10 signs you’ve outgrown someone in your life (and it’s time to move on)

Life’s a lot like a big adventure, isn’t it? We meet loads of people along the way – some stick around for a short while, others stay for good.

But sometimes, as we grow and change, we find that some relationships just can’t keep up. And that’s okay. It’s just part of life.

In this article, we’re going to chat about 10 signs that show you’ve outgrown someone in your life and it might be time to say goodbye.

This isn’t about blaming anyone. It’s about realizing when a relationship isn’t good for you anymore and when it’s time to step away.

Let’s get into this together. By the end of this article, you might just see things a little clearer and be ready to make some big decisions. 

1. You’ve got different goals

Once upon a time, you and this person were on the same page. You had the same dreams, the same ambitions, and you were both working towards similar goals.

But now, things have changed. You’re moving in one direction, and they’re moving in another.

It doesn’t mean either of you is wrong, it simply means you’ve outgrown each other.

This divergence in paths is one of the most common signs that you’ve outgrown someone in your life and it might be time to move on.

2. Conversations feel like a chore

Remember when you could chat for hours, about anything and everything?

If now you find it hard to have a meaningful conversation with them, or if talking to them feels more like a chore than a pleasure, that’s a pretty clear sign.

Communication is the backbone of any relationship. When that becomes difficult or strained, it might mean you’ve outgrown this person. It’s tough to accept, but it’s important to recognize.

3. You feel drained after spending time with them

You know, this happened to me a while back. I had this friend, we’ll call her Lisa. We used to hang out all the time and it was always fun.

But as time went on, I realized that every time I hung out with Lisa, I felt exhausted afterwards.

It wasn’t that she was a bad person, but our interactions just left me feeling drained rather than energized.

If you’re experiencing something similar, it’s a sign that the relationship isn’t as healthy or beneficial as it once was.

You’ve grown and changed, and maybe they have too. And that’s okay. It just might mean that it’s time to move on to new relationships that leave you feeling uplifted and positive.

4. You’re not their go-to person anymore

According to a study, it takes around 200 hours of time spent together to become best friends with someone. 

That’s a lot of shared experiences and conversations!

So if you find that you’re no longer the first person they turn to when they have news to share or need advice, it could be a sign that your relationship has shifted.

It might hurt to not be their go-to person anymore, but it’s a clear sign that you’ve outgrown each other.

It’s just a part of life and personal growth.

It’s important to surround yourself with people who value and prioritize you just as much as you do them.

5. Your values no longer align

We all have a set of values that guide us, like a compass, through life. These values shape our decisions, our actions, and ultimately, our relationships.

But as we grow and evolve, so do our values.

There’s something deeply sad but also incredibly liberating in realizing that your values and those of someone close to you no longer align.

You might feel a sense of loss, but also a newfound clarity and direction.

As heartbreaking as it may be, this mismatch in values is a sign that you’ve outgrown this person.

Remember, it’s okay to move on from relationships that no longer serve your growth or reflect who you are. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed; it just means you’re growing. And that’s something to be proud of.

6. You’re always the one making an effort

I’ve been there myself. I had a friend who I was always reaching out to. I was the one making plans, initiating conversations, and generally keeping the relationship afloat.

One day, I stopped to ask myself, “What would happen if I stopped making all the effort?”

So, I did. I stopped reaching out first, and guess what? The relationship fizzled out pretty quickly. It was a clear sign that I’d outgrown this person in my life.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, where you’re always the one making an effort, it might be a sign that it’s time to move on.

A balanced relationship involves effort from both sides. No one should feel like they’re carrying the relationship all by themselves.

7. You’re just not happy around them

Life is too short to spend time with people who don’t make you happy.

If being around this person feels like a constant downer, if they always bring negativity into your life, or if you feel a sense of relief when you’re not with them, that’s a big neon sign flashing “It’s time to move on.”

This isn’t about them being a bad person or you being overly sensitive. This is about your happiness and mental peace.

You deserve to surround yourself with people who lift you up, not drag you down.

So if being around someone consistently makes you unhappy, give yourself permission to walk away. It’s not easy, but sometimes it’s necessary.

8. You have a gut feeling

Our brains are constantly picking up on patterns that we aren’t consciously aware of.

So if you have a nagging feeling in your gut that something just isn’t right with your relationship with this person, don’t ignore it.

Your subconscious could be picking up on subtle signs that you’re not quite aware of.

Never underestimate your gut feeling. It’s your brain’s way of telling you that you might have outgrown this person and it’s time to move on.

Trust yourself and honor your feelings. They’re usually right.

9. You’ve started avoiding them

I experienced this with an old friend of mine. We used to hang out all the time, but as time went on, I found myself making excuses to avoid meeting him. I’d say I was busy, not feeling well, or had other plans.

Honestly, I just didn’t feel like spending time with him anymore.

Eventually, I realized that my constant avoidance was a sign that our relationship had changed. I had outgrown him and it was time for me to move on.

If you’re finding yourself constantly dodging plans with someone or feeling relieved when they cancel, it’s a strong sign that you’ve outgrown this person.

It’s okay to admit it and to take steps towards moving on.

10. You’re holding on because of the past

The only reason you’re still keeping this person in your life is because of the past. You’re holding onto old memories, the good times you shared, the bond you used to have.

But when you look at your relationship as it is now, it’s clear to see that things aren’t the same.

Your paths diverged and you’ve grown apart. It’s painful and hard to admit, but clinging to the past won’t change the present situation.

If you’re only holding onto someone because of who they were, not who they are now, it’s time to consider that you’ve outgrown this person and it might be time to move on.


Recognizing that you’ve outgrown someone in your life isn’t easy. It’s a painful realization that can feel like a personal failure.

But remember this: outgrowing someone doesn’t mean you’ve failed or that either of you is at fault. It simply means you’ve grown. And growth is always something to be celebrated.

So if these signs resonated with you, take some time for self-reflection. Listen to your gut, honor your feelings, and do what’s best for you.

After all, your personal growth and happiness should always be your top priority.

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Picture of Lachlan Brown

Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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