How to Get Out of a Friendship Rut
Put the spark back in your relationship
This article originally appeared on Motto.
How are things with your best friend? Are you two as close as ever, hanging out constantly, sharing dreams and witty banter, a unified team against the world just like always? Or have things gotten strained or a little distant, like you’re not speaking the same language, or your moods aren’t quite matching up? Or worst of all—are you suddenly finding yourselves running out of things to talk about?
This can happen for one simple reason: Time. You’ve been friends for years! Just like romantic relations evolve from the first flush of flirtatious excitement to something deeper, steadier and more mature, friendships move from the “getting to know you” stage to the “I can finish your sentences” stage and beyond into the great unknown. Both of you are changing, gaining new career paths, interests, habits, even new personality traits as you adapt to the life paths you’ve taken. And as you both grow in slightly different directions, you might wake up one day and find that there’s a little strain in your rapport that wasn’t there before.
For Daisy and Hannah in my novel, The Inside of Out, the bump in the road happens when one of the duo finds a significant other, highlighting all the other ways in which their paths have diverged over the years without either of them really noticing. For me and my close friends, it has often come as a result of geographical changes—one of us moving and life taking us in two different literal directions.
Rough patches like this can be challenging to navigate. It might mean the end of a friendship. But more likely, it could make your bond even stronger—the kind of friendship that lasts until you’re two kooky old ladies throwing popcorn at strangers in the park, just to make the other one laugh the loudest. Here are four tips for how to get through to the other side:
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