That Time I… realized outgrowing friendships is normal


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Two wooden figures with a heart shaped hole in between them. Columnist Nanette Nkolomoni expresses that friends growing apart is a natural process.

By Nanette Nkolomoni, Opinion Columnist

Friendships are something I value and cherish deeply. The feeling of being understood and having a confidant that not only respects you but is there for you through highs and lows is priceless.

The first best friend I ever had, I met in the second-grade. There was an instant connection between her and I as soon as we met each other. We loved all of the same things. We loved reading “Junie B. Jones,” painting our nails, watching Disney Channel, going to the beach – we had the same sense of humor too, we just understood each other.

This friend and I would be friends until the end of time, I was sure of it. Every moment I spent with her brought me happiness and excitement. She was my person. I told her all my secrets and all my dreams and she told me hers. We were inseparable.

We experienced a lot of growth together; we went through elementary and middle school together, we watched each other become teenagers (something we spent a lot of our childhood fantasizing about) and we were there for each other throughout the obstacles life threw our way.

After graduating the eighth-grade, we went to different high schools. At first that was fine, we still made time to see each other and speak to each other on the phone; but near the third year of high school, I realized that we began drifting apart. Our phone calls occurred less frequently, and the times we hung out occurred only a few times a month.

We made sure to remind ourselves that friendships aren’t measured by time. We had different obligations and schedules. We were busy.

However, what I noticed when we did hang out was the lack of relatability. Our conversations weren’t flowing as they once were before and we didn’t have much in common.

This was a person I knew for years, how could it be that there’s nearly nothing we could relate to with each other anymore? How is it that our personalities are changing? These were all the thoughts I had at the time.

Soon enough, we just didn’t speak to each other at all anymore. I came to the realization that we outgrew each other, and that was completely normal.

Throughout life, you go through many changes, the things that you once found fun and amazing at 13 might not be the same things you find fun and amazing at 16. Your beliefs can change over time as well as the people you find pleasant to be around.

You soon realize, after outgrowing a friendship, you are not the same person you were before – you’re not that younger version of yourself anymore. This is fine.

Of course I felt sadness at times thinking of all of our memories but overtime I accepted that we simply outgrew each other. There doesn’t have to be a dramatic ending to friendships, not all friendships end in betrayal and negativity. Sometimes, things just end.