Getting Closure When a Friendship Drifts Apart

The old saying “people come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime” is a good one to remember as we reflect on past friendships. Friends will come and go and that is just the nature of relationships. But have you ever had a friendship that was at one time very close and then this person just seemed to drift out of your life and you’re not exactly sure what happened? You never hear from them anymore, not even for your birthday or at Christmas time. It kind of makes you sad and it hurts a little yet you don’t make the effort to contact them either.  

Whenever you think of this person it’s a mixture of emotions. You might smile when you remember some good times you had together, but you also feel a sense of loss, maybe a little abandoned. How do you reconcile your emotions about this person? You’d love to feel some kind of closure or at least you’d like to get some clarity as to what might have happened between you.

Well here are some questions to reflect on that will walk you through a process that can help give you that closure. The important thing (and this might make answering these questions more or less difficult) is that you’ve got to be super honest with yourself as you reflect back on the relationship. You need to have some 20/20 hindsight and try to recall your experience with some accuracy. There’s always two sides to a relationship’s story. Be sure you look at both sides.

So close your eyes and let’s take a mental stroll down memory lane.  Try to recall as many memories of your friendship as you can. Get a clear picture of who you were to each other.

Now read and answer the following questions. 

  1. Did I feel energized after spending time with them or drained?
  2. Did I ever tell them a little white lie? Did I ever suspect they weren’t being completely honest with me?
  3. Was I ever concerned that they talked about me behind my back? Did I ever talk about them behind their back?
  4. Did I ever say something that upset them or piss them off? Did I ever get ticked off because of something they said?
  5. Did we forgive one another easily or were we more inclined to leave things unresolved?
  6. How many areas of common interests did I have with this person?
  7. Did we have a difference of opinion on either politics or religion? Did those differences ever cause conflict between us?
  8. Were we growing in the same direction?
  9. Did we have a common sense of humor?
  10. Did we share similar background stories and experiences that provided a foundation?
  11. Could I count on them being there for me if I was going through a crisis?
  12. Were we able to share our deepest secrets and be vulnerable with one another?
  13. Did I learn anything valuable from this friend that I still remember to this day?
  14. Did we fill particular needs for one another that were specific to that time in our lives?
  15. Was the relationship an equal give and take?

You can ask these questions, and many more, about any number of people in your life.  After reflecting on your answers you should  have some clarity as to why a friend (person) is no longer in your life.

We all have a variety of people in our lives that come and go. Sometimes we bond with other people because of circumstances, such as school, work or where we live.  Some of these relationships are easy to understand why they drift away. Other relationships aren’t so easy, especially if you’ve known them years or even decades.

We all grow and change and not always in the same direction or at the same pace. Only a few people will be there till the very end. Most of the people who come into our lives are temporal. They’re here just for a season and that’s ok. Sometimes they come into our lives for a reason. But you’ve got to be willing to look for and be grateful for the lessons learned and how they enriched your life. Once we can recognize the true meaning behind a relationship then we’ll know when it’s time to let them go.  The ultimate goal is to be able to bless them on their way from a place of love and grace. And that’s what you call closure.

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