Pushing Friends to the “Acquaintance Zone” To Nurture Myself

Cutting out friends is harsh, but pushing some into the acquaintance zone may be just the space I needed.

Sarah Cottrell
4 min readNov 20, 2022

I listened to a creator on TikTok explain that the reason why some women adopt an IDGAF attitude after turning 40 isn’t that they healed from past traumas or because they are somehow hardier thanks to life experience; it’s because hormonal changes shift the female brain from thinking in terms “I need a mate to procreate. Therefore, I will nurture them before me” to “I no longer need to procreate so now I’ll nurture me first.”

I have no idea if the science is there to back that claim up, but I have to say, it tracks in my personal experience, and I love it.

But while this TikTok creator was speaking specifically about the dynamic between male and female romantic partnerships, I find that this theory dovetails neatly into all of my relationships. And I wonder if others are experiencing this in their 40s too.

Blocking, banning, and deleting people

Long ago, I would delete people in my social friends lists who posted things I didn’t like. You voted a certain way? BOOM! Deleted. You shared a meme I found repugnant. GONE! I don’t know many people who haven’t done that.

(Yeah, I know. I KNOW. I’m not proud of it.)



Sarah Cottrell

Writer + Editor | Slow Living + Science Nerd | Rep’d by Folio Lit | Follow my stories here: https://sarahcottrell.medium.com/membership