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Love Changes … and Best Friends Become Strangers: Four Relationships Destined to Fail

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It Was All Good A Few Years Ago

Not too long after graduating college, an ex-girlfriend from back home asked me why I didn’t come around anymore and why I didn’t spend time with my best friend from high school. I didn’t have an answer, the best response I could come up with was “I think we’ve grown apart.” The truth was,  I went to college and he didn’t, not only did he not make it to college, but it also seemed that his ambition died after the twelfth grade.  I just couldn’t relate to the mindset of a man who quit life. This lead me to think about the relationships that fail over the course of one’s life and I wanted to share them and some of my thoughts about them, with you.

“I know Mom, but this is the woman in my life now.”

I remember one time Christmas came around and I was saving money to buy something for my lady friend. My mother wanted Alvin Ailey tickets, front row. Can’t argue that, my mother loves Alvin Ailey. I had to make a decision between dropping the $500 for those tickets or the $600 for a new bag for my lady. I had to tell my mother, “I’m sorry but I hope that this lady becomes a part of my family one day, I’ll get you one ticket, but I’m not sure I have the money to do two.” At some point in your life, your mother or father will be second to the person in your life. Nobody wants a mama’s boy and you don’t want to create an unnecessary barrier that separates you from someone who has the potential to be your life partner. It’s a delicate thing to balance and eventually, every man who takes a wife has to make the choice and put her first. If she’s first … other people, who were once first, will have to deal with your relationship adjusting.



“My bad dog, but this just ain’t me no more.”

See Also:  Lessons Learned from One Night Stands

I was sitting on the block doing what we had done many times before on the 4th of July: shooting bottle rockers at one another and laughing. At one point, my boy pulls out a hammer and shoots it in the air, I sat for a moment too engulfed in the Henny that we had been drinking and just laughed. As cops circled the area, I realized I had to get out of there. I wasn’t the same dude that I was in the past, I had a college education and good job, I didn’t want to become a statistic. I keep it cordial with my boy that I’ve known since I was 4, but we’ve never hung out like that again. It’s hard parting ways with people you’ve known your whole life. It’s hard coming back to the old neighborhood and not having an idea of what’s transpired since you’d last been around. And it’s hard realizing how much you’ve grown in looking through the warped mirror that is the difference between you and friend you were once just like. It happens, it’s real, it’s part of growing up.

“Keep it real, we were only friends because of the partying and the chicks.”

One of the dudes I thought would always be in my life, I lost to the realization that our friendship had outgrown us. I look back on someone that I would hit the bars with, talk about life, be there for whenever and realized, “Hey, we only really talked about partying and bullsh*t.” As you get older you realize that many friendships built in college are based on the frivolous, collegiate lifestyle. If our friendship is centered around scheming on chicks, what happens when scheming on chicks is no longer necessary or important. I had to let that friend go, I wish him the best, but as an adult, I needed more from my friends than just war stories and drunken half-memories.

See Also:  My Twenties Will Be The Best Years of My Life, or Will They?

“You’ll make a great wife, but probably not for me.”

I had to learn the hard way that there comes a time when you lose a friend who could have been your wife. I remember meeting up with an ex-girlfriend to tell her she’d make a great wife, but I wasn’t ready for marriage. There will be stepping stones in a man’s love life, and in a woman’s love life. We don’t always end up with the person we thought we’d spend the rest of our life with and that’s okay, as long as we grow and are better people for it.

The say people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. What I’ve discovered over the years is that some of the people I thought would be here for a lifetime, were only meant for a season. That doesn’t invalidate our friends and love, but it does give me perspective. Friendships should be based not just on the history you have, but also on the memories you might be able to make in the future. We all hold onto relationships- sometimes for way too long. We do this to avoid failure. We’ve got friends we know we should let go, we’ve got family and loved ones that are for us, toxic. Share with me your thoughts and maybe some friendships that you lost along the way. Today is a time of reflection, let’s reflect on the faith that the sometimes dark past has taught us.

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– Dr. J

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Comment(76)

  1. Absolutely… It’s terrible when folks don’t realize they just don’t have a spot in your life anymore but there is not room for everyone

  2. Growth is necessary for us all to become better people. Just because you and someone are no longer close friends doesn’t mean that you don’t treasure the memory of their friendship or what you've guys have had. I only have five very close friends probably b/c I can see them in my life for a very long time. Even if we don’t talk every day I know that we are close and have each other’s back. As we go through life some people become memories and others enter(stay) into your life to help it progress.

