6 telltale signs of a crumbling friendship, according to therapy experts

Even if they're not related to us by blood, friends are often our most trusted confidants, fellow travelers and longtime “partners in crime.”

Some friendships span decades, from grade school or earlier, while others are new friends met at work or church. But no matter how long you've known a friend, people come and go in life, even when we don't want them to. If you feel a friend is drifting away or you're losing touch, experts say there are a few telltale signs you can watch out for.

1. Broken promises and difficulty making plans

We've all been there: you meet an acquaintance, and while you're briefly catching up, you say you should have a coffee sometime. Then, of course, it never happens. But while this is also typical for people we don't know, it can be problematic if it's a friend you see regularly. “You may lose touch with a friend if you frequently talk about getting together, but never do,” says Carrie Rose, life coach at the New Beginnings Registry. If you want to stay in touch with someone and they don't take the time to see you, friendships can change.

2. Not sharing important moments

Close friends are some of our biggest supporters in life, which means we want to share big news when it comes our way. So if you're not inclined to talk about your new promotion, or if you haven't received a text message about their recent engagement, when you usually would, it's a sign that something isn't right. “When you or your friend no longer share important life events, it shows that isn't a priority for either of you,” explains mental counselor Matthew Schubert. If your friends find it hard to support you in these moments, it may be a sign that your friendship is running out of steam.

3. Feeling lonely

According to clinical psychologist Carla Marie Manly, loneliness is often a signal that you're losing touch with a friend. If you're feeling lonely, pause to notice without judgment if you haven't invested in your important friendships. This feeling of loneliness can also be perpetuated by the belief that you're being “left out”. If you feel excluded from a friend's life or a social circle, this can be another red flag. Rather than reaching out to connect, we sometimes withdraw and create even more disconnection.

4. Less fluid, less authentic conversations

Another great thing about having a friend is the opportunity to reach out and chat. But if you lose touch, talking to them can seem harder than it used to. “If you feel that your conversations lack the natural flow and connection that once characterized your friendship, it's a sign that something is wrong,” says Schubert. And if your conversations revolve around trivial topics and need more depth, it can be a sign that the friendship has faded.

5. A lack of response to messages

According to the experts, your friend may be sending you a signal if he's ignoring you. “The main sign is probably when you or your friend don't respond to text messages,” says Abbey Sangmeister, licensed clinical supervisor. If texting and responding takes more than a few days, it may be time to reevaluate and prioritize those texts to ones that make sense. Assess how radical the change has been and who's making the effort. If your frequency of has considerably…

6. Differing interests and changing priorities

It's natural for everyone's interests and priorities to change over time. If you and your friend have less and less in common, this can contribute to the feeling of losing touch. “Maybe you've drifted apart emotionally because you're pursuing different interests or living different lives,” explains therapist and life coach Daniel Rinaldi.

It's important to recognize the subtle signs that you're gradually losing touch with a friend. If you identify several of these signs in your relationship, it might be worth reassessing where you are with this friendship and deciding whether you want to make the effort to maintain it or let it evolve naturally.

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