One of the greatest misconceptions shared by so many people is the belief that their valued friendships can stand the test of time. This is a misconception because even the most wonderful kinds of friendships can end. The beauty of friendship lies in its moments and never in its longevity. If marital relationships can end in divorce, and if family members can grow apart, then friendships can end for so many reasons. Some of these reasons are
Life is unpredictable, and the existence of death reminds us that what matters most in life are the meaningful moments in it, rather than the longevity of life itself. You may lose a much valued friend in death, and there is nothing you can do about it. Now is the time to make the most of your friendship, not tomorrow, not the coming year. If you value and respect your friends, do not hesitate to let them know. Truth is, once they die, you might regret not ringing it into their ears.
Your career or profession may displace you from a former neighborhood, which may result in leaving behind old, valued friends. Owing to this, you may have to cultivate new friendships. But the good thing is that you now understand that your friendships may end, which will therefore enable you to be more interested in the moments than in illusory longevity. Social networks cannot provide the same camaraderie and social satisfaction that real life physical interaction often provides.
People change. Tyler, who was once a great friend five years ago, may not be the same Tyler you used to know. People change as a result of several factors. Life circumstances change people, people change people, bitter experiences, education and learning, exposure, all these contribute to shaping a person. Once you discover that Tyler is no longer the Tyler you used to know, and you realize you are not comfortable with who he has grown up to be, the chemistry you once had is bound to fail, and the friendship is bound to crash.
Your values change
What you used to value five years ago may not be the same things you value today. And what you value today may not be the same things you will value in five years’ time. You may have grown up to value honesty, kindness, decency, and diligence, although they never used to be your core values. As a result, you may find that the same friends whose companionships you once enjoyed, are no longer as interesting as you used to find them. This is simply because your values have changed.
Their values change
The values of your old friends may also change. Over time, they may find that they drift towards people who possess certain qualities, although it never used to be the case. Their values may have changed for the better or for worse, but once their values are not compatible with yours, there is a very good chance that your friendship will crash.
Realizing that you have more responsibilities in your life to attend to may make you kick your friendships to the back seat. Although, a healthy life requires balancing all the important aspects of your life (including friendships), concerns over money, bills, family, and work can be so preoccupying that they may tone down your value of friendship.
You are psychologically inclined to socialize much more with those who (through a stroke of luck) are presently with you in a place and for a limited period of time, than with friends you no longer see because they have moved to different environments. For example, you don’t keep up with all your old high school friends because you are now physically far apart, but instead find yourself associating with those in your faculty at the university. For the same reason, people are likely to spend more time socializing with their colleagues at work than with their old friends.
Different stages in life
People who are in different stages in life may find it difficult to preserve the once known interest in their friendships. For example, you are in the university, and your old friends are yet to gain admission. Another example is, you are now a general manager, and a friend of yours is a chauffeur. It is easy to say that such things don’t matter, but in actuality, they very much do.