Reasons Why We Lose Friends as We Get Older

Reasons Why We Lose Friends as We Get Older

Here’s why we lose friends as we get older.

You may notice that, as you grow older, you seem to hang out with a smaller and smaller crowd. The giant mob you went to the movies within high school thins out a bit when you come home for college break.

By the time you hit thirty, your birthday party might attract about ten people – if you’re lucky. However, as the majority of friendships seem to fade, the ones that stick around become stronger and more meaningful than ever before.

Here are 3 good reasons for this effect. Find out why we lose friends as we grow older.


If you are adulting correctly, you will likely accumulate new responsibilities with each passing year. You will become more important at the office, which will translate into longer hours and more frequent travel. If you are adulting at an advanced level, you may even become active in a church, join a golf team, or start to care deeply about the state of your lawn and garden. If you choose to get married and have children, your time may never truly be your own ever again.

As your free time becomes more limited, you will have to become more selective about who you spend it with. The mob of bros you used to hit the bars with is out. Evan and Kate from across the street who have twins the same age as your daughter? So in! It will become so inconvenient to hang out with friends who have a different lifestyle from your own that you will have to really love them to do so. You will only be able to keep the best around.

Read Why Our Friends are Incredibly Important


If you are a hardworking lawyer coming off a seventy hour week, or a mother of three with only one night out of the house this month, you will laugh at the thought of spending your precious margarita night with anyone less than spectacular. Gone are the days when you would invite the whole dorm over and giggle long into the night over nothing. As you grow older, you put a higher value on small groups and substantial conversation. Especially if your friend is living a different lifestyle as described above, you don’t want to waste your valuable time together making chit-chat with a table full of people. You want to catch up over a small dinner on the topics that really matter.

Read Why Close Friendships Can Be So Challenging


A twenty-year-old is an almost superhuman creature. She can party until sunrise, make it to class the next day, and do it all over again the night after. In living this cycle, she can touch base with dozens of friends per week and hardly need to catch her breath. By our thirties, we become tired. I’m not even there yet, and already my favorite part of the day is when my head hits the pillow. If I’m out of the house any time after 8pm, I must really like you – and I certainly can’t bring that kind of enthusiasm on a daily basis. Meeting new people is a lot of work, and I’ve likely used up all my energy on the very grown-up activities outlined in #1. Sorry.

If you are reading this list in your early twenties, don’t worry. It isn’t as sad as it seems. The friends you keep as you get older might not stay out all night at the bar with you, but they will absolutely blow you away with what they do bring to the table. They will bring over medicine for your sick toddler in the middle of the night. They’ll let you cry on their shoulder when you lose your job. They’ll have your children over for a sleepover so you can have some time to process your feelings during a divorce or the death of a loved one.

14 thoughts on “Reasons Why We Lose Friends as We Get Older”

  1. Avatar of Faith Dunsmuir

    I’ve come to a point were a serious betrayal has made me reevaluate my friendships. Who is there when I need them or just when they need something from me. Who makes the effort and who doesn’t. It’s been rather eye opening.

    1. Avatar of markh

      I’ve come to see that people are innocent in what they do. We are all subject to our own psychological forces and emotions, looking for comfort and relief from them. This has not necessarily helped me forgive easier, it’s helped me see there is nothing to forgive.

  2. Avatar of Kathy Couponing

    Friendships do change, but I find as I age that I just don’t want to waste energy on the people I used to tolerate for political or social reasons. You are not a bad person, neither am I. I just don’t want you in my life. And toxic folks? Yea…you can f*ck off. Go do that somewhere else.

  3. Avatar of Darlene Eva WhelanOehlert

    very true…as I lose people as i fget older and friends who are younger then me or a few years older. that died.I realized what was more important in life-we are all here for only a small amount of time we can never get back…itis easy to lose interest in peopel who don’t make an effort to stay and when your life style is exremely different in retirement then it was during your working years…you cjoose to enjoy it more and don’t tolerate drama with younger people who still have a long way to grow…as i get older…I am more grateful and feel more blessed to have come this far as it was a priveledge that many don’t have…live in the moment and love life now-tomorrow is never promised..the ones who are meant to be in your life will make an effort and continue to grow with you….

  4. Avatar of Pakalu Papito

    Bcz we keep growing(which is obviously is a good thing). Our ideologies change,our level of maturity changes, our interests change which are the binding materials for any friendship. Thus we lose certain friends AND MAKE NEW ONES TOO cz of the same reasons. **Circle of life**

  5. Avatar of Lisa Sandona

    It’s a sign of growth… maturity and expansion. I get some people have a bestie or two from childhood, but when your social circle is largely your high school friends and you’re not in high school anymore… question that.

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