Growing apart from old friendships

Ask L.K. – Because life can get a little messy

By L.K. ELLIOTT, Connect Columnist

Dear L.K.,

My best friend and I are losing touch.  I feel like our lives have taken such different paths that conversations are even tough at times. We don’t share any common interests anymore, but I’m not willing to let that mean the end of a 20 year friendship. I don’t know how to support her in her journey, or how to save our relationship.  Help.

– Baffled BFF

Dear Baffled BFF,

There are a couple explanations for the growing apart: You’ve either outgrown each other, or simply need to reconnect and re-establish how each other fit into this new phase in your lives. Analyzing how you feel about this person (when you’re around them) will be your clue.

Life is always changing, and our relationships need to evolve along with us.  Some relationships can evolve naturally, while others need work. If we are not putting in the required amount of effort to tend to certain relationships, they may begin to suffer. To counter this, think about something fun you both used to enjoy, and go on an adventure. Try to rekindle the relationship by reliving the past. Do something childish and silly, get laughing, and try to remember why you two were best friends in the first place. If it’s meant to be, that spark will be reignited and you’ll have solid grounds to revive the relationship.

However, there is a chance you may be outgrowing this friend. If the path you are on feels empowering, and your BBF’s isn’t, then you must exercise caution. If a loved one is down we often give them a hand up, but they want to pull us down to their level rather than rising up to ours. This is very disempowering. Regardless of the age of a relationship, you can’t accept going down to their level to make this friendship work. If they want to grow and evolve so that you two have positive things in common again, that is wonderful.

I’ve stepped away from many relationships over the years as my path has changed: some people have gradually evolved with me and some stayed behind. I don’t judge them, but I won’t allow myself to step down to a level that isn’t in line with my beliefs and values.  It’s never too late to change, so if I find someone from my past has improved their life and we connect again, that is beautiful. I do not have expectations for anyone, so I am never disappointed in my friends or family. I simply ask myself “is this relationship empowering or disempowering to my well-being” and act accordingly.

It’s always difficult letting go, but most things worth having in life are difficult, and freedom from negativity is one of them. When you set new standards for whom you will allow into your inner circle, you begin to attract amazing new relationships into your life. Healthier relationships will fill the place of dysfunctional ones as time passes – this much I promise you.

L.K. Elliott is a local fitness guru turned self-help author who sees the potential for personal growth in everyone, and bring that relentless optimism into the lives of Wood Buffalo residents. Have questions? Direct them to L.K. on social media at Instagram: @lk.elliott and Twitter: @lkelliot_

– Connect Weekly –