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How Can Two Teens Regain Their Closeness As Friends?
A once-close teen friendship seems to be fraying. A young woman asks whether she should try to save the friendship or end it.
Friends can grow apart. Can you - and should you - try to save every friendship?
I’m 15 years old and going into tenth grade. I’ve known my friend since we were in fifth grade and we’ve always been really close. My mom is her second mom and her mom is my second mom.
We have always had the same interest in everything until just recently. It's like we never agree on ANYTHING anymore.
We are so different now. But it feels like it happened overnight. I know people change, but I didn’t realize how quickly that could actually happen. I hoped we’d stay friends forever. But lately, I feel so anxious, and I don't feel very happy around her. Not sure what this means but things don't feel the same.
So I wonder: Should I try to "repair" our friendship? Or would it be best for me just to end it?
Teen in Florida
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It always feels bad to drift apart from a bestie with whom you once felt very close. More than likely, however, this turnaround in a teen friendship didn't happen overnight. It just feels that way.
You are beginning to realize the differences between you and your friend, and it sounds like they are jumping out at you in living color!
People change all the time, especially during the teen years, when these changes can be dramatic. This is a time when our interests and unique personalities emerge, so your story is not all that surprising. Even though it's common for teen friendships to fray, it still feels very disappointing.
Do you think your friend is feeling the same way you do? We suspect that’s probably the case.
It might be worthwhile to start a conversation with her, saying something like, “Why do you think we are disagreeing so often?” or “Do you think there is something we can do to iron out our differences?”
It's important to tell your friend that you really treasure all the good times you've had and hope you can work things out together.
Be prepared to give her one or two specific examples of why you are feeling this way. Try not to blame her---explain that it is something that is affecting you both.
By talking about it, you might gain more insight into what you are feeling and whether or not the friendship can be saved.
If you can't work things out, you just might need to take a breather from each other or scale back the friendship so it’s less intense.
Next year or the year after, you may find that you are more in sync with one another again.
Let us know how it works out.
Irene & Sheryl
Teenage friends often drift apart as people grow and their interests change.