    As you get older you start to realize the difference between a friend and an associate, neither person is bad, everyone has a position to play some play a permanent position in your life and others have to go.

    1. I have never been able to figure out why people use the term "associates" it always seems like a defense mechanism to me. You got best friends, close friends, and friends but you ain't really all that close. An associate seems like leaving room for later when things go left, or to excuse the responsibility of being a friend. Jesus had friends who snitched on him and then said they ain't know him. But they aren't the 12 associates…

      1. I feel u would use it for ppl who you are cool with maybe y’all hang around the same circles but y’all aren’t quite friends like maybe someone you have class with and y’all know of each other

      2. An associate (by my definition) can be a coworker that you only speak to at work but rarely hang out with after work.
        Someone you do know and could put down as a reference or something but not necessarily close to.
        If you work at a place for almost 10 years for example your bound to know and make a connection with certain people just through the job. But because of your conflicting schedules and lives you never really "hang out" with them much outside of work. But many times when your working closely with someone for a long time you talk to them and they talk to you and you know a lot about their lives (based on what they tell you). Your just not really a part of their life and their not a part of yours.
        As opposed to a friend you grew up with and you've been to their house countless times and they have been to yours and you know their family and your their kids godparent and stuff like that.
        To me that's the difference.

  3. I was that small town girl who always dreamed of “getting out of there” and I let anyone who would listen know it. I thought my best friend Kevin felt the same way. I joined the military. I traveled the world. I earned 2 Associates and 2 Bachelors degrees. But everytime I went home Kevin, was still doing the same exact thing we were doing in high school, getting high,shooting the breeze, and talking about the last chick he screwed. Plus to make it worse, he was still living at home with his parents and he developed this negative toxic attitude that made him difficult to be around. Everyone always thought he and I would end up married some day.

    That being said, while his place used to be my first stop after heading home. But that changed the year we turned 28 and it was time for our highschool reunion, I asked him if he wanted to go and he sad “Man eff that school a, I’m not going to that ish.” That’s when I knew our friendship was probably over. But its sad that our friendship faded. I miss him, and I wonder if he’s grown up yet. Sometimes when I go home I still ride past his parents place and reminisce on the old days, knowing I’ll never stop for fear that I’ll discover him still sitting on his parents back porch smoking a joint, looking 20 years older than he should and talking about how he finally got to get his ish together.

    1. Hmmmm, him not wanting to go to the high school reunion was the straw that broke the camels back??

      Seems like you were searching for something as frivolous as a reunion to break up with your friend.

      1. I dont really agree with that….I dont think a refusal to attend a high school reunion is frivolous, i think it could easily be a telling symptom of a particular mindset. And I also don't think Miss Glover was searching for anything. It sounds more like she was ignoring the signs that she ought to move on until they become to difficult to wish away.

  4. This is very true I have a few friends that I have been cool with since I was in 6th grade (I’m 24 now) and we still talk and hang out kind of like the guys from the movie The Wood…however I have others including family members that we once were very close you know spending the night at each others house every other weekend but once we reached our late teens I knew things were changing…I was getting ready to go to college and they were trying to be big timers in the street game we didn’t have the same goals or anything in common anymore. If I see them now we catch up on what’s going on in each others lives and that’s about it I know the days of chilling together are over, but that’s the way it is sometimes.The same is true with relationships I take the experiences I learn from each of them (good and bad) and use them in the next relationship, it hurts when you realize the person you are with isn’t the right one…right person but wrong time or whatever it is just grow and move on from it.

  5. Oh, how true this is. I’m dealing with all but the last one right now. It is very tough but very necessary to analyze friendships & relationships. After they’ve run their course u gotta let them go sometimes (not with ya moms tho, u gotta ride with her). I wanna send this to my fiance bc she was dealing with this situation yday with her “bestfriend”which is actually just her oldest friend. But, of course, she doesnt wanna let go and I can’t blame her bc I completely understand.

