How to Deal With a Fading Friendship: 13 Steps (with Pictures)
In this Article:Processing the Loss of a FriendDeveloping Perspective on a Fading RelationshipMoving Forward After A Faded FriendshipCommunity Q&A13 . People come into our lives for particular reasons, and things are likely to change. These 3 tips can guide you toward happiness in your relationships. A lot of something friendships don't make it past the big are worse, as you lose friends at a much quicker rate than women once you're past clear out friendships that weren't really good matches—relationships we fell . romantic one, whether that friendship died by conflict or naturally fading.
We also stand to lose ourselves in the relationship, rather than maintaining the unique qualities that gave us confidence and drew our partners to us in the first place.
When couples lose these real feelings for each other, rather than challenging destructive patterns in their relating, they tend to either throw away the relationship or sink deeper into fantasy for fear of losing each other or being alone. The good news is these feelings of excitement can be restored.
Fantasy bonds exist on a continuum. Some couples are deeper into fantasy than others. Most people fluctuate between moments of being truly close and moments of substituting fantasy for real love. By recognizing the degree to which you engage in a fantasy connection as opposed to a sincere form of relating, you can challenge negative habits and patterns, and experience new and exciting stages of your relationship.
On March 20, I will be hosting a CE Webinar on The Fantasy Bond, which will present a model for an ideal relationship that combines emotional closeness and sexual intimacy, while each partner maintains a differentiated and individuated sense of self. In the meantime, here are a few key ways to identify if you are in a fantasy bond and how you and your partner can go about changing it. Loss of Physical Attraction — When we form a fantasy of fusion with another person, we tend to eventually lose some of our physical attraction to that person.
Relying on someone to take care of us or looking to them to complete us puts a heavy burden on our relationship. When we view our partners as the independent and attractive individuals they are, we can keep a fresh level of excitement and affection for them.
Why the Spark Fades in a Relationship
Rather than driving us apart, this separateness actually allows us to feel our attractions and choose to be together. Think about the state people are in when they first fall in love. They are drawn to each other based on their unique attributes. Their individuality is viewed with interest and respect, qualities we should aim to maintain even decades after being with someone romantically.
Letting yourself go physically or mentally — When we reach a level of comfort in a relationship, we may tend to care a little less about how we look and how we take care of ourselves.
We may be more likely to act out without regard or consideration for the ways we not only hurt our partners but ourselves.
We may gain weight or engage in unhealthy habits, drinking more or exercising less. They are often ways of protecting ourselves from sustained closeness. They often serve to shatter our self-esteem and push our partners away.
They also tend to have a deadening effect on our relationship, weakening our confidence and vitality. Failing to share activities — Early on in our relationships, we are often our most open, excited to try new things and share new adventures.
As we fall into routine, we often resist novel experiences. We become more cynical, skeptical, and less willing to do things with our partners.
How to lose friends
Consistently doing things that your partner perceives as loving will also help keep the spark alive. Less personal relating — When you do take the time to relate to your partner, do you still talk about anything meaningful? Have conversations become more practical or less friendly?
In doing so, we really get to know them. Social events became awkward. We couldn't even have a cup of tea at our favourite cafe without there being an atmosphere. Before long, what had started out as drifting apart turned into irreconcilable differences.
The end, when it came, was civil yet brutal: In shock, I called a friend and relayed the conversation I'd just had.
When a sexual relationship ends, things are relatively simple. There is the dumper, and the dumpee. You have the, "It's not you, it's me" conversation. There are broken hearts, recriminations. The relationship is declared officially dead. Mutual friends choose sides. No matter how devastating, at least it's clear: You are no longer a couple, you keep your fluids to yourself, or distribute them elsewhere. But when a friendship cools, it's seldom so straightforward.
Death and betrayal aside sleeping with someone's partner is a pretty swift way to sever tiesthere are two ways to end it. There's the slow fade-out, where you try to downgrade an intense friendship to something more casual. Or the short, sharp split. But if such a card existed, how many of us would have the guts to send it?
3 Simple Ways to Start a Friends With Benefits Relationship
And if you received such a note, would you think, "Fair enough" or would you want to send it back with a few added expletives? The crucial thing with the slow fade, of course, is whether or not you choose to inform your friend of their demotion or just avoid them until they take the hint.
By the way, the slow fade-out is not to be confused with "secondary" — or more casual — friends.
Secondary friendships are on an equal footing, rather than one person wishing they didn't have to see so much of the other. Unsurprisingly, I am not blameless in my own friend-dumping debacle. Six months ago I radically changed my lifestyle by going freelance in order to write my second book. I went from having the same routine for 14 years, to the unpredictability of a "portfolio" career. Now there was no one paying for my down days, my time became more precious. If I wasn't writing, I wanted to hang out with writers, creatives and the kind of people who consider 8am a perfectly reasonable time for a Pilates class no need to rush to the office for a 9am start.
Also, a couple of family dramas have taken any spare energy I had left. Under this blustery climate, certain friendships have thrived and others have suffered.
With me and my former friend, differences in taste and ambition crept up on us. Whether it was local politics, the financial crisis or private education, every issue seemed to highlight how different we were.
We met one afternoon when, for some reason, I was raging about Alexa Chung: Why would anyone want a bag named after a slightly rubbish TV presenter? Out of the corner of my eye I saw she had a new bag. As we struggled to find common ground, it became tricky to talk about anything that mattered. My friend tried to reconnect with me a few times; meanwhile, I called her less. Very brave, I know. Eventually, she must have had enough of me fobbing her off.
In our last conversation it became clear we disagreed on one fundamental principle: I was happy to let things drift, she was not.