10 signs it’s time to end a dying friendship even though you still like them

It’s hard to accept, but not all friendships are meant to last forever.

Sometimes, even though you still like someone, you realize that the friendship is no longer healthy or beneficial for either of you. It’s like being stuck in a sinking ship – you want to hold on, but you know it’s better to let go.

Knowing when to end a friendship isn’t always clear cut. It can be a confusing and emotional decision. But smart people know that there are certain signs that signal it’s time to move on.

Here are 10 signs that it might be time to end a friendship, even if you still have fond feelings for the person.

1) You’re always the one reaching out

Friendships are a two-way street.

In a healthy friendship, both people put in effort to maintain the relationship. But when you find that you’re always the one initiating contact or making plans, it could be a sign that the friendship is on its last legs.

Let’s face it. It’s exhausting to be the only one putting in effort. 

Don’t get me wrong. Everyone gets busy, and there will be times when one person carries the friendship for a bit. But if this has become a consistent pattern, it might be time to reassess the relationship.

A friendship should be a partnership, not a solo endeavor. If you’re always the one reaching out, it might be time to let go.

2) They’re constantly criticizing you

Nobody’s perfect, and a true friend will point out our flaws when necessary. But there’s a difference between constructive criticism and constant negativity.

I remember an old friend of mine, Sarah. We had been friends for years, but over time, I noticed a shift in her behavior.

Every time we talked, she would criticize me – my clothes, my career, even my other friends. It got to the point where I was afraid to share anything with her because I knew it would just lead to more criticism.

It made me feel awful about myself, and I realized that wasn’t what friendship was supposed to be about.

In a healthy friendship, your friend should lift you up, not bring you down. If they’re constantly criticizing you and making you feel bad about yourself, it might be time to reconsider the friendship.

3) They aren’t happy for your successes

In a strong friendship, your joy is their joy.

Your friends should be the ones cheering you on from the sidelines and celebrating your victories with you.

However, if your friend is consistently downplaying your achievements or even seems resentful when you succeed, it could be a sign of a dying friendship.

People tend to feel envy most acutely towards their friends. It’s because we view our friends as our equals, so when they succeed, it can make us feel inadequate by comparison.

But envy has no place in a healthy friendship. If your friend can’t be happy for you when you succeed, it might be time to reconsider the relationship.

4) They’re dismissive of your feelings

Emotional support is one of the key pillars of any friendship. We turn to our friends when we’re feeling down or need someone to listen to our worries and concerns.

If your friend dismisses your feelings, minimizes your problems, or turns every conversation back to themselves, it’s a sign that they’re not providing the emotional support that a friendship should offer.

A good friend will validate your feelings and provide comfort during tough times. If your friend can’t do this for you, it might be time to find someone who can.

5) Your values no longer align

We all grow and change, and so do our values. It’s natural for two people to drift apart as they develop in different directions.

If you find that you and your friend’s values are no longer in sync, it could be a sign that the friendship is ending. Maybe they’ve become materialistic while you value simplicity, or they’ve become increasingly negative while you’re trying to maintain a positive outlook on life.

When your core values no longer align, it can create a rift in the friendship that’s hard to mend. It doesn’t mean either of you are bad people, just that you might be better off finding friends whose values more closely match your own.

pic2091 10 signs it's time to end a dying friendship even though you still like them

6) You feel drained after spending time with them

Friendships, like any relationship, require effort. But there’s a difference between the normal give-and-take and consistently feeling exhausted after spending time with a friend.

It’s normal to have occasional rough patches where conversations might be challenging or tiring.

But if you consistently feel exhausted or stressed after spending time with your friend, it’s a sign that the relationship isn’t healthy. You might constantly be on the defensive, or always trying to manage their emotions or mood swings.

Friendship should light you up, make you laugh, and leave you feeling better about the world. If instead, you’re left feeling weighed down and emotionally depleted, it may be time to consider whether this friendship is still right for you.

