Student Issues

Why do friendships fall apart?

It’s mystifying to hear the phrase, ‘people don’t change’. It’s odd because if there is one constant in life, it’s that an individual changes every day. Biologically speaking, the body goes through millions of cell changes in a person’s life. You are not the same today as you were last week. Your personality goes through different changes too. Although a person may always be horrible, they will have different versions of horrible throughout their lives. Things never stay the same. Just like friendships.

When you are a teenager you tend to have a good group of friends and even have a few ‘BFFs’, but as the years pass, you may notice that certain people have disappeared from your life or that you rarely keep in contact with others. It’s a cycle of life; it happens to everyone. Generally, most of the time it is nothing to do with having major fights but move about growing up and moving on.

Becoming more mature

Does anyone really know who they are or what they want from life in their early 20s? This time of our lives is a chance to really get to know ourselves and what we want to achieve. We travel, we work crappy jobs or we go on to get degrees and post-grad qualifications. You learn want you want from life. Every new experience changes a person.

Suddenly, you realise that as you begin to find yourself, you see that some friends simply don’t fit into your life anymore. Different goals and ambitions between people can cause them to follow another path than their friends, so much so that they become relative strangers in the future.


Weaker friendships tend not survive when someone moves to another country. The distance can have a detrimental impact on people and no amount of phone calls and Skype can make up for the lack of human contact. The ‘real’ friends manage to keep in touch but outside that close circle, those who you would have had decent relations with seem to disappear.

Different lives

Changes of circumstances also divide individuals. Some choose to settle down young and have families while others remain career-orientated. Things that you had in common when you were young are no longer the same. You used go out and get drunk on the weekends and bond over mutual hangovers but five or six years after college and two children later, those crazy weekends take a back seat.

Priorities shift and serious career’s develop, yet some don’t feel ready to give up their party lifestyle and they find others to join them in their escapades; leaving parents to their responsibilities. If you have nothing in common with someone other than getting drunk on the weekends, it’s time to say your goodbyes.

Three’s company

It’s a cliché in some ways but new romantic relationships are fatal to friendships. Girl meets boy. Falls in love. Friends no longer exist. And vice versa for the guys too. It’s happened to everyone at some stage, whether they were the ones who were dumped by a friend or were the dumper.

When someone starts a new relationship it is only natural for them to spend the majority of their time with their other half but after a while, the honeymoon period doesn’t end and they slowly see a decline in their friend numbers.  Usually it is the single friends who lose out in this situation.

Couples like to mix with other couples and have their couple fun, unable to relate to the single lifestyle. Others may not like their friend’s significant other and want nothing to do with them or feel as if their former best friend is not treating them with any respect. At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself whether you want to be friends with someone who sees fit to remember you when it suits them.

Don’t you know that you’re toxic?

And sometimes you consciously let go of friendships simply because you know better. No longer can you put up with the ‘toxic friend’. This friend leaves you feeling emotionally and physically drained every time you see them. Their narcissism and selfishness is almost too much to bear and eventually you cut them loose. It’s easier now that you are an adult.

Back when the two of you were in school/college, the thought of ending the friendship seems impossible as you would have to see them every day and you didn’t want that tension when you were in their company. But now, as your life takes on a different path, you have the confidence to tell this ‘friend’ that you can’t have someone in your life who holds you back, knowing full well that others appreciate you a lot more.