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by Abigail Van Buren

Friends Drift Apart as Work Connections Fade

DEAR ABBY: I went out with some girlfriends a few weeks ago. We began chatting and, after a while, I started to notice things that made me feel disconnected from them. After thinking about it later, I realized that although we have known each other for 10 years, we no longer have much in common.

We used to work together and shared that, but it's no longer the case. I think I might have more in common with others. We never fight, and they are wonderful people, but each time I open myself up to them, I feel judged and different. How do you suggest I maintain my friendships? Is it worth it? -- FAITHFUL FRIEND IN OHIO

DEAR FRIEND: If the only thing these women brought to your relationship was the fact that you used to work together, and because circumstances have changed, it may be time to re-evaluate how important these workplace friendships are to you. Friends do not have to think in lockstep, and they shouldn't make you feel judged if your opinions differ from theirs.

A way to maintain friendships like these is to see the individuals less often and, when you do, talk about the things you do have in common. If that doesn't work, realize that not all friendships last forever and move on. Sometimes friendships run their course, and this may be one of those times.

Read more in: Friends & Neighbors | Work & School