No relationships lay stagnant. They require work and commitment, and they're forever changing and evolving. As such, you might grow out of people you were once close to — and certainly, there are signs that you might want to think about transitioning a close pal to a small dose friend. A small dose friend remains a constant in your life, without actually being present a whole lot. In fact, their presence could hurt your relationship, in a case of two personalities just not meshing when forced together too frequently.
There's no shame or blame in having "friends from afar," as I often think of it. I myself am a small doses kind of gal. I have friends. We'll talk. Have coffee. But the only people I regularly hang around are my boyfriend and my dog. (Dogs are people too.) I like it this way. I know other girls who don't want to go a week without hanging out, and that's OK too.
Problems, though, can arise when a close friendship starts to sour, causing more harm than good. In this case, a little distance might do you good. If you start to experience any of these things, you and your pal might be better off as small dose friends.
1. Your Relationship Has Become Codependent
Psychology Today explains a codependent relationship as one where the love or attraction between two people stems from one person's distress and the other's opportunity to rescue or enable them. This doesn't just apply to romantic or intimate relationships, though; the same scenario can occur between two friends. But it's not a healthy dynamic, and in the long term, it might be doing both of you more harm than good.
2. Toxic Behavior Is Leaving A Negative Impression
There are other unhealthy behaviors aside from codependency. If you friend loves to party, that's no biggie, as long as they're safe. But if their behavior is getting out of control, and if they're pressuring you to go along with it, or if their behavior has gotten you in trouble, their toxic behavior is having an undesirable effect on you, regardless of whether or not you're enabling it.
3. It's Simply Become A Friendship Of Convenience
Maybe it's some friends from work. You're together all day, so you naturally form a tight-knit bond. It only makes sense that work turns into dinner, and dinner turns into drinks. You're out together until midnight and then do it all over again at 8:00 the next morning. There's nothing wrong with this, but spending too much time with a person merely out of convenience could definitely backfire. It helps to broaden your relationship horizons and hang out with other people.
4. You're Using Them So You're Not Alone
Or vice versa. This is not to say you're a bad person; you might not even realize you're doing it. But do you text this friend all the time just because you need someone to do stuff with? Movie, shopping, dinner — you don't want to go alone, so you call your trusted pal. If this is mutually beneficial and you're both getting something out of it, then that's probably OK. But if it's misleading to one person, someone could get hurt.
5. Every Little Thing Is Starting To Annoy You
A pretty solid sign that you're spending too much time with a person is when insignificant things about them start to drive you up the walls. The noise they make when they chew, the way they tie their shoelaces, the sound of their cough — it's definitely time to get a little space.