apps and anything social media related. When not obsessively checking Google Analytics, she can be found reading, writing or relaxing with a glass of Prosecco.
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