Friends come and go throughout our lifetimes. And deciding whether or not you should keep someone in your life or give up on a friendship altogether can be hard (and can even feel a lot like a break-up!). If you're torn which direction your relationship with someone should take, we've outlined the situations when it's worth fighting for a friendship — and when it's time to move on.
Signs you should keep trying:
1. You have a long history that is mostly positive.
Regardless of what is happening now, you and this person have been friends for many years, and most of those years have been great! You’ve made tons of memories, you’ve been on trips, you’ve stayed up late having deep conversations about your lives and your goals. You’ve had more good times than bad, and that may be a reason to work on your friendship in order to make it last.
2. They’ve been there for you when you needed it most.
In those mostly positive years of friendship, you’ve been through a lot together. Maybe she was there for you when you lost a family member or went through a horrible breakup in college. And maybe you were there for her when she failed a class or didn't get her dream job. Whatever it is, you’ve both been through a lot, and you’ve been through a lot together. Maybe she isn’t being the most supportive now, but she has been in the past.
3. They have always been honest with you.
An honest friend is a good friend. Every person needs that one friend in their lives who will tell them the truth, regardless of how hard it is to hear. Honesty is also a sign of a good friendship and a healthy relationship — you are close enough where you have no secrets between the two of you.
4. You actually want them to be in your life.
If you are distressed over the thought of losing this person, it may be a sign to try to keep them around. Certain people are not meant to be in our lives forever, but others are. If you feel she is the latter, try to talk to her and work it out.
Signs it's time to let go:
1. You are putting in more effort than they are.
Putting time and effort into a friendship and not receiving that same time and effort in return is incredibly frustrating. You may feel unappreciated and emotionally exhausted. If you continue to feel this way in a friendship after telling the person you feel this way, it may no longer be worth your time and energy. You deserve to be given the same amount and type of support that you are giving others.
2. You no longer feel supported or loved.
If you are a regular support system for your friend when she is going through a tough time, but she does not seem to be one for you when you are in need, this is a red flag. A good friendship should include support and love that does not waiver and is always available when you need it.
3. They are no longer reliable.
Are they canceling plans? Are they avoiding you in social settings? Have they stopped even texting you back? Again, all red flags. While you cannot expect your friend to be available 24/7 for every possible issue you encounter in life, you should be able to rely on them to follow through with plans and respond to your calls, texts, etc.
4. Their lifestyle does not reflect yours like it used to.
Maybe you are feeling more distanced from this friend because they are no longer living a lifestyle similar to that of yours. If you feel they have started developing hobbies or habits that you do not approve of, this friendship could begin to have a negative effect on your life. Or if they have moved on to develop different priorities from yours. While these scenarios can be disappointing, they do happen. People move through life in different ways and at different paces, and they begin making different decisions. If your career goals, weekend plans, and lives in general no longer align, it could be time to give up on your friendship.