drifted apart


      • relationships
        To describe a situation where two people or groups have slowly become distant from each other and no longer have a close or connected relationship

      • change
        To indicate a gradual change in direction or focus, often resulting in a separation or divergence from a previous path or course of action

    Examples of drifted apart

    • After years of being great friends, Sarah and Mark drifted apart due to their different career paths.

      The phrase "drifted apart" is used to describe how two people who were once close to each other have grown increasingly distant over time. In this case, Sarah and Mark's friendship became strained as their career aspirations pulled them in different directions. As a result, they gradually drifted apart, losing touch with each other and no longer sharing the same level of closeness they once did.

    • Despite living across the country from each other, my grandparents and I have managed to stay connected over the years. However, as they've gotten older and their health has declined, we've begun to drift apart.

      Here, "drifted apart" is used to signify a physical separation between two people, in this case, the speaker and their grandparents. As the speaker's grandparents have aged and their mobility has become more limited, they've had to rely less on communication and travel, which has weakened their connection with the speaker. The use of "drifted apart" in this context also implies a sense of sadness or nostalgia for the once-strong bond between the speaker and their grandparents.

    • Their marriage had been troubled for years, but it wasn't until they both retired that they truly drifted apart.

      This use of "drifted apart" is a little different from the others, as it implies that the two people who are drifting apart are actually in the same physical location. In this scenario, the couple's retirement has allowed them to focus more on their own lives and interests, leading to a gradual disconnection from each other. This can be a difficult and painful experience for both parties, as they may feel isolated or lonely without the shared experiences that once defined their relationship. However, "drifted apart" is a somewhat gentler way of describing this kind of separation, as it suggests that the distance between the individuals is happening naturally and without force, rather than as the result of a deliberate decision or action.

    • After their breakup, they both promised to stay in touch, but eventually they drifted apart.

      This use of "drifted apart" is perhaps the most classic, as it is often associated with romantic relationships that have come to an end. Here, the couple has gone their separate ways, leaving behind the memories and connections they once shared. The use of "drifted apart" emphasizes the gradual and natural way that their relationship has disintegrated, as opposed to a sudden and definitive split. This can be a bittersweet experience for both parties, as they may feel a sense of loss or regret for the past, but also a sense of hope or optimism for the future. "Drifted apart" can be used to signify the fact that while their relationship is over, they still have the possibility of reconnecting or staying in touch, albeit from a greater distance.

    • Emily and Tom used to be inseparable, spending every waking moment together. However, as they both pursued their separate careers and moved to different cities, they slowly drifted apart.

      The phrase "drifted apart" in this example is used to describe how Emily and Tom's close friendship has deteriorated over time due to external factors such as distance and busy schedules. Unlike "growing apart," which suggests a deliberate choice to separate, "drifting apart" implies a more passive and gradual process.

    • After their divorce, Sarah and John found it difficult to remain civil and eventually drifted apart, barely speaking to each other except in legal proceedings.

      In this example, "drifted apart" is used to describe the decline of a once-close relationship following a major life event, such as a divorce. The phrase highlights the sense of lack of control that both parties experienced as they moved further apart from each other.

    • The company's sales and marketing departments used to work in close collaboration, but in recent years they have drifted apart, resulting in a lack of alignment between their respective strategies.

      In this case, "drifted apart" is employed to explain how two previously interdependent departments within a company have become disconnected. The term helps to highlight the gradual and imperceptible nature of the separation, which may have gone unnoticed until significant issues arose.

    • After their children left home, Frank and Judy found they no longer had much in common and drifted apart, enjoying different hobbies and social circles.

      This example illustrates how "drifted apart" can be used to describe how a relationship can deteriorate due to changes in circumstances that were not necessarily the result of a decision made by either party involved. Here, the phrase is employed to convey the sensitivity of relationships that require shared experiences to thrive.


    The idiom "drifted apart" is commonly used to refer to the gradual distancing or separation of people or groups in a relationship. It can also describe a gradual change in direction or focus, resulting in a divergence from a previous path. In both cases, the idiom conveys a sense of gradual, natural change leading to a lack of closeness or connection.

    Origin of "drifted apart"

    The origin of the idiom "drifted apart" can be traced back to the literal meaning of the word "drift." In a physical sense, drift refers to the gradual movement or shifting of something from its original position. Over time, this concept was applied metaphorically to relationships and changes in direction or focus. The idiom "drifted apart" likely emerged from this metaphorical usage, capturing the idea of gradual separation or divergence. It has since become a common phrase in the English language to describe the natural ebb and flow of relationships and changes in direction. Examples of its usage can be found in literature, poetry, and everyday conversation.