Tag Archives: relationships

“Friends”

Here are some stats for you:

In the last 2 years, I’ve visited 7 friends in different places, traveling over 4000 miles altogether. None of them have come to visit me.

I’ve invited a dozen people to hang out at my place. 4 have showed up.

I’ve made plans with at least 6 people who have then bailed on those plans at the last minute.

 

I’ve been a damn good friend in my lifetime. Friend has surgery? I’ll make a surprise house visit (with a 6 hour round trip drive) to cheer her up. Graduation party on the same day that I get back from a semester in Europe? I’ll put off sleep and being home for the first time in 5 months to make that pit stop. No, I’m not a perfect person. But I am very forgiving, perhaps to a fault, and therein lies my downfall.

See, I have horrible anxiety when it comes to making everyone happy. That combined with a great love for my friends meant that I was a fantastic friend. I would be there nearly every time at the drop of a hat. I don’t always give expensive gifts, but a heartfelt one you can expect, even if it’s just the homemade dessert that you love best. And if bad things happened, I was sympathetic. And silly me, I didn’t realize that people were starting to take advantage of that. I’m the one who travels everywhere, so surely it’s no big deal for me to travel to see people where they live instead of them coming to see me. Works great for both of us! You have to work or spend time with your girlfriend or go to a party while I’m there? That’s cool. I get it. You’re busy. I’m only a grad student who works multiple jobs and gave up a weekend of getting shit done to spend time with you.

The worst part is that I keep hoping and expecting. Next time, I tell myself. They’ll pull through. They’ll make plans. They’ll text first. Because they’re my friends. And that’s what friends do.

No. That’s what I do.

Okay maybe I’ll clarify. That’s what I do for people I consider my friends, people I care about. So maybe that’s where the snag is. Maybe it’s that these people don’t feel the same way about me. Because they would do more if they cared about me. Right?

I was afraid before to lose my friends. I was so caught up in trying to keep them that I didn’t even notice that they were already gone. See, they’ll still come to me when they need something. They’ll still want to be a part of all the good times in my life, especially if they get to make an appearance as ~good friend~. Yeah, I’m looking at you, wedding. But the days when I need them most, they’ll be a void. Hell, most of the times I need someone to talk to these days are because I’ve been let down by a “friend” yet again.

But they know that the next time they need advice or someone to laugh with or are just lonely, I’ll come through for them. Because I’m such a good friend to them.

Now, I’m afraid to make friends, to be a friend. I’m afraid of the disappointment I’ll face. I put on my armor and I brace for impact. But they keep hitting me in the exact same spots and now my shield is weak. I didn’t come here for a battle.

To my friends, those people that I have loved and treasured, and still do:

My heart is battered and broken. You once lifted it so high, but that only made the fall worse. I try so hard to hide it, but you already know that I will keep offering it to you, over and over. So I ask one last favor from you. Surely you can give me that.

Leave me be.

Don’t keep taking what you can’t give back. You’re not worthy of my friendship anymore. And unless you intend to change, don’t accept the heart from my outstretched hands any more. It can’t take this anymore. You’re a better friend to me by admitting that you’re not one than pretending.

I’m not afraid of not having friends anymore. I’m afraid of the black hole of self-loathing and doubt that my friends will send me into.

 

 

 

 

Love: Half-price

I don’t really believe in Valentine’s Day. I guess the red heart socks that I wore yesterday might make me look like a hypocrite. And it’s not that I don’t believe in love. Because I definitely do, and I’m even lucky enough to be in love at the moment. And it’s not even that I don’t do anything for my special someone. We each give a little treat or spend some extra time together.

But here’s where I get stuck. We do those little things for each other on other days. You shouldn’t need a national holiday to show the people you care about how much you love them. I saw a stat about the billions of dollars that are spent on cards, flowers, chocolates, and jewelry for that “one special day”. Being the cynic I am, my mind automatically jumped to the idea of bought love.

You can see it even in the way that men and women (I know, not everyone thinks this way, yadda yadda. I’m generalizing because it applies to a heck of a lot of people) treat the holiday. Men begrudgingly handing over a credit card to pay for the flowers that their wives/girlfriends/etc so sweetly reminded them to get, either in subtle hints for weeks or flat out demands.

One day a year, couples are reminded to rekindle their love. But why should they need reminded? Why has the flame gone down so much anyway? Shouldn’t you be with someone who makes you want to love them everyday? There’s no need for a grand romantic gesture to save your ass if you do the dishes when you’re done cooking or write your SO a note every once in a while.

I am against Valentine’s Day. I am not against love. In fact, I am for loving like every day is Valentine’s Day. So maybe I’m for it after all.

Go tell someone you love them right now. Use words or actions. Tell you SO or your mom or even your dog. Don’t let your love be the half-priced chocolate that goes on sale as soon as VDay is over. You’re worth more than that.

Double standard: friends and boyfriends

I recently had a conversation with a friend about a mutual friend of ours. I told her that I was feeling a little shafted in the relationship, that I didn’t think she was making as much effort to stay in touch and maintain our friendship. Her response was that I shouldn’t worry because she knew for a fact that this friend loved me and valued me. And so I was placated.

But only for a moment. Because when I thought about it deeper, I wondered what that really meant. Did she know this just because this friend had said so? Because my recent experiences have been that the friend is willing to say she misses me and wants to hang out more, etc. But when it comes down to it, there’s no follow through. And words just seem like words when there are no actions to add meaning to them. What kind of a friendship is that really?

And then I thought back to times when friends had questioned someone I was dating, or vice versa. “Why are you with him.” Because he loves me. “But is that enough?”

Is it?

I know very few women who would accept a man for themselves or their friends who said that he loved her, but never showed it or followed through. We don’t stand for boys who cancel plans last minute, or don’t make them at all. We rage at text messages that go unanswered for more than a few hours. So why should we accept these behaviors in our friendships? Surely they carry as much weight, if not more, than a romantic relationship.

“Bros before hoes” and “chicks before dicks”. We’re told to value friends over partners. So I’m going to expect just as much from a friend as I would from a partner.