Your emotional health is important, and sometimes, saying goodbye to a draining friendship can be the most loving thing you can do for yourself.

7) They only show up when they need something

There’s a bitter sting that comes with the realization that a friend only reaches out when they need something. It’s a one-way street, where you’re always the giver, and they’re always the receiver.

When every conversation starts with their problems, or every meet-up is tied to a favor they need, it can feel like your friendship is transactional rather than genuine.

The truth is, friendship isn’t about keeping score, but there should be some semblance of balance. If you’re constantly feeling used rather than valued, it’s a sign this friendship might not be worth holding onto.

8) You’re always walking on eggshells around them

Friendship should be a safe space where you can be yourself. If you find yourself constantly watching what you say or do around your friend for fear of upsetting them, it’s a sign that the friendship is not healthy.

In a good friendship, you should be able to express your thoughts and feelings freely without fear of retaliation or anger. If you’re always on edge or anxious about their reactions, it might be time to reconsider the relationship.

Your mental peace is important, and a friendship that costs you that isn’t worth keeping.

9) You no longer share common interests

It’s a well-accepted fact that shared interests are often the glue that holds friendships together. They provide common ground, stimulate engaging conversations, and create memorable experiences.

But what happens when these shared passions fade or no longer exist? It’s natural for interests to evolve over time, but a complete divergence can leave a friendship feeling hollow or forced.

If you find yourself straining to maintain conversations or feigning interest in activities you once enjoyed together, it could be a sign that the friendship is on shaky ground.

After all, friendships thrive on mutual interests and shared experiences. If these are lacking, it might be time to reassess your relationship.

10) You’re only friends because of shared history

Just because you’ve been friends with someone for a long time doesn’t mean you have to stay friends with them.

Sometimes, we hold on to friendships out of a sense of obligation or nostalgia. But friendships should be based on mutual respect, shared interests, and emotional support, not just shared history.

If the only thing you have in common is your past and the present seems strained and uncomfortable, it might be time to let go.

It’s important to remember that it’s okay to outgrow people and move on. It’s a part of life and growth. The right friendships will evolve and grow with you.

Final thoughts: the importance of healthy friendships

The essence of any relationship, friendship included, lies in the mutual respect and value shared between the people involved.

It’s important to understand that not all friendships are meant to last forever.

People change, circumstances evolve, and so do relationships. Some friendships will withstand the test of time, while others may fade.

And there’s no shame in acknowledging when a friendship has run its course. It doesn’t mean you failed or that the friendship was a waste. It simply means that it served its purpose in that chapter of your life.

While it’s tough to let go of a friendship, especially one you still have fond feelings for, it’s crucial to recognize when a relationship becomes more damaging than beneficial.

Ending a toxic friendship can lead to significant improvements in mental health and overall well-being. It leaves us with the understanding that our emotional health is paramount. If a friendship consistently leaves you feeling drained or disrespected, it might be time to reevaluate its place in your life.

So take some time today to reflect on your friendships. Are they lifting you up or weighing you down? The answer might offer some valuable insight into where your relationships stand and where they’re headed.

It’s okay to prioritize yourself, to choose peace over conflict, and to surround yourself with those who uplift you. It might be difficult initially, but with time you’ll come to realize it was the right decision.

The end of a friendship isn’t a reflection on your worth or ability to maintain relationships. It’s just a testament to the fact that people and relationships evolve. It’s okay to let go and move forward.

Letting go can pave the way for better connections, ones where respect, mutual support, and joy are at the core.

Everyone deserves friendships that nurture, not drain them. So don’t be afraid to close one door if it means opening another to a healthier, happier friendship.

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair is a former competitive athlete who transitioned into the world of wellness and mindfulness. Her journey through the highs and lows of competitive sports has given her a unique perspective on resilience and mental toughness. Ava’s writing reflects her belief in the power of small, daily habits to create lasting change.

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