    1. Oh, I feel for her because I went through the same thing. My "best friend" who I've known since I was 12, just was no longer a "best" or really a "friend" the way I needed her to be… and I tried to make it work and I struggled with renegotiating the relationship, but I found out ultimately that having her in my life was only going to make me upset and disappointed because of her selfish behavior.. so I had to let her know when she called to update me on her pregnancy that i just couldnt invest anymore in our friendship.. It'll suck because we are all part of the same high school friend group that gets together a couple times a year around differnet holidays.. but at the end of the day, I could no longer do it just for old time's sake. I wish your fiance much luck and many good wishes that she can resolve this as she begins her new life with you.

      1. Thanks. I hope so too. She said she’s over it and that its been a long time coming and she just can’t do it anymore but I don’t know how she’ll actually handle the situation bc this is new to me. I’ve seen her juggle many task, friendships, etc. but I’ve never had to see her walk away from anything or anyone before.

  6. I'd say another side of this coin though is how to deal with the shifting priorities of your friends. As my friends get married and have kids, I have found it rewarding with some because it expands my family and my circle to include a wonderful new "brother" and lovely nieces and nephews, but for others you realize eh.. you have a new life and I don't fit into it. It can be painful and sometimes that can lead to saying goodbye, but sometimes it can lead to a renegotiation of the relationship…

    When I found out my play sister was pregnant, I cried for about an hour because I knew that was going to be a change.. I knew our plans for random weekend getaways and spending our money on frivolous stuff was over… but I was able to say goodbye to that era, and now I can enjoy my nephews and my god daughter as the most beautiful things I've ever seen and I look to her husband as someone who I know has my back because i'm important to her.

    But the current one I'm struggling with being displaced as number one in my mom's life because Chante's got a man at home… I have found it astoundingly difficult to deal with, not practically, but emotionally.. I've had real talk from several of my friends and family members, but I just don't get the. "well Spidey, i'm doing this with him so I wont be able to visit you like i always do… " or whatever the situation may be…

  7. Definitely just had this convo yesterday i think. And i've come to the conclusion that i don't know wtf a friendship is or what it consists of.

    "Out of sight, out of mind" … is that the friendship mentality??

    The chick i tried to holla at and failed freshman year of college that I "became friends" with, is that my friend? Or was that the 2nd place prize?

    At the end of the day, we all have different definitions of friendship. For some, it's a person we talk to multiple times a week and for others, it's the person you can count on whenever you need them or they can count on you when they need you. But as Dr. J implied, leave all those "toxic friends" alone. It doesn't have to end in you being indicted in a drug/homicide charge, but it can stunt your growth.

  8. Great post Dr. J! I totally understand this post because I am at the point in my life where pruning my life tree is absolutely necessary for growth. There are people that I love, that I had to move on from because my growth was being stunted. There are things that I used to do that I no longer wanted to do or be around. People seem to take this personal, as if my changing some how affects THEM.

    I never promised anyone I'd never change (Drake). In fact, those that know me best know my life mission is all about growing and becoming the woman I know I should be. I learned that the crowd you deal with WILL rub off on you no matter how hard you try to separate yourself. There are many people that have come and gone in my life and along with those people lessons were learned. I am thankful for knowing them, yet they still had to go in order for hindsight to kick in.

    I have learned the hard way that mathematics applies to every area of your life. When the bad outweigh the good…its time for something to change or pay the consequences.

    1. I feel like you channeled your inner Drake here. I keep telling people that "Practice" is actually a good song.

      But yes, you need those learning lessons along the way, they help you. And a ruined friendship sometimes shows you how much more important the others are to you.

  9. One of the good and bad things about having a big family and many siblings is that you don’t have to look far for friends, so you typically don’t end up with many friends outside of your relations. I always thought I was missing out because I never had that childhood friend to grow apart from. So usually when I let someone in close enough to be my friend, I hold on for dear life. That becomes difficult when the other person doesn’t have the same opinion of the relationship that you do.

    Most times I feel like an awful hermit because I honestly don’t want to expend the energy it takes to create an awesome friendship.

