As I get older, I've realized that growing apart from someone doesn't have to be an upsetting thing. It can just be a fact of life.
In middle-school, high-school, and to some extent in college, you sort of assume that the friends you have will always be your friends. You sort of think, only some huge drama will pull us apart.
I've always felt like there are unspoken tiers of friends.
There's the close ones. Generally, you can only have a few people in this tier because it's special. It's the "best friend" tier. These are the people that when all you want to do is go home and rest, going to their house feels the same way. They re-energize you. They are the people you call to have a drink when you've had a rough week.
Then there's tier 2. Sometimes these are former best friends that you grew apart from. Sometimes they are people that if given the right circumstances, could probably move into the top tier. These are people you invite out to your parties or you meet up to split a pitcher or margaritas with.
Then there's tier 3. These are the ones you like seeing, but you don't need to see. Sort of the peripheral people that you don't mind having drinks with, but you wouldn't call them to hang out unless prompted.
The drama comes when two people see each other as different tiers and one of them are not adult enough to shrug it off.
I thought we would be finished with this drama, but at least three different times we've had issues where someone is a tier 2 to us, but they are looking for a tier 1. I know, it sounds like some crazy MTV teen drama. These are basically 13-year-old relationships.
One guy was a shooting star. He was working his way up to tier 1. But the problem came when I didn't have a car, and we worked different shifts. We hung out maybe every other week or so. Which trust me, as a guy that loves alone time, is a lot of friendship time.
Well, this guy didn't see it that way. In fact, he sent me a message essentially dressing me down. It started with "Listen buddy..." Not a good tone to start things.
I invited him out one last time, but the damage was already done. This shooting star fell to earth, back into tier 3 and eventually out of all the tiers.
We've had another recently who was once a tier 1, but we work mornings, she doesn't go to bed until 2 am. She wants to hang out until 9 pm, we are in bed by 10 pm.
These drama situations always bring up terrible feelings. It's the closest I've felt to having a break-up since high-school. There's not really an easy way to handle these because unless both people feel the same way and accept it, someone's feelings are going to be hurt.
I guess the best you can hope for in that situation is that the other person doesn't make you feel bad about it.
3 years ago