While this isn’t necessarily a sign of an unhealthy friendship, it can still be a cue that it may be time to put some space between your friend and yourself. It can be tempting to hang on to some of your oldest friends because you’ve known them forever. When you’ve invested so much in the friendship, you might think you can’t, or shouldn’t, give it up. But as people grow, their interests and priorities may change, and this can mean you no longer share common interests with your friend. It can hurt when you start finding it hard to maintain a meaningful conversation with a friend who used to mean everything to you.

If this is the case, even though you may no longer feel the same about them as you used to, you can still wish the best for each other and respect and support each other’s choices without trying to force yourselves into propping up a wobbly friendship. There’s no shame in outgrowing a friendship—it simply means each of you has found a path that works for you, and at this stage in your lives, those paths don’t converge. Moving away from best-friend status in a respectful way also keeps the door open for a future relationship if it makes sense to reignite it later on.

Ideally, none of us will ever have to break up with our best friends. But if you do think your friendship is no longer serving you, know that it’s OK to take a step back for your own best interests.