    1. I was reading the post and the comments and I just couldn't fully commiserate… and then I got to your comment and I found someone who I can relate to, lol. I think because my friends are my real life cousins (with the exception of a couple friends who have been with us for, like, 30 years and therefore are called cousins *shrug*) I don't completely relate. I didn't know that the size and dynamic of my family was weird until someone told me it was. And while I think about how it has been hindrance sometimes in terms of meeting new people, I would never change it.
      My recent post Pondering Intensity

      1. Completely understand the big family thing my dad has 105 first cousins so my best friend since birth has been my cousin. We spent summers down south as children together , went to middle school together, high school together and even though we didn’t go to the same college we talk all the time. We even talked about living tighter after college lol that’s one person I know will be down with me for life

    2. Interesting post. This makes me think of my gf in college who just got married. She was telling me that in her family everyone had kids in pairs and then she went on to show how her aunts time their pregnancies so that each cousin has a play mate less than a year apart. So her and her cousin (who is also married) told her I am gald you are finally married now tell me when you want to have kids. LOL I thought this was hillarious at first cause she said this all like it was normal.
      But then I was a little jealous cause my family does nothing of the sort. Babies are still made pretty haphazardly in my fam. My cousin has three kids and each one she talking about oops. I be thinking girl bye you know what u were doing but I digress. My ultimate point is it must be nice to have a cousin also be ur bestie.

      1. While I'm sure it wasn't planned this way, it definitely happens this way in my fam… I think it was more a fact of there being so many to begin with it's kind of inevitable that everyone will have cousins in their age group… that and many people living clustered in the same area. I actually worry about my future kids because I haven't had them at the same time as the others in my generation… I'm like who the hell will they play with/who will their life long friends be? Welp.
        My recent post Christmas in New York City?

    3. I have the option to only associate with my family, but then I figure that what is my life if I never explore. BUT…

      Family is something that is two-edged sword because "that's family" but "that's family." Your family can have you throwing bows in Target over the last pair of Sketchers. Or your family can make you proud because they become famous. But no matter what, you can't get rid of family.

  10. Yeah it is very hard to play #2 to someone you care about, your use to being the 1st person in their lives and now your not. On the other side when you let go of people it can be like a breathe of fresh air. For me there was a guy who I always liked but we were never more than friends and it really hurt me b/c I cared so much. However once I went to college and expanded my world I realized he and I would never work; he was a simple guy and I am extremely ambitious so then I was able to finally see the truth God wanted more for me. Now I don't cry over what could have been but smile at what was.

  11. good post. i think the one i can relate to most is “Keep it real, we were only friends because of the partying and the chicks.”…. i have friends like that. partying is no longer a priority in my life. being on the scene is played and the friends whom that's all i had in common with have fell by the wayside.

    i can also relate with the intro paragraph. my best friend in high school was very intelligent. 3.7 cumulative gpa and a 11 something on the SAT. he didn't even apply to college. i understand that its not for everyone but you can't be cool with being a security guard your whole life. i felt like he quit on life. we've grown further and further apart since high school.
    My recent post Bullies

  12. good post. i think the one i can relate to most is “Keep it real, we were only friends because of the partying and the chicks.”…. i have friends like that. partying is no longer a priority in my life. being on the scene is played and the friends whom that's all i had in common with have fell by the wayside.

    i can also relate with the intro paragraph. my best friend in high school was very intelligent. 3.7 cumulative gpa and a 11 something on the SAT. he didn't even apply to college. i understand that its not for everyone but you can't be cool with being a security guard your whole life. i felt like he quit on life. we've grown further and further apart since high school.
    My recent post Bullies

    1. I know too many people like this. Maybe it's because in the DMV you can really not go to college and work for the government and things MIGHT end up okay for you in the end. Some people want out their parents house so bad they want the paper before the degree.

      1. yep. i think that's what it was. i'm good on struggling unnecessarily. but what people don't realize is college gives you freedom too. i wasn't under my parents roof.
        My recent post Bullies

  13. It always amazes me when I hear people talk about friends they've had since early childhood. Ya'll didn't ever move? I went to six different elementary schools so I wasn't able to keep hold of anybody like that. There were people at church that I knew all of my life but nobody I'd hang out with. I mean, we speak but that''s about it. I did have a girl friend that I was really cool with but she just upped and stopped talking to me one day and that was painful for me. I asked her why, she said she didn't know and that was it. It was bad for me becuase I was her friend when nobody else at church would be. Her mom even thanked me for being her friend. I guess that type of thing happens when you're a teen. Cray. Oh well. Anyway, the four friends I have now, I made after the age of 23 and two of them are close enough for me to call sisters. My neighbor friend will text or call me if she doesn't hear from me for a couple of weeks and that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, that somebody else cares like that. It's really nice.

