Does letting go of faded relationships
mean growing up?
When you are a kid, you want everyone in your school to love you. You gather as many people around you as you can while trying to find your place in this world, identify yourself in relation to others, claim your ground. It’s easy, all you have to share is playtime. Same thing (well, sort of), happens when you are a teenager. You become part of a big gang, choosing a special few to be your close buddies, and it all works out pretty awesome. Right?
But what happens when you reach adulthood? Why are you losing friends you swore not to ever part from? Before you know it, you become «childhood friends» that only meet or talk twice a year.
“I think young adulthood is the golden age for forming friendships,” says William Rawlins, the Stocker Professor of Interpersonal Communication at Ohio University. “Especially for people who have the privilege and the blessing of being able to go to college.”
You see, in adolescence, there’s a lot more self-disclosure and support between friends, while you are still discovering your identity, and learning what it means to be intimate. But, “in adolescence, people have a really tractable self,” Rawlins says. “They’ll change.” By young adulthood, people are usually a little more secure in themselves, more likely to seek out friends who share their values on the important things in life. In order for these new people to come in, you need to create the space around you and inside you. So, keep the memories and stop dwelling on the past. It’s as simple as that.