On Outgrowing Relationships

“Twenty children don’t play together for twenty years”

“Once classmates does not mean always classmates”

-David O. Oyedepo

It’s been quite a few years since I read those quotes above and ever since, they’ve been permanently tattooed on my mind.

If you’ve been following my blog posts, you’d have picked up on my passion for unraveling the basic principles that govern life and finding ways to use them as tools to build a truly outstanding life. I’m big on the little things that determine how life works.

You see, life runs on principles.So today again, here’s another. It’s popular, so popular you’d almost not think of it as a principle- but it is. And it’s these two simple words- PEOPLE CHANGE.

Hmmm. Not some deep philosophical piece of wisdom or witty piece of inspiration. Just a simple, well-known-yet-all-too-often-ignored truth- people evolve, friends change.

While many of us accept this fact mentally (we know it in our heads to be true), we sometimes struggle to deal with it emotionally (we respond negatively when it happens to us).

So we find it hard to let go and move on even when it’s obvious a friendship has outlived it’s relevance. You guys had been best friends from waaay back and you just can’t believe it’s over- even without a fight.

We cling to relationships even when the other person does little to hide their lack of interest. The bored tone, the avoided calls, the ignored pings and text messages, the one-word replies all scream the same message- yet we choose to ignore the signs.

We take it as pride when former course mates we once did silly things with now act so formal and ‘tushed’ when they meet us after a few years. We try to act like we did back then, dig up those funny (now embarrassing) nick names and details- only to be met with a cold, what the….? look.

We feel guilty when accused of forgetting our roots when…you get the idea.

This is what I’ve found- only very, very, V-E-R-Y few people will be a part of your life in the long, long run. Every other person’s presence is seasonal- after sometime, their part in your story will run out and the relationship will end (or at least change in very significant ways). Twenty children can’t play together for twenty years. Each one has to go their way, find their own path, meet new people and lead their separate lives. And it doesn’t always have to be on a hostile note.  Sometimes, people just grow apart. It’s just the way life works.

Do your best to value and nurture your friendships and relationships with people- but know when to let go. The best friendships are never forced- they just happen. Don’t be clingy and don’t be needy. Know when to move on- and do so with your dignity intact.

And if you find you’re outgrowing a friendship, and the other party still wants to stay where they are,  there’s no reason to feel guilty about it- move on. It’ll take courage and it will hurt a bit. It may feel awkward at first, but you’ll adapt. Every one will.

Listen, things are not the same (did you just hear a song in your head? Loll..). Levels change. Accept it with grace whichever side of the change you fall on (because sometimes, you may be the one being outgrown!)- and move on with your life!


Thank you for reading today. Have you ever found yourself outgrowing a friendship (or being outgrown!)? How did you handle it? What did you do? I’d so love to read your comments on this subject.

P.S: To all my friends, I still love you o…loll


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