When best friends end up at different schools, is it selfish to want things to be the same as before?

Not at all, says our elder — but you can spread your own wings too.

Dear EWC

Hello, I have a best friend from elementary school. We were very close. But now, we have separated because of the different schools we now attend. She has found new friends but I still think of her as my best friend. She said she does too but the way she acts does not show it. I know that she is allowed to have new friends, and if I don’t allow that it just means I’m very selfish. But I still want to talk to her like when we were in elementary school. I don’t want to be selfish, but I also really miss her. What do I do?

Good-Listener replies

I do understand the confusion about your best friend. The same thing has likely happened to everyone at one time or another, and it has to me more than once —even as an adult.

But at your age, things are constantly changing. You’ll go to different schools, meet different people, and develop different interests. All of this takes you in all directions with some of the people you “started out” with. That doesn’t mean the friendship is over — not at all, it just takes you both on other paths. You’re not being selfish, and neither is she. It just means that you’re both growing up and expanding your lives. She likely still sees you as her best friend, but she does have other friends now and wants to spend time with them too.  

I have a good friend since age 13. We went from what was called “junior high” (now called middle school) to separate high schools. We stayed friends but she also made new connections. After high school there were some years when we barely spoke — not because of any hostility, but due to life and lives going in changing avenues. But our friendship endured and now almost 60 years later we’re in regular contact.  

Don’t give up on your best friend — but meet new people and develop contacts and interests of your own! Join an activity group, volunteer, follow whatever makes you happy and there will be new friends for you too. Try to feel better. Great friends can be for life — but, just as there are twists and turns to life, so can be the relationship with people. Good luck.

Letter #: 431040
Category: Friendship

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