    1. No, the house I came home to from the hospital is where my people still live. I changed schools every few years because the schools only had a few grades each, but we stayed in the same place. They attend the same church they always have.
      My recent post You Should Know

      1. My grandparents and aunt are still at the same church. I spent a lot of time there when I was living with them because my grandparents were so involved and my aunt is the church secretary but the schools, I don't even remember the name of one of them. I'd met a couple of people who went to the same school their whole lives and knew the same people from kindergarten and I thought they were the anomalies but I guess I was. lol

    2. No Krystl…we didn't ever move, lol! I left for school, and came on back, which is why the women I count as "friends" have been around for 9 years (new friends) to 20 years (best buds since middle school). Even my bestie from elementary was at the girls' birthday party – that's a 25 year friendship. What can I say, I need to have some serious history and been through some stuff with someone before I
      consider them true friends.

      1. Well when I was almost twelve I moved in with my grandparents and all of the moving around stopped until I was seventeen so I guess I can understand that but the two best friends I made during that timeframe upped and moved on me. That's an interesting turn of events! One's mom got remarried and they moved out of town and the other one's parent's green card expired. I have maybe two friends from my teens that I could reach out to and be well received so that's a great thing.

    3. I didn't move from my home town or STATE until I was 25 years old (not including college years that were still only 30 min south). people still come by my parents house to visit me cuz we've lived there 20plus years and our house phone # is the same since the 70s. so naw, I didn't ever move. LOL.

      My oldest friend I've had since the 3rd grade.
      My recent post I know that we don’t know each other well…

      1. Well I didn't move out of my home town or state until I was 22. We just moved a lot within our little city. I suspect it's because of increasing rent prices or maybe they thought we were upgrading. *shrugs* My grandparents though still live in their same house. It's been eons and their number has never changed. Up until a couple of years ago a dude from junior high would still call me there. o_O

  14. This is a good post. Sometimes you just outgrow certain people for a multitude of reasons. Sometimes letting go of a person is painful, other times its refreshing, but I suppose its the old reason, season or lifetime adage that speaks volumes in this one.

    1. And just to piggyback off this great comment… beware of the people who don't fight to be in your life. In my past, I noticed that some people weren't worth the time because they never tried to be worth it. It is hard to let someone go, but it's even harder when you realize that person ain't even want to be there.

  15. I'm def an "out of sight, out of mind" individual. If I'm hardly ever around you in my immediate life, you'll prob rarely hear from me. BUT, that doesn't mean I don't care or that once we are around each other, we don't fall right back into pocket. Shoot, my Mom had to pull my coat tail about calling and visiting once I moved out and then again when she moved from MD to VA. Having said that, I've experienced more friendship renegotiations than endings. There were a few that didn't survive the renogotiation process though…cause reconnecting after long periods felt awkward and forced instead of organic.

    1. Also, I co-sign the comment about adjusting to Moms having a Man. I'll never forget the time when she told me she'd miss her only grandson's party cause she'd be visiting her bf out-of-town. For the first time in my adult life, I lit into her. "Do you think he'd blow off his grandchildren's bday for you? Woman will drop the newborn baby from their arms to chase a man…" So not sorry about that convo. I mean, I'm glad you're happy but don't forget who'll be there if this don't work out.

      1. thank you very much! Me and my mom stay negotiating what's legit and what's not and she seems to think cause she has raised her kids anything goes… and I'm like.. yeah no.. This right here is a lifetime commitment for the two of us.. I make sacrifices to be there for you… I dont go kick it with my friends at Christmas or go on vacation instead of coming to visit… you can have the same courtesy! She doesn't see it that way… This will be my first christmas with the boo cooking dinner… and waking up.. and opening presents with us.. I've been practicing not giving him the side eye… cause I'm trying to be supportive… but I think falling in love at 60 can make you 16 all over again LOL

  16. 1. "I know mom, but…" Meh. The kinda man I'd fall for would be like, "give yo mama the ticket, we'll get my ish later," but that's probably because my mama wouldn't always be asking for shyt. In terms of a relationship, I've learned that the best thing for me and how the important people in my life operate is to bring my man into the fold to make sure he meshes *very* well so I don't have to deal with the whole him vs them issue.

