You realize you haven’t spoken to many people in a year and a half after you’ve been vaccinated and allowed to go out. You, on the other hand, would prefer to keep it that way. This begets the question, “Should I be upset?” Friendship is beneficial to our health, but experts say it’s common for acquaintances or friends to fall out, and it’s nothing to be guilty about.

Counseling professor Suzanne Degges-White says that “Not every friendship is meant to last forever. It goes both ways.” Believe what your instinct is telling you if you have a friend who hasn’t kept up with you during the pandemic, and vice versa. Ask yourself six months from now if it would distress you if you and your friend cut communications. Shasta Nelson, a San Francisco-based author and friendship expert, agrees with Degges-White. Changes in our lives, such as changing jobs or moving places, as well as the pandemic, alter our friendship network. This is what Degges-White refers to as “friendscape”: choosing who we want to be around. Because we have a limited number of people with whom we can maintain contact, it’s natural to limit the number of friendships we have.

Our social lives and how we approach relationships have changed dramatically as a result of the pandemic. Experts advise against burning bridges for no reason, but don’t feel forced to reintegrate everyone into your life. Allow yourself and others to forgive yourself and others over the last 15 months, since the events have been unexpected.