You know you’re getting older when you feel like you’ve reached peak friend capacity. You’re not trying to act like a jerk, but the hard part about growing up is that relationships — including friendships — take more work, even though you have less time.
The only way to manage quality friendships into adulthood is by clearing out more casual friendships along the way. You’ll miss them in the same complicated way you miss duct-taping forties to your hand, but that’s what getting older is all about.
1. The Clingy Friend
You might think you don’t have this friend, or you’re just assuming it’s your girlfriend. But these are the buddies who, as you get older, give you the hardest time about spending time with your girl, because they never find a girl themselves.
He turns every errand into an excuse to hang out (you’ll find yourself insisting, “No, dude, I don’t want to do laundry with you”). You’ll eventually just stop answering his texts, as opposed to your friends who don’t get weird when you leave a party early.
2. The Hooked-Up Friend
His name-dropping was tolerable when you were younger, but you really don’t care who your friend knows now. You’d rather pass on the exclusive access and not hang out with a guy who uses the word “swag.”
3. The “Smart” Friend
We all know that person who tries so hard to sound smart, it’s stupid. Over time you’ve learned all the words he’s trying to use from the thesaurus, and he’s still doing it wrong. All conversations get turned into debates, and he accuses everyone of “conformity” because everyone agrees he should stop talking. His pretentiousness was bearable in college, but in the real world, his unjustified ego and oh-so-deep social theories are just kinda pathetic.
4. The Party Monster Friend
This kind of friend gets really exhausting in adulthood. He’s a grown man who only knows how to write apology emails and get arrested. You make excuses for him, but the older you get, the less you’ll appreciate his areas of expertise.
5. The Showoff Friend
If you don’t know who this friend is, he’s the one your mom told you to be more like. He’s the most arrogant version of a nerd, known only for his accomplishments and presidential hair. You resent his brown-nosing, but can’t say anything without looking like you resent his success. Once you meet enough accomplished people who don’t have to constantly rub your face in their career achievements, it’s time to make room for more modest buddies.
6. The Exhibitionist Friend
Streaking in college was the best time in his life, and he seems to be frozen in that moment — except now he gets wasted and takes off his clothes at weddings instead of frat parties. This is a look that does not age well, and you can’t be friends with anyone whose dick is a liability.
7. The Girl You Really Want To Date Friend
A lot of guys (and girls) make the mistake of trying to turn a platonic friendship into something physical when there just isn’t a mutual attraction. After you reveal your true feelings, there’s just no going back. Even after you’ve moved on to someone else, it’ll probably always be awkward between you two.
Be honest about what you want from the beginning, because the worst part of the Friend Zone is when you don’t even get to be friends anymore.
Photo credit: Getty Images
+ For more on getting older, watch “Guy Code” Wednesday at 11/10c on MTV2