    2. "My bad dog…" This rarely comes up for me… mostly because my friends have grown with me. But recently while visiting home I was looking for a new place for my move and I clearly realized that I'd rather live in a loft downtown than in the hood. We definitely laughed about it, but I also realize… I'll probably still live in the hood, lol.

    3. "Keep it real…" I can't relate.

    4. "You'll make a great [husband]" I think the only reason I can't really relate to this one is because I got married at 20, lol.

    I think maybe the people who _have_ come and gone in and out of my life I never assumed I'd know them forever. Meaning, almost everyone I meet I pretty much assume it will be seasonal. That might be kinda sad, lol.

    My recent post Pondering Intensity

    1. I can kind of relate to number three except it would be keep it real, we were only friends because of school, church or even work. The rest, I'm like you, I can't really relate but I still like the overall premise of the post. This was a good one.

  17. This article seems like it was written by women and he was just an editor. Im just saying. I understand where you are coming from but it still seems like it was written to the female reader. Grow a pair brugh.

    1. Lol … Well dayum. Generally i think most of the posts are made with the female reader in mind, since i'm pretty sure they are the predominate readers of the site.

      Expand on "Grow a pair" if you may??

    2. You must not read my writing on here very often… That's why you got that -3 because not so much people defending my work and dedication on this site, but because they wouldn't agree with that statement at all.

      1. Alright, somewhere between "throwing bows in Target over Sketchers" and this shenanigan I'm slowly coming out of my funk. Thanks for the laughs, Dr. J.

  18. Great write-up. Like most, and because I'm older (looking at the commenter above me), I've experienced all these relationships. Women come and go. Yeah, I know yall don't want to hear that but it's a fact of life. It actually pains me more to out-grow my boys. It's like I know the women are going to come and go but I thought "my boys" would be there for life but you're right, I have outgrown more than a few.
    My recent post Video Blog: Heartbreak and Lucky Charms

  19. (2/2) Some, as you highlighted, dont have the same goals as myself or no goals at all. With others, wife and kids became the priority – and that's cool. Some just fell off the Earth and although we use to mob hard back in the day, I have no idea if they're dead or alive today. Such is life.

    I actually only have one REAL good friend and I should have known we'd be cool all our lives because the one thing that always separated him from other dudes was money and women. Money and women was never an issue between us. I can't say the same for many other dudes (or even people – family included) in my life.

    My recent post A Real Woman

    1. Man I realized that once I started making a different type of money and career than some of my boys we ain't have time to spend with each other. Like… I ain't trying to go to Reno cause you can't afford to go to Vegas. I try and not let money separate me from folks though. For many it's my career… Like if my boy works at Athlete's Foot and I got a job at a Big 4 firm, our schedules just are so different.

        1. Umm….. Paula Patton was in that joint – – Chunk did you really need to ask?? *DucksbehindCar*

          *lol*

          Happy Holidays Dr. J!!!!

      1. True. Not coincidentally, I'm sure, my friend and I both went (and completed) college around the same time. We also have the traditional 9 to 5 jobs that our street hustle friends mock. I respect the street hustle but it wasnt in me to make it a lifetime job. Now I’m more aware of the corporate hustle but it's all a hustle at the end of the day… Actually a friend and I fell off cuz he low-key called me a sell out lol He was making a general reference about college and people who hustle versus work in the corporate world for "The Man" but I got the drift.

        …life is funny.
        My recent post Video Blog: Heartbreak and Lucky Charms

  20. Before there was "thirst" there was "hater". And before "hater" there was "sell-out". All names that had an actual meaning at one point, but became so extremely overused that they've all but lost that denotation. That's what this post reminded me of. When you meet people in your past who see you're different and try to keep things as they were, but you're not with it anymore.

    "Oh so you sold out now?"

    "What? You too good for us now?"

