People who let go of friends as they get older usually display these 7 behaviors

Growing older often brings change, and sometimes, that includes our friendships. It can be a bit of a tough pill to swallow, but it’s a natural part of life.

Some folks just seem to navigate this shift with a certain grace, and they usually exhibit a specific set of behaviors.

In my years as a relationship expert for the Love Connection blog, I’ve noticed that these individuals share seven common behaviors.

These aren’t random acts or isolated incidents; instead, they’re consistent patterns that seem to help them transition through different stages of life.

In this article, we’re going to dive into what these behaviors are. And who knows? Maybe you’ll recognize some of these patterns in your own life.

Don’t worry—it’s all part of the journey. Let’s explore together.

1) They become selective

As we age, our priorities naturally evolve.

The late nights, the superficial conversations, and the fleeting connections of our youth gradually lose their allure.

This isn’t a negative shift—it’s a reflection of personal growth.

Those who distance themselves from certain friendships with age aren’t necessarily withdrawing from society.

Instead, they’re refining their social circle, placing more value on meaningful connections.

They recognize the importance of depth over breadth in relationships and invest accordingly.

Does this resonate with you? Maybe you’ve noticed yourself drawn to fewer, but more meaningful friendships.

If so, you’re not alone. This is a common trajectory, often associated with maturity and self-awareness.

At the end of the day, it’s not about the quantity of friends, but the quality of those relationships that truly enrich your life.  

2) They embrace solitude

It might go against the grain, especially in a culture that often ties happiness to a bustling social life.

Yet, those who naturally drift from friendships as they age often find solace in solitude.

Choosing solitude doesn’t mean morphing into a recluse.

Instead, it’s about relishing in one’s own presence and uncovering the tranquility that accompanies being alone.

They come to appreciate quiet moments, introspection, and self-discovery.

But don’t confuse this with loneliness—it’s anything but.

It’s realizing that solo time can be just as enriching as socializing. It’s about finding comfort in your own thoughts and emotions.

So, if you discover yourself savoring your own company more than ever, it’s not a signal of becoming antisocial. It’s a sign of settling into your own skin.

3) They recognize the signs of codependency

In my work, I’ve often seen how codependency can creep into relationships and distort them.

Codependency can make us hold onto relationships that no longer serve us, simply because we’re afraid of being alone.

As people get older, they become more attuned to these patterns.

They recognize when a friendship is more about dependency than mutual respect and support.

And when they spot these signs, they have the courage to let go.

I dive deeper into this topic in a book I’ve penned, Breaking The Attachment: How To Overcome Codependency in Your Relationship, which offers insights on how to overcome codependency in relationships.

It’s a journey of self-discovery and growth.

But for now, remember this: letting go of codependent friendships isn’t about pushing people away.

It’s about making space for healthier relationships that allow you to remain your own person. So don’t be afraid to assess your friendships and make changes where necessary.

4) They value quality over quantity

Growing older often brings a certain clarity.

The hustle and bustle of youth, with its constant flurry of social activities, begins to fade. Instead, the focus shifts to the quality of our relationships.

I’ve always loved the saying by Maya Angelou, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

This rings true in all aspects of life, especially in our friendships.

As we age, we begin to understand that it’s not about how many friends we have, but rather how those friends make us feel.

We realize that a few close friends who truly understand and support us are worth more than countless casual acquaintances.

So if you’ve noticed that your circle of friends is shrinking but deepening, don’t fret. It’s not a sign of losing friends; it’s a sign of gaining true connections.

5) They accept changing dynamics

Change is the only constant in life.

As we grow older, our friendships inevitably shift and evolve. Some friendships may deepen, while others may fade away. And that’s okay.

In my own journey, I’ve learned that it’s not about holding onto every friendship with a tight grip.

It’s about understanding that friendships, like any other relationship, have their seasons.

Some are meant to last a lifetime, while others serve a purpose for a specific period of our life.

Those who let go of friends as they age understand this concept.

They cherish the memories and lessons from past friendships and carry them forward.

Bottom line? It’s okay to outgrow some friendships.

Sometimes, it can be a healthy sign of personal growth. 

6) They prioritize self-care

They say that you cannot pour from an empty cup, and this rings particularly true as we age.

Self-care is no longer a luxury; it becomes a necessity.

In my own life, I’ve found that prioritizing my well-being has not only helped me grow as an individual, but it’s also transformed my relationships.

I’ve learned to set boundaries, to say no when needed, and to invest time and energy into nurturing my own soul.

Those who let go of friends as they get older often do so because they’re prioritizing their own self-care.

They understand that they need to take care of themselves first in order to be there for others.

Remember the words of Oscar Wilde: “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”

So if you’re finding that you’re spending more time on self-care and less time socializing, don’t worry. It’s not selfish—it’s necessary.

If you find these insights helpful and want to keep up with my latest articles, feel free to follow me on Facebook. I’d love to continue this journey with you.

7) They aren’t afraid to walk away

This is perhaps the hardest to accept, but it’s also the most crucial.

As we age, we learn that not all friendships are meant to last.

Some are seasonal, some are situational, and some simply run their course.

Walking away from a friendship isn’t easy. It can be heartbreaking and leave you with a lot of unresolved feelings.

But those who let go of friends as they get older understand this bitter truth: not all friendships are good for us.

There can be friendships that drain us, that make us feel small, that bring out the worst in us.

And it’s okay to walk away from those. It doesn’t make you a bad person.

It makes you someone who values their peace of mind and well-being.

Hey, don’t beat yourself up if you’ve walked away from friendships that didn’t serve you well. It’s not a sign of weakness, but a strength.

It’s about choosing your own happiness and well-being over everything else.

It’s okay to outgrow friendships

As we grow older, these connections evolve, and sometimes, they fade. And that’s perfectly okay.

Letting go of friends as we age isn’t about severing ties or closing doors.

It’s about recognizing that our personal growth might lead us down different paths.

It’s about understanding that some friendships serve specific purposes at certain stages of our lives.

In the end, it’s about cherishing the friendships that bring us joy and growth and having the courage to walk away from those that no longer do.

As you navigate these changes in your friendships, remember:

You’re not alone. And it’s not a sign of failing, but a sign of growing.

I think this video by Justin Brown provides a great reflection on being single and lonely in a big city, which can often be the case when we let go of friends and start to embrace our solitude more:

In it, he shares his experiences and the important realizations he had about slowing down and taking time to reflect on what he was truly looking for.

It’s a great watch for anyone going through similar experiences.

Remember, life is a journey of self-discovery and growth.

Cherish every part of it – the highs, the lows, and everything in between.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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