When I was 18 I met a group of friends at university – male and female – and we’ve been close for more than 10 years.
As students, I supposed we went off the rails a bit – drank too much, tried drugs, neglected our studies and a few in the group had problems with stress and depression.
The rest are married or with a partner, and a couple have babies, while I’m still single.
It feels like every time I see them, they talk about the past, moan about the present and worry about the future. It really brings me down.
None of them seem happy and sometimes I get the feeling they resent me a little bit because I’m independent and enjoy my job.
I get the impression they think I’m naive and don’t know what I’m talking about because I’m not in a relationship and don’t have kids. I sometimes think they look down on me a bit.
I’ve really had enough of it and, even though I love these friends, I’m thinking of applying for jobs in a different part of the country, so I can make a fresh start and meet people who are less bogged down in the past and not always looking at life with a “glass half empty” attitude.
Do you think I’m overreacting? I’d love your take on it.
You were obviously drawn to each other at uni because you shared a similar outlook and interests – maybe you were all a bit irreverent and -rebellious.
I think some people can get a bit stuck in the past for many different reasons, while others – like yourself – grow and change and want something different.
That’s OK. It doesn’t mean you have to stop being friends, but you don’t have to live in each other’s pockets either.
It sounds like you want something new and taking a job in another part of the country would be great as long as you’re doing it for you and not just to put some distance between you and these friends.
You can do that where you live by distancing yourself from them a bit and focusing more on other friends and interests.
You could start something new where you are – whether that’s a job or taking up a new activity or joining some local groups where you’ll meet new people.
The thing is, you could move to the other side of the world, but you’ll still be you and you’ll take your problems with you. So it might be useful to think carefully about what it is that will make you happy.
It’s perfectly normal to grow apart from friends as you go through life and maybe these friends will end up as the type you see once or twice a year and chat with over social media.