Friends drifting apart - two women not speaking

Friends Drifting Apart: Is There a Loving Way to See This?

Just the idea of friends drifting apart may unleash waves of sadness and loss upon you. Yet, when you think about how much we change over time, it’s astonishing that some of our friendships can span decades.

But the thing is – over time, we change. A lot. Not just through life’s typical phases, but through vast and varied personal challenges too. Sometimes along the way, we notice that a friendship has drifted.

It might make us feel sad and even have us question ourselves. We may not instinctively stop and wonder, “Could drifting apart from this friendship actually be healthy?”

So, why do close friendships drift apart? And what are some things that might help us feel still happy and vibrating high when our friendship has drifted? Let’s explore what’s going on and look for why this is all OK.

Woman sitting on window ledge - feeling sad about friendship drifting apart.

As we evolve and grow deeper within ourselves, sometimes our vibrations don’t align anymore, and our friendships drift apart.

According to Dr. Lawrence Wilson, “The energy field of a person is the emanation of subtle energy from the body. It is an electrical field that radiates a slight glow around a person and all living things.”

This topic truly fascinates me. Think of yourself and the energy field around you. Now think of how your energy field may have looked and felt, let’s say, 15 years ago. Do you think it has changed?

According to the Law of Attraction, we attract who we are. So if we’ve expanded, healed, or in some way lifted our vibration, we may discover that it doesn’t match with others in the same way.

Your first instinct might be to want to judge yourself. You may think, “What happened? Why isn’t this friendship feeling right to me anymore?”

But, instead of questioning yourself and judging the situation, consider seeing this in a new way. Your energy and vibration have changed. And that’s a good thing!

When friends drift apart, it may simply mean that you’ve outgrown the dynamic you once shared.

In relationships of all kinds, people often fall into roles. These roles create dynamics that may feel comfortable for many years.

But, if you’ve done a lot of personal work, you may discover that your role in some of your relationships doesn’t feel healthy anymore. You’ve outgrown it. And it feels very uncomfortable.

Natalie Lue of Baggage Reclaim says, “A friendship will lack depth and stop growing if there’s codependence, it’s toxic, or it’s quite simply stuck in the past.”

So try seeing the codependency that’s lying just beneath the surface. Instead of lamenting how you feel sad that this friendship isn’t going the distance, focus on how far you’ve come! Be kind to yourself.

Two open hands - symbolizing letting go.

Consider the relationship has served its purpose, and now it’s time to let go.

According to Danielle MacKinnon, author of Soul Contracts: How You Can Identify, Master, and Release the Hidden Blocks in Your Life, “Various people are destined to come into your life to help you heal something either from past lives or from this lifetime. These people have agreed with Spirit to enter into your life so that you can reach greater levels of compassion and forgiveness.”

So, embracing each relationship as something that was meant to teach you something vital is key to honoring its purpose and being able to it go graciously. Friends drifting apart can be the natural conclusion of a cycle that needs to play out.

Can you take a step back from this relationship and see how it’s challenged you and encouraged you to grow in new and unforeseen ways? This perspective may bring the clarity and peace you need to move forward gracefully.

Red haired woman feeling sad about a friendship that has drifted.

Are you bothered that this relationship has changed? Is there something you need to forgive?

What is the story you’re telling yourself about this friendship drifting apart? Are you seeing it as a massive loss in your life? Look closely at where these feelings are coming from. Why are you stuck in sadness?

Maybe it’s time to spend time and dive deeper into what’s bothering you and why you’re not willing to allow this shift to occur graciously.

Often I discover that I need to forgive. I need to forgive my friend, and I need to forgive myself. Any hurt or sadness I may have endured is not personal. When I’m struggling with this concept, I think about the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.

In it, he states, “Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally. Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. In their minds, all people live in their dream; they are in a completely different world from the one we live in. When we take something personally, we assume that they know what is in our world, and we try to impose our world on their world.”

If we’re able to master that idea, forgiveness comes naturally. How can we be hurt by someone who is just being who they are? Yes – we can feel sadness and loss. And we may have to grieve this relationship. But the more quickly we forgive, the faster we can feel at peace.

Two young women on bikes - happy and free!

View friends drifting apart through the lens of love. Can you envision both of you happy, free, and thriving?

The most crucial part of all of this is feeling content with what’s happened as a whole. You’ve both moved on; you’re both moving forward. Be grateful for the lessons this person brought into your life and take them with you moving forward.

Are you having a hard time letting go?  Soul and Spirit Magazine suggests these four steps to release your friend healthily:

1 A cord-cutting meditation is perfect if you’re feeling unsettled about the split.

2. Create a positive affirmation that works for you and repeat it regularly. Try, “I let this friendship go with love and trust the universe to bring healthy relationships and people into my life.”

3 Crystals can provide support through tough times − why not try Rose Quartz for easing heartache and Citrine for balance and positive energy?

4 Hold a vision of the person in your mind and send them positive thoughts and healing energy. May they get precisely what they need from their life without you.

Other words to consider:

  • Try, “May she be happy and at peace. May I be happy and at peace.”
  • Or, “May we both know that universal love is guiding us along every step of our paths.”
  • Another idea is, “May we always think fondly of each other. May we delight in memories of the happy times we shared.”
  • And “May we both feel deeply loved always.”

Final words from a quote that really struck me:

“For a friendship to survive, it must develop with every year, with every decade, reinventing itself again and again.” – Elizabeth Kay

So, celebrate the friendships that stay connected and survive! And find inner peace with the friends who drift apart. They’re both here for you to find your way to your greater truth.

More thoughts:

I hope you enjoyed this post! Do you know someone who is struggling with a friendship that has drifted? Please send this their way.

Ps: Look here for more on detaching in a healthy way.

Also, what does it feel like to be energetically connected to someone? Check this out.

There are so many different types of friendship. Which do you have now?

(This story originally appeared on January 20, 2022. This new version reflects updates and enhanced clarity.)

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  1. […] see yourself mindfully editing out the relationships that are draining. Sometimes friendships drift apart, and that’s okay too. Letting go can be freeing and […]

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