5 Signs You're Outgrowing a Friendship—and What to Do About It

If you’d told me how it ended, I wouldn’t have believed you. I’ve broken up with only a few inner-circle pals in my day: One ended in a wild misunderstanding. One just faded away. One burned down then boomeranged back like a Phoenix from the ashes years later. I’m someone who would self-identify as fiercely (maybe even pathologically) loyal. Each time a friendship has come crashing to a halt, I’ve felt gutted and betrayed—even when I’d significantly contributed to the rift.

It’s work to keep pace with the people in your life. Have I been certain my bestie might throw me from a moving car in Spain during the worst fight of our 15-year friendship? I have. (It was a possibility.) That fight took—not an exaggeration—three years of pulling at threads to get to the bottom of what was really going on. Friendships take on a life of their own. The good ones are high-maintenance. After all, most high-performance machines require frequent tune-ups. If you find yourself in the throes of a friendship breakup, fear not. All is not lost. In the immortal words of Cher Horowitz, “Grades are just a jumping off point to start negotiations.”