8 signs you’ve emotionally outgrown someone in your life

Picture this: It’s a blazing hot summer afternoon during my high school days. I’m lounging in my room, lost in the pages of a new book, with my trusty headphones on. Meanwhile, my best friend is on the other side of my bed, chatting away on the phone. 

I subtly pause my music to listen in. I hear her giggling, swapping secrets, and revealing all the latest school gossip. 

You know the feeling, right? You still want a piece of the action, but something’s a little, well, off. The jokes aren’t landing like they used to, and the drama just doesn’t appeal anymore. I knew at that moment that I had outgrown the friendship.

Let’s fast forward to the present. I’ve learned that becoming emotionally out of sync with someone isn’t just a school thing; it’s part of this thing we call life. 

Sometimes, you emotionally drift away from someone you used to be tight with. No hard feelings, no judgments — just good old-fashioned personal growth.

In this article, we’re diving into the eight signs that you’ve outgrown someone in your life.

1) Your priorities aren’t syncing up

As time goes by, our priorities inevitably change. And that’s a good thing! Maybe you’re chasing that dream job, focusing on becoming a better version of yourself, or even diving into an exciting new hobby that leaves you feeling renewed and refreshed.

If you notice that what matters most is becoming vastly different from what your close friend or partner cares about, it could mean you’re growing apart.

Maybe you used to be super close with someone who loved to party and go out every night. But now, you crave quiet nights in and deep conversation. 

It’s not at all about judging their choices — it’s about seeing that you’re heading in different directions and that it’s totally okay to grow in your own unique way.

2) Keeping in touch feels like a chore

Remember the days when a call from your pal would have you racing towards the phone? Now, you see their name flash up on your screen and you feel nothing. Or worse, you feel dread.

If you find that communicating with someone feels more like a chore than something you genuinely enjoy, you don’t need to feel guilty about it. It might be time to reflect on why this shift has happened and re-evaluate the relationship or friendship. Sometimes, it’s a sign that you’re moving in different directions.

3) You’re becoming a new version of yourself

Personal growth and change often involve peeling back layers of your identity that you never knew existed. This new level of self-awareness can lead to exciting new changes in your personal life and relationships.

When you’ve emotionally outgrown someone, it’s not unusual to feel like you’ve outgrown the version of yourself that existed inside your relationship with them. 

Maybe you’ve become more attuned to your values, boundaries, and aspirations, which may no longer align with the dynamics you used to have with that person.

4) You keep avoiding them or putting off plans 

Once upon a time, spending time with this particular person was a top priority for you. But now, you find yourself actively avoiding their company or making excuses to delay plans for another time.

When you start avoiding get-togethers where you know they’ll be, it’s probably a good sign that the emotional connection has started to fade.

5) You feel drained after hanging out with them

Remember the days when you used to spend hours on end with your friend and never got tired of them? Well, nowadays, you might leave their company feeling totally drained. 

Even a brief phone call or text exchange might leave you feeling emotionally exhausted. This is a telltale sign that your connection with them has shifted.

Our energies can be like magnets, either attracting or repelling energy. When you’ve outgrown someone, it’s like your magnetic poles have moved. Their energy, which once matched perfectly with yours, now clashes with yours, leaving you feeling wiped. 

Just remember that this change is not a reflection of this person’s worth or your own, but a result of your personal growth.

6) You’re looking for something deeper

As we grow, our needs are constantly evolving. What once met your emotional needs may no longer feel like enough for you. So, you might be left feeling like you crave deeper, more genuine connections.

Just like that day I was hanging out with my school friend, hearing her gossip and jokes reminded me that these were not really the conversations I wanted to be having at that point in my life.

Of course, this isn’t about dismissing the value of past relationships; it’s about acknowledging the direction you’re heading in. It’s normal to look for friendships and relationships that align better with the person you’re becoming.

7) You don’t have that much in common

Remember those incredible late-night chats where you and your friend used to dream about the future? You’d share all of your wildest hopes and dreams. 

But now, maybe it feels like you’re headed in totally different directions and you have very little in common. 

Maybe you’re setting your sights on conquering your career, but they might still be perfectly happy figuring out what their next Netflix binge might be. 

When your interests and dreams start to look wildly different, it’s a sign that you’ve emotionally outgrown this person.

8) You’re not having deep conversations anymore

Once upon a time, you used to be able to chat about anything and everything with this person. But lately, your conversations have become surface-level. It’s like you’re stuck in this endless loop of small talk, unable to dive into deeper conversations.

Of course, we can’t always talk about the deep and meaningful subjects (we’d all be emotionally exhausted!) but if you’re rarely talking about the deeper things in life, it might be a sign that you’ve emotionally outgrown the relationship.

Final thoughts

To sum things up, everybody changes, and that’s just how it goes. What really matters is that we understand that our connections evolve as we do, and there’s a certain kind of beauty in that. 

When you find you’ve outgrown someone, it doesn’t mean your shared history wasn’t important. It’s just a sign that your paths are moving in different directions.

Have the courage to look back fondly on the memories, embrace the present, and look forward to what’s yet to come.

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Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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