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Why Do Friendships Change As We Grow Older?




There are different dynamics for different relationships. Each relation has its requirements, demands, and some basic rules that are necessary to maintain it in a congenial way. Your blood relations might make feel like a part of a whole i.e. A family unit, but sometimes a friend may make you feel more comfortable while communicating your most intimate feelings than a family member. There is a fluidity in relations which makes them unique and useful in various situations.

But the relation of friendship is the most important and unique in the world. This relation binds two or more people based on pure love, humanity, well-wishing, and lack of conditionality. Without all these, you might create acquaintances, but not a lifelong deep friendship.

Generally, it is considered that childhood friendships are the best. They are formed in the tender years of life when we are unaware of the vices like selfishness, betrayal, deliberate harm, or any conditional aspect used to make friends. That is why childhood friendships are innocently formed and last a lifetime unless something conditional enters, maybe during the adult years.

As we grow up, our thoughts, perceptions, aspirations, and priorities also evolve. Such a change might bring drastic changes in some people, and they might turn either good or bad towards the old relations. 


Here are some of the factors that might be responsible for changing perceptions towards friendships as we grow up:

  • Puberty and the related biological, emotional, perceptional changes

You must have seen primary and middle school “besties” grow apart gradually and indulge in new things and friends as they enter puberty or teenage. This is because of the biological, emotional, and mental changes in the body that mostly control the habits and priorities of the teenagers. This is the time to explore, curiously indulge in various things along with the predominant confusion about one’s self. This is a challenging time for a teenager which might make them change friendships and “loyalties”, although this is largely due to the hormonal changes in their bodies. Sometimes, a lack of clarity of thoughts and realities about the body and society may create conflict among friends. Thus, this time can affect some friendships in a negative way.

  • Meeting new people in college

College life exposes us to a diverse culture, mostly in the big cities. People from different backgrounds meet in college/university and spend a few years together. This exposure to different cultures and people of various mentalities can bring in new friendships, ignoring the old ones.

Also, college life is pretty hectic with all assignments, lectures, deadlines, extracurricular activities, socializing, etc., which might create distance among old friends, unless they are studying together.

  • Moving to new places for employment 

Moving to other places can also create a distance among old friends and family. A lack of communication and face-to-face meetings also fade out in the busy routines. When individuals or families move to other places, they tend to form new relations and friendships, mostly from work. Colleagues and work relations also take most the time in your adult life routines, and they neither be compromised nor ignored. 

You might have heard a countryside friend complaining about a lack of communication from his childhood buddy who moved to the big city for a job, haven’t you?

  • Married life, kids, responsibilities

Married life comes with a lot of responsibilities for both partners. Once the kids enter their lives, they hardly get time for themselves (at least this is what most of the couples complain about). 

From kids’ school to their teenage troubles, from managing time between family, work, and social life to maintaining one’s romantic relationship with the partner, somewhere in between, the old friendships get lost gradually. Sad, but true.


Keeping up with old friends is not something that everyone can do. It takes loyalty, dedication, and unconditional love in the hearts, from both ways, to maintain friendships, no matter how much distance comes in between. Communication, staying in touch, and remembering one another is the key to remaining true friends forever.

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