Growing apart from a long-time NT friend

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pastelanxiety
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10 Mar 2023, 9:23 pm

I recently realised that I've started drifting apart from one of my only friends (which can be common) and I'm not quite sure how to feel about it.

I met this friend back when we were both 13y/o when I started at her school as a new student. We were fast friends and then went on to attend the same high school together right up until graduation. Over the last 16 years we have remained in each others' lives pretty consistently, seeing each other and messaging regularly, and she's always been VERY social with multiple circles of friends, whilst I've only really had her plus some acquaintances here and there (which I'm very okay with).

My friend is very NT and is a lovely person, but can sometimes come across as a little judgemental and close minded towards things she doesn't understand/agree with. She was a bit dismissive of my recent AS diagnosis by telling me "oh so you're just socially awkward? We already knew that?". She has very high (and sometimes unrealistic) expectations of what a friend should be, and I feel like her expectations don't really leave much room for anyone who is ND in my opinion. I've always masked heavily around her, however have begun to unmask in small doses but whenever I do, I get the feeling she sees me as "difficult" or "acting differently". I care for my friend deeply (and I know she cares for me) and we still have fun together, however we have grown into very different people and our friendship now feels more based on history, not actual common interests etc.

The change in dynamic has happened slowly and I find myself feeling pretty okay with the idea of our friendship running it's course and naturally coming to an end eventually, and my friend seems pretty accepting of this as well, however I sometimes find myself wondering "should I feel sadder about this?" or I'll make myself feel guilty for being okay the friendship dwindling.

Not sure if any of this makes sense. Has anyone else experienced a long-term (or short) friendship change/end?



Mona Pereth
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11 Mar 2023, 2:04 am

If you're both okay with it dwindling, then no reason not to let it dwindle, although you might still want to stay in occasional contact, for old-times sake, and/or to be there for each other in times of trouble.

Lots of people are ignorant about autism. This can be very annoying, but I wouldn't take it personally unless they are really assholey about it.


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Kitty4670
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11 Mar 2023, 3:26 am

This sound familiar to me. I have a long time friend, but I didn’t meet her in person, I met her online, I met her around 20 years ago, we used talk everyday on messenger, she was my best friend, we had alot in common. Over the years, she got a job, a boyfriend who she was living with, we grew apart, I didn’t understand why, we talked still, but not everyday, we talked a few times a week to once a week, we are still friends, we can talk few times a month.


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Summer_Twilight
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13 Mar 2023, 11:59 am

Yes, I have on a few occasions, and mainly because we drifted apart on various occasions.

- I was very close with a friend who I met at a sheltered workshop when I doing a 30-day work evaluation. Though things were great from the start, we began drifting apart when it was clear that she and I both led different lives. Whereas I was able to mature and do more things that allowed me to have a life, she lived a more sheltered life. Because of that, she was very lonely and would call and text me excessively while expecting me to drop what I was doing to talk to her. She and her mom would not respect my boundaries or the fact that I didn't have a life. Plus her mom was not a very nice person and always implied that everything was always about me all the time. So I cut it off and I was very sad about it but things got to a point that we were no longer compatible.

- I grew apart from a close male friend on the spectrum when he moved to the outskirts of my city that weren't reachable by bus when he got a new job. During that time, he joined a new church and started dating and making lots of friends. After that, he made it clear that he didn't have time for another close friend and stopped coming to our things and communicating with us. However, I am ok with it because I have lots of other people of my own to connect with and then he always seemed to think he was better than us.



mrpieceofwork
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26 May 2023, 12:35 am

My "BFF" from since my first days in HS ultimately would leave me feeling like a piece of "trash", and he and I would drift apart because of that, after some 30 years of always being in contact. Same goes for a few others in that "clique", as they had families now, and I felt the odd one out (as well as one going full "bougie", which I have some issues with) All in all, though, now that I think of it, I have only ever had a tiny group of "close friends" in my life, and mainly kept to myself, lest any of those few would do something that would hurt me. That, and I couldn't stand seeing on FB how "happy" many of them were. Little did I know then what FB was truly about, and I maybe could have found a different way to stay in touch.



Tianno
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29 May 2023, 9:48 am

1 time that really hit me, was a guy i wqs really close with, did all kinds of things.. We recorded music, got scuba certified and had a bike garage and went to freestyle events, travels, and aaaall kinds of other fun stuff.... For 10 or more years, we were almost in daily contact, "hey wanna hook up, do something?!" - style....

But suddently, i feel like from day to day, he was just out of my life, and began the "pretend friend" interest... And i didnt hear from him since.... No answers, no call backs, even if i meet him in the streets.. nothing....
Im still feeling a lil bumped out now and then, what happened? And no resolution?...

And these days... Im finding that im kinda in a similar spot... Been writting a close friend ive had for meny years... But now, I try to keep in touch and come up with things to do, and imidiately get shut down by some lame excuse like "sure, we can do something, but i have to check the calendar" :|.... And i may be too patient, idk, but, after a few years, it gets a lil dull, when i see he does stuff, but never gets back to me... fx, we used to play games, console, board, cards, meny things.... And i ask, and he say "sure let me get back", and finds other random ppl to play with instead :?: :| we live in the same town, 10 min away, yet i havent seen him more than once a year....

Im not writting him everyday or something like that, but an answer like "ups i forgot you", again and again..... A few times a month is not too much to write him, i think... Anf again, we used to hangout 4? Times a week.... Now.... "i forgot you"... Nice.... :(



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30 May 2023, 11:18 am

I am sorry to hear that you may have to cut this friend loose as it's always hard. On the contrary, growing apart from someone can be healthy as it's an important part of life.

I used to be friends with another woman who lived a very sheltered life due to having a disability that require higher support needs. Although she was very sweet, she had the tendency to be clingy and possessive of her friends. Some example, she would call and text excessively. She also would guilt trip me for ignoring her when I had other things going on in my life. Though I would set boundaries, she refused to listen. If that wasn't enough, I had a few run-ins with her mother as she didn't seem to respect me as a person or really the effort I was putting into that friendship.

Things got to the point that I cut off the relationship with her and I was sad about it but in the end, things were so toxic that I could not breathe.