Ending a friendship can be just as difficult as ending a relationship. You have given that other person a piece of yourself, you have invested your time, you have made lasting memories, and you have shared a lot of laughter and a lot of tears. As you grow and mature, your priorities and your needs change. Just like in some relationships, sometimes your friendships do not grow and mature at the same rate you do. And when there comes a point that something changes it is time to reevaluate who you prioritize.

One of the most important lessons in life is to understand that people come into your life for a reason; sometimes it is to stay, and sometimes it is just to teach you something.

Here are some things to think about before you hold onto a friendship that is fading:

1. Different priorities.

The more experiences we have in life; college, relationships, marriage, jobs, the more our circle of friends grow and change. You put in a lot of effort in your friendships despite life changes, because your friendships are important to you. As time goes on you are going to have friends who do not continue to put in as much effort as you do. Their lives become first priority and there is not a lot of time for you anymore.

We get it, as people grow there are more responsibilities and more people to be accountable to. But, if you are still giving 100 and your girl is only giving 50, she does not value your friendship as highly as you do. People prioritize the things in life that are important to them.

2. Conditional love and support.

Your friends should be the ones you can always count on no matter what life brings your way. When you go through a breakup, have a fight with a family member, or lose your job, your true friends will be first ones by your side. True friends don’t just show up when it is convenient for them, they provide a shoulder to cry on and comfort you during the bad times and they pop champagne bottles and celebrate with you during the good.

The biggest sign that it is time to let go of a friendship is when you go through something traumatic and your friend is not there to be your person. Good friends do not let other friends hurt alone.

3. Excuses, excuses, excuses.

Too often we make excuses for other’s behavior because we care about that person. We are all adults, and there is no room for excuses in friendship. If your friend always has something come up, has to change plans last minute, or cannot be there for something that is important to you, it is time to stop making excuses for her excuses. When you accept excuses you are allowing yourself to be put on the back burner.

There is no excuse for being a bad friend, a bad friend is simply not a friend. Invest your time in those who invest their time in you.

4. Gossip and negativity.

Girls love to gossip, it is almost as if gossiping is written right into our DNA. Assess your friendships, who speaks highly of you when you are not around and who participate in the gossip just to fit in? Any person who engages in negative conversations about you is not someone who should be eating from your table. Think about how you feel when you leave from spending time with your friend. Do you feel motivated, inspired, and lifted up? Or, do you feel dragged down and discouraged?

Your friends should leave you feeling like you can go after your dreams, live life for your happiness, and conquer the world with their unconditional support by your side.

An analogy we like to use for relationships, family, and friends, is “who gets a seat at your table?” If you have spent all day preparing your table with beautiful decorations, cooking your best dishes, and you bought a nice bottle of wine, there should only be enough seats for those who would do the same for you.

The rest can either sit at another table or go to someone else’s dinner party.