    At some point everyone is going to face it. Someone from your past is going to try to interact with you as you once were. The fact that you're not will often make people feel judged or at the very least, just uncomfortable. Maturity isn't selling out, and personal growth isn't about judgement or feeling superior. The man I am today isn't who I was at 21, 23, or even 27. Priorities change and so do your perspectives. It's all a process and it's called life. And just as it's happening to you, it's happening to everyone else. That seems to be the part a lot of people tend to forget. Not everyone is able to accept change as readily as others. The truth is everyone will eventually grow, but you can't control someone else's rate… or direction.

    1. I agree with this 100%. I don't know if anyone would say I sold out or think i'm too good. I think that for the most part I just never stopped growing. There's a lot of people who stop in high school, or college, or sometimes even in their twenties… If you are that type of person you will lose friends, but if not then we'll be friends for life.

  21. Definitely can relate to this post. For me my friendships I like to say have been re-defined. I still consider them friends but it may not be of the same intensity it was in college or high school b/c we have changed and for me I moved down south so I am far from most that I know.
    Family drama is real. My life is so less complaicated down here away from everyone I hate to say but its true. Sometimes I miss my fam especially when I have to over explain things I know they would get immediately but the stress, the headaches, the unnecessary drama its worth it to eliminate that out of my life.

  22. I'm in the process of rearranging my circle as we speak. I can definitely relate to this post, but the 1 category I actually added I consiered (instead of the Moms 1) is "we just don't see women the same…"

    Quick anecdote, I have a best friend that plays ball overseas and at 33, he still has the incessant need to be attracted to the typical paper chaser. When we were playing ball together, it was all well and good. But now I'm ready to settle down and have a family like the 1 I grew up in. He prefers to keep adding notches. I can no longer dap him for that

    I also have a college homey (I grad in 01) that never has anything good to say about women. It's always b-tches this and h-s that. Again, I was rocking with him tough when I was a fellow knucklehead, but now? His bitterness and negativity is exhausting to listen to

    We all have to mature at some point and some of us do it at a quicker pace. The fact is life's too short for you to wait and hope that your friends from way back catch up
    My recent post Athletes and Pre-Nuptial Agreements

  23. *sigh* as the mom of a 4 year it does kind of break my heart to know that one day I will no longer be the first women in my son's life. Priorities do change, but I feel like moms will ALWAYS be there for their children…wives/marriages these days are not forever.
    lol Maybe I can do an arranged marriage for him with a woman that is okay with being second to me lol

    I do agree with the other stuff though.

  24. My "best friend" from elementary thru high school and I fell off around 11th grade year and she got a new best friend. It was strange to me and I was hurt by being demoted but I tried to maintain the friendship. I think I realized it was over when I came home from college the first summer after my freshman year of UG and we went to the club and I just felt out of place with them. They stuck around, didn't go to school, worked together and while out with them, I felt purposely ostracized. I never tried to make me going to school or my new friens/life a big deal; encouraged them to come down to visit and party since it was close but they just didn't want to.

    A few other "besties" from the high school days trickled off around that stage between 11th grade and sophomore year of college also. it is what it is. I think I've gained some friends for life in college…but I've def picked up a few more along the way over the years.
    My recent post I know that we don’t know each other well…

  25. Great post! I have an interesting story about a friendship. A friendship I had since I was 13 fell off when I started college. She had college plans that she didn't follow through on. Then she started hanging with a crowd I couldn't be a part of (illicit behaviour). I would run into her through the years. We would briefly catch up then pleasantly part ways. I hadn't even thought about her for years. Strangely, when my brother died she was one of the people I called. She had become a chef and prepared food for my family after the funeral. We have seen each other a few times since then. It's not like we became instant best friends again. But I guess we just had an unspoken, unbroken bond for her to come through for me like that in my time of grief.

      1. Yes Bree, she really showed up in a big way at that time. But like I said, the break was due to a shift from adolescence to adulthood. Our initial friendship was from ages 13-19. I had to pull back because I didn't want to die. She was rolling with hard core thugs and drug dealers, both in her family and friends she was clinging to. There were a few shoot outs in front of her home. I could write a movie about smoe of the experiences. See what I'm sayin? Anyway, I eventually moved from Chicago to LA. She came to LA once and I showed her a really good time. When I get back to Chicago my family is priority, but I do check in on her as well as my closer friends.

