A couple of things recently have led me to realise just what mess Iâ€™ve make when it comes to friendships. I was talking about friendships Saturday and made mention of the fact that Laura and I have always seemed to approach the friend thing very differently â€“ Iâ€™m not saying if either is better because simply I donâ€™t know. I donâ€™t think you can differentiate that. I do not know exactly why that I have always been the â€˜many friendsâ€™ kind of person as opposed to specifically investing my time into one or two others. Yes I still have â€˜closer friendsâ€™ and those that well, just arenâ€™t as close.
This evening I was reading Friendlationships (which is pretty much book about relationships of â€˜thatâ€™ kind – a book I’ve had my eye on for a very long time and finally got) and it was talking about how a big part of love (this is me paraphrasing) is about investing in a person. It makes perfect and beautiful sense – and I’ve heard it before…
I was doing the dishes after effectively reading the book in one hit. I started thinking about a hesitation that Iâ€™ve had recently, a murky waters â€“ Iâ€™ve tried discussing/decoding this with one or two of you but havenâ€™t really come across any clear way forward.
A â€˜goodâ€™ friend of mine from school recently let me know that she was moving up to Canberra. Along with my thoughts around â€˜Friendlationshipsâ€™, I started thinking about how I reacted to her news. I got her â€˜generalâ€™ message first. I did not reply. I have known it was going to happen sooner or later â€“ weâ€™ve talked about it. She came to drop in a few days later. I was very able to be excited for her (because itâ€™s something that will be good for her and something she really wants). I donâ€™t know how to justify it, moreso I shouldnâ€™t be trying to, but I am so entirely used to people having to leave to move on, that I donâ€™t let myself feel much about that kind of stuff any more. I donâ€™t think I let on very much or even felt much sadness at her news. â€œYes, people have to leave and so be itâ€, how much does that show I care? The thing is, I do.
So along with the dirty dishes and all those other things, I asked myself the questions I usually avoid, although I donâ€™t know why. Why donâ€™t I bother? I treat friendships with such a loose hand itâ€™s scary. I rarely initiate doing anything with someone (and considering I think my top love language is probably quality time) thats â€“ not real good. I enjoy, I value the times I do spend with friends but I donâ€™t go out of my way for them. How do I invest in my friends? Maybe I do because I like giving advice; I like being able to smooth things out. At the same time I still get frustrated with, needy friends. Oh, I do love them, but I donâ€™t think Iâ€™m very good at it at all. I donâ€™t think I value them half as much as I should.
I owe J and several others of those supposedly â€˜closeâ€™ friends such a massive appology. I should have (and should) put more effort into these relationships. Especially hers. I shouldâ€™ve allowed for more time, for more openness, for more give, for more take and less of just the, â€˜enjoyable to be around you and have a good conversation now and thenâ€™. I should be letting me miss them like crazy even before they go (and Iâ€™m doing that for her now, but I think too much is simply regret). Ironic in that how the â€˜challengingsâ€™ are some of the things that I value so much. Is there always that underlying â€˜selfâ€™ thing? Where am I here?
There’s a small part of me saying I am inadequate to invest in others because I do such a poor job of itâ€¦ no, thatâ€™s wrong. I am good at starting the investing, I am almost too good at the short term – but when it comes to the longer why do I fail miserably? Is something there thatâ€™s a blocker in pushing forward â€“ I know whatâ€™s right. I know Iâ€™d love to do things right (or at least better) it could just be the ever lingering pride thing or it could be something else. Or both.
It is both encouraging and quite sad for me to discover this; it puts a heck of a lot of other stuff in to perspective. Strangely I can start feeling my way through that â€˜murkyâ€™ area.
So much of love is around choice. How much am I willing to invest in someone? More the fact, how willing am I to find out just how to invest in them so I can do that?
I would like to know why things are the way they are.
Someone recently said quite simply proposed that, â€œMaybe youâ€™re afraid of commitmentâ€. Commitment is something that in theory and in practice I value immensely. Itâ€™s something I want and would do SO much for. Maybe I am afraid? Itâ€™s pathetic but perhaps in some ways not totally unreasonable to be afraid of something that you esteem.
I know at least in one maybe two cases (horrible term to use: friendships) in my life what it is to love someone when itâ€™s beyond the â€˜yeh I like this person for who they areâ€™ â€“ I am talking about the choice of loving them when they are frustrating you beyond belief. When you have to conciously decide that youâ€™ll do the best for them. I donâ€™t know if itâ€™s a very common thing in my life but it’s soâ€¦ liberating in a way. Wonderful.
So why should commitment to most friends be such a thing I walk into the dirt? I love them but I dont’ love them well.
Is it because Iâ€™m so used to having no choice in having to let people go?