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DEAR HARRIETTE: I’ve been reflecting on my friendships and how they seem to have changed over the past few years. At 27, I find myself in a place where the connections that once meant the world to me don’t hold the same significance they did five years ago. Back then, I looked forward to going out with my friends every weekend. It was an exciting time filled with adventures and shared experiences.
Lately, I’ve noticed a shift in my interests and priorities. These days, I often find myself wanting to engage in activities alone, like going for hikes or going to cafes. I want to emphasize that my friends haven’t done anything wrong; it’s just that I’m on a personal journey of self-discovery and growth. The things that once brought me joy and fulfillment now seem less appealing. I’ve started to value different experiences and perspectives.
One of my concerns is the fear of potentially cutting off my friends and ending up feeling isolated. It’s a daunting thought because these friendships have been an important part of my life. I don’t want to regret my decisions later on. How should I move forward regarding my friendships? It feels impossible to make new ones at 27. — In Transition
DEAR IN TRANSITION: You are acknowledging your personal evolution, which is important. As your interests change, it is only natural that your relationships will need to adjust. You may not need to dump your friend group, but naturally some friends may fall away. Because you are not showing up as much, some may get upset or less interested. Why not allow things to fall into place with ease? Of course, you can tell your friends that you haven’t been around much because you are doing some soul-searching. Don’t add anything that isn’t true, like that you wish they could come with you (because they might try) or that you have no more room for them (because you don’t know yet). Just say that you are busy, which is true.
Keep your eyes open. Notice new people who do interest you. Relax. When the right people show up, you will notice them, and new friendships may begin.
DEAR HARRIETTE: A woman I’ve been interested in for quite some time recently moved to my city. Unfortunately, I’ll be moving away in just a few weeks. The other day, I invited her to join me and my best friend for drinks. I thought it would be nice to introduce the two of them since she’s new in town and needs to meet people. Shortly after the dinner, my best friend asked me if I would mind if he asked her on a date. I didn’t know how to answer. I’ve expressed interest in this woman to my best friend before, but nothing has ever happened between us, so I guess she’s not necessarily off-limits. What should I do? — Uncertain
DEAR UNCERTAIN: This was a bit premature of your best friend. Given that he knows you like her, he should stand down — at least until you leave. Remind him that you like this woman. Then, if you truly want to see if there’s any spark between you, make a move. Otherwise, you will regret it forever. If there’s nothing worth cultivating, give your friend the green light.