Everyone should have good friends by their side. In a recent study, those who had the most friends tended to live their lonelier counterparts by up to 20%. But everyone knows that friendships tend to change over time. Not every relationship is going to last forever, and there are many ways in which a friendship can branch off.
Understanding how friendships tend to work and how they tend to grow and mature can help you strengthen your relationships and nurture them. This guide is going to show you how friendships change over time.
Euphoria and the Honeymoon
In the beginning, you have made a new friend and you will be spending a considerable amount of time with them. You will make regular meetings with them and you’ll dedicate more of your time to strengthening that new friendship. It will also tell you whether this is a friendship for the long haul or whether you are going to be together for six months before moving in your separate directions.
After the initial honeymoon period, your relationship may well enter into a long distance relationship. This can happen for many reasons, such as the person has moved away or they have gone on a business trip. But most of the time it happens because they make new friends and you make new friends.
It’s not a sign that you are in a toxic friendship. It’s a sign that you are content with the relationship and you don’t feel the need to address it on a daily basis. Most people have friends they only speak to every so often, and that’s okay.
A Blossoming Friendship
Over time, the relationship will begin to blossom. This is where you learn to trust each other and you both realize that you can rely on each other in times of trouble. You’ll start to notice the dynamics of the friendship are changing because you will be inviting each other to family events and you will be introducing each other to your other friends.
Think of this as the consolidation part of the friendship. It’s where you are fully integrating them into your friendship circle.
Most romantic relationships tend to evolve quite quickly. If you enter the so-called ‘friend zone’ it usually puts an end to any form of romantic relationship. It’s often the case that good friends can become lovers over time as they realize they feel something more for each other.
Developing something more can cause you to leave the friendship and turn what you have into something more. This is just one way in which it can branch off.
The End of the Friendship
It’s a fact that most people can count the number of true friends on their fingers. Everyone has a range of acquaintances, but not everyone has a ton of friends they can rely on in times of trouble. And that’s okay because the small number of people who will go the extra mile for you are more coveted. They are more important to you. Not everyone is worth the effort.
The end of a friendship can happen for a variety of different reasons. It’s true that conflict can bring an end to a friendship, but people naturally drift apart over time. If you are not putting the time and effort into the relationship, there’s a strong chance that the relationship will reach its natural conclusion.
For example, a lot of friendships end as a result of retirement. You may be friends with someone in the office, but when you stop seeing each other on a daily basis you gradually start to lose contact until you find that you stop talking to them entirely.
Conclusion – Friendships Require Effort
To see a friendship blossom, you need to put effort into that relationship. If you haven’t spoken to someone in a while, contact them and renew the relationship. A lot of people lose contact with some of their best friends because they expect the other person to call them first.
Believe it or not, it doesn’t require anything monumental to keep a friendship going. Simply letting someone know you are thinking of them is enough. Just make sure that you are not putting effort into a toxic friendship. Make sure the other person really values what you bring to the table.
It requires the input of both parties if you are going to make this work for the better. How are you going to make sure that your friendship flourishes today?