        1. Thats good Camille. Even though she isn't in your life in the same capacity she once was, it's good to know yall still care about each other and it appears to be no love loss.

  26. Very thought provoking post Dr. J.
    I still have one best friend who I've known since 3rd grade. We both went to college and have degrees and have similar goals, just different ways of going about achieving them. As I get older I'm much more settled. I was never much of a big party person….not in high-school or college. I'm more of a homebody and into poetry and spoken word and museums and art and history and other things that "typical black folks" aren't much into….(at least my close friends and family aren't).
    I've always been unique and strived to be "different" and stand apart from the crowd. My best friend and I have always known we weren't alike in some ways and have always respected accepted the differences in each other. I think that's why we've remained just as close as we were in middle school.
    I try to maintain my friendship with my bff even though we live in different states.

    To me the most important thing is to know when to say no and when to let go when you need to.
    It's also important to not let folks guilt trip you into doing things you don't want to do and being someone your not. This is the reason many people hold on to, and stay in bad and unhealthy relationships and friendships. We use, and allow friends to use the time we've known them as an excuse (reason) to hold on.
    It's like Nia Longs conversation in the movie Love Jones to her ex-boyfriend Marvin when he said to her "What about all the years we had together?" Her answer was, "That's just it Marvin, all we have now is All Those Years."
    We have to realize time is just that ……Time. And when a relationship expires, you outgrow it and/or it is no longer conducive to your lifestyle and good for you then you owe it to yourself to be strong enough to let it go.
    Never apologize for who your are and what you become and feel bad about it if it's all good.
    If folks can't support you and uplift and encourage you and sincerely help you and be there for you and be a truly good friend through their actions, not just words then you don't need them. Like my mom used to tell me….."You can do bad all by yourself, you don't need no help with that."

  27. This was a poignant post. I can relate to all four, but mostly situational friends that grow apart. Whether they were leementary school, high school, even college, these friends served a certain purpose in your life, and then faded away. I have a lot of homies that I wish we wouldve kept in better contact, but didn't. Either way I appreciate them for the position they held and the part they had in shaping me to be me. I also appreciate my current crop of friends and those whom will be there throughout!

  28. Great post Doc. I actually feel like most relationships exist in seasons and only a handful are meant/able to survive for the long haul(despite changes/challenges/success and all) I'm never sad about moving on from people(or vice versa) because I just accept it as a part of life.
    My recent post Lipstick Jungle

  29. Real… very bittersweet to let go of relationships. I like to think I'll be "still runnin wit the same niggas til the death of me" but ay it ain't always like that. For me, I have a tight circle and most of the people in it I've known for years. I'm still in my early 20s, but it's almost weird to think of making new friends lol. Like, I can kick it with different people, but at the end of the day, I don't trust people like that. And that makes it hard to think some of my great friends that I have now, are very likely not going to be "lifelong" friends.
    My recent post Lil Wayne to star in the next Harry Potter picture as Dobby

  30. This is probably some of the realest words every put together. If we could see the ending of these relationships (besides the Mom and Pop one) we'd be better off. It all comes with experience though. Preciate the read homie.

  31. Happy New Year to Dr. J & everyone.
    WOW, this one hit the nail right on the head. I'm going through this right now. Spent the better part of 2011 distancing myself from certain ppl. Sadly enough, I also had to do it with certain family members. I'm really on a path to better my life. And I actually have a support system in place that embraces everybody who wants the support. Some ppl just don't want it. It used to hurt because these were ppl I grew up with who claimed to want the same things in life. They probably still do, but I have to walk my own path to wherever it leads. If I don't get what I'm supposed to get outta life, I can't blame noone else but myself. So I have to push extra hard so I can provide for my family later.

    Peace & love

  32. soo you have no friends that have been with you most of your life that you have not kicked to the cur?b…since when does all of the people you meet have to be on the same path. i have friends that went to school. i have friend that didn't, some a career oriented, some just have a job, but you know what thye are dependable, trustworthy, and when i need them, they are there…yeah we all have that one friend that acts fool. probably flat out embraces us, with no disregard, but hey i can't fault them for keeping it real from time to time..but just someone is not in your lne does not always mean they are o good…you are being overly judgmental…how about asking how come your friend from HS is not doing anything, get the truth..maybe he's a need a spark to light the fire..

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